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in which was found, besides some objections of form, the novel doctrine, disavowed by every page of our law books, that treason does not consist of resistance by force to a public law; unless it be an act relative to the militia, or other military force.
“And upon this, or upon some other ground, not easy to be comprehended, he of a sudden departed from all his former declarations, and against the unanimous advice of his ministers, with the Attorney-General, came to the resolution, which he executed, of pardoning all those who had received sentence of death.
* No wonder tbat the public was thunderstruck at such a result--that the friends of the government regarded it as a virtual dereliction- it was impossible to commit a greater error. The particular situation of Pennsylvania, the singular posture of haman affairs, in which there is so strong a tendency to the disorganization of government--the turbulent and malignant humours which exist, and are so industriously nourished throughout the United States; every thing loudly demanded that the executive should have acted with exemplary vigour, and should have given a striking demonstration, that condign punishinent would be the lot of the violent opposers of the laws,
“ The contrary course, which was pursued, is the most inexplicable part of Mr. Adams's conduct. It shews hiin so much at variance with himself, as well as 'with sound policy, that we are driven to seek a solution for it in some system of concession to his political enemies; a system the most fatal for himself, and for the cause of public order, or any that he could possibly devise. It is by temporizings like these, that men at the head of affairs, lose the respect both of friends and foes; it is by temporizings like these, that in times of fermentation and commotion, governments are prostrated, which might easily have been upheld by au erect and imposing attitude."
Having gone through the principal circumstances in Mr. Adams's conduct, which had served to produce his disapprobation of him as President, Mr. Hamilton ably defends himself against the charge of having entertained an unwarrantable bias in favour of foreign nations, and concludes his very excellent pamphlet in the following words:
« The statement which has been made, shews that Mr. Adams has committed some positive and serious errors of administration; that in addition to these, he has certain fixed points of character which tend naturally to the detriment of any cause, of which be is the chief, of any administration of which he is the bead; that by his ill humours and jealousies he has already divided and distracted the supporters of the government; that he has furnished
deadly weapons to its enemies by unfounded accusations, and has weakened the force of its friends by decrying some of the most influential of them to the utniost of his power ; and, let it be added, as the necessary effect of such conduct, that he has made great progress in undermining the ground which was gained for the government by his predecessor, and that there is real cause to apprehend, it might totter, if not fall, under his future auspices. A new government, constructed on free principles, is always weak, and must stand in need of the props of a firm and good administration ; till time shall have rendered its authority venerable, and fortified it by habits of obedience.
“ Yet with this opinion of Mr. Adams, I have finally resolved not to advise the withholding from him a single vote. The body of Federalists, for want of sufficient knowledge of facts, are not convinced of the expediency of relinquishing him. It is even apparent, that a large proportion still retain the attachment which was once a common sentiment. Those of them, therefore, who are dissatisfied, as far as my information goes, are, generally, speaking, willing to forbear opposition, and to acquiesce in the equal support of Mr. Adams with Mr. Pinckney, whom they prefer. Have they not a claim to equal deference from those who continue attached to the former ? Ought not these, in candour, to admit the possibility that the friends who differ from them, act not only from pure motives, but from cogent reasons? Ought they not, by a co-operation in General Pinckney, to give a chance for what will be a safe issue, supposing that they are right in their preference, and the best issue, should they happen to be mistaken? Especially, since by doing this, they will increase the probability of excluding a third candidate, of whose. unfitness all sincere Federalists are convinced. If they do not pursue this course, they will certainly incur an immense respon-, sibility to their friends and to the government.
“. To promote this co-operation, to defend my own character, to vindicate those friends, who with myself have been unkindly aspersed, are the inducements for writing this lerier. Accordingly, it will be my endeavour to regulate the communication of it in such a manner as will not be likely to deprive Mr. Adams of a single vote. Indeed, it is much my wish that its circulation could for ever be confined within narrow limits. I am sensible of the inconveniences of giving publicity to a similar developement of the character of the Chief Magistrate of our country; and I lament the necessity of taking a step which will involve that result. Yet to suppress truths, the disclosure of which is so interesting to the public welfare as well as to the vindication of my friends and myself, did not appear to me justifiable. “ The restraints to which I submit
, are a proof of my disposition to sacrifice to the prepossessions of those with whom l'hare heretofore thought and acted, and from whom in the presert question I am compelled to differ. To refrain froni a decided opposition to Mr. Adams's re-election has been reluctantly sanctioned by my judgment; which has been not a little perplexed between the unqualified conviction of his unfitness for ilte station contemplated ; and a sense of the great importance of cultivating harmony among the supporters of the government; on whose firm union hereafter will probably depend the perservation of order, tranquillity, liberty, property; the security of every social and domestic blessing.”
JEFFERSON'S ELECTION. We have received advices from this interesting quarter of the globe, down to the 14th of November. Some of the London papers have, for this week past, been informing their readers, that the election for President, so far as it had gone, appeared, to them, to be favourable to Mr. ADAMS. Now the truth is, that while those sagacious papers perceived those appearances in American news: papers of the 12th of November, the election for Electors of President had not begun.- The election of Electors was to be on the 15th of November, and the Electors themselves were to hold their election of President on the 3d of December : it is impossible, therefore, that we should know, of a certainty, who is the fortunate candidate, till about the middle of January.
As far as we can judge, PINCKNEY will have more voices than ADAMS, and as to the success of JEFFERSON, it appears yet to be uncertain, unless the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania agree in the passing of a law, by which that State will preserve its vote.
Those who have taken such pains to persuade the people of England that Amefica had the best Government in the world, ought to know, that the mode of choosing electors of . President has been by the general Constitution,
left to the Legislative Bodies of the States respec-
thors, was stigmatized as a friend of disorder " and anarchy. Yet behold, from its want of ex
plicitness on the momentous object of choosing " Electors of a Chief Magistrate, it is almost in
power of two or three abandoned individuals, by disfranchising our state, perhaps
President on the Union contrary to the strongest “ wishes of the people.” aimed at by this partisan of Jefferson, are
That the two or three individuals, who are here " abandoned" men, is very false ; for they are cerit is true, that two or three abandoned individuals tainly amongst the best men in the country ; but,
to impose a
might, by such a concurrence of circumstances as the present, impose a President on the Union, in direct contradiction to the will of the whole people of the country. The fact is, it is impossible to guard against inconveniences of this sort, if the Chief Magistrate is elected.--In a country where an elective government exists, a minority will always govern; and, what is much worse, they will always govern precisely in that way in which the majority do not like to be governed. Forty-nine fiftieths of the people of the United States despise
. all the three candidates ; but the other fiftieth prevents them from having any other choice. They must therefore vote for one of these men, or their vote is spent in air. The President himself is no more than the mere puppet of the leading demagogues. The last election of Mr. ADAMS bore a striking resemblance to that by which Sextus V. was elevated to the papal chair. The old man perceived it, : too, and resolved to morrify his selfish supporters, by letting them see that he could and would reign alone. But, alas ! he was not a Montalto !
We cannot dismiss this article without adverting to a remark, respecting the American newspapers which appeared in the London Observer of last Sunday. This profound and polished print observes, that “the American papers are so prosti“ tuted to party purposes, that but little of general
politics can be collected from them.” Amongst the papers which it would seem the Observer was in possession of, was the NEWARK paper. NEWARK is a village, and its paper (the Editor of which is at work in the fields one half of his time) does not cost above seven shillings a year; yet will we pledge our lives, that the NewARK paper contains more information on “ general politics” in one week, than the Observer does in one year.-It must be