Page images
PDF
EPUB

Chap. Hi. questions in which particular states were deeply 1789. interested, a communication was made to the senate, in which the subject was stated at large, and the advice of that body requested on several points which would arise in the progress of the business.

Thepresi. Anxious to visit New England, to observe in

dene visits °'

i^Kbiid person the condition of the country and the dispositions of the people towards the government and its measures, the president was disposed to avail himself of the short respite from official cares afforded by the recess of congress, to make a tour through the eastern states. This intention was much approved by those with whom he was accustomed to consult. It was foreseen by them, that this flattering mark of regard from a man who was not more exalted in office than in the affections of his fellow citizens, would be productive of the happiest effects. His resolution being taken, and the executive business which required his immediate personal attention being dispatched,* he commenced his tour on the 15th of October in company with major Jackson, and Chap. m. Mr. Lear, gentlemen of his family; and passing 1789. through Connecticut and Massachussetts, as far as Portsmouth in New Hampshire, he returned by a different route to New York, where he arrived on the 13th of November.

states.

* Just before his departure from New York the president received from the count de Moustiers, the minister of France, official notice that he was permitted by his court to return to Europe. By the orders of his sovereign he added, "that his majesty was pleased at the alteration which had taken place in the government, and congratulated America on the choice they had made of a president." As from himself, he observed that the government of this country had been hitherto of so fluctuating a nature, that no dependence could be placed on its proceedings ; in consequence of which foreign nations had been cautious of<q#teriiig into treaties, or engagements of any kind with the United States: but that in the present government there was a head to look up to, and power being placed in the hands of its officers, stability in its measures might be expected.

With this visit, the president had much reason to be perfectly satisfied. To contemplate the theatre on which many interesting military scenes had been exhibited, and to review the ground on which his first campaign as commander in chief of the American army had been made, were sources of rational delight. To observe the progress of society, the improvements in agriculture, commerce, and manufactures; and the temper, circumstances, and dispositions of the people, was an employment which could not fail to be grateful to an intelligent mind, and which was in all respects worthy of the chief magistrate of the nation. The reappearance of their general in the high station he now filled brought back to recollection the perilous transactions of the war; and the reception universally given to him attested the unabated love which was felt for his person and

The dispositions of his christian majesty to cultivate the good will of the new government was also manifested by his conduct in the choice of a minister to replace the count de Moustiers. Colonel Ternan was named as a person who would be particularly acceptable to America, and his appointmem was preceded by the compliment of ascertaining the wnse of the president respecting him.

vOL. v. eg

Chap. in. character, and indicated unequivocally the grow1789. ing popularity, at least in that part of the union, of the government he administered. Constituted authorities, corporate bodies, religious and learned institutions, particular trades and occupations, the militia, and all classes of people, vied

hjvKccr- with each other by affectionate addresses, by illuminations, by military parade, by triumphal processions, and by various preparations decorated by genius and by taste, in testifying the sentiment which glowed in their bosoms, and to which his presence gave increased activity.

The addresses which were presented, evinced a strong attachment to the government, and a decided approbation of its measures. They connected his past services with his present situation, and manifested the general conviction that, in returning to a public station, the private wishes of his heart had yielded to a sense of duty to his country. The sincerity and warmth with which he reciprocated the affection expressed for his person was well calculated to preserve the sentiments which were generally diffused. "I rejoice with you my fellow citizens," said he in answer to an address from the inhabitants of Boston, "in every circumstance that declares your prosperity; ...and I do so most cordially because you have well deserved to be happy.

"Your love of liberty...your respect for the laws...your habits of industry...and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness. And they will, I trust, be firmly and lastingly established."

But the interchange of sentiments with the Chap.ih. companions of his military toils and glory, will 1789. excite most interest, because on both sides, the expressions may well be supposed to have been dictated by the purest and most delicious feelings of the human heart. From the cincinnati of Massachussetts he received the following address."Amidst the various gratulations which your arrival in this metropolis has occasioned, permit us, the members of the society of the cincinnati in this commonwealth, most respectfully to assure yon of the ardour of esteem and affection you have so indelibly fixed in our hearts, as our glorious leader in war and illustrious example in peace.

"After the solemn and endearing farewell on the banks of the Hudson, which our anxiety presaged as final, most peculiarly pleasing is the present unexpected meeting. On this occasion, we cannot avoid the recollection of the various scenes of toil and danger through which you conducted us:...and while we contemplate various trying periods of the war, and the triumphs of peace, we rejoice to behold you, induced by the unanimous voice of your country, entering upon other trials, and other services alike important, and in some points of view equally hazardous. For the completion of the great purposes which a grateful country has assigned you, long, very long, may your invaluable life be preserved. And as the admiring world, while considering you as a soldier have long wanted a comparison, may your virtue and talents as a statesman leave them without a parallel.

Chap.in. "It is not in words to express an attachment 1789. founded like ours. We can only say that when soldiers, our greatest pride was a promptitude of obedience to your orders;...as citizens, our supreme ambition is to maintain the character of firm supporters of that noble fabrick of federal government over which you preside.

"As members of the society of the cincinnati, it will be our endeavour to cherish those sacred principles of charity and paternal attachment which our institution inculcates. And while our conduct is thus regulated, we can never want the patronage of the first of patriots and the best of men." To this address the following answer wasreturned. "In reciprocating with gratitude and sincerity the multiplied and affecting gratulations of my fellow citizens of this commonwealth, they will

. all of them with justice allow me to say that none can be dearer to me than the affectionate assurances which you have expressed. Dear indeed is the occasion which restores an intercourse with my faithful associates in prosperous and adverse fortune;...and enhanced are the triumphs of peace participated with those whose virtue and valour so largely contributed to procure them. To that virtue and valour your country has confessed her obligations. Be mine the grateful task to add i.the testimony of a connexion which it was my pride to own in the field, and is now my happiness to acknowledge in the enjoyments of peace and freedom.

"Regulating your conduct by those principles which have heretofore governed your actions as

« PreviousContinue »