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CHAPTER ments; if a love of equal laws, of justice and humanity in the interior administration; if an inclination to im 1797. prove agriculture, commerce, and manufactures for necessity, convenience, and defence; if a spirit of equity and humanity toward the aboriginal nations of America, and a disposition to meliorate their condition by inclining them to be more friendly to us, and our citizens to be more friendly to them; if an inflexible determination to maintain peace and inviolable faith with all nations, and that system of neutrality and impartiality among the belligerent powers of Europe which has been adopted by this government, and so solemnly sanctioned by both houses of Congress, and applauded by the Legislatures of the states and the public opinion, until it shall be otherwise ordained by Congress; if a personal esteem for the French nation, formed in a residence of seven years chiefly among them, and a sincere desire to preserve the friendship which has been so much for the honor and interest of both nations; if, while the conscious honor and integrity of the people of America, and the internal sentiment of their own power and energies must be preserved, an earnest endeavor to investigate every just cause, and remove every colorable pretense of complaint; if an intention to pursue by amicable negotiation a reparation for the injuries that have been committed on the commerce of our fellow-citizens, by whatever nation, and if success cannot be obtained, to lay the facts before the Legislature, that they may consider what further measures the honor and interest of the government and its constituents demand; if a resolution to do justice, as far as may depend upon me, at all times and to all nations, and o maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence with all the world; if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I have so often haz



arded my all, and never been deceived; if elevated ideas CHAPTER of the high destinies of this country, and of my own duties towards it, founded on a knowledge of the moral 1797. principles and intellectual improvements of the people, deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured, but exalted by experience and age; and with humble reverence I feel it to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent respect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me in any degree to comply with your wishes, it shall be my strenuous endeavor that this sagacious injunction of the two houses shall not be without effect.

"With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest of the same American people, pledged to support the Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared, without hesitation, to lay myself under the most solemn obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.

"And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of order, the Fountain of justice, and the Protector, in all ages of the world, of virtuous liberty, continue his blessing upon this nation and its government, and give it all possible success and duration consistent with the ends of his Providence !"

This elaborate address, as we learn by a letter of Adams to his wife, was intended as "an appeal to foreign nations and posterity," "so strangely used as he had been, so hated and so undefended." Yet it seems also to have been an appeal to the present, a disavowal of the anti-Republican doctrines which had been so freely



CHAPTER imputed to him during the late presidential canvass, and a holding out to the opposition of the hand of recon. 1797. ciliation by way of public answer to the private over tures already made to him by some of the leaders.

Adams's profession of respect and veneration for the Christian religion, though no doubt perfectly sincere on his part, had yet much the appearance of a reflection on Jefferson. That, however, was a delicate point, since Adams's own opinions, verging closely on Socinianisın, might seem to many almost as objectionable as the freethinking of which Jefferson was accused.

The allusions to Washington drew out floods of tears, rather too copiously, indeed, for the jealous temper of Adams, who seems, from the same letter already quoted, to have entertained disagreeable doubts whether some of those tears might not have been as much for his accession as for Washington's retirement.

The speech ended, the oath was energetically administered by the chief justice, and as energetically repeated by Adams. This ceremony over, the new president took his seat, but rose shortly after, bowed to all around, and retired. He was soon followed by the vice-president, not, however, without ceremonious efforts on his part to induce Washington to take the precedence. This was the last time that Jefferson and Washington ever met. As Washington followed the vice-president, the shouts were redoubled both in and out of the House. He was sumptuously entertained that same evening by the merchants and other citizens of Philadelphia, and having been the first person to pay his respects to the new president, by waiting upon him at his own house, he departed a few days after for Mount Vernon, receiving on his way every mark of attention and regard.

This homage to Washington, and the strong hold




which he still maintained on the affections of the Ameri- CHAPTER can people, were gall and wormwood to the Aurora and the more violent Democrats; if indeed the open coun- 1797 tenance and support which the Aurora received from Jefferson and other leaders of the Republican party, did not make them, in a certain degree at least, the endorsers of its sentiments. These sentiments were strongly expressed in an article which appeared in that paper of the 6th of March, believed to be from the pen of Dr. Michael Leib, a young member of the Pennsylvania Assembly, whose maiden speech the year before had called out from Jefferson, in a letter to Giles, warm congratulations that "honest republicanism" had made such an acquisition, and expressions of high hopes from a career which began on such elevated ground. "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation,' was the pious ejaculation of a man who be held a flood of happiness rushing in upon mankind. If ever there was a time which would license the reiteration of this exclamation"-so wrote this correspondent of the Aurora-" that time is now arrived, for the man who is the source of all the misfortunes of our country is this day reduced to a level with his fellow-citizens, and is no longer possessed of power to multiply evils upon the United States. If ever there was a period for rejoicing, this is the moment. Every heart in unison with the freedom and happiness of the people ought to beat high with exultation that the name of Washingtor from this day ceases to give a currency to political iniquity and to legalized corruption. A new era is now opening upon us an era which promises much to the people, for public measures must now stand upon their own merits, and nefarious projects can no longer be sup ported by a name. When a retrospect is taken of the

CHAPTER Washingtonian administration for eight years, it is a X. subject of the greatest astonishment that a single indi1797. vidual should have conquered the principles of repub licanism in an enlightened people just emerged from the gulf of despotism, and should have carried his designs against the public liberty so far as to have put in jeopardy its very existence. Such, however, are the facts, and, with these staring us in the face, this day ought to be a jubilee in the United States !"

Not content with this article and others in the same strain, and provoked by Washington's formal denunciation of the forged letters which political hatred had revived and published as his, the Aurora, no doubt with French assistance, gave a new specimen of its spite, by reproducing the old calumny of Washington's "assassination" of Jumonville at the commencement of the war of 1753. Shortly after these attacks on Washington, the editor and publisher of the Aurora, having paid a visit with a party of friends to the frigate United States, then on the stocks at Philadelphia, and being recognized by the son of the contractor, received at his hands a very severe beating, which many thought was no more than he deserved. Even the moderate Webster had remarked in his Minerva, that however such libels on Washington might be tolerated in Philadelphia, their publisher would hardly be able to visit New England without danger of a coat of tar and feathers. And, indeed, Bache found it necessary to appease the public clamor against him by calling attention to the fact that the article above quoted was not written by him, but came from a correspondent.

While thus furious against Washington, the Aurora conformed to the policy of the Republican leaders, and to the signal thrown out by Jefferson in his inaugural address, by treating the new president with great court.

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