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sentatives from Massachusetts, died during this session. Congress adjourned on the 25th day of April. Mr. Rose, the special minister sent by the British Government to the United States, in pursuance of its intimations to Monroe and Pinkney, had arrived in Washington, January 13th, 1808. He announced that his instructions limited the objects of his mission to a settlement of the affair of the Chesapeake, and that he could not enter even upon this until the President's proclamation, ordering British ships out of the American waters, was withdrawn. The Secretary of State replied (March 5th), that it accorded with reason and the uniform position of England under similar circumstances, that the aggressor should be required to put things into their former condition before entering upon counter demands. But he declared that if the British minister would disclose the terms of a satisfactory reparation, the repeal should be made of the same date with that measure. He stated the reasons why it was proper to couple the subject of impressment with that of reparation for the attack on the Chesapeake—inasmuch as the decision in both cases rested on analogous principles—from an inclination to seize this particular occasion to restore a full harmony—and because the United States intended to offer terms of accommodation which could not but be regarded as satisfactory. Mr. Rose replied (March 17th), declining the proposition, and declaring his mission closed. He soon returned to England. The President's views of the objects and effects of the Embargo, and of the proper limit of its continuance, appear in a letter to the Attorney-General, March 23d, 1808:
“The Embargo appears to be approved, even by the Federalists of every quarter except yours. The alternative was between that and war, and, in fact, it is the last card we have to play, short of war. But if peace does not take place in Europe, and if France and England will not consent to withdraw the operations of their decrees and orders from us, when Congress shall meet in December, they will have to consider at what point of time the Embargo, continued, becomes a greater evil than war. I am inclined to believe we shall have this summer and autumn to prepare for the defence of our sea-port towns, and hope that in that time the works of defence will be completed, which have been provided for by the legislature.”
A letter to Charles Pinckney, a week later, discloses his impressions of the general aspect of national affairs a little before the adjournment of Congress:
“With France we are in no immediate danger of war. Her future views it is impossible to estimate. The immediate danger we are in of a rupture with England, is postponed for this year. This is effected by the Embargo, as the question was simply between that and war. That may go on a certain time, perhaps through the year, without the loss of their property to our citizens, but only its remaining unemployed on their hands. A time would come, however, when war would be preferable to a continuance of the Embargo. Of this Congress may have to decide at their next meeting. In the meantime, we have good information that a negotiation for peace between France and England is commencing through the medium of Austria. The way for it has been smoothed by a determination expressed by France (through the Moniteur, which is their Government paper), that herself and her allies will demand from Great Britain no renunciation of her maritime principles, nor will they renounce theirs. Nothing shall be said about them in the treaty, and both sides will be left in the next war to act on their own. No doubt the meaning of this is, that all the Continental powers of Europe will form themselves into an armed neutrality, to enforce their own principles. Should peace be made, we shall have safely rode out the storm in peace and prosperity. If we have anything to fear, it will be after that. Nothing should be spared from this moment in putting our militia in the best condition possible, and procuring arms. I hope that this summer we shall get our whole seaports put in that state of defence which Congress has thought proportioned to our circumstances and situation ; that is to say, put hors d'insulte from a maritime attack by a moderate squadron. If armies are combined with their fleets, then no resource can be provided but to meet them in the field. We propose to raise seven regiments only for the present year, depending always on our militia for the operations of the first year of war. On any other plan, we should be obliged always to keep a large standing army.” "
* The President's private correspondence during the exciting session of 1807–8, was as diversified in its topics as usual. We find him literally rioting among the fossil remains of main moths, and other monsters of the extinct world, which the zeal of General William Clarke (the fellow explorer of Lewis, and the brother of the “Hannibal of the West") had exhumed for him at the Big-Bone Licks of the Ohio, and sent on to Washington; repeatedly urging Dr. Wistar, of Philadelphia, to come and put them in order: corresponding with Robert R. Livingston, John Taylor of Caroline, and some other friends, on agriculture and cognate topics; giving his warm approbation to the plan, afterwards successfully carried out, of that great and far-seeing merchant, John Jacob Astor, in relation to establishing a trade with the Northwestern Indians, and promising the latter the countenance and all the reasonable patronage of the Government; expressing his interest in mineralogical and geographical explorations to Mr. Bettay, who wrote him of silver mines seventeen hundred miles west of St. Louis; declaring it the duty of our Government to ascertain all the water communications across our continent, etc., etc. On the 1st of January he was reelected President of the American Philosophical Societv.
The oianation of his views on one head, contained in a private letter, will be read with interest by many persons. On the 23d of January he thus replied to a request from the Rev. Mr. Miller, to proclaim a national fast day:
“I consider the Government of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment or free exercise of religion, but from that also which reserves to the States the powers not delegated to the United States. Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the
neral Government. It must, then, rest with the States, as far as it can be in any human authority. But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe, a day of fasting and prayer. That is, that I should lo assume to the United States an authority over religious exercises, which the Constitution has directly precluded them from. It must be meant, too, that this recommendation is to carry some authority, and to be sanctioned by some penalty on those who disregard it; not, indeed, of fine and imprisonment, but of some degree of proscription, perhaps in public opinion. And does
Addresses poured upon the President, warmly approving of his measures, and of none more than the Embargo. The Legislatures of Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Orleans Territory, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, addressed him to this effect during the session and the succeeding recess. To these were added similar communications from large popular meetings, or political organizations, in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Pittsburg, and other cities—from the Republicans of Connecticut generally, and from those of various counties in other States. He also received a large number of approbatory addresses from religious bodies, principally of the Baptist and Quaker denominations—though the Methodist Churches sent a considerable number. The Baptist Associations very generally addressed him.
The legislatures of Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina—all, perhaps, that acted, in 1808, before Mr. Jefferson's final refusal to serve a third term had been made public— solicited his continuance in office. The answer to each, on this subject, was as follows:
“That I should lay down my charge at a proper period, is as much a duty as to have borne it faithfully. If some termination to the services of the chief magistrate be not fixed by the Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, nominally for years, will, in fact, become for life; and history shows how easily that degenerates into an inheritance. Believing that a representative government, responsible at short periods of election, is that which produces the greatest sum of happiness to mankind, I feel it a duty to do no act which shall essentially impair that principle; and I should unwillingly be the person who, disregarding the sound precedent set by an illustrious predecessor, should furnish the first example of prolongation beyond the second term of office. “Truth, also, requires me to add, that I am sensible of that decline which advancing years bring on ; and feeling their physical, I ought not to doubt their mental effect. Happy if I am the first to perceive and to obey this admonition of nature, and to solicit a retreat from cares too great for the wearied faculties of age.”
the change in the nature of the penalty make the recommendation the less a law of conduct for those to whom it is directed I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines: nor of the religious societies, that the General Government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the Constitution has deposited it.”
On the 19th of January, Senator Bradley, of Vermont, the chairman of the last Presidential caucus, issued notices calling a meeting of the Republican members of Congress in the Senate chamber on the 23d, for, as it was well understood, the nomination of a President. Eighty-nine (thirty or forty short of the full number) assembled, including John Quincy Adams, and Kirkpatrick, of New York, elected as Federalists. Of the absentees, some were ill, some out of the city, and some kept aloof, because they supported the claims of Mr. Monroe or Vice President Clinton, and it was already well known that Mr. Madison would receive a large majority of the caucus vote. No member attended from New York but Kirkpatrick;' but it would be wrong to infer that all the absences were occasioned by the last named cause.” For the Presidential nomination, Madison received eighty-three votes, Clinton three, and Monroe three. For the Vice-Presidential nomination, Clinton received seventy-nine votes, John Langdon five, General Dearborn three, and J. Q. Adams one. The results of the Presidential nomination were embarrassing to the Administration. The defeated candidates and their friends refused to acquiesce in the decision of the caucus, and a protest appeared not long after (March 7th), signed by seventeen Republican members, including Quids. A large majority of the friends of Clinton and Monroe in Congress, as well as both of those gentlemen, believed that the President and his Cabinet, with perhaps the exception of Gallatin, had exerted their official and personal influence in favor of Madison, and they resented it accordingly in private, though prudence, if no other consideration, prevented them from openly taking an issue which would at once overwhelm all their own hopes. Between Mr. Clinton and the President, no explanation ever took place; though we may presume one would have taken place had the former lived to settle down in the calm of retirement. Mr. Clinton died in April, 1812. A letter from Mr. Jefferson to Colonel Monroe (February * So we find it stated in a manuscript letter of George Clinton lying before us, and in a copy of one written at the time by D. C. Verplank, one of the New York members, to General Bailey, of New York, and forwarded by him to Mr. Clinton. * On the contrary, we learn from his manuscript letters that Mr. Clinton considered
some of the absentees his opponents—particularly the senators Mitchell and Smith. * See APPENDIx, No. 21.
18th, 1808), on the subject of the nomination, is too characteristic to be omitted:
“I see with infinite grief a contest arising between yourself and another, who have been very dear to each other, and equally so to me. I sincerely pray that these dispositions may not be affected between you; with me I confidently trust they will not. For independently of the dictates of public duty, which prescribes neutrality to me, my sincere friendship for you both will ensure its sacred observance. I suffer no one to converse with me on the subject. I already perceive my old friend Clinton, estranging himself from me. No doubt lies are carried to him, as they will be to the other two candidates, under forms which, however false, he can scarcely question. Yet I have been equally careful as to him also, never-to say a word on the subject. The object of the contest is a fair and honorable one, equally open to you all; and I have no doubt the personal conduct of all will be so chaste, as to offer no ground of dissatisfaction with each other. But your friends will not be as delicate. I know too well from experience the progress of political controversy, and the exacerbation of spirit into which it degenerates, not to fear for the continuance of your mutual esteem. One piquing thing said draws on another, that a third, and always with increasing acrimony, until all restraint is thrown off, and it becomes difficult for yourselves to keep clear of the toils in which your friends will endeavor to interlace you, and to avoid the participation in their passions which they will endeavor to produce. A candid recollection of what you know of each other will be the true corrective. With respect to myself, I hope they will spare me. My longings for retirement are so strong, that I with difficulty encounter the daily drudgeries of my duty. But my wish for retirement itself is not stronger than that of carrying into it the affections of all my friends. I have ever viewed Mr. Madison and yourself as two principal pillars of my happiness. Were either to be withdrawn, I should consider it as among the greatest calamities which could assail my future peace of mind. I have great confidence that the candor and high understanding of both will guard me against this misfortune, the bare possibility of which has so far weighed on my mind, that I could not be easy without unburdening it.”
This did not appease the early €lève and always dear friend. Monroe had been surrounded by some hot-headed, bitter-spirited advisers and probably informers. He replied to Jefferson warmly, complaining of his conduct in regard to the English mission and treaty. The latter did not lose his temper, but again (March 10th), wrote a long, calm, kind letter of explanations. We presume this healed the breach, for we soon find them again on the footing of their ancient, close and confiding friendship.
In none of his letters to Monroe, while disavowing an interference between him and Madison, does Jefferson disavow a personal choice. There is no doubt his preference was then for Madison. If the latter was not the better, he was at least the