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not. And those you send in my place, will find that they cannot.
It is time to finish this tedious letter. Adieu, my friend, adieu.
JOHN ADAMS. The Hon. Mr. Gerry.
Having inserted these letters of complaint, it is but justice to their eminent writer to add an extract from another of subsequent date :
I beg you would give yourself no anxiety about salaries. I think the reduction of them wrong. I don't find that the articles of subsistence are cheaper since the peace; the hire of horses and carriages is the same; the rent of houses, servants' wages, &c. are the same. We have more to do with foreign ministers and are more taken notice of by them ; but upon the present allowance we can keep no tables nor see any company in the fashion of public ministers. Retirement is more agreeable to me than company, but it is not for the interest of the public. I am told it is reported, that I have one per cent. allowed me upon the loan in Holland, and that a sum of money is always given upon the signature of a treaty. This upon my honour is totally false. ' Of all the immense sums borrowed under my name, not one farthing ever came to my benefit, nor have !
ever received a farthing for myself in any way but the salary you have allowed me. Many will call me a fool, because they know I have been in a situation where I might have made profits ; but such are my sentiments. My head and my heart have been too full of the public to think much of myself or my children.
While the delegates of Massachusetts allowed the report of the committee adverse to the representation of their state to be accepted, they took a more practical way to reconcile the opinions of their fellow-citizens to the measures proposed by congress. Mr. Gerry, as chairman of a commit. tee on the civil list, reported sundry alterations in the public expenditure, which were adopted ; and the recommendation of congress concerning an impost, after encountering opposition from other causes, was finally acceded to.
The session of congress terminated on 30 June 1784. The journals of its proceedings testify to the diligence and labour of the delegate from Massachusetts. He discovered the assiduity of a man of real business. In whatever department work was to be performed, he was counted upon as one of the efficient agents by whom it was to be conducted. Scarcely a committee was raised, in which he was not called to bear an important part.
To have been distinguished in the congress of 1783-84, was no common honour. The assembly which concluded peace with Great Britain, was not inferiour in character or talents to the great convention of 1776. Virginia had her Jefferson and Lee, and then added Monroe, whose integrity and diligence gave promise of the future eminence he was destined to attain. Maryland had to M'Henry joined Chase,* confident in his strength and trusting to his own resources for that display of mind which never failed to interest his hearers, and who even then enlivened the tediousness of debate by that caustic severity of remark, which at a future day brought down upon him the resentment of political opponents. The historian of North-Carolina added his stores of learning, not the less interesting from the eccentricity of his manners; and Massachusetts, in addition to the experience and industry of her Gerry, presented the learning, the acuteness and penetration of her future chief justice, just returned from an interesting mission to the court of Russia, and carrying into the councils of his country those lessons of political wisdom, which his capacious and investigating mind had gathered in the course of extensive professional engagements at home and new opportunity of observation abroad.
* Afterwards one of the associate justices of the supreme court of the United States. Judge Chase was impeached in the year 1804, and tried before the senate. On some of the charges a majority voted against him, but not the constitutional number required to remove him. His subsequent continuance on the bench displayed the singular inconsistency of a judge administering the laws, who had been pronounced guilty of high crimes and misdemeanours by a majority of the first department of the government. Posterity, in the language of one of his eloquent counsel, has re-judged that decision. The political offences, for which he was arraigned, are not in the bill of indictment. The trial, including the accurate and technical enumeration of the charges by the managers of the house of representatives, the acute, logical and triumphant answer of the accused, the business style of argument and the caustic severity of the attack, and the eloquence, bold, spirited, pathetic and convincing, of the defence, may well compare in the talents it displayed, with the celebrated proceedings of a similar character in the only other country where such a trial could be had.
Correspondence of the Delegates........ Questions arising from the
Treaty of Peace....... Cincinnati........Letters concerning that Institution........Military Establishment.
The assembly of statesmen, who in the congress of 1783 conducted the executive and legislative concerns of the United States, continued to act more in the capacity of ministers from independent sovereignties than as the council of a single nation. That the good of the parts could be best promoted by the welfare of the whole, seemed a principle more generally acceded to in theory than adopted in practice. That the states had common duties, obligations and objects, and a common weakness which rendered union indispensable for security, were obvious facts; but that they had diverse, separate and sometimes conflicting interests, was beginning to be felt now that the pressure of a foreign enemy was taken off, and more steady attention given to domestic concerns.
Each state had on all occasions one vote without regard to its population or the number of its delegates, provided only that the number of delegates to whom it had confided the power of giving such vote were present for the purpose. Each