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TO THE FIFTH PART.
In the time of Washington's administration, it was customary for the President, at the opening of each session of Congress, to meet the two houses in person, and deliver a written speech. Each house returned an answer to this speech some days afterwards, by a committee, who waited on him for the purpose; and he at the same time made a brief reply. All his Speeches to Congress are contained in this volume, and all his replies to the answers of the two houses. The answers themselves may be found in the Journals of Congress.
The Messages were written communications on topics, which had not been introduced into the Speech, but which required the attention of Congress. They were sent at different times in the course of the session. Many of them were very short, being accompanied with illustrative and explanatory documents. All those, which are important for the matter or the sentiments they contain, have been selected for this work.
Such of the Proclamations, as have any permanent value, are here collected. The others, which merely announced the ratification of treaties, are brief and unimportant.