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1794)

THE MISSION AND THE ENVOY.

205

represent to the British government the injuries we had sustained from it in various ways, and should urge indemnification.

The measure was decried by the party favorable to France, as an undue advance to the British government; but they were still more hostile to it when it was rumored that Hamilton was to be chosen for the mission. A member of the House of Representatives addressed a strong letter to the President, deprecating the mission, but especially the reputed choice of the envoy. James Monroe, also, at that time, a member of the Senate, remonstrated against the nomination of Hamilton, as injurious to the public interest and to the interest of Washington himself, and offered to explain his reasons to the latter in a private interview.

Washington declined the interview, but requested Mr. Monroe, if possessed of any facts which would disqualify Mr. Hamilton for the mission, to communicate them to him in writing.

“ Colonel Hamilton and others have been mentioned,” adds he, “but no one is yet absolutely decided

my

mind. But as much will depend, among other things, upon the abilities of the person sent, and his knowledge of the affairs of this country, and as I alone am responsible for a proper nomination, it certainly behooves me to name such a one as, in my judgment, combines the requisites for a mission so peculiarly interesting to the peace and happiness of this country.

Hamilton, however, aware of the “collateral obstacles” which existed with respect to himself, had resolved to advise Washington to drop him from the consideration and to fix upon another character; and recommended

upon in

John Jay, the Chief Justice of the United States, as the man whom it would be advisable to send. “I think,” writes he, “the business would have the best chance possible in his hands, and I flatter myself, that his mission would issue in a manner that would produce the most important good to the nation." *

Mr. Jay was the person ultimately chosen. Washington, in his message, thus nominating an additional envoy to Great Britain, expressed undiminished confidence in the minister actually in London. “But a mission like this,” observes he," while it corresponds with the solemnity of the occasion, will announce to the world a solicitude for a friendly adjustment of our complaints and a reluctance to hostility. Going immediately from the United States, such an envoy will carry with him a full knowledge of the existing temper and sensibility of our country, and will thus be taught to vindicate our rights with firmness, and to cultivate peace with sincerity.”

The nomination was approved by a majority of ten Senators.

By this sudden and decisive measure Washington sought to stay the precipitate impulses of public passion ; to give time to put the country into a complete state of defence, and to provide such other measures as might be necessary if negotiation, in a reasonable time, should prove unsuccessful. +

Notwithstanding the nomination of the envoy, the resolution to cut off all intercourse with Great Britain passed the House of Representatives, and was only lost

* Hamilton's Works, vol. iv., p. 531. | Letter to Edmund Randolph. Writings, x. 403.

1794.]

JEFFERSON'S LETTER.

207

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in the Senate by the casting vote of the Vice President, which was given, according to general belief, “ not from a disinclination to the ulterior expedience of the measure, but from a desire," previously, “to try the effect of negotiation." *

While Washington was thus endeavoring to steer the vessel of State, amid the surges and blasts which were threatening on every side, Jefferson, who had hauled out of the storm, writes serenely from his retirement at Monticello, to his friend Tench Coxe at Paris :

Your letters give a comfortable view of French affairs, and later events seem to confirm it. Over the foreign powers, I am convinced they will triumph completely, and I cannot but hope that that triumph, and the consequent disgrace of the invading tyrants, is destined, in order of events, to kindle the wrath of Europe against those who have dared to embroil them in such wickedness, and to bring, at length, kings, nobles, and priests, to the scaffolds which they have been so long deluging with human blood. I am still warm whenever I think of these scoundrels, though I do it as seldom as I can, preferring infinitely to contemplate the tranquil growth of my lucerne and potatoes. I have so completely withdrawn myself from these spectacles of usurpation and misrule, that I do not take a single newspaper, nor read one a month; and I feel myself infinitely the happier for it.”

* Washington to Tobias Lears, Writings, x. 401. + Works, iv. 104.

CHAPTER X X V.

JAMES MONROE APPOINTED MINISTER TO FRANCE IN PLACE OF GOUVER

NEUR MORRIS RECALLED HIS RECEPTION-PENNSYLVANIA INSUR

REOTION-PROOLAMATION OF WASHINGTON PERSEVERANCE OF THE

INSURGENTS-SECOND

PROCLAMATION- THE

PRESIDENT PROCEEDS

AGAINST THEMGENERAL MORGAN-LAWRENCE LEWIS_WASHING

TON ARRANGES A PLAN OF MILITARY OPERATIONS-RETURNS TO PHIL

ADELPHIA, LEAVING LEE IN COMMAND-SUBMISSION OF THE INSURGENTS—THE PRESIDENT'S LETTER ON THE SUBJECT TO JAY, MINISTER

AT LONDON.

The French government having so promptly complied with the wishes of the American government in recalling citizen Genet, requested, as an act of reciprocity, the recall of Gouverneur Morris, whose political sympathies were considered highly aristocratical. The request was granted accordingly, but Washington, in a letter to Morris, notifying him of his being superseded, assured him of his own undiminished confidence and friendship.

James Monroe, who was appointed in his place, arrived at Paris in a moment of great reaction. Robespierre had terminated his bloody career on the scaffold, and the reign of terror was at an end. The new minister from the United States was received in public by the Convention. The sentiments expressed by Monroe on delivering his credentials, were so completely in uni

1794.]

MONROE'S RECEPTION AT PARIS.

209

son with the feelings of the moment, that the President of the Convention embraced him with emotion, and it was decreed that the American and French flags should be entwined and hung up in the hall of the Convention, in sign of the union and friendship of the two republics.

Chiming in with the popular impulse, Monroe presented the American flag to the Convention, on the part of his country. It was received with enthusiasm, and a decree was passed, that the national flag of France should be transmitted in return, to the government of the United States.

Washington, in the mean time, was becoming painfully aware that censorious eyes at home were keeping a watch upon his administration, and censorious tongues and pens were ready to cavil at every measure.

“The affairs of this country cannot go wrong," writes he ironically to Gouverneur Morris," there are so many watchful guardians of them, and such infallible guides, that no one is at a loss for a director at every turn."

This is almost the only instance of irony to be found in his usually plain direct correspondence, and to us is mournfully suggestive of that soreness and weariness of heart with which he saw his conscientious policy misunderstood or misrepresented, and himself hecoming an object of party hostility.

Within three weeks after the date of this letter, an insurrection broke out in the western part of Pennsylvania, on account of the excise law. We have already mentioned the riotous opposition this law had experienced. Bills of indictment had been found against some of the rioters. The marshal, when on the way to serve the processes issued by the court, was fired upon

VOL. V.-14.

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