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characteristic ardour upon the duties of his would alone have given him the reputation of profession, in the city of New York; but his being one of the most consummate statesmen mind was still occupied with extensive who have ever lived. The plans which he schemes for the general benefit, and no man proposed were adopted by Congress almost exerted so wide and powerful an influence without alteration. When he entered upon with his pen. In 1786 he was a member of the duties of his office the government had the New York assembly, and in 1787 was neither credit nor money, and the resources one of the three delegates to the convention of the country were unknown; when he refor the formation of a federal constitution, tired, at the end of five years, the fiscal conwhich he had proposed in his letter on the dition of no people was better, or more clearly state of the nation in 1779. No one will understood. Mr. Gallatin has said that secrequestion the justice of the opinion expressed taries of the treasury have since enjoyed a by Guizot respecting his efforts in this cele- sinecure, the genius and labours of Hamilton brated body, when he says, that “there is not having created and arranged every thing that one element of order, strength, or durability was necessary for the perfect and easy disin the constitution which he did not power- charge of their duties. fully contribute to introduce into the scheme While Hamilton was in the treasury the and cause to be adopted.” With Madison, French revolution was at its height, and nawhose labours in the convention had been tive demagogues and alien emissaries were of similar importance, and John Jay, one of busy in efforts to embroil us in foreign war. our purest and ablest statesmen and jurists, Hamilton advised the proclamation of neutralupon its adjournment he commenced a series ity and the mission of Mr. Jay, the two acts of essays, under the signature of Publius, upon which distinguished the external policy of the the necessity of the union to the prosperity first administration; and he defended the proof the people, the insufficiency of the articles clamation under the signatures of No Jacobin of confederation to maintain it, and the indis- and Pacificus, and Jay's treaty under that of pensableness of a government organized upon Camillus, in essays which at the time had a principles and clothed with powers at least controlling influence on the public mind, and equal to those granted in the one proposed. which are still regarded as among the most These essays have since been known under profound commentaries which have appeared the name of The Federalist. They constitute on the principles of international law and one of the most profound and lucid treatises policy to which they had relation. on politics that has ever been written. Ha- | A false economy in this country has made milton was the author of nearly three-fourths almost every high office a burden to its posof them, and admirable for various qualities

Hamilton's increasing family warned as are those of his illustrious associates, his him that his public must in some degree be are easily distinguished by their superior com- sacrificed to his private obligations. When prehensiveness, practicalness, originality, and he resigned his seat in the cabinet and resumed condensed and polished diction. In 1788 he his profession, his door was thronged with was a member of the New York convention clients, and he seemed on the high road to forto which the constitution was submitted, and tune. The conduct of France meanwhile it was owing to his luminous arguments and made every patriot a sentinel, and when her persuasive eloquence, as it was to Madison's depredations upon our commerce and insults in Virginia, that it was accepted.

to our ministers left no alternative, under the Upon the organization of the government, signature of Titus Manlius, as with a bugle Washington indicated his estimation of the whose familiar sound marshalled to arms, he talents and integrity of Hamilton by appoint- roused the people to resistance. The recoming him secretary of the treasury. This office mendations which he made were adopted by required the vigorous exercise of all his pow. Congress, and when the provisional army ers; and his reports of plans for the restora- was organized, Washington accepted the chief tion of public credit, on the protection and command upon condition that his favourite encouragement of manufactures, on the neces- old associate in the field and the council sity and the constitutionality of a national should be his first officer. Upon the death bank, and on the establishment of a mint, 1 of Washington in 1799, Hamilton became


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lieutenant-general, and when the army was “if we inclined too much to democracy we disbanded he returned to the bar.

should soon shoot into a monarchy;" but The remainder of his life was marked by no one had more dread of such a result,-no few incidents, and the melancholy circum- one was more anxious for the greatest freestances of its close, at the end of nearly half dom to the citizen that was compatible with a century, are still familiar to the people. efficiency in the government. It is an inteHe was murdered by Aaron Burr, at Wee- resting fact, that the most anti-democratic hawken, near the city of New York, on the proposition which he made in the federal coneleventh of June, 1804. There has been but vention—that for choosing a president and one other instance of such profound and uni- senate to hold their offices during good behaversal mourning in the United States. What- viour-was supported by the democratic states ever differences of opinion may have divided of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and voted for from him some of his countrymen, there was by Mr. Madison. His views on this and no one to question that he was a man of ex- other points were essentially modified during traordinary abilities, virtue, and independence. the progress of the debates, and he finally His assassin, then in the second office of the voted to limit the presidential term to three republic, and the favourite of a powerful party, years. He however frankly admitted, when became a fugitive and a vagabond.

questioned, that he had favored the idea of the Hamilton was not faultless; but his errors tenure of good behaviour. • My reasons," he have been greatly exaggerated, and no intelli- said to General Lewis, “were an exclusion, gent man needs be told that Madison was the so far as possible, of the influence of execuonly one among his distinguished political tive patronage in the choice of a chief magisadversaries whose private character approached trate, and a desire to avoid the incalculable his in purity. His public life was without a mischief which must result from the too frestain. He was undoubtedly the greatest quent elections of that officer. You and I, statesman of the eighteenth century. my friend,” he continued, “may not live to must be classed,” says Guizot, “ among the see the day; but most assuredly it will come, men who have best known the vital principles when every vital interest of the state will be and fundamental conditions of a government merged in the all-absorbing question of who worthy of its name and mission.” Consider- shall be next President.” The prophecy ing the activity of his life, and that so much has become history. It became so earlier of it was passed in the military service, afford- than he thought, for both he and his friend ing but little leisure and opportunity for his- saw it fulfilled in the controversy of 1800. torical studies, the extent and fulness of his In every page of the works of Hamilton information is astonishing. There was never we discover an original, vigorous, and praca statesman whose views were more explicit tical understanding, informed with various and comprehensive, and they seem to be re- and profound knowledge. But few of his sults of the closest inductive reasoning from speeches were reported, and even these very the experience of other nations. But however imperfectly; but we have traditions of his deliberately formed and firmly founded were eloquence, which represent it as wonderhis opinions, whenever he discovered that fully winning and persuasive. Indeed it is they could not be maintained, he cheerfully evident from its known effects that he was a acquiesced in the plans which were preferred debater of the very first class. He thought by his associates, and exerted his abilities clearly and rapidly, had a ready command of to procure their adoption. It is remarkable language, and addressed himself solely to the that a man who on all subjects was so frank

He never lost his self-command, and and fearless should have been so ill under- never seemed impatient, but from the bravery stood. His principles have been systemati- of his nature, and his contempt of meanness cally perverted and misrepresented, not only and servility, he was perhaps sometimes inwithout any sort of authority, but in oppo- discreet. His works were written hastily, sition to positive declarations in his writ- but we can discover in them no signs of imings, speeches, and conversations. He did maturity or carelessness: on the contrary they indeed have fears that the constitution would are hardly excelled in compactness, clearness, nor ultimately prove to be practicable; that | elegance, and purity of language.





wish to be permitted to assure him, I did not act under this impression, but submitted to a neces

sity imposed upon me, as contrary to my own Never, perhaps, did any man suffer death with inclination as to his orders." His request was more justice, or deserve it less. The first step he readily complied with ; and he wrote the letter took, after his capture, was to write a letter to annexed, with which I dare say you will be as General Washington, conceived in terms of dignity much pleased as I am, both for the diction and without insolence, and apology without meanness. sentiment. The scope of it, was to vindicate himself from the When his sentence was announced to him, he imputation of having assumed a mean character remarked, that since it was his lot to die, there for treacherous or interested purposes; asserting was still a choice in the mode, which would make that he had been involuntarily an impostor, that a material difference in his feelings; and he would contrary to his intention, which was to me t a be happy, if possible, to be indulged with a properson for intelligence on neutral ground, he had fessional death. He made a second application, been betrayed within our posts, and forced into | by letter, in concise but persuasive terms. It was the vile condition of an enemy in disguise : soli- thought this indulgence, being incompatible with citing only, that, to whatever rigour policy might the customs of war, could not be granted ; and it devote him, a decency of treatinent might be ob- was therefore determined, in both cases, to evade an served, due to a person, who, though unfortunate, answer, to spare him the sensations which a certain had been guilty of nothing dishonourable. His knowledge of the intended mode would inflict. request was granted in its full extent; for, in the In going to the place of execution, he bowed whole progress of the affair, he was treated with familiarly, as he went along, to all those with the most scrupulous delicacy. When brought whom he had been acquainted in his confinement. before the Board of Officers, he met with every A smile of complacency expressed the serene formark of indulgence, and was required to answer

titude of his mind. Arrived at the fatal spot, he no interrogatory which could even embarrass his asked, with some emotion, “ Must I then die in feelings. On his part, while he carefully concealed this manner ?" He was told it had been unavoidevery thing that might involve others, he frankly able. “I am reconciled to my fate,” said he, confessed all the facts relating to himself; and, « but not to the mode.” Soon, however, recolupon his confession, without the trouble of examin- lecting himself, he added : “ It will be but a moing a witness, the board made their report. The mentary pang;" and, springing upon the cart, members of it were not more impressed with the performed the last offices to himself, with a comcandour and firmness, mixed with a becoming posure that excited the admiration and melted the sensibility, which he displayed, than he was pene- hearts of the beholders. Upon being told the final trated with their liberality and politeness. He moment was at hand, and asked if he had any acknowledged the generosity of the behaviour to- thing to say, he answered, “Nothing, but to ward him in every respect, but particularly in this, request you will witness to the world, that I die in the strongest terms of manly gratitude. In a like a brave man." Among the extraordinary conversation with a gentleman who visited him circumstances that attended him, in the midst of after his trial, he said he flattered himself he had his enemies, he died universally esteemed and never been illiberal; but if there were any remains universally regretted. of prejudice in his mind, his present experience There was something singularly interesting in must obliterate them.

the character and fortunes of Andre. To an exIn one of the visits I made to him, (and I saw cellent understanding, well improved by education him several times during his confinement,) he and travel, he united a peculiar elegance of mind begged me to be the bearer of a request to the and manners, and the advantage of a pleasing general, for permission to send an open letter to person. "T is said he possessed a pretty taste for Sir Henry Clinton. “I foresee my fate,” said he, the fine arts, and had himself attained some pro"and though I pretend not to play the hero, or to ficiency in poetry, music, and painting. His be indifferent about life, yet I am reconciled to knowledge appeared without ostentation, and emwhatever may happen, conscious that misfortune, bellished by a diffidence that rarely accompanies not guilt, has brought it upon me. There is only so many talents and accomplishments; which left one thing that disturbs my tranquillity. Sir Henry you to suppose more than appeared. His sentiClinton has been too good to me; he has been ments were elevated, and inspired esteem : they lavish of his kindness. I am bound to him by too had a softness that conciliated affection. His elomany obligations, and love him too well, to bear cution was handsome; his address easy, polite, the thought that he should reproach himself, or and insinuating. By his merit, he had acquired that others should reproach him, on the supposi- the unlimited confidence of his general, and was tion of my having conceived myself obliged, by making a rapid progress in military rank and rehis instructions, to run the risk I did. I would putation. But in the height of his career, flushed not, for the world, leave a sting in his mind that with new hopes from the execution of a project, should imbitter his future days." He could scarce the most beneficial to his party that could be finish the sentence, bursting into tears in spite of devised, he was at once precipitated from the his efforts to suppress them; and with difficulty summit of prosperity, and saw all the expectacollected himself enough afterward to add: “I tions of his ambition blasted, and himself ruined.

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The character I have given of him is drawn | have been in his power to sacrifice Andre to his partly from what I saw of him myself, and partly own security. This surmise of double treachery from information. I am aware that a man of real made them imagine Clinton might be induced to merit is never seen in so favourable a light as give up Arnold for Andre; and a gentleman took through the medium of adversity: the clouds that occasion to suggest this expedient to the latter, as surround him are shades that set off his good quali- a thing that might be proposed by hiin. He deties. Misfortune cuts down the little vanities that, clined it. The moment he had been capable of in prosperous times, serve as so many spots in his so much frailty, I should have ceased to esteem virtues; and gives a tone of humility that makes him. his worth more amiable. His spectators, who The infamy of Arnold's conduct previous to his enjoy a happier lot, are less prone to detract from desertion, is only equalled by his baseness since. it, through envy, and are more disposed, by com- Beside the folly of writing to Sir Henry Clinton, passion, to give him the credit he deserves, and assuring him that Andre had acted under a passperhaps even to magnify it.

port from him, and according to his directions I speak not of Andre's conduct in this affair as while commanding officer at a post; and that, a philosopher, but as a man of the world. The therefore, he did not doubt, he would be immeauthorized maxims and practices of war are the diately sent in; he had the effrontery to write to satires of human nature. They countenance al- General Washington in the same spirit; with the most every species of seduction as well as violence; addition of a menace of retaliation, if the sentence and the general who can make most traitors in should be carried into execution. He has since the army of his adversary, is frequently most ap- acted the farce of sending in his resignation.... plauded. On this scale we acquit Andre; while To his conduct, that of the captors of Andre we could not but condemn him, if we were to ex- forms a striking contrast. He tempted them with amine his conduct by the sober rules of philosophy the offer of his watch, his horse, and any sum of and moral rectitude. It is, however, a blemish on money they should name. They rejected his his fame, that he once intended to prostitute a offers with indignation : and the gold that could flag: about this, a man of nice honour ought to seduce a man high in the esteem and confidence have had a scruple; but the temptation was great; of his country, who had the remembrance of past let his misfortunes cast a veil over his error. exploits, the motives of present reputation and

Several letters from Sir Henry Clinton and future glory, to prop his integrity, had no charms others were received in the course of the affair, for three simple peasants, leaning only on their feebly attempting to prove, that Andre came out virtue and an honest sense of their duty. While under the protection of a flag, with a passport Arnold is handed down, with execration, to future from a general officer in actual service; and con- times, posterity will repeat, with reverence, the sequently could not be justly detained. Clinton names of Van Wart, Paulding, and Williams! sent a deputation, composed of Lieutenant-Gene- I congratulate you, my friend, on our happy ral Robinson, Mr. Elliot, and Mr. William Smith, escape from the mischiefs with which this treason to represent, as he said, the true state of Major was big. It is a new comment on the value of Andre's case.

General Greene met Robinson, an honest man, and, if it were possible, would and had a conversation with him; in which he endear you to me more than ever. reiterated the pretence of a flag; urged Andre's release as a personal favour to Sir Henry Clinton; and offered any friend of ours, in their power, in exchange. Nothing could have been more frivo- EFFECTS OF A DISSOLUTION OF lous than the plea which was used. The fact

THE UNION. was, that besides the time, manner, object of the interview, change of dress, and other circumstances, there was not a single forınality customary with Assuming it, therefore, as an established truth, flags; and the passport was not to Major Andre, that, in cases of disunion, the several states, or but to Mr. Anderson. But had there been, on such combinations of thein as might happen to be the contrary, all the formalities, it would be an formed out of the wreck of the general confederacy, abuse of language to say, that the sanction of a would be subject to those vicissitudes of peace and tlar for corrupting an officer to betray his trust war, of friendship and enmity with each other, ought to be respected. So unjustifiable a purpose which have fallen to the lot of all other nations would not only destroy its validity, but make it an not united under one government, let us enter into aggravation. Andre, himself, has answered the a concise detail of some of the consequences that argument, by ridiculing and exploding the idea, would attend such a situation. in his examination before the Board of Officers. War between the states, in the first periods of their It was a weakness to urge it.

separate existence,would be accompanied with much There was, in truth, no way of saving him. greater distresses than it cominonly is in those counArnold, or he, must have been the victim : the tries where regular military establishments have long former was out of our power.

obtained. The disciplined armies always kept on It was by some suspected, Arnold had taken foot on the continent of Europe, though they bear his measures in such a manner, that if the inter- a malignant aspect to liberty and economy, have, view had been discovered in the act, it might I notwithstanding, been productive of the singular


advantage of rendering sudden conquests imprac- ply the inferiority of population and resources by a ticable, and of preventing that rapid desolation more regular and effective system of defence-by diswhich used to mark the progress of war prior to ciplined troops, and by fortifications. They would, their introduction. The art of fortification has at the same time, be obliged to strengthen the execontributed to the same ends. The nations of cutive arm of government; in doing which their conEurope are encircled with the chains of fortified stitutions would acquire a progressive direction toplaces, which mutually obstruct invasion. Cam- wards monarchy. It is the nature of war to increase paigns are wasted in reducing two or three fortified the executive at the expense of the legislative authorgarrisons, to gain admittance into an enemy's ity. The expedients which have been mentioned country. Similar impediments occur at every would soon give the states, or confederacies, that step, to exhaust the strength and delay the pro- made use of them, a superiority over their neighgress of an invader. Formerly, an invading army bours. Small states, or states of less natural would penetrate into the heart of a neighbouring strength, under vigorous governments, and with country almost as soon as intelligence of its ap- the assistance of disciplined armies, have often proach could be received; but now, a compara- triumphed over large states, or states of greater tively small force of disciplined troops, acting on natural strength, which have been destitute of the defensive, with the aid of posts, is able to im- these advantages. Neither the pride nor the safety pele, and finally to frustrate, the purposes of one of the important states, or confederacies, would much more considerable. The history of war in permit them long to submit to this mortifying and that quarter of the globe is no longer a history of adventitious superiority. They would quickly renations subdued, and empires overturned; but of sort to means similar to those by which it had towns taken and retaken, of battles that decide been effected, to reinstate themselves in their lost nothing, of retreats more beneficial than victories, pre-eminence. Thus we should, in a little time, of much effort and little acquisition.

see established in every part of this country the In this country the scene would be altogether same engines of despotism which have been the reversed. The jealousy of military establishments scourge of the old world. This, at least, would would postpone them as long as possible. The be the natural course of things; and our reasonwant of fortifications, leaving the frontier of one ings will be likely to be just, in proportion as they state open to another, would facilitate inroads. are accommodated to this standard. These are The populous states would with little difficulty not vague inferences, deduced from speculative overrun their less populous neighbours. Con- defects in a constitution, the whole power of which quests would be as easy to be made as difficult to is lodged in the hands of the people, or their reprobe retained. War, therefore, would be desultory sentatives and delegates; they are solid concluand predatory. Plunder and devastation ever march sions, drawn from the natural and necessary proin the train of irregulars. The calamities of indi- gress of human affairs..... viduals would ever make the principal figure in If we are wise enough to preserve the union, events, and would characterize our exploits. we may for ages enjoy an advantage similar to

This picture is not too highly wrought; though that of an insulated situation. Europe is at a I confess it would not long remain a just one. great distance from us. Her colonies in our viciSafety from external danger is the most powerful nity will be likely to continue too much disprodirector of national conduct. Even the ardent portioned in strength to be able to give us any love of liberty will, after a time, give way to its dangerous annoyance. Extensive military estadictates. The violent destruction of life and pro- blishments cannot, in this position, be necessary perty incident to war, the continual effort and to our security. But, if we should be disunited, alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, and the integral parts should either remain sepawill compel nations the most attached to liberty to rated, or, which is most probable, should be thrown resort for repose and security to institutions which together into two or three confederacies, we should have a tendency to destroy their civil and political be, in a short course of time, in the predicament of rights. To be more safe, they at length become the continental powers of Europe. Our liberties willing to run the risk of being less free. The would be a prey to the means of defending ourselves institutions chiefly alluded to are stanDING AR- against the ambition and jealousy of each other. Mies, and the corresponding appendages of military This is an idea not superficial or futile, but solid establishments. Standing armies, it is said, are and weighty. It deserves the most serious and manot provided against in the new constitution; and ture consideration of every prudent and honest man it is thence inferred that they would exist under of whatever party. If such men will make a firm it. This inference, from the very form of the pro- and solemn pause, and meditate dispassionately on position, is, at best, problematical and uncertain. its importance; if they will contemplate it in all its But standing armies, it may be replied, must in- attitudes, and trace it to all its consequences, they evitably result from a dissolution of the confede- will not hesitate to part with trivial objections to a racy. Frequent war and constant apprehension, constitution, the rejection of which would, in all which require a state of as constant preparation, probability, put a final period to the union. The will infallibly produce them. The weaker states airy phantoms that now fit before the distempered or confederacies would first have recourse to them, imaginations of some of its adversaries, would then to put themselves on an equality with their more quickly give place to more substantial prospects of potent neighbours. They would endeavour to sup- | dangers, real, certain, and extremely formidable.

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