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Import, as the constitution provides, and the honorable William Bingham was duly elected.
Ordered, That the Secretary wait on the Peisidknt Op Tob United States, and notify him of the election of the Honorable "william Bisoham, to be President of the Senate pro tempore.
• Ordered, That the Secretary notify the House of Representatives of this election. On motion.
Ordered, That Messrs. Sedgwick, Bdur, and Tbact, be a committee to prepare and report the draft of an answer to the Address delivered yesterday to the Senate, by the Vice President of the United States.
Tuesday, February 21.
The bill to accommodate the President was read the third time; and, being further amended,
On motion that it be Resolved, That this bill pass, it was decided in the affirmative—yeas 28, nays 3. as follows:
Teas.—Meesr*. Bingham, Bloodworm, Blount, Bradford, Brown, Foster, Goodhue, Gnnn, Henry, HQlhoroe, Howard, Longdon, Latimer, Laurence, LiTermore, Marshall, Martin, Pain, Read, Ross, Rutherford, Sedgwick, Stockton, Tattnall, Tazewell, Ticbenor. Tracy, and Vining.
Nats.—Messrs. Cocke, Hunter, and Mason.
So it was Revolted, That this bill pass; that it be engrossed; and that the title thereof be, "An act to accommodate the President."
Mr. Sedgwick reported from the committee appointed for the purpose, the draft of an answer to the Address of the Vice President of the United States, on his retiring from the Senate; which was read.
On motion, that it be printed for the use of the Senate, it was disagreed to. Ordered, That the report lie for consideration.
Wednesday, February 22.
The Senate took into consideration the report of the committee, in answer to the Address of the Vice President of the United States, on his retiring from the Senate.
On motion to recommit the report, it passed in the negative: and the report being amended, was adopted, as follows:
Sib: The Senate of the United States would ho unjust to their own feelings, and deficient in the performance of a duty their relation to the Government of their country imposes, should they fail to express their regard for your person, and their respect for your character, in answer to the Address yon predated to them, on your leaving a station which you have so long and so honoralily filled as their President.
The motives you have been pleased to disclose which induced you not to withdraw from the public terrice, at a time when your experience, talents, and virtues, were peculiarly desirable, are as honorable fcr yourself, as, from our confidence in you, sir, we trust the result will be beneficial to our beloved country.
When you retired from your dignified seat in this
House, and took your leave of the members of the Senate, we felt all those emotions of gratitude and affection, which our knowledge and experience of your abilities and undeviating impartiality ought to inspire; and we should, with painful reluctance, endure the separation, but for the consoling reflection, that the same qualities which have rendered you useful, as the President of this branch of the Legislature, will enable you to be still more so, in the exalted station to which you have been called.
From you, sir, in whom your country have for a long period placed a steady confidence, which has never been betrayed or forfeited, and to whom they have on so many occasions intrusted the care of their dearest interests, which have never been abused; from you, who, holding the second situation under the Constitution of the United States, have lived in uninterrupted harmony with him who has held the first; from you we receive, with much satisfaction, the declaration which yon are pleased to make of the opinion yon entertain of the character of the present Senators, and of that of those citizens who have been heretofore Senators. This declaration, were other motives wanting, would afford them an incentive to a virtnous perseverance in the line of conduct which has been honored with your approbation.
In your future course, we entertain no doubt that yonr official conduct will be measured by the constitution, and directed to the publio good; you have, therefore, a right to entertain a confident reliance, that you will be supported, as well by the people at large as by their constituted authorities.
We cordially reciprocate the wishes which you express for our honor, health, and happiness; we join with yours our fervent prayers for the continuation of the virtues and liberties of our fellow-citizens, for the public prosperity and peace; and for you we implore the best reward of virtuous deeds—the grateful approbation of your constituents, and the smiles of Heaven.
WILLIAM BINGHAM, President of tie Senate pro tempore.
Ordered, That the committee who drafted the Address wait on the Vice President, with the Answer of the Senate.
Thursday, February 28. Mr. Sedgwick reported, from the committee, that, agreeably to order, they had waited on the Vice President Of The United States, with the answer to his Address, on retiring from the Senate—to which the Vice President was pleased to make the following Reply:
An Address so respectful and affectionate as this, from gentlemen of such experience and established character in public affairs, high stations in the Government of their country, and great consideration, in their several States, as Senators of the United States, will do me great honor, and afford me a firm support, wherever it shall be known, both at home and abroad. Their generous approbation of my conduct, in general, and liberal testimony to the undeviating impartiality of it, in my peculiar relation to their body, a character which, in every scene and employment of life, I should wish above all others to cultivate and merit, bos a tendency to soften asperities, and conciliate animosities, wherever such may unhappily exist; an effect at all times to be desired, and is the present Senate.]
■itaation of oar country, ardently to be promoted by all good citizen.1).
I pray the Senate to accept my sincere thanks.
Wednesday, March 1. Executive Veto on the Army Bill. The President Of The United States having stated his objections to the bill, entitled "An act to alter and amend an act, entitled ' an act to ascertain and fix the Military Establishment of the United States,'" the House of Representatives proceeded to consider the objections to the said bill, and have resolved that it do not pass.
Saturday, March 4. Installation of TTiomas Jefferson as Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate, and inauguration of John Adams as President of the United States. To the Vice President and Senators of
the United States respectively: Sir: It appearing to be proper that the Senate of the United States shonld be convened on Saturday, the fourth of March instant, you are desired to attend in the Chamber of the Senate, on that day at ten o'clock in the forenoon, to receive any communications which the President of the United States may then lay before you touching their interests.
March 1, 1797.
In conformity with the summons from the President Of Tiie United States, above recited, the Senate accordingly assembled in their Chamber.
Thomas Jefferson, Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.
John Langdon and Samuel Liyermore, from New Hampshire.
Theodore Sedgwick and Benjamin GoodHue, from Massachusetts.
Theodore Foster, from Rhode Island.
James Iiiixhouse and Uriah Tracy, from Connecticut.
Elijah Payne and Isaac Tichenor, from Vermont.
John Laurance, from New York.
Richard Stockton, from New Jersey.
James Ross and William Bingham, from Pennsylvania.
John Vining and Henry Latimer, from Delaware.
John Henry and John E. Howard, from Maryland.
Henry Tazewell and Stevens T. Mason, from Virginia.
John Brown and Humphrey Marshall, from Kentucky.
Alexander Martin and Timothy BloodWorth, from North Carolina. William Blount, from Tennessee.
Jaoob Read, from South Carolina. James Gunn and Josiah Tattnall, from Georgia.
Mr. Bingham administered the oath of office to the Vice President, who took the chair, and the credentials of the following members were read.
Of Mr. Foster, Mr. Goodhue, Mr. Hxllhottsz, Mr. Howard, Mr. Latimer, Mr. Mason, Mr. Ross, and Mr. Tichenor.
And the oath of office being severally administered to them by the Vice President, they took their seats in the Senate.
The Vice President then addressed the Senate as follows:
Gentlemen of the. Senate:
Entering on the duties of the office to which I am called, I feel it incumbent on me to apologize to this honorable House for the insufficient manner in which I fear they may be discharged. At an earlier period of my life, and through some considerable portion of it, I have been a member of Legislative bodies, and not altogether inattentive to the forms of their proceedings; but much time has elapsed since that; other duties have occupied my mind, and, in a great degree, it has lost its familiarity with this subject. I fear that the House will have but too frequent occasion to perceive the truth of this acknowledgment. If a diligent attention, however, will enable me to fulfil the functions now assigned me, I may promise that diligence and attention shall be sedulously employed. For one portion of my duty, I shall engage with more confidence, because it will depend on my will and not my capacity. The rules which are to govern the proceedings of this House, so far as they shall depend on me for their application, shall be applied with the most rigorous and inflexible impartiality, regarding neither persons, their views, nor principles, and seeing only the abstract proposition subject to my decision. If, in forming that decision, I concur with some and differ from others, as must of necessity happen, I shall rely on the liberality and candor of those from whom I differ, to believe, that I do it on pure motives.
I might here proceed, and with the greatest truth, to declare my zealous attachment to the Constitution of the United States, that I consider the union of these States as the first of blessings and as the first of duties die preservation of that constitution which secures it; but I suppose these declarations not pertinent to the occasion of entering into an oflice whose primary business is merely to preside over the forms of this House, and no one more sincerely prays that no accident may call me to the higher and more important functions which the constitution eventually devolves on this office. These have been justly confided to the eminent character which has preceded me here, whose talents and integrity have been known and revered by me through a long coarse of years, have been the foundation of a cordial and uninterrupted friendship between us, and I devoutly pray he may be long preserved for the government, the happiness, and prosperity, of our common country.*
* A graceful compliment from Mr. Jefferson to Mr. Adams whose competitor he had been in the election, for the President and Vice President were not then voted for separately bnt the person having the highest number of rotes became President, and the next highest the V'ce President; and In
On motion, it was agreed to repair to the Chamber of the House of Representatives to attend the administration of the oath of office to John Adams, President of the United States; which the 8enate accordingly did; and, being seated, the President Of The United States (attended by the Heads of Departments, the Marshal of the District and his officers) came into the Chamber of the House of Representatives and took his seat in the chair usually occupied by the Speaker. The Vice President and Secretary of the Senate were seated in advance, inclining to the right of the President, the late Speaker of the House of Representatives and Clerk on the left, and the Justices of the Supreme Court were seated round a table in front of the President Of The United States. The late President Of The United States, the great and good Washington,* took a seat, as a private citizen, a little in front of the seats assigned for the Senate, which were on the south side of the House, the foreign Ministers and members of the House of Representatives took their usual seats—a great concourse of both sexes being present. After a short pause, the President Of The United States arose, and communicated the following Address: "When it «u first perceived, in early times, that no middle course for America remained, between unlimited submission to a foreign Legislature, and a Mai independence of its claims, men of reflection were less apprehensive of danger, from the formidable power of fleets and armies they must determine to resii-t, than from those contests and dissensions, which would certainly arise concerning the forms of government to be instituted over the whole and over the parts of this extensive country. Relying, however, on the purity of their intentions, the justice of their caose, and the integrity and intelligence of the people, under an overruling Providence, which had ■o signally protected this country from the first, the Representatives of this nation, then consisting of little more than half its present number, not only broke to pieces the chains which were forging, and the rod of iron that was lifted up, but frankly cut asunder the ties which had bound them, and launched into an ocean of uncertainty.
"The zeal and ardor of the people, during the Revolutionary war, supplying the place of government, commanded a degree of order, sufficient at least for the preservation of society. The Confederation, which was early felt to be necessary, was prepared from the models of the Batavian and Helvetic Confederacies, the only examples which "remain, with any detail and precision, in history, and certainly the only ones which the people at large had ever conBut, reflecting on the striking difference, my particulars, between this country and those i a courier may go from the seat of Government
Ua election there was only a difference of three votes beIweta the two highest on rbe list
•The sensibility which was manifested when General ^"tshingtun entered, did not surpass the cheerfulness which t-rercprtad hia own countenance, nor the heartfelt pleasure *r.a which he saw another Invested with the power and tiUwrities that had so long been exercised by himself.—
to the frontier in a single day, it was then certainly foreseen by some who assisted in Congress at the formation of it, that it could not be durable.
"Negligence of its regulations, inattention to itj recommendations, if not disobedience to its authority, not only in individuals but in States, soon appeared, with their melancholy consequences: universal languor; jealousies and rivalries of States; decline of navigation and commerce; discouragement of necessary manufactures; universal fall iu the value of lands and their produce; contempt of public and private faith; loss of consideration and credit with foreign nations; and, at length, in discontents, animosities, combinations, partial conventions, and insurrection, threatening some great national calamity.
"In this dangerous crisis, the people of America were not abandoned by their usual good sense, presence of mind, resolution, or integrity. Measures were pursued to concert a plan, to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty. The public disquisitions, discussions, and deliberations, issned in the present happy constitution of Government
"Employed iu the service of my country abroad, during the whole course of these transactions, I first saw the Constitution of the United States in a foreign country. Irritated by no literary altercation, animated by no public debate, heated by no party animosity, I read it with great satisfaction, as a result of good heads, prompted by good hearts; as an experiment, better adapted to the genius, character, situation, and relations, of this nation and country, than any which had ever been proposed or suggested. In its general principles and great outlines, it was conformable to such a system of government as I had ever most esteemed, and in some States, my own native State in particular, had contributed to establish. Claiming a right of suffrage, in common with my fellow-citizens, in the adoption or rejection of a constitution which was to rule me and my posterity, as well as them and theirs, I did not hesitate to express my approbation of it, on all occasions, in public and in private. It was not then, nor has been since, any objection to it, in my mind, that the Executive and Senate were not more permanent. Nor have I ever entertained a thought of promoting any alteration in it, but such as the people themselves, in the course of their experience, should see and feel to be necessary or expedient, and by their Representatives in Congress and the State Legislatures, according to the constitution itself, adopt and ordain.
"Returning to the bosom of my country, after a painful separation from it, for ten years, I hod the honor to be elected to a station under the new order of things, and I have repeatedly laid myself under the most serious obligations to support the constitution. The operation of it has equalled the most sanguine expectations of its friends, and from an habitual attention to it, satisfaction in its administration and delight in its effects upon the peace, order, prosperity, and happiness of the nation, I have acquired an habitual attachment to it, and veneration for it.
"What other form of government, indeed, can so well deserve our esteem and love?
"There may be little solidity in an ancient idea^ that congregations of men into cities and nations are the most pleasing objects iu the sight of superior intelligences: hut this is very certain, that, to a beuevolent human mind, there can be no spectacle preSex Ate.]
sented by any nation more pleasing, more noble, majestic, or august, than an assembly like that which has so often been seen in this and the other chamber of Congress, of a Government, in which the Executive authority, as well as that of all the branches of the Legislature, are exercised by citizens selected, at regular periods, by their neighbors, to make and exf ecute laws for the general good. Can any thing essential, any thing more than mere ornament and decoration, be added to this by robes and diamonds? Can authority be more amiable and respectable, when it descends from accidents, or institutions established in remote antiquity, than when it springs fresh from Ifoe hearts and judgments of an honest and enlightened people? For, it is the people only that are represented : it is their power and majesty that are reflected, and only for their good, in every legitimate Government, under whatever form it may appear. The existence of such a Government as ours, for any length of time, is a fnll proof of a general dissemination of knowledge and virtue throughout the whole body of the people. And what object or consideration more pleasing than this can be presented to the human mind? If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable, it is when it springs, not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information, and benevolence.
"In the midst of these pleasing ideas, we should be unfaithful to ourselves, if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties, if any thing partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections. If an election is to be determined by a majority of a single vote, and that can be procured by a party, through artifice or corruption, the Government may bo the choice of a party, for its own ends, not of the nation for the national good. If that solitary suffrage can be obtained by foreign nations, by flattery or menaces, by fraud or violence, by terror, intrigue, or venality, the Government may not be the choice of the American people, but of foreign nations. It may be foreign nations who govern us, and not we the people who govern ourselves. And candid men will acknowledge, that, in snch cases, choice would have little advantage to boast of, over lot or chance.
"Such is the amiable and interesting system of Government (and such are some of the abuses to which it may be exposed) which the people of America have exhibited to the admiration and anxiety of the wise and virtuous of all nations, for eight years, under the administration of a citizen, who, by a long course of great actions, regulated by prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, conducting a people, inspired with the same virtues, and animated with the same ardent patriotism and love of liberty, to independence and peace, to increasing wealth and unexampled prosperity, has merited the gratitude of his fellow-citizens, commanded the highest praises of foreign nations, and secured immortal glory with posterity.
"In that retirement which is his voluntary choice, may he long live to enjoy the delicious recollection of his services, the gratitude of mankind, the happy fruits of tbem to himself and the world, which are daily increasing, and that splendid prospect of the future fortunes of this country, which is opening from year to year. His name may be still a rampart, and the knowledge that he still lives a bulwark, against all open or 6ecret enemies of his country's peace. His example has been recommended to the imitation of his successors, by both Houses of Congress,
and by the voice of the Legislatures and the people throughout the nation.
"On this subject it might become me better to be silent, or to speak with diffidence; but as something may be expected, the occasion, I hope, will be admitted as an apology, if I venture to say, that if • preference upon principle, of a free Republican Government, formed upon long and serious reflection, after a diligent and impartial inquiry after truth; if an attachment to the Constitution of the United States, and a conscientious determination to support it, until it shall be altered by the judgments and wishes of the people, expressed in the mode prescribed in it; if a respectful attention to the constitutions of the individual States, and a constant caution and delicacy towards the State Government; if an equal and impartial regard to the rights, interest, honor, and happiness, of all the States in the Union, without preference or regard to a Northern or Southern, an Eastern or Western position, their various political opinions on unessential points, or their personal attachments; if a love of virtuous men of all parties and denominations; if a love of science and letters, and a wish to patronize every rational effort to encourage schools, colleges, universities, academies, and every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue, and religion, among all classes of the people, not only for their benign influence on the happiness of life in all its stages and classes, and of society in all its forms, but as the only means of preserving our constitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of sophistry, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, the profligacy of corruption, and the pestilence of foreign influence, which is the angel of destruction to elective governments; if a love of equal laws, of justice, and humanity, in the interior administration; if an inclination to improve agriculture, commerce, and manufactures, for necessity, convenience, and defence; if a spirit of equity and humanity towards the aboriginal nations of America, and a disposition to meliorate their condition, by inclining them to be more friendly to us, and onr citizens to be more friendly to them; if an inflexible determination to maintain peace and inviolable faith with all nations, and that system of neutrality and impartiality among the belligerent powers of Europe, which has been adopted by this Government, and so solemnly sanctioned by both Houses of Congress, and applauded by the Legislatures of the States and the public opinion, until it shall be otherwise ordained by Congress; if a personal esteem for the French nation, formed in a residence of seven years, chiefly among them, and a sincere desire to preserve the friendship which has been so much for the honor and interest of both nations; if, while the conscious honor and integrity of the people of America, and the internal sentiment of their own power and energies must be preserved, an earnest endeavor to investigate every just cause, and remove every colorable pretence of complaint; if an intention to pursue, by amicable negotiation, a reparation for the injuries that have been committed on the commerce of our fellow-citizens by whatever nation, and, if success cannot be obtained, to lay the facts before the Legislature, that they may consider what further measures the honor and interest of the Government and its constituents demand; if a resolution to do justice, as far as may depend upon me, at all times and to all nations, and maintain peace, friendship, and benevolence, with all the world; if an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and resources of the American people, on which I have so Jukh, 1797.]
often hanrded my all, and never been deceived; if titrated ideas of the high destinies of this country, tad (f my own duties towards it, founded on a knowledge of the moral principles and intellectual improvements of the people, deeply engraven on my mind in early life, and not obscured, but exalted by experience and age; and with humble reverence, I feel it to be my dory to add, if a veneration for the religion of a people who profess and call themselves Christian!, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent reFpert for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me, in any degree, to comply with your wishes, it shall be my ■trennons endeavor, that this sagacious injunction of the two Houses shall not be without effect.
With this great example before me, with the sense and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest, of the same American people, pledged to support the Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt of its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is prepared, without hesitation, to lay myself under the nost solemn obligations to support it to the utmost of my power.
"And may that Being who is supreme over all, the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Protector, in all ages of the world, of virtuous liberty,
continue his blessing upon this nation and its Government, and give it all possible success and duration, consistent with the ends of His Providence."
The oath of office was then administered to him by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, the Associate Justices attending. After which, the President Of Thf United States retired, and the Senate repaired to their own Chamber.
Ordered, That Messrs. Lanodon and SedgWick be a committee to wait on the President Of The United States, and notify him that the Senate is assembled, and ready to adjourn unless he may have any communications to make to them.
Mr. Lanodon reported, from the committee, that they had waited on the President Of The United States, who replied, that he had no communication to make to the Senate, except his good wishes for their health and prosperity, and a happy meeting with their families and friends.
The Senate then adjourned without day.