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ingly determined so to do; feeling the deepest regret for the occasion, but withal the most solemn conviction that the essential interests of the Union demanded it; that the very existence of government, and the fundamental principles of social order were involved in the issue ; and that the patriotism and firmness of all good citizens were seriously called upon to aid in the suppression of so fatal a spirit.” The Proclamation closed by ordering all insurgents, and all other persons whom it might concern, on or before the first day of the ensuing September, to disperse and retire to their respective homes. Orders were on the same day issued to the Governours of New-Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, for their respective quotas of twelve thousand men, which at a subsequent period was increased to fifteen thousand, who were to be held in readiness to march at a mi. nute’s warning.
Reluctant to draw the sword upon his fellow citi. zens, the President at this awful crisis determined to make one more attempt to reclaim by mild entreaty his deluded countrymen. The Attorney General, Judge Yates, and Mr. Ross, were commissioned to bear to the insurgents a general amnesty for all past crimes, on condition of future obedience; but the clemency of the government was again spurned, and its power disregarded.
The insurgents, forming an opinion from the language of democratick societies, and from the publications in antifederal newspapers, seem to have entertained the supposition that their disaffection was generally felt by the citizens of the United States, and that the attempt to suppress them would issue in a revolution of the government.
That the Executive of Pennsylvania might act in unison with the National Administration, Governour Mifflin had also issued a Proclamation, and appointed commissioners to join those of the nation. VOL. II.
The faction opposed to government insidiously attempted to obstruct the execution of the orders of the President, but without effect; the community expressed unequivocally the determination to support the government, and to execute the laws. The personal influence of Governour Mifflin surmounted the obstructions which arose from the insufficiency of the militia laws of Pennsylvania ; the officers and men of the respective States obeyed the summons with an alacrity that exceeded the expectation of the most sanguine ; and the required number of troops was seasonably in readiness to obey the orders of the Commander in Chief.
The command of the expedition was given to Governour Lee of Virginia, and the Governours of Pennsylvania and New-Jersey commanded the militia of their respective states under him. This force moved into the insurgent counties and bore down all opposition. Thus by the vigour and prudence of the Executive, this formidable and alarming insurrection was, without the sacrifice of a life, subdued.
The President attributed this insurrection in a great degree to the influence of the democratick societies. This opinion he expressed in his private letters, and in his publick communications to the Legislature. In a letter to Mr. Jay, he observed,
“ That the self-created societies, who have spread themselves over this country, have been labouring incessantly to sow the seeds of distrust, jealousy, and of course discontent, hoping thereby to effect some revolution in the government, is not unknown to you. That they have been the fomenters of the western dis. turbances, admits of no doubt in the mind of any one who will examine their conduct. But, fortunately they have precipitated a crisis for which they were not prepared ; and thereby have unfolded views which will, I trust, effect their annihilation sooner, than it might have happened.”
General WASHINGTON had the firmness and independence to denounce these societies to the National Legislature, and to lend his personal influence to counteract their designs, thereby bringing upon himself their resentment.
In his official address to Congress, on the 19th of November, he, as a channel of publick information, narrated the rise, progress, and issue of the insurrection, passed a merited encomium on the patriotism of those who had with alacrity exerted themselves to supprèss it, and proceeded to observe :
“ To every description of citizens, let praise be give on. But let them persevere in their affectionate vigilance over that precious depository of American happiness, the Constitution of the United States. 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 fo. mented 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 an ignorance or perversion of facts, suspicions, jealousies, and accusations of the whole government.” He, on this occasion, renewedly recommended to the Legislature the organization of the militia, and made such other communications as the state of the country rendered expedient.
In their answer to this address, the Senate said, “ Our anxiety arising from the licentious and open resistance to the laws in the Western Counties of Pennsylvania, has been increased by the proceedings of certain self-created societies relative to the laws and Administrations of the government; proceedings, in our apprehensions, founded in political errour, calculated, if not intended, to disorganize our government, and which, by inspiring delusive hopes of support,
have been instrumental in misleading our fellow citizens in the scene of insurrection.”
They expressed an unqualified approbation of the measures adopted by the Executive to suppress the insurrection, and concluded in the following manner. “At a period so momentous in the affairs of nations, the temperate, just, and firm policy that you have pursued in respect to foreign powers, has been eminently calculated to promote the great and essential interest of our country, and has created the fairest title to the publick gratitude and thanks.”
The House of Representatives was not thus cordial and approbatory in their answer to the Speech of the President.
After much debate, they omitted to notice the conduct of the Executive with foreign powers, and they made no reply to his observations on self-created societies. In other points, the answer was respectful.
On the last of January 1795, Mr. Hamilton resigned his place as Secretary of the Treasury, and was succeeded by Mr. Oliver Wolcott. And soon after General Knox resigned the Secretaryship of War, and was succeeded by Colonel T. Pickering.
While these events were taking place in America, Judge Jay was executing a commission in England highly important to his country.
From the moment that he was admitted to a conference with the British Cabinet, he with the ardour of a patriot, and the ability of a statesman, devoted himself to the business of his mission. While decorous in his behaviour towards the British crown, he maintained the respectability of his own character, and supported the honour of the United States. Persuaded that war would be the consequence of a failure of his negotiation, he patiently attended to the investigation of the subject in controversy, and finally agreed with Lord Greenville upon a treaty between the two countries.
In a letter to the President, he declared this to be the best it was possible to obtain, and added, “ I ought not to conceal from you, that the confidence reposed in your personal character was visible and useful throughout the negotiation."
On the 8th of June, the President submitted the treaty, with the documents which attended it, to the deliberation of the Senate, that they might“ in their wisdom decide whether they would advise and consent that it should be ratified."
After deliberate investigation, the Senate, by exactly two thirds of their numbers, the constitutional majority advised to its ratification, with some qualification of the 12th Article.
Great exertion had been made by the party that opposed the mission of Mr. Jay, to keep alive the spirit of hostility to Great Britain. The secrecy observed in the negotiation was pointedly reprobated as a violation of the first principles of a Republican Government, and every circumstance that transpired respecting it, was used as a means to excite odium' against the negotiation, and prejudice against the treaty. While the train was laying to enkindle a publick flame, word was received through a credible channel that the British Court had renewed the orders to their cruisers to detain provision vessels bound to French ports. Although the President had previously determined to ratify the treaty, yet on this information, he ordered a strong remonstrance to be drawn against those orders, and suggested to his Cabinet the propriety of suspending the exchange of the ratified treaty, upon their revocation.
In this stage of the business, he was called to Mount Vernon.
During his absence, and while the publick mind was in a state of irritation, a Senator in Congress from Virginia, violating the decorum and the rules of the Senate, sent an incorrect copy of the treaty to the