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men, soldiers, and citizens, you will repeat the CHAP. III. obligations conferred on your country, and you 1789. will transmit to posterity an example that must command their admiration and grateful praise. Long may you continue to enjoy the endearments of paternal attachments, and the heartfelt happiness of reflecting that you have faithfully done your duty.
"While I am permitted to possess the consciousness of this worth, which has long bound me to you by every tie of affection and esteem I will continue to be your sincere and faithful friend."
Soon after his return to New York, the president was informed of the ill success which had attended his first attempt to negotiate a peace with the Creek Indians. General Lincoln, Mr. Griffin, and colonel Humphries, had been deputed on this mission, and had met M'Gillivray with several other chiefs, and about two thousand men, at Rock landing on the Oconee, on the frontiers of Georgia. The treaty commenced with appearances by no means unfavourable, but was soon abruptly broken off by M'Gillivray. Some difficulties arose on the subject of boundary, but the principle obstacles to a peace were supposed to grow out of his personal interests and his connexions with Spain.
This intelligence was more than counterbalanced North Caro by the accession of North Carolina to the union. to the union. In the month of November, a second convention had met under the authority of the legislature of that state, and the constitution was adopted by a great majority.
Meeting of the second session of the first congress....President's speech....Report of the secretary of the treasury of a plan for the support of public credit... Debate thereon.... Bill for fixing the permanent seat of government....Adjournment of congress.... Treaty with the Creek Indians....The United States in relations with Great Britain and Spain.... The president visits Mount Vernon.... Third session of congress....The president's speech....Debates on the excise law....On a national bank.... The opinions of the cabinet on the constitutionality of this last law.... Progress of parties.... War with the Indians....Defeat of Harmar....Adjournment of congress.
On the eighth of January, the president, Meeting of attended by the heads of departments, and by the gentlemen of his family, met both houses of congress in the senate chamber.
session of the first con
In his speech, which was delivered from the chair of the vice president, after congratulating congress on the accession of the important state of North Carolina to the union, and on the prosperous aspect of American affairs; after some general observations on the encouragement which in resuming their labours for the public good, they would derive from the satisfaction given by the measures of the preceding session, he proceeded to recommend certain great objects of legislation to their more especial consideration.
"Among the many interesting objects," continued the speech, "which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defence will merit your particular regard. To be
prepared for war is one of the most effectual means CHAP. IV. of preserving peace.
"A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end, a uniform and well digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent on others for essential, particularly for military, supplies."
As connected with this subject, a proper establishment for the troops which they might deem indispensable, was suggested for their mature deliberation; and the indications of a hostile temper given by several tribes of Indians, were considered as admonishing them of the necessity of being prepared to afford protection to the frontiers, and to punish aggression.
The interests of the United States were declared to require that the means of keeping up their intercourse with foreign nations should be provided; and the expediency of establishing a uniform rule of naturalization was suggested.
After stating uniformity in the currency, weights, and measures of the United States, as an object of great importance, and expressing his confidence in their attention to many improvements essential to the prosperity of the interior, the president added, “nor am I less persuaded that you will agree with me in opinion that there is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science and literature. Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness. In one, in which the measures of
CHAP. IV. government receive their impression so imme1790. diately from the sense of the community as in
ours, it is proportionably essential. To the security of a free constitution it contributes in various ways: by convincing those who are intrusted with the public administration, that every valuable end of government is best answered by the enlightened confidence of the people; and by teaching the people themselves to know and to value their own rights; to discern and provide against invasions of them; to distinguish between oppression and the necessary exercise of lawful authority; between burdens proceeding from a disregard to their convenience, and those resulting from the inevitable exigencies of society; to discriminate the spirit of liberty from that of licentiousness, cherishing the first, avoiding the last, and uniting a speedy but temperate vigilance against encroachments, with an inviolable respect to the laws.
"Whether this desirable object will be best promoted by affording aids to seminaries of learning already established, by the institution of a national university, or by any other expedients, will be well worthy of a place in the deliberations of the legislature."
Addressing himself then particularly to the representatives he said, "I saw with peculiar pleasure at the close of the last session, the resolution entered into by you, expressive of your opinion, that an adequate provision for the support of the public credit is a matter of high importance to the national honour and prosperity.
In this sentiment I entirely concur; and to a CHAP. IV. perfect confidence in your best endeavours to 1790. devise such a provision as will be truly consistent with the end, I add an equal reliance on the cheerful co-operation of the other branch of the legislature. It would be superfluous to specify inducements to a measure in which the character and permanent interests of the United States are so obviously and so deeply concerned; and which has received so explicit a sanction from your declaration."
Addressing himself again to both houses, he observed, that the estimates and papers respecting the objects particularly recommended to their attention would be laid before them; and concluded with saying, "the welfare of our country. is the great object to which our cares and efforts ought to be directed: and I shall derive great satisfaction from a co-operation with you in the pleasing though arduous task of ensuring to our fellow citizens the blessings which they have a right to expect from a free, efficient, and equal government."
The answers of both houses were indicative of the harmony which subsisted between the executive and legislative departments; and were adopted with a degree of unanimity seldom experienced in large assemblies.
Occupied during their first session with those bills which were necessary to bring the new system into full operation, and to create an immediate revenue, the legislature of the union had unavoidably deferred some measures which pos. H h