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.

HISTORY

OF THE

PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES.

CHAPTER XL.

TEXAS, OREGON, AND THE SLAVE-TRADE.

March fourth, 1821, the day whereon, according to law, Monroe should a second time have taken the oath of office, fell on a Sunday. Never in our history had such an event happened on such a day, and, considering the peculiar character which the Christian world has given to the first day of the week, Monroe was uncertain what to do. Regard for the Sabbath prompted him to put off the oath till the morrow. Regard for his duty prompted him to take it the moment his first term expired. In the end his religious feelings triumphed, and he was sworn into office at noon on March fifth, thereby establishing a precedent which has twice been followed since his death.

The first important act of his second term was the appointment of Andrew Jackson to the Governorship of Florida. After two years of delay, due to the state of affairs in Spain, the Florida treaty of 1819 had at last been ratified by Ferdinand and reratified by the Senate of the United States on Washington's birthday, 1821. Time did not serve to organize the new territory; hence, beyond spreading over it the revenue laws and the law against the slave-trade, and authorizing the President to invest the powers of the existing Government in a proper person, no legislation had been attempted when the session closed. Whoever was sent as Governor would be invested, therefore, with all the immense

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