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as I believe many of them need money as much as any of the Representatives can do. It was a trial of skill in the way of starvation, and the dignity or precedence, or call it what you will, which could not be gained from the understanding of the House of Representatives, was extorted from their purses.99

The President signed the bill on September 22. The success of the Senate must have been considered to consist in the recognition, however postponed, of its right to the dignity of a higher remuneration, and the hope that, once established, it would continue to receive that recognition in later salary acts. If this was the case, disappointment was to follow. The act of March 10, 1796, did away with the discrimination, and the recognition of the equality of the houses, except as indicated by the Constitution, has gone unquestioned since.

Public opinion supported the contention of the House, although it considered $6.00 excessive. Alexander White, writing Madison on August 25, 1789, from western Virginia, probably correctly estimated the views of that section at least in saying: "The Idea of a discrimination in the pay of the Members of the two Houses, has by every Man whom I have heard mention it, been disapproved, I think I might say, reprobated." 100 Henry Van Schaack of Pittsfield, Mass., called it "this monstrous extravagance." 101 In contrast, Carrington's statement of September 9, also to Madison, showed the more aristocratic view: "I think the Representatives ought to have had five, & the Senators eight dollars." 102 The hardheaded Yankee, Thomas B. Wait, was also not alarmed, though he saw no reason for the discrimination. He wrote Thacher on August 9: "Upon the whole, I think the Compensations (except that of the Speaker; and that of the V. president's is too low) are about right. the President, Senators and Representatives are now put into easy and no more than easy circumstances I forgot to tell you how extremely pleased I am that Senators and Representatives receive the same sum for the same services-that is right-it is truly republican."

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ONE of the constitutional inequalities is the right of the House to originate bills for raising revenue, the Senate having, however, the right of amendment in this as in other respects. That there should be no question of the legislative equality of the Senate in all other respects was entirely determined by its action in this first session. Not only did such important bills as the great judiciary act of September 24, 1789, originate in that body; but its discussion and amendment of the tariff bill, strictly a revenue one, as well as

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its attitude toward bills for the appropriation of money and the bills of a more formative character, were conclusive of this. The changes which the Senate made in the tariff bill were usually reductions, but not entirely so, and the House acceded to various of the Senate's increases and additional duties.

We shall in later sections find various matters in the relations of Congress with the executive, especially the Senate in these relations, wherein this first session established other precedents that have remained unchanged.


SENATOR Wingate summed up his impressions of the relations between the two houses on July 6, about midway of the session, in a letter to Belknap:

There has as yet been as good harmony between the two houses, as well as between the respective members of each house, as could be expected. Whilst the impost bill was under consideration, there was sometimes suggested a jealousy respecting the different interests of the northern and southern states. But they were kept out of sight as much as possible, and every suggestion of the kind disapproved of by the prudent and moderate. . I know that

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it is natural for the two branches of the Legislature to be jealous of each other, and tenacious of their own rights, and the Senate by reason of their long duration in office, may in some future time be disposed to extend their powers as far as possible, and encroach upon the Executive, as well as other part of the Legislative powers; but at present I am persuaded there is no such disposition. And I believe that the people in general will often derive considerable advantages from the check of the Senate over so numerous a branch of government as the other house will consist of. Their decisions will sometimes be in danger of being tumultuous, and may be the sudden effects of heat and party. The Senate, being a smaller and older body of men, and being appointed equally from the small and large states, will be more likely to be deliberate and impartial. This, you may say, is owing to my partiality. It may be so, and I will say no more about it.104

Inauguration of President



THE FIRST task that confronted the finally organized First Congress on April 6 was the counting of the electoral votes. These votes, as described in an earlier chapter, having been received by Secretary Thomson of the Old Congress, were now opened and counted by the president pro tem of the Senate, John Langdon of New Hampshire, in the presence of both houses. A senator, Oliver Ellsworth, was sent to notify the House that the Senate was organized and ready to discharge the duty of counting the votes, having also appointed one of its members as clerk to list the votes as declared. The House appointed two for this also; and, headed by the Speaker, attended in the Senate Chamber. Langdon personally counted the votes as well as opened them, and declared the result; and Adams did the same in 1793, but in 1797 he merely opened the returns and had the secretary of the Senate read them. Since then the president of the Senate on opening the votes has passed them to the tellers to read and list. There continued to be only one teller from the Senate until 1877; since then there have been two. The votes were counted in the Senate Chamber in 1792 and in 1801 and 1805; but in the House Chamber in 1797 and from 1809 on. The president of the Senate has continued to announce the results and declare the election.


AFTER the House retired, it requested the Senate to make arrangements for the notification of the successful candidates, and Senator Wingate wrote that many had applied for the honor of being the messengers. The choice fell on Charles Thomson to notify Washington and Sylvanus Bourne, Adams. Both left on their mission the next day, Bourne going by packet. With a favorable wind he made a swift passage, reaching Warwick Neck, R. I., where he landed, the



next evening and Braintree at 6 P. M. on April 9-an express-rate travel of only fifty hours. He returned to New York with Adams as private secretary. Thomson attributed his privilege to the fact that he had "been long in the confidence of the late Congress and charged with the duties of one of the principal civil Departments of Government."1 He traveled rather slowly, spent the night of the 9th in Philadelphia and reached Mount Vernon at about noon on the 14th.


BOTH Washington and Adams had been aware of their election for some time, and had made preparations accordingly. In Washington's case this was for a future which he declared to be "a scene of darkness and uncertainty." He made a visit to his mother at Fredericksburg on March 7, "in order probably to discharge the last Act of personal duty, I may (from her age) ever have it in my power to pay." He drew up for his farmer, overseers, and the nephew who was to act as manager of the estate, elaborate instructions for the carrying on of Mount Vernon during 1789; and to the agent who looked out for the leased lands further inland unusally strict orders concerning the tenancies. He was, as always after the Revolution, in need of current cash, and was forced to borrow money in order to leave home free from obligations and to have the funds necessary for the journey and the requirements of his exalted office. This money to the extent of £600 he obtained from Richard Conway, an Alexandria merchant, a debt which was finally discharged in December 1790.

Washington was, as he wrote, much tied up by his "private business and numerous avocations." Among such he would probably have included the admonition on March 23 to a nephew, now 17, who was "now arrived at that age when you must quit the trifling amusements of a boy, and assume the more dignified manners of a man," in a long letter of those "advisory hints" he seemed fond of writing to his young relatives. Also there exists a "rough and incorrect draught of a letter" to one Thomas Green, a ne'er-do-well carpenter and painter, in which with incisive detail all of his shortcomings are made evident.


AND HE had to have clothes. He was always careful respecting his appearance and attire, and the position he was soon to assume

would, as he must have realized, be a social as well as a political one. The conditions of the time and of his own training would presume the existence of something akin to a court, of which he would be the head, an official society in which his example of simplicity or ostentation would be of great influence. An exaggerated idea of this, in its political phase at least, was held by some of the Federalists, such as James McHenry, his erstwhile military secretary, who wrote on March 29, 1789: "You are now a king, under a different name; and, I am well satisfied, that sovereign prerogatives have in no age or country been more honorably obtained; or that, at any time they will be more prudently or wisely exercised. . . . That you may reign long and happy over us, and never for a moment cease to be the public favorite is a wish that I can truely say is congenial to my heart.” 6

In this matter of clothes the intermediary was Secretary at War Knox, then in New York. Washington wrote Knox on January 29, 1789, calling attention to an advertisement of "superfine American Broad Cloths" in a New York paper. He wanted enough for a suit of clothes, and would leave the color to Knox. Mrs. Washington would also like enough of what was called "London Smoke" for a riding habit; a statement, incidentally, which seems to indicate an activity rather late in life, as she was then 57. At this time for the General only cloth and twist for the buttonholes were wanted; later there were some complications over metal engraved buttons as well. Knox replied on February 12 that there were no American cloths on hand, but four pieces were hourly expected, of light grey, Hartford grey, bottle green, and dark brown: "I shall have the choice of them and will secure the quantity you request for yourself and Mrs. Washington and forward the same by the Stage. But I am a little apprehensive you will be disappointed with respect to the fineness, it being about the quality of a second english cloth." On the 16th the cloths had not yet arrived, but were expected "by the first wind." On the 19th he sent 13 yards of bottle green of 34 width, Hartford manufacture, it being the only really satisfactory piece. He expected it would be enough to make a coat and waistcoat as well as Mrs. Washington's habit. The price was $2.00 a yard New York currency, which was 8 percent below par. Washington acknowledged the package on March 2. It exceeded his expectations; but this was the last we know concerning this bottle-green cloth, except Lear's account of the payment later in New York.

Jeremiah Wadsworth, congressman-elect from Connecticut, had promoted the Hartford manufactory. Knox wrote Washington on March 5 that Wadsworth had stated he would have "some superfine

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