Page images

I dure the separation, but for the consoling reflection.

FEBRUARY, 1797.]

(SENATE tempore, as the constitution provides, and the House, and took your leave of the members of the honorable WILLIAM BINGHAM was duly elected. Senate, we felt all those emotions of gratitude and

Ordered, That the Secretary wait on the affection, which our knowledge and experience of PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and notify your abilities and undeviating impartiality ought to him of the election of the Honorable WILLIAM inspire; and we should, with painful reluctance, enBINGHAM, to be PRESIDENT of the Senate pro

that the same qualities which have rendered you usetempore.

ful, as the President of this branch of the Legislature, Ordered, That the Secretary notify the House

will enable you to be still more so, in the exalted of Representatives of this election.

station to which you have been called. Op motion,

From you, sir, in whom your country have for a Ordered, That Messrs. SEDGWICK, BURR, and long period 'placed a steady confidence, which has TRAOY, be a committee to prepare and report never been betrayed or forfeited, and to whom they the draft of an answer to the Address de- have on so many occasions intrusted the care of their livered yesterday to the Senate, by the VICE dearest interests, which have never been abused; PRESIDENT of the United States.

from you, who, holding the second situation under

the Constitution of the United States, have lived in TUESDAY, February 21.

uninterrupted harmony with him who has held the The bill to accommodate the PRESIDENT was

first; from you we receive, with much satisfaction,

the declaration which you are pleased to make of the read the third time; and, being further amended,

opinion you entertain of the character of the present On motion that it be Resoloed, That this bili

Senators, and of that of those citizens who have been pass, it was decided in the affirmative-yeas 28, heretofore Senators. This declaration, were other Days 3. as follows:

| motives wanting, would afford them an incentive to YEAS.-Messrs. Bingham, Bloodworth, Blount, a virtuous perseverance in the line of conduct which Bradford, Brown, Foster, Goodhue, Gunn, Henry, has been honored with your approbation. Hillhouse, Howard, Langdon, Latimer, Laurance, In your future course, we entertain no doubt that Livermore, Marshall, Martin, Pain, Read, Ross, your official conduct will be measured by the constiRutherford, Sedgwick, Stockton, Tattnall, Tazewell, tution, and directed to the public good; you have, Tichenor, Tracy, and Vining.

therefore, a right to entertain a confident reliance, Nays.- Messrs. Cocke, Hunter, and Mason.

that you will be supported, as well by the people at So it was Resolved, That this bill pass; that it la

at it large as by their constituted authorities.

We cordially reciprocate the wishes which you exbe engrossed; and that the title thereof be, “An

press for our honor, health, and happiness; we join act to accommodate the PRESIDENT.”

with yours our fervent prayers for the continuation of Mr. SEDGWICK reported from the committee

the virtues and liberties of our fellow-citizens, for the appointed for the purpose, the draft of an

public prosperity and peace; and for you we implore answer to the Address of the VICE PRESIDENT the best reward of virtuous deeds—the grateful apof the United States, on his retiring from the probation of your constituents, and the smiles of Senate; which was read.

Heaven, On motion, that it be printed for the use of

WILLIAM BINGHAM, the Senate, it was disagreed to.

President of the Senate pro tempore. Ordered, That the report lie for consideration.

Ordered, That the committee who drafted WEDNESDAY, February 22.

the Address wait on the VICE PRESIDENT, with

the Answer of the Senate. The Senate took into consideration the report of the committee, in answer to the Address of the VICE PRESIDENT of the United States, on

Thursday, February 23. his retiring from the Senate.

Mr. SEDGWICK reported, from the committee, On motion to recommit the report, it passed that, agreeably to order, they had waited on in the negative: and the report being amended, the VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, was adopted, as follows:

with the answer to his Address, on retiring from SIR: The Senate of the United States would be

the Senate-to which the VICE PRESIDENT was unjust to their own feelings, and deficient in the per pleased to make the following Reply: formance of a duty their relation to the Government An Address so respectful and affectionate as this, of their country imposes, should they fail to express from gentlemen of such experience and established their regard for your person, and their respect for character in public affairs, high stations in the Govyour character, in answer to the Address you pre- ernment of their country, and great consideration, in sented to them, on your leaving a station which you their several States, as Senators of the United States, have so long and so honorably filled as their Presi- will do me great honor, and afford me a firm support,

wherever it shall be known, both at home and abroad. The motives you have been pleased to disclose Their generous approbation of my conduct, in gen. which induced you not to withdraw from the public eral, and liberal testimony to the undeviating imparservice, at a time when your experience, talents, and tiality of it, in my peculiar relation to their body, a virtues, were peculiarly desirable, are as honorable character which, in every scene and employment of for yourself, as, from our confidence in you, sir, we | life, I should wish above all others to cultivate and trust the result will be beneficial to our beloved merit, has a tendency to soften asperities, and concicountry.

liate animosities, wherever such may unhappily exist; When you retired from your dignified seat in this an effect at all times to be desired, and in the present SENATE.]


[MARCH, 1797 situation of our country, ardently to be promoted by JACOB READ, from South Carolina. all good citizens.

JAMES GUNN and JOSIAA TATTNALL, from I pray the Senate to accept my sincere thanks. Georgia

JOHN ADAMS. Mr. BINGHAM administered the oath of office

to the VICE PRESIDENT, who took the chair, WEDNESDAY, March 1.

and the credentials of the following members Executive Veto on the Army Bill. were read. The PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES having

Of Mr. FOSTER, Mr. GOODHUE, Mr. HILLHOUSE, stated his objections to the bill, entitled “ An | Mr. Howard, Mr. LATIMER, Mr. Mason, Mr. act to alter and amend an act, entitled . an act | Ross, and Mr. TICHENOR. to ascertain and fix the Military Establishment And the oath of office being severally adminof the United States,' " the House of Representa- | istered to them by the VICE PRESIDENT, they tives proceeded to consider the objections to the took their seats in the Senate. said bill, and have resolved that it do not pass.

| The VICE PRESIDENT then addressed the Sen-
ate as follows:
Gentlemen of the Senate :

Entering on the duties of the office to which I am SPECIAL SESSION.

called, I feel it incumbent on me to apologize to this SATURDAY, March 4.

honorable House for the insufficient manner in which

I fear they may be discharged. At an earlier period Installation of Thomas Jefferson as Vice Presi- of my life, and through some considerable portion of

dent of the United States and President of it, I have been a member of Legislative bodies, and the Senate, and inauguration of John Adams not altogether inattentive to the forms of their proas President of the United States.

ceedings; but much time has elapsed since that; To the Vice President and Senators of

other duties have occupied my mind, and, in a great the United States respectively :

degree, it has lost its familiarity with this subject. I SIR: It appearing to be proper that the Senate of fear that the House will have but too frequent occasion the United States should be convened on Saturday. Ito perceive the truth of this acknowledgment. II a the fourth of March instant, you are desired to attená diligent attention, however, will enable me to fulfil in the Chamber of the Senate, on that day at ten the functions now assigned me, I may promise that o'clock in the forenoon, to receive any communica

diligence and attention shall be sedulously employed. tions which the President of the United States may

For one portion of my duty, I shall engage with more then lay before you touching their interests.

confidence, because it will depend on my will and

G. WASHINGTON. not my capacity. The rules which are to govern the March 1, 1797.

proceedings of this House, so far as they shall deIn conformity with the summons from the

pend on me for their application, shall be applied

with the most rigorous and inflexible impartiality, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, above re

regarding neither persons, their views, nor principles, cited, the Senate accordingly assembled in their and seeing only the abstract proposition subject to Chamber.

my decision. If, in forming that decision, I concur PRESENT :

with some and differ from others, as must of necesTHOMAS JEFFERSON, Vice President of the sity happen, I shall rely on the liberality and candor United States and President of the Senate. .

of those from whom I differ, to believe, that I do it JOHN LANGDON and SAMUEL LIVERMORE, from

on pure motives. New Hampshire.

I might here proceed, and with the greatest truth, THEODORE SEDGWICK and BENJAMIN GOOD

to declare my zealous attachment to the Constitution

of the United States, that I consider the union of HUE, from Massachusetts.

these States as the first of blessings and as the first of THEODORE FOSTER, from Rhode Island.

duties the preservation of that constitution which seJAMES HILLHOUSE and URIAN Tracy, from cures it; but I suppose these declarations not pertiConnecticut.

nent to the occasion of entering into an office whose ELIJAH PAYNE and Isaac TICHENOR, from primary business is merely to preside over the forms Vermont.

of this House, and no one more sincerely prays that John LAURANCE, from New York.

no accident may call me to the higher and more imRICHARD STOCKTON, from New Jersey.

portant functions which the constitution eventually JAMES Ross and WILLIAM BINGHAM, from

devolves on this office. These have been justly conPennsylvania

fided to the eminent character which has preceded me John VINING and HENRY LATIMER, from Dela

here, whose talents and integrity have been known

and revered by me through a long course of years, ware.

have been the foundation of a cordial and uninterruptJOHN HENRY and John E. HOWARD, from

ed friendship between us, and I devoutly pray he Maryland.

may be long preserved for the government, the hapHENRY TAZEWELL and STEVENS T. Mason,

piness, and prosperity, of our common country.* from Virginia. JOHN Brown and HUMPHREY MARSHALL, from

* A graceful compliment from Mr. Jefferson to Mr. Adams Kentucky

whose competitor he had been in the election, for the PresiALEXANDER MARTIN and TIMOTHY BLOOD dent and Vice President were not then voted for separately WORTH, from North Carolina.

but the person having the highest number of votes becama WILLIAM BLOUNT, from Tennessee.

President, and the next highest the V'ce President; and in

MARCH, 1797.)

[SENATE On motion, it was agreed to repair to the to the frontier in a single day, it was then certainly Chamber of the House of Representatives to foreseen by some who assisted in Congress at the attend the administration of the oath of office formation of it, that it could not be durable. to JOHN ADANS, President of the United States; “Negligence of its regulations, inattention to itz which the Senate accordingly did; and, being

recommendations, if not disobedience to its authority, seated, the PEESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

not only in individuals but in States, soon appeared, (attended by the Heads of Departments, the

with their melancholy consequences : universal lanNarshal of the District and his officers) came

guor; jealousies and rivalries of States ; decline of

ne navigation and commerce; discouragement of necesinto the Chamber of the House of Representa

sary manufactures ; universal fall in the value of tives and took his seat in the chair usually oc- lands and their produce; contempt of public and cupied by the SPEAKER. The VICE PRESIDENT private faith ; loss of consideration and credit with and Secretary of the Senate were seated in ad-foreign nations; and, at length, in discontents, anivance, inclining to the right of the PRESIDENT, mosities, combinations, partial conventions, and inthe late SPEAKER of the House of Representa- surrection, threatening some great national calamity. tives and Clerk on the left, and the Justices of “In this dangerous crisis, the people of America the Supreme Court were seated round a table were not abandoned by their usual good sense, prein front of the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED sence of mind, resolution, or integrity. Measures STATES. The late PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED

were pursued to concert a plan, to form a more perSTATES, the great and good WASHINGTON,* took

Ifect union, establish justice, ensure domestic trana seat, as a private citizen, a little in front of the

quillity, provide for the common defence, promote

the general welfare, and secure the blessings of libseats assigned for the Senate, which were on

ate, which were on erty. The public disquisitions, discussions, and dethe south side of the House, the foreign Minis-liberations, issued in the present happy constitation ters and members of the House of Representa- of Government. tives took their usual seats—a great concourse "Employed in the service of my country abroad, of both sexes being present. After a short during the whole course of these transactions, I first panse, the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES saw the Constitution of the United States in a forarose, and communicated the following Address: eign country. Irritated by no literary altercation,

" When it was first perceived, in early times, that animated by no public debate, heated by no party no middle conrse for America remained, between un-animosity, I read it with great satisfaction, as a relimited submission to a foreign Legislature, and a sult of good heads, prompted by good hearts; as an total independence of its claims, men of reflection

experiment, better adapted to the genius, character, were less apprehensive of danger, from the formi

situation, and relations, of this nation and country, dable power of fleets and armies they must determine

than any which had ever been proposed or suggested. to resist, than from those contests and dissensions,

In its general principles and great outlines, it was which would certainly arise concerning the forms of

conformable to such a system of government as I government to be instituted over the whole and over

had ever most esteemed, and in some States, my own the parts of this extensive country. Relying, how

native State in particular, had contributed to estabever, on the purity of their intentions, the justice of

of lish. Claiming a right of suffrage, in common with their cause, and the integrity and intelligence of the my fellow-citizens, in the adoption or rejection of a people, onder an overraling Providence, which had constitution which was to rule me and my posterity, so signally protected this country from the first, the

the as well as them and theirs, I did not hesitate to exRepresentatives of this nation, then consisting of press my approbation

of press my approbation of it, on all occasions, in publittle more than half its present number, not only lic and in private. It was not then, nor has been broke to pieces the chains which were forging, and since, any objection to it, in my mind, that the Ex

rod of iron that was lifted no but frankiu ont ecutive and Senate were not more permanent. Nor asunder the ties which had bound them, and launch-have I ever entertained a thought of promoting any ed into an ocean of uncertainty.

alteration in it, but such as the people themselves, “The zeal and ardor of the people, during the

in the course of their experience, should see and feel to Revolutionary war, supplying the place of govern-1.

rnbe necessary or expedient, and by their Representament, commanded a degree of order, sufficient at least tive

tives in Congress and the State Legislatures, accordfor the preservation of society. The Confederation,

ing to the constitution itself, adopt and ordain. which was early felt to be necessary, was prepared

"Returning to the bosom of my country, after a from the models of the Batavian and Helvetic Con- painful separation from it, for ten years, I had the federacies, the only examples which remain, with

honor to be elected to a station under the new order any detail and precision, in history, and certainly of things, and I have repeatedly laid myself under the only ones which the people at large had ever con

the most serious obligations to support the constitusidered. But, reflecting on the striking difference,

ce tion. The operation of it has equalled the most sanin many particulars, between this country and those

guine expectations of its friends, and from an habitwhere a courier may go from the seat of Government ual attention to it, satisfaction in its administration

and delight in its effects upon the peace, order, pros

perity, and happiness of the nation, I have acquired thiy election there was only a difference of three votes be an habitual attachment to it, and veneration for it. tween the two highest on the list.

“What other form of government, indeed, can so *The sensibility which was manifested when General | well deserve our esteem and love ? Washington entered, did not surpass the cheerfulness which | “There may be little solidity in an ancient idea Overspread his own countenance, por the heartfelt pleasure that congregations of men into cities and nations are with which he saw another invested with the power and the most pleasing objects in the sight of superior inauthorities that had so long been exercised by himself. telligences: but this is very certain, that, to a benevoVardhall.

| lent human mind, there can be no spectacle preSENATE.)


(MARCH, 1797. sented by any nation more pleasing, more noble, and by the voice of the Legislatures and the people majestic, or august, than an assembly like that which throughout the nation. has so often been seen in this and the other chamber “On this subject it might become me better to be of Congress, of a Government, in which the Execu silent, or to speak with diffidence ; but as something tive authority, as well as that of all the branches of may be expected, the occasion, I hope, will be adthe Legislature, are exercised by citizens selected, at mitted as an apology, if I venture to say, that if a regular periods, by their neighbors, to make and ex- preference upon principle, of a free Republican GoFfecute laws for the general good. Can any thing es-ernment, formed upon long and serious reflection, sential, any thing more than mere ornament and deco- after a diligent and impartial inquiry after truth; if ration, be added to this by robes and diamonds ? an attachment to the Constitution of the United Can authority be more amiable and respectable, when States, and a conscientious determination to support it descends from accidents, or institutions established it, until it shall be altered by the judgments and in remote antiquity, than when it springs fresh from wishes of the people, expressed in the mode prescribthe hearts and judgments of an honest and enlight- ed in it; if a respectful attention to the constitutions ened people ? For, it is the people only that are repre- of the individual States, and a constant caution and sented : it is their power and majesty that are reflected, delicacy towards the State Government; if an equal and only for their good, in every legitimate Govern- and impartial regard to the rights, interest, honor, ment, under whatever form it may appear. The ex- and happiness, of all the States in the Union, withistence of such a Government as ours, for any length out preference or regard to a Northern or Southern, of time, is a full proof of a general dissemination of an Easteru ur Western position, their various politiknowledge and virtue throughout the whole body of cal opinions on unessential points, or their personal the people. And what object or consideration more attachments; if a love of virtuous men of all parties pleasing than this can be presented to the human and denominations ; if a love of science and letters, mind ? If national pride is ever justifiable or excu- and a wish to patronize every rational effort to encoursable, it is when it springs, not from power or riches, age schools, colleges, universities, academies, and grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national every institution for propagating knowledge, virtue, innocence, information, and benevolence.

and religion, among all classes of the people, not only “In the midst of these pleasing ideas, we should for their benign influence on the happiness of life in be unfaithful to ourselves, if we should ever lose sight all its stages and classes, and of society in all its of the danger to our liberties, if any thing partial forms, but as the only means of preserving our conor extraneous should infect the purity of our free, stitution from its natural enemies, the spirit of sophisfair, virtuous, and independent elections. If an elec try, the spirit of party, the spirit of intrigue, the tion is to be determined by a majority of a single profligacy of corruption, and the pestilence of foreign vote, and that can be procured by a party, through | influence, which is the angel of destruction to electartifice or corruption, the Government may be the ive governments; if a love of equal laws, of justice, choice of a party, for its own ends, not of the nation and humanity, in the interior administration; if an for the national good. If that solitary suffrage can inclination to improve agriculture, commerce, and be obtained by foreign nations, by flattery or menaces, manufactures, for necessity, convenience, and deby fraud or violence, by terror, intrigue, or venality, fence; if a spirit of equity and humanity towards the Government may not be the choice of the Ameri the aboriginal nations of America, and a disposition can people, but of foreign nations. It may be foreign to meliorate their condition, by inclining them to be nations who govern us, and not we the people who more friendly to us, and our citizens to be more govern ourselves. And candid men will acknow-friendly to them; if an inflexible determination to ledge, that, in such cases, choice would have little maintain peace and inviolable faith with all nations, advantage to boast of, over lot or chance.

and that system of neutrality and impartiality among “Such is the amiable and interesting system of the belligerent powers of Europe, which has been Government (and such are some of the abuses to adopted by this Government, and so solemnly sancwhich it may be exposed) which the people of tioned by both Houses of Congress, and applauded America have exhibited to the admiration and anxi- by the Legislatures of the States and the public opinety of the wise and virtuous of all nations, for ion, until it shall be otherwise ordained by Congress; eight years, under the administration of a citizen, if a personal esteem for the French nation, formed who, by a long course of great actions, regulated by in a residence of seven years, chiefly among them, prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude, conduct and a sincere desire to preserve the friendship which ing a people, inspired with the same virtues, and has been so much for the honor and interest of both animated with the same ardent patriotism and love nations; if, while the conscious honor and integrity of liberty, to independence and peace, to increasing of the people of America, and the internal sentiment wealth and unexampled prosperity, has merited the of their own power and energies must be preserved, gratitude of his fellow-citizens, commanded the high- | an earnest endeavor to investigate every just cause, est praises of foreign nations, and secured immortal and remove every colorable pretence of complaint; glory with posterity.

if an intention to pursue, by amicable negotiation, a “ In that retirement which is his voluntary choice, reparation for the injuries that have been committed may he long live to enjoy the delicious recollection on the commerce of our fellow-citizens by whatever of his services, the gratitude of mankind, the happy nation, and, if success cannot be obtained, to lay the fruits of them to himself and the world, which are facts before the Legislature, that they may consider daily increasing, and that splendid prospect of the fu- what further measures the honor and interest of the ture fortunes of this country, which is opening from Government and its constituents demand; if a resoyear to year. His name may be still a rampart, and lution to do justice, as far as may depend upon me, the knowledge that he still lives a bulwark, against at all times and to all nations, and maintain peace, all open or secret enemies of his country's peace. friendship, and benevolence, with all the world; if His example has been recommended to the innita- an unshaken confidence in the honor, spirit, and retion of his successors, by both Houses of Congress, sources of the American people, on which I have so

MARCH, 1797.]

(SENATE. often hazarded my all, and never been deceived; if continue his blessing upon this nation and its Govelevated ideas of the high destinies of this country, ernment, and give it all possible success and duraand of my own duties towards it, founded on a know- tion, consistent with the ends of His Providence. ledge of the moral principles and intellectual improve- The oath of office was then administered to ments of the people, deeply engraven on my mind in him by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court early life, and not obscured, but exalted by experi

of the United States, the Associate Justices atence and age; and with humble reverence, I feel it

tending. After which, the PRESIDENT OF THF to be my duty to add, if a veneration for the religion

UNITED STATES retired, and the Senate repaired of a people who profess and call themselves Chris

to their own Chamber. tians, and a fixed resolution to consider a decent re

On motion, spect for Christianity among the best recommendations for the public service, can enable me, in any

Ordered, That Messrs. LANGDON and SEDGdegree, to comply with your wishes, it shall be my WICK be a committee to wait on the PRESIDENT strenuons endeavor, that this sagacious injunction of OF THE UNITED STATES, and notify him that the the two Houses shall not be without effect.

Senate is assembled, and ready to adjourn unless With this great example before me, with the sense he may have any communications to make to and spirit, the faith and honor, the duty and interest, them. of the same American people, pledged to support the Mr. LANGDON reported, from the committee, Constitution of the United States, I entertain no doubt

that they had waited on the PRESIDENT OF THE of its continuance in all its energy, and my mind is

UNITED STATES, who replied, that he had no prepared, without hesitation, to lay myself under the

communication to make to the Senate, except most solemn obligations to support it to the utmost

his good wishes for their health and prosperity, of my power. “And may that Being who is supreme over all, ar

reme over oil and a happy meeting with their families and the Patron of Order, the Fountain of Justice, and the Irie

ha friends. Protector, in all ages of the world, of virtuous liberty, 1ne penate meu aujour

The Senate then adjourned without day,

« PreviousContinue »