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ment ceremonial. His intercourse with Congress was modelled upon that of the English kings, being in person, a committee having first perfected all the
Washington has given us a description of the ceremonial. He drove there, he writes,
"in a coach drawn by six horses preceded by Colonel Humphrey and Major Johnson, in uniform, on my two white horses, and followed by Messrs. Lear and Nelson in my chariot, Mr. Lewis on horseback following them. In their rear was the Chief Justice of the United States and the secretaries of the Treasury and War Department (Hamilton and Knox) in their respective carriages, and in the order they are named. At the outer door I was met by the doorkeepers of the Senate and House and was conducted to the door of the Senate chamber, and passing from thence to the chair, through the Senate on the right and the House on the left, I took my seat.
"The gentlemen who attended me followed and took their stand 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 Representatives, after which and being a few minutes 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."
Mr. Peter Gerard Stuyvesant, at a banquet in 1839, said that Washington seldom walked in the street; his public recreation was in riding. When accompanied by Mrs. Washington, he rode in a carriage drawn by six Virginia bays with two outriders, who wore rich livery, cocked hats with cockades, and powder. When he rode on horseback he was accompanied by one or more of the gentlemen of his family, and attended by his outriders. The state carriage was of English make, - a very large cream-colored chariot of globular form, surrounded by cupids supporting festoons of flowers
emblematically arranged around the panel-work; the whole being covered with best coach-glass.
This display, it has been remarked, had the effect of repressing the spirits of those who approached the chief magistrate, and many comments were passed upon it, as it seemed to savor too much of the royalty which had been banished from the land. Mr. Joseph Dennie, the editor, remarked that "although the genius of our government is republican, yet our conversation partakes much of the old leaven of monarchy." The presidential levees and Mrs. Washington's parties people thought "imitated too much the pomps and maxims of the Court." Freneau held that Americans embracing the new and republican form of government should leave behind all that savored of the maxims and prejudices of the old régime, and become identified with the manner of life they profess to embrace; he therefore attacked all this ceremonial most unsparingly, going, it is said, sometimes beyond all bounds, and consequently drawing upon himself the attacks of the opposite party.
In 1792 Washington was a second time unanimously elected president; and he had scarcely entered upon his second term of office in the spring of '93, when France declared war with Holland; and in April Washington announced his intention of maintaining strict neutrality; his proclamation to that effect provoked great discussion. The French government, desirous of gaining the Americans to espouse its cause, appointed Citizen Edmund Charles Genest, written in America Genet, as ambassador to the United States; for, although his father was attached to the Court of France, and his sister, Madame Campan, was in the service of Marie Antoinette, he had espoused the cause of the republican party. Young Genet was already skilled in the art of diplomacy, having studied it in the school of his father; and he began to put it in practice
immediately upon his landing. He was received in Charleston, at which port he landed, with the greatest enthusiasm. His journey to the capital consumed an entire month, and his progress was a complete ovation.
Upon reaching Gray's Ferry at Philadelphia, a large portion of the population went out to meet and welcome Genet, and he was conducted in triumph to the city, where he was tendered an address congratulating France upon obtaining the freedom she had helped the United States to secure. In the evening a banquet was given in his honor, during the course of which Freneau was requested to translate the French ode written by Duponceau, the singing of which is Isaid to have been one of the items of the festival.
The French republic was looking anxiously to this country for aid in its conflict with Europe, and especially upon the ocean, where it was conducting an unequal fight with Great Britain, whom it looked upon as a mutual enemy; it therefore confidently expected from the United States the assistance it had rendered her in her time of need. Freneau, along with others, was desirous of a coalition with France; therefore, declaring himself in favor of Genet, he threw himself heart and soul into the projected plan of uniting the two republics in a bond of brotherhood. To this plan, however, Washington lent a deaf ear, and finding him inflexible, Genet formed the audacious design of appealing from the President to the people.
Encouraged by his warm reception in the country, Genet strove to arouse sentiments of enthusiasm towards France, notwithstanding the refusal of the President; how he succeeded, the chaos into which he threw the country can best describe. A sort of insanity seemed to have taken possession of the most serious minds, and even in the Cabinet there were warm and violent discussions. Jefferson, fearing it impossible to preserve neutrality considering the ill
concealed bad will of England, thought it well to secure a union with France, that in case of a rupture we might look upon her as an ally.
Genet now audaciously empowered the French consuls throughout the States to hold courts of admiralty, and try and condemn prizes brought to port. He also fitted out privateers, and commissioned officers, and enlisted men in the interests of France. He organized Jacobin clubs, and introduced the red cockade, and liberty-caps, in which Dr. Francis says he himself delighted as an urchin to appear; and not alone did urchins like him delight in them, but sedate men like "Robert Goodloe Harper1 appeared in the bonnet rouge, with grace and dignity." Liberty-poles crowned with red liberty-caps were also raised in the public places.
The popular dislike to England now seemed determined to assert itself. All that savored of that country was ostracized, and in proportion arose an affection for the struggling French republic. When the French officers made their appearance, or their marines were met in the streets, the boys would cry, "Vive la République!" At night the streets were musical with La Marseillaise and La Carmagnole. Dr. Francis says that he delighted to shout the latter at the top of his voice while wearing the bonnet rouge.
I have never heard that Freneau donned one of these caps, but the thing is not in the least improbable.
Many French people now came from their colonies, and gave a new impetus to American simplicity. Dress, manners, and customs were à la française. Jewelry, ornaments, perfumes, and bonbons were of French designs and make. French boarding-houses hung out their signs, and French restaurants were all the style; they introduced the use of soups, salads, ragouts, fricassées and olive oil; and none but French
1 Son-in-law to Charles Carroll, of Carrollton.
bread could be tolerated. Even the English dances were no longer in vogue, and the stately minuet gave way to the lively cotillon, and public fêtes were organized. "In fact, it required," as John Fanning Watson remarked, "all the prudence of Washington to stem the torrent of passion that flowed in favor of France to the prejudice of our nationality."
Party spirit rose during this French period to such a degree that intimate friends became the bitterest enemies, and those who had formerly always exchanged friendly greetings now crossed the street to avoid a meeting.
In the midst of all this confusion, and in the heated month of August, that dreadful scourge the yellow fever broke out, and its malignancy spread terror in all directions. The consternation which seized the already highly excited population is said to be beyond powers of description. Many fled from the city, and those who remained shut themselves up in their houses; and when obliged to go into the streets they walked in the middle of them to avoid, as much as possible, the infected air of the houses; a cold nod of recognition was all that friends vouchsafed to each other. Pedestrians carried in their hands tarred ropes or kept them in their pockets; some wore bags of camphor on their persons; others chewed garlic, or held handkerchiefs steeped in vinegar to their faces. In the houses either gunpowder, tobacco, nitre, or vinegar was kept burning, and men, women, and children puffed at cigars continually. The outdoor air was rendered lurid and heavy by the burning of tar and tar-barrels in every street.
Dead bodies were constantly met with as they were borne to some open grave, into which they were dumped as quickly as possible, the graves or holes being left open for the next body. The bodies of most respectable persons were taken on the shafts of