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of war with France, Washington wrote to the President that he ought to have generals who were men of activity, energy, health, and “sound politics," carrying apparently his suspicion of the opposition even to disbelieving in them as 'soldiers. He repeated the same idea in a letter to McHenry, in which he said: "I do not conceive that a desirable set could be formed from the old generals, some having never displayed any talent for enter prise, and others having shown' à general opposition to the government, or predilection to French measures, be their present conduct what it may.".,
When the question arose in regard to the relative rank of the major-generals, Washington said to Knox: “No doubt remained in my mind that Colonel Hamilton was designated second in command (and first, if I should decline an acceptance) by the Federal characters of Congress; whence alone anything like a public sentiment relative thereto could be deduced.” He was quite clear that there was no use in looking beyond the confines of the Federal party for any public sentiment worth considering.' He had serious doubts also as to the advisability of having the opponents of the government in the army,' and wrote to McHenry on September 30, 1798, that brawlers against the government in certain parts of Virginia had suddenly become silent and were seeking commissions in the army.
“The motives ascribed to them are that in such a situation they would endeavor to divide and contaminate the army by
artful and seditious discourses, and perhaps at a critical moment bring on confusion. What weight to give to these conjectures you can judge as well as I. But as there will be characters enough of an opposite description who are ready to receive appointments, circumspection is necessary. Finding the resentment of the people at the conduct of France too strong to be resisted, they have in appearance adopted their sentiments, and pretend that, notwithstanding the misconduct of the government has brought it upon us, yet if an invasion should take place, it will be found that they will be among the first to defend it. This is their story at all elections and election meetings, and told in many instances with effect.” He wrote again in the same strain to McHenry, on October 21: “Possibly no injustice would be done, if I were to proceed a step further, and give it as an opinion that most of the candidates (for the army] brought forward by the opposition members possess sentiments similar to their own, and might poison the army by disseminating them, if they were appointed.” In this period of danger, when the country was on the verge of war, the attitude of the opposition gave Washington much food for thought because it appeared to him so false and unpatriotic. In a letter to Lafayette, written on Christmas day, 1798, he gave the following brief sketch of the opposition: “A party exists in the United States, formed by a combination of causes, which opposed the government in all its measures,
and are determined, as all their conduct evinces, by clogging its wheels indirectly to change the nature of it, and to subvert the Constitution. The friends of government, who are anxious to maintain its neutrality and to preserve the country in peace, and adopt measures to secure these objects, are charged by them as being monarchists, aristocrats, and infractors of the Constitution, which according to their interpretation of it would be a mere cipher. They arrogated to themselves . .. the sole merit of being the friends of France, when in fact they had no more regard for that nation than for the Grand Turk, further than their own views were promoted by it; denouncing those who differed in opinion (those principles are purely American and whose sole view was to observe a strict neutrality) as acting under British influence, and being directed by her counsels, or as being her pensioners.'
Shortly before this sharp definition was written, an incident had occurred which had given Washington an opportunity of impressing his views directly and personally upon a distinguished leader of the opposite party. Dr. Logan of Philadelphia, under the promptings of Jefferson, as was commonly supposed, had gone on a volunteer mission to Paris for the purpose of bringing about peace between the two republics. He had apparently a fixed idea that there was something very monstrous in our having any differences with France, and being somewhat of a busybody, although a most worthy
man, he felt called upon to settle the international complications which were then puzzling the brains and trying the patience of the ablest men in America. It is needless to say that his mission was not a success, and he was eventually so unmercifully ridiculed by the Federalist editors that he published a long pamphlet in his own defense. Upon his return, however, he seems to have been not a little pleased with himself, and he took occasion to call upon Washington, who was then in Philadelphia on business. It would be difficult to conceive anything more distasteful to Washington than such a mission as Logan's, or that he could have a more hearty contempt for any one than for a meddler of this description, who, by his interference might help to bring his country into contempt. He was sufficiently impressed, however, by Dr. Logan's call to draw up a memorandum, which gave a very realistic and amusing account of it. It may be surmised that when Washington wished to be cold in his manner, he was capable of being very freezing, and he was not very apt at concealing his emotions when he found himself in the presence of any one whom he disliked and disapproved. The memorandum is as follows: –
Tuesday, November 13, 1798. --Mr. Lear, my secretary, being from our lodgings on business, one of my servants came into the room where I was writing and informed me that a gentleman in the parlor below desired to see me; no name was
sent up. In a few minutes I went down, and found the Rev. Dr. Blackwell and Dr. Logan there. I advanced towards and gave my hand to the former; the latter did the same towards me. I was backward in giving mine. He, possibly supposing from hence that I did not recollect him, said his name was Logan. Finally, in a very cold manner, and with an air of marked indifference, I gave him my hand and asked Dr. Blackwell to be seated ; the other took a seat at the same time. I addressed all
conversation to Dr. Blackwell; the other all his to me, to which I only gave negative or affirmative answers as laconically as I could, except asking him how Mrs. Logan did. He seemed disposed to be very polite, and while Dr. Blackwell and myself were conversing on the late calamitous fever, offered me an asylum at his house, if it should return or I thought myself in any danger in the city, and two or three rooms, by way of accommodation. I thanked him slightly, observing there would be no call for it.”
"About this time Dr. Blackwell took his leave. We all rose from our seats, and I moved a few paces toward the door of the room, expecting the other would follow and take his leave also."
The worthy Quaker, however, was not to be got rid of so easily. He literally stood his ground, and went on talking of a number of things, chiefly about Lafayette and his family, and an interview with Mr. Murray, our minister in Holland. Washington, meanwhile, stood facing him, and to use