To you, then, gentlemen, who are charged with the sovereign functions of legislation, and to those associated with you, I look with encouragement for that guidance and support which may enable us to steer with safety the vessel in which we are all embarked amidst the
conflicting elements of a troubled world.
a struggle between rivals
contest of opinion through which we have passed the animation of discussions and of exertions has sometimes worn an aspect which might impose on strangers unused to think freely and to speak and to write what they think
belonging to or participated in by the people as a whole
but this being now decided by the voice of the nation, announced according to the rules of the Constitution, all will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in
common efforts for the
marked by sound judgment
All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be
reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.
compatibility in opinion and action
Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that
harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things.
unwillingness to respect differences in opinions or beliefs
And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious
intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political
intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions.
a basic truth or law or assumption
But every difference of opinion is not a difference of
principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same
a personal belief or judgment
We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of
opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
keep in safety and protect from harm, loss, or destruction
I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to
a feeling of affection for a person or an institution
Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our
attachment to union and representative government.
keep under control; keep in check
a wise and frugal Government, which shall
restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
state of well-being characterized by contentment
This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our
include in scope
About to enter, fellow-citizens, on the exercise of duties which
comprehend everything dear and valuable to you, it is proper you should understand what I deem the essential principles of our Government, and consequently those which ought to shape its Administration.
a personal belief or judgment
Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or
persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none
sanctioned by or consistent with or operating under the law
the preservation of the General Government in its whole
constitutional vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad
agreement with a statement or proposal to do something
acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, the vital principle of republics
the act of dispersing something
diffusion of information and arraignment of all abuses at the bar of the public reason
a basis for comparison
They should be the creed of our political faith, the text of civic instruction, the
touchstone by which to try the services of those we trust; and should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty, and safety.
a feeling of trust in someone or something
I ask so much
confidence only as may give firmness and effect to the legal administration of your affairs.
a failing or deficiency
I shall often go wrong through
defect of judgment.
express strong disapproval of
I ask your indulgence for my own errors, which will never be intentional, and your support against the errors of others, who may
condemn what they would not if seen in all its parts.
approbation implied by your suffrage is a great consolation to me for the past
gain the good will of or cause to be more favorably inclined
my future solicitude will be to retain the good opinion of those who have bestowed it in advance, to
conciliate that of others by doing them all the good in my power, and to be instrumental to the happiness and freedom of all.
the act of providing approval and support
Relying, then, on the
patronage of your good will, I advance with obedience to the work, ready to retire from it whenever you become sensible how much better choice it is in your power to make.
an assembly convened to regulate matters of doctrine
And may that Infinite Power which rules the destinies of the universe lead our
councils to what is best, and give them a favorable issue for your peace and prosperity.