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Common names of some of the trees, shrubs, and plants growing in
the vicinity of the Washita. THREE kinds of white oak, four kinds of red oak, black oak, three kinde of hickory, one of which has an oblong nut, white and good, chinkapin, three kinds of ash, one of which is the prickly, three kinds of elm,two kinds of maple, two kinds of pine,red cedar, sweet gum, black gum, linden, two kinds of iron wood, growing on high and low lands, sycamore, box elder, holly, sweet bay, laurel, magnolia acucinata, black walnut, filbert, buckeye, dogwood, three kinds of locust, the three-thorned and honey locust, hazle, beech ; wild plumb, the fruit red but not good; bois d'arc (bow wood) called also bois jaune (yellow wood) a famous yellow dye; three kinds of hawthorn, with berries, red, scarlet, and black; lote tree, for Indian arrows; bois de carbane, a small growth, and proper for hoops ; two kinds of osier, myrtle, tooth-ache tree, and magnolia.
A vine, bearing large good black grapes in bunches, black grape, hill grape, yellow grape, muscadine, or fox grape, and a variety of other vines. The saw briar, single rose briar, and china root briar, wild goose berry, with a dark red fruit, three kinds of whortle berry, wild pomegranate, passion flower, two sorts of sumach, winter's berry, winter's green, a small red farinaceous berry like a haw, on a plant one inch high, which grows under the snow, and is eaten by the Indians ; the silk plant, wild endive, wild olive, pink root, snake root, wild mint of three kinds, coloquintida (bitter apple). growing along the river side, clover, sheep's clover, life everlasting, wild liquorice, marygold, missletoe, thistle, wild hemp, bull rush, dittany, white and red poppy, yellow jessamine, poke, fern, capillaire, honeysuckle, mosses, petu to make ropes with, worm wood, hops, ipecacuanha, persicaria, Indian turnip, wild carrot, wild onion, ginger, wild cabbage, and bastard indigo.
COMMUNICATION TO BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, AT TIIE COMMENCE.
of the United States, in Congress assembled. IT would have given me, Fellow Citizens, great satisfaction to announce, in the moment of your meeting, that the difficulties in our foreign relations, existing at the time of your separation, had been amicabiy and justly terminated. I lost no time in taking those measures which were most likely to bring them to such a termination, by special missions, charged with such powers and instructions as, in the event of failure, could leave no imputation on either our moderation or forbearance. The delays, which have since taken place in our negociations with the British Government, appear to have proceeded from causes which do not forbid the expectation that, during the course of the session, I may be enabled to lay before you their final issue. What will be that of the negociations for settling our differences with Spain, nothing which has taken place, at the date of the last dispatches, enables us to pronounce. On the western side of the Mississippi she advanced in considerable force, and took post at the settlement of Bayau Pierre, on the Red river. This village was originally settled by France, was held by her as long as she held Louisiana, and was delivered to Spain only as a part of Louisiana. Being small, insulated, and distant, it was not observed at the moment of re-delivery to France and the United States, Urat the continued a guard of half a dozen men, which had been stationed there. A proposition, however, having been lately made by our commander in chief, to assume the Sabine river as a temporary line of separation between the troops of the two nations, until the issue of our negociations shall be known this has been referred by the Spanish commandant to his superiour, and in the mean time he has withdrawn his force to the western side of the Sabine river. The correspondence on this subject, now communicated, will exhibit more particularly the present state of things in that quarter.
The nature of that country requires indispensably that an unusual propor. tion of the force employed there should be cavalry or mounted infantry. In order therefore that the commanding officer might be enabled to act with effect, I had authorized him to call on the governours of Orleans and Missis. sippi for a corps of five hundred volunteer cavalry. The temporary arrangement he has proposed may perhaps render this unnecessary. But I inform you, with great pleasure, of the promptitude with which the inhabitants of those territories have tendered their services in defence of their country. It has done honour to themselves, entitled them to the confidence of their fellow citizens in every part of the Union, and must strengthen the general determination to protect them efficaciously under all circumstances which may occur.
Having received information that in another part of the United States a great number of private individuals were combining together, arming and organizing themselves, contrary to law, to carry on a military expedition against the territories of Spain, I thought it necessary, by proclamation, as well as by special orders, to take measures for preventing and suppressing this enterprize, for seizing the vessels, arms, and other means provided for it, and for arresting and bringing to justice its authors and abettors. It vas due to that good faith which ought ever to be the rule of action in publick as well as in private transactions ; it was due to good order, and re. gular government, that, while the publick force was acting strictly on the defensive, and merely to protect our citizens from aggression, the criminal attempts of private individuals to decide, for their country, the question of peace or war, by commencing active and unauthorized hostilities, should be promptly and efficaciously suppressed.
Whether it will be necessary to enlarge our regular force, will depend on the result of our negociations with Spain. But as it is uncertain when that result will be known, the provisional measures requisite for that, and to meet any pressure intervening in that quarter, will be a subject for your early consideration. · The possession of both banks of the Mississippi reducing to a single point the defence of that river, its water, and the country adjacent, it becomes highly necessary to provide for that point a more adequate security. Some position above its mouth, commanding the passage of the river, should be rendered sufficiently strong to cover the armed vessels, which may be sta. tioned there for defence ; and, in conjunction with them to present an insu. perable obstacle to any force, attempting to pass. The approaches to the city of New Orleans, from the eastern quarter also will require to be ex. amined, and more effectually guarded. For the internal support of the country, the encouragement of a strong settlement on the western side of the Mississippi, within the reach of New-Orleans, will be worthy the consi. deration of the legislature. - The gun-boats authorized by an act of the last session, are so advanced, that they will be ready for service in the ensuing spring. Circumstances permitted us to allow the time necessary for their more solid construction. As a much larger number will still be wanting to place our sea-port towns pnd waters in that state of defence to which we are competent, and they els titled, a similar appropriation for a further provision of them is recommend. ed for the ensuing year.
A further appropriation will also be necessary for repairing fortifications already established, and the erection of such other works as may haxe rest cllect in obstructing the approach of an enemy to our sea-port towns, or their remaining before them.
In a country whose constitution is derived from the will of the people, directly expressed by their free suitrages ; where the principal executive functionaries, and those of the legislature, are renewed by them at short periods ; where, under the characters of jurors, they exercise in person the greatest portion of the judiciary powers; where the laws are consequently so formed and administered as so bear with equal weight and favour on all, restraining no man in the pursuits of honest industry, and securing to every one the property which that acquires, it would not be supposed that any safeguards could be needed against insurrection, or enterprize, on the publick peace or authority. The laws, however, aware that these should not · be trusted to moral restraints only, have wisely provided punishment for these crimes when committed. But would it not be calitary to give also the means of preventing their commission ? Where an entorprize is merti. tated by private individuals, against a foreign nation, in amity with the Uni. ted States, powers of prevention, to a certain extent, are given by the laws. Wouid they not be as reasonable, and useful, where the enterprize prepar. ing is against the United States ? While adverting to this branch of law, it is proper to observe, that, in entcrprizes meditated against foreign nations, the ordinary process of binding to the observance of the peace and good behaviour, could it be extended to acts to be done out of the jurisdiction of the United States, would be effectual in some cases where the offender is able to keep out of sight every indication of his purpose which could driw on him the exercise of the powers now given by law.
The states on the coast of Barbary seem generally disposed at present to respect our peace and friendship, With 'Tunis alone, some uncertainty re. mains. Persuaded that it is our interest to maintain our peace with them on equal terms, or not at all, I propose to send in due time a reinforcement into the Mediterranean, unless previous information shall shew it to be unnecessary.
We continue to receive proofs of the growing attachment of our Indian neighbours, and of their disposition to place all their interests under the patron. age of the United States. These dispositions are inspired by their confidence in our justice and in the sincere concern we feel for their welfare. And as long as we discharge these high and honourable functions with the integrity and good faith which alone can entitle us to their continuance, we may expect to reap the just reward in their peace and friendship.
The expeclition of Messrs. Lewis, and Clarke, for exploring the river Missouri, and the best commumication from that to the Pacifick Ocean, has had all the success which could have been expected. They have traced the Missouri nearly to its source, descended the Columbia to the Pacifick Ocean, ascertained with accuracy.the geography of that interesting commu. nication across our continent, learnt the character of the country, of its commerce and inhabitants, and it is but justice to say that Messrs. Lewis and Clarke, and their brave companions, have, by this arduous service, deserved well of their country.
The attempt to explore the Red River, under the direction of Mr. Free. man, thoug'ı conducted with a zead and prudence meriting entire approbation, has not been equally successful. Afier proceeding up about six hund. red miles nearly as far as the French settlements had extended, while the country was in their possession, our geographers were obliged to retur withiout completing their work.
Very useful additions have also been made to our knowledge of the Mississippi, by Lieutenant Pike, who has ascended it to its source, and whose journal and map, giving the details of his journey, will shortly be ready for communication to both houses of congress. Those of Messrs. Lewis, Clarke and Freeman, will require further time to be digested and prepared. These important surveys, in addition to those before possessed, furnish materials for commencing an accurate map of the Mississippi and its western waters. Some principal rivers however remain still to be explored, towards which the anthorisation of congress, by moderate appropriations, will be requisite,
I congratulate you, fellow-citizens, on the approach of the period at which you may interpose your authority constitutionally, to withdraw the citizens of the United States from all further participation in those violations of human rights, which have been so long continued on the unoffending inhabitants of Africa, and which the morality, the reputation, and the best interests of our country, have long been eager to proscribe. Although no law you may pass can take prohibitory effect till the first day of the year one-thousand eight hundred and eight, yet the intervening period is not too long to prevent, by timely notice, expeditions, which cannot be completed before that day.
The receipts at the treasury, during the year ending on the 30th day of Sept. last, have amounted to near fifteen millions of dollars : which have enabled us, after meeting the current demands, to pay two millions seven hundred thousand dollars of the American claims, in part of the price of Louisiana ; to pay, of the funded debt, upwards of three millions of prin. cipal, and nearly four of interest, and in addition to reimburse, in the courso of the present month, near two millions of five and a half per cent. stock, These payments and reimbursements of the funded debt, with those which have been made in the four years and a half preceding, vill, at the close of the present year, hare extinguished upwards of 23 millions of principal.
The duties composing the Mediterranean fund will cease, by law, at the end of the present session. Considering, however, that they are levied chiefly on luxuries, and that we have an impost of salt, a necessary of life, the free use of which otherwise is so important, I recommend to your consideration the suppression of the cluties on salt, and the continuation of the Mediterranean fund, instead thereof, for a short time, after which that also will become unnecessary for any purpose now within contemplation.
When both of these branches of revenue shall, in this way, be relinquished, there will still, ere long, be an accumulation of monies in the treasury, beyond the instalments of publick debt which we are permitted by contract to pay. They cannot then, without a modification, assented to by the publick creditors, be applied to the extinguishment of this debt, ard the complete liberation of our revenues, the most desirable of all objects. Nor, if our peace continues, will they be wanting for any other existing purpose. The question, therefore, now comes forward, to what other objects sha!! these surplusses be appropriated, and tlie whole surplus of impost, after the entire discharge of the publick debt, and during those intervals when the purposes of will shall not call for them ? Shall we suppress the impost, and give that advantage to foreign over domestiek manufactures ? On a few articles, of more general and necessary use, the suppression, in due scason, will doubtless be right; but the great mass of the articles, on which impost is paid, are foreign luxuries, purchased by those only who are rich enough to attord themselves the use of them. Their patriotism would certainly prefer its continuance and application to the great purposes of the publick edu. cation, roads, rivers, canals, and slicir other objects of publick improvement as it may be thought proper to add to the constitutional enuineration of fed. eral powers. By these operations, new channels of communication will be opened between the States ; the lines of separation will disappear, their interests will be identified, and their union ceinented by new and indissolu. ble ties. Education is here placed among the articles of publick care, not that it would be proposed to take its ordinary branches out of the hands of private enterprize, which manages so much better all the concerns to which it is equal ; but a publick institution can alone supply those sciences, which, though rarely called for, are yet necessary to complete the circle, all the parts of which contribute to the improvement of the country, and some of them to its preservation. The subject is now proposed for the consideration of congress, because, if approved, by the time the state legislatures shall have deliberated on this extension of the federal trusts and the laws shall be passed, and other arrangements made for their execution, the necessiury funds will be on hand, and without employment. I suppose an amend. ment of the constitution, by the consent of the States, necessary, because the objects now recommended are not among those enumerated in the cousti. tution, and to which it permits the publick monies to be applied.
The present consideration for a national establishment for education par. ticularly, is rendered proper by this circumstance also, that, if Congress, approving the proposition, shall yet think it more eligible to found it on a donation of lands, they have it now in their power to endow it with those which will be among the earliest to produce the necessary income. This foundation would have the advantage of being independent on war, which may suspend other improvements by requiring for its own purposes the resources destined for them.
This, fellow citizens, is the state of the publick interests, at the present moment, and according to the information now possessed. But such is the situation of the nations of Europe, and such too the predicament in which we stand with some of them, that we cannot rely with certainty on the present aspect of our affairs, that may change from moment to moment, during the course of your session, or after you shall have separated. Our duty therefore is to act upon things as they are, and to make a reasonable provi. sion for whatever they may be. Were armies to be raised whenever a speck of war is visible in our horizon, we never should have been without them. Our resources would have been exhausted on dangers which bare never happened, instead of being reserved for what is really to take place. A steady, perhaps a quickened pace, in preparations for the defence of our seaport towns and waters, an early settlement of the most exposed and vulncrable parts of our country, a militia so organized that its effective portions can be called to any point in the union, or volunteers instead of them, to serve a sufficient time, are means which may always be ready, yet never preying on our resources until actually called into use. They will maintain the publick interests, while a more permanent force shall be in a course of preparation. But much will depend on the promptitude with which these means can be brought into activity. If war be forced upon us in spite of our long and vain appeals to the justice of nations, rapid and vigorous morements, in its outset, will go far towards securing us in its course and issue, and towar Is throwing its burthens on those who render necessary the resort from reason to force.
The result of our ncgociations, or such incidents in their course as may enable us to infor their probable issue ; such further movements also, on our westem frontiers as may shew whether war is to be pressed there, while negociation is protracted elsewhere, shall be communicated to you from time to time, as they become known to me ; with watever other information I possess or may receive, which may aid your deliberations on the great butional interests committed to your charge.