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States to the left bank of the Rio of the border difficulties and the prevaGrande, except by 'federalist factions. lence of profound peace, the governTo say that the movement of United ment commanded no confidence. The States troops from one part of the Uni- Secretary in his annual message, &c., ted States territory to another part of in 1841, announced the deficit for the United States territory, gave of. 1842 at $14,218,000, and requested fence to Mexico, and therefore provoked Congress to extend the time for the rea war, is to say, that Mexico was the demption of the balance. $6,500,000 of superior power or sovereign over the the loan authorised, and also to allow United States, -an assertion in itself of a further issue of treasury notes. On ridiculous. The troops of the United the 15th April, 1842, this was complied States, in the peaceful occupation of with. The Secretary was authorised their own territory, were attacked by a to issue stock, redeemable in 20 years, Mexican invading army, which they at anu price that would be bid for the beat back with disgrace. The Presi- balance of the $12,000,000 loan, and for dent announced the fact of the assault $5,000,000 additional.
The treasury upon the honor of the country, and notes not redeemed at the end of the the integrity of its soil, and Mr. Web- year were allowed to continue to draw ster says, The President made the interest, and the customs revenues were war,” and is "guilty of an impeachable specially pledged for the redemption of offence.” If we test the popularity the stock. The government could obtain of the war among those who are on this stock only $1,587,259, although to pay for it, and who are to fight it a messenger was sent hawking it all out, we see in the crowds of eager over Europe, and at the date of the volunteers pressing down to the scene passage of the act, the 6 per cent. stock, of danger, no distaste to the struggle, issued in the previous September, was although the absence of their votes is selling in the market at 95 cts. on the supposed to display hostility to its ex dollar. On the 31st of August, 1842, istence. If we contrast the prompt a law was passed limiting the sale of manner in which the loan asked for by the stock to par. In October, $701,the Secretary has been taken by capital- 649 more was obtained on the stock, ists, with the refusal of that offeredihem and by the close of the year the whole by the government of 1841, we shall amount reached $3,418,109. In Jan. find no indication of that opposition to uary, 1843, the balance, $4,883.358, the war, which is proclaimed so loudly was obtained. In a time of profound to exist. When, in 1841, an extra ses- peace, with every possible element of sion was called to economise the gov- prosperity in action, the “retrenchernment revenues, it soon found itself ment and reform" administration had obliged to contract a permanent na
no credit, although it was out of debt tional loan, in order to free the govern- when it began to borrow. Let us now ment from debt ; and in July, 1841, see what favor the war met with from Congress passed a law authorizing a those, who for two years and a half loan of $12,000,000, by the issue of a
refused to lend in time of peace. On stock bearing 6 percent. interest, the 30th of October, 1846, the depayable quarterly or semi-annually, partment issued proposals for a loan and redeemable after three years, of $5.000,000, 6 per cent. stock, refrom the 1st January, 1842, and ap- deemable in 20 years, and on the 12th of propriating $12,000 to employ an agent the next month, a lapse of 13 days only, to negotiate it. The stock was not to double the amount asked for was subbe sold under par, and the faith of the scribed at a premium, and has since government was pledged for its re- sold in the market at 1 a 1$ premium. demption. This stock was offered in the This has been the case, notwithstandmarket by the Secretary at 5 2-5 per ct. ing the utter uncertainty of the durainterest, and $16,000 was all that was tion of the war, and the probable wants realized. The rate of interest was then of the government, and without any raised to 5 1-2, and $3,212,000 only special pledge of revenues. The finanwas obtained. The interest was then cial policy of the government, and the advanced to 6 per ct., and $2,499,000 was prospect of the great prosperity that obtained, making $5,66-,000 altogether. must result from a modified tariff, in Beyond this the government could not spite of the war, have established conborrow. Notwithstanding the settlement fidence in the future.
THE ADMINISTRATIONS OF WASHINGTON AND ADAMS.
THERE is a French sarcasm addres- recorded here. There are recollecsed to the manufacturers of books, tions of Connecticut, which furnishes which professes to sum up their whole by much the greatest mass of these art in this short recipe_ To make a letters ; but we remember Wolcott book, take two books." Mr. Gibbs ap- himself well, and with him Trumbull, parently has never heard this advice, the author of McFingal, Humphries, or he despises it, for he practises the Hillhouse, Chauncey Goodrich, Dr. reverse principle to such an extent that Strong, Judge Reese, and others, then we might advise him to take his one still on the stage; while the names of book and make three. Three very Uriah Tracey, Jeremiah Wadsworth, good books, interesting to three several Joel Barlow, and many more occurring classes of readers, he might have made here, who had then already passed out of these materials and his own ela- away, were yet mixed up in every fireborations; and we seriously regret that side conversation. To us, therefore, he had not done it, rather than incur the this whole mass of letters has its interdisadvantage of unwieldiness, by bind- est ; but for the public, there is too ing up together what only a very limit- much of it; there are quantities of paed class of readers will prefer in such a ges which shed little light on history, form. The large mass of material, left and shed that light through far too by Oliver Wolcott, for a history of our many words for the general reader, early national finances, their difficul- who cares not for the writers. ties, their slow advancement, their in The third and most important book timate connection with our general that Mr. Gibbs ought to have made, prosperity, to which they serve as an would have borne nearly the title he arithmetical index-the early disputes has given this, only he should have apon many questions which are still dis- peared as author, not simply editor. puted between political parties—the He has shown that he can make a meearly origin of arguments and answers moir of the two federal administrations, still deemed as good as new in political and has indeed done it; but necessari. warfare; all these things would have ly, in accordance with his other demade one volume, which would have signs, he had done it disconnectedly. come from under Mr. Gibb's hands in It should have been a small book, coman attractive shape, and would have ing, by size and price, within the time deserved and obtained an extensive cir- and means of that large portion of our culation. Another book, entirely dis- people who only know the early history tinct, should have contained the modest of federalism from the ten thousandth biographical notices of Wolcott, which echoes of partisan clamor ; a clamor we find in these volumes, with his cor- exaggerated on both sides, attacking or respondence, as it is here, or more or extolling in extremes, through which less at length, at the editor's discre- no truth can be discovered. Not that tion. This would have found readers we deem Mr. Gibb's to be that imparin New-England, and a few here and tial hand that would bring out the clear there throughout the Union, wherever, truth without regard to party ; on the in the views of New-Englander's de- contrary, he writes professedly as the scendants, there runs the blood of Wol- advocate of federalism, and shows the cott's home correspondents, or their strong feeling of an advocate in every friends. We ourselves are of this page. But he is a fair one-he makes number, and our recollections of the true statements, though he wishes for small years of this century are full of their support for false principles ; and the forms and faces, whose names are one can see that he is sincere in his be
* Memoirs of the Administrations of Washington and John Adams. Edited from the papers of Oliver Wolcott. By George Gibbs. New-York. 1846. 2 vols. 8vo.
lief of his principles, even when his throw of liberty ;" and when “ Amerifacts contradict them. To give a sin can Jacobinism" brought in “in great gle instance of what we mean, we find part the evils of our political condition.” him quoting, on p. 97, vol. 1, with The ideas of the introduction we are strong approbation, the following piece not disposed to combat at much length, of owlish wisdom from Montesquieu : though we cannot adopt them. We
think the war of 1775, as Mr. Gibbs is * Then the people, incapable careful.to call it, was a war for the of bearing the very power they have dele- rights of man. Mr. Gibbs thinks it gated, want to manage every thing them was a war in vindication of paper charselves—to debate for the senate-to exe
ters—a war in defence of the chartered cute for the magistrate—to decide for the rights-not of men, but of subjects. judges. Where this is the case,
We defended our property against will no longer exist in the republic."
royal encroachments--not because we Yet, if we turn to p. 318, in the same
bad a natura) right so to do, but bevolume, we find him recording the in
cause we had rights as against the terference of the people in the matter king, by the king's own charter and of the British treaty, with apparently
promise. It is strange a man should
reason so in this age, but such and so equal satisfaction.
* Reason triumph- deep is prejudice ; and to this reasoned” at that important juncture, by ing,'at this day, many an honest whig means of an appeal to the people :
will lend a pleased and partial ear. "The misconceptions relative to the
That the federal government, in its first treaty being explained, and many of the twelve years, did need all its strength, arguments against it being removed on a is most certain; but that liberty per. full and public discussion, it became evi- ished under Jefferson, and that there dent that a majority of the people were in are great evils in our present political favor of its ratification. This did not fail condition, brought in by Jacobinism, are to produce its effect on their representa- propositions which even these volumes, tives, and the resolution passed,” &c., &c. large as they are, have failed to bring
home to our belief. In these two extracts may be clearly We have said that a clear and conseen the great error of ancient federal- cise history of those twelve years would ism and of modern wbiggery. It is interest many readers; and few indeed impossible to give up the old inherited are they who know now what our dogma, that the people can do nothing country then passed through. Weak, without guidance and control; it is im- exhausted, and disunited, the sparse possible to give up to merited oblivion population of the thirteen states scarcesuch oracular laws, long cherished for ly numbered one-fifth our present ceninspiration, as the above trash, from sus, and certainly did not possess more Montesquieu. Yet the very gen than a twentieth of our present wealth. men who believe all this, when they War threatened us on every side, and see the people actually interfere in mat- not only threatened, but more or less ters of government, see also that they of the evils of war were, on every side, do not do it unnecessarily, and that inflicted on us. Spain encroached on they do do it honestiy and rightly. our jurisdiction on the side of the MisMr. Gibbs declaims, in his introduction, sissippi, and annoyed our navigation of against the identifying the doctrines of that river, and tampered with the Indi“ modern democracy” with the " prin- ans along the Florida line. The Indiciples of the fathers of English or Ame ans of the western and northern fronrican liberty;" and speaks of the reality tiers were in the field in force, and acand success of our own progression, tually defeated two of our generals in " as if he doubted it deeply." And in two successive campaigns. his peroration, after showing in forcible brought them to reason; but the peace terms, how many reasons there were with Great Britain was yet in an unin the federal times for strengthening settled state, and Great Britain might the arm of government in the exercise always excite a savage war upon our of its limited powers, he denounces the backs, while both her cruisers, and accession of Jefferson as an era when those of France, were capturing our morals were corrupted, " to the over- vessels upon the ocean.
rines also continued their piracies in “There was, throughout the country, this honorable company, and here also (says Mr. Gibbs,) a general deep-seated the interference of Great Britain was national hatred of Great Britain buruing suspected, since the most serious losses every where, with an intense, if not conhappened to us in consequence, and as
spicuous flame; for among the native popan effect of the withdrawal of her fleets the war had not desolated—there was
ulation, there was hardly a fireside that from certain parts of the Mediterranean. scarcely one of man's estate who had not Add to this the whiskey war in Penn- shared in its hardships as well as its glosylvania, and the danger of a slave in- ries. The sight of a blackened roof treesurrection at the south, and the picture the tale of the prison ship-the sngar is dark enough to show that there is house, or county jail, had their recollecmuch error in the prevailing idea, that tions, as well as ihe musket which hung the war of independence led us to the
over every chimney. And if the memory immediate enjoyment of the blessings later outrages,” &c., &c.
of these ever had slumbered, there were of liberty and peace. The slave danger, then, with a foreign and not friendly power on the south and south In these later outrages, as we have west of us, and the example of St. Do- said, the share of France was far the mingo still fresh, was much more real greatest, and it was beyond any thing than it ever can be again, and was
which Americans now can imagine their greatly aggravated by the fear that the country would ever have borne without French might come in from the West resistance. Our merchant ships were Indies with a force partly of blacks, taken by hundreds ; three hundred and and arm the slaves under the banner of eighty were officially reported to ConAmis des Noirs. We discuss all this gress, from October, 1796, to June, very coolly now; but in those times 1797. Our ministers, who were sent every man slept restlessly, and dreamed to ask humbly for a treaty, and if posof the danger that was nearest to him. sible to obtain some redress, were igAnd the divisions of political parties nominiously expelled from France, and took their rise, as they still take their the ministers of France had set our colors, from men's material interests. laws at defiance-insulted our governThe great lines between democrat and ment, and interfered openly in our federalist, were drawn almost territo- elections. Yet a party was found rially between north and south, and di- among us to sustain all this, and to vided the men who feared France most clog with all its weight the arm of govas an invader at the south, from those ernment, which was ready to be raised who hated her most as an enemy and in resistance. Yes, there was such a a spoiler, at the north. The policy of party, and its leader was Thomas Jefthe former was to conciliate, that offerson : let us not disguise or deny the the latter to resist. It was the interest truth, however deeply we may deplore of the north and east to oppose, with it. Born a Virginian, educated among arms, the attacks already begun upon people indifferent or hostile to comour commerce, and the captures of our
merce and commercial men, he felt by vessels. Great Britain had done her so much the less sensibly the loss of part, but not a large part; and she had our merchantmen, by so much the shown some glimmerings of relenting, more, the fear of that standing bugbear and given some hopes, which were of the south, a servile war. Between afterwards justified, of something like these two he judged, and perhaps redress. It was not to be thought of, rightly, that the latter was the greater that we should undertake a war against evil; and between two enemies he both Britain and France, though both wished to choose that one who had had given us cause for war, had we
least power to inflict it on us. been equal to it. But in the outcry For the question, during a long space which arose on all sides against the in- of time, appeared to be, not between justice we were on all sides suffering, peace and war, with one or both enethe opinions and passions of men divi- mies, but simply between war with ded under the influence of many strong this one, or with that one, with the influences of those days, whose power other in either case for an ally. We is now but imperfectly remembered or had now, in fact, two enemies; we comprehended.
might hope to get rid of the hostilities
of one by an alliance; and that was measures of that power, if not, in their all, in our then helpless condition, that belief, that she was our preferable ally. the minds of most men could venture Yet on this very ground, where the to hope. In choosing France for an democratic party of that day was ally, Mr. Jefferson and his friends most wrong,
the federalists most could plead many high grounds of pre- right, was the fall of federalism preference, and appeal to many high prin- pared. After Washington's retireciples and strong feelings, in the hearts ment, John Adams was brought forof men. Gratitude for aid in our ward as his successor; a candidate struggle with England, and sympathy taken up, as the whigs take men up with a republic which had just cast off now, because he was available, or, as the trammels of monarchy ; however the word then was, inevitable. To a absurdly or unjustly Mr. Gibbs may party which believed in old custoins think they were urged in favor of and rights of government and succesFrance, were yet urged forcibly, elo- sion, it seemed so natural and necesquently, and often, indeed, sincerely, sury, that the vice president should to willing and favoring auditors. All succeed to the presidency, that fit or the contrary points told strongly against unfit, they could not help promoting Great Britain, and between the bitter him. He was a man of a restless passions which bade us recoil from and irritable temperament, jealous of her, and the somewhat romantic inclina- other's praise, and suspicious of their tions which led us towards her rival, influence ; obstipate, and yet fickle ; the choice may be explained, and to actuated by an ambition which could many miods excused, which many bear neither opposition nor lukewarınminds at that time made. France in- ness, and vain, to a degree approachjured us deeply, insulted us, robbed us, ing ipsanity; he was of himself incathreatened us with ruin and death ; pable, alike of conceiving or acting but we must forgive either her or upon a settled system of policy, and England; we must put up with all this was to others as easy a subject for from one of the two; for we could indirect management, as he was imnot take revenge on both.
practicable to a more legitimate apSuch, we believe, is the best excuse proach.”—(vol. i., p. 456. that can be given for the French party, This was the man to whom that as it then existed in our country. But high-minded party, for such the federMr. Jefferson was wrong on some other alists of Washington's time undoubtmaterial points of national policy, and edly were, committed the destinies of especially on the creation of a navy. He, their country, and bitterly and most and his adherents at that day, steadily deservedly were they made to repent opposed the navy; they looked on this it. He acted for awhile on their right also as a thing to be kept up for the in- views, showed a bold front to France, terests of commerce, and at the ex- and rallied the country to defend its pense of the whole country, to the in- rights, and, by a natural effect of a crease of that taxation which was al- right course at such a crisis, a majority ready severely felt. The method of in the country rallied to bis party. making the revenue raised by the Then suddenly, in the moment when General Government a positive blessing bis measures seemed triumphant, he and protection and gain to those who paid changed them ; sent out a fresh emit, was not then discovered ; and appro- bassy to Paris to seek a treaty, and priations were less liberal, and more obtained it from Napoleon, whose unfiercely discussed. Mr. Jefferson and expectedly sudden accession to the suhis party opposed the navy, therefore, preme power, brought new views with and they were wrong; they advocated it to the councils of France. It was tribute to the Barbary powers instead an humiliating treaty, abandoning virof war against them; and there, also, tually all claim to the $15,000,000 of they were wrong. They were wrong which we had been robbed, and affordtoo in their advocacy of France, as we ing us no security nor guaranties against have said, if not in the main principle, further robberies in future. Still it was at least in the details, and the excess; peace and not war; and the advocates of wrong, certainly, in justifying, one by peace joined with the partisans of one, as they occurred, the insulting France to accept it; but not to thank