Paris, July 29, 1789

Dear Sir,

—I wrote you on the 22d. since that I have received yours of the 23d of May. The President’s title as proposed by the senate was the most superlatively ridiculous thing I ever heard of. It is a proof the more of the justice of the character given by Doctor Franklin of my friend. Always an honest one, often a great one but sometimes absolutely mad. I wish he could have been here during the late scenes, if he could then have had one fibre of aristocracy left in his frame he would have been a proper subject for bedlam. The tranquility of this place has not been disturbed since the death of Foulon & Bertier. Supplies of bread are precarious but there has not as yet been such a want as to produce disorder, and we may expect the new wheat harvest to begin now in ten or twelve days. You will wonder to find the harvest here so late. But from my observations (I guess, because I have not calculated their result carefully) the sun does not shine here more than 5. hours of the 24. through the whole year. I inclose you some papers worth notice, which indeed have principally induced me to address you so soon after my last.


July 27, 1789


[1] BE IT ENACTED BY THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED, That there shall be an Executive department, to be denominated the department of foreign Affairs: and that there shall be a principal Officer therein, to be called the Secretary for the department of foreign Affairs, who shall perform and execute such duties as shall from time to time be enjoined on, or intrusted to him by the President of the United States, agreeable to the Constitution, relative to correspondences, commissions, or instructions to, or with public Ministers or Consuls from the United States, or to negociations with public Ministers from foreign States or princes, or to Memorials or other applications from foreign public Ministers, or other foreigners, or to such other Matters respecting foreign Affairs, as the President of the United States shall assign to the said department: And furthermore, that the said principal Officer shall conduct the business of the said department in such manner as the President of the United States, shall from time to time Order or instruct.

[2] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That there shall be in the said department an inferior Officer, to be appointed by the said principal Officer, and to be employed therein as he shall deem proper, and to be called the chief Clerk in the department of foreign Affairs, and who, whenever the said principal Officer shall be removed from Office by the President of the United States, or in any other case of vacancy, shall during such Vacancy, have the charge and custody of all Records, Books, and Papers, appertaining to the said department.

[3] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That the said principal Officer, and every other person to be appointed or employed in the said department, shall, before he enters on the execution of his Office or employment, take an Oath or Affirmation well and faithfully to execute the trust committed to him.

[4] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That the Secretary for the department of foreign Affairs, to be appointed in consequence of this Act, shall, forthwith [Page 690] after his Appointment, be entitled to have the Custody and charge of all Records, Books, and Papers in the Office of Secretary for the department of foreign Affairs, heretofore established by the United States in Congress Assembled.

Speaker of the House of Representatives

Vice-President of the United States, and
President of the Senate

President of the United States

Approved July Twenty seventh 1789

July 26, 1789

I am infinitely obliged to you for the pains you have taken to explain to me the utility of the Presidents having the power to remove from Office the executive officers of Government without this power in him I do not think the Government can operate well. But I cannot help wishing that the Constitution had been more explicit on this head. I believe the people here will however acquiesce in the Sentiments of your house in this important business. I shall probably in my next have it in my power to be more explicit than I can now be in this matter.

July 20, 1789

congratulate you on one essential point gained which will give a tone to our National Government, I mean the power of removing from Office in the President, you have seen by the papers what a struggle we had in the house on this question, but we had the happiness of a large majority in favour of it, but in the Senate, the struggle was much more important for beside the bugbear of Tyranny it had to encounter, it had the more feeling sensation of what they called a deprivation of their own power to combat; the Senate divided equaly and our worthy Vice President turned the scale, I confess I would not give a groat for the Executive part of the Constitution without such power, if there be evil in Government, responsibility ought to be so center'd in a focus as We know where to find it, &c., inter nos, Mr. Strong and myself were obliged to use some pains with his Brother Senator [Dalton] the morning before the decision to be on the right side, as We knew by counting noses the whole would depend on his becoming a convert-- ;and happyly [lined out] his conversion was effected, as I presume by the weight of Argument.

Paris, July 19, 1789

Dear Sir.

—The above is a catalogue1 of all the books I recollect on the subject of juries. With respect to the value of this institution I must make a general observation. We think in America that it is necessary to introduce the people into every department of government as far as they are capable of exercising it; and that this is the only way to ensure a long continued & honest administration of it’s powers. 1. They are not qualified to exercise themselves the Executive department; but they are qualified to name the person who shall exercise it. With us therefore they chuse this officer every 4. years. 2. They are not qualified to Legislate. With us therefore they only chuse the legislators. 3. They are not qualified to Judge questions of law; but they are very capable of judging questions of fact. In the form of juries therefore they determine all matters of fact, leaving to the permanent judges to decide the law resulting from those facts. But we all know, that permanent judges acquire an Esprit de corps, that being known they are liable to be tempted by bribery, that they are misled by favor, by relationship, by a spirit of party, by a devotion to the Executive or Legislative; that it is better to leave a cause to the decision of cross & pile, than to that of a judge biased to one side; and that the opinion of 12. honest jurymen gives still a better hope of right, than cross & pile does. It is left therefore to the juries, if they think the permanent judges are under any biass whatever in any cause, to take on themselves to judge the laws as well as the fact. They never exercise this power but when they suspect partiality in the judges, and by the exercise of this power they have been the firmest bulwarks of English liberty. Were I called upon to decide whether the people had best be omitted in the Legislative or Judiciary department, I would say it is better to leave them out of the Legislature. The execution of the laws is more important than the making them. However it is best to have the people in all the three departments where that is possible. I write in great haste my dear Sir, & have therefore only time to add wishes for the happiness of your country, to which a new order of things is opening & assurances of the sincere esteem with which I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, your most obedient & humble servt.


July 17, 1789

attended at the hall half after 9 O'Clock-- we read and corrected the long Judiciary the Senate Met at the usual time. This same Judiciary was taken up and went over. and Now Mr. Butler rose against it. Mr. Grayson spoke against it, and Mr. Lee was more pointed than any of them. had Mr. Lee joined in my Objections against it at an early period, perhaps we might have now had it, in better form. Mr. Butler offered a Motion, for leave for any Member to enter his dissent on the Minutes. This proved a most lengthy debate, it was 4 O'Clock before it was decided. he lost his Motion tho' I thought it, and right. and now Mr. Lee, Mr. Grayson, Mr. Butler,Mr. Izard Wingate rose for the Yeas and Nays on the Judiciary bill they were given, I was in the negative. I opposed this bill from the beginning. It certainly is a Vile law System, calculated for Expence, and with a design to draw by degrees all law business into the federal Courts. The Constitution is meant to swallow up all the State Constitutions by degrees and this to Swallow by degrees all the State Judiciaries-- This at least is the design some Gentlemen seem driving at. Oh Sweet Candor when wilt thou quit the Cottage, and the lisping infants lip, and shed thy Glory round the Statesman's head. is it inscribed on human fate, that Man must seem grow wicked to seem wise. and must the path of politicks, be for ever incumbered with briars and Thorns--

I had been much pressed to dine with the Speaker in a Company of Pennsylvanians I went there and sat till Six, I am a poor String in a convivial Concert, my lame Knee will neither let me eat nor drink-- I am old and ought to know it, I came away quite tired of the volatile Tattle of the Table, I never had much but now much less taste, for convivial Joy. some of the Company grew very talkative before I left them-- {particularly the Governor of the Western Territory. he must soon sink in the publick Opinion, if he conducts himself as he did this Evening, he was Tediously talkative & dwelt much on the fooleries of scottish antiquity; and what was worse shewed ill nature when he was laughed at.}

July 16, 1789

Attended pretty early this Morning many were however there before Us me. it was all hudling away in small parties our President was very busy indeed. running to every one, he openly attacked Mr. Lee before me on the Subject in debate. and they were even loud on the business I began to Suspect. That the Court party had prevailed, Senate however met and at it they went Mr. Lee began, but I really believe the Altercation tho' not a Violent One, which he had with the president, had hurt him, for he was languid, and much shorter than ever I had heard him on almost any Subject.

Mr. Patterson got up, for a long time you could not know what he would be at, after however he had warmed himself with his own discourse, as the Indians do with their War Song, he said he was for the Clause continuing, he had no sooner said so than he assumed a bolder Tone of Voice. Flew over to England extolled its Government wished in the most unequivocal language, that our President had the same powers, said let Us take a 2d View of England, repeating nearly the same thing, let Us take a 3d View of it said he and he then abused the Parliament for having made themselves first Trennial and lastly Septennial. Speaking of the Constitution he used expressly these Words. speaking of the removing of Officers. There is not a Word of Removability in it. his Argument of course was that the Executive held this Matter of Course-- Mr. Wyngate got up and said something for Striking out. Mr. Read rose, and was swinging on his legs for an Hour, he had to talk a great deal before he could bring himself, to declare against the Clause Motion, but now a most curious Scene opened-- Dalton rose, and said a number of things in the most hesitating, and embarrassed Manner, it was his recantation had just now altered his mind from What had been said by the Honorable Gentleman from Jersey. he was now for the Clause Mr. Izard was so provoked. That he jumped up declared nothing had fell from that Gentleman that possibly could convince any Man-- that Man might pretend so, but the thing was impossible, Mr. Morris's face had reddened for some time he rose hastily. he threw Censure on Mr. Izard declared that the recanting Man behaved like a Man of honor. that Mr. Patterson's Arguments were good and sufficient to convince any man. the Truth however was that every body believed that John Adams was the great Converter, but now Recantation was in fashion. Mr. Basset, recanted, too. tho' he said he had prepared himself on the other side We now saw how it would go. and I could not help admiring the frugality of the Court party in procuring Recantations or Votes, which you please. After all the Arguments were ended & the Votes Question taken the Senate was 10 to 10 and The president with great Joy cryed out it is not a Vote, without giving himself time to declare the division of the House, and give his Vote in Order. Every Man of our side in giving their Sentiments, spoke with great freedom. and seemed willing to avow their Own Opinion in the openest Manner. Not a Man of the others who made any speech to the Merits of the Matter, but went about it and about it, I called this singing the War Song and told him Mr. Morris I would give him every One Who I heard Sing the War Song, or in other Words those who could not avow the Vote they were fully minded to give, untill they had raised Spirits enough, by their own Talk, to enable them to do it. Grayson made a Speech it was not long. But he had in it this remarkable Sentence. "The Matter predicted by Mr. Henry, is now coming to pass, consolidation is the object of the New Government, and the first Object attempt will be to destroy the Senate, as they are the Representatives of the State legislatures."

It has long been a Maxim with me, That no frame of Government Whatever, would secure liberty or equal administration of Justice to a People, unless Virtuous Citizens, were the legislators & Governors. I live not a day, without finding new reason to Subscribe to this Doctrine. What avowed & repeated attempts have I seen to place the President above the powers stipulated for him by the Constitution.

For Striking out

Against Striking out

{I reply'd to a number of their Arguments, and the Substance of them is on the adjoining Loose Sheet-- } {of All the Members of our House the Conduct of Patterson surprizes me most. he has been characterized to me as a Staunch Revolution Man & Genuine Whig. Yet he has in every republican Question deserted and in some instances betrayed Us. I know not that there is such a thing as buying Members, but if there is he is certainly sold.

I never was treated with less respect than this day, Adams behaved with Studied neglect inattention He was snuffling up his Nose, kicking his heels or talking & Sniggering with Otis, the Whole time, I was up. Butler, tho' no Man bears a thing of this kind with less temper, engaged Wingate formed another knot. Mr. Morris went out. The Door Keeper was kept on a continual trot, calling out Strong, Patterson, Henry, Carrol & ca.-- I might he have said more, but it was Useless.}

July 15, 1789

Senate met. Mr. Carrol shewed impatience to be up first. he got up and spoke a considerable length of time the burthen of his discourse seemed to be want of power in the President and a desire of increasing it, great complaints of what he called the Atrocious assumption of power in the States. Many allusions to the power of the british kings, the king can do no Wrong, if anything improper is done, it should be the Ministers that should answer. How strangely this Man is changed. (The Collection bill was called for and read for the first time). now Elsworth rose with a most lengthy debate. The first Words that he said, were, in this case the Constitution is our only rule for we are sworn to Support it. but neither quoted it nor ever named it afterwards except as follows by allusion. He said I buy a Square Acre of land I buy the Trees. Waters & every thing belonging to it. the executive power belongs to the president. the removing of officers is a Tree on this Acre. the power of removing is therefore his, it is in him, it is no where else. thus we are under the necessity of ascertaining by implication where the power is, he called Docr. Johnson Thomas Aquinas, by implication too, & said things rather uncivil of some other of his opponents. most carefully did he avoid entering on the Subject of impeachment. after some time however he got fairly on new ground lamented the want of power in the President. asked did we ever quarrel with the power of the Crown of Great Britain? No, We contended with the power of the parliament. no one ever thought the power of the Crown too great. said he was growing infirm should die and should not see it, but the Government would fail for want of power in the President. he would have power as far as he would be seen in his Coach and Six, WWe must extend the executive Arm. Mr. Lee Yesterday had said something about the Dutch. if we must have examples said he let Us draw them from the People Whom we used always to imitate, from the nation Who have made all others bow before them. and not from the dutch who are divided & factious. He said a Vast deal more but the above was all I minuted down at the time-- Mr. Izard rose and answered. Mr. Butler rose and spoke. it was after 3 Mr. Lee rose said he had much to say, but would now only move and an adjournment. as it was late the House accordingly adjourned. I have seen more caballing and meeting of the Members in knots this day, than I ever observed before, as I came up Stairs Elsworth, Ames and Mr. Morris stood in a knot. up stairs soon after, Elsworth, Carrol & Strong got together, as soon as the house adjourned Carrol took Patterson aside. and there seemed a General hunt and Bustle, among the Members, I see plainly public speaking on this Subject is now lost Useless. and we may put the question when we please, it seems as if a Court party was forming, indeed I believe it was formed long ago.

July 14, 1789

The Senate met, and One of the Bills for organizing one of the public departments, That of foreign affairs was taken up. after being read. I begged leave of the Chair to Submit, some general Observations which tho apparently diffuse. I considered as pertinent to the bill before Us, the first Clause of which was there shall be an executive department & ca. there are a number of such bills, and may be many more, giving tending to direct the most minute particle of the Presidents Conduct. if he is to be directed how he shall do every thing it follows, he must do nothing without direction, to What purpose then, is the executive power lodged in the President, if he can do nothing without a law directing the mode Manner and of Course, the thing to be done. May not the Two Houses of Congress on this principle pass a law depriving him of all power. you may say it will [lined out] not get his approbation. but Two thirds of both Houses will make it a law without. him. and the Constitution is undone at Once. Gentlemen may say how is [Page 110] this the Government then to proceed on these points. the simplest in the World, the President communicates to the Senate that he finds, such & such officers necessary in the Execution of the Government. and nominates the Men. if the Senate approve they will concur in the Measure. if not refuse their Consent & ca. When the appointments are made, the President in like Manner communicates to the H. of R. that such appointments have taken place & requires adequate Salaries. then the House of Representatives might shew their concurrence or disapprobation by providing for the Officer or not. I thought it my duty to mention these things, tho' I had not the Vanity to think, I would make any prosalites in this Stage of the business, and perhaps the best apology I could make was not to detain them long. a long desultory I likewise said That if the Senate were generally of my mind, a Conferrence between the Houses should take place. But the Sense of the House would appear on taking the Sense of the House Question on the first Clause. The first Clause was carried, now came the second Clause, it was for the Appointment of a Chief Clerk by the Secretary, who in fact was to be principal Whenever the said principal Officer shall be removed from Office by the President of the United States. There was a blank pause at the End of it. I was not in haste but rose first. Mr. President-- Whoever attends Strictly to the Constitution of the United States will readily observe that the part assigned to the Senate was an important one, no less than that of being the great Check, the regulator & Corrector, or, if I may so speak, the Balance of the Government. In their legislative Capacity, they not only have the Correction of all bills Orders Votes or resolutions but may originate any of them, save Money bills, in the executive branch they have likewise power to check and regulate the proceedings of the President, Thus Treaties the highest and most important part of the Executive department, must have a Concurrence of Two thirds of them. All appointments under the President and Vice President. must be by their advice and Consent, unless they concur in passing a law divesting themselves of this power. by the Checks which are intrusted with them upon both the executive and the other branch of the legislature, the Stability of the Government is evidently placed in their hands. The approbation of the Senate was certainly meant to guard against the Mistakes of the President in his appointments of officers. I do not admit the Doctrine of holding Commissions during pleasure as constitutional, and shall speak to that point presently. but supposing for a moment, that to be the Case. is not the same guard equally necessary to prevent removals improper steps in removals as in appointments, certainly the Spirit of the Constitution common inference or induction can mean nothing Short of this. It is a maxim in legislation as well as reason, and applies well in the present Case, that it requires the same power to enact repeal as to enact the depriving power should then be the same as the appointg. power. But was this a point left at large by the Constitution? [Page 111] clearly otherwise. five or Six times in our Short constitution is the tryal by impeachment mentioned-- in One place, the H. of R. shall have the sole power of impeachment-- in another the Senate shall have the sole power to try impeachments. in a third Judgt. shall not extend further than to removal from Office and disqualification to hold or enjoy Offices & ca. the President shall not pardon in Cases of impeachment. the President Vice President and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on impeachment & ca. no part of the Constitution is so fully guarded or more clearly expressed than this part of it. and most justly too, for every just good Government guards the reputation of her Citizens as well as their life and property. for every turning out of Office, is attended with reproach & the person so turned out is Stigmatized with infamy. by means of impeachment a fair hearing and Tryal is secured to the party. without this What Man of an independent Spirit would accept of such an Office, of What Service can his Abilities be to the Community if afraid of the nod or beck of a Superior, he must consult hims will in every Matter. Abject Servility is most likely to mark the line of his Conduct, & this on the One hand will not fail to be productive of despotism and Tyranny on the other. for I consider mankind as composed nearly of the same Materials in America as in Asia, in the United States as in the East Indias. The Constitution certainly never contemplated any other mode of removing from Office. the Case is not omitted here the most ample provision is made. if Gentlemen do not like it, let them obtain an alteration of the Constitution, but this cannot be done by law. if the Virtues of the present Chief Magistrate are brought forward, as a reason for vesting him with extraordinary powers. No nation ever trod more dangerous ground. his Virtues will depart with him. but the powers which You give him will remain, and if not properly guarded will be abused by future Presidents; if they are Men. This however is not the Whole of the Objection I have to the Clause a Chief Clerk is to be appointed, and When and this without any advice or Consent of the Senate. This Chief Clerk, on the removal of the Secretary will become the principal in the Office, and so may remain during the Presidency. for the Senate cannot force the President into a nomination, for a new Officer. This is a direct Stroke at the power of the Senate. Sir I consider the Clause as exceptionable every way, and therefore move You to Strike it out.

Langdon Jumped up in haste hoped the Whole would not be Struck out. but moved, that the clause only, of the President appoint removing, should be Struck out. up rose Elsworth & a most elaborate Speech indeed did he make, but it was all drawn from Writers on the distribution of Government. the President was the Executive officer he was interfered with in the appointment it was true, but not in the removal. the constitution had taken one but not the other from him. therefore removal remained to him intire-- he carefully avoided the Subject of impeachment-- he absolutely used the following Expressions with regard to the President. "It is Sacrilege to touch an Hair of his head, and, we may as well lay the President's head on a block and strike it off, with one blow" the way he came to Use these Words was, after having asserted, that removing from offices was his priviledge. We might as well do this, as deprive him of it. he had sore Eyes and a green silk over his eyes them, on pronouncing the last of the Two Sentences, he paused put his hand kerchief to his face and either shed tears or affected to do so. When he sat down, both Butler and Izard sprung up. Butler however continued up. he began with a declaration, that he came into the House in the most perfect State of indifference, & rather disposed to give the power in question to the President But the arguments of the Honorable. Gentleman. from Connecticut had, in endeavouring to support the Clause, convinced him in the clearest Manner, that the clause was highly improper and he would vote against it-- Izard now got at it. and spoke very long against the clause. Strong got up for the clause and a most confused speech he made indeed-- I have notes of it, but think it really not worth answering, unless to shew the folly of some things which he said-- Docr. Johnson rose and told Us twice before he proceeded far, that he would not give an Opinion on the power of the President, This Man's conscience will not let him be a thorough paced Courtier-- Yet he wished not to loose his interest with the President. however his Whole argument went against the Clause. and at last he declared he was against the Whole of it-- Mr. Lee rose he spoke long and pointedly against the clause he repeated many of my Arguments, but always was polite enough, to acknowledge the Mention I had made of them. he spoke from a paper which he held in his hand. he continued untill it was past 3 O'Clock and an adjournment was called for and took place-- in looking over my notes I find I omitted to set down Sundry arguments which I used, but no matter. I will not do it now.

New York, July 12, 1789

I am happy to find that you approve the decision of the House upon the question of the President's power of removal from office. The men of information and property, who are stigmatized as aristocrats, appear to me more solicitous to secure liberty than the loudest champions of democracy. They not only wish to enjoy, but to perpetuate liberty, by giving energy enough to government to preserve its own being, when endangered by tumult and faction. A mob is despotic per se,and it tends to destroy all liberty. One Abner Fowler, it is said, in 1787, would have the town instruct their members against the constitution-- for, he observed, it would destroy their liberties, they could never have another mob. I wish that his judgment may be verified. The executive branch of our government is not strong. I am sure the people cannot be interested on the side of depriving him of any part of his constitutional powers. Those who argued on that side, seemed to consider themselves as the defenders of liberty-- pointed out the danger to the people, and the shameful usurpation of power, in deciding as it was decided. They said the constitution was not express in giving the power to the President-- constructions were, they said, replete with danger, and then they proceeded, upon the strength of construction, to prove that the Senate has the power of advice in removals. This opinion seemed to nourish their zeal, and made them inflexible in their opposition to any infringement of the constitution. This will appear to the world a serious proof of the degree in which the understandings of men may be misled, when their passions are heated. This debate seemed to menace faction, but the good humour of the House has returned, and business goes on again as agreeably as formerly. To whatever cause it may be owing, the fact is certain, that there is very little of party spirit in our house, and less seeming intrigue and cabal than I have ever seen in any public body.

Our progress has been slow. There seems in the public to be a general disposition to excuse it, to bring into view the complex nature of the business, and to call it by the name of wisdom and prudent caution. We have certainly proceeded more tardily then I expected, or will affect to approve. But the application to business has been unexceptionable. The whole body actually attends. Not a member absent, except four or five with leave. Punctual attendance of the whole, and at the hour, is given; and very few retire, unless to drink water in the committee room, during the five hours attendance. Our collection bill has been pushed as diligently as I ever knew business prosecuted. It is reported by the committee of the whole to the House, and will be sent in a few days to the Senate. The judicial is before the Senate still. They have laboured upon it as hard as so many schoolmasters or merchants' clerks. I expect it in our House in six or eight days. It will be debated warmly, and I am afraid will not be treated as a system, but made patch work by fanciful amendments. We begin to talk of a recess in August. I wish it most ardently, but am afraid it will not take place till September.

July 9, 1789

Still much afflicted with the Rheumatism attended this day the usual time at the Hall, a great part of this day was taken up with light debates chiefly conducted by the lawyers on both sides, and the Object seemed to be the encreasing the powers of Chancery, Mr. Read a Man of Obstructed Elocution was excessively tedious. Elsworth has Credit with me, I know not however whether it be the Effect of Judgt. Whim or Caprice, but he is generally for limiting the Chancery powers. Mr. Morris and myself differed in every Vote this day. We always have differed on the Subject of Chancery. This day I got Copies of the 3 Bills for the great departments. Besides being calculated on a Scale of great Expence. Two Grand Objections offer themselves on these bills-- the lessining the power of the Senate, taking away from them any Vote in the removal of Officers, and the power of advising and consenting, in one Case of the first Consequence. and the other the placing the President above business and beyond the power of responsibility-- placing putting into the hands of his officers the duties required of him by the Constitution, Indeed these appear to me to have been the moving Reasons for bringing forward the bill at all. nor do I see the necessity of having made this business a Subject of legislation. the point of View in which it presented itself to me was. That the President should signify to the Senate. his desire of appointing a Minister of foreign affairs, and nominate the Man and so of the other necessary departments. if the Senate agreed to the necessity of the office and the Man they would concur, if not, they would negative. & ca. the House would get the [Page 105] Business before them when Salaries came to be appointed, and could then, give their Opinion by providing for the officer or not. I see this mode might be abused. But for the House of Representatives, by a side Wind, to exalt the President above the Constitution and depress the Senate below it, is. but I will leave it without a name. they know the Veneration entertained for General Washington. and believe the People will be ready to Join, in the Cry against the Senate. in his favour, when they endeavour to make him a party. they think they have fast hold of Us. and that we dare not, refuse our Assent to these bills, & so several of them have not failed to declare.

New York, July 6, 1789

Revd. and dear Sir

I duely received and with great satisfaction read your favour of the 29th of May, as well as the discourse with which you was so kind as to accompany it. Had I so long neglected acknowledging a simalar mark of friendship and kindness from some, I might justly have expected that the omission would have been viewed as faulty; but I am perswaded that your candour, and I trust your perswasion belief of my sincere affection for you, will induce you to accept of my apology. Altho., if you should judge from what has as yet publickly been appeared to be done by congress, you might be ready to think that I have time enough t for private correspondence; yet I have not always found it so. When the hours of Congress are over, I have am often in company either at home or abroad, or have some business indispensable to attend to; or need some relaxation & amusement; whereby I am illy disposed to write. Besides I recollect your observation, that the doings of Congress which are published, you have come to your knowledge ^ in another channel ^ , & therefore wish only for any private anecdotes that might be worth relating. These I conceive do not occur often. There had as yet been as good harmony between the two houses, as well as between the respective members of each house as could be expected. Whilst the Impost bill was under consideration there was sometimes suggested a jealousy respecting the different interests of the Northern & Southern states. But they were kept out of sight as much as possible, & every suggestion of the kind disapproved of by the prudent & moderate [lined out] I believe the rate of duties as finally agreed on is as impartial as could be expected & that no great complaints will arise from any quarter. The check of the Senate has been in favour of the Eastern states. In the debates respecting titles the house of Representatives were generally in opinion against giving any, the majority of the Senate were of opinion that they were justifiable by the Constitution & convenient; but were not disposed to be obstinate in the dispute. There is another question which I think will be likely to produce a dispute between the two houses, that is, who shall remove from office (if there is occasion) those who hold their places during pleasure. The Representatives have disputed that point warmly among themselves & a majority are for vesting it solely in the President. I do not know how the Senate will determine on the question, but expect they will think the advice of the Senate proper for removal as well as appointment. If this should be the case I think the adherence on both sides will be obstinate. I know that it is natural for the two branches of the Legislature to be jealous of each other, & tenacious of their own rights; and the Senate by reason of their long duration in office, may in some future time be disposed to extend their powers as far as possible & encroach upon the Executive as well as other part of the legislative power, but at present I am perswaded there is no such disposition. And I beli[e]ve that the people in general will often derive considerable advantages from the check of the Senate, over so numerous a branch of government, as the other house will consist of -- Their decisions will sometimes be in danger of being tumultuous & may be the sudden effects of heat & party. The Senate being a smaler & older body of men, & being appointed equally from the small & large states will be more likely to be deliberate & impartial. This you may say is owing to my partiality. It may be so & I will say no more about it. The theoligical part of your letter is very agreeable to my sentiments & very pleasing to me, but I can add nothing upon that subject which will be new to you. I thank you for your Sermon which I have read with attention & pleasure, as I shall every communication from you. Please to make my compliments to Mrs. Belknap, also to Mr. Elliott & Mr. Clarke. I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you all well in Boston by the beginning of Sepr.

And am with much affection & esteem your very respectful friend & humble Servant.

Paine Wingate

July 5, 1789

The Senate proceed in a few days to the discussion of the Bills, establishing the Grand Departmts.-- the Clause, vesting in the Presidt. alone, without the advice & consent of the Senate, the removal of the heads of those departmts. at pleasure, will occasion warm debates & probably [typed from printed copy from here] be rejected. On counting noses, those in favor of the Clause are Morris, Carrol, Strong, Elsworth, Patterson, Read, & Henry. Against it Langdon-- R. H. Lee, Grayson-- Izard, Butler-- Maclay, Elmer-- Wingate-- Dalton, Gunn, Few, Johnson, & Basset.

It was carried in our house by a small majority-- I take the numbers [to] be, were all the members present, about 35 for it & 24 against it: [On one] of the divisions, the numbers were, ayes 29-- noes 22-- Should the senate [stand firm], we must give way or lose the Bills.

The Principle of a strong government is carried to extremes by some persons here, especially those who expect either to be in high offices themselves or to be the cabinet council of the President. I conceive the Constitution intended the Senate to be the constitutional council of advice to the President. These high-flyers want to depreciate the Senate & substitute a privy council, behind the Curtain.

July 3, 1789

I have not yet heard from Charles County at which I am much astonished and my Heart begins to misgive me-- I really fear some Calamity has Still been chasing our unfortunate Family.

I have had a second attack of the same complaint I wrote Doctor Brown about-- It Came on that Day Fortnight after the first. The Weather was the same and at both Days I heated myself in Walking. But this second attack has been plainly marked as having its Seat in the Stomach and in fact a nervous Colick-- after the Violence of the pain had gone off I took it into my Head to take a Puke to relieve the prodigious pressure of my Stomach-- and this resolution brought on another-- To send for a Physitian-- He is a sensible man-- Said it is a nervous affection-- gave me a purge Assef[oe]teda & Bitters-- Recommends the same regimen that Dr. Brown does-- I have confined my Self very much-- and the Day before I was taken had made a very fatiguing Speech in Congress. I really fear that I must Speedily adopt a plan that has some time been in my Head-- To settle on my plantation-- Quit the Law-- and go to work. We had a Question of Great importance in which all the Delegates who Speak at all were warmly Engaged-- It was to insert in the Bill for "Erecting the Department of Foreign affairs"-- these words-- That the officers-- "to be removeable by the President." This was Carried-- but afterward (while I was out of the House & Sick) it was altered. Those words were Stricken out-- But the Idea is Still in the Bill in Different language. You may see by the Constitution that-- "The Presidt. by and with the advice and Consent of the Senate is to appoint officers" & ca. -- And those who thought as I did wished to have the same mode of Dismissal-- or if that was not thought right to Leave the matter to the Legal Operation of the Constitution without undertaking any Construction which might in the end be found to be Contrary to the Constn.

The House of Delegates is a wise Body and upon the whole very cool and Polite. There is a great Deal of Speaking because there are a great many Speakers but Oratory is not much attended to-- reason is the thing that is heard. The Speakers are-- Ames, Maddison-- Sedwick-- Lawrance, Smith ( ^ S. Carlina ^ ) S. Carolina Vining, Benson White, Gerry, Boudinot Page Sherman (Roger) Livermore, Jackson Fizimons Stone (M. J. S.) and a great many others-- who occasionally make remarks-- I think you had better become a Subscriber to the Congressional register-- We go on Slowly but this is not owing to Idleness-- The Subject is Extensive and new-- No one Man can Grasp it we are obliged to avail ourselves of the Judgemt. and information of Every member present. Time must be taken for this and hence the fact is true the the position appears paradoxical that our tardiness is a proof [of]our Industry. Could we consent to pass Bills as Committees readily bring them in-- or Swallow propositions without examination we should go on fast-- into errors.

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