A School History of the United States
John Bach McMaster

Part 4 out of 10

session of 1790-91, received a plan for a great National Bank, with a
capital of $10,000,000. The United States was to raise $2,000,000; the
rest was to be subscribed for by the people. The bank was to keep the
public revenues, was to aid the government in making payments all over
the country. To do this, power was given to the parent bank (which must
be at Philadelphia) to establish branches in the chief cities and towns,
and to issue bank bills which should be received all over the United
States for public lands, taxes, duties, postage, and in payment of any
debt due the government. Great opposition was made; but the charter was
granted for twenty years, and in 1791 the Bank of the United States
began business.

The effect of these two measures, funding the debt and establishing a
bank, was immediate. Confidence and credit were restored. Money that the
people had long been hiding away was brought out and invested in all
sorts of new enterprises, such as banks, canal companies, manufacturing
companies, and turnpike companies.

[Illustration: The first Bank of the United States]

%225. "Federalists" and "Republicans."%--When the Constitution was
before the people for acceptance or rejection in 1788, they were divided
into two bodies. Those who wanted a strong and vigorous federal
government, who wanted Congress to have plenty of power to regulate
trade, pay the debts of the country, and raise revenue, supported the
Constitution just as it was and were called "Federalists."

Others, who wanted the old Articles of Confederation preserved and
amended so as to give Congress a revenue and only a little more power,
opposed the Constitution and wanted it altered. To please these
"Anti-Federalists," as they were a large part of the people, Congress,
in 1789, drew up twelve amendments to the Constitution and sent them to
the states.

With the ratification of ten of these amendments, opposition to the
Constitution ceased. But as soon as Congress began to pass laws,
difference of opinion as to the expediency of them, and even as to the
right of Congress to pass them, divided the people again into two
parties, and sent a good many Federalists into the Anti-Federalist

A very large number of men, for instance, opposed the funding of the
Continental Congress debt at its face value, because the people never
had taken a bill at the value expressed on its face, but at a very much
less value; some opposed the assumption of the state debts, because
Congress, they said, had power to pay the debt of the United States, but
not state debts; others opposed the National Bank because the
Constitution did not give Congress express power in so many words to
charter a bank. Others complained that the interest on the national debt
and the great salary of the President ($25,000 a year) and the pay of
Congressmen ($6 a day) and the hundreds of tax collectors made taxes too
heavy. They complained again that men in office showed an undemocratic
fondness for aristocratic customs. The President, they said, was too
exclusive, and owned too fine a coach. The Justices of the Supreme Court
must have black silk gowns, with red, white, and blue scarfs. The Senate
for some years to come held its daily session in secret; not even a
newspaper reporter was allowed to be present.

As early as 1792 there were thus a very great number of men in all parts
of the country who were much opposed to the measures of Congress and the
President, and who accused the Federalists of wishing to set up a
monarchy. A great national debt, they said, a funding system, a national
bank, and heavy internal taxes are all monarchical institutions, and if
you have the institutions, it will not be long before you have the
monarchy. They began therefore in 1792 to organize for election
purposes, and as they were opposed to a monarchy, they called themselves
"Republicans." [1] Their great leaders were Jefferson, Madison, Monroe,
John Randolph, and Albert Gallatin.

[Footnote 1: This party was the forerunner of the present Democratic

%226. The Whisky Rebellion, 1794.%--One of the taxes to which the
Republicans objected, that on whisky, led to the first rebellion against
the government of the United States. In those days, 1791, the farmers
living in the region around Pittsburg could not send grain or flour down
the Ohio and the Mississippi, because Spain had shut the Mississippi to
navigation by Americans. They could not send their flour over the
mountains to Philadelphia or Baltimore, because it cost more to haul it
there than it would sell for. Instead, therefore, of making flour, they
grew rye and made whisky on their own farms. This found a ready sale.
Now, when the United States collectors attempted to collect the whisky
tax, the farmers of western Pennsylvania drove them away. An appeal was
then made to the courts; but when the marshal came to make arrests he,
too, was driven away. Under the Articles of Confederation this would
have been submitted to. But the Constitution and the acts of Congress
were now "the supreme law of the land," and Washington in his oath of
office had sworn to see them executed. To accomplish this, he used the
power given him by an act of Congress, and called out 12,900 militia
from the neighboring states and marched them to Pittsburg. Then the
people yielded. Two of the leaders were tried and convicted of treason;
but Washington pardoned them.

The insurrection or rebellion was a small affair. But the principles at
stake were great. It was now shown that the Constitution and the laws
must be obeyed; that it was treason to resist them by force, and that if
necessary the people would, at the call of the President, turn out and
put down rebellion by force of arms.[1]

[Footnote 1: Read McMaster's _History of the People of the United
States_, Vol. II., pp. 189-204; Findley's _History of the Insurrection
in Pennsylvania_.]


1. As soon as Washington was inaugurated, Congress proceeded to organize
the new government.

2. The Supreme Court and circuit and district courts were established.

3. The departments of State, War, and Treasury were formed.

4. Twelve amendments to the Constitution were proposed.

5. Three financial measures were adopted:
A. A tariff act was passed.
B. The debts of the states were assumed, and, with that of the
Continental Congress, funded.
C. A national bank was chartered.

6. The price of funding was the ultimate location of the national
capital on the Potomac.

7. The first census was taken in 1790.

8. The result of the financial measures of Congress was the rise of the
Republican party (the forerunner of the present Democratic party).


Funding the
Continental Debt.
/ Money borrowed in \ Shall it be \
Foreign debt. | France, Holland, | funded at | Yes ------+
\ and Spain. / face value? / |
/ Bills of credit. \ |
| Loan-office | |
| certificates. | Shall it be \ |
| Lottery | funded at | Yes ----+ |
Domestic debt. | certificates. | face value / | |
| Interest indents. | or market \ | |
| New tenor. | value? / Yes --+ | |
| Certificates of | | | |
| officials. | | | |
\ Final settlements. / | | | \
| | | |
Assumption of / Yes ---------------------------------------+-+ |[1]
state debts. \ No ----------------------------------+ | | |
| | | /
Establishment / Yes -----------------------------------------+
of a national | | |
bank. \ No ------------------------------------+ |
| | |
Internal revenue / Too heavy ----------------------- \ | | |
taxes. \ | | | |
| | | |
/ / President too | | | |
| | exclusive. | | | | \
| Aristocratic | Secret sessions | | | | |
Administration | customs. | of the Senate. |--+-+-+ |[2]
not democratic. | | Gowns of the | |
| \ justices. | /
| Monarchial / Great debt. |
| institutions. | National bank. |
\ \ Heavy taxes. /

\ / Leaders.
[1]---| Federalists | Washington.
/ | Adams.
\ Hamilton.

\ / Leaders.
| | Jefferson.
[2]---| Republicans | Madison.
| | Monroe.
| | Randolph.
/ \ Gallatin.



%227. Trouble with Great Britain and France.%--From the congressional
election in 1792 we may date the beginning of organized political
parties in the United States. They sprang from differences of opinion as
to domestic matters. But on a sudden in 1793 Federalists and Republicans
became divided on questions of foreign affairs.

Ever since 1789 France had been in a state of revolution, and at last
(in 1792) the people established the French Republic, cut off the heads
of the King and Queen (in 1793), and declared war on England and sent a
minister, Genet, to the United States. At that time we had no treaty
with Great Britain except the treaty of peace. With France, however, we
had two treaties,--one of alliance, and one of amity and commerce. The
treaty of alliance bound us to guarantee to France "the possessions of
the crown of France in America," by which were meant the French West
Indian Islands. When Washington heard that war had been declared by
France, and that a French minister was on his way to America, he became
alarmed lest this minister should call on him to make good the guarantee
by sending a fleet to the Indies. On consulting his secretaries, they
advised him that the guarantee applied only when France was attacked,
and not when she was the attacking party. The President thereupon issued
a proclamation of neutrality; that is, declared that the United States
would not side with either party in the war, but would treat both alike.

%228. Sympathy for France; the French Craze.%--Then began a long
struggle for neutrality. The Republicans were very angry at Washington
and denounced him violently. France, they said, had been our old friend;
Great Britain had been our old enemy. We had a treaty with France; we
had none with Great Britain. To treat her on the same footing with
France was therefore a piece of base ingratitude to France. A wave of
sympathy for France swept over the country. The French dress, customs,
manners, came into use. Republicans ceased to address each other as Mr.
Smith, Mr. Jones, Sir, or "Your Honor," and used Citizen Smith and
Citizen Jones. The French tricolor with the red liberty cap was hung up
in taverns and coffeehouses, which were the clubhouses of that day.
Every French victory was made the occasion of a "civic feast," while the
anniversaries of the fall of the Bastile and of the founding of the
Republic were kept in every great city.[1]

[Footnote 1: Read McMaster's _History of the People of the United
States_, Vol. II., pp. 89-96; _Harpers Magazine_, April, 1897.]

%229. England seizes our Ships; the Rule of 1756%.--To preserve
neutrality in the face of such a public sentiment was hard enough; but
Great Britain made it more difficult yet. When war was declared, France
opened the ports of her West Indian Islands and invited neutral nations
to trade with them. This she did because she knew that the British navy
could drive her merchantmen from the sea, and that all trade between
herself and her colonies must be carried on in the ships of
neutral nations.

Now the merchants of the United States had never been allowed to trade
with the French Indies to an unlimited extent. The moment, therefore,
they were allowed to do so, they gladly began to trade, and during the
summer of 1793 hundreds of ships went to the islands. There were at that
time four questions of dispute between us and Great Britain:

1. Great Britain held that she might seize any kind of food going to a
French port in our ships. We held that only military stores might be
so seized.

2. Great Britain held that when a port had been declared to be
blockaded, a ship bound to that port might be seized even on the high
seas. We held that no port was blockaded unless there was a fleet
actually stationed at it to prevent ships from entering or leaving it.

3. Great Britain held that our ships might be captured if they had
French goods on board. We held that "free ships made free goods," and
that our ships were not subject to capture, no matter whose goods they
had on board.

4. Great Britain in 1756 had adopted a rule that no neutral should have
in time of war a trade she did not have in time of peace.

The United States was now enjoying a trade in time of war she did not
have in time of peace, and Great Britain began to enforce her rule.
British ships were ordered to stop American vessels going to or coming
from the French West Indies, and if they contained provisions, to seize
them. This was done, and in the autumn of 1793 great numbers of American
ships were captured.

%230. Our Sailors impressed.%--All this was bad enough and excited
the people against our old enemy, who made matters a thousand times
worse by a course of action to which we could not possibly submit. She
claimed the right to stop any of our ships on the sea, send an officer
on board, force the captain to muster the crew on the deck, and then
search for British subjects. If one was found, he was seized and carried
away. If none were found, and the British ships wanted men, native-born
Americans were taken off under the pretext that one could not tell an
American from an English sailor. Our fathers could stand a great deal,
but this was too much, and a cry for war went up from all parts of
the country.

But Washington did not want war, and took two measures to prevent it.
He persuaded Congress to lay an embargo for thirty days, that is, forbid
all ships to leave our ports, and induced the Senate to let him send
John Jay, the Chief Justice, to London to make a treaty of amity and
commerce with Great Britain.

%231. Jay's Treaty, 1794.%--In this mission Jay succeeded; and though
the treaty was far from what Washington wanted, it was the best that
could be had, and he approved it.[1] At this the Republicans grew
furious. They burned copies of the treaty at mass meetings and hung Jay
in effigy. Yet the treaty had some good features. By it the King agreed
to withdraw his troops from Oswego and Detroit and Mackinaw, which
really belonged to us but were still occupied by the English. By it our
merchants were allowed for the first time to trade with the British West
Indies, and some compensation was made for the damage done by the
capture of ships in the West Indies.

[Footnote 1: The Senate ratified this treaty in the summer of 1795.]

%232. Treaty with Spain.%--About the same time (October, 1795) we
made our first treaty with Spain, and induced her to accept the
thirty-first degree of latitude as the south boundary of our country,
and to consent to open the Mississippi to trade. As Spain owned both
banks at the mouth of the river, she claimed that American ships had no
right to go in or out without her consent, and so prevented the people
of Kentucky and Tennessee from trading in foreign markets. She now
agreed that they might float their produce to New Orleans and pay a
small duty, and then ship it wherever they pleased.

%233. The Election of Adams and Jefferson, 1796%.--Washington had
been reelected President in 1792, but he was now tired of office, and in
September, 1796, issued his "Farewell Address," in which he declined to
be the candidate for a third presidential term. In those days there were
no national conventions to nominate candidates, yet it was well
understood that John Adams, the Vice President, was the candidate of the
Federalists, and Thomas Jefferson, of the Republicans. When the votes
were counted in Congress, it was found that Adams had 71 electoral
votes, and Jefferson 68; so they became President and Vice President.

[Illustration: John Adams]

%234. Trouble with France.%--Adams was inaugurated on March 4, 1797,
and three days later heard that C. C. Pinckney, our minister to the
French Republic, had been driven from France. Pinckney had been sent to
France by Washington in 1796, but the French Directory (as the five men
who then governed France were called) had taken great offense at Jay's
treaty: first because it was favorable to Great Britain, and in the
second place because it put an end for the present to all hope of war
between her and the United States. The Directory, therefore, refused to
receive Pinckney until the French grievances were redressed.

The President was very angry at the insult, and summoned Congress to
meet and take such action as, said he, "shall convince France and the
whole world that we are not a degraded people humiliated under a
colonial spirit of fear and sense of inferiority." But the Republicans
declared so vigorously that if a special mission were sent to France all
would be made right, that Adams yielded, and sent John Marshall and
Elbridge Gerry to join Pinckney as envoys extraordinary. On reaching
Paris, three men acting as agents for the Directory met them, and
declared that before they could be received as ministers they must do
three things:

1. Apologize for Adams's denunciation of the conduct of France.
2. Pay each Director $50,000.
3. Pay tribute to France.

When the President reported this demand to Congress, the names of the
three French agents were suppressed, and instead they were called Mr. X,
Mr. Y, Mr. Z. This gave the mission the nickname "X, Y, Z mission."

%235. "Millions for Defense, not a Cent for Tribute."%--As the
newspapers published these dispatches, a roar of indignation, in which
the Federalists and Republicans alike joined, went up from the whole
country. "Millions for defense, not a cent for tribute," became the
watchword of the hour. Opposition in Congress ceased, and preparations
were at once made for war. The French treaties were suspended. The Navy
Department was created, and a Secretary of the Navy appointed. Frigates
were ordered to be built, money was voted for arms, a provisional army
was formed, and Washington was again made commander in chief, with the
rank of lieutenant general. The young men associated for defense, the
people in the seaports built frigates or sloops of war, and gave their
services to erect forts and earthworks. Every French flag was now pulled
down from the coffeehouses, and the black cockade of our own
Revolutionary days was once more worn as the badge of patriotism. Then
was written, by Joseph Hopkinson of Philadelphia,[1] and sung for the
first time, our national song _Hail, Columbia!_

[Footnote 1: The music to which we sing _Hail, Columbia!_ was called
_The President's March_, and was played for the first time when the
people of Trenton were welcoming Washington on his way to be inaugurated
President in 1789. For an account of the trouble with France read
McMaster's _History of the People of the United States_, Vol. II, pp.
207-416, 427-476.]

%236. The Alien and Sedition Acts.%--Carried away by the excitement
of the hour, the Federalists now passed two most unwise laws. Many of
the active leaders and very many of the members of the Republican party
were men born abroad and naturalized in this country. Generally they
were Irishmen or Frenchmen, and as such had good reason to hate England,
and therefore hated the Federalists, who they believed were too friendly
to her. To prevent such becoming voters, and so taking an active part in
politics, the Federalists passed a new naturalization law, which forbade
any foreigner to become an American citizen until he had lived fourteen
years in our country. Lest this should not be enough to keep them
quiet, a second law was passed by which the President had power for two
years to send any alien (any of these men who for fourteen years could
not become citizens) out of the country whenever he thought it proper.
This law Adams never used.

For five years past the Republican newspapers had been abusing
Washington, Adams, the acts of Congress, the members of Congress, and
the whole foreign policy of the Federalists. The Federalist newspapers,
of course, had retaliated and had been just as abusive of the
Republicans. But as the Federalists now had the power, they determined
to punish the Republicans for their abuse, and passed the Sedition Act.
This provided that any man who acted seditiously (that is, interfered
with the execution of a law of Congress) or spoke or wrote seditiously
(that is, abused the President, or Congress, or any member of the
Federal government) should be tried, and if found guilty, be fined and
imprisoned. This law was used, and used vigorously, and Republican
editors all over the country were fined and sometimes imprisoned.[1]

[Footnote 1: The Alien and Sedition acts are in Preston's _Documents_,
pp. 277-282.]

%237. Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.%--The passage of these Alien
and Sedition laws greatly excited the Republicans, and led Jefferson to
use his influence to have them condemned by the states. For this purpose
he wrote a set of resolutions and sent them to a friend in Kentucky who
was to try to have the legislature adopt them.[2] Jefferson next asked
Madison to write a like set of resolutions for the Virginia legislature
to adopt. Madison became so interested that he gave up his seat in
Congress and entered the Virginia legislature, and in December, 1798,
induced it to adopt what have since been known as the Virginia
Resolutions of 1798.

[Footnote 2: Kentucky had been admitted to the Union in 1792 (see p.

Meantime the legislature of Kentucky, November, 1798, had adopted the
resolutions of Jefferson.[3]

[Footnote 3: E. D. Warfield's _Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions_. The
Resolutions are printed in Preston's _Documents_, pp. 283-298;
_Jefferson's Works_, Vol. IX., p. 494.]

Both sets declare 1. That the Constitution of the United States is a
compact or contract. 2. That to this contract each state is a party;
that is, the united states are equal partners in a great political firm.
So far they agree; but at this point they differ. The Kentucky
Resolutions assert that when any question arises as to the right of
Congress to pass any law, _each state_ may decide this question for
itself and apply any remedy it likes. The Virginia Resolutions declare
that _the states_ may judge and apply the remedy.

Both declared that the Alien and Sedition laws were wholly
unconstitutional. Seven states answered by declaring that the laws were
constitutional, whereupon Kentucky in 1799 framed another set of
resolutions in which she said that when a state thought a law to be
illegal she had the right to nullify it; that is, forbid her citizens to
obey it. This doctrine of nullification, as we shall see, afterwards
became of very serious importance.[1]

[Footnote 1: The answers of the states are printed in Elliot's
_Debates_, Vol. IV., pp. 532-539.]

%238. The Naval War with France.%--Meantime war opened with France.
The Navy Department was created in April, 1798, and before the year
ended, a gallant little navy of thirty-four frigates, corvettes, and gun
sloops of war had been collected and sent with a host of privateers to
scour the sea around the French West Indies, destroy French commerce,
and capture French ships of war.[1] One of our frigates, the
_Constellation_, Captain Thomas Truxton in command, captured the French
frigate _Insurgente_, after a gallant fight. On another occasion,
Truxton, in the _Constellation_, fought the _Vengeance_ and would have
taken her, but the Frenchman, finding he was getting much the worst of
it, spread his sails and fled. Yet another of our frigates, the
_Boston_, took the _Berceau_, whose flag is now in the Naval Institute
Building at Annapolis. In six months the little American twelve-gun
schooner _Enterprise_ took eight French privateers, and recaptured and
set free four American merchantmen. These and a hundred other actions
just as gallant made good the patriotic words of John Adams, "that we
are not a degraded people humiliated under a colonial spirit of fear and
sense of inferiority." So impressed was France with this fact that the
war had scarcely begun when the Directory meekly sent word that if
another set of ministers came they would be received. They ought to have
been told that they must send a mission to us. But Adams in this respect
was weak, and in 1800, the Chief Justice, Oliver Ellsworth, William R.
Davie, and William Vans Murray were sent to Paris. The Directory had
then fallen from power, Napoleon was ruling France as First Consul, and
with him in September, 1800, a convention was concluded.

[Footnote 2: For an account of this war, read Maclay's _History of the
United States Navy_, Vol. I., pp. 155-213.]

%239. The Stamp Tax; the Direct Tax and Fries's Rebellion,
1798.%--The heavy cost of the preparations for war made new taxes
necessary. Two of these, a stamp tax very similar to the famous one of
1765, and a direct tax, greatly excited the people. The direct tax was
the first of its kind in our history, and was laid on lands, houses, and
negro slaves. In certain counties of eastern Pennsylvania, where the
population was chiefly German, the purpose of the tax was not
understood, and the people refused to make returns of the value of their
farms and houses. When the assessors came to measure the houses and
count the windows as a means of determining the value of the property,
the people drove them off. For this some of the leaders were arrested.
But the people under John Fries rose and rescued the prisoners. At this
stage President Adams called out the militia, and marched it against the
rebels. They yielded. But Fries was tried for treason, was sentenced to
be hanged, and was then pardoned. Thus a second time was it proved that
the people of the United States were determined to support the
Constitution and the laws and put down rebellion.

%240. Washington the National Capital.%--In accordance with the
bargain made in 1790, Washington selected a site for the Federal city
on both banks of the Potomac. This great square tract of land was ten
miles long on each side, and was given to the government partly by
Maryland and partly by Virginia.[1] It was called the District of
Columbia, and in it were marked out the streets of Washington city.

[Footnote 1: In 1846 so much of the District as had belonged to Virginia
was given back to her.]

Though all possible haste was made, the President's house was still
unfinished, the Capitol but partly built, and the streets nothing but
roads cut through the woods, when, in the summer of 1800, the
secretaries, the clerks, the books and papers of the government left
Philadelphia for Washington. With the opening of the new century, and
the occupation of the new Capitol, came a new President, and a new party
in control of the government.

[Illustration: The National Capitol as it was in 1825]

%241. The Election of Thomas Jefferson.%--The year 1800 was a
presidential year, and though no formal nomination was made, a caucus of
Republican leaders selected as candidates Thomas Jefferson for
President, and Aaron Burr for Vice President. A caucus or meeting of
Federalist leaders selected John Adams and C. C. Pinckney as their
candidates. When the returns were all in, it appeared that Jefferson had
received seventy-three votes, Burr seventy-three votes, Adams sixty-five
votes, Pinckney sixty-four votes. The Constitution provided that the man
who received the highest number of electoral votes, if the choice of
the majority of the electors, should be President. But as Jefferson and
Burr had each seventy-three, neither had the highest, and neither was
President. The duty of electing a President then devolved on the House
of Representatives, which after a long and bitter struggle elected
Jefferson President; Burr then became Vice President. To prevent such a
contest ever arising again, the twelfth amendment was added to the
Constitution. This provides for a separate ballot for Vice President.
March 4, 1801, Jefferson, escorted by the militia of Georgetown and
Alexandria, walked from his lodgings to the Senate chamber and took the
oath of office.{1} He and his party had been placed in power in order to
make certain reforms, and this, when Congress met in the winter of 1801,
they began to do.

[Footnote 1: For a fine description of Jefferson's personality, read
Henry Adams's _History of the United States_, Vol. I., pp. 185-191. As
to the story of Jefferson riding alone to the Capitol and tying his
horse to the fence, see Adams's _History_, Vol. I, pp. 196-199;
McMaster's _History_, Vol. II., pp. 533-534.]

%242. The Annual Message.%--While Washington and Adams were
presidents, it was their custom when Congress met each year to go in
state to the House of Representatives, and in the presence of the House
and Senate read a speech. The two branches of Congress would then
separate and appoint committees to answer the President's speech, and
when the answers were ready, each would march through the streets to the
President's house, where the Vice President or the Speaker would read
the answer to the President. When Congress met in 1801, Jefferson
dropped this custom and sent a written message to both houses--a
practice which every President since that time has followed.

%243. Republican Reforms.%--True to their promises, the Republicans
now proceeded to repeal the hated laws of the Federalists. They sold all
the ships of the navy except thirteen, they ordered prosecutions under
the Sedition law to be stopped, they repealed all the internal taxes
laid by the Federalists, they cut down the army to 2500 men, and
reduced the expenses of government to $3,700,000 per year--a sum which
would not now pay the cost of running the government for three days. As
the annual revenue collected at the customhouses, the post office, and
from the sale of land was $10,800,000, the treasury had some $7,000,000
of surplus each year. This was used to pay the national debt, which fell
from $88,000,000 in 1801 to $45,000,000 in 1812, and this in spite of
the purchase of Louisiana.

[Illustration: Thomas Jefferson]

%244. The Purchase of Louisiana.%--When France was driven out of
America, it will be remembered, she gave to Spain all of Louisiana west
of the Mississippi River, together with a large tract on the east bank,
at the river's mouth. Spain then owned Louisiana till 1800, when by a
secret treaty she gave the province back to France.[1]

[Footnote 1: Adams's _History of the United States, _Vol. I., pp.

For a while this treaty was really kept secret; but in April, 1802, news
that Louisiana had been given to France and that Napoleon was going to
send out troops to hold it, reached this country and produced two
consequences. In the first place, it led the Spanish intendant (as the
man who had charge of all commercial matters was called) to withdraw the
"right of deposit" at New Orleans, and so prevent citizens of the United
States sending their produce out of the Mississippi River. In the second
place, this act of the intendant excited the rage of all the settlers in
the valley from Pittsburg to Natchez, and made them demand the instant
seizure of New Orleans by American troops. To prevent this, Jefferson
obtained the consent of Congress to make an effort to buy New Orleans
and West Florida, and sent Monroe to aid our minister in France in
making the purchase.

When the offer was made, Napoleon was about going to war with England,
and, wanting money very much, he in turn offered to sell the whole
province to the United States--an offer that was gladly accepted. The
price paid was $15,000,000, and in December, 1803, Louisiana was
formally delivered to us.

%245. Louisiana.%--Concerning this splendid domain hardly anything
was known. No boundaries were given to it either on the north, or on the
west, or on the south. What the country was like nobody could tell.[1]
Where the source of the Mississippi was no white man knew. In the time
of La Salle a priest named Hennepin had gone up to the spot where
Minneapolis now stands, and had seen the Falls of St. Anthony (p. 63).
But the country above the falls was still unknown.

[Footnote 1: In a description of it which Jefferson sent to Congress in
1804, he actually stated that "there exists about one thousand miles up
the Missouri, and not far from that river, a salt mountain. This
mountain is said to be one hundred and eighty miles long and forty-five
in width, composed of solid rock salt, without any trees or even
shrubs on it."]

%246. Explorations of Lewis and Clark.%--That this great region ought
to be explored had been a favorite idea of Jefferson for twenty years
past, and he had tried to persuade learned men and learned societies to
organize an expedition to cross the continent. Failing in this, he
turned to Congress, which in 1803 (before the purchase of Louisiana)
voted a sum of money for sending an exploring party from the mouth of
the Missouri to the Pacific. The party was in charge of Meriwether Lewis
and William Clark. Early in May, 1804, they left St. Louis, then a
frontier town of log cabins, and worked their way up the Missouri River
to a spot not far from the present city of Bismarck, North Dakota, where
they passed the winter with the Indians. Resuming their journey in the
spring of 1805, they followed the Missouri to its source in the
mountains, after crossing which they came to the Clear Water River; and
down this they went to the Columbia, which carried them to a spot where,
late in November, 1805, they "saw the waves like small mountains rolling
out in the sea." They were on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. After
spending the winter at the mouth of the Columbia, the party made its way
back to St. Louis in 1806.

%247. The Oregon Country.%--Lewis and Clark were not the first of our
countrymen to see the Columbia River. In 1792 a Boston ship captain
named Gray was trading with the Pacific coast Indians. He was collecting
furs to take to China and exchange for tea to be carried to Boston, and
while so engaged he discovered the mouth of a great river, which he
entered, and named the Columbia in honor of his ship. By right of this
discovery by Gray the United States was entitled to all the country
drained by the Columbia River. By the exploration of this country by
Lewis and Clark our title was made stronger still, and it was finally
perfected a few years later when the trappers and settlers went over the
Rocky Mountains and occupied the Oregon country.[1]

[Footnote 1: Barrows's _Oregon_; McMaster's _History_, Vol. II., pp.

[Illustration: Mouth of the Columbia River]

%248. Pike explores the Southwest.%--While Lewis and Clark were
making their way up the Missouri, Zebulon Pike was sent to find the
source of the Mississippi, which he thought he did in the winter of
1805-06. In this he was mistaken, but supposing his work done, he was
dispatched on another expedition in 1806. Traveling up the Missouri
River to the Osage, and up the Osage nearly to its source, he struck
across Kansas to the Arkansas River, which he followed to its head
waters, wandering in the neighborhood of that fine mountain which in
honor of him bears the name of Pikes Peak. Then he crossed the mountains
and began a search for the Red River. The march was a terrible one. It
was winter; the cold was intense. The snow lay waist deep on the plains.
Often the little band was without food for two days at a time. But Pike
pushed on, in spite of hunger, cold, and suffering, and at last saw,
through a gap in the mountains, the waters of the Rio Grande. Believing
that it was the Red, he hurried to its banks, only to be seized by the
Spaniards (for he was on Spanish soil), who carried him a prisoner to
Santa Fe, from which city he and his men wandered back to the United
States by way of Mexico and Texas.


%249. Astoria founded.%--The immediate effect of these explorations
was greatly to stimulate the fur trade. One great fur trader, John Jacob
Astor of New York, now founded the Pacific Fur Company and made
preparations to establish a line of posts from the upper Missouri to the
Columbia, and along it to the Pacific, and supply them from St. Louis by
way of the Missouri, or from the mouth of the Columbia, where in 1811 a
little trading post was begun and named Astoria. This completed our
claim to the Oregon country. Gray had discovered the river; Lewis and
Clark had explored the territory drained by the river; the Pacific Fur
Company planted the first lasting settlement.


1. In 1793 France made war on Great Britain. The United States was bound
by the treaty of alliance of 1778 to "guarantee" the French possessions
in America.

2. This treaty, and the coming of the French minister, forced Washington
to declare the United States neutral in the war.

3. His proclamation of neutrality was resented by the Republicans, who
now became sympathizers with France. The Federalists, who were strongest
in the commercial states, became the anti-French or English party.

4. When France declared war on England, she opened her ports in the West
Indies to the merchant trade of the United States.

5. England held that we should not have a trade with France when at war,
for we had not had it when France was at peace. This was an application
of the "Rule of 1756." In 1793-1794, therefore, England began to seize
our ships coming from the French ports.

6. This so excited the Republicans that they attempted to force the
country into war with England.

7. To prevent war, Washington sent Jay to London, where he made our
first commercial treaty with Great Britain.

8. This offended the French Directory, who refused to receive our new
minister and sent him out of France.

9. War with France now seemed likely. But Adams, in the interest of
peace, sent three commissioners to Paris to make a new treaty. They were
met with demands for tribute and came home.

10. The greatest excitement now prevailed in the country. The Navy
Department was created, a navy was built by the people, and a
provisional army raised. The old French treaties were suspended, and a
naval war began.

11. The popular anger against the Republicans (the French party) gave
the Federalists control of Congress, whereupon they passed the Alien and
Sedition laws.

12. Against these Virginia and Kentucky protested in a set of

13. In the election of 1800 the Federalists were defeated, and the
Republicans secured control of the Federal government.

14. In 1800 Spain ceded Louisiana to France, whereupon the Spanish
official at New Orleans shut the Mississippi to American commerce.

15. The whole West cried out against this and demanded war. But
Jefferson offered to buy West Florida from France. Napoleon thereupon
offered to sell all Louisiana, and we bought it (1803).

16. The new territory as yet had no boundaries; but it was explored in
the northwest by Lewis and Clark, and in the southwest by Pike.

17. The discovery of the Columbia River in 1792, the exploration of the
country by Lewis and Clark, and the founding of Astoria established our
claim to the Oregon country.

| |
| |
Opens her ports |
to neutral trade. Sends a minister to the United States.
------------------------- ---------------------------------------
1. England asserts rule This brought up the questions:
of 1756. 1. Shall he be received?--Yes.
2. Seizes our ships in 2. Is the old alliance applicable
the West Indies. to offensive war?--No.
3. Impresses our sailors. 3. Shall the United States
| be neutral?--Yes.
| Washington issues a proclamation
| of neutrality.
| |
Struggle for neutrality.
| |
Republicans oppose it. Federalists support it.
Attempt retaliation on Great Britain. Lay embargo.
Are aided by Federalists. Prepare for war.
| |
Washington sends Jay to England. Jay's treaty made (1794).
| |
1. France takes offense. Violently opposed by the Republicans.
2. Rejects Pinckney.
3. Republicans demand a special mission.
4. Adams yields and sends X, Y, Z mission.
5. Insulted by Directory.
6. Excitement at home leads to
Establishment of Navy Department. Creation of a navy.
Provisional army. Washington, Lt. Gen.
Naval war with France.
Alien and Sedition laws. Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.
Increased taxation. The direct tax.
Fries's rebellion.
Defeat of Adams and election of Jefferson (1800).
Introduces reforms.
Annual message.
Buys Louisiana.
Exploration of the Northwest.



%250. France and Great Britain renew the War.%--The war between
France and Great Britain, which had been the cause of the sale of
Louisiana to us, began in May, 1803. The United States became again a
neutral power, but, as in 1793, was soon once more involved in the
disputes of France.

Towards the end of the previous war, Great Britain had so changed her
ideas of neutrality that the merchants of the United States, according
to her rules,

1. Could trade directly between a port of the United States and the
ports of the French West Indies.

2. Could trade directly between the United States and ports in France or

3. But could not trade directly between a French West India island and
France, or a Spanish West India island and Spain, or a Dutch colony
and Holland.

To evade this last restriction, by combining the voyages allowed in
numbers 1 and 2, was easy. A merchant had but to load his ship at New
York or Philadelphia, go to some port in the French West Indies, take on
a new cargo and bring it to Savannah, enter it at the customhouse and
pay the import duties. This voyage was covered by number 1. He could
then, without disturbing his cargo in the least, clear his vessel for
France, and get back from the collector of customs all the duty he had
paid except three per cent. He was now exporting goods from the United
States and was protected by number 2. This was called "the broken
voyage," and by using it thousands of shipowners were enabled to carry
goods back and forth between France and her colonies, by merely stopping
a few hours at an American port to clear for Europe. So universal was
this practice that in 1804 the customs revenue rose from $16,000,000 to

In May, 1805, however, the British High Court of Admiralty decided that
goods which started from the French colonies in American ships and were
on their way to France could be captured even if they had been landed
and reshipped in the United States. The moment that decision was made,
the old trouble began again. British frigates were stationed off the
ports of New York and Hampton Roads, and vessels coming in and going out
were stopped, searched, and their sailors impressed. Before 1805 ended,
116 of our ships had been seized and 1000 of our sailors impressed.

%251. Orders in Council, 1806.%--In 1806 matters grew worse. Napoleon
was master of Europe, and in order to injure Great Britain he cut off
her trade with the continent. For this she retaliated by issuing, in
May, 1806, an Order in Council, which declared the whole coast of
Europe, from Brest to the mouth of the river Elbe, to be blockaded. This
was a mere "paper blockade"; that is, no fleets were off the coast to
keep neutrals from running into the blockaded ports. Yet American
vessels were captured at sea because they were going to those ports.

%252. The Berlin Decree.%--Napoleon waited to retaliate till
November, 1806, when he issued the Berlin Decree,[1] declaring the
British Islands to be blockaded.

[Footnote 1: So called because he was at Berlin when he issued it.]

%253. Orders in Council, 1807.%--Great Britain felt that every time
Napoleon struck at her she must strike back at him, and in January,
1807, a new Order in Council forbade neutrals to trade from one European
port to another, if both were in the possession of France or her allies.
Finding it had no effect, she followed it up with another Order in
Council in November, 1807, which declared that every port on the face
of the earth from which for any reason British ships were excluded was
shut to neutrals, unless they first stopped at some British port and
obtained a license to trade.

%254. The Milan Decree, 1807.%--It was now Napoleon's turn to strike,
which he did in December, 1807, by issuing the Milan Decree.[1]
Thenceforth any ship that submitted to be searched by British cruisers
or took out a British license, or entered any port from which French
ships were excluded, was to be captured wherever found.

[Footnote 1: So called because he was in Milan at the time, and dated it
from that city.]

As a result of this series of French Decrees and British Orders in
Council,[2] the English took 194 of our ships, and the French almost
as many.

[Footnote 2: On the Orders in Council and French Decrees, read Adams's
_History of the United States_, Vol. III., Chap. 16; Vol. IV., Chaps. 4,
5, and 6; McMaster's _History_, Vol. III., pp. 219-223;
249-250; 272-274.]

%255. Jefferson's Policy; Non-importation Act.%--The policy by which
Jefferson proposed to meet this emergency consisted of three parts:

1. Lay up the frigates and defend our coast and harbors by a number of
small, swift-sailing craft, each carrying one gun in the stern. In time
of peace they were to be hauled up under sheds. In time of war they were
to be shoved into the water and manned by volunteers. Between 1806 and
1812, 176 of these gunboats were built.

2. Make a new treaty with Great Britain, because that made by Jay in
1794 was to expire in 1806. Under the instructions of Jefferson,
therefore, Monroe and Pinckney signed a new treaty in December, 1806.
But it said nothing about the impressment of our sailors, or about the
right of our ships to go where they pleased, and was so bad in general
that Jefferson would not even send it to the Senate.[3]

[Footnote 3: No treaty can become a law unless approved by the President
and two thirds of the Senate.]

3. The third part of his policy consisted in doing what we should call
"boycotting." He wanted a law which would forbid the importation into
the United States of any article made, grown, or produced in Great
Britain or any of her colonies. Congress accordingly, in April, 1806,
passed what was called a "Non-importation Act," which prohibited not the
importation of every sort of British goods, wares, and merchandise, but
only a few which the people could make in this country; as paper, cards,
leather goods, etc. This was to go into force at the President's

%256. The Chesapeake and the Leopard.%--Such an attempt to punish
Great Britain by cutting off a part of her trade was useless, and only
made her more insolent than before. Indeed, just a week after the
President signed the non-importation bill, as one of our coasting
vessels was entering the harbor of New York, a British vessel, wishing
to stop and search her, fired a shot which struck the helmsman and
killed him at the wheel.

About a year later, June, 1807, an attack more outrageous still was made
on our frigate _Chesapeake_. She was on her way from Washington to the
Mediterranean, and was still in sight of land when a British vessel, the
_Leopard_, hailed and stopped her and sent an officer on board with a
demand for the delivery of deserters from the English navy. The captain
of the _Chesapeake_ refused, the officer returned, and the _Leopard_
opened fire. To return the fire was impossible, for only a few of the
guns of the _Chesapeake_ were mounted. At last one was discharged, and
as by that time three men had been killed and eighteen wounded,
Commander Barron of the _Chesapeake_ surrendered. Four men then were
taken from her deck. Three were Americans. One was an Englishman, and he
was hanged for desertion.[1]

[Footnote 1: Maclay's _History of the Navy_, Vol. I., pp. 305-308;
McMaster's _History_, Vol. III., pp. 255-259.]

%257. The Long Embargo.%--The attack on the _Chesapeake_ ought to
have been followed by war. But Jefferson merely demanded reparation from
Great Britain, and when Congress met in December, 1807, asked for an
embargo. The request was granted, and merchant vessels in all the ports
of the United States were forbidden to sail for a foreign country till
the President saw fit to suspend the law. The restriction was so
sweeping and the damage done to American farmers, merchants, and
shipowners so great, that the people began to evade it at once. They
would send their vessels to New Orleans and stop at the West Indies on
the way. They would send their flour, pork, rice, and lumber to St.
Marys in Georgia and smuggle it over the river to Florida, or take it to
the islands near Eastport in Maine and then smuggle it into New
Brunswick. Because of this, more stringent embargo laws were passed, and
finally, in 1809, a "Force Act," to compel obedience. But smuggling went
on so openly that there was nothing to do but use troops or lift the
embargo. In February, 1809, accordingly, the embargo laws, after
fourteen months' duration, were repealed. Instead of them the
Republicans enacted a Non-intercourse law which allowed the people to
trade with all nations except England and France.[1]

[Footnote 1: McMaster's _History_, Vol. III., pp. 279-338; Adams's
_History_, Vol. IV., Chaps. 7, 11, 13, 15.]

%258. Jefferson refuses a Third Term.%--During 1806, the states of
New Jersey, Vermont,[2] Pennsylvania, New York, Rhode Island, Maryland,
Georgia, and North Carolina invited Jefferson to be President a third
time. For a while he made no reply, but in December, 1807, he declined,
and gave this reason: "That I should lay down my charge at a proper
period is as much a duty as to have borne it faithfully. If some
termination to the services of the Chief Magistrate be not fixed by the
Constitution, or supplied by practice, his office, nominally four years,
will in fact become for life; and history shows how easily that
degenerates into an inheritance." This wise answer was heartily
approved by the people all over the country, and with Washington's
similar action established a custom which has been generally followed
ever since.

[Footnote 2: Vermont was admitted into the Union in 1791 (p. 243).]

As Jefferson would not accept a third term, a caucus of Republican
members of Congress met one evening at the Capitol in Washington and
nominated James Madison and George Clinton. The Federalists held no
caucus, but agreed among themselves to support C.C. Pinckney and Rufus
King. Madison and Clinton were easily elected, and were sworn into
office March 4, 1809.

[Illustration: James Madison]

%259. The Macon Bill; Non-intercourse.%--When Congress met in 1809
one more effort was made to force France and England to respect our
rights on the sea. Non-importation had failed. The embargo had failed.
Non-intercourse had failed, and now in desperation they passed a law
which at the time was called the "Macon Bill," from the member of
Congress who introduced it. This restored trade with France and England,
but declared that if either would withdraw its Decrees or Orders, the
United States would stop all trade with the other.

%260. Trickery of Napoleon.%--And now Napoleon came forward and
assured the American minister that the Berlin and Milan Decrees should
be recalled on November 1, 1810, provided the United States would
restore non-intercourse with England. To this Madison agreed, and on
November 1, 1810, issued a proclamation saying that unless Great Britain
should, before February 1, 1811, recall her Orders in Council, trade
with her should stop on that day. Great Britain did not recall her
Orders, and in February, 1811, we once more ceased to trade with her.

Trade with France was resumed on November 1, 1810, and of course a great
fleet of merchants went off to French ports. But they were no sooner
there than the villainy of Napoleon was revealed, for on December 25, by
general order, every American ship in the French ports was seized, and
$10,000,000 worth of American property was confiscated. He had not
recalled his Decrees, but pretended to do so in order to get the
American goods and provisions which he sorely needed.

It is surprising how patient the Americans of those days were. But their
patience as to Great Britain now gave out, and our minister at London
was recalled in 1811. This alarmed the British, who promptly began to
take steps to keep the peace, and offered to make amends for the
_Leopard-Chesapeake_ outrage which had occurred four years before (June,
1807). They agreed to replace the three American sailors on the deck of
the _Chesapeake_ and did so (June, 1812). But the day for peaceful
settlement was gone. The people were aroused and angry, and this feeling
showed itself in many ways.

%261. The President and the Little Belt.%--In the early part of May,
1811, a British frigate was cruising off the harbor of New York with her
name _Guerriere_ painted in large letters on her fore-topsail, and one
day her captain stopped an American vessel as it was about to enter New
York, and impressed a citizen of the United States. Three years earlier
this outrage would have been made the subject of a proclamation. Now,
the moment it was known at Washington, an order was sent to Captain
Rogers of the frigate _President_ to go to sea at once, search for the
_Guerriere_, and demand the delivery of the man, Rogers was only too
glad to go, and soon came in sight of a vessel which looked like the
_Guerriere_; but it was half-past eight o'clock at night before he came
within speaking distance. A battle followed and lasted till the stranger
became unmanageable, when the _President_ stopped firing; and the next
morning Rogers found that his enemy was the British twenty-two-gun ship,
_Little Belt_.

%262. The War Congress.%--Another way in which the anger of the
people showed itself was in the election, in the autumn of 1810, of a
Congress which met in December, 1811, fully determined to make war on
Great Britain. In that Congress were two men who from that day on for
forty years were great political leaders. One was John C. Calhoun of
South Carolina; the other was Henry Clay of Kentucky.

Clay was made Speaker of the House of Representatives, and under his
lead preparations were instantly begun for war, which was finally
declared June 18, 1812. There was no Atlantic cable in those days. Had
there been, it is very doubtful if war would have been declared; for on
June 23, 1812, five days after Congress authorized Madison to issue the
proclamation, the Orders in Council were recalled.

The causes of war, as set forth in the proclamation, were:

1. Tampering with the Indians, and urging them to attack our citizens on
the frontier.

2. Interfering with our trade by the Orders in Council.

3. Putting cruisers off our ports to stop and search our vessels.

4. Impressing our sailors, of whom more than 6000 were in the British


1. One reason which led Napoleon to sell Louisiana was his determination
to go to war with England. This he did in 1803.

2. Renewal of war in Europe made the United States again a neutral
nation, and brought up the old quarrel over neutral rights.

3.In 1806, Napoleon, who was master of nearly all western Europe, cut
off British trade with the continent. Great Britain in return declared,
by an Order in Council, the coast from Brest to the Elbe blockaded; that
is, shut to neutral trade.

4. Later in the year 1806 Napoleon retaliated with the Berlin Decree,
declaring the British Islands blockaded.

5. Great Britain, by another Order in Council (1807), shut all European
ports, under French control, to neutrals.

6. Napoleon struck back with the Milan Decree.

7. Our commerce was now attacked by both powers, and to force them to
repeal their Decrees and Orders in Council, certain commercial
restrictions were adopted by the United States.

A. Non-importation, 1806.
B. Embargo, 1807-1809.
C. Non-intercourse, 1809.

8. Each of them failed to have any effect, and in 1812 war was declared.


%1803. Renewal of War between France and Great Britain%
The United States a neutral.
| | |
_British views of _American views._ _Napoleon's view._
neutrality._ ------------^----------- ------------^----------
------------^------------------ Free ships, free goods. Shall be no neutrals.
The broken voyage. No paper blockades. -------------^-------------
The new Admiralty ruling. No search. Attacks neutral commerce by
Stations vessels off our ports. No impressment. -------------v-------------
Retaliates for French Decrees -----------v----------- |
by | |
--------------v---------------- -----------^----------- |
| / Non-importation. \ French decrees.
| | Long embargo. | -------^-------
Orders in Council. }---------< Non-intercourse with >-------------/ 1806. Berlin.
| France and Great | \ 1807. Milan.
\ Britain. /
Great Britain denies that French \ / France pretends to lift Berlin
Decrees are lifted, and / -- -------------------- < and Milan Decrees.
Refuses to revoke the Orders \ \ Trade with France is restored.
in Council. |
Tampers with Indians. > --------------+
Insists on the right of search | |
and impressment. / |



%263. Fighting on the Frontier.%--"Mr. Madison's War," as the
Federalists delighted to call our war for commercial independence,
opened with three armies in the field ready to invade and capture
Canada. One under Hull, then governor of the territory of Michigan, was
to cross the river at Detroit, and march eastward through Canada. A
second, under General Van Rensselaer, was to cross the Niagara River,
take Queenstown, and join Hull, after which the two armies were to
capture York, now Toronto, and go on eastward toward Montreal. Meantime,
the third army, under Dearborn, was to go down Lake Champlain, and meet
the troops under Hull and Van Rensselaer before Montreal. The three were
then to capture Montreal and Quebec, and complete the conquest
of Canada.

The plan failed; for Hull was driven from Canada, and surrendered his
army and the whole Northwest, at Detroit; Van Rensselaer, defeated at
Queenstown, was unable even to get a footing in Canada; while Dearborn,
after reaching the northern boundary line of New York, stopped, and the
year 1812 ended with nothing accomplished.

The surrender of Hull filled the people with indignation, aroused their
patriotism, and forced the government to gather a new army for the
recapture of Detroit. The command was given to William Henry Harrison,
who hurried from Cincinnati across the wilderness of Ohio, and in the
dead of winter reached the shores of Lake Erie. General Winchester, who
commanded part of the troops, was now called on to drive the British
from Frenchtown, a little hamlet on the river Raisin, and (in January,
1813) tried to do so. But the British and Indians came down on him in
great numbers, and defeated and captured his army, after which the
Indians were allowed to massacre and scalp the wounded.

[Illustration: The Canadian Frontier and Vicinity of Washington]

And now the British became aggressive, invaded Ohio, and attacked the
Americans under Harrison at Fort Meigs, and then at Fort Stephenson,
where Major Croghan and 160 men, with the aid of one small cannon,
defeated and drove off 320 Canadians and Indians.

%264. Battle of Lake Erie.%--Again the Americans in turn became
aggressive. Since the early winter, a young naval officer named Oliver
Hazard Perry had been hard at work, with a gang of ship carpenters, at
Erie, in Pennsylvania, cutting down trees, and had used this green
timber to build nine small vessels. With this fleet he sailed, in
September, in search of the British squadron, which had been just as
hastily built, and soon found it near Sandusky, Ohio. His own ship he
had named the _Lawrence_, in honor of a gallant American captain who had
been killed a few months before in a battle with an English frigate. As
Perry saw the enemy in the distance, he flung to the breeze a blue flag
on which was inscribed, "Don't give up the ship" (the dying order of
Lawrence to his men), sailed down to meet the enemy, and fought the two
largest British ships till the _Lawrence_ was a wreck. Then, with his
flag on his arm, he jumped into a boat, and amidst a shower of shot and
bullets was rowed to the _Niagara_. Once on her deck, he again hastened
to the attack, broke the British line of battle, and captured the entire
fleet. His dispatch to Harrison is as famous as his victory: "We have
met the enemy, and they are ours--two ships, two brigs, one schooner,
and one sloop."

%265. Battle of the Thames.%--Perry's victory was a grand one. It
gave him command of Lake Erie, and enabled him to carry Harrison's
soldiers over to Canada, where, on the Thames River, Harrison defeated
the British and Indians. These two victories regained all that had been
lost by the surrender of Hull.

Along the New York border little was done during 1813. The Americans
made a raid into Canada, and to their shame burned York. The British
attacked Sacketts Harbor and were driven off. The Americans sent an
expedition down the St. Lawrence against Montreal, but the leaders got
frightened and took refuge in northern New York.

%266. Campaign of 1814.%--In 1814 better officers were put in
command, and before winter came the Americans, under Jacob Brown and
Winfield Scott, had won the battles of Chippewa and Lundys Lane, and
captured Fort Erie. But the British returned in force, burned Black Rock
and Buffalo in revenge for the burning of York, and forced the Americans
to leave Canada.

The fighting along the Niagara River, by holding the army in that place,
prevented the Americans from attacking Montreal, and enabled the
British to gather a fleet on Lake Champlain, and send an army down from
Quebec to invade New York state just as Burgoyne had in 1777. But the
land force was defeated by General Macomb at Plattsburg, while Thomas
McDonough utterly destroyed the fleet in Plattsburg Bay. This was one of
the great victories of the war.

%267. The Sea Fights.%--While our army on the frontier was
accomplishing little, our war ships were winning victory after victory
on the sea. At the opening of the war, our navy was the subject of
English ridicule and contempt. We had sixteen ships; she had 1200. She
laughed at ours as "fir-built things with a bit of striped bunting at
their mastheads." But before 1813 came, these "fir-built things" had
destroyed her naval supremacy.[1] With the details of all these
victories on the sea we will not concern ourselves. Yet a few must be
mentioned because the fame of them still endures, and because they are
examples of naval warfare in the days when the ships fought lashed
together, and when the boarders, cutlass and pistol in hand, climbed
over the bulwarks and met the enemy on his own deck, man to man. During
1812 the frigate _Constitution_, whose many victories won her the name
of "Old Ironsides," sank the _Guerriere_; the _United States_ captured
and brought to port the _Macedonian_; and the _Wasp_, a little sloop of
eighteen guns, after the most desperate engagement of the whole war,
captured the British sloop _Frolic_.

[Footnote 1: One reason for the success of the American navy was the
experience it had gained in the clash with France, and also in a war
with Tripoli in 1801-1805. At that time the Christian nations whose
ships sailed the Mediterranean Sea were accustomed to pay annual tribute
to Tripoli and other piratical states on the north coast of Africa,
under pain of having their ships seized and their sailors reduced to
slavery. A dispute with the United States led to a war which gained for
our ships the freedom of the Mediterranean.]

When these sloops were some two hundred feet apart, the _Wasp_ opened
with musketry and cannon. The sea, lashed into fury by a two days'
cyclone, was running mountain high. The vessels rolled till the muzzles
of their guns dipped in the water. But the crews cheered lustily and
the fight went on. When at last the crew of the _Wasp_ boarded the
_Frolic_, they were amazed to find that, save the man at the wheel and
three officers who threw down their swords, not a living soul was
visible. The crew had gone below to avoid the terrible fire of the
_Wasp_. Scarcely was the battle over when the British frigate
_Poictiers_ bore down under a press of sail, recaptured what was left of
the _Frolic_, and took the _Wasp_ in addition.

During 1813 the _Constitution_ took the _Java_; the _Hornet_ sank the
_Peacock_; the _Enterprise_ captured the _Boxer_ off Portland, Maine.
These and many more made up the list of American victories. But there
were British victories also. The _Argus_, after destroying twenty-seven
vessels in the English Channel, was taken by the _Pelican_; the _Essex_,
after a marvelous cruise around South America, was captured by two
frigates. The _Chesapeake_ was forced to strike to the _Shannon._

The _Chesapeake_ was at anchor in Boston harbor, in command of James
Lawrence, when the British frigate _Shannon_ ran in and challenged her.
Lawrence went out at once, and after a short, fierce fight was defeated
and killed. As his men were carrying him below, mortally wounded, he
cried, "Don't give up the ship!" words which Perry, as we have seen,
afterwards put on his flag, and which his countrymen have never since

[Footnote 1: On the naval war read Maclay's _History of the Navy_, Part
Third; Roosevelt's _Naval War of 1812_; McMaster, Vol. IV., pp. 70-108.]

%268. The British blockade the Coast.%--Never, in the course of her
existence, had England suffered such a series of defeats as we inflicted
on her navy in 1812 and 1813. The record of those years caused a
tremendous excitement in Great Britain, all the vessels she could spare
were sent over, and with the opening of 1814, the whole coast of the
United States was declared to be in a state of blockade.[1] In New
England, Eastport (Moose Island) and Nantucket Island quickly fell. A
British force went up the Penobscot to Hampden, and burned the _Adams_.
The eastern half of Maine was seized, and Stonington, in Connecticut,
was bombarded.

[Footnote 1: All except New England had been blockaded since 1812; and
in 1813 the coast of Chesapeake Bay had been ravaged.]

%269. Burning of Washington.%--Further down the coast a great fleet
and army from Bermuda, under General Ross and Admiral Cockburn, came up
the Chesapeake Bay, landed in Maryland, and marched to Washington. At
Bladensburg, a little hamlet near the capital, the Americans made a
feeble show of resistance, but soon fled; and about dark on an August
night, 1814, a detachment of the British reached Washington, marched to
the Capitol, fired a volley through the windows, entered, and set fire
to the building. When the fire began to burn brightly, Ross and Cockburn
led the troops to the President's house, which was sacked and burned.
Next morning the torch was applied to the Treasury building and to the
Departments of State and War. Several private houses and a printing
office were also destroyed before the British began a hasty retreat to
the Chesapeake.[1]

[Footnote 1: Adams's _History_, Vol. VIII., Chaps. 5, 6; McMaster's
_History_, Vol. IV., pp. 135-148; _Memoirs of Dolly Madison_, Chap. 8.]

%270. Baltimore attacked.%--Once on the bay, the army was hurried on
board the ships and carried to Baltimore, where for a day and a night
they shelled Fort McHenry.[2] Failing to take it, and Ross having been
killed, Cockburn reembarked and sailed away to Halifax.

[Footnote 2: Francis S. Key, an American held prisoner on one of the
British ships, composed the words of _The Star-Spangled Banner_ while
watching the bombardment.]

%271. The Victory at New Orleans.%--The army was taken to Jamaica in
order that it might form part of one of the greatest war expeditions
England had ever fitted out. Fifty of the finest ships her navy could
furnish, mounting 1000 guns and carrying on their decks 20,000 veteran
soldiers and sailors, had been quietly assembled at Jamaica during the
autumn of 1814, and in November sailed for New Orleans.

News of this intended attack had reached Madison, and he had given the
duty of defending New Orleans to Andrew Jackson of Tennessee, one of the
most extraordinary men our country has produced. The British landed at
the entrance of Lake Borgne in December, 1814, and hurried to the banks
of the Mississippi. But Jackson was more than a match for them.
Gathering such a force of fighting men as he could, he hastened from the
city and with all possible speed threw up a line of rude earthworks, and
waited to be attacked. This line the British under General Pakenham
attacked on January 8, 1815, and were twice driven back with frightful
loss of life. Never had such a defeat been inflicted on a British army.
The loss in killed, wounded, and missing was 2036 men. Jackson lost
seventy-one men. Five British regiments which entered the battle 3000
strong reported 1750 men killed, wounded, and missing.[1]

[Footnote 1: Adams's _History_, Vol. VIII., Chaps. 12-14; McMaster, Vol.
IV., pp. 182-190]

%272. Peace.%--For a month after this defeat the British lingered in
their camp. At last, in February, the army departed to attack a fort on
Mobile Bay. The fort was taken, and two days later the news of peace put
an end to war. The treaty was signed at Ghent in December, 1814; but it
did not reach the United States till February, 1815.

In the treaty not a word was said about the impressment of our sailors,
nor about the right of search, nor about the Orders in Council, nor
about inciting the Indians to attack our frontier, all of which Madison
had declared to be causes of the war. Yet we gained much. Our naval
victories made us the equal of any maritime power, while at home the war
did far more to arouse a national sentiment, consolidate the union, and
make us a nation than any event which had yet occurred.


1. The land war may be divided into:

A. War along the frontier.
B. War along the Atlantic coast.
C. War along the Gulf coast.

2. War along the Canadian frontier resulted in a gain to neither side.
In 1812 Americans were beaten at Detroit and at Queenstown, and failed
to invade Canada. In 1813 the Americans were beaten at Frenchtown, but
defeated the Canadians at Forts Meigs and Stephenson, and at the Thames
River, and recovered Detroit. Perry won the battle of Lake Erie. The
Americans failed in the attempt to take Montreal. In 1814 the battles of
Chippewa and Lundys Lane were won, and Fort Erie was taken. But the
British burned Buffalo and Black Rock and drove the Americans out of
Canada. McDonough won the battle of Lake Champlain.

3. During 1812-13 the British blockaded the coast from the east end of
Long Island south to the Mississippi. New England was not blockaded till
1814. Then depredations began, and during the year Washington was taken
and partly burned, and Baltimore attacked.

4. Later in the year the British, after the attack on Baltimore, went
south, and early in 1815 were beaten by Jackson at New Orleans.

5. The navy won a series of successive victories. The defeats were about
half as numerous as the victories.

6. Peace was announced in February, 1815.


/ / / / 1812. Hull surrenders Detroit.
| | | | 1812. Harrison attempts to recover it.
| | | Detroit . . < 1813. Frenchtown.
| | | | Battle of Lake Erie.
| | The | | Harrison invades Canada and wins
| | expeditions | \ the battle of the Thames.
| | against |
| | Canada. < / 1812. Van Rensselaer repulsed.
| War | | | 1813. York taken and burned.
Second | on < | Niagara . . < 1814. Battles of Chippewa and Lundys
War for | land | | | Lane, and capture of Fort Erie.
Independence < | | \ Americans driven from Canada.
| | |
| | | / 1813. Expedition against Montreal.
| | | St. Lawrence < 1814. British come down from Canada.
| | \ \ Defeated on Lake Champlain.
| |
| | / 1812. Blockade of the coast south of Rhode Island.
| | War on | 1813. Ravages on the coast of Chesapeake Bay.
| | the | 1814. Entire coast blockaded.
| | Seaboard. < New England attacked.
| | | Washington taken and partly burned.
| | | Baltimore attacked.
| \ \ 1815. Victory at New Orleans.
| War on / The ship duels.
\ the sea. \ The fleet victories on the Lakes.



%273.% Twenty-five years had now gone by since Washington was
inaugurated, and in the course of these years our country had made
wonderful progress. In 1790 the United States was bounded west by the
Mississippi River. By 1815 Louisiana had been purchased, the Columbia
River had been discovered, and the Oregon country had been explored to
the Pacific. In 1790 the inhabitants of the United States numbered less
than four millions. In 1815 they were eight millions. In 1790 there were
but thirteen states in the Union, and two territories. In 1815 there
were eighteen states and five territories.

%274. The Three Streams of Westward Emigration.%--Sparse as was the
population in 1789, the rage for emigration had already seized the
people, and long before 1790 the emigrants were pouring over the
mountains in three great streams. One, composed of New England men, was
pushing along the borders of Lake Champlain and up the Mohawk valley. A
second, chiefly from Pennsylvania and Virginia, was spreading itself
over the rich valleys of what are now West Virginia and Kentucky.
Further south a third stream of emigrants, mostly from Virginia and
North Carolina, had gone over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and was creeping
down the valley of the Tennessee River.[1]

[Footnote 1: For an account of the movement of population westward along
these routes, see _The First Century of the Republic_, pp. 211-238.]

For months each year the Ohio was dotted with flatboats. One observer
saw fifty leave Pittsburg in five weeks. Another estimated that ten
thousand emigrants floated by Marietta during 1788. As this never-ending
stream of population spread over the wilderness, building cabins,
felling trees, clearing the land, and driving off the game, the Indians
took alarm and determined to expel them.

%275. The Indian War.%--During the summer of 1786 the tribes whose
hunting grounds lay in eastern Tennessee and Kentucky took the warpath,
sacked and burned a little settlement on the Holston, and spread terror
along the whole frontier. But the settlers in their turn rose, and
inflicted on the Indians a signal punishment. One expedition from
Tennessee burned three Cherokee towns. Another from Kentucky crossed the
Ohio, penetrated the Indian country, burned eight towns, and laid waste
hundreds of acres of standing corn. Had the Indians been left to
themselves, they would, after this punishment, have remained quiet. But
the British, who still held the frontier post at Detroit, roused them,
and in 1790 they were again at work, ravaging the country north of the
Ohio. They rushed down on Big Bottom (northwest of Marietta) and swept
it from the face of the earth. St. Clair, who was governor of the
Northwest Territory, sent against them an expedition which won some
success--just enough to enrage and not enough to cow them.

%276. St. Clair; Wayne.%--Not a settlement north of the Ohio was now
safe, and had it not been for the men of Kentucky, who came to the
relief, and in two expeditions held the Indians in check till the
Federal government could act, every one of them would have been
destroyed. The plan of the Secretary of War was to build a chain of
forts from Cincinnati to Lake Michigan, and late in 1791 St. Clair set
off to begin the work. But the Indians surprised him on a branch of the
Wabash River, and inflicted on him one of the most dreadful defeats in
our history. Public opinion now forced him to resign his command, which
was given to Anthony Wayne, who, after two years of careful
preparation, crushed the Indian power at the falls of the Maumee River
in northwestern Ohio. The next year, 1795, a treaty was made at
Greenville, by which the Indians gave up all claim to the soil south and
east of a boundary line drawn from what is now Cleveland southwest to
the Ohio River.

%277. Kentucky and Vermont become States.%--These Indian wars almost
stopped emigration to the country north of the Ohio, though not into
Kentucky or Tennessee. For several years past the people of the District
of Kentucky had been desirous to come into the Union, but had been
unable to make terms with Virginia, to which Kentucky belonged. At last
consent was obtained and the application made to Congress. But the
Kentuckians were slave owners, were identified with Southern and Western
interests, and cared little for the commercial interests of the East,
and as this influence could be strongly felt in the Senate, where each
state had two votes, it was decided to offset those of Kentucky by
admitting the Eastern state of Vermont.

What is now Vermont was once the property of New Hampshire, was settled
by people from New England under town rights granted by the governor of
New Hampshire, and was called "New Hampshire Grants." In 1764, however,
the governor of New York obtained a royal order giving New York
jurisdiction over the Grants on the ground that in 1664 the possessions
of the Duke of York extended to the Connecticut River. Then began a
controversy which was still raging bitterly when the Revolution opened,
and the Green Mountain Boys asked recognition as a state and admission
into the Congress, a request which the other states were afraid to grant
lest by so doing they should offend New York. Thereupon the people chose
delegates to a convention (in 1777), which issued a declaration of
independence, declared "New Connecticut, alias Vermont," a state, and
made a constitution. In this shape matters stood in 1791, when as an
offset to Kentucky Vermont was admitted into the Union. As she was a
state with governor, legislature, and constitution, she came in at once.
Kentucky had to make a constitution, and so was not admitted till 1792.
Four years later (1796) Congress admitted Tennessee.

[Illustration: THE UNITED STATES AND TERRITORIES July 4, 1801.

%278. The New Territories; Ohio becomes a State.%--The quieting of
the Indians by Wayne in 1794, the opening of the Mississippi River to
American trade by Spain in 1795, coupled with cheap lands and low
taxes, caused another rush of population into the Ohio valley. Between
1795 and 1800 so many came that the Northwest Territory was cut in twain
and the new territory of Indiana was organized in 1800. The acceptance
by Spain in 1795 of 31 deg. north latitude as the boundary of the Floridas,
gave the United States control of the greater part of old West Florida,
which in 1798 was organized as the Mississippi Territory. Hardly a year
now elapsed without some marked sign of Western development. In 1800
Congress, under the influence of William Henry Harrison, the first
delegate from the Northwest Territory, made a radical change in its land
policy. Up to that time every settler must pay cash. After 1800 he could
buy on credit, pay in four annual installments, and west of the
Muskingum River could purchase as little as 320 acres. This credit
system led to another rush into the Ohio valley, and so many people
entered the Northwest Territory, that in 1803 the southern part of it
was admitted into the Union as the state of Ohio.

[Illustration: Cincinnati in 1810[1]]

[Footnote 1: From an old print.]

In 1802 Georgia ceded her western lands, which were added to the
Mississippi Territory. From the Louisiana purchase there was organized
in 1804 the territory of Orleans, and in 1805 the territory of Louisiana
(see p. 247). In 1805, also, the lower peninsula of Michigan was cut off
from Indiana and organized as Michigan Territory. In 1809 the territory
of Illinois was organized (p. 247). In 1812 the territory of Orleans
became the state of Louisiana.

The third census showed that in 1810 the population of the United States
was 7,200,000, and that of these over 1,000,000 were in the states and
territories west of the Alleghanies.

%279. Indian Troubles; Battle of Tippecanoe.%--As the settlers north
of the Ohio moved further westward, and as more came in, their farms and
settlements touched the Indian boundary line. In Indiana, where, save a
strip sixty miles wide along the Ohio River, and a few patches scattered
over the territory, every foot of soil was owned by the Indians, this
crowding led to serious consequences. The Indians first grew restive.
Then, under the lead of Tecumthe, or Tecumseh, they founded a league or
confederacy against the whites, and built a town on Tippecanoe Creek,
just where it enters the Wabash. Finally, when Harrison, who was
governor of Indiana Territory, bought the Indian rights to the Wabash
valley, the confederacy refused to recognize the sale, and gave such
signs of resistance that Harrison marched against them, and in 1811
fought the battle of Tippecanoe and burned the Indian village. For a
time it was thought the victory was as signal as that of Wayne. But the
Indians were soon back on the old site, and in our second war with Great
Britain they sided with the British.

[Illustration: The United States and Territories in 1813]

%280. Industrial Progress.%--In 1789 our country had no credit and no
revenue, and was burdened with a great debt which very few people
believed would ever be paid. But when the government called in all the
old worthless Continental money and certificates and gave the people
bonds in exchange for them, when it began to lay taxes and pay its
debts, when it had power to regulate trade, when the National Bank was
established and the merchants were given bank bills that would pass at
their face value all over the country, business began to revive. The
money which the people had been hiding away for years was brought out
and put to useful purposes. Banks sprang up all over the country, and
companies were founded to manufacture woolen cloth and cotton cloth, to
build bridges, to construct turnpike roads, and to cut canals. Between
1789 and 1795 the first carpet was woven in the United States, the first
broom made from broom corn, the first cotton factory opened, the first
gold and silver coins of the United States were struck at the mint, the
first newspaper was printed in the territory northwest of the Ohio
River, the first printing press was set up in Tennessee, the first
geography of the United States was published, and daily newspapers were
issued in Baltimore and Boston. It was during this period that a hunter
named Guinther discovered anthracite coal in Pennsylvania; that Whitney
invented the cotton gin; that Samuel Slater built the first mill for
making cotton yarns; that Eli Terry started the manufacture of clocks as
a business; that cotton sewing thread was first manufactured in the
United States at Pawtucket, R.I.; and that the first turnpike in our
country was completed. This extended from Philadelphia to Lancaster, a
distance of sixty-two miles.

%281. The Period of Commercial and Agricultural Prosperity.%--Just at
this time came another change of great importance. Till 1793 we had
scarcely any commerce with the West Indies. England would not allow our
vessels to go to her islands. Neither would Spain, nor France, except to
a very limited degree. It was the policy of these three countries to
confine such trade as far as possible to their own merchants. But in
1793 France, you remember, made war on England and opened her West
Indian ports to all neutral nations. The United States was a neutral,
and our merchants at once began to trade with the islanders. What these
people wanted was lumber, flour, grain, provisions, salt pork, and fish.
All this led to a demand, first, for ships, then for sailors, and then
for provisions and lumber--to the benefit of every part of the country
except the South. New England was the lumber, fishing, shipbuilding, and
commercial section. New York and Pennsylvania produced grain, flour,
lumber, and carried on a great commerce as well. So profitable was it to
raise wheat, that in many parts of Virginia the people stopped raising
tobacco and began to make flour, and soon made Virginia the second
flour-producing state in the Union. Until after 1795 the people of the
Western States were cut off from this trade. But in that year the treaty
with Spain was made, and the people of the West were then allowed to
float their produce to New Orleans and there sell it or ship it to the
West Indies. Kentucky then became a flour-producing state.

As a consequence of all this, people stopped putting their money into
roads and canals and manufactures, and put it into farming,
shipbuilding, and commerce. Between 1793 and 1807, therefore, our
country enjoyed a period of commercial and agricultural prosperity. But
with 1807 came another change. In that year the embargo was laid, and
for more than fifteen months no vessels were allowed to leave the ports
of the United States for foreign countries. Up to this time our people
had been so much engaged in commerce and agriculture, that they had not
begun to manufacture. In 1807 all the blankets, all the woolen cloth,
cotton cloth, carpets, hardware, china, glass, crockery, knives, tools,
and a thousand other things used every day were made for us in Great
Britain. Cotton grown in the United States was actually sent to England
to be made into cloth, which was then carried back to the United States
to be used.

%282. "Infant Manufactures."%--As the embargo prevented our ships
going abroad and foreign ships coming to us, these goods could no longer
be imported. The people must either go without or make them at home.
They decided, of course, to make them at home, and all patriotic
citizens were called on to help, which they did in five ways.

First, in each of the cities and large towns people met and formed a
"Society for the Encouragement of Domestic Manufactures." Every
patriotic man and woman was expected to join one of them, and in so
doing to take a pledge not to buy or use or wear any article of foreign
make, provided it could be made in this country.

In the second place, these societies for the encouragement of domestic
manufactures, "infant manufactures," as they were called, offered prizes
for the best piece of homemade linen, homemade cotton cloth, or
woolen cloth.

In the third place, they started "exchanges," or shops, in the cities
and large towns, to which anybody who could knit mittens or socks, or
make boots and shoes or straw bonnets, or spin flax or wool, or make
anything else that the people needed, could send them to be sold.

In the fourth place, men who had money came forward and formed companies
to erect mills and factories for the manufacture of all sorts of things.
If you were to see the acts passed by the legislatures of the states
between 1808 and 1812, you would find that very many of them were
charters for iron works, paper mills, thread works, factories for making
cotton and woolen cloth, oilcloth, boots, shoes, rope.

In the fifth place, the legislatures of the states passed resolutions
asking their members to wear clothes made of material produced in the
United States,[1] offered bounties for the best wool, and exempted the
factories from taxation and the mill hands from militia and jury duty.

[Footnote 1: McMaster's _History of the People of the United States_,
Vol. III., pp. 496-509.]

Thus encouraged, manufactures sprang up in the North, and became so
numerous that in 1810, when the census of population was taken, Congress
ordered that statistics of manufactures should be collected at the same
time. It was then found that the value of the goods manufactured in the
United States in 1810 was $173,000,000.

%283. Internal Improvements: Roads; Canals; Steamboats.%--But there
was yet another great change for the better which took place between
1790 and 1815. We have seen how during this quarter of a century our
country grew in area, how the people increased in number, how new states
and territories were made, how agriculture and commerce prospered, and
how manufactures arose. It is now time to see how the people improved
the means of interstate commerce and communication.

You will remember that in 1790 there were no bridges over the great
rivers of the country, that the roads were very bad, that all journeys
were made on horseback or in stagecoaches or in boats, and that it was
not then possible to go as far in ten hours as we can now go in one. You
will remember, also, that the people were moving westward in
great numbers.

As the people thus year by year went further and further westward, a
demand arose for good roads to connect them with the East. The merchants
on the seaboard wanted to send them hardware, clothing, household goods,
farming implements, and bring back to the seaports the potash, lumber,
flour, skins, and grain with which the settlers paid for these things.
If they were too costly, frontiersmen could not buy them. If the roads
were bad, the difficulty of getting merchandise to the frontier would
make them too costly. People living in the towns and cities along the
seaboard were no longer content with the old-fashioned slow way of
travel. They wanted to get their letters more often, make their journeys
and have their freight carried more quickly.[1]

[Footnote 1: McMaster's _History of the People of the United States,_
Vol. III., pp. 462-465.]

About 1805, therefore, men began to think of reviving the old idea of
canals, which had been abandoned in 1793, and one of these canal
companies, the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, applied to Congress for
aid. This brought up the question of a system of internal improvements
at national expense, and Albert Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury,
was asked to send a plan for such a system to Congress, which he did.
Congress never approved it.

%284. The National Pike.%--Public sentiment, however, led to the
commencement of a highway to the West known as the National Pike, or the
Cumberland Road. When Ohio was admitted into the Union as a state in
1803, Congress promised that part of the money derived from the sale of
land in Ohio should be used to build a road from some place on the Ohio
River to tide water. By 1806 the money so set apart amounted to $12,000,
and with this was begun the construction of a broad pike from Cumberland
(on the Potomac) in Maryland to Wheeling (on the Ohio) in West

[Footnote 1: McMaster's _History_, Vol. III., pp. 469-470.]

[Illustration: Phoenix[1]]

[Footnote 1: From an oil painting.]

%285. Steamboats.%--This increasing demand for cheap transportation
now made it possible for Fulton to carry into successful operation an
idea he had long had in mind. For twenty years past inventors had been
exhibiting steamboats. James Rumsey had exhibited one on the Potomac.
John Fitch had shown one on the Delaware in 1787. (See p. 190.) In 1804
Robert Fulton exhibited a steamboat on the Seine at Paris in France;
Oliver Evans had a steam scow on the Delaware River at Philadelphia; and
John Stevens crossed the Hudson from Hoboken to New York in a steamboat
of his own construction. In 1806 Stevens built another, the

[Footnote 1: Preble's _History of Steam Navigation _, pp. 35-66;
Thurston's _Robert Fulton_ in Makers of America Series.]

These men were ahead of their time, and it was not till the August day,
1807, when Robert Fulton made his experiment on the Hudson, that the era
of the steamboat opened. His vessel, called the _Clermont_, made the
trip up the river from New York to Albany in thirty-two hours.

[Illustration: Model of the Clermont[2]]

[Footnote 2: Made from the original drawings, and now in the National

Then the usefulness of the invention was at last appreciated, and in
1808 a line of steam vessels went up and down the Hudson. In 1809
Stevens sent his _Phoenix_ by sea to Philadelphia and ran it on the
Delaware. Another steamboat was on the Raritan River, and a third on
Lake Champlain. In 1811 a boat steamed from Pittsburg to New Orleans,
and in 1812 steam ferryboats plied between what is now Jersey City and
New York, and between Philadelphia and Camden.[3]

[Footnote 3: On the early steamboats see McMaster's _History of the
People of the United States_, Vol. III., pp. 486-494.]

%286. The Currency; the Mint.%--Quite as marvelous was the change
which in five and twenty years had taken place in money matters. When
the Constitution became law in 1789, there were no United States coins
and no United States bills or notes in circulation. There was no such
thing as a national currency. Except the gold and silver pieces of
foreign nations, there was no money which would pass all over our
country. To-day a treasury note, a silver certificate, a national bank
bill, is received in payment of a debt in any state or territory. In
1789 the currency was foreign coins and state paper. But the
Constitution forbade the states ever to make any more money, and as
their bills of credit already issued would wear out by use, the time was
near when there would be no currency except foreign coins. To prevent
this, Congress in 1791 ordered a mint to be established at Philadelphia,
and in 1792 named the coins to be struck, and ordered that whoever would
bring gold or silver to the mint should have it made into coins without
cost to him. This was _free coinage._ As both gold and silver were to be
coined, the currency was to be _bimetallic_, or of two metals.[1] The
ratio of silver and gold was 15 to 1. That is, fifteen pounds' weight of
silver must be made into as many dollars' worth of coins as one pound of
gold. The silver coins were to be the dollar, half and quarter dollar,
dime and half dime; the gold were to be the eagle, half eagle, and
quarter eagle. Out of copper were to be struck cents and half cents. As
some years must elapse before our national coins could become abundant,
certain foreign coins were made legal tender.

[Footnote 1: The first silver coin was struck in 1794; the first gold,
in 1795; the first cent and half cent, in 1793.]

%287. "Federal Money."%--The appearance of the new money was followed
by another change for the better. In colonial days the merchants and the
people expressed the debts they owed, or the value of the goods they
sold, in pounds, shillings, and pence, or in Spanish dollars. During the
Revolution, and after it, this was continued, although the Continental
Congress always kept its accounts, and made its appropriations, in
dollars. But when the people began to see dollars, half dollars, and
dimes bearing the words "United States of America," they knew that
there really was a national coinage, or "Federal money," as they called
it, and between 1795 and 1798, one state after another ordered its
treasurer to use Federal money instead of pounds, shillings, and pence;
and thereafter in laying taxes, and voting appropriations for any
purpose, the amount was expressed in dollars and cents. The merchants
and the people were much slower in adopting the new terms; but they came
at last into general use.

%288. Rise of the State Banks.%--Had the people been forced to depend
on the United States mint for money wherewith to pay the butcher and the
baker and the shoemaker, they would not have been able to make their
payments, for the machinery at the mint was worked by hand, and the
number of dimes and quarters turned out each year was small. But they
were not, for as soon as confidence was restored, banks chartered by the
states sprang up in the chief cities in the East, and as each issued
notes, the people had all the currency they wanted.

In 1790, when Congress established the National Bank, there were but
four state banks in the whole country: one in Philadelphia, one in New
York, one in Boston, and one in Baltimore. By 1800 there were
twenty-six, in 1805 there were sixty-four, and in 1811 there were

In that year (1811) the charter of the National Bank expired, and as
Congress would not renew it, many more state banks were created, each
hoping to get a part of the business formerly done by the National Bank.
Such was the "mania," as it was called, for banks, that the number rose
from eighty-eight in 1811, to two hundred and eight in 1814, which was
far more than the people really needed.

Nevertheless, all went well until the British came up Chesapeake Bay and
burned Washington. Then the banks in that part of the country boxed up
all their gold and silver and sent it away, lest the British should get
it. This forced them to "suspend specie payments"; that is, refuse to
give gold or silver in exchange for their own paper. As soon as they
suspended, others did the same, till in a few weeks every one along the
seaboard from Albany to Savannah, and every one in Ohio, had stopped
paying coin. The New England banks did not suspend.

%289. No Small Change.%--The consequences of the suspension were very
serious. In the first place, all the small silver coins, the dimes, half
dollars, and quarter dollars, disappeared at once, and the people were
again forced to do as they had done in 1789, and use "ticket money." All
the cities and towns, great and small, printed one, two, three, six and
one fourth, twelve and one half, twenty-five, and fifty-cent tickets,
and sold them to the people for bank notes. Steamboats, stagecoaches,
and manufacturing companies, merchants, shopkeepers--in fact, all
business men--did the same.

In the second place, as the banks would not exchange specie for their
notes, people who did not know all about a bank would not take its bills
except at very much less than their face value. That is, a dollar bill
of a Philadelphia bank was not worth more than ninety cents in paper
money at New York, and seventy-five cents at Boston. This state of
things greatly increased the cost of travel and business between the
states, and prevented the government using the money collected at the
seaports in the East to pay debts due in the West.[1]

[Footnote 1: McMaster's _History_, Vol. IV., pp. 280-318.]

%290. The Second Bank of the United States.%--Lest this state of
affairs should occur again, Congress, exercising its constitutional
"power to regulate the currency," chartered a second National Bank in
1816, and modeled it after the old one. Again the parent bank was at
Philadelphia; but the capital was now $35,000,000. Again the public
money might be deposited in the bank and its branches, which could be
established wherever the directors thought proper. Again the bank could
issue paper money to be received by the government in payment of taxes,
land, and all debts.

The Republicans had always denied the right of Congress to charter a
bank. But the question was never tested until 1819, when Maryland
attempted to collect a tax laid on the branch at Baltimore. The case
reached the Supreme Court of the United States, which decided that a
state could not tax a corporation chartered by Congress; and that
Congress had power to charter anything, even a bank.


1. The census returns of 1790 showed that population was going west
along three highways.

2. As a result of this movement, Vermont (1791), Kentucky (1792),
Tennessee (1796), and Ohio (1803) entered the Union.

3. The population of the country increased from 3,380,000 in 1790 to
7,200,000 in 1810; and the area from about 828,000 to 2,000,000
square miles.

4. The period 1790-1810 was one of marked industrial progress, and of
great commercial and agricultural prosperity. It was during this time
that manufactures arose, that many roads and highways and bridges were
built, and that the steamboat was introduced.

5. A national mint had been established. The charter of the National
Bank had expired, and numbers of state banks had arisen to take its
place. These banks had suspended specie payment, and the government had
been forced to charter a new National Bank.


_Territorial Changes. 1790-1812.

_ Movement of Population into the West._

Northern Stream. Checked by Indian war.
Indians quieted by Wayne.
Population again moved westward.

New states. 1791. Vermont.
1792. Kentucky.
1796. Tennessee.
1803. Ohio.
1812. Louisiana.

New Territories. 1798. Mississippi.
1800. Indiana.
1802. Mississippi enlarged.
1804. Orleans.
1805. Michigan.
1805. Louisiana (called Missouri
after 1812).
1809. Illinois.

_Expansion of Territory._ 1795. Spain accepts 31 deg. as the boundary.
1802. Georgia cedes her western territory.
1803. Louisiana purchased from France.

_Industrial Progress_
First carpet mill.
First brooms.
First United States gold and silver coins.
First press in Tennessee.
Daily newspapers.
Discovery of hard coal.
Cotton gin.
Manufacture of clocks.
Sewing thread.
Rise of manufactures.
Dependence of United States on Great Britain before 1807.
Effect of the embargo.
Manner of encouraging manufactures.
_Agricultural Progress_
Effect of the French war.
State of agriculture in
New England.
New York and Pennsylvania.
The South.
_Improvements in Transportation_
Demand for roads and canals.
The national pike.
Early forms.
Rapid introduction of.
_Financial Condition_
Federal money.
The United States mint established.
Free coinage.
Coins struck.
Federal money comes slowly into use.
State Banks.
What led to the chartering of state banks.
Their rapid increase.


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