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nation for governor of his State. This he did mainly on account of his friendship for and approval of the course of Governor Lincoln, whom he hoped to see the people sustain.
So the summer passed with unusual activity to Mr. Adams, neither age nor infirmity, of which he had complained, presenting the least obstacle. On his way to Washington, late in October, he stopped in New York to attend a scientific and literary convention, acted as its president, and aided in organizing a national literary society. But this was nothing more than another of the worthless masculine "Phi Beta Gamma" associations like that of which he was a member in Boston.
At Philadelphia he visited Nicholas Biddle, and was smart enough to order his stock in the United States Bank to be sold. Still Mr. Adams took this step solely owing to the fact that he feared the support he designed giving the bank might be attributed to interested or selfish motives. He certainly did not believe or know that the bank was soon destined to go down in a contest with General Jackson.
Change of location made little change in the habits of Mr. Adams. He was so accustomed to Psalmmaking, or versification in some shape, while walking at home, that he readily turned his attention to this occupation when traveling. Soon after reaching Washington, in November, he wrote: "Since I left Quincy I have composed twenty-three stanzas of versions of the Psalms, all bad, but as good as I could make them."
There seemed to be with him a persistent sort of fatality about what he believed to be his indifferent or bad Psalm-making. Still he adhered to the work with a grim kind of heroism, and believed it his destiny, or some such unwise thing. Mr. Adams always appeared to carry with him the impression that Providence directed even the smallest things in his life, and it was a part of his daily routine to assign both the hard and the pleasant lines of this destiny to the provision and superintendence of the Hand above him. It is a singular fact, however, that he resisted this pretension in other men, and took no interest in the oft-repeated assertion that General Washington's life had been especially guarded and sustained supernaturally.
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES— MR. ADAMS AGAIN IN
THE HARNESS—"THUS PASS AWAY IN SUCCESSION
THE GLORIES OF THE WORLD."
IN December, 1831, Mr. Adams quietly took his seat in Congress, and amidst surprising manifestations of respect from many of those who had recently been arrayed in the bitterest ho.stility against him. He was appointed chairman of the Committee of Manufactures, then a matter of great national importance. This position was not congenial to Mr. Adams, and he asked to be excused from entering upon its duties, mainly on the ground that he had not given his attention so fully to that subject as its value required at that time. He preferred a similar place on the Committee of Foreign Relations, but the Speaker said that his unfriendly relations with President Jackson would render such an arrangement undesirable. With considerable warmth he was urged, from unexpected quarters, to perform the duty assigned him, as the excited condition of the country in reference to the tariff needed his wisdom and the influence of his political standing.
Accordingly he organized the committee, and attempted to begin the work assigned to it. He repeats edly visited the Treasury Department to consult with Mr. McLane on the course desired to be pursued by the Administration as to manufactures, the national debt, and the general matters of revenue. Mr. Clay had been sent to the Senate from Kentucky, and had also been nominated at Baltimore by the National Republicans (Whigs) for the Presidency, and he now came forward as the champion of a vigorous revenue plan. While Mr. Adams was exceedingly anxious to agree with and be on favorable terms with Mr. Clay, he could not support his policy at this time. He preferred the plan of the Administration, as then indicated. Mr. Adams was in a conciliatory frame of mind, and willing and anxious to do something with the tariff to appease the belligerent South. He was not willing to go Mr. Clay's length for the "American System," and defy the South, the President, and the devil, as Clay said.
It was soon discovered, however, that there was no harmony in Mr. Adams's committee, although it was favorable to the Administration plan of discharging the public debts, and its chairman was disposed to meet the angry South on the tariff in a compromising spirit. So accommodating, indeed, did Mr. Adams appear, that a very decided reaction in his favor was exhibited in many Southern newspapers. But this was of short duration, and served at the time to subject him to a sharp criticism at the North. Mr. Adams was placed on the committee to investigate the affairs of the Bank of the United States, and, in March, 1832, went to Philadelphia for that purpose.
During this exciting session of Congress Mr. Adams had often been tempted to join in the intemperate discussions of the moment, but managed to get through with a degree of quietness he hardly ever felt again. Yet at no time in his public career had he such gloomy thoughts as to the safety of the country. Congress had passed a resolution proposing to remove the remains of Washington to the National Capital, and to celebrate the event with what was termed appropriate ceremonies. But, although G. W. P. Custis assented to the removal of the remains of "Lady" Washington, John A. Washington declined to have the tomb of the General disturbed. Reflecting on this affair and the state of the country, Mr. Adams wrote in his Diary on the 22d of February, 1832 :—
"I did wish that this resolution might have been carried into execution, but this wish was connected with an imagination that this federative Union was to last for ages. I now disbelieve its duration for twenty years, and doubt its continuance for five."
At the beginning of the next session, Mr. Adams resumed his place at the head of the Committee of Manufactures. But this committee was unfortunately organized, and did little else than quarrel, so that before the end of the session, it was relieved of duty and disbanded. Mr. Adams made a report, however, signed by himself and one other member of the committee, which he succeeded in having printed. Duff Green, the government printer, was so dilatory or indifferent about this report, that Mr. Adams becoming restless, took the manuscript from the office of the "Telegraph," Green's paper, and on the morning of the 12th of March, 1833, it appeared in the "National Intelligencer." This report was really an appeal to the people against the President's last annual address, which Mr. Adams considered advocated a system of national disunion and ruin. On the day this message