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place in the Union, among the United States of America.
On the 14th of February, the two Houses met in convention to count the votes given for president and vice-president. The Missouri question not then having been settled, some excitement was caused by the difference of view, as to whether the electoral votes offered by Missouri should be accepted and counted or not. A good deal of debate occurred to little purpose, the Senate having withdrawn; and on their return, by special invitation, the duty of counting the votes was proceeded with, and the result was announced, the votes of Missouri not being included. All the electoral votes, (excepting one from Massachusetts, bestowed upon John Quincy Adams,) were given to James Monroe for the presidency. The total number was two hundred and thirty-one. Daniel D. Tompkins received, for the vice-presidency, two hundred and eighteen votes, including those of all the states, except New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Maryland. Massachusetts gave eight of its votes to Stockton; Delaware gave all of its, four in number, to Rodney; Rush received one from New Hampshire; and Harper one from Maryland.
The financial distress of the country necessarily occupied a large share of the attention of Congress. The treasury became embarrassed, and the loan of the preceding session would not have helped the secretary to the end of the year, had not some of the public creditors been forbearing. A new loan was the first expedient proposed, and one
of $5,000,000, on Mr. Crawford's recommendation, was authorized. But this, without retrenchments, was insufficient. The reduction of the salaries of the executive and legislative departments of the government was proposed; but such a sacrifice was greater than could have been expected from the members of Congress; so, of course, all propositions of the kind were rejected. The army could, however, be reduced. The possibility of a renewal of the war with England seems to have lurked still in many ardent minds; and in addition to that, military glory, won so easily at New Orleans, appears to have not a little fascinated the spirits of the people. The officers of the army would, of course, resist the disbanding of it. But whatever the feelings were which had saved the military establishment, want of money made it absolutely necessary to disregard them, and four thousand, out of the ten which had been left when the war was over, were now dismissed to pacific and productive labor. Several of the officers resigned, and no more were retained than the actual strength of the regiments re quired. In addition to these measures half the annual appropriation for the maintenance of the navy was withdrawn; and the sums devoted to the construction and armament of fortifications was similarly reduced.
On the motion of Mr. Clay, an appropriation was made for sending a minister to one of the new states of South America, which clearly indicated the sentiments of Congress and the people in favor of recognizing the independence of those states. The necessary steps were also taken for carrying into effect the treaty by which Florida had been added to the possessions of the United States: $100,000 were
MONEOE AND TOMPKINS RE-ELECTED.
appropriated, and a board of three commissioners was appointed to settle existing claims under the treaty. Measures of relief for the public land debtors were adopted, as the president had suggested; by which $23,000,000, owing to the government, were extinguished, or in good part sacrificed; but the sales for the future were rendered bond fide, and fresh inducements were provided for both settlers and speculators of the honorable sort. A motion in the Senate to declare the sedition law of 1798 unconstitutional, and to repay the fines incurred under it, was lost; Congress thus affirming the authority of the federal courts, in respect to their decisions under this law. Propositions to establish a national system of education, by means of the revenue arising from the land sales; and for prohibiting the payment of government demands in bills of state banks, which issued notes of less than five dollars, were also rejected, and by decisive majorities.
On the 3d of March, the sixteenth Congress terminated its second session, and at the same time Mr. Monroe's first term of service expired. The great unanimity with which he had been reelected demonstrates, that the people generally were satisfied with his efforts, and devotion to the best interests of our country; and his prudence and discretion gave promise of his being equally successful in discharging the high and important duties again entrusted to his care.
The 4th of March falling on a Sunday this year, the president's inauguration took place the next day. The usual ceremonies were observed in the presence of an august assemblage, and Mr. Monroe delivered his second Inaugural address to a numerous company of friends and countrymen. It is a very long document, quite unostentatious, and, in a businesslike way, recites the principal incidents of his first administration, and indicates the resources of the country. The fortification of the sea-coast, and the augmentation of the navy; neutrality with regard to the new states in South America and their contests with foreign powers; negotiations with Great Britain, France, and other European nations; the removal of the Indian tribes "westward; the brilliant prospects of our country in the future; these and the like formed the staple of Mr. Monroe's address, and were not only adapted to the occasion but were received with approbation throughout the Union.
Among the earliest acts of the president after his inauguration, was the appointment, on the 10th of March, of General Jackson to be the governor of the newly-acquired territory of Florida. He was vested with "all the powers and authorities hitherto exercised by the governor and captain-general and intendant of Cuba, and by the governors of East and West Florida." Elijius Fromentin was appointed chief justice of the territory. About the middle of June, General Jackson arrived in Florida, and proceeded to take formal possession, in the name of the United States.
Fixing his head-quarters at Pensacola, he issued proclamations and ordinances for the government under his charge; but he speedily discovered, that the Spanish authorities were very reluctant to retire from their position, and were determined to embarrass him in every possible way. "Apprehending," says Monette, "a renewal of the evasions and artifices practised by the Spanish authorities, relative to the surrender of the Natchez District, in IT98, and relative to the factitious land-titles
of Louisiana, Governor Jackson determined, by prompt measures, to suppress any such attempt. Having been informed that the ex-governor, Calleva, was about to transmit to Havana certain documents and archives pertaining to land titles, in violation of the second article' of the treaty of cession, he made a peremptory demand for their surrender, as the property of the United States. The ex-governor refusing to obey the demand, Governor Jackson issued an order for his arrest and confinement in the calaboose, and the documents were seized and taken from his house, where they had been boxed up for shipment. The ex-governor was then released." Calleva, in the meantime, had obtained a writ of habeas corpus from Judge Fromentin, for his release; but General Jackson treated the writ very unceremoniously, and summoned the judge before him to answer for his conduct in the matter. Fromentin plead indisposition and did not appear, aud after much altercation between the governor and the judge, the subject was dropped, and the respective parties—Jackson, Fromentin, and
Calleva — published their statements and appeals in the newspapers.
The summary proceedings of General Jackson touched the Castilian pride to the quick, and some seven of the Spanish officers published in the Pensacola newspaper, a remonstrance against the governor's acts with regard to Calleva. Jackson, considering it an unwarrantable interference with his authority, and highly offensive in language, issued an order for their immediate departure from the country, on pain of imprisonment. Twelve of them were accordingly compelled to sail for Havana, with but little time allowed for settling up their affairs and disposing of their property.
A similar controversy occurred with the governor of East Florida, in relation to the archives of that province, and it was settled by Colonel Worthington, in October, in the same summary mode. The papers were seized and secured, and the Spaniards had no alternative but to submit to evident necessity. We may mention in this connection, that General Jackson retained his position till the following year, when the American population having increased so greatly as to include five thousand males, Florida was organized as a territory, in the first grade of territorial government.*
The president, on the 18th of Au
* Three years later, in 1825, it was entitled to enter on the second grade. The white settlements were for the most part clustered round Pensacola, St. Mark's, Tallahassee, (which had been selected as the seat of government,) and St Augustine; but the greater part of the country was still occupied by the native tribes of Indians,
gust, in conformity" with the joint resolution for the admission of Missouri, issued his proclamation, announcing the fact, that that state had complied with the terms prescribed in the resolution, and declaring the admission of Missouri to be now complete. The vexatious controversy connected with the question of Missouri, and the progress of slavery, was held to be settled on a permanent basis; but there were men of thought and perspicacity who even then doubted the soundness and value of the "compromise." Subsequent events in our history demonstrate, that the real question at issue has not been settled; and there are those who entertain the opinion, that it never will be settled on mutually satisfactory terms.
On the 3d of December, the seventeenth Congress commenced its first session.- In the Senate, now appeared for the first time, Samuel L. Southard, of New Jersey; Martin Van Buren, of New York; Thomas H. Benton, of Missouri; and Caesar A. Rodney, of Delaware. In the House, the republican members were amoncr the most distinguished of their party, such as Taylor, Sergeant, Randolph, Barbour, Cambreling, Walworth, Lowndes, etc. Henry Clay was not a member of this Congress; and Barbour was elected speaker by a small majority.
The president's fifth annual message was sent in the same day, and entered fully into the various questions requiring the attention of Congress. Its view of public affairs, abroad and at home, was encouraging, showing that there was a surplus in hand, by the help of the $5,000,000
loan; but, convinced that an increase of revenue would be necessary, the president recommended a moderate additional duty on certain articles*
Early in the session, a resolution was adopted calling upon the president for information relative to General Jackson's course in Florida and his disputes with Judge Fromentin, etc. The president's answer, with the documents, was sent in at the close of January, 1822, and after considerable debate, it was settled, that the House would not enter into any investigation, or cast censure upon General Jackson. The apportionment of Representatives under the fourth census came up in February, and after much time was wasted in fixing the ratio, it was finally determined that there should be one member for every forty thousand of the people; this increased the number of members to two hundred and thirteen. A general bankrupt law was again proposed, and warmly urged on various grounds; but being opposed by the southern and western members it was lost by a vote of ninety-nine to seventytwo. The tariff question gave rise to much discussion, and the standing committee on manufactures reported against the expediency of further protection to home manufactures. Provision was made for receiving subscriptions to a loan of $26,000,000, at five per cent.,
* Among the distinguished men who were removed by death at this date, we may make mention of Elias Boudinot, who died in 1821, aged eighty-two; and of William Pinkncy, aged fifty-seven; William Lowndes, aged forty-two; and General Stark, aged ninety-foar; who died in 1822.