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production. On the last day of January, 1828, the committee on manufactures, to which the subject had been submitted in the House, brought in a report and a bill. And after a long discussion, on the 22d of April this bill was passed by a vote of 109 to 91. The Senate made some amendments in which the House concurred, and the President signed the bill.
Of the seven members composing the committee on manufactures only two were supporters of the Administration, and six were supporters of the measure. Still it was held that there were doubts as to the real sentiments of the four opposition supporters, and as it was known that Mr. Adams was fully committed to a protective system, the extravagant and foolish features of the bill had been introduced for electioneering purposes against him. The friends of the Administration saw the faults and evils of the act, but considered it better to submit to them than to risk the chances of contending against them.
It is, however, clear enough now, as it was then, perhaps, that the "tariff of 1828" was not a measure of Mr. Adams's Administration, nor of the supporters of his re-election. Nearly the whole body of Pennsylvania politicians went for it, as did those of other Strong Jackson States. Yet it was artfully brought into the Presidential contest to the interest of General Jackson, who had voted for the tariff of 1824, and whose principles, mainly, on all public matters were yet to be formed. The "tariff of 1828" started a furious excitement in the South, which was only checked by the proclamation of General Jackson, and the revision of the law, in 1832. On the 26th of May, Congress closed its useless labors.
GOSSIP—CABINET TROUBLES AND CHANGES—THE PRESIDENT
MAKES THE FIRST LICK ON THE CHESAPEAKE AND
OHIO CANAL—"THE FOX OF KINDERHOOK."
ACCORDING to what appeared then an established custom, for each President to serve two terms, it was taken for granted at the outset that Mr. Adams's re-election would be sustained by the general sentiment of the country. Although Mr. Adams finally submitted to the plans of his friends for his re-election, it does not appear that he ever felt sanguine about it, or considered his success probable. About the middle of May, 1827, he wrote in his Diary: "My own career is closed. My hopes, such as are left me, are centered upon my children. My capacity. to write fails me from day to day. My duties are to prepare for the end with a grateful heart and unwavering mind."
There was, however, nothing in the matter of two terms or any number of terms which conflicted with Mr. Adams's principles. During the disorders that arose concerning the Presidency when he was a member of Mr. Monroe's Cabinet he remarked on this point:—
"I see them with pain, but they are sown in the practice which the Virginia Presidents have taken so much pains -to engraft on the Constitution of the Union, making it a principle that no President can be more than twice elected, and whoever is not thrown out after one term of service must decline being a candidate after the second. This is not a principle of the Constitution, and I am satisfied it ought not to- be. Its inevitable consequence is to make every Administration a scene of continuous and furious electioneering for the succession to the Presidency. It was so through the whole of Mr. Madison's Administration, and it is so now."
Mr. Barbour, the Secretary of War, entered the newspaper contests in defense of the Administration, and especially did he direct his attention to refuting charges made by the Richmond "Enquirer." It early became apparent that John McLean, the PostmasterGeneral, was using the immense patronage of his office for the overthrow of the Administration, and this fact, Mr. Clay especially endeavored to keep before the President. McLean denied, and the matter went on.
Martin Van Buren, one of the most skillful political managers the country has ever known, was now working for General Jackson with an effective force which startled the admiration and unending esteem of the old soldier. Mr. Adams thought Van Buren almost equal to the devil in his machinations, and very similar to Aaron Burr in his character.
In speaking of some objectionable resolutions concerning the Panama Mission, in 1826. Mr. Adams said:—
"These resolutions are the fruit of the ingenuity of Martin Van Buren, and bear the impress of his character. The resolution to debate an Executive nomination with open doors is without example; and the thirty-sixth rule of the Senate is explicit and unqualified, that all documents communicated in confidence by the President to the Senate shall be kept secret by the members. The request to me to specify the particular documents the publication of which would affect negotiations was delicate and ensnaring. The limitation was not of papers the publication of which might be injurious, but merely of such as would affect existing negotiations; and, this being necessarily a matter of opinion, if I should specify passages in the document as of such a character, any Senator might make it a question for discussion in the Senate, and they might finally publish the whole, under color of entertaining an opinion different from mine upon the probable effect of the publication. Besides, should the precedent once be established of opening the doors of the Senate in the midst of a debate upon Executive business, there would be no prospect of ever keeping them shut again. I answered the resolution of the Senate by a message, stating that all the communications I had made on this subject had been confidential; and that, believing it important to the public interest that the confidence between the Executive and the Senate should continue unimpaired, I should leave to themselves the determination of a question, upon the motives of which, not being informed, I was not competent to decide."
Again, in the summer of 1827, he took occasion to write this opinion of Mr. Van Buren:—
'' Mr. Van Buren paid me a visit this morning. He is on his return from a tour through Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia, with C. C. Cambreleng, since the close of the last session of Congress. They are generally understood to be electioneering; and Van Buren is now the great manager for Jackson, as he was, before the last election, for Mr. Crawford. He is now acting over the part in the Union which Aaron Burr performed in 1799. Van Buren, however, has improved, in the art of electioneering, upon Burr, as the State of New York has grown in relative strength and importance in the Union. Van Buren has now every prospect of success in his present movements, and he will avoid the rock on which Burr afterwards split."
In 1787 and 1788 Mr. Adams wrote several letters to his relative, Judge Cranch, against the Constitution and plan of government adopted for this country, and this summer (1827) he had the mortifying pleasure of seeing in print these crude performances. Of them he made this note in the Diary:—
"The fortieth year is revolving since my own letters were written, and now their best use is to teach me a lesson of humility, and of forbearance. I was so sincere, so earnest, so vehement in my opinions, and time has so crumbled them to dust, that I can now see them only as monumental errors."
In the summer of 1827, William H. Crawford very clearly illustrated Mr. Adams's bad opinion of him by writing several letters to Mr. Rush, earnestly soliciting appointments for some of his friends, at the same time filling the letters with abuse of Mr. Adams.
On the 16th of July, 1827, the President left Washington for the purpose of spending a few weeks at Quincy, and did not return until after the middle of October. He tells himself how he spent the time in this long visit, in these words:—
"I arise, on the average, about five. Journalize till half-past seven. Breakfast; visit my seedling nursery and the garden; read letters, dispatches, and newspapers, write letters or journal, and receive visitors, till two. Dine, and devote the afternoon to riding, visitors, and idleness. Evening the same, till its close, about ten. This life is diversified by bathing at the high tides, excursions, dinners, and fishing parties."
On his way to Boston he was treated with a great deal of consideration, and received the "honors due to Ms station," holding, according to a custom now disgustingly ramified, quite a number of "receptions."
In the Cabinet there were three men whose names were connected with the race for the Vice-Presidency, Clay, Barbour, and Rush. To them Mr. Adams talked freely about the political contest. He believed himself that the candidate for the second office should come from the South, and while he was greatly attached