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of these were elected to seats in the new Congress. Some were clamorous for a new convention, and. the most moderate for amendments of what had been ratified. Two states, North Carolina and Rhode Island; by refusing an acceptance of the constitution, were without the pale of its operations.
Animosities prevailed to a great degree between the United States and Great Britain. Each charged the other with a breach of their late treaty. In support of these charges, one party urged the severities practised toward the loyalists, and that some of the states had interposed legal, impediments to the recovery of debts due to British subjects. The other recriminated by alleging, that the British, on their departure from the United States, had carried off with them several thousands of negroes belonging to the Americans; and continued to possess sundry posts within the acknowledged limits of the United States ; and that from these posts they encouraged and instigated the neighbouring Indians to make war on their northwestern frontier settlements. Spain, from the circumstance of their owning the land on each side of the mouth of the Missisippi, claimed the exclusive navigation of that river; while the western inhabitants of the United States looked to their country for a vindication of their common right to the use of this highway of nature. The boundaries of the United States toward the territories of Spain in the south, and toward those of Britain in the northeast, were both unsettled and in dispute. The whole regular effective force of the United States, was less than six hundred men.
Their trade was restricted much more than when they formed a part of the British empire. They had neither money to purchase, nor a naval force to compeľ the friendship of the Barbary powers ; and were therefore exposed to capture whenever they ventured to trade in the Mediterranean, the coasts of which offered the best markets for some of their valuable commodities. • The military strength of the northern Indians who inhabited the country between the Lakes, the Missisippi, and the Ohio, was computed at five thousand men, and of these fifteen hundred were at open war with the United States. The Creeks, in the southwest, who could bring six thousand fighting men into the field, were at war with Geor, gia.
These were but a part of the einbarrassments under which the United States laboured when Gen. Washington was called to the helm. The redress of most of them required legislative interference, as well as executive aid. To point out the particular agency of the president in removing these embarrassments, and generally meliorating the condition of the United States, is peculiarly the province of the biographer of Washington.
Congress having organized the great departments of government, it became the duty of the president to designate proper persons to fill them. In discharging this delicate and difficult trust, Washington kept himself free from every engagement, and uniformly declined giving decisive answers to applicants, having previously resolved to nominate persons to oilices with a sole view to the public good, and to bring forward those who, up
on every consideration, and from the best information he could obtain, were in his judgment most likely to answer the great end.
Under these impressions he placed Col. Hamilton at the head of the Treasury Department.
At the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, he placed Mr. Jefferson.
General Knox was continued in the Department of War, which he had filled under the old Congress.
The office of Attorney General was assigned to Mr. Edmund Randolph.
These composed the cabinet council of the first president,
The judicial department was filled as follows;
John Jay, of New York, Chief Justice.
The officers who had been appointed by the individual states to manage the revenue, which, under the old system, was paid into the state treasury, were reappointed to corresponding offices under the new constitution, by which the revenue had been transferred from the local to the general treasury of the union."
It was among the first cares of Washington to make peace with the Indians. Gen. Lincoln, Mr. Griffin, and Col. Humphreys, very soon after the inauguration of the president, were deputed by him to treat with the Creek Indians. These met
The next year
with M'Gillvray, and other chiefs of the nation, with about two thousand men, at the Rock Land. ing, on the frontiers of Georgia. The negotiations were soon broken off by M Gillvray, whose personal interests and connexion with Spain were supposed to have been the real cause of their abrupt and unsuccessful termination. brought round an accomplishment of the president's wishes, which had failed in the first attempt. Policy and interest concurred iis recommending every prudent measure for detaching the Creek Indians from all connexion with the Spaniards, and cementing their friendship with the United States. Negotiations carried on with them in the vicinity of the Spanish settlements, promised less than negotiations conducted at the seat of government. To induce a disposition favourable to this change of place; the president sent Col. Willet, a gallant and intelligent officer of the late army, into the Creek country, apparently on private business, but with a letter of introduction to M Gillvray, and with instructions to take occasional opportunities to point out the distresses which a war with the United States would bring on the Creek nation, and the indiscretion of their breaking off the negotiation at the Rock Landing; and to exhort him to repair with the chiefs of his nation to New York, in order to effect a solid and lasting peace. Willet performed these duties with so much dexterity, that M'Gillvray, with the chiefs of his nation, were induced to come to New York, where fresh negotiations commenced, which, on the 7th. of August, 1790, terminated in the establishment of peace.
The pacific overtures made by Washington to the Indians of the Wabash and the Miamis, failed of success. Long experience had taught the president, that on the failure of negotiations with Indians, policy, economy, and even human. ity, required the employment of a sufficient force to carry offensive war into their country, and lay waste their settlements. The accomplishment of this was, no easy matter. The Indian nations were numerous, accustomed to war, and not with out discipline. They were said to be furnished with arms and ammunition from the British posts held within the United States, in violation of the treaty of peace. Generals Harmar and Sinclair were successively defeated by the Indians; and four or five years elapsed before they were subdued. This was accomplished by Gen. Wayne, in 1794. Soon after that event, a peace was concluded, under his auspices, between these Indians and the United States. In the progress of this last Indian war, repeated overtures of peace were made to the North Western Indians, but rejected.. About the same period a new system was commenced for turning them off from hunting to the employments of civilized life, by fur. nishing them with implements and instructions for agriculture and manufactures.
In this manner, during the Presidency of George Washington, peace was restored to the frontier settlements both in the north and southwest, wbich has continued ever since, and it is likely to do so, while, at the same time, the prospect of me. liorating the condition of the savages is daily brightening; for the system first began by Wash