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THE AMERICAN REPUBLIC
Scene 1. The United States Senate in session, Federal Hall, N. Y., April 30, 1789. Vice President John Adams is in the chair.
President—"Next in the order of business is bills on first reading.
Rufus King of New York-"Mr. President, I wish to introduce a bill entitled, An Act to provide for Three Administrative Departments: 1. A Department of Foreign Affairs. 2. A Department of Financial Affairs. 3. A Department of War. And to provide a secretary at the head of each department.”
President—“This is the first reading of the bill."
John Langdon of New Hampshire-"Mr. President, I wish to introduce a bill entitled An Act to Provide for Taking the Census Every Ten Years."
President—“This is the first reading of the bill. The next order of business is bills on second reading. The Secretary will read them in order."
Secretary—“An Act entitled, An Act for the Encouragement of and Protection of Manufactures."
President_“This is the second reading of the bill. What will you do with the bill?”
Robert Morris of Pennsylvania—"I move the bill be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means." This motion is seconded and put and carried.
President—"The motion is carried and it is so ordered. The Secretary will read the next bill."
Secretary-"An Act entitled, An Act to provide for the Raising of Revenue by placing a Tax on Whisky."
President—"This is the second reading of the bill. What will you do with the bill ?”
Pierce Butler of South Carolina-"Mr. President, I move the bill be placed at the foot of the calendar.” (This motion is put and carried and it is so ordered.)
Secretary—“An act entitled, The Judiciary Act to Provide for a Supreme Court and Inferior Courts."
President-“This is the second reading of the bill. What will you do with the bill ?”
Ellsworth of Connecticut—“Mr. President, I move the bill be referred to the Judiciary Committee.” (It is seconded and carried.)
President—"The next order of business is, Bills on Third Reading. The Secretary will report.”
Secretary—“An act entitled, An Act to Enable the State of Vermont to enter the Union."
President—“The Secretary will read the bill in full."
Secretary (reads) "An act entitled, An Act to Enable the State of Vermont to Enter the Union.
"Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled :
“That the State of Vermont, having provided for a republican form of government to conform to the Constitution of the United States, is entitled to admission into the United States Union. It is provided that the boundary of said State of Vermont shall be as follows: On the North, by Canada; on the East, by New Hampshire; on the South, by Massachusetts, on the West, by New York." (The above is a suggestive form, of course not the exact text.)
President—“What will you do with the bill?”
sage.” It is seconded and carried.
President-"The Secretary will call the roll and the Senators in favor of the passage of the bill will, when their names are called, say 'Aye'; the Senators opposed to its passage will, when their names are called, say 'No.' The Secretary will now call the roll.”
Secretary (calls the roll of states in alphabetical order) —
Connecticut-Mr. Ellsworth and Wm. Johnson.
(North Carolina and Rhode Island were not in the Union at this time. After counting the Secretary announces the bill has passed.)
President-"The bill has received a majority of votes cast and has passed the Senate. It has already passed the House. It will now be engrossed and will then be sent to the President and if he signs it then it will become a law."
Door Keeper-"Mr. President: The members of the House of Representatives await at the door."
President-"Admit them." (They are admitted. The Senators rise and stand while the Representatives enter and sit all together on right side.)
Door Keeper-"Mr. President: The President of the United States awaits."
President-"Admit him." (The President of the
United States enters and is offered the President's chair. He takes it.)
President-"Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives: The oath of office will first be administered to the President on the balcony of the building where Chancellor Livingston of New York will administer the oath.” (All march out. The President and party first, through center; the Senators through left, and Representatives through right door. The Secretary, Charles Otis, holds the Bible on a cushion. George Washington stands with his hand on the Bible. (This scene may be given in one of the boxes of a theatre.)
Chancellor Livingston—“Mr. President, you will repeat this oath aloud: 'I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.' (The President does so and then kisses the book.)
Chancellor (shouts)—"Long live George Washington, President of the United States !" (All the people repeating same words several times.)
All shout the words of the poem, “Shout for joy,” etc., then all return to the Senate Chamber in same order as they went out.
President-"Gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives, the President will now address you."
President Washington—"Fellow-citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives :
"Among the vicissitudes incident to life, no event could have filled me with greater anxieties than to be summoned by my country to the trust which she now
"The magnitude and difficulty of this momentous task is sufficient to awaken a distrustful scrutiny into the qualifications of one who, inheriting inferior en
dowments from nature, and unpracticed in duties of civil administration, is peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies. Such being the impression under which I have answered this summons, it would be improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplication to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of the nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benedictions may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a government instituted by themselves, for these essential purposes, and that His Providence may enable this administration to execute with success the functions allotted to its charge.
"No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than the people of the United States. Every step of which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation seems to have been distinguished by some token of Providential agency.
"The Constitution makes it the duty of the President 'to recommend to your consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.' I will not at this time enter into that subject further than to refer you to the great constitutional charter itself under which we are assembled. In your talent, rectitude, and patriotism I behold the surest pledges that the foundations of our national policy will be laid in the purest principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of a free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world.
“There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature and indissoluble union between virtue and happinessbetween duty and advantage-between the maxims of an honest policy and the rewards of public prosperity, we are no less persuaded that the smiles of heaven can never be expected of a nation that disregards the eter