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injury? Repeated, liberal and candid discussions in the Legislature have conciliated the sentiments, and approximated the opinions of enlightened minds, upon the question of constitutional power. I cannot but hope that, by the same process of friendly, patient, and persevering deliberation, all constitutional objections will ultimately be removed. The extent and limitation of the powers of the General Government, in relation to this transcendently important interest, will be settled and acknowledged to the common satisfaction of all; and every speculative scruple will be solved by a practical public blessing
· Fellow-citizens, you are acquainted with the peculiar circumstances of the recent election, which have resulted in affording me the opportunity of addressing you at this time. You have heard the exposition of the principles which will direct me in the fulfilment of the high and solemn trust imposed upon me in this station. Less possessed of your confidence, in advance, than any of my predecessors, I am deeply conscious of the prospect that I shall stand more and oftener in need of your indulgence. Intentions upright and pure, a heart devoted to the welfare of our country, and the unceasing application of the faculties allotted to me to her service, are all the pledges that I can give for the faithful performance of the arduous duties I am to undertake. To the guidance of the legislative councils; to the assistance of the executive and subordinate departments; to the friendly co-operation of the spective State Governments; to the candid and liberal support of the people, so far as it may be deserved by honest industry and zeal; I shall look for whatever success may attend my public service: and knowing that “except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain,' with fervent supplications for His favor, to His overruling providence I commit, with humble but fearless confidence, my own fate, and the future destinies of my country.”
In entering upon the discharge of his duties as President, Mr. Adams proceeded to form his cabinet by nominating Henry Clay, of Kentucky, Secretary of State ; Richard Rush, of Pennsylvania, Secretary of the Treasury; James Barbour, of Virginia, Secretary
of War; Samuel L. Southard, Secretary of the Navy, and Wm. Wirt, Attorney General. These were all men of superior talents, of tried integrity and faithfulness, and well worthy the elevated positions to which they were called
CHARGES OF CORRUPTION AGAINST MR. CLAY AND MR. ADAMS
-MR. ADAMS ENTERS
UPON HIS DUTIES AS PRESIDENT
VISIT OF LA FAYETTE-TOUR THROUGH THE UNITED STATES
-MR. ADAMS DELIVERS HIM A FAREWELL ADDRESS-DE
PARTS FROM THE UNITED STATES.
The election of Mr. Adams to the presidency, was a severe disappointment to the friends of Gen. Jack
As the latter had received a majority of fifteen electoral votes over Mr. Adams, it was confidently anticipated, nay, virtually demanded, that he should be elected by the House of Representatives. This claim, it was insisted, was in accordance with the will of the people, as expressed in the electoral colleges, and to resist it would be to violate the spirit of the constitution, and to set at nought the fundamental principles of our republican Government. A sufficient reply to these positions is found in the fact, that Gen. Jackson did not receive a majority of the electoral votes, and hence a majority of the people could not be considered as desiring his election. The absolute truth, subsequently obtained on this point, was, that Mr. Adams had received more of the primary votes of the people than Gen. Jackson ; and thus, according to all repub
lican principles, was entitled to be considered the first choice of the citizens of the United States.
The position of Mr. Clay, in this contest for the presidency, was one of great delicacy and difficulty. He was precisely in that critical posture, that, whatever course he might pursue, he would be subject to misrepresentation and censure, and could not but raise up a host of enemies. Originally one of the four candidates for the presidency, he failed, by five electoral votes, in having a sufficient number to be one of the three candidates returned to the House of Representatives, of which he was then Speaker. In this posture of affairs, it was evident that upon the course which should be pursued by Mr. Clay, and his friends in the House, depended the question who should be elected President. As Mr. Crawford, on account of the critical state of his health, was considered out of the question, Mr. Clay was left to choose between Mr. Adams and Gen. Jackson.
In this posture of affairs, Mr. Clay saw, that however patriotic the principles on which he acted, and however pure the motives by which he might be governed in making his selection, he must inevitably expose himself to the severest animadversions from the defeated party. But he did not hesitate, in the discharge of what he believed to be a solemn duty he owed his country, to throw his influence in behalf of the man whom he believed the best fitted to serve that country in the responsible office of the presidency. Long before it
had been foreseen such a contingency would occur, he had expressed his want of confidence in the ability and fitness of Gen. Jackson for the executive chair. But in Mr. Adams he saw a man of the utmost purity and integrity of private character-a scholar of the ripest abilities—a statesman, a diplomatist, a patriot of unquestioned talents and of long experience,-one who had been entrusted with most important public interests by Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe, and also had received from these illustrious men every mark of confidence—whose familiarity with the internal condition and foreign relations of the Union was unequalled by any public man! Between men so dissimilar in their qualifications, how could Mr. Clay, with the slightest regard to the welfare of the nation, the claims of patriotism, or the dictates of his conscience, hesitate to choose ? He did not hesitate. With an intrepid determination to meet all consequences, he threw his influence in behalf of Mr. Adams, and secured his election.
This decisive step, as had been clearly foreseen, drew upon the head of Mr. Clay the severest censures of the supporters of Gen. Jackson. Motives of the deepest political corruption were attributed to him. They charged him with making a deliberate stipulation or “ bargain” with Mr. Adams, to give his influence, on the understanding that he was to receive, in payment, the appointment to the state department.
The undoubted object of this charge was to ruin Mr. Clay's