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closed without other occurrences of great magnitude. The last session of the second Congress was violent and impassioned, and the members separated in a state of great irritation ; but neither they nor their constituents had as yet impeached the motives of the President, yet it was evident that, if he should remain at the head of government, his reputation must soon pass the ordeal of party conflict. He had determined to decline being a candidate of the presidency at a second election, and to this purpose, had written a valedictory address to the American people; but the critical state of the country, and the urgent intreaties of his friends induced him to relinquish the determination.
General Washington re-elected President-State of Parties–Di.
vision in the Cabinet—The President endeavours to promote union- Influence of the French Revolution - Measures to secure the Neutrality of the United States in the War between France and England Mr. Genet's illegal practices He insults the Government--- The Executive restricts him-He appeals to the People-They support the Administration The President determines to arrest Genet-He is recalled-Negotiation with Britain--Insurrection in Pennsylvania-Democratic Societies
British Treaty--Communication between the French Executive and the Legislature of the United States—The President refuses to the House of Representatives the Papers respecting Diplomatic transactions--His interpositions in favour of the Marquis La Fayette Takes the Son of the Marquis under his Protection and Patronage.
1793-7.] WHEN the constitutional period arrived for the re-election of a President, it appeared, that General Washington had a second time the unanimous suffrage of his country for this exalted office. He entered upon its duties in the prospect, that the administration of the governi. ment would be attended with accumulated difficulty.
The character of the American patriot is with :: - reluctance blended in these pages with events of
a local or temporary nature. It is painful to reflect, that his fair fame was even for a moment sullied by the foul breath of calumy, The pen is
indignant to record charges against his honour and his patriotism ; charges which their authors knew to be unfounded, and which were made only to answer the purposes of a party. But it is impossible to pourtray the wisdom, the firmness and prudence which were displayed during his second presidency, or to shew the good fortune which attended it, without bringing into distinct view the circumstances under which he acted. With out a knowledge of the difficulties which he surmounted, and the opposition which he conquered, posterity will have no adequate conception of the merits of this period of his administration.
The difference of political opinion' arising from pursuits of personal ambition, from discordant views of national and state policy, and from the danger to be apprehended from the encroachments of democracy, or from the abuse of power in the constituted government, had, since the establishment of the federal constitution, regularly increased in strength and asperity. It had appeared in all the important debates of Congress, had pervaded every part of the United States, and under its influence, two political parties were by this time fully established, and nearly balanced; the one the, warm advocates, the other the determined opponents of the measures of the government.
Although the President had readily given his sanction to those acts of the government which had agitated in the highest degree the passions of parties, yet there was that in his character which forbid his political enemies to denominate him the head of a party. He had strong hold of the affections and confidence of the great mass of his countrymen, and the most daring of the oppositionists thought it as yet impolitic to assail his patriotism; but a crisis was evidently approaching, when he would be necessitated to put his personal influence to hazard, to subject himself to the obloquy of a virulent party, and to sustain the assault of disappointed ambition. .. Unfortunately the spirit of political controversy and division, which agitated the nation, entered the cabinet of the Executive, and discovered itself in almost every important subject that was submitted to their discussion. Owing to constitutional complexion of mind, or to general habits of reflection, Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Hamilton were directly opposed to each other on almost all important national questions. This opposition being frequently warmed by the collision of debate, finally settled into implacable political and personal animosity. The President noticed this hostility between his counsellors with grief and mortification ; and unwilling to part with either, he endeavoured to reconcile them. In a letter addressed to the Secretary of State in August 1792, after stating the critical situation of the United States with respect to foreign nations, he thus feelingly touched upon the animosity that existed in the cabinet. ." How unfortunate, how much to be regretted then, that while we are encompassed on all sides with avowed enemies, and insidious friends, internal dissensions should be harrowing and tear.
ing our vitals. The last, to me, is the most se..rious, the most alarming, and the most afflicting
of the two; and without more charity for the
"My earnest wish and fondest hope therefore
the goodly fabric we have been erecting. -
observations, to any particular person or charac-