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cated the next day, that Burr had passed fort Massac on the 31st of December, with ten boats containing six men each, without any military appearance, served to convince the House that, for such an insignificant armament, the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus was not required, and would appear preposterous. The arrival of these persons was announced by the president to both Houses on the 26th. They obtained the writ of habeas corpus, after a full discussion before the superior court, and were finally discharged.
· Burr, finding his projects utterly hopeless, landed on the banks of the Mississippi, and proceeded to the Tombigby in the Mississippi territory, attended by a single companion. He here tried to conceal himself, but was arrested in February, and carried to Richmond for trial in the federal circuit court.
In consequence of the House refusing to appropriate the money asked by the president for the building and equipping gunboats, they by resolution called on him for such information as he possessed to show the efficacy of gunboats in protecting harbours, together with the number wanted for the several ports. Accordingly, a few days afterwards, February the 10th, he sent to them a communication on the subject.
He stated that the course adopted for defence proposed to combine, 1. Land batteries, furnished with heavy cannon. 2. Moveable artillery. 3. Floating batteries. 4. Gunboats to oppose an enemy at his entrance, and co-operate with the batteries for his expulsion : that professional men had been consulted who approved the plan; and he refers to their testimony to show that gunboats are in general use among all modern maritime nations for the purposes of defence, in proof of which he cites several examples.
He thinks that for the protection of all the principal ports 200 gunboats would be required, which he proposed to dis
tribute as follows: to the Mississippi, 40: to Savannah and Charleston and the neighbouring harbours, 25: to the Chesapeake, 20: to Delaware Bay and river, 15: to New York, the Sound, and waters as far as Cape Cod, 50: to Boston and the waters north of Cape Cod, 50.
Of these, a proportion would be of the larger size, and capable of navigating any seas, and reinforcing distant points: 73 were already built or building, and the remaining 127 would cost from five to six hundred thousand dollars ;-half to be built that year, and half the next. Only a small proportion of them to be kept afloat, except when the United States were at war; and, by way of silencing the cavils to which this mode of defence had been subjected, he thus concludes: “ It must be superfluous to observe that this species of naval armament is proposed merely for defensive operation; that it can have but little effect towards protecting our commerce in the open seas, even on our own coast; and still less can it become an excitement to engage in maritime warfare, towards which it would furnish no means."
The House subsequently voted an appropriation of 150,000 dollars for building 30 gunboats, by a vote of 68 to 36.
The legislature, in conformity with the recommendation of the president, passed a law to prohibit the African slave-trade after the 1st of January, 1808, and although it finally passed with great unanimity, its details occasioned a good deal of discussion. They repealed the tax on salt, and continued the Mediterranean fund ; and the votes in both Houses showed that if the president had lost a small number of his former supporters, he had the undiminished confidence and attachment of the rest, constituting the great body of the republican party. Congress also made a liberal compensation to Captains Lewis and Clarke and their companions, in donations of land.
Yet, with an opposition, which, though few in numbers,
comprehended much talent both in the federal and the republican portions of it, he did not feel easy, and he accordingly wrote to Colonel Wilson Nicholas, of Albemarle, in February, to urge him to offer in the place of his son-in-law Thomas M. Randolph, who meant to withdraw, and who, he said, united with all there in wishing Colonel Nicholas to take his place. “Never,” he adds, "did the calls of patriotism more loudly assail you than at this moment. After excepting the federalists, who will be twenty-seven, and the little band of schismatics, who will be three or four (all tongue,) the residue of the House of Representatives is as well disposed a body of men as I ever saw collected. But there is no one whose talents and standing, taken together, have weight enough to give him the lead. The consequence is, that there is no one who will undertake to do the public business, and it remains undone. Were you here, the whole would rally round you in an instant, and willingly cooperate in whatever is for the public good.”
The solicitation prevailed. Colonel Nicholas was elected in the following month, and though not an eloquent or ready speaker, by his good sense, moderation, and address, brought a great accession of support to the administration for the remainder of Mr. Jefferson's term.
Before Congress adjourned, he had the satisfaction to communicate to them (February 19), that our ministers at London had agreed on the terms of a treaty on all the points which had been the object of negotiation : that our ministers at Paris had been assured by the French minister of marine, that a late imperial decree, declaring the British islands in a state of blockade, was not to affect American commerce : and that Aaron Burr had surrendered himself to the civil authority of the Mississippi territory.
The prospect of thus amicably adjusting our difficulties with foreign governments proved altogether delusive.
Mr. Jefferson's unreserved correspondence during this session shows that he deeply felt the perplexities of his situation, and that the office of chief magistrate, after its novelty is worn off, is to him who is at once anxious to do right and is sensitive of blame, one of more care and vexation than enjoyment. He on the 13th January discloses to his old friend John Dickinson some of the sources of his anxiety. He speaks of the local discontents in the territory of New Orleans, arising from the prohibition to import slaves; from the administration of justice in our forms, principles, and language, with all of which they are unacquainted ; and lastly, from the call on them by the land commissioners to produce the titles to their lands, the object and effect of which they misunderstood; all of which had conspired to produce great dissatisfaction. He says he has suggested a grant of land to 30,000 voluntary emigrants to the west of the Mississippi, on condition of defending the country for seven years, by which the Americans would constitute the majority. He is silent on Burr's conspiracy, though that as well as our foreign negotiations must have then been subjects of unceasing solicitude, and no doubt dictated the last paragraph of his letter in a strain very foreign to his sanguine and cheerful temper.
“I have tired you my friend with a long letter. But your tedium will end in a few lines more. Mine has yet two years to endure. I am tired of an office where I can do no more good than many others, who would be glad to be employed in it. To myself, personally, it brings nothing but unceasing drudgery, and daily loss of friends. Every office becoming vacant, every appointment made, me donne un ingrat, et cent ennemis. My only consolation is in the belief that my fellow-citizens at large give me credit for good intentions. I will certainly endeavour to merit the continuance of the good-will which follows well intended actions, and their approbation will be the dearest reward I can carry into retire. ment."
Negotiations and Treaty with England. Character of the Treaty. The
President declines submitting it to the Senate. Further negotiations, Burr's Conspiracy. His arrest and trial. The President's Correspondence with the Attorney of the United States. The right to summon the President. Conduct of the Federalists. Burr's Acquittal. The British ship Leopard attacks the Frigate Chesapeake. Popular excitement-measures of the Administration.—Demand of satisfaction.—Prudent course pursued. Impost on wines. Appointment to Offices. Abuses of the Press. Cabinet consultations. Letter to Governor Sullivan. Sends his grandson to Philadelphia. His opinions on the Medical Science.-On removals from office. The Emperor Alexander.
From the time that Mr. Jefferson heard that Mr. Fox had a place in the new ministry, after the death of Mr. Pitt, he entertained lively hopes of concluding a treaty with Great Britain, derived from the known candour of that eminent statesman, his liberal principles, and supposed friendly sentiments towards the United States. But whether Mr. Fox would have thought this a fit occasion of manifesting his enlarged views and conciliatory temper, or though he had, whether he would not have been overruled by his more cautious and calculating associates in the cabinet, cannot now be known; for he was prevented by indisposition from taking part in the negotiation, and before it had made much progress, followed his great rival to the tomb.
It soon appeared from the despatches received from Messrs. Monroe and Pinckney, after they had entered upon the negotiation, that there was little probability of making a satis