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quent outbursts of the poet's imagination, that it was remarked of them by their friends, that, from 1789 to the end of their lives, neither Robert Lewis, nor Thomas Nelson, were ever known to evince the slightest taste for poetry."*

The first care of the president was directed to the attainment of such a knowledge of the state of the governmental affairs under the Articles of Confederation, as would enable him to administer properly the executive department. While Congress was making the necessary arrangements for the new government, the old institutions continued, and to the temporary heads of departments the president turned to obtain this information. Their reports showed that there was ample room for the exercise of all the firmness, integrity, and talents of even Washington himself. Another man would have shrunk back in despair at the prospect which now presented itself to Washington, only to call forth his energy in surmounting its difficulties. There were very many objects to be contemplated, the documents respecting which could not be found in the official records. The conflict respecting the Constitution had been so sharp and exciting as to engender much animosity, and though its friends formed a majority of the people, two states still remained out of the Union, and the discontent and ill-feeling existing in the others required the utmost circumspection on the part of the administration. In the west, there appeared a disposition to separate from the confederacy, in order to obtain certain advantages, which, it was supposed, would be granted to a separate republic in the west, but which Congress would not be able to obtain. British agents suggested that if the people there would separate themselves from their Atlantic brethren, the aid of the governor of Canada would be afforded them in seizing and fortifying the Balize, at the mouth of the Mississippi, against the power of Spain, whose capricious agents frequently denied the right of navigating that river, and interdicted commerce with New Orleans. Spain also had her agents employed in tampering with the people of the west. They suggested that the Mississippi afforded the only highway by which the produce of the west could reach the markets of the world, that the future wealth and prosperity of that section of country depended upon its free navigation, and intimated that that which would be readily accorded to an independent empire established in the interior, could never be granted to them while they remained connected with the Atlantic states. The animosity felt against England by the inhabitants generally, precluded * National Intelligencer.

all fears from her machinations, but those of Spain were more formidable.*

The Indian relations of the country also demanded consideration. The savage tribes were now far more formidable than they had been to the early colonists. Instructed first by the French in the use of firearms and swords, they had cast aside their primitive weapons before the Revolution commenced, and during its continuance they had acquired no little knowledge of discipline. They had always been possessed of natural courage, and they nearly supplied by superior cunning what they lost by their inferiority in bodily strength when compared with the descendants of the Europeans. In the south, the Creek Indians, whose fighting men amounted to six hundred, were at war with Georgia. Their chief was a halfbreed named McGillivray, whose feelings against the colonists were embittered by the confiscation of the property of his father, a white man who had been a Tory. The state of Georgia claimed a tract of land on the Oconge River, under a purchase which the Indians denied to be valid. The northern Indians were supposed to be able to bring five thousand fighting men into the field, and of these nearly one third were at open war with the United States, and the residue far from friendly. The regular force of the states numbered less than six hundred men. In addition to the policy of accommodating differences by negotiation which the government was in no condition to terminate by the sword, a real respect for the rights of the natives, and a regard for the claims of justice and humanity, disposed the President to remove all causes of quarrel by treaties, and his message to Congress on this subject evinced his preference of pacific measures.

With the different nations of Europe, the United States were at peace, but there existed controversies of a delicate nature with some of them, which, it was feared, would involve the infant republic in serious difficulties. Spain not only denied the right to navigate the Mississippi, but claimed a large territory as her property under the title of an alleged conquest from Great Britain, the extent of which could not be precisely ascertained. An attempt on the part of the old government to settle the matter by treaty had failed, and all the watchfulness and prudence of the executive was necessary to resist the violent discontent of the western people, which furnished Spain with additional motives for perpetuating the evil of which they complained. The mutual ill-feeling between the people of the United States and the inhabitants of England led the colonists to consider

* Marshall.

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the commercial regulations of the British government as the offspring of jealousy, and induced them to look to the sinister influence of Britain for the cause of all their other troubles, and produced similar effects in England. The temper displayed on both sides, from the close of the Revolution until the formation of the new government, was such as to render the idea of a renewal of the war, at no distant period, far from improbable.

Frederic the Great of Prussia had been early applied to by the merican government, which solicited him to join in a treaty of neutrality, "as the monarch best calculated to set an example to the other powers of Europe." The admiration which the career and character of Washington had inspired in the bosom of the king, extended itself to the whole American nation: he acceded to their request without hesitation, and Franklin, Jefferson, and Adams,

concluded a treaty with the Prussian ambassadors at the Hague, in 1785, the terms and stipulations of which, based on considerations of the purest philanthropy, form a most honourable memorial of the good understanding between two of the most illustrious men of the age.

With Portugal, an attempt to conclude a commercial treaty had failed, and the Barbary powers manifested a hostile disposition. The emperor of Morocco, indeed, had concluded a treaty, and exhibited no intention of violating it, but peace was yet to be purchased from Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli.

During its first session, the national legislature was principally occupied in providing revenues for the long-exhausted treasury, in establishing a judiciary, in organizing the executive departments in detail, and in framing amendments to the Constitution, agreeably to the suggestion of the President. The members immediately entered upon the exercise of those powers so long refused under the Articles of Confederation. They imposed a tonnage duty as well as duties on various imported articles, steadily keeping in sight, however, the navigating interest of the country, which had hitherto been almost wholly at the mercy of other nations. Higher tonnage duties were imposed on foreign than on American bottoms, and goods imported in vessels belonging to citizens of the United States paid ten per cent. less duty than the same goods brought in those owned by foreigners. These discriminating duties were intended to counteract the commercial regulations of foreign nations, and encourage American shipping. To aid in the management of the affairs of government, three executive departments were established, styled Departments of War, Foreign Affairs, and of the Treasury, with a secretary at the head of each.

The heads of these departments, in addition to the duties specially assigned them, were intended to constitute a council, to be consulted by the President whenever he thought proper; and the executive was authorized by the Constitution to require the opinion, in writing, of the principal officers in the executive departments, on subjects relating to the duties of their offices. In framing the acts, constituting these offices, and defining their duties, it became an important subject of inquiry in what manner, or by whom these important officers could be removed from office. This was a question as new as it was momentous, and was applicable to all officers of executive appointment. In the long and learned debates on the subject, in Congress, there arose a very animated opposition to such a construction of the Constitution as to give this power to any

one individual. Whatever confidence might be placed in the chief magistrate then at the head of the government, equal confidence could not be expected in his successors, and it was contended that a concurrence of the Senate was as necessary and proper, in the removal of a person from office, as in his appointment. Some of the members of the House of Representatives were of opinion that they could not be removed without impeachment. The principal question, however, on which Congress was divided, was, whether they were removable by the President alone, or by the President, in concurrence with the Senate. A majority, however, in both houses, decided that this power was in the President alone. In the House, the majority in favour of this construction was twelve. This decision of a great constitutional question has been acquiesced in, and in its consequences has been of greater importance than almost any other since the establishment of the new government. From the manner in which this power has been exercised, it has given a tone and character to the executive branch of the government, not contemplated, it is believed, by the framers. of the Constitution, or by those who constituted the first Congress under it. It has greatly increased the influence and patronage of the President, and in no small degree made him the centre, around which the other branches of the government revolve.*

In a free country, where the private citizen has both the right and the inclination to take an interest in the public concerns, it is natural that political parties and civil contentions should arise. These will be more or less violent, angry, and hostile, according as a sense of common security from external dangers leaves no cause for united action, and little anxiety for the common peace. A natural consequence of this strife of parties is the exercise of the passions-pride, interest, vanity, resentment, gratitude—each contributing its share in irritating and prolonging the controversy. In the beginning of the Revolution, the people of the United States divided themselves into the two great classes of Whigs and Tories; then they again separated upon the question of absolute independence. Other questions arose during the war relative to its conduct, and the qualifications of the leaders of the army. Independence achieved, the minds of the people were agitated about the nature of the government, which all saw to be necessary for their own happiness, and for the better enabling them to prosecute with foreign countries peaceful negotiations, or the operations of war. Many saw, in too close a union, dangers as great and conse

* Pitkin.

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