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father of his country shone most conspicuous, the modesty of the man, the widom of the statesman, or the dignity, and affectionate solicitude of the chief magistrate. All these combined, rendered the address the admiration of Congress, and of the nation.
The Senate and House of Representatives returned, each, a most affectionate and, respectful reply; highly expressive of that mutual harmony, that glowed in their breasts, to unite, and co-operate with the president, and with each other, in organising and supporting the govern ment, and in promoting the peace and prosperity of the nation.
This ceremony being closed, the several departments of government were next arranged, and filled with characters of the first talents, and respectability, such as did honor to themselves, and their country
Mr. Madison of Virginia, next introduced his bill for the purpose of raising a revenue for the support of government, by the way of impost and tonnage duties, which was fully discussed, and after undergoing several amendments, was finally passed; The impost had been attempted under the old confederation, and failed, as has been noticed; thus the energies of the new government began early to be realised and felt.
At this time an attempt was made between the Spanish, and British governments, at New-Orleans, and in Canada, to draw off the people west of the mountains, from the federal union: the first by shutting up the Mississippi River at New-Orleans, and thus embarrassing the trade of that people; and the other by encouraging promises to support a revolt, and yielding assistance to compel the Spaniards to open the trade of the Mississippi; but tlie vigilance of the executive defeated the measure, and caused Spain to remove her obstructions, and open the free navigation of that river.
In September, Mr. Hamilton was appointed Secretary of the Treasury, and by the bill introduced for the establishment of that office, it became a part of his duty, "to digest and report plans for the improvement, and management of the revenue, and for the support of public credit."
Mr. Madison next brought forward a proposition, that several new articles be added to the constitution, by the way of amendment, and submitted to the several states for their approbation.
After a lengthy discussion, twelve new articles were proposed; agreed upon, and submitted to the consideration of the state legislatures; by a majority of three fourths of them approved, and thus added to the constitution.
These amendments embraced such points as were found necessary to unite, as far as possible, the feelings, and scruples of all parties, and thus promote general union, and harmony.
The officers of the cabinet next claimed the attention of Congress, or rather of the president, whose duty it was to make the nominations. In obedience to the duties of his office, he nominated Thomas Jefferson to the department of state.
Mr. Jefferson was bred a lawyer; was chosen a member of the second Congress under the old confederation, in which he drew up the declaration of Independence ; was afterwards governor of Virginia, next minister to the court of Versailles, as successor to Dr. Franklin, and at this time, on his passage to the United-States by permission, to visit his friends ; where on his arrival his appointment was announced. .
Gen. Knox had been placed at the head of the war department in July. To complete this cabinet council, Edmunil Randolph, Esq. was appointed to the otlice of attorney-general.
The dignity, fidelity, and respectability with which these characters filled their several offices, not only justified the wisdom, and discernment of the president, in their recommendation; but may justly be considered as the highest eulogy on their public, and private characters.
The president next proceeded to nominate the judiciary department, and at the head of this he placed Mr. Jay.
With Mr. Jay were associated, John Rutledge of SouthCarolina, James Wilson of Pennsylvania, William Gushing of Massachusetts, Robert Harrison of Maryland, and John Blair of Virginia. .
The same anxious solicitude attended the president in selecting the officers of the district courts, and thus through the wisdom, and integrity of the president, the departments of government were filled with the first weight of talents, and respectability, as well as responsibility, the nation could afford.
Who that surveys the weight of talents, and character attached to the office of president, vice-president, and through all the above departments, can fail to acknowledge; that such an assemblage of virtue, and dignified worth, has rarely, if ever been attached to any government on earth.
Congress next passed the following resolutions.
1. "That the house consider an adequate provision for the support of the public credit, as a matter of high importance to the national honor, and prosperity.
2. "That the secretary of the treasury be directed to prepare a plan for that purpose, and report the same to the house at their next meeting."
Congress then adjourned on the 29th of September, te the 1st day of January next.
What wisdom, what firmness, what integrity, what zeal for the public good, and yet what concord, and unanimity, between the several departments of government f All, all conspired to shew that the wisdom of God, the power of God, and the goodness of God, were all conspicuously displayed in laying the foundation of the government of Federal America.
During the recess of Congress, the president made a tour through New-England, accompanied by Maj. Jackson, and Mr. Lear, his private secretary. The president commenced this tour on the 15th of October, and extended his route as far as Portsmouth; visited the theatre of the first campaign of the war, and returned to New-York on the 13th of November.
To shew the numerous expressions of affection, and respect, which flowed from the constituted authorities, corporate bodies, religious, and learned institutions, particular trades, and occupations, the militia, together with all classess of citizens, who vied with each other in their respectful, and affectionate addresses, illuminations, military parades, triumphal arches, &c. would exceed the powers of my pen.
The affectionate warmth, and sincerity, with which President Washington reciprocated the addresses of his fellow citizens, may be seen in the following sample of his reply to the address of the citizens of the town of Boston.
"I rejoice with you, my fellow citizens, in every circumstance that declares your prosperity; and I do so most cordially, because you have well deserved to be happy.
"Your love of liberty ; your respect for the laws ; your habits of industry ; and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness. And they will, I trust, be firmly and lastingly established."
Pending these movements, Gen. Lincoln, Mr. Griffin, and Col. Humphries, as commissioners, specially deputed on the part of the United States, held a treaty with Mc Gillivray, and other chiefs of the Creek Nation, on the banks of the Oconee; but by the interposition of Spanish influence, the treaty failed, and the commissioners returned.
In the month of November, North-Carolina, by her state convention, adopted the constitution, and thus acceded to the Union.
On the 8th of January, 1790, the president opened the second session of the first Congress, by a dignified address to both houses, convened in the senate chamber. In this speech, the president called up the attention of Congress to the necessity of providing for the public defence, by a well regulated militia, and also recommended a serious attention to such manufactories as might be essential to their military defence. The sentiments of the president upon literature were thus expressed. —" Nor am I less persuaded that you will agree with me in opinion, that there is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science, and literature. Knowledge is in every country, the surest basis of public happiness." &c.
After applauding the disposition of Congress, shewn the last session, towards an adequate provision for the support of public credit, he thus concludes.
"The welfare of our country is the great object to which our cares, and efforts ought to be directed: I shall derive great satisfaction from a co-operation with you in the pleasing, though arduous task, of ensuring to our fel