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deemable, annually, until the year 1835. It is believed, however, that if The United States remain at peace, the whole of that Debt may be redeemed, by the ordinary Revenue of those Years during that period, under the provision of the Act of March 3rd, 1817, creating the Sinking Fund; and, in that case, the only part of the Debt that will remain, after the year 1835, will be the 7,000,000 of five per cent. Stock, subscribed to the Bank of The United States, and the three per cent. Revolutionary Debt, amounting to 13,296,099 dollars, and 6 cents. both of which are redeemable at the pleasure of the Government.

The state of the Army in its organization and discipline, has been gradually improving for several years, and has now attained a high degree of perfection. The military disbursements have been regularly made, and the accounts regularly and promptly rendered for settlement. The supplies, of various descriptions, have been of good quality and regularly issued at all of the Posts. A system of economy and accountability has been introduced into every branch of the Service, which admits of little additional improvement. This desirable state has been attained by the Act re-organizing the Staff of the Army, passed on the 14th of April, 1818.

The monies appropriated for Fortifications have been regularly and economically applied, and all the Works advanced as rapidly as the amount appropriated would admit. Three important Works will be completed in the course of this year; that is, Fort Washington, Fort Delaware, and the Fort at the Rigolets, in Louisiana.

The Board of Engineers, and the Topographical Corps, have been in constant and active service, in surveying the Coast and projecting the Works necessary for its defence.

The Military Academy has attained a degree of perfection in its discipline and instruction, equal, as is believed, to any Institution of its kind in any Country.

The money appropriated for the use of the Ordnance Department, has been regularly and economically applied. The fabrication of arms at the National Armories, and by contract with the Department, has been gradually improving in quality and cheapness. It is believed that their quality is now such as to admit of but little improvement.

The completion of the Fortifications renders it necessary that there should be a suitable appropriation for the purpose

of fabricating the cannon and carriages necessary for those Works.

Under the appropriation of five thousand dollars for expioring the western waters for the location of a site for a western Armory, a Commission was constituted, consisting of Colonel M'Ree, Colonel Lee, and Captain Talcott, who have been engaged in exploring the Country. They have not yet reported the result of their labours, but it is believed that they will be prepared to do it at an early part of the Session of Congress.

During the month of June last, General Ashley and his party, who were trading under a license from the Government, were attacked by the Ricarees, while peaceably trading with the Indians at their request. Several of the party were killed and wounded, and their property taken or destroyed.

Colonel Leavenworth, who commanded Fort Atkinson, at the Council Bluffs, the most western Post, apprehending that the hostile spirit of the Ricarees would extend to other Tribes in that quarter, and that thereby the lives of the traders on the Missouri, and the peace of the Frontier, would be endangered, took immediate measures to check the evil.

With a detachment of the Regiment stationed at the Bluffs, he successfully attacked the Ricaree Village, and it is hoped that such an impression has been made on them, as well as on the other Tribes on the Missouri, as will prevent a recurrence of future hostility.

The Report of the Secretary of War, which is herewith transmitted, will exhibit, in greater detail, the condition of the Department, in its various branches, and the progress which has been made in its administration, during the three first Quarters of the Year.

I transmit a Return of the Militia of the several States, according to the last Reports which have been made by the proper Officers in each, to the Department of War.- By reference to this Return it will be seen that it is not complete, although great exertions have been made to make it so. As the defence, and even the liberties, of the Country must depend, in times of imminent danger, on the Militia, it is of the highest importance that it be well organized, armed, and disciplined throughout e Union. The Report of the Secretary of War shows the proress made during the three first Quarters of the present Year, by the application of the fund appropriated for arming the

Militia. Much difficulty is found in distributing the arms according to the Act of Congress providing for it, from the failure of the proper Departments in many of the States to make regular Returns. The Act of the 12th of May, 1820, provides that the system of tactics and regulations of the various Corps of the regular Army shall be extended to the Militia. This Act has been very imperfectly executed, from the want of uniformity in the organization of the Militia, proceeding from the defects of the system itself, and especially in its application to the main arm of the public defence. It is thought that this important subject, in all its branches, merits the attention of Congress.

The Report of the Secretary of the Navy, which is now communicated, furnishes an account of the administration of that Department for the three first Quarters of the present Year, with the progress made in augmenting the Navy, and the manner in which the Vessels in commission have been employed.

The usual Force has been maintained in the Mediterranean Sea, the Pacific Ocean, and along the Atlantic Coast, and has afforded the necessary protection to our Commerce in those Seas.

In the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico our Naval Force has been augmented, by the addition of several small Vessels, provided for by the "Act authorizing an additional Naval Force for the Suppression of Piracy," passed by Congress at their last Session. That Armament has been eminently successful in the accomplishment of its object. The Piracies, by which our Commerce in the neighbourhood of the Island of Cuba had been afflicted, have been repressed, and the confidence of our Merchants in a great measure restored.

The patriotic zeal and enterprise of Commodore Porter, to whom the command of the Expedition was confided, has been fully seconded by the Officers and Men under his command.— And in reflecting, with high satisfaction, on the honorable manner in which they have sustained the reputation of their Country and its Navy, the sentiment is alloyed only by a concern, that, in the fulfilment of that arduous service, the diseases incident to the season and to the climate in which it was discharged, have deprived the Nation of many useful lives, and among them of several Officers of great promise.

In the month of August, a very malignant fever made its appearance at Thompson's Island, which threatened the destruction of our Station there. Many perished, and the Commanding


Officer was severely attacked. Uncertain as to his fate, and knowing that most of the Medical Officers had been rendered incapable of discharging their duties, it was thought expedient to send to that post an Officer of rank and experience, with several skilful Surgeons, to ascertain the origin of the fever and the probability of its recurrence there in future seasons; to furnish every assistance to those who were suffering, and, if practicable, to avoid the necessity of abandoning so important

a Station.

Commodore Rogers, with a promptitude which did him honor, cheerfully accepted that trust, and has discharged it in the manner anticipated from his skill and patriotism.Before his arrival, Commodore Porter, with the greater part of the Squadron, had removed from the Island, and returned to The United States, in consequence of the prevailing sickness. Much useful information has, however, been obtained, as to the state of the Island, and great relief afforded to those who had

been necessarily left there.

Although our Expedition, co-operating with an invigorated administration of the Government of the Island of Cuba, and with the corresponding active exertions of a British Naval Force in the same Seas, have almost entirely destroyed the unlicensed Piracies from that Island, the success of our exertions has not been equally effectual to suppress the same crime, under other pretences and colours, in the neighbouring Island of Porto Rico. They have been committed there under the abusive issue of Spanish Commissions. At an early period of the present year, remonstrances were made to the Governor of that Island, by an Agent who was sent for the purpose, against those outrages on the peaceful commerce of The United States, of which many had occurred. That Officer, professing his own want of authority to make satisfaction for our just complaints, answered only by a reference of them to the Government of Spain. The Minister of The United States to that Court, was specially instructed to urge the necessity of the immediate and effectual interposition of that Government, directing restitution and indemnity for wrongs already committed, and interdicting the The Minister, as has been seen, was repetition of them. debarred access to the Spanish Government, and, in the mean me, several new cases of flagrant outrage have occurred, and Citizens of The United States in the Island of Porto Rico have suffered, and others have been threatened with, assassination,

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for asserting their unquestionable rights, even before the lawful Tribunals of the Country.

The usual Orders have been given to all our public Ships, to seize American Vessels engaged in the Slave Trade, and bring them in for adjudication, and I have the gratification to state, that not one so employed has been discovered, and there is good reason to believe that our Flag is now seldom, if at all, disgraced by that traffic.

It is a source of great satisfaction that we are always enabled to recur to the conduct of our Navy with pride and commendation. As a means of national defence, it enjoys the public confidence, and is steadily assuming additional importance. It is submitted whether a more efficient and equally economical organization of it, might not, in several respects, be effected. It is supposed that higher grades than now exist by law would be useful. They would afford well-merited rewards to those who have long and faithfully served their Country; present the best incentives to good conduct, and the best means of insuring a proper discipline; destroy the inequality in that respect between military and naval services, and relieve our Officers from many inconveniences and mortifications, which occur when our Vessels meet those of other Nations-ours being the only service in which such grades do not exist.

A Report of the Postmaster-General, which accompanies this Communication, will show the present state of the Post Office Department, and its general operations for some years past.

There is established, by law, 88,600 miles of post roads, on which the Mail is now transported 85,700 miles, and contracts have been made for its transportation on all the established routes, with one or two exceptions. There are 5,240 Post Offices in the Union, and as many Postmasters. The gross amount of Postage which accrued from the 1st of July, 1822, to the 1st of July, 1823, was 1,114,345 dollars, 12 cents. During the same period, the expenditures of the Post Office Department amounted to 1,169,885 dollars, and 51 cents; and consisted of the following items: Compensation to Postmasters, 353,995 dollars, and 98 cents; incidental expenses, 36,866 dollars, and 37 cents; transportation of the Mail, 784,600 dollars, and 8 cents; payments into the Treasury, 423 dollars, and 8 cents. On the 1st of July last, there was due to the Department, from Postmasters, 135,245 dollars, and 28 cents; from late Postmasters and Con

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