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Chap. v. hausted, that the impatience of the militia to return 1791. to their homes was indulged, perhaps unavoidably, before the service which had been meditated could be completely executed. On both occasions, when hostile operations were terminated, the generals left a talk for the head men of the nation, in which the pacific overtures which had been so often made were repeated, but without effect.
It was believed in the United States, that the hostility of the Indians was kept up by the traders living in their villages. These persons, having generally resided in America, had been compelled to leave the country in consequence of the part they had taken during the war of the revolution, and they felt, in a high degree, the resentments which banishment and confiscation seldom fail to inspire. Their enmities were ascribed by many, perhaps unjustly, to the temper of the government in Canada; but some countenance seemed to be given to this opinion by intelligence, the authenticity of which was not doubted, that about the commencement of the preceding campaign, large supplies of ammunition had been delivered from the British posts on the lakes, to the Indians at war with the United States. To colonel Beck with, who still remained in Philadelphia as the informal representative of his nation, the president caused this fact, with his sentiments respecting it, to be communicated. "As the United States had no other view in prosecuting the war in which they were engaged than to procure peace and safety to the inhabitants of their frontiers, they were equally surprised," he said, "and disappointed, Chap.v. at such an interference by the servants or subjects 1791. of a foreign state, as seemed intended to protract the attainment of so just and reasonable an object."
These instructions were given to the secretary of state after the president had commenced his southern tour. On communicating them to the other secretaries, he was informed by colonel Hamilton, that, in a conversation on that subject, colonel Beckwith had given the most explicit assurances that only the usual annual presents, at the usual time, had been made. It was however thought advisable to state to him the information which the American government had received, and to observe that though an annual present of arms and ammunition might be an innocent act in time of peace, it was not so in time of war. That it was contrary to the laws of neutrality for a neutral to furnish military implements to either power at war; and that, if their subjects should do it on private account, such furnitures might be seized as contraband. These representations were made to colonel Beckwith, as the sentiments of the government, but not as being directed by authority. He expressed his disbelief that the supplies mentioned had been delivered; but on being assured of the fact, he avowed the opinion that the transaction was without the knowledge of lord Dorchester, to whom he said he should communicate, without delay, the ideas of the American government on the subject,
3Jg THE LIFE OFChap. v. On the 24th of October, the second congress 1791 assembled in Philadelphia. In his speech at the
M«ting0f opening of the session, the president expressed his great satisfaction at the prosperous situation of the country, and particularly mentioned the rapidity with which the shares in the bank of the
preiidcut'i United States were subscribed, as "among the striking and pleasing evidences which presented themselves, not only of confidence in the government, but of resources in the community."
Adverting to the measures which had been taken in execution of the laws and resolutions of the last session, "the most important of which," he observed, "respected the defence and security of the western frontiers," he had, he said, " negotiated provisional treaties, and used other proper means to attach the wavering, and to confirm in their friendship the well disposed tribes of Indians. The means which he had adopted for a pacification with those of a hostile description having proved unsuccessful, offensive operations had been directed, some of which had proved completely successful, and others were still depending. Overtures of peace were still continued to the deluded tribes; and it was sincerely to be desired that all need of coercion might cease, and that an intimate intercourse might succeed, calculated to advance the happiness of the Indians, and to attach them firmly to the United States."
In marking the line of conduct which ought to be maintained for the promotion of this object, he strongly recommended "justice to the savages, and such rational experiments for imparting to them the blessings of civilization, as might from Chap. V. time to time suit their condition; and then con- 1791.
eluded this subject with saying "A system corresponding with the mild principles of religion and philanthropy towards an unenlightened race of men whose happiness materially depends on the conduct of the United States, would be as honourable to the national character, as conformable to the dictates of sound policy."
After stating that measures had been taken for carrying into execution the act laying duties on distilled spirits, he added..." The impressions with which this law has been received by the community have been, upon the whole, such as were to have been expected among enlightened and well disposed citizens, from the propriety and necessity of the measure. The novelty however of the tax, in a considerable part of the United States, and a misconception of some of its provisions, have given occasion, in particular places, to some degree of discontent. But it is satisfactory to know that this disposition yields to proper explanations, and more just apprehensions of the true nature of the law. And I entertain a full confidence that it will, in all, give way to motives which arise out of a just sense of duty, and a virtuous regard to the public welfare.
"If there are any circumstances in the law, which, consistently with its main design may be so varied as to remove any well intentioned objections that may happen to exist, it will comport with a wise moderation to make the proper variations. It is desirable on all occasions, to unite with a steady
Chap.v. and firm adherence to constitutional and neces1791. sary acts of government, the fullest evidence of a disposition, as far as may be practicable, to consult the wishes of every part of the community, and to lay the foundations of the public administration in the affections of the people."
Addressing himself particularly to the house of representatives, he expressed the pleasure he felt at being " able to announce to them that the revenues which had been established promised to be adequate to their objects ; and might be permitted, should no unforeseen exigency occur, to supersede for the present, the necessity of any new burdens upon their constituents."
The answers of the two houses noticed briefly and generally the various topics of the speech, and though perhaps less warm than those of the preceding congress, manifested great respect for the executive magistrate, and an undiminished confidence in his patriotic exertions to promote the public interests. Dtbatcon Amon? the first subjects of importance which
the bill "for" J I
j^2°"i"B engaged the attention of the legislature, was a AV^i°nogf bill " for apportioning representatives among the according to people of the several states according to the first
the first r * . °
eimmcra. enumeration." To the discretionary power of congress over the numbers of which the house of representatives might consist, the constitution in its original form, had affixed no other limits than that there should not be more than one member for every thirty thousand persons; but that each state should be entitled to at least one. Independent of the general considerations in favour of a