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lofty building, it may be sufficient to defend it by a double copper conductor without any stem. As the influence of this conductor will not extend beyond the building, it cannot attract the lightning from a distance, and yet it will protect the magazine, should the lightning happen to fall upon it.

In the case of a vessel, the stem may consist merely of the copper point already described. It should be screwed on an iron rod rising above the top-gallant mast, and connected, by means of a hook or ring at its other extremity, with a metallic rope extending to the water or copper sheathing of of the vessel. Large ships should be provided with two conductors, one on the main-mast, and one on the mizen-mast.

The experience of fifty years demonstrates, that, when constructed with the requisite care, lightning-rods effectually secure the buildings on which they are placed, from being injured by lightning. In the United States, where thunder-storms are more frequent and more formidable than they are in Europe, their use is become general ; a great number of buildings have been struck, and scarcely two are quoted as not having been saved from danger. The apprehension of the more frequent fall of lightning on buildings provided with lightning-rods, is unfounded; for their influence extends to too small a distance to justify the idea that they determine the lightning of an electric cloud to discharge itself on the spot where they are erected. On the contrary, it appears certain, from observation, that buildings furnished with lightning-rods are not more frequently struck than formerly. Besides, the property of a lightning-rod to attract the lightning must also imply that of transmitting it freely to the ground, and thus no danger can arise as to the safety of the building.

We have recommended the use of sharp points for lightning-rods, as having an advantage over bars rounded at the extremity, by continually pouring off into the air, whilst under the influence of a thunder-cloud, a current of electric matter in a state contrary to that of the cloud, which current must probably have some effect towards neutralizing the state of the cloud. This advantage must by no means be neglected ; for it is sufficient to know the power of points, and the experiments of M. Charles and M. Romas with a kite flown under a thunder-cloud, to be convinced that if sharp-pointed lightning-rods were placed in considerable numbers on lofty places, they would actually diminish the electric matter of the clouds, and the frequency of the fall of lightning on the surface of the earth. However, if the point of a con. ductor should be blunted by lightning, or any other cause, we are not to suppose, because it has lost the property we have mentioned, that it has also become ineffectual to protect the building. Dr. Rittenhouse relates, that, having often examined the extremities of the lightning-rods in Philadelphia, where they are very general, with an excellent telescope, he observed many whose points had been fused, but he never found that the houses on which they were erected had in consequence been struck by lightning








REPRESENTATIVES. * Fellow Citizens of the Senate,

and of the House of Representatives, “ Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than that of which the notification was transmitted by your order, and received on the 14th day of the present month. On the one hand, I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love, from a retreat which I had chosen with the fondest predilection, and, in my flattering hopes, with an immutable decision, as the asylum of my declining years : a retreat which was rendered every day more necessary as well as more dear to me, by the addition of habit to inclination, and of frequent interruptions in my health to the gradual waste committed on it by time. On the other hand, the magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence, one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature, and unpractised in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. In this conflict of emotions, all I dare aver is, that it has been my faithful study to collect my duty from a just appreciation of every circumstance by which it might be affected. All I dare hope is, that, if in accepting this task, I have been too much swayed by a grateful remembrance of former instances, or by an affectionate sensibility to this transcendent proof, of the confidence of my fellow citizens ; and have thence too little consulted my incapacity, as well as disinclination, for the weighty and untried cares before me; my error will be palliated by the motives which misled me, and its consequences be judged by my country with some share of the partiality in which they originated.

“ Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it will be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act, my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being, who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human

defect, that his benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States, a government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes; and may enable every instrument employed in its administration, to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own; nor those of my fellow citizens at large, less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men, more than the people of the United States. Every step by which they have advanced to the character of an indepen dent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency; and in the important revolution just accomplished in the sys tem of their united government, the tranquil deliberations and voluntary consent of so many distinct communities, from which the event has resulted, cannot be compared with the means by which most governments have been established, without some return of pious gratitude, along with an humble anticipation of the future blessings which the past seem to presage. These reflections, arising out of the present crisis, have forced themselves too strongly on my mind to be suppressed. You will join with me, i

I trust, in thinking that there are none, under the influence of which the proceedings of a new and free government can more auspiciously com


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By the article establishing the executive department, it is made the duty of the president to recommend to your consideration, such meas ures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.' The circumstances under which I now meet you will acquit me from entering into that subject, farther than to refer to the great Constitutional Charter under which you are assembled, and which, in defining your powers, designates the objects to which your attention is to be given. It will be more consistent with those circumstances, and far more congenial with the feelings which actuate me, to substitute in place of a recommendation of particular measures, the tribute that is due to the talents, the rectitude, and the patriotism, which adorn the characters selected to devise and adopt them. In these honorable qualifications, I behold the surest pledges, that as, on one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views nor party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests ; so, on another, that the foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the preëminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affec. tions of its citizens and command the respect of the world. I dwell on this prospect with every satisfaction which an ardent love for my country can inspire ; since there is no truth more thoroughly established than that there esists, in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union

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