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of these were elected to seats in the new Congress.
Animosities prevailed to a great degree between
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 compel 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 embarrassments 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 prov. ince 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 oílices with a sole view to the public good, and to bring forward those who, upThe 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 humanity, 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 furnishing 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, which 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
ington with the view of civilizing these fierce sons of nature, have been ever since steadily pursued by all his successors.
Indian wars are now only known from the records or recollection of past events; and it is probable that the day is not far distant when the United States will receive a considerable accession of citizens from the civilized red men of the forest.
Gen. Washington attends to the foreign relations of the United States.
Negotiates with Spain..... Difficulties in the way..... The free navigation of the Missisippi is granted by a treaty made with Major Pinckney..... Negotiations with Britain..... Difficulties in the way... War probable.....Mr. Jay's mission.....His treaty with Great Britain ....Ops position thereto....Is ratified..... Washington refuses papers to House of Representatives.... British posts in United States evacuated.... Negotiations with France....Gepet's arrival..... Assumes illegal powers, in violation of the neutrality of the United States.....Is flattered by the people, but opposed by the executive..... Is recalled..... Gen. Pinckney sent as public minister to adjust disputes with France..... Is not received..... Washington declines a re-election, and addresses the people. His last address to the national legislature..... Recommends a navy, a military academy, and other public institutions.
Events which had taken place before the inaugutation of Washington, embarrassed his negotiations for the adjustment of the political relations between the United States and Spain.
In the year 1779, Mr. Jay had been appointed by the old Congress to make a treaty with his Catholic Majesty ; but his best endeavours for