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Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, and gentlemen of the Senate and House of Representatives : By the terms of that section of the act of Congress under which we have assembled in further commemoration of the historic event of the inauguration of the first President of the United States, George Washington, the 30th of April, A.D. 1889, was declared a national holiday, and in the noble city where that event took place its centennial anniversary has been celebrated with a magnificence of speech and song, of multitudinous assembly, and of naval, military and civic display, accompanied by every manifestation of deep love of country, of profound devotion to its institutions and of intense appreciation of the virtues and services of that illustrious man, whose assumption of the Chief Magistracy gave the assurance of the successful setting in motion of the new Government.
By the sundry civil appropriation bill of March 2, 1889, it was enacted as follows: "Sec. 4. That in order that the centennial anniversary of the inauguration of the first President of the United States, George Washington, may be duly commemorated, Tuesday, the thirtieth day of April, anno Domini eighteen hundred and eighty-nine, is hereby declared to be a national holiday throughout the United States. And in further commemoration of this historic event, the two Houses of Congress shall assemble in the Hall of the House of Representatives on the second Wednesday of December, anno Domini eighteen hundred and eighty-nine, when suit. able ceremonies shall be had under the direction of a joint committee composed of five Senators and five Representatives, members of the Fifty-first Congrers, who shall be appointed by the presiding officers of the respective Houses. And said joint committee shall have power to sit during the recess of Congress; and it shall be its duty to make arrangements for the celebration in the Hall of the House of Representatives on the second Wednesday of December next, and may invite to be present tbereat such officers of the United States and of the respective States of the Union, and (through the Secretary of State) representatives of foreign governments. The committee sball invite the Chief Justice of the United States to deliver a suitable address on the occasion. And for the purpose of defraying the expenses of said joint committee and of carrying out the arrangements which it may make, three thousand dollars, or so much thereof as may be necessary.” 25 Stat. 980, c. 411, $ 4.
This joint committee, as organized, consisted of MR. HIScock of New York, Mr. SHERMAN of Ohio, Mr. Hoar of Massachusetts, MR. VOORHEES of Indiana and Mr. Eustis of Louisi. ana, on the part of the Senate; and of MR. BAYNE of Pennsylvania, Mr. Hitt of Illinois, MR. CARTER of Montana, MR. CULBERSON of Texas and MR. CUMMINGS of New York on the part of the House of Representatives. It agreed upon and issued the following as the order of arrangements at the Capitol.
Nothing on the occasion of that celebration could be more full of encouragement and hope than the testimony so overwhelmingly given that Washington still remained first in the hearts of his countrymen, and that the example afforded by his career was still cherished as furnishing that guide of public conduct which had kept and would keep the nation upon the path of glory for itself and of happiness for its people.
The majestic story of that life — whether told in the pages of Marshall or Sparks, of Irving or Bancroft, or through the eloquent utterances of Ames or Webster, or Everett or Winthrop, or the matchless poetry of Lowell or the verse of Byron
We love to hear again what the great Frederick and Napoleon, what Erskine and Fox and Brougham and Talley rand and Fontanes and Guizot said of him, and how crape enshrouded the standards of France, and the flags upon the victorious ships of England fell fluttering to half-mast at the tidings of his death.
The passage of the century has not in the slightest degree inpaired the irresistible charm; and whatever doubts or fears assail us in the turmoil of our impetuous national life, that story comes to console and to strengthen, like the shadow of a great rock in a
Washington had become first in war, not so much by reason of victories over the enemy, though he had won such, or of success
The Capitol will be closed on the morning of the 11th to all except the members and officers of Congress; invited guests will be admitted by tickets.
At 11 o'clock the east door leading to the Rotunda will be opened to those holding tickets of admission to the floor of the House and its galleries.
The floor of the House of Representatives will be opened for the admission of Senators and Representatives, and to those having tickets of admission thereto, who will be conducted to the seats assigned to them.
The President and ex-Presidents of the United States will be seated in front and on the right of the Presiding Officer.
The Justices of the Supreme Court will occupy seats next to the President, in front and on the right of the Presiding Officer.
The Cabinet Officers, the Hon. George Bancroft, the General of the Army (retired), the Admiral of the Navy, the Major-General commanding the Army and the otticers of the Army and Navy who, by name, have received the thanks of Congress, will occupy seats directly in rear of the President and Supreme Court.
The Chief Justice and Judges of the Court of Claims and the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia will occupy seats directly in rear of the Cabinet.
The Diplomatic Corps will occupy seats in front and on the left of the Presiding Officer.
International American Congress and Marine Conference will occupy seats in rear of the Diplomatic Corps. Cards of admission will be delivered to the Secretary of State.
Ex-Vice-Presidents and Senators will occupy seats in rear of the Judiciary.
Representatives will occupy seats bebind the Senators and the representatives of foreign governments.
in strategy, though that had been his, as of the triumphs of a constancy which no reverse, no hardship, no incompetency, no treachery could shake or overcome.
And because the people comprehended the greatness of their leader and recognized in him an entire absence of personal ambition, an absolute obedience to convictions of duty, an unaffected love of country, of themselves and of mankind, he had become first in the hearts of his countrymen.
Because thus first, he was to become first in peace, by bringing to the charge of the practical working of the system he had participated in creating, on behalf of the people whose independence he had achieved, the same serene judgment, the same sagacity, the same patience, the same sense of duty, the same far-sighted comprehension of the end to be attained, that had marked his career from its beginning.
From the time he assumed command, he had given up all idea of accommodation, and believed that there was no middle ground between subjugation and complete independence, and that independence the independence of a nation.
He had demanded national action in respect of the Army; he had urged, but a few weeks after Bunker Hill, the creation of a Federal court with jurisdiction coextensive with the colonies; he had during the war repeatedly pressed home his deep conviction of the indispensability of a strong central government, and partic
Commissioners of the District, Governors of States and Territories and guests invited to the floor, will occupy seats behind the Representatives.
The Executive Gallery will be reserved exclusively for the families of the Supreme Court, the families of the Cabinet and the invited guests of the President.
The Diplomatic Gallery will be reserved exclusively for the families of the members of the Diplomatic Corps. Cards of admission will be delivered to the Secretary of State.
The Reporters' Gallery will be reserved exclusively for the use of the reporters of the press. Tickets thereto will be delivered to the Press Committee.
The Official Reporters of the Senate and of the House will occupy the Reporters' desk, in front of tbe Clerk's table.
The Marine Band will occupy the south corridor, in rear of the Presiding Officer.
The Diplomatic Corps, International American Congress and Marine Conference and other foreign guests will assemble in the Marble Room of the Senate; the Judiciary at the Supreme Court Room; the President, ex-Presidents, the Cabinet and the ex-Vice-Presidents will meet at the President's Room at 12.30 P.M.
The house being in session, and notification to that effect having been given to the Senate, the Vice-President and the Senate in a body, preceded by the President, ex-Presidents, exVice-Presidents, the Cabinet, the Judiciary, the Diplomatic Corps, International American Congress and Marine Conference will proceed to the Hall of the House of Representatives,
The Vice-President will occupy the Speaker's chair, and will preside.
The other officers of the Senate and of the House will occupy seats on the floor at the right and the left of the Presiding Officer.
The Architect of the Capitol, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the Senate, the Sergeant-at-Arms and the Doorbeeper of the House are charged with the execution of these arrangements.
ularly at its close, in his circular to the governors of the States and his farewell to his comrades. He had advocated the promotion of commercial intercourse with the rising world of the West, so that its people might be bound to those of the seaboard by a chain that could never be broken. Appreciating the vital importance of territorial influences to the political life of a commonwealth, he had approved the cessions by the landed States, none more significant than that by his own, and had made the profound suggestion which was acted on of a line of conduct proper to be observed for the government of the citizens of America in their settlement of the western country which involved the assertion of the sovereign right of eminent domain. He had advised the commissioners of Virginia and Maryland, in consultation at Mount Vernon in relation to the navigation of the Potomac, to recommend a uniform currency and a uniform system of commercial regulations, and this led to the calling of the conference of commissioners of the thirteen States. At the proper moment he had thrown his immense personal influence in favor of the convention and secured the ratification of the Constitution.
It remained for him to crown his labors by demonstrating in their administration the value of the institutions whose establishment had been so long the object of his desire.
"It is already beyond doubt," wrote Count Moustier, in June, 1789, “ that in spite of the asserted beauty of the plan which has been adopted, it would have been necessary to renounce its introduction if the same man who presided over its formation had not been placed at the head of the enterprise. The extreme confidence
Accordingly, on the 11th of December, at 1 o'clock p.M. the President of the United States, with the members of his Cabinet and the Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, entered the Hall of the House of Representatives and occupied the seats reserved for them in front and on the right of the Presiding Officer.
Next the members of the Senate, following the Vice-President and their Secretary, preceded by their Sergeant-at-Arms, entered the Hall and took the seats reserved for them on the right and left of the main aisle.
The Vice-President occupied the Speaker's chair; the Speaker of the House sitting at his left.
The Major-General commanding the Army, the Diplomatic Corps, the International American Congress and Marine Conference, and the other persons designated in the order of exercise, were seated in accordance with the arrangements of the joint committee.
The Vice-President announced the object of the meeting, and, after prayer by the Chaplain of the Senate, said “ an oration will now be delivered by Melville W. Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States."
At the close of the address a benediction was said by the Chaplaid of the House of Represen. tatives. The President of the United States, with the members of bis Cabinet, the Supreme Court, the Senate and the invited guests then retired from the Hall, while the Marine Band played “Wasbington's Grand Murch."
in his patriotism, his integrity and his intelligence forms to-day its principal support."
There were obvious difficulties surrounding the first President. Eleven States had ratified, but the assent of some had been secured only after strenuous exertion, considerable delay, and upon close votes.
So slowly did the new Government get under way that the first Wednesday of March, the day designated for the Senate and House to assemble, came and went, and it was not until the 1st of April that the House obtained a quorum, and not until the 6th that the electoral vote was counted in joint convention.
An opposition so intense and bitter as that which had existed to the adoption of the Constitution could not readily die out, and the antagonisms which lay at its base were as old as human nature.
Jealousies existed between the smaller and the larger, between the agricultural and the commercial States, and these were rendered the keener by the rivalries of personal ambition.
Those who admired the theories of the French philosophical school and those who preferred the British model could not readily harmonize their differences, while the enthusiastic believers in the capacity of man for self-government denounced the more conservative for doubting the extent of the reliance which could be placed
The fear of arbitrary power took particular form in reference to the presidential office, which had been fashioned in view of the personal government of George the Third, rather than on the type of monarchy of the English system as it was in principle, and as it is in fact.
And this fear was indulged notwithstanding the frequency of elections, since no restriction as to re-eligibility was imposed upon the incumbent.
But no fear, no jealousy, could be entertained of him who had indignantly repelled the suggestion of the bestowal of kingly power; who had unsheathed the sword with reluctance and laid it down with joy; who had never sought official position, but accepted public office as a public trust, in deference to so unanimous a demand for his services as to convince him of their necessity; whose patriotism embraced the whole country, the future grandeur of which his prescience foresaw.
Nevertheless, while there could be no personal opposition to the unanimous choice of the people, and while his availability at the crisis was one of those providential blessings which, in other in