James Polk: Farewell Message to Congress

(1848)

Document Text

Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and of the House of Representatives: …

Peace, plenty, and contentment reign throughout our borders, and our beloved country presents a sublime moral spectacle to the world.…

In reviewing the great events of the past year and contrasting the agitated and disturbed state of other countries with our own tranquil and happy condition, we may congratulate ourselves that we are the most favored people on the face of the earth. While the people of other countries are struggling to establish free institutions, under which man may govern himself, we are in the actual enjoyment of them—a rich inheritance from our fathers. While enlightened nations of Europe are convulsed and distracted by civil war or intestine strife, we settle all our political controversies by the peaceful exercise of the rights of freemen at the ballot box.

The great republican maxim, so deeply engraven on the hearts of our people, that the will of the majority, constitutionally...

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James Polk (Library of Congress)

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