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On the 19th of August, the secretary of state Chap, Vhl had resigned * his place in the administration, 1795. and some time elapsed before a successor wasMr.iun
appointed.f At length, colonel Pickering was 1,succeeded removed to the department of state, and Mr. Pickering. M'Henry, a gentleman who had served in thecoionei
. . M- henry
family of general Washington, and in the congress Hg£g£u prior to the establishment of the existing constiwar" tution, was appointed to the department of war. By the death of Mr. Bradford, a vacancy was also produced in the office of attorney general, which was filled by Mr. Lee, a gentleman of considerable eminence at the bar, and in the legislature of Virginia.
Many of those embarrassments in which the government, from its institution, had been involved, were now ended, or approaching their termination.
The opposition to the laws which had so long been made in the western counties of Pennsylvania existed no longer.
On the third of August, a definitive treaty was 3^"^* concluded by general Wayne with the hostile "be owo". ° Indians north-west of the Ohio, by which the destructive and expensive war which had long desolated that frontier, was ended in a manner perfectly agreeable to the United States. With the powerful tribes of the south also, notwithstanding the intrigues of their Spanish neighbours,
• See -Azote, Mo. XVII. at the end of the volume- t See Aote, Ao. XVIII. at the end of the volume.
Chap. vm. an accommodation had taken place ; and to preserve 1795. peace in that quarter, it was only necessary to invest the executive with the means of restraining the incursions which the disorderly inhabitants of the southern frontier frequently made into the Indian territory; incursions, of which murder was often the consequence.
Few subjects had excited more feeling among the people, or in the government of the United States, than the captivity of their fellow citizens in Algiers. Even this calamity had been seized as a weapon which might be wielded with some effect against the executive. Overlooking the exertions which had been made by that department for the attainment of peace, and the liberation of the American captives; and regardless of its absolute inability to aid negotiation by the exhibition of force, the discontented ascribed the long and painful imprisonment of their unfortunate brethren to a carelessness in the administration respecting their sufferings, and to that inexhaustible source of accusation,...its policy with regard to France and Britain.
After the failure of several attempts to obtain a peace with the regency of Algiers, full powers were granted to colonel Humphreys, the minister of the United States at Lisbon, who, in conformity with instructions given by the executive, appointed Mr. Donaldson to transact this interesting Treaty with business. A treaty was negotiated on terms which, Aijien. though disadvantageous, were the best that could be obtained. It was signed on the fifth of September, and agreed to by colonel Humphreys in the following November.
The utmost exertions of the executive to settle Chap.vm.
the controversy with Spain respecting boundary, 1795. and to obtain for their western citizens the free use of the Mississippi had been unavailing. A negotiation in which Mr. Short and Mr. Carmichael had been employed at Madrid, had been protracted by artificial delays on the part of the Spanish cabinet, until those ministers, convinced that nothing was to be effected, had themselves requested that the commission should be terminated.
At length, Spain, embarrassed by the war in which she was engaged, discovered symptoms of a temper more inclined to conciliation. Mr. Short the American minister at Madrid, possessed only the rank of a resident, and it was understood that under certain forms and principles of etiquette established at that court, a minister of higher grade deputed on the special occasion, would be enabled to expedite -the negotiation. An intimation to this effect was given by the commissioners of Spain at Philadelphia to the secretary of state, in consequence of which, the president, though retaining a high and just confidence in Mr. Short, nominated Mr. Pinckney in November 1794, as envoy extraordinary to his catholic majesty. Mr. Pinckney repaired in the following summer to Madrid, and a treaty with his catholic majesty was concluded on the 20th of October, in which the claims of the United States on the importantT»»tywuk
points of boundary and the Mississippi were fully conceded.
vOL v. 4 N
Chap.viii. Thus were adjusted, so far as depended on the 1T9S. executive, all those external difficulties with which the United States had long struggled, most of which had originated before the establishment of the existing government, and some of which portended calamities that no common share of prudence could have averted.
Although the treaties with Spain and Algiers had not been received at the meeting of congress, nor had their signature been officially announced, the state of the negotiations with both powers was sufficiently well understood to enable the president with confidence to assure the legislature, in his
MMtingor speech at the opening of the session, that those negotiations were in a train which promised a happy issue.
president'. He commenced his speech with declaring the gratification he felt at the prosperous state of American affairs. "I trust," said he, "I do not deceive myself while I indulge the persuasion that I have never met you at any period, when, more than at present, the situation of our public affairs has afforded just cause for mutual congratulation; and for inviting you to join with me in profound gratitude to the author of all good for the numerous and extraordinary blessings we enjoy."
The various favourable events which have been already enumerated were then detailed in a succinct statement, at the close of which he mentioned the British treaty, which, though publicly known, had not before been communicated officially to the house of representatives.
"This interesting summary of our affairs," continued the speech " with regard to the powers between whom and the United States controversies Chap.vhi. have subsisted; and with regard also to our In- 1795. dian neighbours with whom we have been in a state of enmity or misunderstanding, opens a wide field for consoling and gratifying reflections. If by prudence and moderation on every side, the extinguishment of all the causes of externaldiscord which have heretofore menaced our tranquillity, on terms compatible with our national faith and honour, shall be the happy result,...how firm and how precious a foundation will have been laid for accelerating, maturing, and establishing the prosperity of our country."
After presenting an animated picture of the situation of the United States, and recommending several objects to the attention of the legislature, the president concluded with observing. "Temperate discussion of the important subjects that may arise in the course of the session, and mutual forbearance where there is a difference in opinion, are too obvious and necessary for the peace, happiness, and welfare of our country, to need any recommendation of mine."
In the senate, an address was reported which echoed back the sentiments of the speech.
In this house of representatives, as in the last, the party in opposition to the general system of the administration had obtained a majority. To the treaty with Great Britain, this party was unanimously hostile; and it was expected that their answer to the speech of the president, would indicate their sentiments on a subject which continued to agitate the whole American people