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overawe public sentiment in time of peace. politica, thought and action. They were The Federals, however, through their the immediate cause of the Kentucky and V prompt resentment of the aggressions of Virginia resolutions of 1798, Jefferson beFrance, had many adherents to their ing the author of the former and Madison party. They organized their power and of the latter. sought to perpetuate it by the passage of These resolutions were full of political
the alien and sedition, and a naturaliza- significance, and gave tone to sectional distion law.
to the close of the war for the The alien and sedition law gave the Union. They first promulgated the docPresident authority. "to order all such trine of nullification or secession, and aliens as he shall judge dangerous to the political writers mistake who point to Cal. peace and safety of the United States, or houn as the father of that doctrine. It v shall have reasonable grounds to suspect began with the old Republicans under the are concerned in any treasonable or secret leadership of Jefferson and Madison, and machinations against the government though directly intended as protests against thereof, to depart out of the territory of the alien and sedition, and the naturalizathe United States, within such time as tion laws of Congress, they kept one eye shall be expressed in such order.” The upon the question of slavery-rather that provisions which followed were in keeping interest was kept in view in their declara. with that quoted, the 3d section command- tions, and yet the authors of both were ing every master of a ship entering a port anything but warm advocates of slavery. of the United States, immediately on his They were then striving, however, to rein. arrival, to make report in writing to the force the opposition to the Federal party, collector of customs, the names of all aliens which the administration of Adams had on board, etc. The act was to continue thus far apparently weakened, and they in force for two years from the date of its had in view the brief agitation which had paisage, and it was approved June 25th, sprung up in 1793, five years before, on the 1738.
petition to Congress of a Pennsylvania A resolution was introduced in the Sen- society“ to use its powers to stop the traffic ate on the 25th of April, 1798, by Mr. in slaves.” On the question of referring Hillhouse of Connecticut, to inquire what this petition to a committee there arose a provision of law ought to be made, &c.,
as sectional debate. Men took sides not beto the removal of such aliens as may be cause of the party to which they belonged, dangerous to the peace of the country, &c. but the section, and for the first time the This resolution was adopted the next day, North and South were arrayed against each and Messrs. Hillhouse, Livermore and other on a question not then treated either as Read were appointed the committee, and partisan or political, but which most minds subsequently reported the bill. It passed then saw must soon become both partisan the Senate by 16 to 7, and the House by and sectional. Some of the Southern dc46 to 40, the Republicans in the latter baters, in their protests against interferbody resisting it warmly. The leading ence, thus early threatened civil war. With wpposing idea was that it lodged with the a view to better protect their rights to slave Executive too much power, and was liable property, they then advocated and suc. to great abuse. It has frequently since, ceeded in passing the first fugitive slave ia arguments against centralized power, law. This was approved February 12, 1793. been used for illustration by political The resolutions of 1798 will be found in speakers.
the book devoted to political platforms. The Naturalization law, favored by the So highly were these esteemed by the Re. Federalists, because they knew they could publicans of that day, and by the interests acquire few friends either from newly ar- whose support they so shrewdly invited, rived English or French aliens, among that they more than counterbalanced the other requirements provided that an alien popularity acquired by the Federals in their must reside in the United States fourteen resistance to France, and by 1800 they years before he could vote. The Republi- caused a rupture in the Cabinet of Adams. cans denounced this law as calculated to In the Presidential election of 1800 John check immigration, and dangerous to our Adams was the nominee for President and country in the fact that it caused too C. C. Pinckney for Vice-President. A many inhabitants to owe no allegiance. “Congressional Convention" of Republi. They also asserted, as did those who op- cans, held in Philadelphia, nominated posed Americanism later on in our history, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr as canthat America was properly an asylum for didates for these offices. On the election all nations, and that those coming to which followed the Republican: chose 73 America should freely share all the privi- electors and the Federalists 65. Each leges and liberties of the government. elector voted for two persons, and the Re.
These laws and the political resentments publicans so voted that they unwisely gavo which they created gave a new and what Jefferson and Burr each 73 votes. Neither eventually proved a dangerous current to being highest, it was not legally determined
which should be President or Vice-Presi- / from internal and external sources, and to dent, and the election had to go to the increase expenditures, as the growth of the House. The Federalists threw 65 votes to country demanded. Though it passed out Adams and 64 to Pinckney. The Repub- of power in a cloud of intrigue and in & licans could have done the same, but Burr's vain grasp at the “flesh-pots," it yet had a intrigue and ambition prevented this, and glorious history, and one which none unthe result was a pri tracted contest in tinctured with the better prejudices of that the House, and one which put the country day, can avoid admiring. in great peril, but which plainly pointed
The defeat of Adams was not unexpectout some of the imperfections of the elec-ed by him, yet it was greatly regretted by V toral features of the Constitution. The his friends, for he was justly regarded as
Federalists proposed to confess the inabil second to no other civilian in the estabity of the House to agree through the vote lishment of the liberties of the colonies. by States, but to this proposition the Re- He was eloquent to a rare degree, possessed publicans threatened armed resistance. natural eloquence, and made the most The Federalists next attempted a combina- famous speech in advocacy of the Declaration with the friends of Aaron Burr, but tion. Though the proceedings of the this specimen of bargaining to deprive a Revolutionary Congress were secret, and nominee of the place to which he what was said never printed, yet Webster plain intention of his party to elect him, gives his version of the noted speech of really contributed to Jefferson's popularity, Adams, and we reproduce it in Book III. if not in that Congress, certainly before the of this volume as one of the great speeches people. He was elected on the 36th ballot. of noted American orators.
The bitterness of this strife, and the Mr. Jefferson was inaugurated the third | dangers which similar ones threatened, led President, in the new capitol at Washing
to an abandonment of the system of each ton, on the 4th of March, 1801, and Vice¡ Elector voting for two, the highest to be President Burr took his seat in the Senate
President, the next highest Vice-President, the same day. Though Burr distinctly disand an amendment was offered to the Con- avowed any participancy in the House stitution, and fully ratified by September contest, he was distrusted by Jefferson's 25, 1804, requiring the electors to ballot warm friends, and jealousies rapidly separately for President and Vice-Presi- cropped out. Jefferson endeavored through dent.
his inaugural to smooth factious and party V Jefferson was the first candidate nomi- asperities and so well were his words chosen nated by a Congressional caucus. It con- that the Federalists indulged, the hope that ' vened in 1800 at Philadelphia, and nomi- they would not be removed from office benated Jefferson for President and Burr for cause of their political views. Vice-President. Adams and Pinckney Early in June, however, the first queswere not nominated, but ran and were action of civil service was raised. Mr. Jeffercepted as natural leaders of their party, son then removed Elizur Goodrich, a Fedjust as Washington and Adams were be- eralist, from the Collectorship of New fore them.
Haven, and appointed Samuel Bishop, a
monstrated, saying that Goodrich was Downfall of the Federal Party.
prompt, reliable and able, and showed that 'This contest broke the power of the his successor was 78 years old, and too inFederal party. It had before relied upon firm for the duties of the office. To these the rare sagacity and ability of its leaders, remonstrances Mr. Jefferson, under date of but the contest in the House developed July 12th, replied in language which did such attempts at intrigue as disgusted not then, as he did later on, plainly assert many and caused all to quarrel, Hamilton the right of every administration to have having early showed his dislike to Adams. its friends in office. We quote the fol. As a party the Federal had been peculiarly lowing: brave at times when high_bravery was “Declarations by myself, in favor of needed. It had framed the Federal Gov- political tolerance, exhortations to harernment and stood by the powers given it mony and affection in social intercourse, antil they were too firmly planted for even and respect for the equal rights of the newer and triumphant partisans to reck- minority, have, on certain occasions, been lessly trifle with. It stood for non-inter- quoted and misconstrued into assurances ference with foreign nations against the that the tenure of office was not to be diseloquence of adventurers, the mad impulses turbed. But could candor apply such a of mobs, the generosity of new-born free-construction ? When it is considered that, men, the harangues of demagogues, and during the late administration, those who best of all against those who sought to fan were not of a particular sect of politics these popular breezes to their own comfort. were excluded from all office; when, by a It provided for the payment of the debt, steady pursuit of this measure, nearly the bad the courage to raise revenues both / whole offices of the United States were
monopolized by that sect; when the public tronage he had at his disposal, and he evi.
by selecting only notoriously arbitrary “I lament sincerely that unessential dif- measures for assault_and changed it even ferences of opinion should ever have been more radically than this. He early saw deemed sufficient to interdict half the that simple opposition was not progress, society from the rights and the blessings and that it was both wise and popular to of self-government, to proscribe them as be progressive, and in all his later politiunworthy of every trust. It would have cal papers he sought to make his party the been to me a circumstance of great relief, party favoring personal freedom, the one had I found a moderate participation of of liberal ideas, the one whieh, instead of office in the hands of the majority; I shirking, should anticipate every change would gladly have left to time and accident calculated to enlarge the liberties and the to raise them to their just share. But their opportunities of citizens. These things total exclusion calls for prompter correc- were not inconsistent with his strong views tions. I shall correct the procedure; but in favor of local self-government; indeed, that done, return with joy to that state of in many particulars they seemed to supthings when the only questions concerning port that theory, and by the union of a candidate shall be: Is he honest? Is he the two ideas he shrewdly arrayed rocapable? Is he faithful to the constitution?" litical enthusiasm by the side of politi
Mr. Adams had made few removals, and cal interest. Political sagacity more prozone because of the political views held found than this it is difficult to imagine. by the incumbents, nearly all of whom It has not since been equalled in the hishad been appointed by Washington and tory of our land, nor do we believe in the continued through good behavior. At the history of any other. date of the appointment of most of them, After the New Haven episode, so jealous Jeferson's Republican party had no exist- was Jefferson of his good name, that while ence; so that the reasons given in the he confided all new appointments to the quotation do not comport with the facts. hands of his political friends, he made few Washington's rule was integrity and ca- removals, and these for apparent cause. pacity, for he could have no regard for The mere statement of his position had politics where political lines had been ob- proved an invitation to the Federalists in literated in his own selection. Doubtless Office to join his earlier friends in the supthese office-holders were human, and ad- port of his administration. Many of them hered with warmth to the administration did it, so many that the clamorings of which they served, and this fact, and this truer friends could not be hushed. With alone, must have angered the Republicans a view to create a new excuse, Jefferson and furnished them with arguments for a declared that all appointments made by change.
Adams after February 14th, when the Mr. Jefferson's position, however, made House began its ballotings for President, his later conduct natural. He was the ac- were void, these appointments belonging knowledged leader of his party, its founder of right to him, and from this act of indeed
, and that party had carried him Adams we date the political legacies which into power. He desired to keep it intact, some of our Presidents have since har ded to strengthen its lines with whatever pa-l down to their successors. One of the
magistrates whose commission had been opposition of Vermont, Maryland and Demade out under Adams, sought to compel laware was then immediately withdrawn, Jefferson to sign it by a writ of mandamus and Mr Jefferson was made President. before the Supreme Court, but a "profound Gen'l Smith, twelve days later, made an
investigation of constitutional law” in- affidavit which substantially confirmed v
duced the court not to grant the motion. that of Bayard. Latimer, the collector of All commissions signed by Adams after the port of Philadelphia, and M’Lane, colthe date named were suppressed.
lector of Wilmington, (Bayard's special Jefferson's apparent bitterness against friend) were retained in office. He had the Federalists is mainly traceable to the cited these two as examples of his opposicontest in the House, and his belief that tion to any change, and Jefferson seemed at one time they sought a coalition with to regard the pledges as not sacred beyond Burr. This coalition he regarded as a vio- the parties actually named in Bayard's ne lation of the understanding when he was gotiations with Gen'l Smith. nominated, and a supposed effort to ap This misunderstanding or misconstrucpoint a provisional office he regarded as an tion of what in these days would be plainusurpation in fact. In a letter to James ly called a bargain, led to considerable Monroe, dated February 15th, speaking of political criticism, and Jefferson felt it nethis contest, he says:
cessary to defend his cause. This he did “Four days of balloting have produced in letters to friends which both then and not a single change of a vote. Yet it is since found their way into the public confidently believed that to-morrow there prints. One of these letters, written to is to be a coalition. I know of no founda- | Col. Monroe, March 7th, shows in every tion for this belief. If they could have word and line the natural politician. In been permitted to pass a law for putting this he says: the government in the hands of an officer, “Some (removals) I know must be they would certainly have prevented an made. They must be as few as possible, election. But we thought it best to de- done gradually, and bottomed on somné clare openly and firmly, one and all, that malversation or inherent disqualification. the day such an act passed, the Middle Where we shall draw the line between all States would arm, and that no such usur- and none, is not yet settled, and will not pation, even for a single day, should be be till we get our administration together; submitted to."
and perhaps even then we shall proceed It is but fair to say that the Federalists à talons, balancing otr measures according denied all such intentions, and that James to the impression we perceive them to A. Bayard, of Delaware, April 3, 1806, make. This may give you a general made formal oath to this denial. In this view of our plan.” he says that three States, representing A little later on, March 28, he wrote to Federalist votes, offered to withdraw their Elbridge Gerry: opposition if John Nicholas, of Virginia, “Officers who have been guilty of gross and the personal friend of Jefferson, would abuses of office, such as marshals packing secure pledges that the public credit should juries, etc., I shall now remove, as my
supported, the navy maintained, and predecessor ought in justice to have done. that subordinate public officers, employed The instances will be few, and governed only in the execution of details, established by strict rule, not party passion. The by law, should not be removed from office right of opinion shall suffer no invasion on the ground of their public character, from me.” nor without complaint against their con Jefferson evidently tired of this subject, duct. The Federalists then went so far as and gradually modified his views, as shown to admit that officers of “high discretion in his letter to Levi Lincoln, July 11, and confidence," such as members of the wherein he says: cabinet and foreign ministers, should be “I am satisfied that the heaping of abuse known friends of the administration. This on me personally, has been with the deproposition goes to show that there is noth- sign and the hope of provoking me to make ing, very new in what are called our a general sweep of all Federalists out of modern politics; that the elder Bayard, as office. But as I have carried no passion early as 1800, made a formal proposal to into the execution of this disagreeable bargain. Mr. Nicholas offered his assur-duty, I shall suffer none to be excited. The ance that these things would prove accep- clamor which has been raised will not pro. table to and govern the conduct of Jeffer-voke me to remove one more, nor deter son's administration, but he declined to con- me from removing one less, than if not a sult with Jefferson on the points. General word had been said on the subject. In the Smith subsequently engaged to do it, and course of the summer, all which is necesJefferson replied that the points given sary will be done; and we may hope that, corresponded with his views and inten- this cause of offence being at an end, the tions, and that Mr. Bayard and his friends measures we shall pursue and propose for might confide in him accordingly. The the amelioration of the public affairs, will
be so confessedly salutary as to unite all might deem expedient, for detachments of men not monarchists in principle.” In militia not exceeding eighty thousand, or the same letter he warmly berates the to accept the services of volunteers for a monarchical federalists, saying, they are term of twelve months. The disagreement incurables
, to be taken care of in a mad- arose over the south-western boundary line house if necessary, and on motives of and the right of navigating the Mississippi. charity."
Our government learned in the spring of The seventh Congress assembled. Po- 1802, that Spain had by a secret treaty litical parties were at first nearly equally made in October, 1800, actually ceded divided in the Senate, but eventually Louisiana to France. Our government had there was a majority for the administration. in 1795 made a treaty with Spain which Jefferson then discontinued the custom es- gave us the right of deposite at New Ore tablished by Washington of delivering in leans for three years, but in October, 1802, person his message to Congress, The the Spanish authorities gave notice by change was greatly for the better, as it proclamation that this right was withdrawn. afforded relief from the requirement of Excitement folowed all along the valley immediate answers on the subjects con- of the Mississippi, and it was increased by tained in the message. It has ever since the belief that the withdrawal of the privibeen followed.
lege was made at the suggestion of France, The seventh session of Congress, pursu- though Spain still retained the territory, as ant to the recommendation of President the formalities of ceding it had not been Jefferson, established a uniform system of gone through with. Jefferson promptly naturalization, and 80 modified the law as took the ground that if France took posto make the required residence of aliens session of New Orleans, the United States Vive years, instead of fourteen, as in the act would immediately become allies of Eng. of 1798, and to permit a declaration of in- land, but suggested to Minister Livingston tention to become a citizen at the expiration at Paris that France might be induced to of three years. By his recommendation cede the island of New Orleans and the also was established the first sinking fund Floridas to the United States. It was his for the redemption of the public debt. It belief, though a mistaken one, that France required the setting apart annually for this had also acquired the Floridas. Louisiana "purpose the sum of seven millions and three then comprised much of the territory west hundred thousand dollars. Other mea- of the Blississippi and south of the Missures, more partisan in their character, souri. were proposed, but Congress showed an
The Federalists in Congress seized upon aversion to undoing what had been wisely this question as one upon which they could done. A favorite law of the Federalists make an aggressive war against Jefferson's establishing circuit courts alone was re- administration, and resolutions were intropealed, and this only after a sharp debate, duced asking information on the subject. and a close vote. The provisional army Jefferson, however, wisely avoided allenhad been disbanded by a law of the previ- tangling suggestions, and sent Monroe to ous Congress. A proposition to abolish the aid Livingston in effecting a naval department was defeated, as was that The treaty was formed in April, 1803, and to discontinue the mint establishment. submitted by Jefferson to the Senate in
At this session the first law in relation to October following. The Republicans ralthe slave trade was passed. It was to pre- lied in favor of this scheme of annexation, vent the importation of negroes, mulattoes and claimed that it was a constitutional and other persons of color into any port of right in the government to acquire territory the United States within a state which had a doctrine widely at variance with their prohibited by law the admission of any previous position, but occasions are rare
The penalty was one thou- where parties quarrel with their administra'sand dollars and the forfeiture of the vessel. tions on pivotal measures. There was also The slave trade was not then prohibited by some latitude here for endorsement, as the the constitution, nor was the subject then direct question of territorial acquisition had generally agitated, though it had been as not before been presented, but only hypoearly as 1793, when, as previously stated, thetically stated in the constitutional disan exciting sectional debate followed the putations then in great fashion. Jefferson presentation of a petition from Pennsylva- would not go so far as to say that the connia to abolish the slave trade.
stitution warranted the acquisition to forProbably the most important occurrence eign territory, but the scheme was neverunder the first administration of Jefferson theless his, and he stood in with his friends was that relating to the purchase and ad- in the political battle which followed. ' mission of Louisiana. There had been The Federalists claimed that we had no apprehensions of a war with Spain, and with power to acquire territory, and that the a view to be ready Congress had passed an acquirement of Louisiana would give the act authorizing the President to call upon South a preponderance which would “conthe executives of such of the states as he tinue for all time (poor prophets they :),