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eloquence, nor of luxuriant mind. His speeches were short and to the purpose."
On the 5th of November, the second session of the eighth Congress was begun, and the president's message was read in the House, on the 8th of November. It congratulated our countrymen, as "a people who sincerely desired the happiness and prosperity of other nations," and who " iustly
calculated that their own wellbeing was advanced by that of the nations with which they had intercourse," and on the fact that the war in Europe had not extended more widely, nor become more destructive. It treated principally of the foreign relations of the Union; of the arrangements respecting Louisiana, the dealings recently commenced with the Indians, and treaties concluded with some of their tribes and awaiting the constitutional sanctions; of the gunboat scheme ;* and of the revenue. In respect to this last subject, the president remarked; "It is also ascertained that the revenue, accrued during the last year, exceeds that of the preceding; and the probable receipts of the ensuing year may safely be relied on as sufficient, with the sum in the treasury,f to meet all the current demands of the year, to discharge upwards of three millions and a half of the engagements incurred under the
* For Mr. Tucker's remarks on this much ridiculed plan for defending the harbors of the country and protecting commerce, see his "Life of Jefferson" voL ii., pp. 174-76. The subject will come up again in a subsequent chapter.
t The receipts in the treasury for the year, had been $11,500,000, from which $8,600,000 had been paid in discharge of the debt
British and French conventions, and to advance, in the further redemption of the funded debt, as rapidly as had been contemplated."
The message was concluded in the following terms: "In the discharge of the great duties confided to you by our country, you will take a broader view of the field of legislation:—whether the great interests of agriculture, manufactures, commerce, or navigation, can, within the pale of your constitutional powers, be aided in any of their relations? Whether laws are provided in all cases where they are wanting? Whether those provided are exactly what they should be? Whether any abuses take place in their administration, or in that of the public revenue? Whether the organization of the public agents, or of the public force, is perfect in all its parts? In fine, whether any thing can be done to advance the general good?—are questions within the limits of your functions, which will necessarily occupy your attention. In these and all other matters, which you in your wisdom may propose for the good of our country, you may count with assurance on my hearty co-operation and faithful execution."
The republican majority in Congress was now so considerable that "freedom of debate" was nearly impossible; every affair of importance being determined by the supporters of the administration in private caucus, before it was brought under the notice of the legislature. The consequence of such a procedure was, necessarily, that Con gress was more largely influenced by party considerations and party pledges,
than by the force of sound reason and sober discussion.
Early in December, according to the vote of the preceding session, the House proceeded to prepare articles of impeachment against Samuel Chase, one of the judges of the supreme court, and to the appointment of managers to conduct the business on its behalf, before the Senate. The articles of impeachment were eight in number; and they charged the accused with "arbitrary, oppressive, and unjust" conduct in the trial of John Fries; with several breaches of the law at the trial of Callender; with "manifest injustice, partiality, and intemperance;" with addressing to the Grand Jury, in May, 1803, "an intemperate and inflammatory political harangue;" etc. John Randolph and five others were appointed as managers.
On the 10th of December, they proceeded to the trial, and on the 2d of January, Judge Chase appeared at the bar of the Senate, and asked to be allowed to the first day of the next term to put in his answer. The request was refused, and he was required to answer the charges on the 4th of February, by a vote of twenty-two to eight. The Senate assembled on that day; and the accused judge addressed the court in answer to the articles exhibited against him. A replication in form was made to his answer, and on the 7th, the Senate proceeded to the trial. From that time until the 20th, the court was engaged in the examination of witnesses; and on that day the argument was opened by Messrs. Early and two others on the
part of the managers. They were replied to by Messrs. Hopkinson, Martin, and others, the counsel for the accused, and Messrs. Rodney, Nicholson and Randolph, the other managers, closed the argument on the 27th of February.
The trial excited intense interest through, the country, and it was confidently expected that the accused would be convicted. Burr, though under indictment for the murder of Hamilton, presided at the trial with a dignity and confidence becoming a better man; and much disappointment was shown by the dominant party that the defence was conducted with ability quite superior to that displayed by the prosecution. On Friday, the 1st of March, the court decided on the articles seriatim, and each member answered to each charge separately. Upon the first article of the impeachment sixteen pronounced him guilty, while eighteen said not guilty / on the second, there were ten of the former, against twentyfour of the latter; on the third and fourth, the numbers on the first article were exactly reversed; on the fifth, he was unanimously acquitted; only four condemned him under the sixth article, and thirty declared him innocent; the vote on the seventh was the same as that on the second; and on the eighth, nineteen voted guilty, against but fifteen voting not guilty.
The result was, in consequence, an acquittal; and Burr,—to the delight of the federalists, and the chagrin of his own party, who had disowned him, summed up the whole in these words :— "There not being a constitutional majority on any one article, it becomes my
1805. duty to pronounce, that Samuel Chase, Esquire, is acquitted on the articles of impeachment exhibited against him by the House of Representatives."*
The keen disappointment at this unlooked-for result was manifested on more than one occasion. On the very afternoon of the day on which Judge Chase was acquitted, John Randolph, by resolution, proposed an amendment to the Constitution; by which, any federal judge should be removed on the joint address of both Houses of Congress, and the resolution was carried by a vote of sixty-eight to thirty-three. Mr. Tucker points out several other instances in which the republican majority displayed its chagrin at this acquittal and their own defeat in the matter of the judiciary.
During the present session of Congress, laws were passed for the purpose of preventing the hostile and predatory acts of persons on board of foreign vessels in the harbors and ports of the United States; and for regulating the clearance of armed American merchant vessels. The other subjects which principally engaged the attention of Congress, were, the acts providing for the government of the territory of New Orleans, and the District of Columbia. An amendatory act respecting the Yazoo claims was debated for several days, and finally passed by a small majority.f
During the autumn of 1804, the elec
* Mr. Benton has given this trial quite at large, taken from the report prepared at the time hy two competent short-hand writers: "Abridgement of the Debates of Congress" voL iii., pp. 173-284.
t See Benton's " Abridgement of the Debates of Conqrfxs," voL iii., pp. 315-38.
tions for president and vice-president were held, and the manifest superiority of the republican strength was plainly demonstrated. Mr. Jefferson for president, and George Clinton for vice-president, received all the votes of New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, the two Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio, with nine out of the eleven given by Maryland; in all, one hundred and sixty-two votes. On the other side, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Rufus King, the federalist candidates^ received only the votes of Connecticut and Delaware, with two from Maryland: in all no more than fourteen*
On the 3d of March, the eighth Congress closed its career, and the first term of Mr. Jefferson's service reached its conclusion. His biographer, with admiring zeal, sums up the labors of the president, during the past four years, in the following' words:
. • . 1§05.
"With this session, closed Mr. Jefferson's first presidential term, in which time he had, by a steady course
* The president remarks upon this result, in a letter to Volney, in February, 1805. "A word now," he says, "on our political state. The two parties which prevailed with so much violence when you were here, are almost wholly melted into one. At the late presidential election, I have received one hundred and sixtytwo votes against fourteen only. . . Though the people in mass have joined us, their leaders had committed themselves too far to retract Pride keeps them hostile: they brood over their angry passions, and give them vent in the newspapers which they maintain. They still make as much noLso as if they were the whole nation. Unfortunately, these being the mercantile papers, published chiefly in the seaports, are the only ones which find their way to Europe, and make very ialse impressions there."
of economy, reduced the public debt more than twelve millions, though he had at the same time lessened the taxes, and a host of revenue officers; had doubled the area of the United States, averted the dangers of war both with France and Spain, chastised the Tripolitans and made war with Algiers and Tunis; extinguished the title to a large and valuable tract of Indian lands, and promoted civilization among them. For
thus promoting the national prosperity, he was rewarded by the national favor, notwithstanding the unceasing virulence with which he had been assailed, as was evinced by the fact that he received a greater number of votes at the present election than in that of 1801.*"
* Tucker's "Life of Jefferson," voL ii., p. 180. John Randolph is still more enthusiastic in his admiration. See his life, by Garland, voL i., p. 198.
JEFFERSON'S SECOND INAUGURATION.
TWO YEARS OF JEFFERSON'S SECOND TERM.
The presidents second inaugural address — His position and^prospects—The ninth Congress — The president's me* sage — Confidential message respecting Spanish affairs — Course pursued by Spain — Pinckney and Monroe envoys to Spain — Unsuccessful in their mission —Action in Congress — Resolution appropriating money for the president to use as he 'wished — Debate in the House — Armstrong and Bowdoin sent as envoys—Imminence of war with Spain — The administration charged with paying thex $2,000,000 appropriation into the coffers of Napoleon — Mr. Tucker's reply — Relations with England unsatisfactory—Vessels of the United States seized and condemned — Carrying trade broken up — American seamen impressed by British officers—Remarks of the president in his message — Course pursued by Congress — Views of the parties — Criminations and recriminations — The question of the right of Congress to appropriate money for internal improvements — What was done in Congress — Proposal to lay a tax upon slaves imported into the United States —Further attempt respecting the judiciary — State of parties in the House — Discussion as to the successor of Jefferson in the presidential chair — Madison and Monroe prominent—John Randolph's course—Mr. Jefferson's letters and views — Aaron Burr and his schemes — Course adopted by the president—His proclamation—Opening of Congress—The message — Daring attempt to suspend the habeas corpus act — The conspiracy of Burr—His trial — The details—Burr escapes conviction — Remarks on his career.
On the 4th of March, 1805, it was the pleasing duty of Thomas Jefferson again to address his fellow-citizens, before entering upon the duties and responsibilities of his second term of service as president of the United States. In style and language the second Inaugural address is hardly equal to the first; yet it evinces the powers of mind,
and the political sentiments of its author,
Having thus, as he deemed :t right
and proper, entered into a vindication of his administration, and congratulated the people on the prospects of peaceful and harmonious counsels and acts in the future, the president took again the oath of office, and entered with high hopes upon the duties of his lofty position. In the interval between the inauguration and the meeting of Congress, he sought relief from public cares and toils, in attending to his plantations and his slaves; and in the circle of his private friends, and family, whom he could assemble at Monticello. In October, he returned to Washington; "and perhaps," says his biographer, "he never felt so forcibly the transition from rural quiet, and the pure pleasures of domestic intercourse, to the feverish anxieties of the statesman, as on the present occasion. His course, dming the first four years that he had held the helm, had been singularly prosperous; and if he had not always met with a smooth sea, he had been able to continue his course over it by the strong gale of his popularity; but from this time he met with adverse winds and opposing currents which greatly impaired the comfort of the voyage, and in some degree its suc
The ninth Congress commenced its first session on the 2d of December. The republicans were decidedly in the majority, yet not so much so, as might have been supposed from the large vote by which Jefferson was placed a second time in the presidential chair. Indications were not wanting of a tendency to
* Tucker's "Life of Jefferson," voL ii., p. 184.
discord in the dominant party. The republicans from the south favored Varnum of Massachusetts, as a candidate for the speakership, in opposition to Macon, and the appointment of the latter was not secured, except by a very slender majority, and at the third ballot. The federalists hoped to secure a man of their own stamp, John Cotton Smith, in consequence of this variance, but were not strong enough to accomplish their aim.
The next day, the president sent in his message. It commenced with a passage respecting the "health laws," suggested by "the affliction of two of our cities, under the fatal fever, which in latter times has occasionally visited our shores;" and next it expatiated upon the unfriendly aspect of the relations of the Union with various foreign states, especially with Spain. The treaties formed, or being negotiated with several of "our Indian neighbors," and the progress they were making towards civilization, were properly noted. The expedition of Lewis and Clarke was adverted to; and a large addition to the number of gun-boats was suggested. The receipts for the year had been upwards of $13,000,000, from which $2,000,000 had been paid under the British treaty and convention, and $4,000,000 of the debt, leaving a balance of $5,000,000 in the treasury. Various recommendations were made in regard to the organization of the militia, the navy, etc.; and the message closed with a renewed and "public assurance, that he would exert his best endeavors to administer faithfully the executive department, and would zeal