John Adams: State of the Union Addresses of John Adams

State of the Union Address: December 3, 1799 (continued)

In consequence of the obstacles to the progress of the commission in Philadelphia, His Britannic Majesty has directed the commissioners appointed by him under the 7th article of the treaty relating to the British captures of American vessels to withdraw from the board sitting in London, but with the express declaration of his determination to fulfill with punctuality and good faith the engagements which His Majesty has contracted by his treaty with the United States, and that they will be instructed to resume their functions whenever the obstacles which impede the progress of the commission at Philadelphia shall be removed. It being in like manner my sincere determination, so far as the same depends on me, that with equal punctuality and good faith the engagements contracted by the United States in their treaties with His Britannic Majesty shall be fulfilled, I shall immediately instruct our minister at London to endeavor to obtain the explanation necessary to a just performance of those engagements on the part of the United States. With such dispositions on both sides, I can not entertain a doubt that all difficulties will soon be removed and that the two boards will then proceed and bring the business committed to them respectively to a satisfactory conclusion.

The act of Congress relative to the seat of the Government of the United States requiring that on the 1st Monday of December next it should be transferred from Philadelphia to the District chosen for its permanent seat, it is proper for me to inform you that the commissioners appointed to provide suitable buildings for the accommodation of Congress and of the President and of the public offices of the Government have made a report of the state of the buildings designed for those purposes in the city of Washington, from which they conclude that the removal of the seat of Government to that place at the time required will be practicable and the accommodation satisfactory. Their report will be laid before you.

Gentlemen of the House of Representatives:

I shall direct the estimates of the appropriations necessary for the service of the ensuing year, together with an account of the revenue and expenditure, to be laid before you. During a period in which a great portion of the civilized world has been involved in a war unusually calamitous and destructive, it was not to be expected that the United States could be exempted from extraordinary burthens. Although the period is not arrived when the measures adopted to secure our country against foreign attacks can be renounced, yet it is alike necessary for the honor of the Government and the satisfaction of the community that an exact economy should be maintained. I invite you, gentlemen, to investigate the different branches of the public expenditure. The examination will lead to beneficial retrenchments or produce a conviction of the wisdom of the measures to which the expenditure relates.

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