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the minister of foreign relations, at which Mr. Gerry only attended on the part of the United States; and at which Talleyrand presented the arret (decree) of the directory, in which the demand was again made of an explanation of parts of the president's speech to congress at the special session of the 16th of May. He was sensible difficulties would exist relative to this demand; "but that by our minister offering money, he thought he could prevent the effect of the arret.” On being told by Z., at the request of Mr. Gerry, that the envoy had no such power, Talleyrand replied, that they could take such power on themselves, and proposed that they should make a loan. Mr. Gerry said, the uneasiness of the directory, caused by the president's speech, had no connection with the objects of the mission. Barras, in his speech to Mr. Monroe on his recall, had expressed himself in a manner displeasing to the government and citizens of the United States; but it was not considered by our government as a subject of dispute between the two nations. Having no instructions on this subject, they could make no explanations relating to it.

It was subsequently proposed that, if our government would pay, by way of fees, the sum of money demanded for private use, although the directory would not receive the ministers, they might remain at Paris, and would be received by Talleyrand, until one of them could go to America, and consult our government concerning the loan. This singular kind of diplomatic correspondence was continued until about the 1st of November, when it was agreed by our ministers to hold no more indirect intercourse with the government.

Under date of November 11, they addressed the minister of foreign affairs, expressing regret at the loss or suspension of friendly intercourse between the two republics; and the wish to restore it, and to discuss the complaints of both parties. No answer having been received, they transmitted to him, on the 17th of January, 1798, another letter, of great length, in which the whole controversy is reviewed. This review embraces all the old subjects of dispute between the two governments, among which were the course of neutrality adopted by Washington; the treaty agreement that "free ships should make free goods;" the annoyance of our commerce under the rigorous decrees of France, &c. Neither did this letter receive a formal answer. Another interview, however, was had with Talleyrand, (March 2,) at which the proposition of a loan was again the subject of conversation. Our ministers having stated that this measure would amount to a declaration of war on our part against Great Britain, and that they were expressly forbidden by their instructions to take such a step; Talleyrand argued that it would be no departure from neutrality to stipulate a loan payable after the war; and suggested that the transaction might be done secretly. Having failed in this artifice, he conceived another for compassing his end, which was, to acknowledge some of our claims for property taken from American citizens, and then let our government give a credit as for the payment, say for two years; by which act we would consent to leave in the hands of France funds which might be used in the prosecution of the war. This proposition also was declined by our ministers, who argued that such a transaction would be no less a loan than the one before suggested.

On the 18th of March, our ministers received a written communication from Talleyrand in answer to theirs of January 17. The ministers replied at length. The directory having intimated a disposition to treat with Mr. Gerry alone, (who had been selected from the party which was said to be friendly to France,) his two colleagues, as has been stated, returned to the United States. Mr. Gerry's consenting to remain in France was considered highly improper.

On the 21st of June, 1798, president Adams transmitted to congress a letter from Mr. Gerry, with one from him to Talleyrand, and the reply of the latter. The president said in his accompanying message: " I presume that before this time he has received fresh instructions, (a copy of which accompanies this message,) to consent to no loans; and therefore the negotiation may be considered at an end. I will never gend another minister to France, without assurances that he will be received, respected, and honored, as the representative of a great, free, powerful, and independent nation."

The 2d session of the 5th congress, (being its first regular session,) terminated the 16th of July, 1798, having assembled on the 13th of November, 1797. A large number of acts were passed during this long session. Among the most important were the following: An act to provide for an additional armament for the further protection of the trade of the United States, which authorized the president to equip an additional number of vessels, not exceeding twelve, nor carrying more than twenty-two guns each; an act for the increase of the army; an act for the protection of the commerce and coasts of the United States ; an act for the defense of the forts and harbors; an act to lay and collect a direct tax of $2,000,000, upon real estate and slaves. An act was also passed, to suspend commercial intercourse with France and her dependencies. By this act vessels of the United States were prohibited from going to the dominions of France, or from being employed in trade with or for persons residing therein, on penalty of the forfeiture of the vessel and

cargo. And French vessels were not allowed to enter or remain in the United States, without a passport from the president, or except in case of distress. Another act was passed, to authorize the defense of our

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merchant vessels against French depredations. This act provided that the commanders and crews of American merchant vessels might oppose and defend them against search or seizure by the commanders and crews of armed vessels sailing under French colors.

At this session was established the department of the navy.

These preparations for war having been made, the public mind was soon directed to Gen. Washington, as the man to be placed at the head of the army; and the intention of the president to appoint him was communicated to him both by the president and the secretary of war, Mr. McHenry. In his answer to the secretary, after having animadverted upon the conduct of the French government, he says: “Under circumstances like these, accompanied by an actual invasion of our territory, it would be difficult for me, at any time, to remain an idle spectator under the plea of age or retirement. With sorrow, it is true, I should quit the shades of my peaceful abode, and the ease and happiness I now enjoy, to encounter anew the turmoils of war, to which, possibly, my strength and powers might be found incompetent. These, however, should not be stumbling-blocks in my own way." But before he could give a definitive answer, he wished to ascertain whether, after having announced his final retirement, public opinion would approve his reappearance upon the public theater; and whether it was the wish of the country that he should take the command. Also the army should be so appointed as to afford a well-grounded hope of its doing honor to the country and credit to the commander

His reception of the letters of the president and secretary having been casually delayed, he had been nominated by the president to the chief command of all the armies, with the rank of lieutenant-general, and his appointment ananimously consented to by the senate, before his answer reached the seat of government. The appointment was accepted, on condition that he might himself select the officers for the high departments of the army. Presuming his wishes would be acceded to, he recommended Alexander Hamilton, for inspector-general, who was to be next in command ; and for major-generals, Charles C. Pinckney and Henry Knox, or if either refused, Henry Lee. Others were named for brigadiers, adjutant-general, &c.

Wise and proper as these defensive measures were generally regarded, under the threatening aspect of affairs, they met with a determined and vigorous opposition. Both in and out of congress were men whose affection for France, the most flagrant insults and injuries were insufficient to weaken. In congress were vice-president Jefferson, Gallatin, Giles, Nicholas, Baldwin, Livingston, and others of no mean rank. The most conspicuous of those out of congress, were Madison and Monroe.


In March, 1798, resolutions were introduced into the house, declaring that a resort to war against France was, under existing circumstances, inexpedient; and that the arming of merchant vessels ought to be restricted; but they were in favor of fortifying the coast. In the debate on these resolutions, the opposition members took strong ground for peace measures. Their opposition to measures of defense has been imputed to the design of keeping the country in a condition which should compel the administration to accede to the propositions of France. The federal members contrasted the aversion of their opponents to a war with France, under the strongest provocations, with their eagerness to fight Great Britain, in 1794, for injuries far less aggravated.

The president had been charged with improperly withholding a part of the correspondence with our ministers in France. Although it had been deemed inexpedient to communicate certain parts of it, especially the instructions to our envoys, of which it was not proper that France should be informed, while negotiation was pending, the majority, notwithstanding, assented to a call for all the papers, which were promptly communicated by the president. These papers were read by the parti- . cular friends of France with feelings of disappointment and mortification. The unceremonious reception of our ministers, the manner of conducting the negotiation on the part of France, and the degrading terms upon which alone the directory would treat, placed that government in a very unfavorable light before the American people, and served in some degree to strengthen the administration.

The indiscriminate publication of Mr. Jefferson's correspondence since his death, has been deeply regretted by many of his warmest and most judicious friends, as tending to mar his well-earned popularity. The nature as well as the number of his private letters, shows him to have been a busy, though for the most part a secret actor in party affairs. A letter addressed to Mr. Madison on the appearance of these despatches, represents him as still disposed to fix the wrong upon his own government, and as hoping that the effect upon the public mind produced by their publication, will not be permanent. He says: " The first impressions with the people will be disagreeable, but the last and permanent one will be, that the speech in May is now the only obstacle to accommodation, and the real cause of war, if war takes place. And how much will be added to this by the speech in November, is yet to be learned. It is evident, however, on reflection, that these papers do not offer one motive the more for our going to war.

Yet such is their effect on the mind of wavering characters, that I fear that, to wipe off the imputation of being French partisans, they will go over to the war measures so furiously pushed by the other party.” The “speech in May” here

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referred to, is the message to congress at the extra or special session, which contained the language, to which, it will be recollected, the French directory took exceptions, and of which they demanded some explanation as one of the conditions on which they would treat. Information of the effect, upon that body, of the speech to congress in November, at the opening of the then present session, had not yet, it seems, (April 6,) been received.

The deep concern felt by Mr. Jefferson is farther manifest from a subsequent letter to Mr. Madison, urging him to assist in defending the opposition from the effects of the publication of the dispatches. He wrote: “ The public mind appears still in a state of astonishment. There never was a moment in which the aid of an able pen was so important to place things in their just attitude. On this depends the inchoate movement in the eastern mind, and the fate of the elections in that quarter, now beginning, and to continue through the summer. I would not propose to you such a task on any ordinary occasion; but be assured that a welldigested analysis of these papers would now decide the future turn of things, which are at this moment on the careen.” He had previously written to the same gentleman : "You will see in Fenno (publisher of the United States Gazette) two numbers of a paper signed Marcellus. They promise much mischief, and are ascribed, without any difference of opinion, to Hamilton. You must, my dear sir, take up your pen against this champion. You know the ingenuity of his talents, and there is not a person but yourself who can foil him. For Heaven's sake, then, take up your pen, and do not desert the public cause altogether."

By the aid derived from the publication of the papers, the bills for the national defense yet pending were easily passed, the anti-war resolutions having been dropped. The popularity of the administration was rapidly increasing. The president received from all directions, and from numerous bodies and public assemblages, addresses approving his policy. Among the occurrences at Philadelphia, we give the following, as parrated by Hildreth : “ Besides an address from five thousand of the citizens, presented to the president, the young men adopted a separate address of their own, and went in a body to carry it, many of them wearing the black cockade, the same which had been worn in the American army during the war of independence. This was done by way of defiance and response to the tri-colored cockade worn by all Frenchmen since Adet's famous proclamation, and by not a few American citizens also, even by some companies of militia, who wished to exhibit, by this outward sign, their extreme derotion to the French republic. Hence the origin of the term, ' Black Cockade Federalist,' which became ultimately an epithet of bitter party reproach. Such was the warmth of party

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