BIBLIOGRAPHIES. - W. E. Foster, References to Presidential Administrations, 8-12; Justin Winsor, Narrative and Critical History, VII. 310, 315-320, 336-341, 418-420, 519-522, 527-547; H. B. Tompkins, Bibliotheca Jeffersoniana; Channing and Hart, Guide, secs. 167-171.

HISTORICAL MAPS. - Nos. 1 and 4, this volume (Epoch Maps, Nos. 7 and 9); Labberton, Atlas Nos. lxvi., lxvii.; MacCoun, Historical Geography; Scribner, Statistical Atlas, Plates 13, 14.

GENERAL ACCOUNTS. - J. B. McMaster, People of the United States, II. 538-635; III. 1-338; J. Schouler, United States, II. 1-194; Bryant and Gay, Popular History, 1. 144-184; H. Von Holst,Constitutional History, I. 168-226; R. Hildreth, United States, V. 419-686; VI. 25- 148; Geo. Tucker, United States, II. 146-348; Bradford, Constitutional History, I. 202-329.

SPECIAL HISTORIES. - Henry Adams, United States, I.-IV., John Randolph, 48-267, and Life of Gallatin; J. T. Morse, Jefferson, 209-300; George Tucker, Life of Jefferson; H. S. Randall, Life of Jefferson; J. A. Stevens, Gallatin, 176-311; S. H. Gay, Madison, 252-282; lives of Burr, Gerry, Plumer, Pickering; T. Lyman, Diplomacy; J. C. Hamilton, Republic, VII.

CONTEMPORARY ACCOUNTS. - Works of Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin; J. Q. Adams, Memoirs, I. 248-551; William Sullivan, Familiar Letters, 187- 289; Timothy Dwight, Character of Thomas Jefferson ; S. G. Goodrich, Recollections, I. 106-137, 265-298; Basil Hall, Voyages and Travels; Timothy Dwight, Travels (1796-1813); Thomas Ashe, Travels (1806); John Mellish, Travels(1806-1811); John Davis, Travels (1798-1802); Isaac Weld, Travels; J. Stephens, War in Disguise. - Reprints in Mathew Carey, The Olive Branch; Henry Adams, Documents Relating to New England Federalism; American History told by Contemporaries, III.


[Character of Jefferson.]

To the mind of the Federalists the success of the Republicans, and particularly the elevation of Jefferson, meant a complete change in the government which they had been laboring to establish. Jefferson was to them the type of dangerous liberality in thought, in religion, and in government. In his tastes and his habits, his reading and investigation, Jefferson was half a century in advance of his contemporaries. Books and letters from learned men constantly came to him from Europe; he experimented in agriculture and science. Accused during his lifetime of being an atheist, he felt the attraction of religion, and, in fact, was not far removed from the beliefs held by the Unitarian branch of the Congregational Church in New England. Brought up in an atmosphere of aristocracy, in the midst of slaves and inferior white men, his political platform was confidence in human nature, and objection to privilege in every form. Although a poor speaker, and rather shunning than seeking society, he had such influence over those about him that no President has ever so dominated the two Houses of Congress.

[Jefferson's faults.]

Jefferson's great defect was a mistaken view of human nature: this showed itself in an unfortunate judgment of men, which led him to include among his friends worthless adventurers like Callender. As a student and a philosopher, he believed that mankind is moved by simple motives, in which self-interest is predominant: hence his disinclination to use force against insurrections; the people, if left to themselves, would, he believed, return to reason. Hence, also, his confidence in a policy of commercial restriction against foreign countries which ignored our neutral rights; this was set forth in his commercial report of 1793 (sec. 85), and later was the foundation of his disastrous embargo policy (sec. 103). He had entire confidence in his own judgment and statesmanship; his policy was his own, and was little affected by his advisers; and he ventured to measure himself in diplomacy against the two greatest men of his time, - William Pitt the younger and Napoleon Bonaparte.

[Moderate policy.]

Fortunately his administration began at a period when general peace seemed approaching. The treaty of Amiens in 1802 made a sort of armistice between France and Great Britain, and neutral commerce was relieved from capture. The national income was steadily rising (sec. 52), the Indians were quiet, the land dispute with Georgia - the last of the long series - was on the point of being settled, the States showed no sign of insubordination. In his inaugural address the new President took pains to reassure his fellow- citizens. "We have called by different names brethren of the same principle," said he; "we are all Republicans, we are all Federalists." Among the essential principles of government which he enumerated, appeared "absolute acquiescence in the decisions of the majority, - the vital principle of republics, - from which is no appeal but to force, the vital principle and immediate parent of despotism."

[Purpose to win the Federalists.]

The studied moderation of this address shows clearly the policy which Jefferson had in his mind. In a letter written about this time he says: "To restore that harmony which our predecessors so wickedly made it their object to break, to render us again one people, acting as one nation,... should be the object of every man really a patriot." Jefferson was determined to show the Federalists that there would be no violent change in his administration; he hoped thus to detach a part of their number so as to build up the Republican party in the Northern States. Even in forming his cabinet he avoided violent shocks; for some months he retained two members of Adams's cabinet; his Secretary of State was Madison, who in 1789 was as much inclined to Federalism as to Republicanism; and he shortly appointed as his Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin, the Parliamentary leader of the party, but in financial principles and policy much like Hamilton.


[Jefferson's principles.]

In a few weeks the disposition to conciliate was severely tried by the pressure of applicants for office. Jefferson's principles on this subject were summed up in a letter written March 24, 1801: "I will expunge the effects of Mr. A.'s indecent conduct in crowding nominations after he knew they were not for himself.... Some removals must be made for misconduct.... Of the thousands of officers, therefore, in the United States a very few individuals only, probably not twenty, will be removed: and these only for doing what they ought not to have done." Gallatin heartily supported him in this policy of moderation. Jefferson then laid down the additional principle that he would fill all vacancies with Republicans until the number of officeholders from each party was about equal. "That done, I shall return with joy to that state of things when the only questions concerning a candidate shall be, Is he honest? Is he capable? Is he faithful to the Constitution?"

[Political removals.]

Adams was promptly rebuked by the removal of twenty-four persons appointed in the two months previous. Other removals were made for what would now be called "offensive partisanship." Then came a third group of removals, in order, as Jefferson said, "to make some room for some participation for the Republicans." At the time he acknowledged that there had been sixteen cases, - in fact, there were many more; at the end of about two years after his inauguration, out of 334 officers occupying important places, 178 were new appointments, and of their predecessors at least 99 had been removed. These officers in many cases carried with them a staff of subordinates. It is safe to say that one half the persons who had been in the civil service of the United States in March, 1801, were out of it in March, 1805.


Nor did Jefferson adhere to his purpose to appoint Federalists and Republicans indiscriminately after the balance should have been reached. He appointed none but members of his own party; many Federalists in office came over to the Republicans; and by 1809 the civil service was practically filled with Republicans.

96. ATTACK ON THE JUDICIARY (1801-1805).

[Repeal of the Judiciary Act.]

Moderation in Jefferson's mind did not extend to the judiciary which had been forced upon the country by the Federalists in 1801. At his suggestion Breckenridge, in 1802, moved to repeal the recent Act, and thus to get rid at once of the new courts and of the incumbents. The Federalists protested that the Constitution was being destroyed. "I stand," said Gouverneur Morris, "in the presence of Almighty God and of the world, and I declare to you that if you lose this charter, never, no, never, will you get another. We are now, perhaps, arrived at the parting point." The repeal was plainly intended to remove the last bulwark of the Federalist party in the government. It was made more obnoxious by a clause suspending the sessions of the Supreme Court until February, 1803. It was passed by a majority of one in the Senate, and by a party vote of fifty-nine to thirty-two in the House. The President signed it, and all the new circuit judges and judicial officers were thus struck from the roll of the government.

[Impeachments.] [Marbury vs. Madison.]

The narrow majority in the Senate warned Jefferson not to proceed farther with such statutes; but the judiciary could be affected in another way. Several of the supreme and district judges were ardent Federalists, and had expressed strong political opinions from the bench. In February, 1803, the House impeached John Pickering, district judge in New Hampshire; his offence was drunkenness and violence on the bench; but the purpose to intimidate the other judges was unmistakable. Two of them accepted the issue. The Supreme Court had resumed its session only a few days, when, in 1803, Marshall made a decision in the case of Marbury vs. Madison. Marbury was one of Adams's "midnight appointments;" the suit was brought for his commission, which had not been delivered, and was retained by Madison when he became Secretary of State. Marshall decided that "to withhold his commission is an act deemed by the court not warranted by law, but violative of a legal vested right." Upon a technical point, however, the complaint was dismissed.

[Chase trial.] [Appointments.]

Further defiance came from another justice of the Supreme Court, Samuel Chase of Maryland. His prejudice against Callender on his trial for sedition had exasperated the Republicans (sec. 89), and on May 2, 1803, while the Pickering impeachment was impending, Chase harangued the grand jury as follows: "The independence of the national judiciary is already shaken to its foundation, and the virtue of the people alone can restore it.... Our republican constitution will sink into a mobocracy,... the worst of all possible governments." Pickering was convicted March 12, 1804, and on the same day the House impeached Chase. By this time the Republicans had overshot the mark, and notwithstanding Chase's gross partisanship, on March 1, 1805, the impeachment failed for want of a two-thirds vote. The only hope of controlling the Supreme Court was therefore to fill vacancies, as they occurred, with sound Republicans. Three such opportunities occurred in Jefferson's administration. To his great chagrin, the new judges showed themselves as independent, though not as aggressive, as Marshall.


[Federal finance.]

Although the effort to check the power of the judiciary failed, in another direction Jefferson struck out a new and popular policy. Under the Federalists the taxes had increased from $3,600,000 in 1792 to $10,700,000 in 1800. This increase had been more than balanced by the growth of expenditures. The Indian and French wars had brought unexpected expenses upon the government, and the construction of a little navy was still going on, In 1793 the government spent $3,800,000. In 1800 it spent $10,800,000. Of this amount $6,000,000 went for the army and navy, and $3,000,000 for interest. The deficits had been obscured by a funding system under which payments to the sinking fund were practically made out of borrowed money, so that the debt had risen from $80,000,000 in 1793 to nearly $83,000,000, in 1800.

[Gallatin's finance.]

If peace could be guaranteed, a considerable part of the expenditure could be cut down; and thus taxes might be reduced, and still a surplus be left, out of which to pay instalments on the public debt. In his first annual message the President accordingly advised the reduction of the military and naval forces, and also of the civil officers. Gallatin proceeded to draw up a financial plan: the annual revenue was to be $10,800,000, military expenses were to be cut down to $2,500,000, and the civil expenses to about $1,000,000; the remainder, $7,300,000, was to be devoted to the reduction of the debt.

[Success of the system.]

Neither part of this scheme worked precisely as had been expected. The army indeed underwent what Jefferson called a "chaste reformation;" it was cut down from 4,000 to 2,500 men, to the great discontent of the officers. The number of vessels in commission was reduced from about twenty-five to seven, and the construction of vessels on the stocks was stopped, so that in 1802 less than $1,000,000 was spent on the navy. Nevertheless, the civil and miscellaneous expenses of the government grew steadily. Under the Federalist administration, the total expenditures in time of peace, exclusive of interest, had never been more than $3,000,000; in 1802 Gallatin spent $3,700,000, and in 1809 $7,500,000. The debt was, however, rapidly diminished, and in 1809 stood at only $45,000,000; nearly half of the interest charge was thus cut off, and for the first time the government found itself with more money than it knew how to use. The taxes had been reduced by a million and a half, by striking off the unpopular direct tax and excise; the loss was more than met by an unexpected increase in the revenue from customs, which in 1808 stood at $16,000,000,


To reach this result Jefferson and Gallatin deliberately neglected to make ordinary preparations against attack; fortifications were abandoned, skilled officers dismissed, ships allowed to decay at the wharves or on the stocks, and the accumulation of military material ceased. The only offset to this neglect was the creation of a military school at West Point in 1802, and the training gained by the naval wars against the Barbary powers.

98. BARBARY WARS (1801-1806).

[The navy.]

The Peace Establishment Act of March 3, 1801, authorized the President to sell all the vessels of the navy except thirteen frigates, of which only six were to be kept in commission; and the number of naval officers was reduced from five hundred to two hundred. "I shall really be chagrined," wrote Jefferson, "if the water in the Eastern Branch will not admit our laying up the whole seven there in time of peace, because they would be under the immediate eye of the department, and would require but one set of plunderers to take care of them." Events were too much for Jefferson's genial intention. Ever since the Middle Ages the petty Moorish powers on the north coast of Africa had made piracy on the Mediterranean trade their profession. In accordance with the custom of European nations, in 1787 the United States had bought a treaty of immunity with Morocco, and later with Algiers, Tripoli, and Tunis. Every payment to one of these nests of pirates incited the others to make increased demands. In May, 1800, the Pasha of Tripoli wrote to the President of the United States: "We could wish that these your expressions were followed by deeds, and not by empty words.... If only flattering words are meant, without performance, every one will act as he finds convenient." Receiving no satisfaction, he declared war upon the United States.

[The pirates subdued.]

One of the first acts of Jefferson's administration was, therefore, to despatch a squadron to blockade Tripoli, and in 1802 he was obliged to consent to a declaration of war by the United States. The frigates were unsuitable, and in 1803 Congress resumed the hated Federalist policy of building a navy. Four new vessels, of a small and handy type, were constructed, and under Commodore Preble, Tripoli was compelled in 1805 to make peace and to cease her depredations. The other Barbary powers were cowed by this exhibition of spirit, and for some years our commerce was undisturbed. The first result of the war was, therefore, that the corsairs were humbled. A far greater advantage to the United States was the skill in naval warfare gained by the officers of the navy. Thenceforward it was impossible to think of shutting the navy up in the Eastern Branch of the Potomac. Naval expenditures slowly increased, and seven years later the good effect was seen in the War of 1812.


[Jefferson's political principles.]

Jefferson came into power as a stickler for a limited government, confined chiefly to foreign and commercial affairs. He now entered upon the most brilliant episode of his administration, - the annexation of Louisiana; and that transaction was carried out and defended upon precisely the grounds of loose construction which he had so much contemned.

[Napoleon's colonial system.]

In 1763 France had two flourishing American colonies, - Louisiana and Hayti, the western end of the island of San Domingo. The former province was ceded to Spain (sec. 18); the latter, the centre of the French colonial system, was nearly destroyed by a slave insurrection in 1791. When, in 1800, Napoleon Bonaparte became First Consul and virtual dictator, he formed a brilliant scheme of reviving the French colonial empire. The first step was to recover Louisiana; the second was to make peace with England, so as to stop the naval war and release the French resources; the third step was to occupy, first Hayti, and then Louisiana. The three plans were pursued with characteristic rapidity. In October, 1800, the secret treaty of San Ildefonso was negotiated, by which Spain agreed to return Louisiana to France, the condition being that Napoleon should create a kingdom of Etruria for the son-in-law of the king of Spain. In 1802 the Peace of Amiens was made with England.

[Toussaint Louverture.]

A combined French and Spanish squadron had already, October, 1801, carried a great expedition to occupy the whole island of San Domingo, with secret orders to re-establish slavery. Then came an unexpected check: the fleet and the army of ten thousand experienced French troops were unable to break down the resistance of Toussaint Louverture, a native black general who aimed to be the Napoleon of the island. Toussaint was taken; but the army was forced back into a few sea-ports, and almost swept away by disease. The blacks were still masters of the island.

[Alarm of the United States.]

The next step was to have been the occupation of Louisiana. By this time, April, 1802, the news of the cession reached the United States, and drew from Jefferson a remarkable letter. "The day that France takes possession of New Orleans," said he, "fixes the sentence which is to restrain her forever within her low-water mark. From that moment we must marry ourselves to the British fleet and nation." As though to justify this outburst of anti-Gallican zeal on the part of the old friend of France, the Spanish Intendant of Louisiana, Oct. 16, 1802, withdrew the so-called "right of deposit" under which Americans on the upper Mississippi had been able to send goods to the sea and to receive return cargoes without the payment of Spanish duty. If the province were to pass to France with the Mississippi closed, it seemed to Jefferson essential that we should obtain West Florida, with the port of Mobile; and in January, 1803, James Monroe was sent as special envoy to secure this cession. [Louisiana treaty.]

The day after he reached Paris, Livingston, the resident minister, had closed a treaty for the cession, not of West Florida, but of all Louisiana. The inner history of this remarkable negotiation has been brought to light by Henry Adams in his History of the Administration of Jefferson. The check in San Domingo had dampened the colonial ardor of Napoleon; war was about to break out again with England; Napoleon's ambition turned toward an European empire; and he lightly offered the province which had come to him so cheaply. Neither Livingston, Monroe, nor Jefferson had thought it possible to acquire New Orleans; with 880,000 square miles of other territory it was tossed into the lap of the United States as the Sultan throws a purse of gold to a favorite.

[Indefinite boundaries.]

The treaty, dated April 30, 1803, gave to the United States Louisiana, "with the same extent that it now has in the hands of Spain, and that it had when France possessed it." The two phrases, instead of explaining each other, were contradictory: Louisiana as it was when France possessed it had included settlements as far east as the Perdido River; Louisiana in the hands of Spain had extended only to the Iberville. The United States had therefore annexed a province without knowing its boundaries. We are now aware that Napoleon had issued orders to occupy the country on the north only as far as the Iberville, but on the south as far as the Rio Grande; at the time France refused to give any information on either point. Hence the United States gave up the claim to Texas, in which there was reason, and insisted on the title to West Florida, which was nowhere to be found in the treaty.


[Anger of the Federalists.] [Arguments for annexation.]

The annexation of Louisiana aroused a storm in both hemispheres. The Spanish government vehemently protested, the more because the promised kingdom of Etruria proved to be but a mock principality. In the United States the Federalists attacked both the annexation and the method of annexation with equal violence. The treaty promised that the people should as soon as possible be admitted as a State into the Union; the balance of power in the government was thus disturbed, and the Federalists foresaw that the influence of New England must diminish. Their constitutional arguments were just such as had been heard from the Republican writers and legislatures in 1798: the constitution, they said, nowhere gives express power to annex territory, and therefore there is no such power; the Union is a partnership, and new members cannot be admitted except by unanimous consent. The Republicans furnished themselves with arguments drawn from the Federal arsenal: the right to annex territory, they said could be implied from the power to make treaties, from the power to regulate territory, and from the "necessary and proper" clause. Jefferson was not so ready to give up his cherished principles, and proposed a constitutional amendment to approve and confirm the cession. His party friends scouted the idea. The treaty was duly ratified, fifteen millions were appropriated for the purchase, and on Dec. 20, 1803, possession of the territory was given,

[Intrigues with Burr.]

The cup of the Federalists was now full, and a few violent spirits, of whom Timothy Pickering was the leader, suggested that the time had come to withdraw from the Union. They found no hearing among the party at large. In 1804, therefore, they tried to form a combination with a wing of the New York Republicans controlled by Burr, who had been read out of his party by the Jeffersonian wing. He came forward as an independent candidate for Governor, and asked for the support of the New York Federalists. Hamilton stood out against this movement, and wrote a letter urging his friends not to vote for him. Burr received the Federalist vote, but was defeated, and in his humiliation sent Hamilton a challenge, and killed him in the duel. The affair still further weakened the Federalists; in the national election of 1804 they cast but fourteen votes, - those of Connecticut, Delaware, and Maryland. Even Massachusetts voted for Jefferson.

[The Federalists weakened.]

Commerce was still increasing; the Union was growing in extent and importance; neither the interests nor the principles of the people had suffered. The Federalist predictions of danger from Jefferson had not been fulfilled. There were still a few leaders who brooded over a plan of separation; but the strength of the Federalists was now so broken that in 1807 John Quincy Adams, son of the ex-President, and senator from Massachusetts, went over to the Republican party.

101. THE BURR CONSPIRACY (1806-1807).

[Burr's schemes.]

The election of 1804 was the last attempt of Aaron Burr to re-enter public life. His private character, already sufficiently notorious, had been destroyed by the murder of Hamilton, and he was a desperate man. In 1805 Burr went West, and was well received by many prominent men, including General Wilkinson, the senior officer of the United States army, and Andrew Jackson, then a lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee. His purposes were vague: he planned the establishment of a colony on the new Western lands; he had relations with certain Spanish adventurers who wished the independence of Mexico; he hinted at securing the secession of the Western States, with the aid of the British government. His chief purpose seems to have been to head a revolution in the newly acquired Louisiana.

[Burr's expedition.]

To the rumors that Burr had some desperate and treasonable intention Jefferson paid no attention. In December, 1806, Burr mustered a party of men at Blennerhasset's Island, in the Ohio River, and with them floated down the river. Twice attempts were made by local authorities to stop him and prosecute him, but he was allowed to continue, with about a hundred men, till in January, 1807, while on the lower Mississippi, he learned from a newspaper that the President had issued a proclamation directing his capture. He abandoned his men, and shortly afterwards fell into the hands of the authorities, and was sent to Washington for trial.

[Wilkinson's treachery.] [Burr's Trial.]

Meanwhile steps had been taken to prevent the expected rising in Louisiana. Wilkinson was then on the extreme western frontier. He received a cipher message from Burr, and after waiting for some hours to make up his mind, concluded to betray him, sent the letters to the government, went to New Orleans, and there arrested several of Burr's adherents, by military authority. The danger to the Union had been slight, the laxity on Jefferson's part unpardonable. Having Burr in his power, he now relentlessly pursued him with a prosecution for treason. The trial was held in Richmond, Chief Justice Marshall presiding, and ended on Sept. 1, 1807. The indictment had set forth the mustering of the men at Blennerhasset's Island: since the only acts which could be called treasonable had occurred elsewhere, the court declared the evidence insufficient, and there was nothing for the jury to do but to bring him in not guilty. The President had shown that he could use force, if necessary; and the courts had again shown their independence of the President. Burr disappeared from public notice.


[American trade.] [Admiralty decisions.]

The renewal of the war between England and France in May, 1803, at first was advantageous to the United States; it precipitated the cession of Louisiana and it gave new employment for American shipping. French West Indian products were freely imported, re-shipped, and exported, thus avoiding the rule of 1756 (sec. 85); as a result, the customs revenue leaped in one year from fourteen to twenty millions. In 1805 these favorable conditions were reversed. In May the British admiralty courts decided that goods which had started from French colonies could be captured, even though they had been landed and re-shipped in the United States. Captures at once began; English frigates were stationed outside the port of New York, and vessels coming in and going out were insolently stopped and searched; impressments were revived. In 1804 thirty-nine vessels had been captured by the British; in 1805 one hundred and sixteen were taken; and probably a thousand American seamen were impressed.

[Continental System.]

On Oct. 21, 1805, the combined French and Spanish fleets were overwhelmed at Trafalgar. Thenceforward England had the mastery of the seas, while France remained supreme on land. Napoleon, who had in 1804 taken the title of Emperor, was determined to destroy English trade with the Continent, and had no scruples against ruining neutrals in the attempt. He resolved upon a "Continental System," - to shut against the importation of English goods the ports of France and her dependencies and allies, including, as the result of recent conquests, almost the whole northern coast of the Mediterranean, and a considerable part of the coast of the German Ocean and the Baltic Sea.

[Orders and decrees.]

The English retaliated with an Order in Council, dated May 16, 1806, by which the whole coast from Brest to the river Elbe was declared blockaded. There was no blockading squadron; yet American vessels were captured as they left their own ports bound for places within the specified limit. Napoleon retorted with the Berlin Decree of Nov. 21, 1806, in which he declared the whole British Islands in a state of blockade; the trade in English merchandise was forbidden, and no vessel that had touched at a British port could enter a French port. These measures were plainly intended to cut off the commerce of neutrals; and as the European wars had now swept in almost every seafaring power, on one side or the other, the Americans were the great neutral carriers. In January, 1807, Great Britain announced that neutral vessels trading from one port under French influence to another were subject to capture, and that all French ports were blockaded. The Milan Decree of December, 1807, completed the structure of injustice by ordering the capture of all neutral vessels which had been searched by an English vessel. In 1806 the Jay Treaty expired, and the Americans lost its slight protection. The effect of this warfare of proclamations was at once seen in the great increase of captures: one hundred and ninety-four American vessels were taken by England in 1807, and a large number by the French.

103. POLICY OF NON-RESISTANCE (1805-1807).

[Prosperity of American trade.]

The wholesale seizure of American property was exasperating to the last degree. The disdainful impressment of American seamen, and still more the unofficial blockade of the ports, would have justified war. Yet notwithstanding the loss of American shipping, trade continued to prosper, and vessels engaged in foreign commerce increased; freights were so high that an annual loss by capture of ten per cent could be made up out of the profits. The New Englanders, therefore, who suffered most were not most anxious for war, nor could Jefferson bear to give up his policy of debt- reduction and of peaceful trade. Toward France, indeed, he showed remarkable tenderness, because that power controlled Spain, from which Jefferson was eagerly seeking the cession of West Florida.

[Gunboat system.]

Some American policy must be formulated. War seemed to Jefferson unnecessary, and he therefore attempted three other remedies, which in a measure neutralized each other. The first was to provide some kind of defence. To build new vessels seemed to him an invitation to the English navy to swoop down and destroy them. To fortify the coasts and harbors properly would cost fifty millions of dollars. He proposed, therefore, to lay up the navy and to build a fleet of gunboats, to be hauled up under sheds in time of peace, but if war came, to be manned by a naval militia and to repel the enemy. Between 1806 and 1812 one hundred and seventy-six gunboats were built. They never rendered any considerable service, and took $1,700,000 out of Gallatin's surplus.

[Pinkney treaty.]

The second part of Jefferson's policy was to negotiate with England for a new treaty. The conditions upon which he insisted were impossible, and Pinkney and Monroe, therefore, in December, 1806, made the best terms they could: there was no article against impressment; they surrendered the principle that free ships make free goods; they practically accepted the rule of 1756. The treaty was so unacceptable that Jefferson never submitted it to the Senate; and thenceforward to the War of 1812 we had only such commercial privileges as England chose to grant.

[Non-importation act.]

The only remaining arrow in Jefferson's quiver was the policy of commercial restriction. On April 18, 1806, an act was Passed by which, after November 15, the importation of manufactured goods from England and English colonies was forbidden. Even this was suspended on December 29.

["Leopard" and "Chesapeake."] [The Americans aroused.]

The effect of these feeble efforts to secure fair treatment was seen on June 27, 1807. The only excuse for the impressment of American seamen was that sailors from the British men-of-war were apt to desert when they reached an American port, and frequently shipped on board American vessels. The chief reason was the severity of naval discipline and the low wages paid by the British government. The American frigate "Chesapeake," about leaving Norfolk for a Mediterranean cruise, had several such deserters on board without the commander's knowledge. When outside the capes the British frigate "Leopard" suddenly bore down on her, hailed her, and her captain announced that he was about to search the ship for these deserters. Commander Barron was taken by surprise; his guns were not ready for action, his crew was not yet trained. He refused to permit the search, was fired upon, and was obliged to surrender. Four men were taken off, of whom three were American citizens, and the "Chesapeake" carried back the news of this humiliation. The spirit of the nation was aflame. Had Jefferson chosen, he might have gone to war upon this issue, and would have had the country behind him. The extreme point which he reached was a proclamation warning British armed vessels out of American waters; he preferred a milder sort of warfare.

104. THE EMBARGO (1807-1808).

[Jefferson's recommendations.]

The Non-importation Act, which up to this time had had no force, finally went into effect Dec. 14, 1807. Two days later news was received that the king had ordered British naval officers to exercise their assumed right of impressment. Forthwith Jefferson sent a message to Congress, hinting that England was about to prohibit American commerce altogether, and recommending an embargo so as to prevent the loss of our ships and seamen. The Senate hurried a bill through all its stages in a single day; and the House, by nearly two to one, accepted it. No foreign merchant vessel could leave an American port, except in ballast, or with a cargo then on board; no American merchantman could leave for a foreign port on any terms.

[The embargo evaded.]

The embargo was not really intended to save American shipping, for the owners were willing to run their own risks. The restriction was so new, so sweeping so little in accordance with the habits of the people, and so destructive to the great interests of commerce that it was systematically evaded. Vessels left port on a coasting voyage, and slipped into a West Indian port, and perhaps returned with a West Indian cargo. Severe supplementary acts were therefore necessary. A great trade sprang up across the border into Canada, followed by new restrictions, with severe penalties and powers of search hitherto unknown in the law of the United States. On Lake Champlain, on June 13, 1808, a band of sixty armed men fired upon United States troops, and carried a raft in triumph over the border. A prosecution for treason against one of the men involved was a failure.

[No settlement with England.]

The expectation was that the President, backed up by the embargo, would now succeed in a negotiation with England, that atonement would be made for the "Chesapeake" outrage, and that a commercial treaty would at last be gained. Mr. George Rose came over as British minister in December, 1807; but he took the unfortunate attitude that the American government owed England an apology for action growing out of the "Chesapeake" outrage, and he returned in March without accomplishing anything: the two countries remained in an attitude of hostility throughout the year.


[Effect on England.]

When Congress assembled in December, 1808, the effect of the embargo was manifest. English merchants engaged in the American trade protested, and asked the British government to withdraw its Orders in Council. Lord Castlereagh declared that the embargo was "operating at present more forcibly in our favor than any measure of hostility we could call forth, without war actually declared;" English trade to the amount of $25,000,000 was, indeed, cut off; but notwithstanding this loss, the total exports of England increased. "The embargo," says Henry Adams, "served only to lower the wages and the moral standard of the laboring classes throughout the British empire, and to prove their helplessness."

[Effect on France.]

The reception of the embargo by France was even more humiliating. On April 17, 1808, Napoleon issued a decree at Bayonne directing that all American vessels which might enter the ports of France, Italy, and the Hanse towns should be seized, "because no vessels of the United States can now navigate the seas without infracting the law of the said States." "The Emperor applauds the embargo," said the French foreign minister.

[Effect on the United States.]

In America the embargo, which was intended to cut off the profits of foreign merchants and the provisions needed in foreign countries, had crippled the shipping interests, had destroyed the export trade, and had almost ruined the farmers. Exports dropped in one year from one hundred and ten millions to twenty-two millions; import duties were kept up during 1808 by returning vessels, but in 1809 sank from sixteen millions to seven millions; shipbuilding fell off by two-thirds; shipping in foreign trade lost 100,000 tons; wheat fell from two dollars to seventy-five cents a bushel. The South, from which the majority in favor of the embargo had been drawn, suffered most of all: tobacco could not be sold, and Virginia was almost bankrupt.

[The embargo a failure.] [The embargo repealed.]

The money loss did not measure the injury to the country. New England ingenuity was devoted to new methods of avoiding the law of the land, and a passionate feeling of sectional injury sprang up. In the election of 1808 the Federalists carried all New England except Vermont, and had a few Southern votes; and the Republican majority in Congress was much cut down. The embargo had plainly failed, and the only alternative seemed to be war. Even Jefferson was obliged to admit that the embargo must end a few months later; "But I have thought it right," he wrote, "to take no part myself in proposing measures, the execution of which will devolve on my successor." It became known that Madison, the President-elect, favored the repeal of the embargo in June, and that Jefferson was only anxious that it should last out his administration. The discontent of New England was so manifest that a South Carolina member said: "You have driven us from the embargo. The excitement in the East renders it necessary that we should enforce the embargo with the bayonet, or repeal it. I will repeal it, - and I could weep over it more than over a lost child." On Feb. 2, 1809, the House, by a vote of 70 to 40, decided upon immediate repeal. The only question now was what policy should be substituted. On February 28 an agreement was reached: the embargo was replaced by a non-intercourse law which forbade British or French vessels to enter American ports; but there was no threat against the captors of American vessels.

[Jefferson humiliated.]

Throughout his whole administration Jefferson had never before been confronted with an offensive bill. He had been practically the leader in both houses of Congress, and until this moment his followers had never deserted him. He could not end his administration with a veto, and he signed the act, although it was a tacit condemnation of his whole policy with reference to neutral trade. The defence of the embargo was that it prevented war: but it had inflicted on the country the material losses and excited the factional spirit which would have resulted from war; and the danger of war was greater at the end than at the beginning of the experiment.