Obrázky stránek

same considerations that have induced me to send
it to your Excellency.
" I am, with the highest esteem,

Your Excellency's most obedient
“ and obliged humble servant,

“ BUCHAN." 6 General WASHINGTON, President of the United States

of America."

" P. S.-I beg your Excellency will have the goodness to send me your portrait, that I may place it among those 1 mosi honour, and I would wish it from the pencil of Mr. Robertson. I beg leave to recommend him to your countenance, as he has been mentioned to 'me favourably by my worthy friend, professor Ogilvie, of King's College, Aberdeen.”*


Philadelphia, May 1, 1792. « MY LORD, “ I should have had the honour of acknowledging sooner the receipt of your letter of the 28th of June last, had I not concluded to defer doing it till I could announce to you the transmission of my portrait, which has just been finished by Mr.

* The Goldsmiths' Company did not, it seems, know their man. His Lordship was very modest in preferring the rebel Washington to himself; but, he was certainly the best judge of his own

“ unworthiness.”—Mr. Robertson was seeking fortune and fame in the New World." I believe he was bauiked in his pursuit; for I never heard of him; and, had he made any noise in the new world, his fame would have reached me.

The fact is, he took the wrong road. The Americans hate your hungry fortune bunters,


Robinson (of New York), who has also undertaken to forward it. The manner of the execution of it does no discredit, I am told, to the artist; of whose skill favourable mention had been made to me. I was further induced to entrust the execuzion to Mr. Robinson, from his having informed ine that he had drawn others for your Lordship, and knew the size which best suit your collection.

“ I accept with sensibility and with satisfaction, the significant present of the box which accompanied your Lordship's letter.

" In yielding the tribute due from every lover of mankind, to the patriotic and heroic virtues of which it is commemorative, I estimate, as I ought, the additional value which it derives from the hand that sent it, and my obligation for the sentiments that induce the transfer.

“ I will, however, ask that you will exempt me from compliance with the request relating to its eventual destination.

“ In an attempt to execute your wish in this particular, I should feel embarrassment from a just comparison of relative pretentions, and should fear to risk injustice by so marked a preference. With sentiments of the truest esteem and consideration, Į remain your Lordship’s niost obedient servant,

" G. WASHINGTON."* “ Earl of BUCHAN."

* This is excellent! The old fox, who had as much wit in his little finger as Lord BUCHAN had in his whole body and héad too, foresaw what risk his popularity would run from naning the inost worthy amongst his survivors; and, iherefore, he bequeathed the dear box to Lord Buchan himself!

The Genrral having received the prernt from a nobleman, who was a subject of the king against whom he had rebelled, might, indeed, well believe, that no hunian being, besides him who gave it, could deserve to inherit the precious relic.


The Congress, in the height of their enthusiastic grief, resolved to expend one hundred thousand dollars on a Mausoleum to the memory of Washington; but, having taken three or four days to cool and to calculate, and a hard frost having set in, in the mean time, they, by a second resolve, put off the matter till another session, when, as we have seen, the Senate reduced the sum to fifty thousand dollars, which, indeed, was far too much money to be thrown away on such an edifice.-All the world will think right on this subject by and by; but the fools in England will be the last to open their eyes.




* Gentlemen of the Senate, and Gentlemen of the

House of Representatives, “It is with peculiar satisfaction, that I meet the Sixth Congress, of the United States of America.

" Coming from all parts of the Union, at this critical, and interesting period, the members must be fully possessed of the sentiments and wishes of our constituerts.

“ The flattering prospects of abundance, from the labours of the people, by land and by sea ; the prosperity of our extended commerce, notwithstanding interruptions occasioned by the belligerent state of a great part of the world; the return of health, industry, and trade, to those cities, which have lately been afflicted with disease; and the various and inestimable advantages, civil and religious, which, secured under our happy frame of government, are continued to us, unimpaired : demand of the whole American people, sincere thanks to a benevolent Deity, for the merciful dispensations of his Providence. But while these numerous plessings are recollected, it is a painful duty to advert to the ungrateful return *, which has been made for them, by some of the people, in certain counties of Pennsylvania, where, seduced by the arts and misrepresentations of designing men, they have openly resisted the law, directing the valuation of houses and land. Such defiance was given to the civil authority, as rendered hopeless, all further attempts, by judicial process, to enforce the execution of the law; and it became necessary to direct a military force to be employed, consisting of some companies of regular troops, volunteers, and militia, by whose zeal and activity, in cooperation with the judicial power, order and submissioni were restored, and many of the offenders arrested. Of these, some have been convicted of misdemeanors, and others, charged with various crimes, remain to be tried.


“ To give due effect to the civil administration of Government, and to ensure a just execution of the laws, a revision and amendment of the judiciary system, is indispensably necessary. In this , extensive country, it cannot but happen; that numerous

* When the President talked thus, he seemed to have forgotten, that the Northampton Insurgents rrýolted against hini and bis land and horse tax, and 7:00 agairist Providence, to whom alone ihey owed any gratitude. He certainly forgot, tou, that, in revolting against him and his heavy direct tax, they did no more than be bad taught them to do, when he went about the country, like an itinerant preacher, urging his fellow subjects to rebellion, because their King bad imposed a trifling duty upon tea, without forcing them to purchase that tea.


[ocr errors]

questions respecting the interpretation of the laws, and the rights and duties of officers and citizens must arise. On the one hand, the laws should be executed; on the other, individuals should be guarded from oppression : neither of these objects is sufficiently assured, under the present organization of the Judicial Department, I therefore earnestly recommend the subject to your serious consideration.

Persevering in the pacific and humane policy, which had been invariably professed, and sincerely pursued by the Executive Authorities of the United States; when indications were made, on the part of the French Republic, of a disposition to accommodate the existing differences between the two countries, I felt it to be my duty to prepare for meeting their advances, by a nomination of Ministers, upon certain conditions, which the honour of our coun. try dictated, and which its moderation had given it a right to prescribe. The assurances which were required of the French Government, previous to the departure of our. Enroys, have been given, through their Minister of Foreign Relations; and I have directed them to proceed on their mission to Paris. They have full power to conclude a Treaty, subject to the constitutional advice and consent of the Senate. The characters of these gentlemen, are sure pledges to their country, that nothing incompatible with its honour, or interest, nothing inconsistent with our obligations of good faith or friendship to any other nation, will be stipulated.

It appearing probable, from the information I received, that our commercial intercourse, with some ports, in the island of St. Domingo, might safely be renewed; I took such steps as seemed to me expedient to ascertain that point. The result being satisfactory, I then, in conformity with the act of Congress on the subject, directed the res


« PředchozíPokračovat »