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1794.]

PARTIES IN THE UNITED STATES.

545

the influence of Executive favor, and the hope of lucrative appointments. But each party seemed disposed to await the result of the negotiation before it renewed the contest. The non-intercourse bill, however, passed the House of Representatives, but was lost in the Senate by the casting vote of the Vice-President.

At this moment, when the hostility of the American people to Great Britain had been aggravated by their resentment of her recent wrongs on the ocean, their enthusiasm in favor of France and her revolution was at its height. Her wildest excesses, her horrible butcheries, without discrimination of age or sex, her puerile innovations - all found apologists, admirers, and some of them imitators in the United States. In this state of the public mind towards these nations, it seemed improbable that the country could be prevented from rushing headlong into a war with a nation which was its best customer in peace, and most able to injure it in war; and when it must necessarily lose the large profits it still derived from commerce, lessened even as those profits were by the abuses of the British naval power.

The party who, being unfriendly to France and her revolution, clearly saw the ruinous consequences of a war with Great Britain, added to the real evils of such a war the imaginary one that France would obtain an ascendency in this country, and here re-enact the same bloody enormities which an ignorant and infuriated rabble had there perpetrated against their former masters.

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A grand jury in Philadelphia having refused to find a bill of indictment against Duplaine, the French consul, for forcibly rescuing an armed vessel which had been seized for violating the duties of belligerents, according to the rules which had been prescribed by the Executive, and the subject having been mentioned by the PreVOL. I.—35

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546

CARRIAGE TAX.

[CHAP. VII. sident in the Senate, a bill was brought in to prevent certain crimes against the United States. It punished particular acts which were inconsistent with the neutrality of the country, with fine and imprisonment; and it prohibited the condemnation and sale of prizes made from those nations with whom they were at peace. This bill would have been defeated, if repeated motions, made with that view, had not been lost by the vote of the Vice-President.

The Republican party had a majority in the Senate of a single member, but the seat of Mr. Gallatin from Pennsylvania, one of that majority, having been contested, and set aside on the ground that he had not been a citizen as long as the Constitution required, the two parties were exactly balanced.

Inquiries were again instituted at this session respecting the Treasury department, with the view of implicating the Secretary; but these resulted in an entire justification of that officer. His political principles, supported as they were by his acknowledged talents, and a numerous body of zealous friends, made him an object of unceasing dread and suspicion to the leaders of the Republican party. It had been whispered that General Washington was inclined to nominate him on the special mission to England, and the rumor excited so much alarm among his political opponents, that the President received two letters in opposition to the appointment, one of them from Mr. Monroe, then a Senator from Virginia. In yielding to this opposition, the selection he made seems liable to yet stronger objections.

The increased expenses of the Government requiring an addition to the revenue, a tax on pleasure-carriages was among the expedients suggested. This was opposed on the ground that it was a direct tax, and consequently,

1794.]

COMPLAINTS BY THE BRITISH MINISTER.

547

the Constitution required that it should be apportioned among the States according to their population. The question was litigated in Virginia, and on an appeal, the Supreme Court affirmed the first decision that the tax was not a direct one, under the meaning of the Constitution.

On the fourth of June, the President communicated to Congress the reply of the Secretary of State to the British Minister's letter of the twenty-second of May.

Referring to Mr. Hammond's admission of the authenticity of Lord Dorchester's speech to the Indians, Mr. Randolph says that Hammond, not denying that Lord Dorchester had encouraged the hostile dispositions of the Indians towards the United States, insists that the aggressions had been principally from the States. These charges he examines in detail.

First. The alleged trespasses of the people of Vermont. He says that (as Hammond had been already assured by Mr. Jefferson) the United States had determined to repress the acts complained of, and that instructions had been given accordingly: that, from the seventh of July, 1792, to the tenth of March, 1794, no complaint of this character had been heard of; nor was it until after Lord Dorchester's speech that this remonstrance was renewed.

Second. The fitting out two privateers in South Carolina. This transaction probably occurred at the beginning of the war, and before that occurrence was communicated to the United States. Mr. Hammond had been previously informed that the Government had taken measures to prevent a repetition of the acts complained of.

Third. Captures made by French privateers before. June, 1793. The American Government was justified

548

ANSWER TO HAMMOND'S COMPLAINT. [CHAP. VII.

in not undertaking to restore the property, but it does not decide on the validity of the capture.

Fourth. The cases of the privateers Le Petit Democrat and La Carmagnole. It is probable that their inactivity was caused by the intervention of the Govern

ment.

Fifth. The sale of prizes made by French cruisers in the United States. The law of nations on this question is doubtful. The President proposes to bring it to the notice of Congress.

Sixth. French vessels have been permitted to leave the United States, notwithstanding the embargo. This fact is denied. Some special passports had been granted, and one to Mr. Hammond himself; several to the British dominions-twenty-six in all.

Seventh. The unfriendly treatment received by British officers in the United States. In the only cases made known to the Government, proper measures were promptly adopted.

Eighth. The events at Newport, in Rhode Island. The Secretary sends to the Minister a detail of the proceedings on that occasion.

Ninth. Mr. Randolph insists, in conclusion, that Governor Simcoe's expedition was without justifiable pretext. The British fort of Detroit, being within the United States, can furnish no reason for another fort still further within their limits.

As Gouverneur Morris was believed in France to have been unfriendly to the revolution; and, in his sympathy for the Court party, to have rendered active service to Louis the Sixteenth, his recall was requested by the French Government. Upon which the President appointed as his successor, James Monroe, known to be

1794.] ACCOUNTS WITH THE STATES ADJUSTED.

549

well affected to France, and the recent change in her government.

Genet was succeeded by Fauchet, who, not deficient in zeal for France and for republicanism, was never, like his predecessor, betrayed by it into any indecorum towards the American Government.

One of his first official acts was to ask for the advance of part of the debt due from the United States to France, which was wanted for St. Domingo; but the subject having been referred to the Secretary of the Treasury, he reported that the whole amount due to France, or near it, had been already paid.

During this session the settlement of the debts of the several States with the United States was brought to a close; when it appeared that the sum of three millions five hundred and seventeen thousand five hundred and four dollars was due to the seven States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia, from the other six States.

It afforded a cause of party triumph to those who had opposed the assumption, when it was shown that if the United States had waited to assume the State debts till the accounts had been finally settled, the very same result would have been effected, and the individual States have been placed in the same relative situation in which they now stand, by assuming eleven millions of dollars instead of twenty-two millions.1

As a part of the debts2 due from the States was confessedly not expended for the war, or in the common

1 Gallatin on Finances, page 107.

The additional public debt created by that improvident scheme of finance was ten millions eight hundred and eighty three thousand six hundred and twenty-eight dollars.

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