New London: Gazette Office, Dec. 9, . Broadside, 19 x 11 1/2 inches, printed in three columns. Expertly backed with archival paper. Some small holes, tiny areas of loss along the folds, affecting a small amount of text; some foxing and toning; some faint contemporary ink and pencil notations on verso, with mild bleedthrough of the ink. Good plus, untrimmed, with wide margins. Item #WRCAM49792
A very rare printing of the first State of the Union Address of President Jefferson's second term. It was printed by the Gazette Office in New London, Connecticut. Interestingly, the date at the end of the message was printed incorrectly, as "December 3, 1806," when the actual date of Jefferson's address was a year earlier. In this State of the Union Address the President relates the difficulties in settling differences with Spain, especially the Louisiana boundary issues: "Propositions for adjusting amicably the boundaries of Louisiana have not been acceded to. While, however, the right is unsettled, we have avoided changing the state of things by taking new posts or strengthening ourselves in the disputed territories, in the hope that the other power would not by a contrary conduct oblige us to meet their example and endanger conflicts of authority the issue of which may not be easily controlled. But in this hope we have now reason to lessen our confidence. Inroads have been recently made into the Territories of Orleans and the Mississippi, our citizens have been seized and their property plundered in the very parts of the former which had been actually delivered up by Spain, and this by the regular officers and soldiers of that Government. I have therefore found it necessary at length to give orders to our troops on that frontier to be in readiness to protect our citizens, and to repel by arms any similar aggressions in future." Jefferson devotes a considerable portion of this message to relating recent land purchases from Native Americans. He praises the Indians for their pursuit of agriculture, then enumerates recent land acquisitions, including: "...the lands between the Connecticut Reserve and the former Indian boundary and those on the Ohio from the same boundary to the rapids and for a considerable depth inland. The Chickasaws and Cherokees have sold us the country between and adjacent to the two districts of Tennessee, and the Creeks the residue of their lands in the fork of the Ocmulgee up to the Ulcofauhatche. The three former purchases are important, in as much as they consolidate disjoined parts of our settled country and render their intercourse secure; and the second particularly so, as, with the small point on the river which we expect is by this time ceded by the Piankeshaws, it completes our possession of the whole of both banks of the Ohio from its source to near its mouth, and the navigation of that river is thereby rendered forever safe to our citizens settled and settling on its extensive waters. The purchase from the Creeks, too, has been for some time particularly interesting to the State of Georgia." The President mentions the possibility of "new relations" and the potential for "commercial intercourse" with various Indians living on the Missouri River and "other parts beyond the Mississippi." Jefferson is expecting communications from explorers in this area, "which we have reason shortly to expect." The "explorers" are Lewis and Clark, this address coming in the midst of the Corps of Discovery's epic western expedition. Jefferson discusses a variety of other issues, foreign and domestic, in this State of the Union address. He speaks at length about recent outbreaks of "the fatal fever" which have afflicted various American cities; he calls for further fortification of seaports, and a general build-up of the armed forces, including more gunboats and "material for the construction of ships of war of 74 guns." He also suggests a prohibition of exports of firearms and ammunition, praises Congress for handling prisoner-of-war transfers from Tripoli after the recently concluded Barbary War, and recommends guidelines for the number of naval frigates to be used in peace time. He ends the speech with an accounting of Treasury finances. Two other broadside printings of this State of the Union are located in Shaw & Shoemaker's AMERICAN IMPRINTS, in Newport and Salem. This New London broadside printing of Jefferson's Message is not listed in Shaw & Shoemaker, nor is it located on OCLC or in the Library of Congress. Important, and quite possibly unique.