« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
your Majesty, to find that you entertain that idea.'—'Well, but don't you perceive that it is like to be so?'_ There are some recent circumstances (the answer to my representation, &c.) which induce me to flatter myself that it will be so.' He nodded with a smile, signifying that it was to those circumstances that he alluded. The conversation then turned to indifferent topics."* The treaty was concluded on the nineteenth of November, 1794, and Mr. Jay returned to New York in the latter part of May of the next year. He was received by his fellow-citizens with demonstrations of gratitude and joy, and was attended to his dwelling by a large concourse, " amid the ringing of bells and the firing of cannon."
To many, Jay's treaty was objectionable : by those it was opposed with uncommon bitterness. † But it enlisted the ablest defenders : Hamilton, in its support, under the signature of Camillus, "extorted the admiration of his foes;" and Fisher Ames urged the passage of laws to give it effect, in a powerful speech, which drew forth tears, and made an impression that “will never be forgotten.” I
Mr. Jay was elected governor of New York two days before he arrived from England, and continued in office during six years. In the fall of the year 1800, he was solicited to consent to be a candidate for re-election, but declined, preferring to pass the remainder of his days in the retirement of his home. “The period is now arrived," he wrote, "at which I have for many years intended to retire from the cares of public life, and for which I have been for more than two years preparing; not perceiving, after mature consideration, that any duties require me to postpone it, I shall retire accordingly. But I retain and cherish the warmest affection for my country, as well as the esteem which I entertain for many, and the good will which I bear to all my fellow-citizens.”
On the nineteenth of December, he was nominated by President Adams to the Chief Justiceship of the United States, but his determination to retire from public life prevented his acceptance of that post. In the month of May following, he resigned the office of governor, “and passed the remainder of his days at the family estate at Westchester. He took no part in political affairs, and was not publicly heard of, except in two or three instances, when he answered inquiries concerning facts within his knowledge.”| In the night of the fourteenth of May, 1829, he was attacked with palsy, which, on the seventeenth, terminated his honorable and distinguished life. “History will assign to John Jay an elevated rank among the great,” says Mr. Sullivan; “not only so, it will place him equally high among the pure and the virtuous. Throughont his useful life, he was governed by the dictates of an enlightened Christian conscience. IIe thought and acted under the conviction that there is an accountability far moro serious than any which men can have to their fellow-men. The bravest soldiers and the worthiest statesmen have ever been those who believed in such accountability.”
* Jay to Washington, August 5th, 1794. Life and Writings of Jay, vol. 2, pp. 220–221.
& Jay to Richard Hatfield, chairman of Federal meeting, &c., 8th November, 1800. Life and Writinge of John Jay, vol 1, page 419.
1 Sullivan's Public Men of the Revolution, page 91.
ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF GREAT BRITAIN.
Congress, on the eleventh day of October, I as our fellow-subjects in Britain, and that nc 1774, appointed Mr. Lee, Mr. Livingston and power on earth has a right to take our property
from us without our consent. Mr. Jay a committee to prepare a memorial to
That we claim all the benefits secured to the the people of British America, and an address subject by the English constitution, and parto the people of Great Britain. It was agreed ticularly that inestimable one of trial by jury. in the committee that Mr. Lee should prepare That we hold it essential to English liberty the former, and that Mr. Jay should prepare
that no man be condemned unheard, or punish
ed for supposed offences, without having an opthe latter. On the eighteenth, Mr. Jay report
portunity of making his defence. ed a draught of the address, which was dis- That we think the legislature of Great Britain cussed and amended on the day following, and is not authorized by the constitution to estabon the twenty-first was approved by Congress.*
rose* lish a religion fraught with sanguinary and im
| pious tenets; or to erect an arbitrary form of FRIENDS AND FELLOW-SUBJECTS: When a na government in any quarter of the globe. These tion led to greatness by the hand of liberty, rights we, as well as you, deem sacred; and and possessed of all the glory that heroism, yet, sacred as they are, they have, with many manificence, and humanity can bestow, de- others, been repeatedly and flagrantly violated. scends to the ungrateful task of forging chains. Are not the proprietors of the soil of Great for her friends and children, and instead of Britain lords of their own property? Can it giving support to freedom, turns advocate for be taken from them without their consent? slavery and oppression, there is reason to sus- Will they yield it to the arbitrary disposal of pect she has either ceased to be virtuous or any man or number of men whatever? You been extremely negligent in the appointment | know they will not of her rulers.
Why, then, are the proprietors of the soil of In almost every age, in repeated conflicts in America less lords of their property than you long and bloody wars, as well civil as foreign, are of yours? or why should they submit it to against many and powerful nations, against the the disposal of your Parliament, or any other open assaults of enemies, and the more danger- | parliament or council in the world, not of their ons treachery of friends, have the inhabitants election? Can the intervention of the sea that of your island, your great and glorious ances divides us cause disparity in rights, or can any Lors, maintained their independence and trans- reason be given why English subjects who live mitted the rights of men and the blessings of three thousand miles from the Royal Palace, liberty to you, their posterity.
should enjoy less liberty than those who are Be not surprised, therefore, that we who are three hundred miles distant from it? descended from the same common ancestors, Reason looks with indignation on such disthat we whose forefathers participated in all tinctions, and freemen can never perceive their the rights, the liberties, and the constitution propriety. And yet, however chimerical and you so justly boast of, and who have carefully unjust such discriminations are, the Parliament conveyed the same fair inheritance to us, guar- | assert that they have a right to bind us, in all anteed by the plighted faith of government, cases, without exception, whether we consent and the most solemn compacts with British or not; that they may take and use our propsovereigns, should refuse to surrender them to erty when and in what manner they please ; men who found their claims on no principles of that we are pensioners on their bounty for all reason, and who prosecute them with a design that we possess, and can hold it no longer than that, by having our lives and property in their they vouchsafe to permit. Such declarations power, they may, with the greatest facility, en- we consider as heresies in English politics, and slave you.
which can no more operate to deprive us of our The cause of America is now the object of property than the interdicts of the Pope can universal attention; it has at length become divest kings of sceptres which the laws of the very serious. This unhappy country has not land and the voice of the people have placed in only been oppressed, but abused and misrepre- their hands. sented; and the duty we owe to ourselves and | At the conclusion of the late war—a war posterity, to your interest, and the general wel- | rendered glorious by the abilities and integrity fare of the British empire, leads us to address of a minister to whose efforts the British em. you on this very important subject.
pire owes its safety and its fame; at the concluKnow, then. That we consider ourselves, and sion of this war, which was succeeded by an do insist that we are and ought to be as' free inglorious peace, formed under the auspices of
a minister of principles, and of a family, un * Journals of Congress, 1774. Ed. 1828. Vol. 1, pp. 18-31.
friendly to the Protestant cause, and inimical See ante, p. 43; also Jay's letter, in the Life of R. H. Loe. to liberty-we say at this period, and under Vol. 1, pp. 270-272.
| the influence of that man, a plan for enslaving
your fellow-subjects in America was concerted, | America, and the inestimable right of trial by and has ever since been pertinaciously carrying jury taken away, in cases that touch both life into execution.
and property. It was ordained that whenever Prior to this era you were content with draw- offences should be committed in the colonies ing from us the wealth produced by our com- against particular acts, imposing various duties merce: you restrained your trade in every way and restrictions upon trade, the prosecutor that could conduce to your emolument. You might bring his action for the penalties in the exercised unbounded sovereignty over the sea. Courts of Admiralty, by which means the subYou named the ports and nations to which ject lost the advantage of being tried by an alone our merchandise should be carried, and honest, uninfluenced jury of the vicinage, and with whom alone we should trade; and though was subjected to the sad necessity of being some of these restrictions were grievous, we judged by a single man, a creature of the nevertheless did not complain. We looked up crown, and according to the course of a law to you as to our parent state, to which we were which exempts the prosecutor from the trouble bound by the strongest ties, and were happy in of proving his accusation, and obliges the debeing instrumental to your prosperity and your fendant either to evince his innocence or to grandeur.
| suffer. To give this new judicatory the greater We call upon you, yourselves, to witness our importance, and as if with design to protect loyalty and attachment to the common interest false accusers, it is further provided, that the of the whole empire. Did we not, in the last judge's certificate of there having been probawar, add all the strength of this vast continent ble causes of seizure and prosecution, shall proto the force which repelled our common ene- tect the prosecutor from actions at common my? Did we not leave our native shores and law for recovery of damages. meet disease and death to promote the success By the course of our law, offences committed of British arms in foreign climates? Did you in such of the British dominions in which not thank us for our zeal, and even reimburse courts are established, and justice duly and us large sums of money, which you confessed regularly administered, shall be there tried by we had advanced beyond our proportion, and a jury of the vicinage. There the offenders far beyond our abilities? You did.
and the witnesses are known, and the degree To what causes, then, are we to attribute the of credibility to be given to their testimony can sudden change of treatment, and that system of be ascertained. slavery, which was prepared for us at the re- In all these colonies justice is regularly and storation of peace?
impartially administered; and yet, by the conBefore we had recovered from the distresses struction of some, and the direction of other which ever attend war, an attempt was made acts of Parliament, offenders are to be taken by to drain this country of all its money, by the force, together with all such persons as may be oppressive stamp act. Paint, glass, and other pointed out as witnesses, and carried to Engcommodities, which you would not permit us land, there to be tried in a distant land, by a to purchase of other nations, were taxed; nay, jury of strangers, and subject to all the disadalthough no wine is made in any country, sub- vantages that result from the want of friends, ject to the British state, you prohibited our want of witnesses, and want of money. procuring it of foreigners without paying a tax, When the design of raising a revenue from imposed by your Parliament, on all we im- the duties imposed on the importation of tea ported. These, and many other impositions, into America, had in great measure been renwere laid upon us, most unjustly and unconsti- dered abortive by our ceasing to import that tutionally, for the express purpose of raising a commodity, a scheme was concerted by the revenue. In order to silence complaint, it was ministry with the East India Company, and an indeed provided that this revenue should be act passed, enabling and encouraging them to expended in America for its protection and de- transport and vend it in the colonies. Aware fence. These exactions, however, can receive of the danger of giving success to this insidious no justification from a pretended necessity of man@uvre, and of permitting a precedent of protecting and defending us. They are lavishly taxation thus to be established among us, vasquandered on court favorites and ministerial rious methods were adopted to elude the stroke. dependants, generally avowed enemies to The people of Boston, then ruled by a governor America, and employing themselves by partial whom, as well as his predecessor, Sir Francis representations to traduce and embroil the colo- | Bernard, all America considers as her enemy, nies. For the necessary support of government were exceedingly embarrassed. The ships here, we ever were and ever shall be ready to which had arrived with the tea were, by his provide. And whenever the exigencies of the management, prevented from returning. The state may require it, we shall, as we have here- duties would have been paid; the cargoes tofore done, cheerfully contribute our full pro- landed aud exposed to sale; a governor's inflıportion of men and money. To enforce this ence would have procured and protected many unconstitutional and unjust scheme of taxation, purchasers. While the town was suspended every fence that the wisdom of our British an- | by deliberations on this important subject the cestors had carefully erected against arbitrary tea was destroyed. Even supposing a trespass power, has been violently thrown down in i was thereby committed, and the proprietors of the tea entitled to damages, the courts of law | was committed on some merchandise, said to were open, and judges, appointed by the crown, belong to one of the companies, and because presided in them. The East India Company, the ministry were of opinion that such high however, did not think proper to commence political regulations were necessary to compel any suits, nor did they even demand satisfac- due subordination and obedience to their mantion, either from individuals or from the com- dates. munity in general. The ministry, it seems, Nor are these the only capital grievances officiously made the case their own, and the under which we labor. We might tell of disgreat council of the nation descended to inter- solute, weak and wicked governors having been meddle with a dispute about private property. set over us; of legislatures being suspended for Divers papers, letters, and other unauthenticat- asserting the rights of British subjects; of ed ex parte evidence, were laid before them. needy and ignorant dependents on great men Neither the persons who destroyed the tea, nor advanced to the seats of justice, and to other the people of Boston, were called upon to an- places of trust and importance; of hard restricswer the complaint. The ministry, incensed by tions on commerce, and a great variety of lesser being disappointed in a favorite scheme, were evils, the recollection of which is almost lost determined to recur from the little arts of fi- under the weight and pressure of greater and nesse to open force and unmanly violence. The more poignant calamities. port of Boston was blocked up by a fleet, and Now mark the progression of the ministerial an army placed in the town. Their trade was plan for enslaving us. to be suspended, and thousands reduced to the Well aware that such hardy attempts to take necessity of gaining subsistence from charity, our property from us; to deprive us of that till they should submit to pass under the yoke valuable right of trial by jury; to seize our and consent to become slaves, by confessing persons, and carry us for trial to Great Britain; the omnipotence of Parliament, and acquiescing to blockade our ports; to destroy our charters in whatever disposition they might think proper and change our forms of government; would to make of their lives and property.
occasion, and had already occasioned, great Let jnstice and humanity cease to be the discontent in the colonies, which might proboast of your nation! Consult your history; ! duce opposition to these measures, an act was examine your records of former transactions; passed to protect, indemnify, and screen from nay, turn to the annals of the many arbitrary punishment, such as might be guilty even of states and kingdoms that surround you, and murder, in endeavoring to carry their oppresshow us a single instance of men being con- sive edicts into execution; and by another act, demned to suffer for imputed crimes, unheard, the dominion of Canada is to be so extended, unquestioned, and without even the specious modelled and governed, as that, by being disformality of a trial; and that, too, by laws united from us, detached from our interests, by made expressly for the purpose, and which had civil as well as religious prejudices; that by no existence at the time of the fact committed their numbers daily swelling with Catholic If it be difficult to reconcile these proceedings emigrants from Europe, and by their devotion to the genius and temper of your laws and con- to an administration so friendly to their relistitution, the task will become more arduous gion, they might become formidable to us, and when we call upon our ministerial enemies to on occasion be fit instruments, in the hands of justify, not only condemning men untried and power, to reduce the ancient free Protestant by hearsay, but involving the innocent in one colonies to the same state of slavery with themcommon punishment with the guilty, and for selves. the act of thirty or forty to bring poverty, dis- This was evidently the object of the act; and tress, and calamity on thirty thousand souls, in this view, being extremely dangerous to our and those not your enemies, but your friends, liberty and quiet, we cannot forbear complainbrethren, and fellow-subjects.
ing of it, as hostile to British America. SuperIt would be some consolation to us if the added to these considerations, we cannot help catalogue of American oppressions ended here. deploring the unhappy condition to which it It gives us pain to be reduced to the necessity has reduced the many English settlers who, of reminding you, that under the confidence re- encouraged by the royal proclamation, promis posed in the faith of government, pledged in a ing the enjoyment of all their rights, have purroyal charter from a British sovereign, the fore- chased estates in that country. They are now fathers of the present inhabitants of the Massa- the subjects of an arbitrary government, dechusetts Bay left their former habitations, and prived of trial by jury, and when imprisoned,
stablished that great, flourishing, and loyal cannot claim the benefit of the habeas corpus colony. Without incurring or being charged act—that great bulwark and palladium of Engwith a forfeiture of their rights, without being lish liberty. Nor can we suppress our astonishheard, without being tried, without law and ment, that a British Parliament should ever without justice, by an act of Parliament their consent to establish in that country, a religion charter ig destroyed, their liberties violated, that has deluged your island in blood, and their constitution and form of government dispersed impiety, bigotry, persecution, murchanged; and all this upon no better pretence der and rebellion through every part of the than because in one of their towns a trespass world.
This being a true state of facts, let us beseech shall consider your enemies as our enemies, you to consider to what end they may lead. and your interest as our own.
Admit that the ministry, by the powers of But, if you are determined that your minisBritain and the aid of our Roman Catholic ters shall wantonly sport with the rights of neighbors, should be able to carry the point of mankind-if neither the voice of justice, the taxation, and reduce us to a state of perfect dictates of the law, the principles of the Conhumiliation and slavery: such an enterprise stitution, or the suggestions of humanity, can would doubtless make some addition to your restrain your hands from shedding human national debt, which already presses down your blood, in such an impious cause, we must then liberties, and fills you with pensioners and tell you, that we will never submit to be hewplacemen. We presume, also, that your com- ers of wood or drawers of water, for any merce will somewhat be diminished. However, ministry, or nation in the world. suppose you should prove victorious, in what | Place us in the same situation that we were condition will you then be? What advantages in, at the close of the last war, and our former or laurels will you reap from such a conquest? harmony will be restored.
May not a ministry, with the same armies But lest the same sopineness, and the same inatenslave you? It may be said, you will cease tention to our common interest, which you have to pay them—but remember the taxes from for several years shown, should continue, we America, the wealth, and we may add the men, think it prudent to anticipate the consequences. and particularly the Roman Catholics of this By the destruction of the trade of Boston, vast continent, will then be in the power of the ministry have endeavored to induce subyour enemies; nor will you have any reason mission to their measures. The like fate may to expect that after making slaves of us, many befall us all. We will endeavor, therefore, to among us should refuse to assist in reducing live without trade, and recur for subsistence to you to the same abject state.
the fertility and bounty of our native soil, Do not treat this as chimerical. Know that which will afford us all the necessaries, and in less than half a century, the quit rents re- some of the conveniences of life. We have served to the Crown, from the numberless suspended our importation from Great Britain grants of this vast continent, will pour large and Ireland ; and, in less than a year's time, streams of wealth into the royal coffers, and if unless our grievances should be redressed, shall to this be added the power of taxing America discontinue our exports to those kingdoms, and at pleasure, the Crown will be rendered inde- | the West Indies. pendent of you for supplies, and will possess more It is with the utmost regret, however, that treasure than may be necessary to purchase the we find ourselves compelled, by the overruling remains of liberty in your island. In a word, I principles of self-preservation, to adopt meatake care that you do not fall into the pit that sures detrimental in their consequences, to is preparing for us.
numbers of our fellow-subjects in Great Britain We believe there is yet much virtue, much and Ireland. But, we hope, that the magnajustice, and much public spirit in the English nimity and justice of the British nation will nation. To that justice we now appeal. You furnish a Parliament of such wisdom, indehave been told that we are seditious, impatient pendence, and public spirit, as may save the of government, and desirous of independency. | violated rights of the whole empire, from the Be assured that these are not facts, but calum- devices of wicked ministers and evil counselnies. Permit us to be as free as yourselves, lors, whether in or out of office; and thereby and we shall ever esteem a union with you, to restore that harmony, friendship, and fraternal be our greatest glory, and our greatest happi affection between all the inhabitants of his ness; we shall ever be ready to contribute all Majesty's kingdoms and territories, so ardently in our power to the welfare of the empire; wel wished for by every true and honest American,