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that bore down all opposition, and by their luminous display of clear, and just reasoning, evinced to the United States, and to the world, that under God, the Federal Constitution was destined to become the palladium of United America.
Eleven states assented to and adopted the constitution, in their conventions, promptly; and the necessary preparations were as promptly made to carry it into effect.
The public mind at once decided, that Gen. Washington must become president of the United States, and give the first energies to the new government. This opened the following correspondence between Gen. Washington and Col. Hamilton, in which the colonel, in a letter to Gen. Washington, thus expressed himself—" i take it for granted sir, you have concluded to comply with what will no doubt be the general call of your country, in relation to the new government. You will permit me to say, that it will be indispensable that you should lend yourself to its first operations: It is to little purpose to have introduced a system, if the weightiest influence is not given to its firm establishment in the outset."
To which the general returned the following reply :—
"On the delicate subjectwith which you conclude your letter, I can say nothing; because the event alluded to may never happen ; and because in case it should occur, it would be a point of prudence to defer forming one's ultimate and' irrevocable decision, so long as new data might be afforded for one to act upon, with the greater wisdom and propriety. I would not wish to conceal my prevailing sentiments from you; for you know me well enough, my dear sir, to be persuaded that I am not guilty of affectation, when I tell you, that it is my great, and sole desire to live, and die in peace, and retirement on my farm. Were it even indispensable, a different line of conduct should be adopted, while you and some others would acquit, the world, and posterity might probably accuse me of inconsistency, and ambition. Still I hope I should always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain, (what I consider the most enviable of all titles,) the character of an honest man."
To which Col. Hamilton made the following reply :—
"I should be deeply pained, my dear sir, if your scruples in regard to a particular station should be matured into a resolution to decline it; though I am neither surprised at their existence, nor can I but agree in opinion that the caution you observojin deferring your ultimate determination is prudent. I have however reflected maturely upon the subject, and have come to a conclusion, (in which I feel no hesitation,) that every public and personal consideration will demand from you an acquiescence in what will certainly be the unanimous wish of your country.
"It cannot be considered as a compliment to say, that on your acceptance of the office of president, the success of the new government, in its commencement, may materially depend. Your agency and influence will be not less important, in preserving it from the future attacks of its enemies, than they have been in recommending it, in the first instance, to the adoption of the people. I forbear to mention considerations which might have a more personal application; what I have said will suffice for the inferences I mean to draw.
"First. In a matter so essential to the well being of society, as the prospinjity of a newly instituted government, a citizen of so much consequence as yourself, to its success, has no option, but to lend his services if called for. Per
mit me to say it would be inglorious, in such a situation, not to hazard the glory, however great, which he might have previously acquired.
"Secondly. Your signature to the proposed system, pledges your judgment for its being such an one, as upon the whole, was worthy of the public approbation. If it should miscarry, (as men commonly decide from success or the want of it,) the blame, in all probability will be laid to the system itself; and the framers of it will have to encounter the disrepute of having brought dbout a revolution in the government, without substituting any thing that was worthy of the effort, &c.
"I have taken the liberty to express these sentiments, and to lay before you my views of the subject. 1 doubt not the considerations mentioned have fully evinced to you, and trust they will finally produce in your mind, the same result which exists in mine. 1 flatter myself the frankness with which I have delivered my sentiments, will not be displeasing to you. It has been prompted by motives which you would not disapprove."
The limits of this work will not permit me to pursue this interesting correspondence, nor shew the sentiments of the Marquis La Fayette, in a letter to General Washington, upon this all important subject- The feelings of the marquis were warmly engaged, and forcibly, yet deliberately urged, that the saviour of his country should continue to be the father of his country.
At length the electors were chosen agreeable to the constitution, and met accordingly in the mouth of December, when they gave an unanimous suffrage for George Washington, as psesident, and John Adams as vice-president. A new Congress was chosen and convened in the city of New-York, on the 4th of March, 1739.
On the 6th of April, a quorum of both houses was formed, the votes for president and vice-president were counted, and the unanimous election of George Washington and John Adams declared. On the 14th of April, the choice was officially announced to President Washington, at his seat at Mount-Vernon, by letter from Secretary Thompson.
President Washington promptly obeyed the call of his country, and thus expressed himself—" I wish there may not be reason for regretting the choice; for indeed all I can promise, is, to accomplish that which can be done by an honest zeal."
ORGANIZATION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, &C. ORIGIN OF PARTY.
The limits of this work will not permit me to insert the valedictory address of the citizens of Alexandria, to President Washington, at a public dinner, with which they honored him at his departure for the seat of government; nor with the president's reply. Neither can I insert the brilliant and respectful attention the president received at his every step, from Virginia to New-York, particularly at Philadelphia, Trenton, &c. These being the more prominent theatres of former action, opened scenes of affection, and gratitude, which none but a Washington ever received, and none but a Washington ever deserved. Scenes in which were displayed all the affections, that the grateful effusions of the human heart could express, and in all that neatness and elegance of stile, that the purest and most refined simplicity of taste could adorn. Scenes truly worthy of the actors, and their illustrious chief. *
On the 30th of April, President Washington was inducted into office, in the presence of the most numerous, brilliant, and dignified assembly, and upon the most solemn, interesting, and eventful occasion, that United America had ever witnessed ; an occasion on which was suspended all the destinies of America. This scene, solemn and sublime as it was, with all that display of elegance, and taste with which it was surrounded, was all engrossed by the greatness of the hero, as well as the dignity and goodness of the man.
When this solemn and eventful scene was closed, the president retired to the hall of the Senate, where he convened the House of Representatives, and addressed both houses in a most dignified and appropriate speech; in which it is difficult to say, which of the features of the
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