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CHAPTER XXX.

THE SECOND PRESIDENTIAL TERM.

ON

N the 4th of March, 1793, Washington, for a second time, took the

oath of office. Before its administration, he said: “I am again called upon by the voice of my country, to execute the functions of its chief magistrate. When the occasion, proper for it, shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of the United States. Previous to the execution of any official act of the President, the constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence, that, if it shall be proved, during my administration of the government, I have in any instance violated, willingly or knowingly, any of the injunctions thereof, I may, besides incurring constitutional punishment, be subjected to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony."

John Adams was again Vice-President, and the administration 'opened with the same cabinet which had advised the President during his former term. The first difficulty which faced the administration was that arising from the terrible condition of French affairs. Louis XVI. had fled, and been recaptured; the monarchy was overthrown; Paris, and all France, was red with the blood of victims of the “summary justice" of the mob. Lafayette was too conservative; he first lost influence, and, later, as Governeur Morris, minister of the United States to the destroyed monarchy, said, would have been torn to pieces, had he fallen into the hands of the redhanded sans-culottes. . Then the king, later the innocent queen, was beheaded; then came the republic of Robespierre and Marat, the fall of one city after another before the army of the people—then war with England. The unthinking people of the United States still were clamorous for an ailiance with France, and eager to wreck their new nationality by interference in a European war; they regarded the republic of France as heir tu

the debt of gratitude which America had owed to the murdere: king. Washington called a cabinet council to consider the attitude of America toward the belligerent powers. Even Jefferson, more than half a Jacobin, could see how disastrous intervention must prove, and the cabinet was unanimous against it. It was, however, determined to recognize the republic, and to receive any minister which it might accredit to the United States.

Notice soon came, that Citizen Genet had been named as minister of France, and his coming was looked for with a curiosity not unmixed with apprehension, as Morris had given notice that he bore with him a large number of commissions for privateers, signed in blank, and intended endeavoring to enlist adventurous American sailors against the shipping of Great Britain. To guard against such action—the cabinet concurringWashington issued his famous proclamation, commanding all American citizens to maintaii a strict neutrality between the contending powers. The policy then adopted has ever since been adhered to, by America, and has proved her salvation, but, so blind was the enthusiasm of the people, it was then received with a discontent, at first restrained by respect for Washington, but gradually growing into murmurs, protests, and final indignant demonstration. Even his great service and well established position in the affection of his countrymen, did not save him from private abuse and public caricature, ridicule, and insult, which never ceased until the question ceased to be one of living interest. Yet no act of his long and useful life better deserves the gratitude of his people, than the making of this proclamation and the firmness with which the principles therein enunciated were maintained.

Before news of the proclamation had reached all parts of the Union, Genet arrived in America, not coming, as is the custom of diplomacy, to the most convenient port, making haste to the capital, presenting his credentials and asking recognition, but sailing in a French man-of-war to Charleston. There he was received with the wildest enthusiasm-enthusiasm which turned his head, and led him to forget the obligations of his position, and issue commissions to several privateers. From Charleston to Philadelphia his journey was a triumph, —more like a royal progress, than the passage of a simple “citizen" of the French republic. He arrived at the capital, and on the 19th of May, 1793, presented his letters, and, in spite of his indiscreet actions, which had already been made a subject of complaint by the British minister, was received with courtesy.

The frigate Ambuscade, which brought Genet to America, captured a British merchantman off the capes of the Delaware, in American waters, and brought the prize to Philadelphia. Other vessels were captured on the high seas, by the privateers fitted out at Charleston, and were brought into American ports. The British minister demanded the restitution of these

vessels. The cabinet unanimously determined that the first mentioned te returned, but was divided as to those taken at sea, Hamilton and Knox favoring a like action in those cases, while Jefferson and Randolph desired to submit the matter to the courts. This was finally determined upon, and, at the same time, the governments of France and Great Britain were formally notified of the determination of America, not only to maintain a position of neutrality as a nation, but to compel its citizens to regard the same.

Genet was very indignant at this determination; he accused the Presi. dent of exceeding his authority, and threatened an appeal to the people, whom he knew to be with him. The arrest of two American citizens for enlisting upon a privateer, and their imprisonment to await trial, added to his anger, and drew from him a very lofty, if not impudent, letter to the Secretary of State, which did not secure any modification of the position of the government. Subsequent words and acts of Genet placed him beyond the pale of even official indulgence. A vessel captured by a French cruiser, was brought to Philadelphia, during the absence of Washington, armed, fitted as a privateer, and manned with American seamen. The state authori. ties of Pennsylvania, in compliance with a request addressed by Washington to them, in common with the governments of the other states, prepared to forcibly prevent the sailing of the ship. This resulted in an interview between Genet and Jefferson, in which the Secretary of State requested that the vessel be detained until the President should have returned. Genet evaded making a promise, but led Jefferson to understand that he acquiesced, yet the privateer dropped to Chester, and thence, after the return of Washington, but before any action could be taken, put to sea. This deliberate defiance of the American government, on the part of Genet, taken in connection with the increasingly insolent tone of his official communications led to a demand for his recall by the French government, though, to pre vent inconvenience, it was arranged that his communications should be received in writing, pending the arrival of a successor. The executive council of the French republic did not undertake to excuse its minister, but recalled him, and accredited M. Fauchet. Genet was in New York at the time he learned of the demand for his recall, and became so abusive that the cabinet was obliged, at last, to cease even written communication with him. He then again began to talk of appealing to the people, and thus so alarmed the national pride of many who had been his friends, that he lost his influence, and found himself in a minority. He afterward married a daughter of George Clinton, and passed the remainder of his life in New York. *

Jefferson had yielded to Washington's request that he should withhold his resignation of the secretaryship of state, only on condition that it should be accepted at the close of the year 1793. On the 31st day of

* See Life of Jefferson, for further particulars of this affair.

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vessels. The cabinet unanimously determined that the first mentioned be
returned, but was divided as to those taken at sea, Hamilton and Knox
favoring a like action in those cases, while Jefferson and Randolph desired
to submit the matter to the courts. This was finally determined upon, and,
at the same time, the governments of France and Great Britain were formally
notified of the determination of America, not only to maintain a position of
neutrality as a nation, but to compel its citizens to regard the same.

Genet was very indignant at this determination; he accused the Presi-
dent of exceeding his authority, and threatened an appeal to the people,
whom he knew to be with him. The arrest of two American citizens for
enlisting upon a privateer, and their imprisonment to await trial, added to
his anger, and drew from him a very lofty, if not impudent, letter to the
Secretary of State, which did not secure any modification of the position of
the government. Subsequent words and acts of Genet placed him beyond
the pale of even official indulgence. A vessel captured by a French cruiser,
was brought to Philadelphia, during the absence of Washington, armed,
fitted as a privateer, and manned with American seamen. The state authori.
ties of Pennsylvania, in compliance with a request addressed by Washing-
ton to them, in common with the governments of the other states, prepared
to forcibly prevent the sailing of the ship. This resulted in an interview
between Genet and Jefferson, in which the Secretary of State requested that
the vessel be detained until the President should have returned. Genet
evaded making a promise, but led Jefferson to understand that he acquiesced,
yet the privateer dropped to Chester, and thence, after the return of Wash-
ington, but before any action could be taken, put to sea. This deliberate
defiance of the American government, on the part of Genet, taken in con-
nection with the increasingly insolent tone of his official communications
led to a demand for his recall by the French government, though, to pre
vent inconvenience, it was arranged that his communications should be
received in writing, pending the arrival of a successor. The executive coun-
cil of the French republic did not undertake to excuse its minister, but
recalled him, and accredited M. Fauchet. Genet was in New York at the
time he learned of the demand for his recall, and became so abusive that the
cabinet was obliged, at last, to cease even written communication with him.
He then again began to talk of appealing to the people, and thus so alarmed
the national pride of many who had been his friends, that he lost his influ-
ence, and found himself in a minority. He afterward married a daughter
of George Clinton, and passed the remainder of his life in New York.*

Jefferson had yielded to Washington's request that he should withhold his resignation of the secretaryship of state, only on condition that it should be accepted at the close of the year 1793. On the 31st day of

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