A reenforcement of the existing provisions for discharging our public debt was mentioned in my address at the opening of the last session. Some preliminary steps were taken toward it, the maturing of which will no doubt engage your zealous attention during the present. I will only add that it will afford me a heartfelt satisfaction to concur in such further measures as will ascertain to our country the prospect of a speedy extinguishment of the debt. Posterity may have cause to regret if from any motive intervals of tranquillity are left unimproved for accelerating this valuable end.
Gentlemen of the Senate and of the House of Representatives:
My solicitude to see the militia of the United States placed on an efficient establishment has been so often and so ardently expressed that I shall but barely recall the subject to your view on the present occasion, at the same time that I shall submit to your inquiry whether our harbors are yet sufficiently secured.
The situation in which I now stand for the last time, in the midst of the representatives of the people of the United States, naturally recalls the period when the administration of the present form of government commenced, and I can not omit the occasion to congratulate you and my country on the success of the experiment, nor to repeat my fervent supplications to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and Sovereign Arbiter of Nations that His providential care may still be extended to the United States, that the virtue and happiness of the people may be preserved, and that the Government which they have instituted for the protection of their liberties may be perpetual,
We thank you, sir, for your faithful and detailed exposure of the existing situation of our country, and we sincerely join in sentiments of gratitude to an overruling Providence for the distinguished share of public prosperity and private happiness which the people of the United States so peculiarly enjoy.
We are fully sensible of the advantages that have resulted from the adoption of measures (which you have successfully carried into effect) to preserve peace, cultivate friendship, and promote civilization amongst the Indian tribes on the Western frontiers. Feelings of humanity and the most solid political interests equally encourage the continuance of this system.
We observe with pleasure that the delivery of the military posts lately occupied by the British forces within the territory of the United States was made with cordiality and promptitude as soon as circumstances would admit, and that the other provisions of our treaties with Great Britain and Spain that were objects of eventual arrangement are about being carried into effect with entire harmony and good faith.