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hearts—“ Before I end my letter, I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house, and on all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof!” A description of the house and the city, at that time, is furnished in a letter from Mrs. Adams to her daughter, written in November, 1800 :
“ I arrived here on Sunday last, and without meeting any accident worth noticing, except losing ourselves when we left Baltimore, and going eight or nine miles on the Frederick road, by which means we were obliged to go the other eight through the woods, where we wandered two hours without finding a guide or the path. Fortunately, a straggling black came up with us, and we engaged him as a guide to extricate us out of our difficulty ; but woods are all you see, from Baltimore, until you reach the city, which is only so in name. Here and there is a small cot, without a glass window, interspersed among the forests, through which you travel miles without seeing any human being. ********* The house is made habitable, but there is not a single apartment finished, and all withinside, except the plastering, has been done since Briesler came. We have not the least fence, yard, or other convenience without, and the great unfinished au ce-room I make a drying-room of, to hang up the clothes in. The principal stairs are not up, and will not be this winter. Six chambers are made comfortable; two are occupied by the President and Mr. Shaw; two lower rooms, one for a common parlor, and one for a levee room. Up stairs there is the oval room, which is designed for the drawing-room, and has the crimson furniture in it. It is a very handsome room now; but when completed, it will be beautiful.”
The presidential contest in 1800, was urged with a warmth and bitterness, by both parties, which has not been equalled in any election since that period. It was the first time two candidates ever presented themselves to the people as rival aspirants for the highest
honor in their gift. Both were good men and trueboth were worthy of the confidence of the country. But Mr. Adams, weighed down by the unpopularity of acts adopted during his administration, and suffering under the charge of being an enemy to revolutionary France, and a friend of nonarchical England, was distanced and defeated by his competitor. Mr. Jefferson was elected the third President of the Republic, and was inaugurated on the 4th of March, 1801. One of the last acts of John Adams, before retiring from the Presidency, was to recall his son from Berlin, that Mr. Jefferson might have no embarrassment in that direction.
MR. ADAMS' RETURN TO THE UNITED STATES-ELECTED TO THE
John Quincy Adams returned to the United States from his first foreign embassy, in 1801. During the stormy period of his father's administration, and the ensuing presidential canvass, he was fortunately absent from the country. Had he been at home, his situation would have been one of great delicacy. It can hardly be supposed he would have opposed his father's measures, or his reëlection. Yet to have thrown his influence in their behalf, would have subjected him to the imputation of being moved by filial attachment rather than the convictions of duty. From this painful dilemma, he was saved by his foreign residence. He came home uncommitted to party measures, untrammelled by party tactics or predilections; and thus stood before the people, as he could wish to stand, perfectly unshackled, and ready to act as duty and conscience should direct.
Arriving in the United States with distinguished honors gained by successful foreign diplomacy, Mr.
Adams was not allowed to remain long in inactivity. In 1802, he was elected to the Senate of Massachusetts, from the Boston district. During his services in that body, he gave an indication of that independence, as a politician, which characterized him through life, by his opposition to a powerful combination of banking interests, which was effected among
his immediate constituents. Although his opposition was unavailing, yet it clearly showed that the integrity of the man was superior to the policy of the mere politician. But higher honors awaited him.
In 1803, he was elected to the Senate of the United States, by the Legislature of Massachusetts. Thus at the early age of thirty-six years, he had attained to the highest legislative body of the Union. Young in years, but mature in talent and experience, he took his seat amid the conscript fathers of the country, to act a part which soon drew upon him the eyes of the nation, both in admiration and in censure.
The period of Mr. Adams' service in the United States Senate, was one in which the position and the interests of the country were surrounded by embarrassments and perils of the most threatening character. The party which had supported his father had become divided and defeated. Mr. Jefferson, elevated to the Presidency after a heated and angry contest, was an object of the dislike and suspicion of the Federalists. The conflicts of the belligerent nations in Europe, and the measures of foreign policy they severally adopted,
not only affected the interests of the United States, but were added elements to inflame the party contests at home.
In 1804, Bonaparte stepped from the Consul chamber to the throne of the French Empire. All Europe was bending to his giant rule. Great Britain alone, with characteristic and inherent stubbornness, had set itself as a rock against his ambitious aspirations, and prosecuted with unabated vigor its determined hostility to all his measures of trade and of conquest. In November, 1807, the British Government issued the cele. brated “Orders in Council,” forbidding all trade with France and her allies. This measure was met by Napoleon, in December, with his “Milan Decree,” prohibiting every description of commerce with England or her colonies. Between these checks and counterchecks of European nations, the commerce of the United States was in peril of being swept entirely from the ocean.
During most of this perplexed and trying period, Mr. J. Q. Adams retained his seat in the United States Senate. Although sent there by the suffrages of the Federal party, in the Massachusetts Legislature, yet he did not, and would not, act simply as a partisan. This in fact was a prominent characteristic in Mr. Adams throughout his entire life, and is the key which explains many of his acts otherwise inexplicable. His noble and patriotic spirit arose above the shackles of party. He loved the interests of his country, the happiness of