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gers from patronage as mere themes of popular declamation. Those who decried it, had admitted that nothing in the history of this country justified this alarm. What, it was asked, was meant by this attempt to distinguish our political from our commercial relations? Except the settlement of boundaries, had we any differences or interfering interests with other nations which were not commercial? Those interests were the only sources whence our political intercourse with them could flow. Ought those great, those general interests, the basis of treaties, and the chief objects of national intercourse, to be intrusted to Consuls? The member knew, that these could alone be confided to agents, having the character of Ministers; and yet he had asserted that our political and commercial relations were distinct. Was this a time to "leave our commerce to itself," and to relinquish our representative place among the nations? Should we recall our Ambassadors, would Europe follow this example? Would she not still plant among us her agents, and does not the danger to us proceed from her missionaries here, and not from our ministers there?
After a large discussion of the power of one branch of the Legislature over the Executive department, it was observed, this attempt thus to check the functions of the Executive may be the exertion of power, but is not the exercise of a constitutional right.-No-it is the sequence of a series of attempts, each of which has been directed to some present object, but had an ultimate purpose; the concentration of all the powers of the government in one of its branches. The resolution calling upon the President for the instructions to Jay was not to obtain information, for those instructions had been seen by the members who pressed that resolution. Its object was to establish a precedent for controlling the Executive. The re
fusal to appropriate for the treaty with Great Britain was a similar attempt to usurp the treaty-making power. In the proposed amendments to the Address of the last session, the same end was sought, by prescribing to the Executive the principles of his instructions, and the terms upon which the negotiation should be conducted. The refusal to appropriate, by the same House which had enacted the law for completing the Navy, was an analogous procedure. An act repealing part of the law fixing the Military Establishment passed both Houses. It was returned by the President, with the reasons of his dissent; and failed, for want of a two-third vote. Yet an attempt was made to defeat the declared sense of the Legislature by the vote of a bare majority, to withhold the requisite appropriation.
The Constitution has given to the Executive, with the advice of the Senate, the appointment of Ambassadors. Can the necessity of our concurrence in an appropriation, give us, not only the right of prescribing to the President the grades of ministers, their numbers, the nations to which they shall be sent, but the power also, by withholding salaries, of defeating such appointments? When an appointment is constitutionally made-the compensation becomes a debt. For what is the money power intrusted to Congress, but "to pay the debts of the United States?" This power of appointing Legates is a necessary incident of sovereignty. The Constitution has only designated the Department by which it is to be exerted. It may well be asked, could the House, by refusing an appropriation, divest the nation of so important an attribute? The discussion was much protracted and often resumed; but the amendment was finally rejected by a majority of four, being a strict party vote. This increase of patronage became the subject of much after contro VOL. VII.-7
versy; and the speech of Gallatin was extensively circulated to prejudice the administration.
During the progress of this debate the Senate had been engaged in framing a system for the conduct of impeachments. The Constitution prescribed, that "the Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments." A clause was nevertheless proposed by Tazewell, for the introduction of trial by jury in these cases. "There is no expectation," Jefferson wrote to Madison, "of carrying this; but it will draw forth the principles of the parties, and concur in accumulating proof, on which side all the sound principles are to be found." This attempt to destroy so important a check on Executive influence, was only supported by three votes-Tazewell and Mason of Virginia, and Andrew Jackson of Tennessee.
Notice of a proposition to amend the Constitution, as to the election of the President, had been given in that body. With a similar disregard to the stability of the Government, and with a like view to popularity, Jefferson suggested it, as a proper occasion, to propose again the rejected "Virginia amendments."
A circular letter from Cabell, a member of Congress, had been presented by a Grand Jury of Richmond in terms of strong censure. Jefferson pronounced this an invasion of the natural right of free correspondence, and caused petitions to be addressed to the Legislature of Virginia, but to be "fathered" by some other person, impugning this procedure as an infraction of that right. At the same time, he described the Judiciary of the United States, as having a foreign jurisdiction; and proposed that a prœmunire should be enacted by the Legislature of that State against all citizens, who "attempt to carry their causes before any other than the State Courts, in cases where those other Courts have no right to their
cognizance." "A plea," he wrote, "to the jurisdiction of the Courts of their State or a reclamation of a foreign jurisdiction, if adjudged valid, would be safe; but if adjudged invalid, would be followed by the punishment of a præmunire for the attempt." * Denunciatory resolutions, in conformity with these petitions, passed the House of Delegates; a proceeding which was condemned by the Senate of Virginia, as "derogatory to its constitutional privileges." The end was nevertheless attained of keeping up the jealousy of his State, and preparing it for subsequent movements.
These intermediate means of excitement were now chiefly resorted to for the purpose of diverting attention from the injuries of France. But in vain. Her continued depredations left the nation no repose. All were intent upon the result of the mission to Paris. The intelligence from Europe gave no indications of its success. The recent revolution had excluded from the French Councils all the advocates of peace, and the interests of the army were made the predominant interests of France. Previous to the change of the Directory, the conferences at Lisle had proceeded to a point which offered every prospect of success. England, reserving a few important acquisitions for the security of her commerce, had consented to relinquish the rest of her vast conquests. Instructions were now given by the Directory to its agents to refuse the grant of the small indemnities her crown required. She was asked to surrender all, without any equivalent. Hesitation to accede to such unequal terms was the pretext of an order to break off the delusive negotiation.
Efforts were also made to depart from the treaty of Leoben, and to impose more unequal terms upon Austria.
* Jefferson to Monroe, Sept. 7, 1797.
But Bonaparte triumphed over the Directory, and, on the seventeenth of October, the treaty of "Campio Formio" was concluded, which public opinion compelled the Directory to ratify. They immediately after issued a proclamation of their intention to invade England. A treaty had recently been concluded with Portugal. On the same day on which Bonaparte was appointed to the command of the army of England, this treaty was declared to be void, and the Portuguese Minister was ordered to depart from Paris!
The American commissioners arrived there on the fourth of October-a most unpropitious period. At the moment of their arrival, to prepare the public for the course it had been resolved to adopt, a summary exposition appeared in the official gazette of the "Differences between America and France." The treaty with England was the principal topic of complaint. Again adopting the language of Jefferson to Mazzei, "Two declared parties were stated to exist in the United States. One consisting of the merchants, and of a majority in the Government and legislature, which was called the English party. The cultivators of land were said to form the other party. The mass of the people were more inclined to France." The treaty of England, it stated, was concluded to serve her interests. That it was made without the knowledge of France, was charged as an offence. It was pronounced a breach of the alliance, and stigmatized as a "treaty of disaffection!"
The despatches from the American Commissioners were received at Philadelphia on the fourth of Marchthe day on which the debate on the foreign intercourse bill terminated. They confirmed the apprehensions which this exposition had raised.
Uncertain whether the Envoys had retired from