Page images

Congress adjourns,

CHAP. VII. By the friends of the administration, the pre. 1994. posed system was supported against every objec

tion to it, because it was believed to be more productive, and less unpopular, than a direct tax. It is not impossible that what recommended the system to one party, might constitute a real objection to it with those who believed that the public interest required q* change in the public councils.

On the ninth of June, this active and stormy session was closed by an adjournment to the first monday in the succeeding November.

The public was not less agitated than the legis. lature had been, by those interesting questions which had occasioned some of the most animated and eloquent discussions that had ever taken place on the floor of the house of representatives. Mr. Madison's resolutions especially, continued to be the theme of general conversation, and, for a long time, divided parties throughout the United States. The struggle for public opinion was ardent; and each party supported its pretensions, not only with those arguments which by each were deemed conclusive, but also by those reciprocal criminations which perhaps each in part believed. no By the opposition, the friends of the adminis. tration were declared to be an aristocratic and corrupt faction, who, from a desire to introduce

* The declaration was not unfrequently made that the people could only be roused to a proper attention to the violation of their rights, and to the prodigal waste of their money, by perceiving the weight of their taxes. This was concealed from them by the indirect, and would be disclosed to them by the direct system of taxation.

monarchy, were hostile to France, and under the CHAP. VII, influence of Britain ; that they sought every oc. 1794. casion to increase expense, to augment debt, to multiply the public burdens, to create armies and navies, and by the instrumentality of all this machinery to govern and enslave the people ; that they were a paper nobility, whose extreme sensi. bility at every measure which threatened the funds induced a tame submission to injuries and insults which the interest and honour of the nation required them to resist.

The friends of the administration retorted, that the opposition was prepared to sacrifice the best interests of their country on the altar of the French revolution. That they were willing to go to war for French, not for American objects: that while they urged war they with held the means of sup. porting it, in order the more effectually to humble and disgrace the government: that they were so blinded by their passion for France as to confound crimes with meritorious deeds, and to abolish the natural distinction between virtue and vice : that the principles which they propagated, and with which they sought to intoxicate the people, were, in practice, incompatible with the existence of government. That they were the apostles of an. archy, not of freedom ; and were consequently not the friends of real and rational liberty,


Genet recalled.... Is succeeded by Mr. Fauchet....Governeur

Morris recalled, and is succeeded by Mr. Monroe.... Kentucky remonstrance.... Intemperate resolutions of the people of that state. ..General Wayne defeats the Indians on the Miamis ... Insurrection in the western parts of Pennsylvania.... Quelled by the prompt and vigorous measures of the government.... Meeting of congress... President's speech....Democratic societies....Resignation of colonel Hamilton ... Is succeeded by Mr. Wolcot.... Resignation of general Knox.... Is succeeded by colonel Pickering.... Treaty between the United States and Great Britain...Conditionally ratified by the president...The treaty unpopular in the United States....Mr. Randolph resigns ...Js succeeded by colonel Pickering. ..Colonel M. Henry appointed secretary at war....Charge against the president rejected.... Treaty with the Indians north west of the Ohio....Treaty with Algiers.... Treaty with Spain.... Meeting of congress...Pre. sident's speech....Mr. Adet succeeds Mr. Pauchet....The house of representatives call upon the president for papers relating to the treaty with Great Britain....He declines sending them.... Debates upon the treaty making power... Upon the bill for making appropriations to carry into execution the treaty with Great Britain... Congress adjourns .... The president endeavours to procure the liberation of La Fayette.

That the most material of those legislative measures on which the two great parties of the United States were divided, might be presented in one unbroken view, some transactions have been passed over, which will now be noticed.

In that spirit of conciliation, which adopts the least irritating means for effecting its objects, the executive had resolved to bear with the insults,


the resistance, and the open defiance of Mr. Genet; CHAP.VIII. until its appeal to the friendship, and the policy 1794. of the French republic should be fairly tried. Early in January, this resolution was shaken, by fresh proofs of the perseverance of that minister, in a line of conduct, not to be tolerated by a nation, which has not surrendered all pretensions to self government. Mr. Genet had meditated and deliberately planned two expeditions to be carried on from the territories of the United States against the dominions of Spain, * and had, as minister of the French republic, granted commissions to citizens of the United States, who were privately recruiting troops for the proposed service. The first was destined against the Floridas, and the second against Louisiana. The detail of the plans had been settled. The pay, rations, cloathing, plunder, and division of the conquered lands to be allotted to the military, and the proportion of the acquisitions to be reserved to the republic of France, were arranged. The troops destined to act against the Floridas were to be raised in the three southern states, were to rendezvous in Georgia, were to be aided by a body of Indians, and were to co-operate with the French fleet should one arrive on the coast. This scheme had been the subject of a correspondence between the executive and Mr. Genet, but was in full progress in the preceding December, when, by the vigi. lance of the legislature of South Carolina it was

• The papers state inexplicitly a meditated invasion of the dominions of Britain also.

Genct recalled,

CHAP. VIII. more particularly developed, and some of the 1794. principal agents were arrested.

About the same time, intelligence less authentic, but wearing every circumstance of probability, was received, stating that the expedition against Louisiana, which was to be carried on down the Ohio from Kentucky, was in equal maturity.

This intelligence seemed to render a further forbearance incompatible with the dignity, perhaps with the safety of the United States. The question of superseding the diplomatic functions of Mr. Genet, and depriving him of the privileges attached to that character, was brought before the cabinet; and a message to congress was prepared, communicating these transactions, and avowing a determination to adopt that measure within*** days, unless, in the mean time, one or the other house should signify the opinion that it was not advisable so to do. In this state the business was arrested by receiving a letter from Mr. Morris, announcing, officially, the recall of his rash min

ister. Is succeeded Mr. Fauchet, the successor * of Mr. Genet,

arrived in February, and brought with him strong assurances that his government totally disap. proved the conduct of his predecessor. He avowed a determination to avoid whatever might be offensive to those to whom he was deputed, and a wish to carry into full effect the friendly dispositions of his

by Mr. Fauchet,

* Though Mr. Fauchet was ostensibly the single minister plenipotentiary, two other gentlemen were, in fact and in power, united in the commission, but they possessed only consular rank.

« PreviousContinue »