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me; but even these, in the midst of anxiety and apprehension, only induced my submission to the supreme will.
I had no right to expect that my elevation would meet with the approbation of every one; and the calamities of the times caused ine to fear that my Election might give rise to new disturbances. The result did but realise my anticipations. I saw myself compelled to subdne the hearts of my personal Enemies; and I considered that my life was exclusively devoted to the public cause. Invested with the Chief Magistracy, I departed from the Assembly of the Supreme Congress for the Province of Salta, and had the good fortune to allay the violent dissentions which had set at variance the Citizens and the Military; and, having prepared the elements wbich afterwards procured for the Saltanians their well-earned fame, I proceeded to the Army, examined its position, and inspected the Fortifications; and, after leaving such orders as circuinstances might require, I returned to Tucuman, where I had the proud satisfaction of hastening, by my influence, the meinorable Act and soleinn Declaration of our Independence.
I pursued my Journey to the Capital of Cordova, where, according to previous arrangement, I was expected by General San Martin, in order to settle the Plans for rescuing Chili from the power of the Spaniards. From Cordova, with what painful apprehensions did I extend my view towards the agitated Population of Buenos Ayres ! I appeal to you, Fellow-Citizens, as the witnesses of the well-founded causes of my fears; and permit me, passing by the perils of my transit, to fix your attention on the first days of my arrival in this Capital. What violence of passions ! · How many jarring interests! My resolution was taken. I bastened to fulál the obligations of my Oath. I announced to the People that the past should be forgotten, and that those who deserved well of their Country, should be rewarded.
Fellow-Citizens, I have not failed in any promises, nor shall I ever have reason to regret my conduct. It is owing to this course, and to your patriotism, that the Constituted Authorities have been supported, in spite of the boldest Innovators; it is to these that I attribute the reconciliation of those who before regarded themselves as having reason to be my Enemies; it is to these, in a word, that we are indebted for the obedience to the lawful Authorities, and the love of order, which constitute, at present, the prevailing temper of the Provinces, over whose destinies I have the honour to preside as Chief Magistrate. It were presumptuous folly to assert, that order has been established upon foundations that are proof against every attempt; the present Aye offers but too many examples of the uncertainty, in this respect, of all Political Institutions : but how disgraceful ought we to consider the conduct of those who meditate a repetition of such mournful scenes, in our Country; and let us hope, that, in future, their restless projects will be more easily disconcerted than they were in the earlier
part of the present Administration. The suppression of anarchy, at that time, claimed our first attention ; but we were by no means free from otber Assailants, whom it was necessary to oppose with our utmost efforts. The interior Provinces were threatened by the near approach of the Enemy, with a more numerous and effective Force than they had ever before brought into the field; to concentrate our own Forces was impossible, from the want of means to transport them some hundreds of leagues, and from their already occupying Posts from which they could not be spared :-moreover, I experienced the most painful embarrassment of mind, when compelled to choose between two extremes equally perilous; either to expose the Districts of the Interior, and the Army which covered them, to the utmost hazard, or to desist from the attempt to reconquer Chili, thereby leaving the Province of Cuyo to subjugation. I at length adopted the course which was dictated by confidence, and bafilled the plans of the Enemy's Generals, La Serna, and Marco. The Patriot Army, against which that of Lima was intended to operate, was rapidly reinforced, and discipline and subordination, which had been neglected during the period of our reverses, were in a short time restored. Its present strength, respectability, and efficiency is kuown to you, in common with the rest of our Fellow-Citizens; and you would have witnessed more of its conduct, if the Enemy, who vow Aies before us, beaten and humiliated, had not encountered a rampart of loyalty and valour in the Province of Salta.
The Army of Cuyo, instead of retiring before that of Peru, maintained its ground, until Regiments were marched from the Capital to its reinforcement; new Regiments were created with a rapidity almost incredible, owing to the noble devotedness and generous liberality of that Province, in order to accelerate the final preparations, for setting on foot the stupendous design which had been formed, of crossing the Andes; the successful issue of which will afford to other Nations the means of estimating the respectability of our force; wbilst it has struck terror into the niinds of our Enemies, kindled gratitude in the hearts of our Brethren of Chili, and erected the most splendid monument of the power and glory of our Country.
The Army of this Capital was organized, at the same time with those of the Andes and of the Interior; the regular Force has been nearly doubled; the Militia has made great progress in military discipline; our Slave Population have been formed into Battalions, and have been taught the military art, so far as it is practicable. The Capital is now under no apprehension that an Army of 10,000 men can threaten its liberties; and should the Peninsularians send against us thrice that number, ample preparation has been made to repel them.
Our Navy has been fustered in all its branches; the scarcity of means under which we have hitherto laboured, has not prevented us from making very considerable progress with respect to the National Vessels : all of them have been repaired, and others have been pur
chased and armed, for the defence of our Coasts and Rivers; arrangements have also been made, should necessity require it, for arming many more, so that the Enemy will not bud himself secure from our reprisals, even upon the Ocean.
Our Military Force, at every point which it occupies, seems to be animated with the same spirit ; its tactics are excellent, and have undergone a rapid improvement from the science and experience which it bas acquired from warlike Nations. Our Arsenals have been replenished with arms, and a sufficient store of cannon, and inunitions of war, has been provided to maintain the Contest for many years; and this, after having supplied articles of every description to those Districts which have not as yet come into the Union, but whose connexion with us has been interrupted only by reason of our past misfortunes.
Our Legions daily receive considerable augmentations from new Levies; all our preparations have been made as though we were about to enter upon the Contest aner. The extent of our resources had hitherto been unknown to us, and our Enemies may now contemplaie, with deep mortification and despair, the present flourishivg state of these Provinces, after so many devastations.
The Office of Major-General bas been re-established, for the purpose of giving a uniform direction to our Armies, in order to instruct the Militia in all its details, and to regulate the system of military Ad. ministration. The General Officers, and Officers of a lower grade, who are occupied in these duties, will lighten the labours of the Government, and at the same time render more practical the progress and improvement of which the Military Force is susceptible; thus forming by degrees a Body of effective Soldiery, who will at once be an honour to their Country, and serve as its firmest pillars in times of danger.
Wbilst thus occupied in providing for our safety within, and pre. paring for attack from without, other objects of solid interest, which had been thought to be beset with insurmountable obstacles, have not been neglected.
Our System of Finance bas hitherto been upon a footing entirely inadequate to the regular supply of our wants, and still more to the liquidation of the immense Debt which had been contracted in former years. An unremitted attention to this object has enabled me to create the means of satisfying the Creditors of the State, who had already regarded their Debts as lost, as well as to devise a fixed regulation, by which the Taxes may be made to fall equally, and indirectly, on the whole mass of our Population. It is not the least merit of this operation, that it has been effected, notwithstanding the Writings by which it was attacked, and which were but little creditable to the intelligence and intentions of their Authors. The result has been, that there now circulates in the hands of the Capitalists, a Sum equivalent in value to 1,000,000 Dollars, which did not exist be.
fore the adoption of these salutary measures. To the same measures we are indebted for the receipt of 268,000 Dollars, in the Treasury of the Custom-House, in the short time which has elapsed since my Decree of the 29th of March. At no former period, have the public exigencies been so punctually supplied, nor have more important works been undertaken.
The People, moreover, have been relieved from many burdens, which, being partial, or confined to particular classes, had occasioned vexation and discontent. Other vexations, scarcely less grievous, will by degrees be also removed, taking care to avoid, as far as possible, a recurrence to Loans, which have drawn after them the most fatal consequences to other States. Should we, however, be compelled to resort to such expedients, the Lenders will not find themselves in danger of losing their money. To shew these practical results, is to make the best reply to censure; and if it be the intention to do justice to the zeal and intelligence of Public Officers, the inconveniences and difficulties which they have experienced, must be weighed against the good that has been effected. It is but idle vanity to seek for perfection in the labours of Man !
One of the mischiefs attendant upon the Administration of the National Treasury, was the existence of many superfluous Officers, with respect to whom the proper reductions have been made, more especially in the Arinories and Public Works. The attention of the Government is continually alive to this branch of its duty; and it is not without the hope of being able to see an abundance of means restored, even in the inidst of the constant expences required by War, and of the many undertakings that have been set on foot for the advancement of the general prosperity.
The extension of our Sonthern Frontier, over Plains and Deserts well adapted to the formation of flourishing Settlements, a project whose accomplishment was not within the reach of former Governments, notwithstanding their repeated attempts to subdue obsacles, which the present Adininistration has had the good fortune to surmount, has now been effected. The unfortunate Inbabitants of our Plains have not only been gratuitously supplied with suitable Lands, on which to fix their habitations, but have been furnished with the means of cultivating them to advantage.
The re-establishment of the College hitherto called San Carlos, but hereafter to be called the Union of the South, has been determined upon, for the dissemination of learning to the Youth of every part of the State, on the most extensive scale; the attainment of which object has engaged the anxious attention of Government, which is at the present moment using every possible diligence in perfecting it. It will not be long before the Institutions will flourish, in which the liberal Arts and Sciences will be cultivated, and in which the minds of those young Men will be formed, who are destined at some future day, to add new splendour to our Country.
The establishment of the Military Depot on our Frontier, with its capactous Magazine, a necessary measure to guard us from future dangers, has been accomplished; a work which does the more honour to the prudent foresight ofour Country, inasinuch as it was commenced during the period of its prosperous fortuues, and which will give more occasion for caution to our Enemies, than they can impose upon us by all their boastings.
This Exposition is not published with a view to exaggerate the value of those services which our Country has a right to demand from the Government as a duty; but to offer to the People an irrefragable proof, that prudence and circumspectiou are the virtues which are required to secure to them the fruits of their heroic efforts. On the other hand, reflecting minds, calculating the labours of the Government by the immense disparity between the present condition of our affairs, and what it was 15 months ago, will do justice to the zeal which has effected such important changes. They will also give credit to it, for many acts which have exhibited themselves less fully to the Public.
I have already alluded to the difficulties which embarrassed me, with respect to our Foreign Relations, and with regard to which, if I bad opposed less firmness in resisting the violence of party, a breach with the neighbouring Nation would have been the inevitable conse. quence. The course pursued by me, in this particular, leaves unimpaired our Right to the invaded Territory; a proof that pacific measures, so long as the honour of the Country requires no other, are productive of more salutary effects than a resort to violence, without an absolute necessity.
You well remember, Fellow-Citizens, that there was a period when the Provinces were threatened with the prospect of the subversion of our nascent order and tranquillity, under the pretext of the most injurious suspicions against the Constituted Authorities. That period occasioned more uneasiness to my mind, than any other during my Administration. I will cheerfully renounce my claims to the gratitude of the Public, for the sleepless nights which I have passed in watching over its safety, if it will but appreciate the sacrifices I have made, and the pain it has given to my heart, in having been compelled to adopt the prompt and rigorous measures, wbich at that crisis were indispensable to save the State from ruin. The necessity and justice of my proceedings, however, and the happy consequences which have attended them, afford me every consolation.
Under similar circumstances, my conduct would be the same. I will extinguish all the natural feelings of my heart, sooner than consent to witness the repetition of scenes, which weaken our power,
and reduce our National glory to the lowest degradation.
Fellow-Citizens, we owe our unhappy reverses and calamities to the despicable System of our ancient Metropolis, which, in condemning us to the obscurity and opprobium of the most degraded destiny,