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He commended the Constitution, which could be
amended, whenever the necessity arose, as beneficent in its provisions
and obligatory upon all. Other wholesome counsel, which he added, made
the Farewell Address a priceless heritage to the generations that came
after him.

The immediate effect of the paper was excellent. The various State
Legislatures voted thanks to Washington, and were warm in their praises
of his wise and patriotic services as President. The regret was
universal that the country was so soon to lose his valuable counsel and
guidance.


WEST POINT MILITARY ACADEMY ESTABLISHED.

During the Revolution Washington recommended the excellent location of
West Point as the proper one for a military school of instruction. An
act establishing the United States Military Academy at that place was
passed March 16, 1802. It provided that fifty students or cadets should
be given instruction under the senior engineer or officer, assisted by
the corps of engineers of the army. As the institution grew,
professorships of mathematics, engineering, philosophy, etc., were
added, and the academy was made a military body subject to the rules and
articles of war. A superintendent was designated in 1815, and the
present system of appointing cadets was instituted in 1843. The rigid
course, steadily elevated, probably prevents fully one-half of those
entering from graduating, and, a comparison of the West Point Military
Academy with similar institutions establishes the fact that it is the
finest of the kind in the world.


PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION OF 1796.

The presidential election of 1796 was a close one, the result being:
John Adams, Federalist, 71; Thomas Jefferson, Republican, 68; Thomas
Pinckney, of South Carolina, Federalist, 59; Aaron Burr, of New York,
Republican, 30; Samuel Adams, of Massachusetts, Republican, 15; Oliver
Ellsworth, of Connecticut, Independent, 11; George Clinton, of New York,
Republican, 7; John Jay, of New York, Federalist, 5; James Iredell, of
North Carolina, Federalist, 3; George Washington, of Virginia, John
Henry, of Maryland, and S. Johnson, of North Carolina, all Federalists,
2 votes each; Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, of South Carolina,
Federalist, 1 vote. Since it required 70 votes to elect, it will be seen
that John Adams was barely successful, with Jefferson close to him.

John Adams, the second President, was born at Braintree, Massachusetts,
October 19, 1735. He graduated at Harvard, at the age of twenty, and was
admitted to the bar three years later. He was one of the most active and
influential members of the First and Second Continental Congresses. It
was he who by his eloquent logic persuaded Congress to adopt the
Declaration of Independence. Jefferson, his strenuous political
opponent, declared that Adams was the pillar of its support and its
ablest advocate and defender. It was Adams who suggested the appointment
of General Washington as commander-in-chief of the Continental army.
During the progress of the war, he criticised the management of
Washington, but, long before the death of the Father of his Country,
candidly acknowledged the injustice of such criticism.

[Illustration: JOHN ADAMS.

(1735-1826.) One term, 1797-1801.]

The services of Adams were not confined to his early efforts in Congress
nor to his term as President. He did important work as commissioner to
France and Holland, and as minister plenipotentiary to negotiate a
treaty of peace with Great Britain. He obtained large loans and induced
leading European powers to make excellent treaties with his country.
Adams and Franklin framed the preliminary treaty of Versailles, and, as
the first American minister to England, he served until 1788. He
received the thanks of Congress for the "patriotism, perseverance,
integrity, and diligence" displayed while representing his country
abroad. When John Adams assumed the duties of the presidency, he found
the country comparatively prosperous and well governed.

The South was the most prosperous. Until 1793, its principal productions
were rice, indigo, tar, and tobacco. The soil and climate were highly
favorable to the growth of cotton, but its culture was unprofitable, for
its seeds were so closely interwoven in its texture that only by hard
work could a slave clean five pounds a day. In the year named, Eli
Whitney, a New England schoolteacher, living in Georgia, invented the
cotton gin, with which a man can clean a thousand pounds of cotton a
day. This rendered its cultivation highly profitable, gave an importance
to the institution of slavery, and, in its far-reaching effects, was the
greatest invention ever made in this country.


TROUBLES WITH FRANCE.

The matter which chiefly occupied public attention during the
administration of the elder Adams was our difficulties with France. That
country had hardly emerged from the awful Reign of Terror in which a
million of people were massacred, and it was under the control of a set
of bloody minded miscreants, who warred against mankind and believed
they could compel the United States to pay a large sum of money for the
privilege of being let alone. They turned our representatives out of the
country, enacted laws aimed to destroy our commerce, and instructed
their naval officers to capture and sell American vessels and cargoes.

[Illustration: THE COTTON GIN, INVENTED IN 1793.

A machine which does the work of more than 1,000 men.]

President Adams, who abhorred war, sent special ministers to protest
against the course of France. The impudent reply was there would be no
stoppage until the men who controlled the French government were paid
large sums of money. This exasperating notice brought the answer from
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney which has become historical: "Millions for
defense, but not one cent for tribute."

Although war was not declared, it prevailed on the ocean during the
latter half of 1798. Congress convened, abolished the treaties with
France, strengthened the navy, and ordered it to attack French vessels
wherever found. Several engagements took place, in all of which the
French men-of-war were whipped "to a standstill." The most important of
the naval battles was between the _Constitution_, under Commodore
Truxton, and the French frigate _L'Insurgente_, in which the latter was
captured. A messenger was sent to Mount Vernon, carrying the appointment
of Washington as commander-in-chief of the American army. He found the
great man in the harvest field; but when Washington donned his
spectacles and read the paper, he replied that he was then as always
ready to serve his country in whatever capacity he could. He accepted
with the understanding that he was not to be called into the field until
actual hostilities took place on the land, and that Alexander Hamilton
should until then be the commander-in-chief.

Doubtless a destructive war would have resulted, but for the fact that
Napoleon Bonaparte, as a stepping-stone to his marvelous career,
overturned the French government and installed himself as emperor. He
saw the folly of a war with the United States, when he was certain soon
to be embroiled with more powerful neighbors near home. He offered fair
terms of peace to our country in 1799, and they were accepted.


THE ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS.

One of the gravest mistakes made by the Federalists in Congress was the
passage of the Alien and Sedition Laws. Irritated by the mischief-making
of foreigners, a law was enacted which permitted the President to arrest
any alien in the country whose presence he considered dangerous. The
acts under which this was to be done were known as the Alien Laws. The
most detested measure, however, was that which authorized the arrest of
any person who should speak evil of the government, and was known as the
Sedition Law. There were arrests and punishments under its provisions,
and the majority of the people were bitterly hostile to it. It was
unquestionably a direct invasion of the liberty of speech. The claim
that no editor, public speaker, or private citizen should be allowed to
condemn an action of the government which he disproved was unbearable,
but it was in direct line with the Federal policy of a powerful central
government, and as directly opposed to Republican principles. The
feeling became so intense that at the next presidential election the
Federal party was defeated and never afterward gained control of the
government.


REMOVAL OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL TO WASHINGTON.

The census of 1800 showed that the population of the country had
increased to 5,308,483. In that year, the national capital was removed
from Philadelphia to the straggling, partly built village of Washington,
standing in the woods, and without any of the structures that have made
it one of the most attractive cities in the world.

The presidential election of 1800 was an exciting one. Thomas Jefferson
and Aaron Burr, both Republicans, received 73 electoral votes, while
John Adams, Federalist had 65; Charles C. Pinckney, Federalist, 64; John
Jay, Federalist 1. The vote between the leaders being a tie, the
election was thrown into the House of Representatives, where, after
thirty-eight ballots, Jefferson was elected, with Burr, the next highest
candidate, Vice-President. The preceding election, as will be
remembered, gave a President and Vice-President of different political
parties, always an undesirable thing, and this fact, added to the
difficulties of the election just over, led to the adoption in 1804 of
the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, which requires the electors
to vote separately for the President and Vice-President.


THOMAS JEFFERSON.

Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, was born at
Shadwell, Albemarle County, Virginia, April 2, 1743. His father, a
wealthy planter, died when his son was fourteen years old, and he
entered William and Mary College, where he was the most assiduous
student in the institution. Jefferson was as fond as Washington of
athletic sports, and, though he was of less massive build, he attained
the same stature, six feet two inches.



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