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Envoys sent to France. -Mr. Jefferson elected president.
Oliver Ellsworth, and Patrick Henry, as envoys, and the nomination was confirmed. This act offended his cabinet, and the breach b Feb., was never healed. Hamilton and others highly disapproved of his course, deeming it to be the duty of France to take the first positive step toward a reconciliation. Mr. Henry declined the service, and William R. Davis, of North Carolina, was substituted. They sailed for France in November, 1799, and on their arrival, they found Napoleon Bonaparte created first consul. He at once appointed three commissioners; and in October, 1800, a treaty of peace was ratified by the French government. It was conditionally confirmed by the president and senate before the close of Mr. Adams's term. Two articles having been left open for alteration, they were settled after the commencement of Mr. Jefferson's administration. They related to indemnification for depredations upon our commerce.
On the assembling of the sixth Congress in December, 1799, there was a decided federal majority in both houses, and Theodore Sedgwick, of Massachusetts, was elected speaker of the house of representatives. On the 18th of the month, Mr. Marshall, of Virginia, announced to Congress the intelligence of the death of Washington. Both houses adjourned; their respective halls were dressed in mourning, and every demonstration of respect and grief was shown. During this session, acts prohibiting the slave-trade were passed; also for laying additional duties on various articles; and the northwest territory (now Ohio and Indiana) was admitted into the Union.*
As the time approached for another presidential election, party spirit ran high. The federalists nominated for president and vice-president, Mr. Adams and General Charles C. Pinckney; and the democrats nominated Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Owing to various causes, Mr. Adams had lost some of his firmest supporters, and Hamilton published a pamphlet against the course of conduct pursued by Mr. Adams during his administration. The final result was, that Jefferson and Burr were elected. Between the time of the decision of the electoral college and the 4th of March, Mr. Adams appointed all the judges of the new courts, and their commissions were issued; but the repeal of the law early in the administration of Mr. Jefferson, deprived them of their of fices. On the 4th of March, 1801, the administration of Mr. Adams closed, and Mr. Jefferson was inaugurated at the newly-erected capitol in Washington city.
The course pursued toward France by Mr. Adams met with general approval, until he began to adopt what was termed humiliating meas
* Wm. H. Harrison (the late president) took his seat as the first delegate from that territory. + They were called "the midnight judges of John Adams," because of the hour when the law under which they were created was adopted.
Mr. Adams retires to private life.-His death. — - His person and character.
ures for conciliating that government. These, together with the abrupt dismissal of two members of his cabinet near the close of his administration, made him quite unpopular; and he had the misfortune to leave the presidential chair unsupported by the confidence of his own political party. He was an honest man, and strongly confident in his own judgment. He therefore acted in accordance with that judgment, careless of the opinions of others. It was this trait of character that lost him his popularity when his official position allowed him a large scope for the exercise of his will.
In 1801, he retired to his estate in Quincy, and never again appeared actively in the political field, but gave his support generally to the democratic party. He was favorable to the measure declaring war against Great Britain in 1812, and he had the gratification of seeing his son at the head of a commission to treat for peace with the same nation that, thirty-two years before, he had treated with.
In 1816, he was placed by the democrats of Massachusetts at the head of their list of presidential electors. In 1818, he lost his wife by death, with whom he had lived fifty-two years.* In 1824, he was chosen a member of the state convention of Massachusetts to revise the constitution, and was elected president. He declined the honor on account of his age. In 1825, he had the rare pleasure of seeing his son elevated to the office of president of the United States.
Mr. Adams had now entered upon the last decade of a century, and his long life had been one of arduous toils and spotless purity of characHis last years were years of serene tranquillity; and as the semicentennial anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence approached, his hour of dissolution drew nigh. On the morning of the 4th of July, 1826, being asked for a toast for the day, the last words he ever uttered-words of glorious import-fell from his lips: "Independence for ever." About one o'clock in the afternoon he calmly expired, and nearly at the same hour the soul of Thomas Jefferson, his compatriot and friend, accompanied his to the spirit-land.
In person, Mr. Adams was of middle stature, and rather inclined to be fleshy. He possessed an exceedingly intelligent countenance, and moral courage of the truest stamp ever marked it. In speaking, he was slow and deliberate, except when excited, and then he manifested great energy. He was a pure moralist and consistent Christian; and he left behind him a name to be coveted the wise and good.
* She is represented as a woman of remarkable intelligence, and exceedingly amiable. She heartily espoused the cause of independence, and made willing personal sacrifices for her country's good. In a letter to a friend in London, written in 1777, she remarked: "To this cause I have sacrificed much of my own personal happiness, by giving up to the councils of America one of my nearest connexions, and living for more than three years in a state of widowhood."
MERICAN history presents few names to its students more attractive and distinguished than that of THOMAS JEFFERSON, and rarely has a single individual, in civil station, acquired such an ascendency over the feelings and actions of a people, as was possessed by the subject of this brief memoir. To trace the lines of his character and career is a pleasing task for every American whose mind is fixed upon the political destiny of his country, and we regret the narrow limits to which our pen is confined.
Mr. Jefferson's family were among the early British emigrants to Virginia. His ancestors came from Wales, from near the great Snowdon mountain. His grandfather settled in Chesterfield, and had three sons, Thomas, Field, and Peter. The latter married Jane, daughter of Isham Randolph, of Goochland, of Scotch descent; and on the 13th of April, 1743, she became the mother of the subject of this sketch. They resided at that time at Shadwell, in Albemarle county, Virginia. Thomas was the eldest child. His father died when he was fourteen years old, leaving a widow and eight children, two sons and six daughters. He left a handsome estate to his family; and the lands, which he called Monticello, fell to Thomas, where the latter always resided when not engaged in public duty, and where he lived at the time of his death.
Thomas entered a grammar-school at the age of five years, and when nine years old he commenced the study of the classics with a Scotch clergyman named Douglas. On the death of his father, the Rev. Mr. Maury became his preceptor; and in the spring of 1760, he entered William and Mary college, where he remained two years. From Dr. William Small, a professor of mathematics in the college, he received his first philosophical teachings, and the bias of his mind concerning subjects of philosophical investigation seem to have received its initial impetus from that gentleman. Through his influence, in 1762, young