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ident. Thus a new turn was given to the excitement in the public mind.
During the summer of 1800, the seat of government had been removed from Philadelphia to the new federal city of Washington, and at the lately, erected capitol President Adams met the sixth Congress, on the 22d of November, 1800, when he delivered his last annual speech to the national legislature. He had, in May previous, appointed John Marshall, of Virginia, secretary of state, and Samuel Dexter, of Massachusetts, secretary of war. On the 31st of December following, Oliver Wolcott resigned, as secretary of the treasury, and Mr. Dexter was appointed in his place. Roger Gris. wold, of Connecticut, was appointed secretary of war on the 3d of Febru
The most important acts of Congress, from November, 1800, to March 3, 1801, were the following: An additional law relating to the federal judiciary, which divided the United States into six circuits, and provided for che appointment of three judges in each, leaving the judges of the supreme court to exercise power as a court of appeals, and for the correction of errors. An act for a naval peace establishment, by which the president was empowered, when he should think it safe and proper, to sell the ships of the United States, except thirteen of the largest frigates; that six of these be hauled up and dismantled, and the others retained in service. An act for continuing the mint at Philadelphia, and for directing the mode of es. timating foreign coins ; for extending routes for conveying the public mails; and for erecting several new lighthouses on the seacoasts.
The subject of erecting a mausoleum or monument to the memory of Washington, was frequently discussed in Congress during this session. It was voted, by the house of representatives, to erect a mausoleum, and one hundred thousand dollars were appropriated for the purpose; but the senate rejected the plan, and decided in favor of a monument, as it would be less expensive, and voted only fifty thousand dollars to complete it.*
Between the 13th of February and the 4th of March, 1801, President Adams appointed, with the consent of the senate, all the judges for the new courts, and the commissions were issued. The individuals selected for these offices were men of high standing, but the law was condemned by the democratic party, and the judges were called “the midnight judges of John Adams,” in allusion to the supposed time of appointment, at the close of his official duties. In consequence of the repeal of the law under which they were appointed, these judges lost their offices, in the early part of Mr. Jefferson's administration.
On the 11th of February, 1801, the votes for president and vice-president were counted, in the senate-chamber, in the presence of both houses of Congress, when, the tellers having announced the result, the vice-president (Mr. Jefferson) declared, that Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr
being equal in the number of votes, it remained for the house of representatives to determine the choice. Thereupon, the members of the house returned to their chamber, when it was ascertained that 104 members were present, one deceased, and one absent, from sickness. The first ballot, (being by states, according to the constitution) was eight states for Mr. Jefferson, six states for Mr. Burr, and two divided, which result continued to be the same after balloting thirty-five times. The number of those who voted for Burr was 53, all federalists, and 51 for Jefferson, all republicans, or democrats, with one or two exceptions. On the 36th ballot, which took place on the 17th of February, several of the members who had voted for Burr, withdrew their opposition to the election of Mr. Jefferson, by putting in blank votes, in consequence of which, there appeared for Jefferson ten states, for Burr four, viz., New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, and there were two blanks, viz., Delaware and South Carolina. Mr. Jefferson was thereupon elected president, and Colonel Burr vice-president, for four years from the fourth of March, 1801.
The friends of the administration of Mr. Adams generally supported Colonel Burr, without any concert or understanding with him, but believe ing him to be more in favor of the policy before pursued, than Mr. Jefferson, particularly on the subject of commerce.
Of the character of Mr. Adams's administration, much difference of opinion still prevails; but viewing it in continuation of that of Washington, Mr. Bradford, in his history of the federal government, remarks :
* By the prudent and pacific, yet firm and decided measures of the federal government, for twelve years, the character of the United States had become highly respectable among the greatest statesmen of Europe. Its policy exhibited a happy union of energy and magnanimity; and it was respected alike for its wisdom and power. The nation was placed in a commanding attitude of defence, while liberty, peace, and improvement, were everywhere witnessed within its jurisdiction. Public credit had been fully established; and able and faithful men had been selected for the public agents; men whose patriotism had been proved by eight years, service devoted to their country's welfare "
The life of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, is one of the most interesting and instructive among those of the distinguished persons whose names are identified with American history. In the character of this extraordinary man, as well as in the events of his life, we are presented with a combination of philosophical attainments and political talents, of benevolent feelings, and ambitious aspirations, rarely found united in the same individual, and still more rarely resulting in the popular veneration bestowed upon his name by a large portion of his countrymen; while by others he has been regarded in an unfavorable light as a statesman and a ruler, particularly in the effect of his political principles upon the American people, over whom he acquired such an astonishing ascendency.
The family of Jefferson were among the early emigrants from Great Britain to Virginia. “ The tradition in my father's family," the subject of this sketch says, in his own memoirs, “was, that their ancestor came to this country from Wales, and from near the mountain of Snowdon ; but the first particular information I have of any ancestor, was of my grandfather, who lived at the place in Chesterfield called Osborne's, and owned the lands, afterward the glebe of the parish. He had three sons : Thomas, who died young; Field, who settled on the waters of the Roanoke, and left numerous descendants; and Peter, my father, who settled on the lands I still own, called Shadwell, adjoining my present residence. He was born February 29, 1707—8, and intermarried, 1739, with Jane Ran dolph, of the age of 19, daughter of Isham Randolph, one of the sever sons of that name and family settled in Goochland. They traced their pedigree far back in England and Scotland, to which let every one ascribe the faith and merit he chooses."
At the above-named place, Shadwell, in Albemarle county, Virginia, Thomas Jefferson was born, on the 2d of April (old style), 1743. His
father, Peter Jefferson, a man of some distinction in the colony, died in 1757, leaving a widow (who lived until 1776) with two sons and six daughters. These children inherited a handsome estate from their father Thomas, the eldest, received the lands which he called Monticello, on which he resided, when not in public life and when he died.
At the aye of five, his father placed him at an English school, and a. nine years of age he commenced the study of Latin and Greek, with Mr. Douglass, a Scotch clergyman, who also instructed him in French. On the death of his father, he was placed under the tuition of another clergyman, Mr. Maury, a classical scholar, with whom he pursued his studies two years. In the spring of 1760, he entered William and Mary College, where he continued two years. Dr. William Small, of Scotland, was then professor of mathematics, and is described by Mr. Jefferson as profound in most of the useful branches of science, with a happy talent of communication, correct and gentlemanly manners, and an enlarged and liberal mind. He, most happily for me,” he adds," became soon attached to me, and made me his daily companion when not engaged in the school; and from his conversation I got my first views of the expansion of science, and of the system of things in which we are placed. He returned to Europe in 1762, having previously filled up the measure of his goodness to me, by procuring for me, from his most intimate friend, George Wythe, a reception as a student at law under his direction, and introducing me to the acquaintance and familiar table of Governor Fauquier, the ablest man who had ever filled that office. Mr. Wythe continued to be my faithful and beloved mentor in youth, and my most affectionate friend through life. In 1767, he led me into the practice of the law, at the bar of the general court, at which I continued until the revolution shut
the courts of justice.”
" It has been thought,” says Mr. Wirt, " that Mr. Jefferson made no figure at the bar; but the case was far otherwise. There are still extant, in his own fair and neat hand, in the manner of his master, a number of arguments which were delivered by him at the bar, upon some of the most intricate questions of the law; which, if they shall ever see the light, will vindicate his claim to the first honors of his profession. It is true, he was not distinguished in popular debate; why he was not so, has often been matter of surprise to those who have not seen his eloquence on paper, and heard it in conversation. He had all the attributes of the mind, and the heart, and the soul, which are essential to eloquence of the highest order. The only defect was a physical one: he wanted volume and compass of voice for a large, deliberative assembly; and his voice, from the excess of his sensibility, instead of rising.with his feelings and conceptions, sank under their pressure, and became guttural and inarticulate. The consciousness of this infirmity repressed any attempt in a large body in which he knew he must fail. But his voice was all-sufficient for the
purposes of judicial debate ; and there is no reason to doubt that, if the 'service of his country had not called him away so soon from his profes sion, his fame as a lawyer would now have stood upon
the same distin guished ground which he confessedly occupies as a statesman, an author and a scholar.
"At the time of Mr. Jefferson's appearance,” the same writer remarks " the society of Virginia was much diversified, and reflected pretty dis tinctly an image of that of England. There was, first, the landed aris tocracy, shadowing forth the order of English nobility; then the sturdy yeomanry, common to them both; and last, a fæculum of beings, as they were called by Mr. Jefferson, corresponding with the mass of the English plebeians.
“ Mr. Jefferson, by birth, belonged to the aristocracy: but the idle and voluptuous life which marked that order had no charms for a mind like his. He relished better the strong, unsophisticated, and racy character of the yeomanry, and attached himself, of choice, to that body. He was a republican and a philanthropist, from the earliest dawn of his character. He read with a sort of poetic illusion, which identified him with every scene that his author spread before him. Enraptured with the brighter ages of republican Greece and Rome, he had followed with an aching heart the march of history which had told him of the desolation of those fairest portions of the earth ; and had read, with dismay and indignation, of that swarm of monarchies, the progeny of the Scandinavian hive, under which genius and liberty were now everywhere crushed. He loved his own country with a passion not less intense, deep, and holy, than that of his great compatriot (John Adams): and with this love he combined an expanded philanthropy which encircled the globe. From the working of the strong energies within him, there arose an early vision, too, which cheered his youth and accompanied him through life—the vision of emancipated man throughout the world."*
While he was a student of law at Williamsburg, in 1765, Mr. Jefferson heard the celebrated speech of Patrick Henry, in the Virginia house of delegates, against the stamp-act; animated by the eloquence of Henry, he from that time stood forward as a champion for his country.
In 1769, he was chosen by the people of his county to represent them in the legislature of the colony, a station that he continued to fill up to the period of the revolution. In that capacity he made an effort, which was not successful, for the emancipation of slaves in Virginia.
In January, 1772, Mr. Jefferson married Mrs. Martha Skelton, a widow of twenty-three years of age, daughter of Mr. John Wayles, an eminent lawyer of Virginia, who left her a considerable fortune.
On the 12th of March, 1773, Mr. Jefferson was chosen' a member of the first committee of correspondence established by the colonial legisla
• Wirt's Eulogy on Adams and Jefferson.