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and patriotic feeling approved. Forms are in their way important things: they may conceal perils to liberty, or they may lend dignity and call forth respect to all that liberty holds most dear. The net result of all this business has been very curious. Jefferson's written message prevails; and yet at the same time we inaugurate our Presidents with a pomp and parade to which those of the dreaded Federalists seem poor and quiet, and which would make the hero of the message-in-writing fancy that the air was darkened by the shadows of monarchy and despotism. The author of the Declaration of Independence was a patriotic man and a lover of freedom, but he who fought out the Revolution in the field was quite as safe a guardian of American liberty; and his clear mind was never confused by the fantasies of that Parisian liberty which confused facts with names, and ended in the Terror and the first Empire. The people of the United States to-day surround the first office of the land with a respect and dignity which they deem equal to the mighty sovereignty that it represents, and in this is to be found the genuine American feeling that Washington expressed by the plain and simple ceremonial which he adopted for his meetings with the Congress. In this first speech, thus delivered, Washington indicated the subjects to which he wished Congress to direct their attention, and which in their development formed the policies of his administration. His first recommendation was to provide for the
common defence by a proper military establishment. His last and most elaborate was in behalf of education, for which he invoked the aid of Congress and urged the foundation of a national university, a scheme he had much at heart, and to which he constantly returned. The history of these two recommendations is soon told. Provision was made for the army, inadequate enough, as Washington thought, but still without dispute, and such additional provision was afterwards made from time to time as the passing exigency of the moment demanded. For education nothing was done, and the national university has never advanced beyond the recommendation of the first President. He also advised the adoption of a uniform standard of coinage, weights, and measures. In two years a mint was duly established after an able report from Hamilton, and out of his efforts and those of Jefferson came our decimal system. There was debate over the devices on the coins in which the ever-vigilant Jeffersonians scented monarchical dangers, but with this exception the country got its uniform coinage peacefully enough. The weights and measures did not fare so well. They obtained a long report from Jefferson, and a still longer and more learned disquisition from John Quincy Adams thirty years later. But that was all. We still use the rule of thumb systems inherited from our English ancestors, and Washington's uniform standard, except for the two reports, has gone no further than the national university.
Another recommendation to the effect that invention ought to be encouraged and protected bore fruit in this same year in patent and copyright laws, which became the foundation of our present system. The same good fortune befell the recommendation for a uniform rule for naturalization, and the law of 1790 was quietly enacted, no one then imagining that its alteration less than ten years later was destined to form part of a policy which, after a fierce struggle, settled the fate of parties and decided the control of the government. The post-office was also commended to the care of Congress, and for that as for the army, provision was duly made, insufficient at the outset, but growing steadily from this small beginning, as it was called upon to meet the spread and increase of population. Provision was also made gradually, and with much occasional conflict, for a diplomatic service such as the President advised. But this was merely the machinery to carry out our foreign policy on which, in a few years, our political history largely turned, and which will demand a chapter by itself. A paragraph devoted to Indian affairs informed Congress that measures were on foot to establish pacific relations with our savage neighbors, but that it would be well to be prepared to use force. This brief sentence was the beginning of an important policy, which, in its consequences and effects, played a large part in the history of the next eight years. These various matters thus disposed of, there remained only the request to the House to provide for the revenue and the public credit. From this came Hamilton's financial policy which created parties, and with it was interwoven in the body of the speech the general recommendation to make all proper effort for the advancement of manufactures, commerce, and agriculture. The speech as a whole, short though it was, drew the outline of a vigorous system, which aimed at the establishment of a strong government with enlarged powers. It cut at a blow all ties between the new government and the feeble strivings of the dead confederation. It displayed a broad conception of the duties of the government under the Constitution, and in every paragraph it breathed the spirit of a robust nationality, calculated to touch the people directly in every State of the Union. Before taking up the financial question, which became the great issue in our domestic affairs, it will be well to trace briefly the story of our relations with the Indians. The policy of the new administration in this respect was peculiarly Washington's own, and although it affected more or less the general course of events at that period, it did not directly become the subject of party differences. The “Indian problem” is still with us, but it is now a very mild problem indeed. Within a few years, it is true, we have had Indian wars, conducted by the forces of the United States, and ever-recurring outbreaks between savages and frontiersmen. But it has been a very distant business. To the great mass of the American people it has been little more than interesting news, to be leisurely scanned in the newspaper without any sense of immediate and personal concern. Moreover, the popular conception of the Indian has for a long time been wildly inaccurate. We have known him in various capacities, as the innocent victim of corrupt agents and traders, and as the brutal robber and murderer with the vices and force of the western frontiersman, without any of the latter's redeeming virtues. Last and most important of all, we have known him as the rare hero and the conventional villain of romance, ranging from the admirable stories of Cooper to the last production of the “penny dreadful.” The result has been to create in the public mind a being who probably never existed anywhere except in the popular imagination, and who certainly is not the North American Indian. We are always loath to admit that our conceptions are formed by fiction, but in the case of people remote from our daily observation it plays in nine instances out of ten a leading part, and it has certainly done so here. In this way we have been provided with two types simple and well defined, which represent the abnormally good on the one hand and the inconceivably bad on the other. The Indian hero is a person of phenomenal nobility of character, and of an ability which would do credit to the training of a highly refined civilization. He is the product of the orator, the novelist,