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French minister of marine, which diverted their application for a time. At the same time the secretary of the treasury drew into the United States, such parts of these loans as were designed to apply to the sinking fund.

At this eventful period an insurrection broke out in the colony of St. Domingo, August 1791, which involved the white population in one general, and indiscriminate butchery; in which, neither age, nor sex were spared; an insurrection, which grew out of an act of the national assembly of France, which decreed, "that all men in the colony of St. Domingo, both whites, and men of colour, were equal." In this state of confusion, the secretary suffered a portion of the instalments actually due to France, to remain unpaid.

On the 23d of January, Mr. Giles of Virginia, entroduced several resolutions, requiring information from the treasury upon this whole subject. These resolutions were adopted.

The secretary of the treasury met these resolutions with such a full and ample statement as was highly satisfactory to the house. Mr. Giles however was not satisfied; but introduced sundry other resolutions upon the same subject, tending pointedly to criminate the secretary of the treasury, with a special clause, directing "that a copy of them be transmitted to the president."

These resolutions opened again a torrent of debate, on the 28th of February, that raged with unusual warmth and bitterness; but they were finally rejected by an overwhelming majority; and on the 4th of March, Congress adjourned-1793.

Such had become at this time the warmth and bitterness of party, and party feeling, that these resolutions were designed not only to criminate the secretary of the treasury, as an ambitious man, aiming at tyranny and usurpation; but also to criminate the executive, as the abettor, and

supporter of the measure, and accomplice in the plan. The reputation of the secretary was not altogether invulnerable; but the popularity justly attached to the president stood high, above the reach of party calumny, and held the balances with a steady hand.

At this eventful period the French revolution had so far progressed, as that the national convention had succeeded the national assembly; brought the king to the guillotine, and had given full scope to the reign of liberty and equality in France.

Sympathy had lit up the fire in America, and the people generally, cherished an anxious and cordial hope that the liberties of America had taken deep root in France, and were about to bless that people with the enjoyment of rational liberty; but the more knowing, both in Europe and America, clearly foresaw, what the experience of ages had inscribed in letters of blood, that rational liberty could never arise out of such a tempestuous sea of liberty, as the revolution of France then exhibited. The president of the United States clearly foresaw, that without an efficient government, the feelings of the people of America would become entangled in the vortex of the French revolution, and the new federal constitution be swallowed up in the general wreck of discord, anarchy, and confusion.

Pending these convulsions of the day, the electors of United America were again called upon to fill the chair of the two chief magistrates of the nation. Warm and violent was the strife of party, in the nation, but the electors were true to their country, and gave an unanimous suffrage for George Washington for president, and a majority for John Adams as vice-president.

Great efforts had been, and still continued to be made, to settle an accommodation with the Indians on the northwestern frontier, and appearances had now become more favourable; but peace had not yet been concluded. The VOL. III.


recruiting service progressed, and the president pursued his preparations for war, if it should become necessary.

The alarming state of things in Europe, arising out of the French revolution, now engrossed the attention of the president of the United States.

The minister at the court of France, Mr. Morris, felt himself embarrassed in his situation. The zeal of the French patriots looked for, and expected the same cordial zeal and co-operation on the part of America, towards her sister republic, that France had formerly shewn on her part towards America, in her revolution; but Mr. Morris saw, and the president saw the danger that awaited America, if she gave loose'to her feelings, and embarked on this tempestuous sea of liberty; a sea of liberty now raging with all the violence that the unrestrained passions of men could possibly produce.

On the 17th of April, the president repaired to the seat of government, and on the 18th, he addressed to the heads of departments, in the government, (his cabinet council) several important queries, relating to the conduct of the United States towards France, and requested their attendance at his house to decide upon the momentous subject.


The cabinet council met at the president's house, agreeable to appointment, and after mature deliberation, gave as their unanimous opinion, that a proclamation ought to issue, announcing the neutrality of the United States towards all belligerent powers, and warning the citizens thereof, against carrying articles contraband of war, to any, or either of the belligerents; and enjoining upon them, to abstain from all acts inconsistent with a friendly nation, towards those at war.

The council were also unanimous, that a minister ought to be received from France; but upon the terms on which such minister ought to be received, the council were divid

ed in sentiment.

The secretary of state, and attorney-general were of opinion, that the changes in the government of France, had not wrought any change in the relations between that gov ernment and the United States, and that the minister ought to be received upon the basis of the existing treaty.

The secretaries of the treasury and of war were of opinion, that the fluctuating state of the French government, ought not to involve the United States, absolutely and unconditionally, in such changes as it may either think proper, or be constrained to make; and that it was of importance to the interest and safety of the government of the United States, under the existing state of things, to absolve herself from the obligations of such treaties as actually existed under the monarchy; thus the cabinet was balanced.

Upon the question, whether it was advisable to convene Congress, the cabinet were unanimous in the negative.

The president next requested the council to express their opinions in writing upon the subjects on which they were divided, with their reasons, and authorities at large; and at the same time directed the attorney-general to prepare a proclamation, which was accordingly done, and approved by the council, and signed by the president, on the 22d, and ordered to be published.

The publication of this proclamation of neutrality opened a field for the display of those passions upon the great theatre of the nation, which we have heretofore witnessed in the national councils. All the bitterness of party burst forth in loud acclamations against the measure. The partizans of France demanded, that in gratitude, the United States were bound to make a common cause with France; base, avaricious, and unprincipled adventurers, denounced the proclamation as an abridgment of that commerce which they calculated to turn to their advantage, in the traffic of articles contraband of war; and they joined in the party clamours. In this state of things the national

government of France recalled from the United States,the minister of the crown, and sent out Mr. Genet, a subtle, artful, violent jacobin.

Mr. Genet arrived at Charleston, (South Carolina,) on the 8th of April, 1793, and was received by the governor of the state, and her best citizens, with all that enthusiasm which the American people had cherished for his nation, since the memorable days of York-Town; and which was ready to kindle into a flame at the approach of this diplomatic son of liberty and equality, from the sister republic of France.

All this might have been innocent in itself; but when Mr. Genet presumed, upon the strength of this, to insult the government of the United States, by assuming the power of commissioning privateers to cruise against nations, then at peace with the United States, and sell their prizes in the ports of the United States, under the authority of the consuls of France, even before he had been accredited by the government of the United States, it opened a door of serious alarm, and produced a serious controversy.

On the 18th, Mr. Genet arrived at Philadelphia, where he was received by the citizens with the same acclamations of joy he had witnessed in Charleston, and when presented to the government, was received by the president, with expressions of sincere, and cordial regard for the French people. Mr. Genet highly approved the proclamation of neutrality, as being favourable to the interest of France but the executive was silent upon the subject of the French Republic.

The British minister, Mr. Hammond, had laid before the president a statement of the captures of British vessels, which had been made by the authorised privateers of Mr. Genet, and he called a cabinet council, to advise upon the mode of procedure, lawful and expedient to be pursued.

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