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whom it most concerned. It was the scheme of a few daring leaders. and of a blinded by their own passions, having for their Cause no foundation in truth, no law or equity, no justification, even if the ends proposed and promised had be It came of the restless souls of restless spirits, and has no long-past history to gated in order to write the story of its drama correctly. The proceedings of session of the XXXVIth Congress contain all the legal facts necessary to form, at t a perfectly just opinion and estimate of the entire revolution.
It is only required to reproduce the official records of the events of the winter in order to place the reader in possession of means by which to arrive at correct regarding men and their acts. To lay the repository of facts before the people object of our present work. But, as the entire structure of the Republic has be in the ordeal forced, we have, in defence of the Union, and of the policy pursue it, sought to cover the entire ground of the questions involved, viz.: the po Constitution, the nature of the Federal consolidation, the powers of Congress, t of Slavery to the Government, the rights of the majority and the minority, the s States, &c., &c. In considering these varied and interesting questions, we have reproduced much of our past political history, have given the opinions of the fa Constitution on that instrument, have adverted to such collateral and corresp cumstances as would serve to throw light upon the whole subject.
We have sought to render our work, in spirit and in truth, such a narrative a events seemed to demand. The office of the historian is to record events as they become the counsel of one party in a controversy and seek to write down an Still, the historian must assume, to a great degree, the office of arbiter and j great case has been laid before him; he has studied it in all its lights and shad heard the arguments of able counsel and listened to the evidence of innumerable and it remains for him, as a disinterested umpire, to give such a summary of fa and opinions as will enable his jury, the public, to arrive at a correct verdict Northern man in feeling, and a Unionist in sentiment, our work, of course, will stand-point of loyalty to the Federal Government as a sine quá non for its prai contrary for its blame; but we desire and expect that the present and the future all to the crucible of truth. If, in statements of opinion or dictums of jud shall err by too great devotion to our feeling of loyalty, we only challenge a suc tradiction, and will thus succeed in eliminating the truth. Truth should know n the historian who fears its revelations is unworthy to write for his countrymen to
F, as Mr. Alexander H. Stephens asserts, | ing admirer of it as not to perceive it is tincr government is "one of the most beneficent tured with some real, though not radical, e world has ever known," it has not escaped e fortunes incident to all governments-of rce opposition and attempted revolutions. e Constitution of the Union was not opted without extraordinary manifestations opposition in the Convention, in Congress, State Legislatures, and among the people. was regarded in the various lights of "an exeriment," a "consolidated tyranny," a "cenalization fatal to State independence," &c. Washington said of the instrument: "There re some things in it which never did and ever will obtain my cordial approbation." Patrick Henry denounced it as inimical to the liberties of the people. Franklin said, in the Convention: "I consent to this Constitution because I expect no better." The attempt to construct a consolidated government out of States, diverse in interests, each jealous of its sovereignty, was "an experiment ;" and Washington's expression of surprise, that any arrangement had been made, was justified by the result eventually achieved in the adoption of the Federal compact. He said: "It appears to me little short of a miracle that the delegates from so many States, different from each other in their manners, circumstances and prejudices, should unite in forming a system of national government so little liable to
Pending discussion of the merits and demerits of the new Constitution, two great parties sprang into full and spirited life, viz.: the "Federalists," sustained by Washington, and led by John Adams and Hamilton; and the "anti-Federalists," who afterwards assumed the more distinctive appellation of "Democrats," under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson, Aaron Burr, and others. The differences between those two parties were those of quality rather than of kind. Both wanted a Republican form of government; both favored a Union; both had in view the best mode of developing the vast resources of the country; both sought to guard the interests of the people; and it was the intense patriotism of both parties which rendered them such bitter partisans. Each sought to prove the other an enemy to good government; and, failing to reconcile their respective ideas, they became as irreconcilable in their animosities as the Whigs and Tories of the Revolution.
It is not, therefore, a matter of surprise that a government, ordained under such discordant circumstances, should have retained some of its elements of discord, nor that each generation should witness violent opposition, if
which were, suppressed by force; but they sprung out of disorders consequent upon a want of law rather than of defiance to it. We name above the Missouri Compromise troubles of 1820. Though not of the nature of a rebellion they still threatened the perpetuity of the Government, and merit a prominent place in any political history of the country. That agitation was the parent of those which followed, wherein the questions of Free and Slave territory were paramount; and the hy-` dra then appeased by "compromise" became the dragon of secession and revolution in 1860.
vernment had it not been for the necessity of enforcing its authority, thus proving its powers and strength. The vigilance and bitterness of parties made their supporters ever watchful to reap advantages from the errors and weaknesses of their antagonists; hence, the administers of the laws were sedulously careful to execute their trusts with fidelity and wisdom, even though the motive might be the selfish one of maintaining a political supremacy. An apathy or indifference toward the government would have proved its ruin, and have paved the way for a Monarchy, or for a series of State independencies alike fatal to their political and moral prosperity. Party spirit, political rancors, public THE WHISKEY INSURRECTION, 1791-4. antipathies, unpleasant as they are to contemplate singly, are, nevertheless, the great regulators of the law, and, as such, are actually desirable. Washington said of party spirit: "It is a fire not to be quenched; it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume." That "uniform vigilance" is the price of our liberties; so long as it is exercised by our public administrators, and by the people, we are safe-when it is abated, our liberties and government are in danger. Opposition to the Government generally has resulted in nothing more than a war of words, with the ballot-box for umpire. Actual resistance to the arm of the law, so as to require force in its suppression, has been comparatively unfrequent; yet, such instances are numerous enough to prove not only that we have a Government capable of sustaining itself, but, also, that the peculiar freedom guaranteed to all may engender combinations inimical to law and order. Such we may name: THE WHISKEY INSURRECTION, 1791-4. THE ALIEN AND SEDITION EMEUTE, 1798. AARON BURR'S CONSPIRACY, 1806-7. THE HARTFORD CONVENTION CONSPIRACY, 1814. THE MISSOURI COMPROMISE AGITATION, 1820-22. THE INDIAN REBELLION IN GEORGIA, 1825. THE SOUTH CAROLINA NULLIFICATION REBELLION, 1831-2.
DORR'S RHODE ISLAND REBELLION, 1842.
Several uprisings, or rebellions, occurred prior to the adoption of the Constitution,
Upon the assumption, by the Federal Government, of the debts incurred by the States in the War for Independence, it became necessary to provide for the interest, and gradual liquidation of the principal, of that debtmaking $826,000 to be added to the annual tax list in support of the Federal Government. This sum, Alexander Hamilton, then Secretary of the Treasury, proposed to raise by an "excise" tax on distilleries, and by additional duties on imported liquors. In confirmation of the Treasurer's recommendation, the Congress of 1791-92 enacted laws imposing upon all imported spirits a duty varying from twenty to forty cents a gallon. The excise to be collected on domestic spirits varied, with their strength, from nine to twenty-five cents per gallon on those distilled from grain, and from eleven to thirty cents when the material was molasses or other imported product, thus allowing a considerable discrimination in favor of the exclusively home product. For the collection of these duties each State was made an inspection district, with its supervisor, and each district was subdivided into surveys of inspection, each with its inspector. All distillers were required to enter their distilleries at the nearest office of inspection, with a complete description of all the buildings, which buildings were to be subject to the constant examination of an inspector appointed for that purpose, who was to guage and brand the casks, the duties to be paid before the removal of the spirits from the distillery. But, to save the expense and trouble
HISTORY OF FORMER
to both parties of this constant oversight, the
government saw the seeds of a powerful insurrection. But, the law must be sustained and the resistants punished; otherwise all law would be at an end, and any armed mob might defy the acts of Congress.
A modification of the law was made, by the exertions of the timid, who thought it better to compromise matters than to resort to force. It was in vain; and Western Pennsylvania successfully resisted the collection of the tax, up to July, 1794. Government then saw the necessity of enforcing the law and of arraigning the malcontents, or else of confessing its weakness to meet rebellion. Thirty warrants were placed in the hands of the United States Marshal, against offending distillers. All save one were successfully served, by the aid of a posse of armed men, under the guidance of the District Inspector, Gen. Neville. This one met the posse by an arm ed resistance. His men fired upon the officers and compelled them to fly for their lives. Neville secured a squad of troops to guard his house, but it was attacked and burned down-the General escaping down the river to Marietta, then crossing over the country to Philadelphia, to make known the true state of affairs to the President.
This feeling became so general that, in the four western counties of the State named, combinations were entered into by the distil- This success gave the insurrectionists a lers and the people to resist, by force, the col- clear field. They proceeded to extremes in lection of the tax. The first step was to warn their violence against all who upheld the away the collectors; next, to forbid the in- law. The mail was robbed and letters were spectors from entering any distillery, public read to obtain evidence of complicity with or private. Indignities were, consequently, government, on the part of citizens. The infreely visited upon the "minions of the law." surgents summoned the militia, and seven Johnson, collector for Alleghany, was seized, thousand men answered the call. Col. Cook, shaved, tarred and feathered, and driven out- one of the Judges of Fayette County, was side of his district. An inspector named Wil-made President of this "assembly of citison, who had resolved to do his duty, was seized | zens," and Albert Gallatin (afterwards one of in his own house one night, by men in dis- the most eminent men in the country) was guise, borne to a blacksmith shop, branded chosen Secretary. Gallatin prepared an ad on both cheeks by a red hot iron, coated with dress which embodied the sentiments of the tar and feathers, and ordered to leave the "still loyal people" who were in arms to "recounty. The terror inspired by these and sist a lawless invasion of their rights." A other outrages, caused much alarm through-major-general was elected, who proceeded at out the entire country. In it friends of the once to drill the troops and to prepare for fur
*It is estimated that, in Pennsylvania alone, there were five thousand distilleries, great and small! Great numbers of farmers manufactured their grain Into spirits and wagoned it over the mountains to exchange for supplies.
Washington, now thoroughly convinced that further temporising with the wrong was inexcusable, issued his proclamation requiring the insurgents to disperse, and those opposing the laws to desist. This effected nothing,
when he issued a second, calling upon the States of Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania for 13,000 troops to suppress the rebellion.* This was the beginning of the end. The insurgents, apparently appalled by the President's well understood purpose to arrest and hang every man found in arms, called a Convention at Parkinson's Ferry, and there adopted resolutions of entire submission. The troops proceeded to the seat of trouble, under command of Gov. Lee, of Virginia, when the excise officers entered, with but occasional signs of opposition, upon their duties. Lee proclaims an amnesty, and the matter ended by Pennsylvania whiskey contributing essentially to enhance the revenues of the country.
THE ALIEN AND SEDITION
During the administration of John Adams the country was visibly affected by the French Revolution, whose terrible tragedy was then being enacted. It created, in America, a strong party, in sympathy with the revolutionists, notwithstanding the French Directory had, with reckless impudence, preyed upon our commerce, insulted our foreign agents, and refused liquidation for authenticated claims. Jefferson was, from his long residence in France, and his strong sympathy with the ultra-democratic idea, the virtual leader of the sympathisers in this country. Running for the Presidency he was beaten by Adams. This was construed by the French as a non-recognition, by this country, of their new government; they therefore rather
tensified their lawless course towards our commerce and ministers. Their organ, the Aurora, of Philadelphia, and its "anti-Federal" echoes throughout the country, became excessively insolent toward the "Federals," going so far in their malignant endeavors to excite the country against the party, as to heap lampoons even upon Washington's head. The French Directory refused to receive our minister, Mr. Pinckney, and left no means untried for mortifying our representatives and for crippling our energies at home and
Adams and the Federalists wished, from the first, to preserve a neutrality in regard to the wars in Europe; but, the violence of the French sympathisers here, and the continued persecutions of our commerce by the French, left no alternative, apparently, but to resent not only French indignities, but also to place the large number of foreign malcontents, seeking by their immeasurable libels to stir up sedition, under the restraints of law.
Acting under the impulses of the prevailing excitement against this revolutionary foreign element, the question was raised whether the safety of the country did not demand that such foreign residents in the United States as were known to give aid to external enemies should not be banished; while, to protect the President, Congress, and public officers from the atrocious falsehoods and libels put forth day by day, it was proposed to pass a Sedition law which should meet the
The question was finally met in Congress by the passage of three acts.
The first was an amendment to the naturali
in-zation act, extending the previous residence to fourteen years, and requiring five years previous declaration of intention to become a citizen. A register was also kept of all aliens resident in the country.
It was not until February 28th, 1795, that Congress passed the act to empower the President to call out troops in certain emergencies, under which law Mr. Lincoln acted in 1861. Washington really exceeded his authority; but, Congress not being in session for the moment, he was compelled to act and look to the people and to Congress for his justi
fication. Congress justified him by the passage of the act referred to, which was then designed to meet
all such cases of danger occurring during the ad
journment of the Legislative Body. Mr. Lincoln, in availing himself of that act, did not exceed its powers in calling 75,000 men" to suppress said combinations and to cause the laws to be duly respected."
A second act, limited to two years, gave the President authority to order out of the country all such aliens as he might deem dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States.
By a third act, in case of declaration of war all natives or citizens of the hostile nation were liable to be apprehended or removed.
These acts produced extreme excitement. The second, familiarly called the Alien Act, was strenuously opposed in the House, and