« PrejšnjaNaprej »
to aid and support the civil magistrates in bringing offenders to justice. The dispensation of this justice belongs to the civil magistrates; and let it ever be our pride and our glory to leave the sacred deposit there inviolate."
THE INSURRECTION PUT DOWN.
Washington pushed on for Philadelphia, through deep roads and a three days' rain, and arrived there about the last of October. Governor Lee marched with the troops in two divisions, amounting to fifteen thousand men, into the western counties of Pennsylvania. This great military array extinguished at once the kindling elements of a civil war, "by making resistance desperate." At the approach of so overwhelming a force the insurgents laid down their arms, and gave assurance of submission, and craved the clemency of government. It was extended to them. A few were tried for treason, but were not convicted; but as some spirit of discontent was still manifest, Major-General Morgan was stationed with a detachment for the winter, in the disaffected region.
The paternal care with which Washington watched at all times, over the welfare of the country, was manifested in a letter to General Hamilton, who had remained with the army. "Press the Governors to be pointed in ordering the officers under their respective commands to march back with their respective corps; and to see that the inhabitants meet with no disgraceful insults or injuries from them.”
It must have been a proud satisfaction to Washington to have put down, without an effusion of blood, an insurrection which, at one time, threatened such serious consequences. In a letter to Mr. Jay, who had
recently gone minister to England, he writes: "The insurrection in the western counties of this State will be represented differently, according to the wishes of some and the prejudices of others, who may exhibit it as an evidence of what has been predicted, 'that we are unable to govern ourselves.' Under this view of the subject, I am happy in giving it to you as the general opinion, that this event, having happened at the time it did, was fortunate, although it will be attended with considerable expense."
After expressing his opinion that the 'self-created societies' who were laboring to effect some revolution in the government, were the fomenters of these western disturbances, he adds: "It has afforded an occasion for the people of this country to show their abhorrence of the result and their attachment to the constitution and the laws; for I believe that five times the number of militia that was required, would have come forward, if it had been necessary, in support of them.
"The spirit which blazed out on this occasion, as soon as the object was fully understood and the lenient measures of the government were made known to the people, deserves to be communicated. There are instances of general officers going at the head of a single troop, and of light companies; of field officers, when they came to the place of rendezvous, and found no command for them in that grade, turning into the ranks and proceeding as private soldiers, under their own captains; and of numbers, possessing the first fortunes in the country, standing in the ranks as private men, and marching day by day, with their knapsacks and haversacks at their backs, sleeping on straw with a single
blanket in a soldier's tent, during the frosty nights, which we have had, by way of example to others. Nay, more, many young Quakers, of the first families, character, and property, not discouraged by the elders, have turned into the ranks and marched with the troops.
THE SPIRIT OF THE PEOPLE.
"These things have terrified the insurgents, who had no conception that such a spirit prevailed; but, while he thunder only rumbled at a distance, were boasting of their strength, and wishing for and threatening the militia by turns; intimating that the arms they should take from them would soon become a magazine in their heads."
WASHINGTON'S DENUNCIATION OF SELF-CREATED SOCIETIES-NOT REL
ISHED BY CONGRESS-CAMPAIGN OF GENERAL
REPORTS A PLAN FOR THE REDEMPTION OF THE PUBLIC DEBT—AND RETIRES FROM HIS POST AS SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY-IS SUCCEEDED BY OLIVER WOLCOTT-RESIGNATION OF KNOX-SUCCEEDED BY TIMOTHY PICKERING-CLOSE OF THE SESSION.
In his speech on the opening of Congress (November 19th), Washington, in adverting to the insurrection in Western Pennsylvania, did not hesitate to denounce "certain self-created societies " 66 as the fomenters of it." After detailing its commencement and progress, he observes: "While there is cause to lament that occurrences of this nature should have disgraced the name or interrupted the tranquillity of any part of our community, or should have diverted to a new application any portion of the public resources, there are not wanting real and substantial consolations for the misfortune. It has demonstrated, that our prosperity rests on solid foundations; by furnishing an additional proof that my fellow-citizens understand the true principles of government and liberty; that they feel their inseparable union; that, notwithstanding all the devices which have been used to sway them from their interest and duty,
SELF-CREATED SOCIETIES DENOUNCED. 219
they are now as ready to maintain the authority of the laws against licentious invasions, as they were to defend their rights against usurpation. It has been a spectacle, displaying to the highest advantage the value of republican government, to behold the most and least wealthy of our citizens standing in the same ranks as private soldiers; preeminently distinguished by being the army of the constitution; undeterred by a march of three hundred miles over rugged mountains, by the approach of an inclement season, or by any other discouragement. Nor ought I to omit to acknowledge the efficacious and patriotic coöperation which I have experienced from the chief magistrates of the States to which my requisitions have been addressed.
"To every description, indeed, of citizens, let praise be given; but let them persevere in their affectionate vigilance over that precious depository of American happiness, the constitution of the United States. Let them cherish it, too, for the sake of those who, from every clime, are daily seeking a dwelling in our land. And when, in the calm moments of reflection, they shall have retraced the origin and progress of the insurrection, let them determine whether it has not been fomented by combinations of men, who, careless of consequences, and disregarding the unerring truth, that those who rouse cannot always appease, a civil convulsion, have disseminated from ignorance or perversion of facts, suspicions, jealousies, and accusations of the whole government.”
This denunciation of the "self-created societies was a bold step, by which he was sure to incur their resentment. It was not relished by some members of