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Declaration of Independence was adopted, and our feeble militia, without arms or ammunition or clothing, were struggling against the trained armies of England. James Monroe left college, hastened to Gen.. Washington's headquarters at New York, and enrolled himself as a cadet in the army.

It was one of the gloomiest hours in our history. The British were sweeping all before them. Our disheartened troops were deserting in great numbers; and the Tories, favoring the cause of England, were daily becoming more boastful and defiant. But James Monroe belonged to the class of the indomitable. With courage which never faltered, he took his place in the ranks. Firmly yet sadly he shared in the melancholy retreat from Harlaem Heights and White Plains, and accompanied the dispirited army as it fled before its foes through New Jersey. In four months after the Declaration of Independence, the patriots had been beaten in seven battles.

At Trenton, Lieut. Monroe so distinguished himself, receiving a wound in his shoulder, that he was promoted to a captaincy. Upon recovering from his wound, he was invited to act as aide to Lord Sterling; and in that capacity he took an active part in the battles of Brandywine, Germantown, and Monmouth. At Germantown, he stood by the side of Lafayette when the French marquis received his wound. Gen. Washington, who had formed a high idea of young Monroe's abilities, sent him to Virginia to raise a new regiment, of which he was to be colonel; but so exhausted was Virginia at that time, that the effort proɣed unsuccessful. He, however, received his commission.

Finding no opportunity to enter the army as a commissioned officer, he returned to his original plan of studying law, and entered the office of Thomas Jefferson, who was then Governor of Virginia. Mr. Jefferson had a large and admirable library, and inspired his pupil with zeal for study. He developed a very noble character, frank, manly, sincere. Abounding with kindliness of feeling, and scorning every thing ignoble, he won the love of all who knew him. Mr. Jefferson said of him,—

"James Monroe is so perfectly honest, that, if his soul were turned inside out, there would not be found a spot on it."

In 1782, when but twenty-three years of age, he was elected to the Assembly of Virginia, and was also appointed a member of the Executive Council. The next year, he was chosen delegate to

the Continental Congress for a term of three years. He was pres ent at Annapolis when Washington surrendered his commission of commander-in-chief. Young as Col. Monroe was, he proved himself in Congress a very efficient man of business.

With Washington, Jefferson, and Madison, he felt deeply the inefficiency of the old Articles of Confederation, and urged the formation of a new Constitution, which should invest the Central Government with something like national power. Influenced by these views, he introduced a resolution that Congress should be empowered to regulate trade, and to lay an impost-duty of five per cent. The resolution was referred to a committee of which he was chairman. The report, and the discussion which rose upon it, led to the convention of five States at Annapolis, and the subsequent general convention at Philadelphia, which, in 1787, draughted the Constitution of the United States.

At this time, there was a controversy between New York and Massachusetts in reference to their boundaries. The high esteem in which Col. Monroe was held is indicated by the fact that he was appointed one of the judges to decide the controversy. While in New York attending Congress, he formed a matrimonial connection with Miss Kortright, a young lady distinguished alike for her beauty and her accomplishments. For nearly fifty years this happy union continued unbroken, a source of almost unalloyed happiness to both of the parties. In London and in Paris, as in her own country, Mrs. Monroe won admiration and affection by the loveliness of her person, the brilliancy of her intellect, and the amiability of her character.

Returning to Virginia, Col. Monroe commenced the practice of law at Fredericksburg. He was almost immediately elected to a seat in the State Legislature; and the next year he was chosen a member of the Virginia Convention, which was assembled to decide upon the acceptance or rejection of the Constitution which had been drawn up at Philadelphia, and was now submitted to the several States. Deeply as he felt the imperfections of the old Confederacy, he was opposed to the new Constitution, thinking, with many others of the Republican party, that it gave too much power to the Central Government, and not enough to the individual States. Still he retained the esteem of his friends, who were its warm supporters, and who, notwithstanding his opposition, secured its adoption. In 1789, he became a member of

the United-States Senate; which office he held acceptably to his constituents, and with honor to himself, for four years. Every month, the line of distinction between the two great parties which divided the nation, the Federal and the Republican, was growing more distinct. The two prominent ideas which now separated them were, that the Republican party was in sympathy with France, and was also in favor of such a strict construction of the Constitution as to give the Central Government as little power, and the State Governments as much power, as the Constitution would warrant. The Federalists sympathized with England, and were in favor of a liberal construction of the Constitution, which would give as much power to the Central Government as that document could possibly authorize.

Mr. Monroe, having opposed the Constitution as not leaving enough power with the States, of course became more and more identified with the Republican party. Thus he found himself in cordial co-operation with Jefferson and Madison. The great Republican party became the dominant power which ruled the land. But we can imagine the shades of John Adams and Alexander Hamilton rising from their graves in the midst of our awful civil war, and exclaiming, sadly yet triumphantly, "Did we not tell you so? Has it not been that very doctrine of State sovereignity which has plunged our land into this conflict? and have you not found it necessary, that you might save the country from destruction, to arm the Constitution with those very powers which we were so anxious to stamp upon it?"

The leading Federalists and Republicans were alike noble men, consecrating all their energies to the good of the nation. Two more honest men or more pure patriots than John Adams the Federalist, and James Monroe the Republican, never breathed. In building up this majestic nation, which is destined to eclipse all Grecian and Assyrian greatness, the combination of their antagonisms was needed to create the right equilibrium. And yet each, in his day, was denounced as almost a demon. Let this consideration, hereafter, allay the biterness of party-strife.

George Washington was then President. England had espoused the cause of the Bourbons against the principles of the French Revolution. All Europe was drawn into the conflict. We were feeble, and far away. President Washington issued a proclamation of neutrality between these contending powers. France had

helped us in the struggle for our liberties. All the despotisms of Europe were now combined to prevent the French from escaping from tyranny a thousand-fold worse than that which we had endured. Col. Monroe, more magnanimous than prudent, was anxious that, at whatever hazard, we should help our old allies in their extremity. It was the impulse of a generous and a noble nature. He violently opposed the President's proclamation, as ungrateful, and wanting in magnanimity.

Washington, who could appreciate such a character, developed his calm, serene, almost divine greatness, by appointing that very James Monroe, who was denouncing the policy of the Government, as the minister of that Government to the republic of France. He was directed by Washington to express to the French people our warmest sympathy, communicating to them corresponding resolves approved by the President, and adopted by both houses of Congress.

Mr. Monroe was welcomed by the National Convention in France with the most enthusiastic demonstrations of respect and affection. He was publicly introduced to that body, and received the embrace of the president, Merlin de Douay, after having been addressed in a speech glowing with congratulations, and with expressions of desire that harmony might ever exist between the two countries. The flags of the two republics were intertwined in the hall of the convention. Mr. Monroe presented the American colors, and received those of France in return. The course which he pursued in Paris was so annoying to England, and to the friends of England in this country, that, near the close of Washington's administration, Mr. Monroe was recalled.

Mr. Pickering, Secretary of State, who was a fanatical hater of France, and proportionably an adulator of England, sent an angry despatch to Mr. Monroe, charging him with "expressing a solicitude for the welfare of the French republic in a style too warm and affectionate, by which we were likely to give offence to other countries, particularly to England."

In reply to this, Mr. Monroe states in his "View" the instructions he received from Washington, which are interesting as showing the personal feelings of Washington towards France. He writes,

"My instructions enjoined it on me to use my utmost endeavors to inspire the French Government with perfect confidence in the

solicitude which the President felt for the success of the French Revolution; of his preference of France to all other nations, as the friend and ally of the United States; of the grateful sense which we still retained for the important services that were rendered us by France in the course of our Revolution; and to declare in explicit terms, that although neutrality was the lot we preferred, yet, in case we embarked in the war, it would be on her side, and against her enemies, be they who they might."

In 1796, President Washington addressed the French minister in the following words: "My best wishes are irresistibly excited, whensoever, in any country, I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banner of freedom; but, above all, the events of the French Revolution have produced the deepest solicitude as well as the highest admiration. To call your nation brave, were to pronounce but common praise. Wonderful people! Ages to come will read with. astonishment your brilliant exploits. In delivering to you these sentiments, I express not my feelings only, but those of my fellowcitizens, in relation to the commencement, the progress, and the issue of the French Revolution."

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All despotic Europe combined against the enfranchised nation. In the frenzy of the unequal fight, France was plunged into anarchy; from which she was rescued by Napoleon, into whose imperial arms, in her dire necessity, she had cast herself. And then all despotic Europe turned its arms against that one man. He was crushed. The unfurled banner of " Equal Rights," which he had so grandly borne aloft, was trampled in the dust; and subju gated France again bowed her neck to the old feudal tyranny.

While Mr. Monroe was our minister in France, Mr. Jay, with strong English proclivities, was our ambassador at the court of St. James. He was ever ready to enter into a commercial treaty which would favor that country at the expense of our old ally. Mr. Jay, with other men of his party, scouting the idea that any thanks were due to France for the aid she had rendered us in the Revolution, was not disposed to discriminate in the least in her favor. Hence there was intense antagonism between Col. Monroe and Mr. Jay.

Col. Monroe, after his return, wrote a book of four hundred pages, entitled "A View of the Conduct of the Executive in Foreign Affairs." In this work, he very ably advocated his side of the question: but, with magnanimity characteristic of the man,

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