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appearances indicated, that they could be brought into a pacifick disposition, only by being made themselves to feel the miseries of war.
The President was decidedly of the opinion that on the failure of negotiation, a military force should be employed in their country, which their united power could not successfully resist, and which should be adequate to the conquest of their towns, and the destruction of their villages. This, he conceived, policy, economy, and humanity dictated. But Congress, in their military establishment, did not meet his views, and at the moment he gave his sanction to the bill, he entered in his private journal, that he did not conceive the military establishment was adequate to the exigence of the government, and to the protection it was intended to afford.
For the sake of a connected view of Indian affairs, we will in this place give a narrative of subsequent transactions, although we shall be carried out of the order of time in which events took place.
The attempt to negotiate with the Indians northwest of the Ohio having proved abortive, the President conceived himself obligated to use the means Congress had put into his hands to protect the frontiers, and accordingly General Harmar was sent in September 1791, into the Indian territories with a force, consisting of about three hundred regular troops and eleven hundred militia of Pennsylvania and Kentucky, with orders to bring the Indians if possible to action, and to destroy their settlements on the waters of the Scioto and Wabash.
The Savages avoided an engagement with the main body of the American army, but with great spirit attacked a strong detachment which had pursued them, and killed several valuable officers. Harmer destroyed their settlements, but afforded no protection to the frontiers. Several smaller expeditions with various success were made into the Indian country, and in the autumn of 1791 Major General St. Clair marched a force of near two thousand effective men into their territories, and on the fourth of November was attacked and totally defeated by them.
The President, apprehending that the success of the Indians, and the booty they had gained, would have influence to bring other tribes into the war, conceived that the honour of the nation was con. cerned to retrieve the American losses, and to afford protection to the frontiers. St. Clair resigning his commission, General Wayne was appointed his successor.
The President lost no time in laying before Congress an estimate of such a military force, as he thought would be adequate to the object; and they at length acceded to his proposal. While these preparations were ripening, much complaint was made of the war, and the President was induced, rather from a desire to convince the country that successful warfare was the only means of peace, than from any expectation of success in the mission, to send Colonel Harden and Major Trucman, two valuable officers and worthy men, into the Indian country, to attempt negotiation ; but they
were both murdered. On the 20th of August, 1794, General Wayne brought the Indians to an engagement, totally defeated them, and destroyed their country on the Miamis.
This action was decisive: It deterred other tribes from entering into the war, and induced the Miamis themselves to treat for peace.
On the 3d of August, a treaty was entered into by General Wayne with the Indians northwest of the Ohio, which ended all hostilities, quieted the fears of the frontiers and gave universal satisfaction.
As early as 1789, the President received authentick intelligence, that Spanish agents were intriguing with the inhabitants of the Western country, to seduce them from their allegiance to the United States. Representations were made them in the name of the government of Spain, that while they were connect. ed with the Atlantick States, the navigation of the Mississippi would be denied them ; but if they would assume an independent government, the riv. er should be opened, and their independence supported.
In 1794, Spain, suffering herself the evils of war, was inclined to treat with the United States. She intimated by her ministers, that the etiquette of her court forbid her to treat with Mr. Short, the American resident at Madrid, yet a higher diplomatick character would be accredited, and negotiatio:s immediately opened with him. The Presi. dent placed full confidence ir: Mr. Short, but he thought it policy to meet the friendly propositions of Spain, and in November nominated Mr.
Pinckney to be the American Minister at that Court. In the course of the next summer, Mr. Pinckney repaired to Madrid, and on the 20th of October 1795, a treaty was signed between him and the Spanish commissioners, which happily terminated the controversy respecting boundary lines, and the navigation of the Mississippi to the satisfaction of the nation.
On the 8th of January, 1790, the President met Congress at their second session.
In his speech he congratulated them on the success of their measures, and recommended a variety of national objects to their serious attention. Among these, the following are the principal. Pro. vision for national defence; the means of holding intercourse with foreign nations; establishing a rule of naturalization ; uniformity in the currency, weights and measures of the United States; and the promotion of science and literature.
“Knowledge,” he observed, “is in every country the surest basis of publick happiness. In in which the measures of government receive their impressions so immediately from the sense of the community as in ours, it is proportionably essential.” And he concluded with the following assurances.
" I shall derive great satisfaction in cooperating with you in the pleasing though arduous task of insuring to our fellow citizens the blessings which they have a right to expect from a free, efficient and equal government.'
The answers of the Senate and the House of Representatives were cordial and respectful, and
promised a continuance of harmony between the Executive and Legislature.
In this session of Congress, the Secretary of the Treasury first reported those fiscal arrangements in support of publick credit, which, in their progress to establishment, were the occasion of warm and animated debates in the Legislature, fully displayed the discordance of political opinion among the members, and excited that party spirit which has since convulsed the United States.
The President readily gave his sanction to these fiscal establishments of the Legislature, yet by this act he seemed not to lose the good opinion of the opposition; the blame and odium fell upon the Secretary of the Treasury, and upon the northern federal members of Congress.
The incessant application to business had a visible effect upon the constitution of the President, and at this period he was for a second time attacked with a violent disease, which put his life in imminent danger. At the close of the session, therefore, he determined to give himself a short relaxation in a visit to Mount Vernon. He first made a tour to Rhode Island, which not being then in the Union, had not been included in his visit to New England, and at Newport and Providence received every attention which affection and respect could dictate.
This retirement was of essential service to his health, and at the close of autumn he returned to Philadelphia to meet the Legislature; to which place Congress had adjourned, at the close of the
At this time the President noticed the