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states all the eastern bank to the Ohio, which will form a very extensive and powerful republic, connected by its situation and by its interest, with Spain, and in concert with it, will force the savages to become a party to it, and to confound themselves in time with its citizens.
“The public are discontented with the new taxes; Spain and France are enraged at the connection of the United States with England; the army is weak and devoted to Wilkinson; the threats of Congress authorize me to succor, on the spot and openly, the western states: money will not then be wanting to me, for I shall send without delay, a ship to Vera Cruz in search of it, as well as of ammunition: nothing more will consequently be required, but an instant of firmness and resolution to make the people of the west perfectly happy. If they suffer this instant to escape them, and we are forced to deliver up the posts, Kentucky and Tennessee, surrounded by the said posts, and without communication with Lower Louisiana, will ever remain under the oppression of the Atlantic states." *
The emissary, Power, passed through Tennessee, Kentucky, and the northwestern territory, as far as Detroit, where, late in the month of August, he found General Wilkinson. A letter dated “Detroit, September 4, 1797," from Wilkinson to Captain Robert Buntin, of Vincennes, contains the following passages: “I fear the Spaniards will oblige us to go to blows with them--in which case you know they must go to the wall. I shall
pursue every means in my power to preserve to our country the blessings of peace; but shall make every preparation for war, and will be guarded against surprise. Mr. Power delivered me a letter from the Baron Carondelet, in which he states a variety of frivolous reasons for not delivering the posts, and begs that no more troops may be sent down the Mississippi, before certain adjustments take place between our respective courts. I have put aside all his exceptions, and have called on him in the most solemn manner to fulfil the treaty, as he regards the interest or honor of his master; and have
Am. State Papers--Miscellaneous, ii. 103.
hopes that my letter may produce some change in the conduct of the Dons. ** Although Mr. Power has brought me this letter, it is possible it might be a mask to other purposes: I have, therefore, for his accommodation and safety put him in care of Captain Shaumburgh, who will see him safe to New Madrid, by the most direct route. I pray you to continue your vigilance, and give me all the information in your power. I am just from Michilimackinack, having visited that post to see it put in a state of defence."
On the 5th of December, 1797, Power wrote to Don Manuel Gayoso, Spanish Governor at Natchez, a letter from which the following is an extract: “ Having informed him (General Wilkinson) of the proposals of the Baron [de Carondelet,] he proceeded to tell me that it was a chimerical project, which it was impossible to execute: that the inhabitants of the western states, having obtained by treaty all they desired, would not wish to form any other political or commercial alliances; and that they had no motive for separating themselves from the interests of the other states of the union, even if France and Spain should make them the most advantageous offers; that the fermentation which existed four years back is now appeased; that the depredations and vexations which American commerce suffered from the French privateers had inspired them with an implacable hatred for their nation; that some of the Kentuckians had proposed to him to raise three thousand men to invade Louisiana, in case a war should be declared between the United States and Spain; that the latter had no other course to pursue, under the present circumstances, but to comply fully with the treaty.” In the same letter, Power said, “A great portion of the principal characters in Kentucky, Cumberland, [Tennessee,] and the Northwest Territory have been instigators of the expedition of Genet and Clark against this province; consequently they are enemies of those who are [enemies] of the French; more than one half of the rest are those who take the greatest interest in a more intimate union of the western states with us; and many of those who remain, (as they are not desirous of gaining conquests over Spain, but only to preserve the limits and privileges marked in the treaty) will do what they can in order to avoid hostilities.” *
In a letter, written at Cincinnati, under the date of “June 3d, 1797," and addressed to Timothy Pickering, American Secretary of State, Winthrop Sargent, Secretary of the Northwestern Territory, said—“I seize the occasion to transcribe for you some paragraphs from a western letter. The Spaniards are reinforcing their upper posts on the Mississippi. General Howard, an Irishman, in quality of commander-in-chief, with upwards of three hundred men, is arrived at St. Louis, and employed in erecting very formidable works. It likewise appears, through various channels, that they are inviting a great number of the Indians of the Territory to cross the Mississippi; and, for this express purpose, Mr. Lorromie, an officer in the pay of the crown, made a tour through all this country last fall; since which time several Indians have been sent on the same errand, and generally furnished with plenty of cash to defray their expenses. A large party of Delawares passed down on White River, about the 6th of May, on their way to the Spanish side, bearing the national flag of Spain, some of them from St. Louis. They [the Spaniards] have above the mouth of the Ohio, on the Mississippi, several row galleys with cannon."
The refusal of the French Republic to receive a minister from the United States—the angry decrees of the Executive Directory of France—the depredations which were committed by vessels of that nation on American commerce—and the attempts which were made by Spain and its emissaries to sever the Uniont finally induced the American Government, in 1798, to adopt and enforce various measures of defence and retaliation. Among these measures the most important were
Am. State Papers-Miscellaneous, ii. 108. | Vide History of Kentucky, by H. Marshall, i. 258, 283, 316: ii. 219, 250. — History of Louisiana, by Barbe Marbois, 152, 162.-Writing of Washington, (edited by Jared Sparks,) x. 355, 356, 360, 387: xii, 96. - Life of Washington, by John Marshall, ii. 250, 257, 261, 270, 332, 334, 393, 410: Wilkinson's Memoirs : - American State Papers, Miscellaneous, i. from p. 704 to p. 713, and from p. 922 to p. 939: ii. from p. 79 to p. 127. American State Papers, Foreign Relations, vol. 1: vol. ii. from p. 14 to p. 103.
First :-An act authorizing the President of the United States to raise a provisional army.- Approved by the President, John Adams,* on the 28th of May, 1798.
Second:-An act of Congress to suspend the commercial intercourse between the United States and France and the dependencies thereof.- Approved on the 13th of June, 1798.
Third: An act to authorise the defence of the merchant vessels of the United States against French depredations.-Approved on the 25th of June, 1798. Fourth:
-An act concerning alien enemies.--Approved on the 25th of June, 1798. [The first section of this law was comprised in the words following:-Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That it shall be lawful for the President of the United States at any time during the continuance of this act,f to order all such aliens as he shall judge dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States, or shall have reasonable grounds to suspect are concerned in any treasonable or secret machinations against the government thereof, to depart out of the territory of the United States, within such time as shall be expressed in such order; which order shall be served on such alien by delivering him a copy thereof, or leaving the same at his usual abode, and returned to the office of the Secretary of State, by the Marshal or other person to whom the same shall be directed. And in case any alien so ordered to depart, shall be found at large within the United States after the time limited in such order for his departure, and not having obtained a license from the President to reside therein, or having obtained such license, shall not have conformed thereto, every such alien shall, on conviction thereof, be imprisoned for a term not exceeding three years, and shall never after be admitted to become a citizen of the United States. Provided always, and be it further enacted, That if any alien so ordered to depart, shall prove, to the satisfaction of the President, by evidence to be taken before such person or persons as the President shall direct, who are for that purpose hereby authorized to administer oaths, that no injury or danger to the United States will arise from suffering such alien to reside therein, the President may grant a license to such alien to remain within the United States, for such time as he shall judge proper, and at such place as he shall designate. And the President may also require of such alien to enter into a bond to the United States, in such penal sum as he may direct, with one or more sufficient sureties, to the satisfaction of the person authorized by the President to take the same, conditioned for the good behavior of such alien during his residence in the United States, and not violating his license, which license the President may revoke whenever he shall think proper."] *
* John Adams, second President of the United States, was inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1797.
† The act was limited to the time of two years from and after its passage.
Fifth:-An act in addition to the act entitled “ An act for the punishment of certain crimes against the United States.”— Approved on the 14th of July, 1798. Here follows the 2d section of this act:-“And be it further enacted, That if any person shall write, print, utter, or publish; or shall cause or procure to be written, printed, uttered, or published, or shall, knowingly and willingly, assist in writing, printing, uttering, or publishing, any false, scandalous, and malicious writing or writings, against the government of the United States, or either house of the Con. gress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the President, or to bring them, or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States, or to stir up sedition within the United States; or to excite any unlawful combinations therein, for opposing or resisting any law of the United States, or any act of the President of the United States, done in pursuance of any such law, or of the powers in him vested by the constitution of the United States; or to resist, oppose, or defeat, any such law or act; or to aid, encourage, or abet, any hostile design of any foreign nation against the United States, their people, or government,
* Laws of the United Sates, ini. 66.