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the auspices of Washington, without ascribing CHAP. IX. them, in some measure, to him. If we ask the 1799. causes of the prosperous issue of a war, against the successful termination of which there were so many probabilities? of the good which was produced, and the ill which was avoided during an administration fated to contend with the strongest prejudices that a combination of circumstances and of passions could produce? of the constant favour of the great mass of his fellow citizens, and of the confidence which, to the last moment of his life, they reposed in him? the answer, so far as these causes may be found in his character, will furnish a lesson well meriting the attention of those who are candidates for political fame.

Endowed by nature with a sound judgment, and an accurate discriminating mind, he feared not that laborious attention which made him perfectly master of those subjects, in all their relations, on which he was to decide: and this essential quality was guided by an unvarying sense of moral right, which would tolerate the employment only of those means that would bear the most rigid examination; by a fairness of intention which neither sought nor required disguise and by a purity of virtue which was not only untainted, but unsuspected.




NOTE, No. I.... See page 68.

The year 1784 had nearly passed away before the determination of the British cabinet not to evacuate the western posts was known to the government of the United States. In the spring of that year, general Knox, who commanded the troops still retained in the service of the United States, was directed to "open a correspondence with the commander in chief of his Britannic majesty's forces in Canada, in order to ascertain the precise time when each of the posts within the territories of the United States then occupied by the British troops should be delivered up." The measures produced by this resolution exhibit a curious specimen of the political opinions on the subject of federal powers, which then prevailed in congress.

It being at that time believed that the British garrisons would certainly be withdrawn, it became necessary to provide for occupying the posts when surrendered, with troops belonging to the United States. A number deemed sufficient for the purpose not having been retained in service, a motion was made for raising seven hundred men, by requisitions on the states for that and other objects specified in the resolution. The power of congress to make these requisitions was seriously contested, and it was gravely urged that such a power, connected with the rights to borrow money, and to emit bills of credit, would be dangerous to liberty, and alarming to the states. The motion for raising this small number of regulars did not prevail; and an order was made that except twenty-five privates to guard the stores at Fort Pitt, and fifty-five to guard those at West Point and other magazines, with a proportionable number of officers, no one to exceed the rank of captain, the troops already in service should be discharged, unless congress, before its recess, should


dispose of them in some other manner. For the purpose of garrisoning the posts, seven hundred militia were required from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, who should serve twelve months. While the discussions on this subject were pending, instructions from the legislature of New York to their delegates were laid before congress, requesting that body in terms of great strength, in pursuance of the confederation, to declare the number of troops of which the garrisons of those posts which were within the limits of that state should consist. The resolutions asserted a constitutional right to demand from congress a declaration upon this point, and avowed a determination to raise the troops should such declaration be withheld. After the determination of the British government not to surrender the posts was known, the militia ordered to be raised to garrison them, who were not in actual service, were discharged.

NOTE, No. II....See page 274.

In the formation of this treaty, a question came on to be considered and decided which involved a principle that on an after occasion, and in a different case, excited a ferment never to be forgotten by those who took an active part in the politics of the day.

The whole commerce of the Creek nation was in the hands of M'Gillivray, who received his supplies from a company of British merchants, free from duty, through the territories belonging to Spain. This circumstance constituted no inconsiderable impediment to the progress of the negotiation. M'Gillivray derived emoluments from the arrangement which he would not consent to relinquish; and was not without apprehensions, that Spain, disgusted by his new connections with the United States, might throw embarrassments in the way of this profitable traffic. In addition to this consideration, it was, on the part of the United States, desirable to alter the channel through which the Indians should receive their supplies, and thereby to render them more dependent

on the American government. But it would be necessary to exempt the goods designed for the Indian nation from the duties imposed by law on imported articles, and the propriety of such an exemption might well be questioned.

With that cautious circumspection which marked his political course, the president took this point into early consideration, and required the opinion of his constitutional advisers respecting it. The secretary of state was of opinion that the stipulation for importing his goods through the United States, duty free, might safely be made. “A treaty made by the president with the concurrence of two thirds of the senate, was" he said, "a law of the land," and a law of superior order, because it not only repeals past laws; but cannot itself be repealed by future ones. The treaty then will legally control the duty act, and the act for licencing traders in this particu lar instance. From this opinion there is no reason to suppose that any member of the cabinet dissented. A secret article providing for the case was submitted to the senate, and it has never been understood that in advising and consenting to it, that body was divided.

NOTE, No. III....See page 297.

This question was investigated with great labour, and being one involving principles of the utmost importance to the United States, on which the parties were divided, the subject was presented in all the views of which it was susceptible, A perusal of the arguments used on the occasion would certainly afford much gratification to the curious, and their insertion at full length would perhaps be excused by those who recollect the interest which at the time was taken in the measure to which they related, and the use which was made of it by the opponents of the then administration; but the limits prescribed for this work will not permit the introduction of such voluminous papers. It may however be expected that the outline of that train of reasoning with which each opinion

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