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The faction opposed to government insidiously attempted to obstruct the execution of the orders of the President, but without effect; the community expressod unequivocally the determination to support the government, and to execute the laws. The personal insluence of Governour Mifflin surmounted the obstructions which arose from the insufficiency of the militia laws of Pennsylvania ; the officers and men of the respective States obeyed the summons with an alacrity that exceeded the expectation of the most sanguine , and the required number of troops was seasonably in readiness to obey the orders of the Commander in Chief.
The command of the expedition was given to Go: vernour Lee of Virginia, and the Governours of Penn sylvania and New-Jersey commanded the militia of their respective states under him. This force moved into the insurgent counties and bore down all opposi. tion. Thus by the vigour and prudence of the Exe : cutive, this formidable and alarming insurrection was, without the sacrifice of a life, subdued.
The President attributed this insurrection in a great degree to the influence of the democratick societies. This opinion he expressed in his private letters, and in his publick communications to the Legislature. In a letter to Mr. Jay, he observed,
“, That the self-created societies, who have spread themselves over this country, have been labouring incessantly to sow the seeds of distrust, jealousy, and of course discontent, hoping thereby to effect some revolution in the govornment, is not unknown to you. That they have been the fomenters oi'the western disturbances, admits of no doubt in the mind of any one who will examine their conduct. But, fortunately they have precipitated a crisis for which they were not prepared ; and thereby have nfolded views which wiil, I trust, effect their annihilation sooner, than it might have happened.”
General WASHINGTON had the firmness and indopendence to denounce these societies to the National Legislature, and to lend his personal influence to counteract their designs, thereby bringing upon him self their resentment.
In his official address to Congress, on the 19th of November, he, as a channel of publick information, narrated the rise, progress, and issue of the insurrec tion, passed a merited encomium on the patriotism of those who had with alacrity exerted themselves to suppress it, and proceeded to observe : “ To every description of citizens, let praise be giv
But let them persevere in their affectionate vigilance over that precious depository of American happiness,
the Constitution of the United States. And wlien in the calm moments of reflection, they shall have retraced the origin and progress of the insurrecticn, let them determine whether it has not been fomented by combinations of men, who, careless of consequences and disregarding the unerring truth, that those who rouse, cannot always appease a civil convulsion, have disseminated, from an ignorance or perversion of facts, suspicions, jealousies, and accusations of the whole government.” He, on this occasion, renewedly recommended to the Legislature the organization of the militia, and made such other commu. nications as the state of the country rendered expedi.
In their answer to this address, the Senate said, “Our anxiety arising from the licentious and open resistance to the laws in the Western Counties of Pennsylvania, has been increased by the proceedings of certain self-created societies relative to the laws and Administrations of the government; proceedings, in nur apprehensions, founded in political errour, calcu. lated, if not intended, to disorganize our government, and which, by inspiring delusive hopes of support,
have been instrumental in misleading our fellow citi Zens in the scene of insurrection."
They expressed an unqualified approbation of the measures adopted by the Executive to suppress the insurrection, and concluded in the following manner. “At a period so momentous in the affairs of nations, the temperate, just, and firm policy that you have pur sued in respect to foreign powers, has been eminently calculated to promote the great and essential interest of our country, and has created the fairest title wo the publick gratitude and thanks.”
The House of Representatives was not thus cordial and approbatory in their answer to the Speech of the President.
After much debate, they omitted to notice the conluct of the Executive with foreign powers, and they made no reply to his observations on self-created societies. In other points, the answer was respectful.
On the last of January 1795, Mr. Hamilton resigned his place as Secretary of the Treasury, and was succeeded by Mr. Oliver Wolcott. And soon after General Knox resigned the Secretaryship of War, and was succeeded by Colonel T. Pickering.
While these events were taking place in America, Judge Jay was executing a commission in England highly important to his country.
From the moment that he was admitted to a conference with the British Cabinet, he with the ardour of a patriot, and the ability of a statesman, devoted himself to the business of his mission. While decorous in his behaviour towards the British crown, he maintained the respectability of his own character, and supported the honour of the United States. Persuaded that war would be the consequence of a failure of his negotia tion, he patiently attended to the investigation of the subject in controversy, and finally agreed with Lord Greenville upon a treaty between the two countries
In a letter to the President, he declared this to be the best it was possible to obtain, and added, “ I ought not to conceal from you, that the confidence reposed in your personal character was visible and useful throughout the negotiation.”
On the 8th of June, the President submitted the treaty, with the documents which attended it, to the deliberation of the Senate, that they might“ in their wisdom decide whether they would advise and consent that it should be ratified.”
After deliberate investigation, the Senate, by exactly two thirds of their numbers, the constitutional majority advised to its ratification, with somu qualifica. tion of the 12th Article.
Great exertion had been made by the party that opposed the mission of Mr. Jay, to keep alive the spirit of hostility to Great Britain. The secrecy observed in the negotiation was pointedly reprobated as a violation of the first principles of a Republican Government, and every circumstance that transpired re specting it, was used as a means to excite odium against the negotiation, and prejudice against the trea ty. While the train was laying to enkindle a publick flame, word was received through a credible channel that the British Court had renewed the orders to their cruisers to detain provision vessels bound to Franch ports. Although the President had previously determined to ratify the treaty, yet on this information, he ordered a strong remonstrance to be drawn against those or ders, and suggested to his. Cabinet the proprie ty of suspending the exchange of the ratified treaty, upon their revocation.
In this stage of the business, he was called to Mount Vernon.
During his absence, and while the publick mind was in a state of irritation, a Senator in Congress from Virginia; violating the decorum and the rules of the Senate, sent an incorrect copy of the treaty to the
Editor of a democratick paper, and through the press it was immediately communicated to the publick. If the attempts to negotiate were represented as incon: sistent with the honour of the United States, and all the circumstances attending it criminated as a dereliction of the interests of a sister Republick ; it cannot be supposed, that the instrument itself, which was the result of mutual concessions, and the adjustment of opposing national interests, should quiet the publick mind, subjected to the despotism of passion and prejudice. Noisy and violent declamation against the treaty abounded in every part of the United States, and few were found, who, unbiassed by national inte rest, coolly and impartially decided upon its merits.
Publick meetings were holden in all the large towns, and intemperate addresses denouncing the treaty voted, which were published in the Newspapers before they were presented to the President.
Pamphlets were also put into circulation, written with ingenuity and calculated to increase the prejudices against this national transaction, on the pretence that it was a sacrifice of the interests of France in fa vour of Great Britain.
These violent movements deeply affected the President, but they did not change his determination. His letters, and the general tenour of his conduct at this period, discover the firmness and independence with which he was prepared to resist every attempt unsuitably to bias the Executive. His greatest apprehensions on this occasion were, that France would avail herself of these popular commotions, either to force the government of the United States into her measures, or to einbarrass the execution of the treaty, and to render its stipulations in favour of American commerce ineffectual. In a letter of the 29th of July written to the Secretary of State, aftermentioning that the state of the country required the utmost circumspection, he added :
“I have never since I have been in the administration