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her Independence. To their industry, and the natural advantages of the country, she is indebted for her prosperous situation. From their virtue she may expect long to share the protection of a free and equal government, which their wisdom has established, and which experience justifies, as admirably adapted to our social wants and individual felicity.
THE PEOPLE; NOT THE PRESIDENT.
As, under the smiles of Heaven, America is indebted for freedom and independence, rather to the joint exertions of the citizens of the several States than to the conduct of the Commander-in-chief, so is she indebted, for their support, rather to a continuation of those exertions, than to the prudence and ability manifested in the exercise of the powers delegated to the President of the United States.
LIBERTY AND POWER.
A change in the National Constitution, conformed to experience and the circumstances of our country, has been most happily effected by the influence of reason alone.
In this change, THE LIBERTY OF THE CITIZEN continues unimpaired, while THE ENERGY OF GOVERNMENT
is so increased, as to promise full protection to all the pursuits of science and industry, together with the firm establishment of public credit, and the vindication of our national character.
1. OFFICERS AND AGENTS OF GOVERNMENT.
APPOINTMENTS TO OFFICE.
Of two men equally well affected to the true interests of their country, of equal abilities, and equally disposed to lend their support, it is the part of prudence, to give preference to him against whom the least clamor can be excited.
In the appointments to the great offices of Government, my aim has been, to combine geographical situation, and sometimes other considerations, with abilities, and fitness of known character.
FITNESS OF CHARACTER.
In every nomination to office, I have endeavored, as far as my own knowledge extended, or information could be obtained, to make fitness of character my primary object.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE.
It is really my wish, to have my mind and my actions which are the result of reflection, as free and independent as the air.
I shall not, whilst I have the honor to administer the Government, bring a man into any office of consequence, knowingly, whose political tenets are adverse to the measures which the General Government are pursuing; for this, in my opinion, would be a sort of political suicide.
PRIVATE INCLINATION AND PUBLIC DUTY.
As a public man, acting only with reference to the public good, I must be allowed to decide upon all points of my duty, without consulting my private inclinations and wishes. I must be permitted, with
the best lights I can obtain, and upon a general view of characters and circumstances, to nominate such persons alone to offices as, in my judgment, shall be the best qualified to discharge the functions of the departments to which they shall be appointed.
ALLUREMENTS OF OFFICE.
All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external happiness of elevated office. To me, there is nothing in it beyond the lustre, which be reflected from its connection with the power of promoting human felicity.
The interests of the United States require, that our intercourse with other nations should be facilitated, by such provisions as will enable me to fulfil my duty in that respect, in the manner which circumstances may render most conducive to the public good; and, to this end, that the compensations to be made to the persons who may be employed, should, according to the nature of their appointments, be defined by law, and a competent fund designated, for defraying the expenses incident to the conduct of our foreign affairs.
MAXIMS FOR EXECUTIVE OFFICERS.
Let me impress the following maxims upon the executive officers. In all important matters, deliberate maturely, but execute promptly and vigorously; and do not put things off until to-morrow, which can be done, and require to be done, to-day. Without an adherence to these rules, business never will be well done, or done in an easy manner, but will always be in arrear, with one thing treading upon the heels of another.
Men in responsible situations cannot, like those in private life, be governed solely by the dictates of their own inclinations, or by such motives as can only affect themselves.
Good measures should always be executed, as soon as they are conceived, and circumstances will admit.
COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS OF GOVERNMENT.
The compensation to the officers of the United States, in various instances, and in none more than in respect to the most important stations, appear to call for legislative provision.
The consequences of a defective provision, are of serious import to the government.