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millions of dollars, authorized by the act of the 8th of February last, has been contracted for. Of that sum, more than a million of dollars had been paid into the treasury, prior to the 1st of April, and formed a part of the receipts as above stated. The remainder of that loan, amounting to near fifteen millions of dollars, with the sum of five millions of dollars authorized to be issued in treasury notes, and the estimated receipts from the customs and the sales of public lands, amounting to nine millions three hundred thousand dollars, and making in the whole twenty-nine millions three hundred thousand dollars to be received during the last nine months of the present year, will be necessary to meet the expenditures already authorized, and the engagements contracted in relation to the public debt. These engagements amount during that period to ten millions five hundred thousand dollars, which, with near one million for the civil, miscellaneous, and diplomatic expenses, both foreign and domestic, and seventeen millions eight hundred thousand dollars for the military and naval expenditures, including the ships of war building and to be built, will leave a sum in the treasury, at the end of the present year, equal to that on the 1st of April last. A part of this sum may be considered as a resource for defraying any extraordinary expenses already authorized by law, beyond the sums above estimated ; and a further resource for any emergency may be found in the sum of one million of dollars, the loan of which to the United States has been authorized by the state of Pennsylvania, but which has not yet been brought into effect.
This view of our finances, whilst it shows that due provision has been made for the expenses of the current year, shows at the same time, by the limited amount of the actual revenue and the dependence on loans, the necessity of providing more adequately for the future supplies of the treasury. This can be best done by a well digested system of internal revenue, in aid of existing sources ; which will have the effect, both of abridging the amount of necessary loans, and on that account, as well as by placing the public credit on a more satisfactory basis, of improving the terms on which loans may be obtained. The loan of sixteen millions was not contracted for at a less interest than about seven and a half per cent.; and although other causes may have had an agency, it cannot be doubted, that with the advantage of a more extended and less precarious revenue, a lower rate of interest might have sufficed. A longer postponement of this advantage could not fail to have a still greater influence on future loans.
In recommending to the national legislature this resort to adilitional taxes, I feel great satisfaction in the assurance, that our constituents, who have already displayed so much zeal and firmness in the cause of their country, will cheerfully give every other proof of their patriotism which it calls for. Happily no people, with local and transitory exceptions never to be wholly avoided, are more able than the people of the United States, to spare for the public wants a portion of their private means, whether regard be had to the ordinary profits of industry, or the ordinary price of subsistence in our country, compared with those in any other. And in no case could stronger reasons bę felt for yielding the requisite contributions. By rendering the public resources certain, and commensurate to the public exigencies, the constituted authorities will be able to prosecute the war the more rapidly to its proper issue ; every hostile hope founded on a calculated failure of our resources, will be cut off; and by adding to the evidence of bravery and skill, in combats on the ocean and on the land, an alacrity in supplying the treasure necessary to give them their fullest effect, and thus demonstrating to the world the public energy which our political institutions combine, with the personal liberty distinguishing them, the best security will be provided against future enterprizes on the rights or the peace of the nation.
The contest in which the United States are engaged, appeals for its support to every motive that can animate an uncorrupted and enlightened people; to the love of country; to the pride of liberty ; to an emulation of the glorious founders of their independence, by a successful vindication of its violated attributes; to the gratitude and sympathy which demand security from the most degrading wrongs, of a class of citizens who have proved themselves so worthy the protection of their country, by their heroic zeal in its defence; and finally, to the sacred obligation of transmitting, entire, to future generations, that precious patrimony of national rights and independence, which is held in trust by the present, from the goodness of Divine Providence.
Being aware of the inconveniences to which a protracted session at this season would be liable, I limit the present communication to objects of primary importance. In special messages which may ensue, regard will be had to the same consideration.
Washington, May 25, 1813. JAMES MADISON.
Remonstrance of the Legislature of the State of Massachusetts,
against the war with Great Britain; and Protest of the minority of said legislature against said remonstrance.
To the honourable the senate, and the honourable the house of representatives of the United States, in congress assembled.
The legislature of Massachusetts, deeply impressed with the sufferings of their constituents, and excited by the apprehension of still greater evils in prospect, feel impelled by a solemn sense of duty to lay before the national government their view of the public interests, and to express, with the plainness of freemen, the sentiments of the people of this ancient and extensive commonwealth.
Although the precise limits of the powers reserved to the several state sovereignties have not been defined by the constitution, yet we fully coincide in the correctness of the opinions advanced by our venerable chief magistrate,“ that our constitutions insure to us the freedom of speech, and that at this mo- , mentous period it is our right and duty to inquire into the grounds and origin of the present war, to reflect on the state of public affairs, and to express our sentiments concerning them with decency and frankness, and to endeavor, as far as our limited influence extends, to promote, by temperate and constitutional means, an honourable reconciliation."
If, then, such are the rights and duties of the people, surely those who, at this solemn crisis, are selected by them, and who are specially honoured with their confidence, may venture respectfully, but frankly, to express the sentiments and feelings of those whom they have the honour to represent.
The states, as well as the individuals composing them, are parties to the national compact, and it is their peculiar duty, especially in times of peril, to watch over the rights and guard the privileges solemnly guaranteed by that instrument. Certainly then this expression from the legislature of the free and independent commonwealth of Massachusetts, will not be disregarded by the present congress of the United States. For although the numerous petitions and remonstrances of the people of this state in relation to such measures as they deemed dangerous to their rights and ruinous to their interests, have heretofore been received in a manner little calculated to produce that harmony, and to cement that union, which ought to be the permanent aim of the general government, yet we cannot but indulge the hope that new councils and a more conciliatory spirit will distinguish the several branches of the present national legislature; that they will endeavour, by the exercise of justice and impartiality, to allay
the apprehensions and restore the confidence of the eastern and commercial states; to remove their actual sufferings, and to replace them in the happy and prosperous condition from which they have been driven, by a succession of measures hostile to the rights of commerce, and destructive to the peace of the union.
It is not to be expected that a hardy and industrious people, instructed in the nature of their rights, and tenacious of their exercise, whose enterprize was a source of individual wealth and national prosperity, should find themselves obliged to abandon their accustomed employments, and relinquish the means of subsistence, without complaint; or, that a moral and christian people should contribute their aid in the prosecution of an offensive war, without the fullest evidence of its justice and necessity
The United States, from the form of their government, from the principles of their institutions, from the sacred professions which, in all periods of their history, they have made, from the maxims transmitted to them by patriots and sages, whose loss they can never sufficiently deplore, as well as from a regard to their best and dearest interests, ought to be the last nation to engage
in a war of ambition or conquest. The recent establishment of their institutions, the pacific, moral, and industrious character of their citizens, the certainty that time, and prudent application of their resources, would bring a seasonable remedy for any transient wrongs, would have induced a wise and provident, an impartial and temperate administration, to overlook, if it had been necessary, any temporary evils, which either the ambition, the interest, the cupidity, or the injustice of foreign powers might occasionally, and without any deep and lasting injury, have inflicted.
With these maxims and these views, we cannot discern any thing in the policy of foreign nations towards us, which, in point of expediency, required the sacrifice of so many and so certain blessings as might have been our portion, for such dreadful and inevitable evils as all wars, and especially in a republic, entail upon the people.
But when we review the alleged causes of the war against Great Britain, and, more particularly, the pretences for its continuance, after the principal one was removed, we are constrained to say, that it fills the minds of the good people of this commonwealth with infinite anxiety and alarm. We cannot but recollect, whatever the pretences of the emperor of France may have been, pretences which have uniformly preceded and accompanied the most violent acts of injustice, that he was the sole author of a system calculated and intended to break down neutral commerce, with a view to destroy the opulence and cripple the
power of a rival, whose best interest and whose real policy were to uphold that commerce so essential to her own prosperity.
It is not for us to decide whether the enemy of France did, or did not, adopt the most natural and efficacious means of repelling her injustice. It is sufficient that we are persuaded the United States might, by a firm and dignified, yet pacific resistance to the French decrees, have prevented the recurrence of any retaliatory measures on the part of Great Britain ; measures not intended to injure us, but to operate on the author of this unjust and iniquitous system. And however honourable men may differ as to the justice of the British retaliatory orders in council, we do not hesitate to say, that France merited from our government a much higher tone of remonstrance and a more, decided opposition.
In reviewing the avowed causes of the present war, we would, if it were possible, pass over a series of transactions imperfectly explained, and calculated to excite our alarm and regret, at the hasty manner in which it was declared, But the history of the pretended repeal of the French decrees, which, if our government was sincere, we are bound to believe was the immediate cause of the war, is so well attested and has been so often discussed, and is besides so important in this inquiry, that mere motives of delicacy cannot induce us to pass over it without notice.
If war could be justified against Great Britain exclusively, it must have been on the ground assumed by our government, that the French decrees were actually repealed on the first of November, 1810. The indiscriminate plunder and destruction of our commerce; the capture of our ships by the cruizers of France, and their condemnation by her courts and by the
emperor in person; his repeated and solemn declarations that those derees were still in force and constituted the fundamental laws of his empire, at a period long subsequent to the pretended repeal, seemed to furnish an answer sufficiently conclusive to this question ; and we cannot but lament, that evidence so satisfactory to the rest of the nation, should have had so little weight with that congress whose term of service has lately expired.
But this important question is now definitively answered; and the American people have learned with astonishment the depth of their degradation. The French emperor, as if for the perfect and absolute humiliation of our government, and for the annun. ciation to the world that he held us in utter contempt, reserved till May, 1812, the official declaration of the fact that these decrees were not repealed until April, 1811; and then, not in
VOL. I. PART I.