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his predecessors. His own elevation created a vacancy in the office of secretary of state. Mr. Clay, his competitor in the outset, but supporter when the contest was between him and Jackson alone, both from his talents and place of residence, had the highest claims for the appointment. No objection existed, except that it would give countenance to the imputation of a corrupt bargain. Disregarding this, however, Mr. Adams nominated him to the senate, where, after encountering a powerful opposition, his nomination was approved. Mr. Crawford, likewise a competitor, was urged to continue at the head of the treasury department, and on his declining, Mr. Rush, a man of distinguished talents, though opposed to Mr. Adams' election, was appointed. The offices of secretary at war and of the navy, were likewise given to his political opponents; and no vacancies were made for the purpose of bestowing office on those who had been instrumental in his elevation.
Second session of the 18th congress. The second session of the 18th congress, according to the provisions of the constitution, commenced on the first Monday in December, 1824. The message contained, in detail, a statement of the foreign relations of the United States, the condition of the treasury, and the state of their domestic concerns. The president remarked that this was the last time he should address the representatives of the nation on a like occasion. The eight years of his administration had been a period of profound peace. Public and private credit had recovered from the shock incident to the termination of a state of war. Upwards of thirty-seven millions of the public debt had been paid. Large sums had been paid out in augmenting the navy, and erecting fortifications, presenting an impenetrable front to a foreign enemy. The Floridas had been purchased and paid for, an acquisition, important in many points of view, and essential to the safety of the southwestern frontier. The nation had rapidly increased in population, wealth, enterprize, and resources; and six new states added to the union. The old party distinction of federal and democratic republicans, which had subsisted from the commencement of the government, had ceased; and a new one sprang up, growing out of attachments to, and expectations of office from, rival candidates for the presidency. The government had gained strength and permanency, had increased in the affections of the people; and the nation, as a whole, presented an aspect highly flattering to its citizens.
No important public acts were passed this session. From its commencement until the termination of the presidential contest, that was the all engrossing subject. The excitement produced on this occasion illy qualified the members for the deliberation necessary to the important business of legislation; and the period between the 9th of February and the 4th of March, sufficed only to pass the necessary appropriation laws.
Mr. Johnson again introduced his bill into the senate, for abolishing imprisonment for debt, when, after a short discussion it was negatived. The state, which he represented has, in a great degree, recovered from her embarrassments, and rendered the enactment of such a law unnecessary.
In the house of representatives, a motion to make an appropriation of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, to extend the great national road from Wheeling to Zanesville, a distance of eighty miles, in the state of Ohio, with a view ultimately to continue it through the states of Indiana and Illinois, to St. Louis, in the state of Missouri, again brought up the subject of internal improvements in all its bearings. It was ably supported by Mr. Clay, and others. The claims of the west to a share of the public revenue and patronage, for the purpose of facilitating their intercourse with each other, and with the east, were presented as of equal importance with those of the Atlantic states, for the protection and safe navigation of their coasts and harbors. After a lengthy discussion, the motion prevailed, and the appropriation was made.
Lafayette's arrival and reception in the United States-Extent of his tourReception by congress-Pecuniary grants-Reasons for making them-His departure-Jealousies of the French government regarding his visit-Number and general character of the free colored people of the United StatesTheir residence in the slave-holding states dangerous to the white population-Conspiracy of the blacks at Charleston-Law of South Carolina respecting the ingress of free negroes-Seizure of part of the crew of the British brig Marmion-Proceedings thereon-Resolutions of the senate of South Carolina-American colonization society-Its object and proceedings-Purchase of Liberia, and establishment of a colony of free blacks-Present state of the colony-Its wants-Reasons why it should be patronized by the government-President Boyer's invitation to the free blacks of the United States to emigrate to Hayti-Its result.
Lafayette's first engagement in the service of the United States. Next to the presidential election, the visit of Lafayette to the United States engaged the public attention in the year 1824. This nobleman, born in the year 1757, married at the age of seventeen, and possessed of a fortune of forty thousand dollars a year, in 1776, at the age of nineteen, presented himself to the American commissioners, at Paris, and offered his services as a volunteer in the struggle then commencing between Great Britain and her North American colonies. The cause on the part of the latter then appeared desperate. It was viewed by European politicians as a feeble rebellion of distant provinces against their legitimate sovereign, which would soon be crushed, and involve all concerned, in the fate of rebels and traitors. The friends of Lafayette, with united voice, endeavored to dissuade him from the undertaking. His monarch, but little older than himself, who had then just ascended the throne, was unwilling to lose so promising a support, and made him the most flattering offers to remain. The French ministry, secretly favoring the American cause, but not prepared for an open avowal, for the sake of appearances, publicly prohibited his departure. To all his other embarrassments were added the persuasive entreaties of a young and affectionate wife. But the ardent ambition, and thirst for military fame, with which Lafayette was inspired, overcame all obstacles. Dr. Franklin and Mr. Dean were then at
Paris, endeavoring to induce the French government to favor the American cause. One important object with them was, to engage experienced French officers in the service of the colonies. Young Lafayette's proposition surprised them, and the wary policy of Dr. Franklin induced him at first to decline it, urging as an apology the want of means within the power of the commissioners to procure a suitable vessel for the marquis and his suit. To remove this obstacle, Lafayette proposed to procure and equip a vessel, and provide a considerable quantity of warlike stores at his own expense, and engage in the service without pay. The commissioners accepted his offers, and recommended him to congress. Early in the year 1777, at the age of twenty, he presented himself to that body, was received into service, and appointed a major general, but without a designation to any particular post. He served for a considerable time as a volunteer, under the immediate eye of General Washington, until the discriminating judgment of the commander in chief had become fully satisfied of his military talents, when, by his advice, congress intrusted him with an important separate command. Near the close of the year 1778, he returned to France, and by his representations and influence with the French court, obtained a more active and efficient aid to the American cause. The next year he returned to America, and was intrusted with the command of the division of the army opposed to Lord Cornwallis, in Virginia. At the battle of Brandywine, he was severely wounded in the leg, the effects of which are still visible. He bore a conspicuous part at the siege of Yorktown, and soon after its fortunate termination, returned to France.
His imprisonment in Germany. In the early stages of the French revolution, the marquis took an active part. Having imbibed his notions of political liberty, in the school of Washington, he was equally opposed to the despotism of unlimited monarchy, and the madness of Jacobinism. For France he wished a limited monarchy, bottomed on the principles of the British constitution. With little of the versatility characteristic of his countrymen, he pursued one un. deviating course, which rendered him obnoxious to the reigning powers, as they successively obtained the ascendancy in France. With an unyielding consistency and integrity of character, he was alike the object of suspicion and jealousy with Frenchmen, and the powers combined against them. After five years imprisonment, most of which was entirely solitary, in the dungeons of Magdeburg
and Olmutz, he was liberated, at the solicitation of General Washington, and returned to La Grange, his family mansion in France.
Opposed in principle to the military despotism of Bonaparte, he was ever viewed by him with a jealous eye: on the restoration of the Bourbons, less civil liberty was accorded to the people, than consisted with the views of Lafayette, and he still continued an object of suspicion with the reigning powers. Feared, hated, and suspected by every successive administration, he lived a retired and agricultural life, except when called by the people to take a part in the deliberations of the legislative chambers, where he ever appeared the champion of rational liberty. He entertained, with an enthusiastic hospitality, every American who visited his retirement: from them he learned the stability of the government, and the rapid advances of the United States.
His visit to the United States. In 1823, he made known his intention of visiting America. On being apprised of this, congress passed a resolution, expressing their grateful recollection of his services, and requesting the president to offer a public ship for his accommodation. He, however, preferred a private vessel, and took passage in the Cadmus, Capt. Allen, at Havre, and arrived at New York on the 15th of August, 1824, accompanied by his son and Mr. LevasHis departure from France was noticed by the go. vernment with a jealousy as extraordinary as it was unnecessary. No political objects were in contemplation of the general, his sole view being to pay a private friendly visit to the scenes of his early life. The civil and military authorities on the road, and at the place of his embarkation, were prohibited from showing him any respect, or to do any thing to facilitate his departure. Their police and espionage machinery was put in requisition, to embarrass him.
In visiting America, almost half a century from the period of his military career, and at the age of nearly seventy, the general could hope to find few of his former associates in arms. Most of them had paid the debt of nature. A second and a third generation had succeeded. He expected to pass silently and unnoticed among the tombs of his comrades, and as a stranger among their descendants, with now and then the melancholy satisfaction of taking an old fellow-soldier by the hand.
His reception. His pleasure was only equalled by his surprise, when he found his approach to the American