CHAPTER X.

ON THE RESIDENCE OF CONGRESS.

June 23d, Wednesday. — This day could not be considered as very important in the Senate. The Funding bill was called for and postponed.

The Intercourse bill, or that for appointing ambassadors, had been referred to a committee of conference so long ago that I had forgotten it, but the thing was neither dead nor sleeping. It was only dressing and friends-making. The report increased the salaries and added ten thousand dollars to the appropriations. I concluded they had secured friends enough to support it before they committed it to the House. This turned out to be the case. The whole appropriation was forty thousand dollars, and they were voted with an air of perfect indifference by the affirmants, although I consider the money as worse than thrown away, for I know not a single thing that we have for a minister to do at a single court in Europe. Indeed, the less we have to do with them the better. Our business is to pay them what we owe, and the less political connection the better with any European power. It was well spoken against. I voted against every part of it.

We received also a bill for the East Indian trade. Read for the first time. Mr. Morris was often called out., He at last came in and whispered me: "The business is settled at last. Hamilton gives up the temporary residence." I wrote on a slip of paper (as we could not converse freely), "If Hamilton, has his hand in the residence now, he will have his foot in it before the end of the session." I afterward told Mr. Morris that this seeming willingness of Hamilton proceeded from his knowledge that the North Carolina Senators and Colonel Gunn {305} could not be restrained from voting for Baltimore, and that the present proposal and bill (for a bill was shown to me by Mr. Morris) were meant to divert the Southern members from Baltimore, and they would finally destroy the bill.

I got Henry, of Maryland, into the audience-room and gave him a detail of what was going on, and made the same reflections on it to him. I saw he believed the North Carolina men would vote for Baltimore. I find there is a ferment among them, and good may come of it.

Paid my lodgings.

There are jockeying and bargaining going on respecting which I am not consulted and which I hear of only by-the-by: the temporary residence in Philadelphia for fifteen years and the permanent residence on the Potomac. A solemn engagement has been entered into by eleven Senators to push the temporary residence only. On this ground we of Pennsylvania are perfectly safe, and our interest is to keep this contract alive. If we go from this the temporary residence may remain in New York and the permanent residence to the Potomac. It is a species of robbery to deprive Pennsylvania of the residence. How can a delegate reconcile himself to such a vote unless he confide in future contingency to repair his errors, which is neither safe nor honorable?

June 24th. — This was a day of small business in the Senate. The report on a bill for remitting fines to one Twining was rejected and the bill confirmed; contrary, in my opinion, to every idea of justice, for this man had got already from the public upward of two thousand dollars without consideration.

Though little business was done in the Senate, yet; I ought never to forget this day. In the Senate chamber, Mr. Walker told me that the Pennsylvania delegation had, in a general meeting, agreed to place the permanent residence on the Potomac and the temporary residence to remain ten years in Philadelphia. I answered, I know nothing of any such agreement. No truth was ever better founded. He said Scott had come from the meeting to him. He seemed willing I should take a lead in the business. I heard nothing further on the business. Dr. Elmer and I called on Mr. Morris, mid here for the first time I heard him declare he was satisfied with ten years. He {306} did not say much to me, but the moment I came home the Speaker attacked me: "Here you have been doing fine things; you have broken the bargain," etc.

I denied that I had broken any bargain; that I never knew of any bargain for ten years being made. Did not General Muhlenberg speak to you? Yes, on Monday last he bid me tell Mr. Morris that he thought Matthews could not make them agree to more than ten years. I forgot to mention it to him then, but mentioned it to him afterward. He said if we agreed to ten they would propose seven, etc., and declared himself against listening to any such proposals, We, however, met in the evening. Bassett and Read, of the Delaware State, came in with Mr. Morris. Dr. Elmer came some time after. I now did the most foolish firing I ever did in my life. I declared that I considered the permanent residence as a matter that ought to belong to Pennsylvania, in whatever point of view it was considered, geographically or politically; that to deprive her of it was, in my opinion, a species of robbery; but, since we came there to consult the public good, I was willing to be governed by republican ideas, and would stand by the vote of the majority, as a house divided against itself could not stand.

Mr. Morris now said my arguments were too late. I should have made these objections when the contract was made for fifteen years' residence at Philadelphia. I very freely declared I never entered into any such contract. Morris, Fitzsimons, and the Speaker declared that I did, and the Speaker reminded me that a committee was appointed. I agreed that a committee was appointed, but it was to draw up our reasons for rejecting Hamilton's proposals; and that I understood them so would be evident from my sentiments, which I had committed to paper at the time, and which were now in the hands of Colonel Hartley. They all three persisted in the charge. Hartley, however, had spirit enough to say there was no such contract. This seemed to cool them a little. But after some time Scott came in. The matter was repeated to him. He declared there was no number of years mentioned at all as any bargain, and, of course, no contract. This made them look a little blue.

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I must note that I read the sketch which I gave to Hartley to the Speaker, and he approved of it; and I expressly mentioned both to him and Colonel Hartley that all that we did respected only what was past. But now the Speaker put the question, "Shall we vote for a bill giving the temporary residence, ten years, to Philadelphia and the permanent residence to the Potomac?" They all said yes but myself. I said no, but, unluckily, am bound by my foolish declaration. Good God, deliver me this once! Fate, familiar as her garter, ended the difficulty. But the tale is long, and I had better begin the business of the day on the next page.

June 25th, Friday. — A day of excessive rain. I went to the Hall in the Speaker's carriage at an early hour to attend the committee on the post-office business. I found Mr. Carol there. We had much loose talk. He told me his plan, which was to take Butler's bill, amended so that the residence should be ten years in Philadelphia, at the end of which the permanent residence should be on the Potomac.

The first business was the report on what was called Stephen Moore's bill. This man is the owner of the land on which the old fort of West Point stands. He is got in debt in town to the amount of two thousand or some such sum. He has nothing but the rocks of West Point. The Secretaries of War and Treasury and other influential characters have interested themselves in getting this bill passed to buy the land from him, to pay his debts, under the notion that the ground is necessary for a fortress. Barefaced as this business is, it was carried in the Senate by a great majority. Am I mistaken, or is it the spirit of prodigality broke loose since Rhode Island came in? Yesterday Twining's base business; this day Moore's case, and a bill for a claim for one Gould came up. The yeas and nays are on the journals, and, strange to tell, Mr. Morris for once was with me.

Mr. Carrol now rose and was seconded by Lee. Izard, Few, King, on one side, Carrol and Lee on the other. Butler bounced between both, but declared for the bill and he would be for it. The motion was made to take up the bill. The Vice-President said: "There has been a motion for postponement. I do not know whether it has been seconded." {308} No such thing had happened, but the hint was soon after taken.

And now all was consternation and commotion. Out ran King, Schuyler, Izard, and sundry of the Eastern gentry, and in were ushered the Senators from Rhode Island. And now the hinted-for postponement was called for of the bill, which, in fact, had not been taken up. But the new members, just sworn and seated, did not get up. Signs and motions were ineffectual; they kept their seats, and the bill, of course, was taken up, or, in parliamentary style, not postponed.

Izard begged leave to explain, or, in other words, to tell the new-come gentlemen, that they ought to have voted for the postponement. Mr. Adams without any ceremony put the same question over again. King got on one side and Elsworth on the other of the new members and got up with them. Butler, too, after all his declarations, voted for the postponement. It was thirteen and thirteen, and Bonny Johnny voted for the postponement; and thus the business of the day was got over without much difficulty so far, or at least the knotty parts of it, and thus my neck got out of the noose.

Adjourned until Monday.

I must note here that a number of our own people were duped in pushing the Rhode Island bill. They are now paid for it. I told them at the time what was intended. They must take what follows.

June 26th, Saturday. — Attended this day on the Committee on the Post-Office bill. The bill came up from the Representatives with every post-road described, both main and cross roads. Carrol and Strong were for blotting out every word of description, and leaving all to the Postmaster-General and the President of the United States. I proposed a different plan: that one great post-road should be described by law from Portland, in New Hampshire, to Augusta, in Georgia, passing through the seats of the different governments, and that two cross-roads only should be described from New York to Canada, and from Philadelphia or some other proper place to Fort Pitt, for the accommodation of the Western country. The other or block system prevailed, but we are to meet again on Monday, at ten o'clock.

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June 27th, Sunday. — Called on Scott this morning. Went to walk, but the heat was insupportable. Returned to my lodgings. Spent the residue of the day in writing letters, reading, etc.

June 28th, Monday. — Met at ten on the Post-Office Committee, but such running and caballing of the Senators nothing could be done. Stephen Moore's bill the first business. Izard made a long speech, telling how injurious it would be for this man if the bill did not pass, etc., and would now let the question be put until the Senate was full. It was carried.

Now the Baltimore vote was read. Carrol and Lee moved to postpone it. It was postponed. Carrol now moved to read some representations from Baltimore and Georgetown. This was complied with. Carrol surprised me by taking me out and requesting me to move the insertion of Baltimore for the permanent residence. Said he wished it to be put and negatived. This had a crooked aspect. I declined it. Izard, however, moved this very thing, and Walker told me it was expected that he would do it. I called for the amendment proposed on Friday, but Carrol got up and wished the vote on Baltimore. It was negatived.

Carrol now got up with the amendments. He surprised us with his slowness. We wrangled on till nearly three o'clock, calling yeas and nays on almost every question — but for these vide the minutes. When we came to the blank for the place of temporary residence — and by the by there was no blank in the amendment which Cartel read on Friday, but he was now suffered by Adams to proceed on the original bill. He evidently waited and paused until Izard moved to fill the blank with New York. Now we had the warmest debates of the day. Mr. Morris took no part whatever. Langdon and myself were the warmest. The question was put at three o'clock and carried for New York — thirteen to twelve. Colonel Gunn has been absent all day — designedly, it is supposed.

This day the [Pennsylvania] delegation had invited the Vice-President and the other officers of the General Government to dinner. The Chief-Justice and the Vice-President did not attend. The three Secretaries were with us. The discourse before dinner turned on the manner of doing business in the {310} Senate. It was remarked that, as every question of moment was carried only by one majority, or for the most part by the casting vote of the Vice-President, it might be as well to vest the whole senatorial power in the President of the Senate. The fact really is as it was stated. But they did not mention the fact that Hamilton and his New York junto do business on the principles of economy, and do not put themselves to the expense of hiring more than just the number necessary to carry their point. This is a deplorable truth with respect to our Senate, and certainly is a foul evil at the root of our legislation.

I could not help making some remarks on our three Secretaries. Hamilton has a very boyish, giddy manner, and Scotch-Irish people could well call him a "skite." Jefferson transgresses on the extreme of stiff gentility or lofty gravity. Knox is the easiest man, and has the most dignity of presence. They retired at a decent time, one after another. Knox stayed the longest, as indeed suited his aspect best, being more of a Bacchanalian figure.

June 29th. — The Tonnage bill was taken up and committed. This bill uses the same rates of tonnage as the old bill, and why it was brought forward is more than I can say, unless it was solely to employ time. A bill to make compensation to one Gould was also committed.

And now the Residence bill was taken up. The joy of the Yorkers made them cry out for an adjournment when they had filled one of the blanks. Now the other was to be filled with the time of the temporary residence. It was carried for ten years, and Carrol voted for it: thirteen to twelve. But now the question was taken on the clause, and the whole was rejected: sixteen to nine. Now Izard and the adherents of New York showed visible perturbation and bounced at a strange rate. I looked at Cartel, and got him to rise with his clause, ten years for Philadelphia. Why he kept it back so long explains itself.

Schuyler and King offered to amend it by dividing the time, five years to each place. Long debates here. The question was lost: thirteen to thirteen, the Vice-President against. They now moved Baltimore. Lost it: ten to sixteen. Butler {311} now moved to stay two years in New York: thirteen to thirteen, the Vice-President against. The question was put on the clause: thirteen to thirteen, Vice-President against. So the clause was lost. The question was now put, "Shall the bill pass to a third reading?" The noes certainly had it, but the House did not divide, and an adjournment obtained before anything more was finished.

In the course of King's speech, I noted down the following words, "convulse the Union," etc. This, as he stated it, would be the effect of removing from New York. In my reply I mentioned the words. He denied that he had used such words. Mr. Morris was the first to cry out that he did not use any such words. From the drift of chaff and feathers it is seen how the wind blows. Mr. Morris did not rise this day nor yesterday; I might speak or let it alone — he has never said one word except giving me the above contradiction. Mr. Wyngate and sundry other members declared he [King] did use them, but, as he chose to retract, I passed it by as words that had never been spoken.

June 30th. — I called early at the Hall. Langdon only there. Went and paid off my bill for Monday, twenty-eight shillings, the price of a two days' headache. When I came to the Hall, Dr. Elmer told me that Carrol & Co. were using every endeavor to pass the bill to a third reading without anything of the temporary residence. Here we certainly had every right to leave them, yet Walker said they would drop Philadelphia if we would not go with them. I am fully satisfied that they have had an under plot on band all this time with the Yorkers. Carrol, finding the bill could not be carried to a third reading, moved a reconsideration of the Philadelphia clause. But he was out of order, not having been of the majority. I passed the word to get Butler to move, as he had been of that side. He did so, after talking almost half an hour. It was reconsidered and adopted, fourteen to twelve, Butler changing his ground. Before we could get a question on the paragraph, they moved the question of five years in New York and five in Philadelphia. Lost: twelve to fourteen. Then to stay two years in New York. This Butler joined them in, and the House stood thirteen and thirteen. {312} The Vice-President gave us a long speech on the orderly conduct, decent behavior of the citizens of New York, especially in the gallery of the other House; said no people in the world could behave better. I really thought he meant this lavish praise as an indirect censure on the city of Philadelphia, for the papers have teemed with censorious charges of their rudeness to the members of public bodies. Be that, however, as it may, he declared he would go to Philadelphia without staying a single hour, and gave us his vote. I think it was well he did not know all, for, had he given this vote the other way, the whole would have been lost. The question on the passage to the third reading was carried: fourteen to twelve.

Mr. Langdon now moved a reconsideration to strike out the loan of the one hundred thousand dollars. A long debate ensued. It was evident his vote would turn it. This I mentioned to Walker. We told them, however, that we were with them. But they did what good policy directed. They gave the matter up, and the appropriation was struck out. The question on the bill passing to a third reading was now taken. Carried: fourteen to twelve.

I am fully convinced Pennsylvania could do no better. The matter could not be longer delayed. It is, in fact, the interest of the President of the United States that pushes the Potomac. He [Washington], by means of Jefferson, Madison, Carrol, and others, urged the business, and, if we had not closed with these terms, a bargain would have been made for the temporary residence in New York. They have offered to support the Potomac for three years' temporary residence (in New York, I presume), and I am very apprehensive they would have succeeded if it had not been for the Pennsylvania threats that were thrown out of stopping all business if an attempt was made to rob them of both temporary and permanent residence.

July 1st. — Knowing nothing of immediate consequence, I attended the Hall early. Took a seat in the committee-room. Began an examination of the journals of the old Congress touching some matters before us in committee. Had thus an opportunity at the members as they came in, but such rushing and caballing of the New England men and Yorkers!

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When the minutes were read, King observed that the yeas and nays were not inserted on the motion for staying two years in New York. The Vice-President and Secretary of the Senate both denied that they were taken, but I believed they erred. This, however, I did not consider as much for them. We read the Rhode Island Enumeration [Census] bill. Committed the Settlement bill and one for the regulation of seamen.

And now came the residence. Elsworth moved that the extent of the Potomac should be thirty miles above and thirty below Hancocktown. Lost. Second motion, "To insert the first Monday in May, instead of first Monday in December, for removal." The yeas and nays equal. And now John Adams gave us one of his pretty speeches. He mentioned many of the arguments for removal, and concluded that justice, policy, and even necessity, called for it.

Now King took up his lamentations. He sobbed, wiped his eyes, and scolded and railed and accused, first everybody and then nobody, of bargaining, contracting arrangements and engagements that would dissolve the Union. He was called on sharply: He begged pardon, and, blackguard-like, railed again. Butler replied in a long, unmeaning talk; repeated that he was sure the honorable gentleman did not mean him; and yet, if there really was any person to whom King's mysterious hints would apply, Butler's strange conduct marked him as the most proper object for them. Talk followed talk. It was evident they meant to spend the day. Dr. Johnson cried, "Adjourn!" "Question! question!" re-echoed from different quarters of the House. Few begged leave to move an amendment. It was to restore the appropriation clause. It was lost, and at last we got the question on transmitting the bill to the Representatives — yeas, fourteen; nays, twelve.

As I came from the chamber [Senate], King gave me a look. I replied, "King's Lamentations." "That won't do," said he. When we were down-stairs he turned on me, and said, "Let us now go and receive the congratulations of the city for what we have done." I had heard so much and so many allusions to the hospitality, etc., I thought it no bad time to give both him and them a wipe. "King, for a session {314} of near six months I have passed the threshold of no citizen of New York; I have no wish to commence acquaintance now." He muttered some ejaculation and went off. In truth, I never was in so inhospitable a place. The above declaration I thought it not amiss to make, that they may know that I am not insensible of their rudeness; and, further, that I am quite clear of any obligations to them.

July 2d. — Attended the committee on the affair of Gould's bill. There did not appear much animation in the House. That keenness of look and eagerness which marked all our former looks had departed with the residence. Elsworth moved a commitment of the resolution with regard to the State debts. I saw we were taken unawares on this subject. They carried the commitment and the committee both against us. Carrol joined them.

We got now at the Indian bill. It was committed, and now we have joined the Post-Office bill and debated on it to the adjournment.

Wyngate told me this day of a violent breach having happened between King and the Massachusetts men. They would not vote for the Potomac, as King wished them to do. Had they joined the Connecticut and York votes, we would have obtained the temporary residence on much worse terms. This is still further proof of what I knew before — that there was an under-plot and a negotiation still open between the Potomac and New York. The Speaker told me this day that the assumption [of State debts] would pass. I heard him with grief, and trust I may yet disbelieve him. He dined with the President yesterday.

July 3d. — General Irwin called early on me this morning. It was to tell me that King and Lawrence had been asserting with great confidence that we had bargained to give the assumption of State debts for the residence, etc.; that I was to go away, and Carrol to vote direct for it, etc.; that a very great hubbub was raised among the Southern gentlemen, etc. I could only tell him that it was false, and much, indeed, as I wished to see my family, that now home I would not go; that I would stay, and he was at liberty to say so. I called on Williamson as I went to the Hall, and on Hawkins, and told them so.

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These Yorkers are the vilest of people. Their vices have not the palliation of being manly. They resemble bad schoolboys who are unfortunate at play: they revenge themselves by telling notorious thumpers. Even the New England men say that King's character is detestable — a perfect canvas for the devil to paint on; a groundwork void of every virtue.

Senate sat until three on the Post-Office bill, but the debates were unimportant.

When I came in, the Speaker told me that the York malevolence was showing itself in curious caricatures, in ridicule of the
Pennsylvanians, etc.

July 4th. — Being Sunday, was celebrated only by the firing of cannon about noon. I walked to Scott's lodgings. He came home with me. He showed a disposition to go all over the arguments which I had used in the Senate on that subject. I did so with much cheerfulness, Spent the rest of the day in writing letters to my family and others. I called this morning on Mr. Lee, and showed him plainly, as I thought, how we could, by a side-wind in the bill for the settlement of accounts, give the assumption a decided stroke. I promised I would see him to-morrow.

July 5th. — I was detained long before I could get to see Mr. Lee. He had consulted Madison, as he said, and had altered the amendment in point of form. But it certainly was much more obscure. Said he would second the motion if I made it.

The Post Office bill was taken up, and a long debate [followed] whether the Postmaster should appoint the post-roads or the Congress declare them so by law. It was carried in favor of the Postmaster doing it.

A motion was made that Congress should adjourn to wait on the President, with the compliments of the day. Negatived.

A second motion to adjourn one hour, for the above purpose, lost. Some business was done, and a second motion for adjournment was called. All the town was in arms; grenadiers, light infantry, and artillery passed the Hall, and the firing of cannon and small-arms, with beating of drums, kept all in uproar. This motion was carried, and now all of us {316} repaired to the President's. We got some wine, punch, and cakes. From hence we went to St. Paul's, and heard the anniversary of independence pronounced by a Mr. B. Livingston. The church was crowded. I could not hear him well. Some said it was fine. I could not contradict them. I was in the pew next to General Washington. Part of his family and Senators filled the seats with us. Was warm, and sweated a good deal.

Some say that the Yorkers will make a desperate resistance to-morrow. Others say they will die soft. Jackson gave me this day the President's compliments and an invitation to dinner on Thursday.


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