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to both parties of this constant oversight, the small country stills not situated in any town or village, were to pay an annual rate of sixty cents per gallon on the capacity of the still. All casks containing spirits not properly branded and certified were liable to forfeiture. Pennsylvania at that time manufactured great quantities of whiskey. Indeed, it was manufactured liberally by all the States, and became so common as a beverage as to be regarded one of the actual necessaries of life. Its tax, and consequent enhancement of cost to the consumer, created as much feeling as if flour and bacon were to become agents in replenishing an exhausted treasury. But, in Pennsylvania, west of the Alleghany mountains, the excitement soon assumed the tone of a menace. In that particular section the chief grain grown was rye, which, in the shape of whiskey, could be transported to the East and be exchanged for every needed commodity. Whiskey thus became a kind of currency. To tax it was regarded as an arbitrary assumption which it was as just and necessary to repudiate as to resist the tea and stamp tax imposed by the British Parliament.
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 success gave the insurrectionists a clear field. They proceeded to extremes in their violence against all who upheld the law. The mail was robbed and letters were read to obtain evidence of complicity with government, on the part of citizens. The insurgents summoned the militia, and seven thousand men answered the call. Col. Cook, one of the Judges of Fayette County, was
This feeling became so general that, in the four western counties of the State named, combinations were entered into by the distillers and the people to resist, by force, the collection of the tax. The first step was to warn away the collectors; next, to forbid the inspectors from entering any distillery, public or private.* Indignities were, consequently, freely visited upon the "minions of the law." Johnson, collector for Alleghany, was seized, shaved, tarred and feathered, and driven outside 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 | 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 abroad.
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
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
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 in-zation act, extending the previous residence to
* 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 justification. 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 adjournment 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."
The question was finally met in Congress by the passage of three acts.
The first was an amendment to the naturali
fourteen years, and requiring five years pre-
A second act, limited to two years, gave the
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
OF FORMER only passed by a vote of 46 to 40. Neither this act nor the third, however. were enforced, it being left to the discretion of the President to do so or not. They served, nevertheless, the good effect of starting from our shores three ships' loads of Frenchmen, whose presence in America had given great offence. Among the number was Volney, the revolutionist and infidel.
June 26th, 1798, Mr. Lloyd, of Maryland, introduced the Sedition law to Congress. After various amendments and much opposisition, it passed. It provided: First, that it is a high misdemeanor, punishable by fine, not exceeding five thousand dollars, for any persons to conspire against the government of the United States to impede the operation of the law, or to commit, advise or attempt to procure any insurrection, riot, unlawful assembly or combination. The second section subjected to a fine, not exceeding two thousand dollars, the publishing of any false, scandalous or malicious writings against the government of the United States, or either house of Congress, or the President, with intent to defame them or bring them in disrepute, or to excite against them the hatred of the people of the United States, or to stir up sedition, or to excite any unlawful combination for opposing any law of the United States, or to encourage any hostile designs of any foreign nation against the United States. The act was to continue in force until June 25th, 1800.
These acts called forth the most determined opposition from the "anti-Federalists," who regarded them as unconstitutional and highly offensive. As the Alien law was not enforced, and as the Sedition law terminated by limitation in less than two years, it is evident that it was not the laws themselves which offended so much, as the principle involved. They gave occasion, therefore, for Jefferson's celebrated "Resolutions of '98," introduced by George Nicholas, into the Kentucky Legislature. The original draft of these resolutions, in Jefferson's own hand-writing, is yet preserved. As introduced by Nicholas, however, some of its more objectionable sections were mc dified.
The original draft began with a resolution that the Federal Government is a compact between the States, as States, by which is
created a general government for special purposes, each State reserving to itself the residuary mass of power and right, and that, as in other cases of compact between parties, having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well as of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress. Then followed five resolutions, practically applying to the acts of the last Congress-this alleged right of the States to judge of infractions and their remedy, not merely as a matter of opinion, but officially and constitutionally as parties to the compact, and as the foundation of important legislation. These three acts were severally to punish counterfeiters of bills of the United States Bank, the Sedition Law and the Alien Law— all of which, for various reasons assigned, were successively pronounced "not law, but altogether void and of no force." The Senators and members of Kentucky were directed to lay these resolutions before the two Houses of Congress, and the Governor was also instructed to transmit the resolutions to the legislatures of the several States, to whom an earnest appeal was made for a concurrence with Kentucky in requesting the repeal of the obnoxious laws, and declaring them void and of no force. This was the shape in which, with only two or three dissenting votes, the resolutions passed the Kentucky Legislature on the 14th of November, 1798.
The same sentiments were embodied in resolutions introduced by Madison to the Virginia Legislature, Dec. 24th, 1798. A month later they were sent out to the several States accompanied by an address.
All however ended here. None of the States responded favorably to the resolutions; but, on the contrary, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont disavowed the doctrine set up of a right in the State Legislatures to decide upon the validity of acts of Congress. The reply of Massachusetts likewise maintained the constitutionality of the Alien and Sedition laws as being justified by the exigency of the moment, and the power of Congress to provide for the common defence.
Mr. Everett says:-"But the resolutions did their work-all they were intended or
expected to do—by shaking the administra- | ing that the Federalists should pass from
tion. At the ensuing election, Mr. Jefferson, at whose instance the entire movement was made, was chosen President by a very small majority; Mr. Madison was placed at the head of his administration as Secretary of State; the obnoxious laws expired by their own limitation; and Mr. Jefferson proceeded to administer the Government upon constitutional principles quite as lax, to say the least, as those of his predecessors."
These resolutions we have referred to at seemingly unnecessary length; but, as they contain the germ of all the ideas since advanced of the right of a State to interpretto adopt or nullify-the laws of Congress, they deserve especial attention. They were simply acted upon and repeated by the traitorous Hartford Convention-were simply reproduced by South Carolina in her Nullification Ordinance of 1832, and put in practice by the revolutionists of 1860, as will be shown.
power rather than contribute one vote to the election of a person as base as Burr. That opposition defeated the ambitious aspirant, and Hamilton paid the penalty of his life for the part he had acted. Burr challenged him to mortal combat, and, by avoiding every possibility of a settlement, forced the unwilling Hamilton to place his body as a target for the unerring weapon of his implacable adversary. They met July 11th, 1804. Burr took most deliberate aim and shot his antagonist. Hamilton did not fire at all, as he proposed, though his pistol exploded from the convulsive motion of his finger on the trigger when Burr's ball struck his bosom. Burr fled, and the execrations of a nation followed him. He sought a brief residence, "until the storm should pass over," in the Southern States, where a successful duelist ever has a passport to public and private favor. From thence he journeyed back to Washington to preside over the Senate. In Virginia he had a most enthusiastic public
THE CONSPIRACY OF AARON BURR, reception. At the same time two warrants
were out for his arrest as a murderer, one in New York and one in New Jersey. At Wash
Aaron Burr came within one vote of being ington he was received, Parton* says, with
the Democratic President of the United States.
His competitor, Jefferson, finally obtained the casting vote of Mr. Bayard, Federalist, of Delaware. He thereupon became President, and Burr Vice-President. The history of that seven days balloting is one of the most remarkable episodes in that day of intrigues, of plots and counterplots. It shows Burr to have been a subtle, unscrupulous and perfectly immobile man-one well fitted for "stratagems, treasons and spoils." Burr served the one term with ability, plotting a stroke for the Presidency. But, the Democracy found reason to distrust him, and named George Clinton, of New York, as their candidate for VicePresident Mr. Jefferson standing for his second term as Chief Magistrate. Burr, not to be thwarted, and hoping to heap confusion upon his opponents, avowed himself an independent candidate for the Gubeanatorial chair of New York, and would have defeated opposition had he not been so thoroughly distrusted. Alexander Hamilton cast his great influence against the intriguer-prefer
more deference than usual. The President, he says, even gave one or two appointments to his (Burr's) friends-one, General Wilkinson, being made Governor of the Territory of Louisiana. He sought to make good use of this appointment afterward, but eventually found a betrayer in him whom he had sought to promote.
The summer of 1805 Burr spent in the West and South, in quest of a new home where his energies might find full play. If he had conceived any definite plan of revolution, at that time, it is not known. The summer was passed merely in observation and visiting, from Pittsburg all along the river down to New Orleans, making two visits to Nashville, Tenn. At all places he was the welcomed guest of leading men, and, profiting by their knowledge and influence, gained such information as he desired in regard
See Parton's Life of Burr, chapter XVI. Also, Randall's Life of Jefferson, Vol. II., Chap. IX.
HISTORY OF FORMER
During the entire summer of 1806 the West teemed with reports of Burr's designs upon the South; but, notwithstanding many men were in his service as soldiers and assistants, and that boats lay at Marietta loaded with provisions and military stores, none knew aught of the destination of the expedition— not even the men embarked in it! Gen. Wilkinson alone appeared to be in the secret. With him Burr was in constant correspondence, in cypher; but Wilkinson, in his labored defence against the charges of complicity with Burr, denied any knowledge of his real designs until at a late period, when he immediately divulged them, and aided Government, by his duplicity and his fears, to arrest the adventurer.
In the fall of 1806 the "Monarch of an un
to the resources and population of the country as well as of the feeling of the people toward the Union and toward Spain, then still in possession of the country lying west of the Mississippi. During the fall of 1805 he returned to Washington, and was well received, being dined by Mr. Jefferson. He spent the winter in Washington and Philadelphia; but, what he was doing is not fully known further than what was afterwards betrayed by Gen. Eaton, then recently returned from the Mediterranean. To him he divulged the fact of his contemplated expedition against Mexico, and thus secured a promise of his co-operation. He also developed a project for revolutionizing the Western country, establishing a monarchy, organizing a force of ten or twelve thousand volunteers, and, finally, securing the co-operation of the marine corps at Washing-defined realm" was arrested in Kentucky, by ton and gaining over Truxton, Preble, Deca-order of government; and, through the vigitur and others; he then intended to turn lance of that remarkable man, Col. Joe DaCongress out of doors, assassinate the Presi- viess, was brought to trial. Henry Clay acted dent, seize on the Treasury and Navy, and for the defence, upon the solemn assurance of declare himself the Protector of an energetic Burr that he meditated no enterprise or act government. It is to be doubted, however, contrary to the laws and the peace of the if these really were well concerted plans of land. By bastening the trial ere important Burr. He doubtless adverted to them as witnesses could be produced, Burr was acquitwhat might and ought to be. They prove, ted. Joe Daviess opposed the tide of public at most, that the fertile brain of the conspi- sentiment in prosecuting Burr, but his sagarator was meditating some grand enterprise, city was not to be deceived-he read in the worthy even of his master skill. Eaton, it is adventurer's very eyes his subtle and dansaid, was satisfied that his friend was a dangerous nature; and, though he failed to congerous man. He accordingly waited upon the President, and made a partial revelation of the facts, suggesting the propriety of appointing Burr to some foreign mission to "keep him out of mischief."
In 1806 Burr again went West, making his head quarters at Blannerhassett's Island, in the Ohio River, a few miles below Marietta. The owner of the island, a reckless and rather shiftless Irishman, had become a partner in the "enterprise" to the extent of embarking his entire fortune-in what? He confesses he did not know, only that, by floating down the Mississippi, he was to float into prosperity, and Lady Blannerhassett was to become more than a lady. It was proven, on their trial in Richmond, that the too-credu lous Irishman never knew that he had committed or was to commit treason against the Government of the United States.
vict, and injured his own personal popularity greatly by the determined character of the prosecution-persecution it was called by Clay-he had the satisfaction of seeing all his prophecies, regarding the man, fully verified.
After acquittal, Burr hastened from Frankfort to the Ohio river, and passed down stream with his flats and companionsin-adventure-among whom were Blannerhassett and his wife. But a few days after his departure Jefferson's proclamation, denouncing the expedition, was received at Frankfort-much to Clay's mortification and Daviess' regret. The boats still at Marietta were seized, and Blannerhassett's island was occupied by United States militia; but Burr had escaped down the Mississippi.
In January, 1807, the flotilla of Burr arrived at Bayou Pierre, on the Lower Missis