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Scotch peers are in the British Parliament. We wish, as the third branch of the legislative body, a House of Representatives, chosen by the great body of the people from among themselves, by such a ratio as shall not make the House too numerous; and this branch of our project meets unanimous applause. *** Unhappily, there is one powerful and wicked man, who, I fear, will destroy this beautiful fabric of human happiness—the Duke of Orleans. He does not, indeed, possess talent to carry into execution a great project, but he possesses immense wealth, and France abounds in marketable talents. Every city and town has young men eminent for abilities, particularly in the law-ardent in character, eloquent, ambitious of distinction, but poor. These are the instruments which the Duke may command by money, and they will do his bidding. His hatred of the royal family can be satiated only by their ruin; his ambition, probably, leads him to aspire to the throne.

"You saw the other day, in the mob, men who were called les Marseillois, les patriots par excellence. You saw them particularly active and audacious in stimulating the discontented artisans and laborers, who composed the great mass of the mob, to acts of violence and ferocity; these men are, in truth, desperadoes, assassins from the south of France, familiar with murder, robbery, and every atrocious crime, who have been brought up to Paris by the money of the Duke, for the very purpose in which you saw them employed, of mingling in all mobs, and exciting the passions of the people to frenzy.

"This is the first act of the drama. The second


will be to influence the elections, to fill the approaching Assembly with ardent, inexperienced, desperate, ambitious young men, who, instead of proceeding to discuss calmly the details of the plan of which I have given you the general outline, and to carry it quietly into operation, will, under disguise of zeal for the people, and abhorrence of the aristocrats, drive every measure to extremity, for the purpose of throwing the affairs of the nation into utter confusion, when the master spirit may accomplish his ultimate purpose.


Such was the report of affairs in France which Lafayette transmitted by Trumbull to Washington. It was not long after this conversation of the Colonel with the Marquis that, the sittings of the National Assembly being transferred from Versailles to Paris, the Breton club fixed itself on the site of the convent of Jacobins ; threw open its doors to the public and soon, under the appellation of the JACOBIN CLUB, exercised the baleful influence in public affairs, which Lafayette apprehended.



Washington had listened with profound attention to the report rendered by Trumbull. In the course of a subsequent conversation the latter informed him that Mr. Jefferson had embarked for America, and, it was probable, had already landed at Norfolk in Virginia. Washington immediately forwarded to him his commission as Secretary of State, requesting to know his determination on the subject.

Jefferson, in reply, expressed himself flattered by the nomination, but dubious of his being equal to its extensive and various duties, while, on the other hand, * Trumbull's Autobiography, 151.

he felt familiar with the duties of his present office.


But it is not for an individual to choose his path,' said he. "You are to marshal us as may best be for the public good. *** Signify to me, by another line, your ultimate wish, and I shall conform to it cordially. If it should be to remain in New York, my chief comfort will be to work under your eye; my only shelter the authority of your name and the wisdom of measures to be dictated by you and implicitly executed by

me.” *

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Washington, in answer, informed him that he considered the successful administration of the general government an object of almost infinite consequence to the present and future happiness of the citizens of the United States; that he regarded the office of Secretary for the department of State very important, and that he knew of no person who, in his judgment, could better execute the duties of it than himself. †

Jefferson accordingly accepted the nomination, but observed that the matters which had called him home, would probably prevent his setting out for New York before the month of March.

* Jefferson's Works, vol. iii., p. 125.

+ Washington's Writings, x. 77.




CONGRESS reassembled on the 4th of January (1790), but a quorum of the two Houses was not present until the 8th, when the session was opened by Washington in form, with an address delivered before them in the Senate chamber.*

* As the degree of state with which the session was opened was subsequently a matter of comment, we extract from Washington's diary his own account of it, premising that the regulations were devised by General Knox and Colonel Humphreys.

"Friday 8th, according to appointment, at 11 o'clock, I set out for the City Hall in my coach, preceded by Colonel Humphreys and Major Jackson in uniform (on my two white horses), and followed by Messrs. Lear and Nelson in my chariot, and Mr. Lewis, on horseback, following them. In their rear was the Chief Justice of the United States and Secretaries of the Treasury and War Departments in their respective carriages, and in the order they are named. At the outer door of the Hall, I was met by the door-keepers of the Senate and House and conducted to the door of the Senate chamber, and passing from thence to the chair through the Senate on the right and House of Representatives on the left, I took my seat. The gentlemen who attended me followed and took their stands behind the senators; the whole rising as I entered. After being seated, at which time the members of both Houses also sat, I rose (as they also did), and made my speech, delivering one copy to the President of the Senate and another to the Speaker of the House of

Among the most important objects suggested in the address for the deliberation of Congress, were provisions for national defence; provisions for facilitating intercourse with foreign nations, and defraying the expenses of diplomatic agents; laws for the naturalization of foreigners; uniformity in the currency, weights, and measures of the United States; facilities for the advancement of commerce, agriculture, and manufactures; attention to the post-office and post-roads; measures for the promotion of science and literature, and for the support of public credit.

This last object was the one which Washington had more immediately at heart. The government was now organized, apparently, to the satisfaction of all parties; but its efficiency would essentially depend on the success of a measure which Washington had pledged himself to institute, and which was yet to be tried; namely, a system of finance adapted to revive the national credit, and place the public debt in a condition to be paid off. The credit of the country was at a low ebb. The confederacy, by its articles, had the power of contracting debts for a national object, but no control over the means of payment. Thirteen independent legislatures could grant or withhold the means. The government was then a government under governments-the States had more power than Congress. At the close of the war the debt amounted to forty-two millions of dollars; but so little had the country been able to fulfil its en

Representatives-after which, and being a few moments seated, I retired, bowing on each side to the assembly (who stood) as I passed, and descending to the lower hall attended as before, I returned with them to my house."

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