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the " directory ". War with France seemed imminent.
Nowhere else did party spirit run so high as in New
York*. Sympathy for France blinded the judgment
of republicans to the real condition of affairs. Per-
sonal encounters between members of the opposing
parties became common.

The aggressions of France on our merchantmen
finally drove all to the support of the United States
government. Washington was recalled from his retire-
ment, and once more made commander-in-chief of the
army. The New York legislature appropriated |1,-
200,000 for the defence of New York and sustained
Mr. Adams in his firm attitude toward France f.

In 1799 the directory was overthrown by Napoleon.
The so-called republic of France ceased to be, and the
war cloud for a time disappeared from our horizon.

Death of Washington^ 1799. — Near the close of
the eighteenth century, in the midst of the stirring
events in which he had been so prominent, Washing-
ton died (December 14). The sorrow with which

* It was during this excitement that Mr. Adams
persuaded Mr. Joseph Hopkinson to write the words
of " Hail Columbia ", which were first sun^ to the air,
*'The President's march", in a Philadelphia theatre,
and afterward upon the streets of New York. This
did as much as anything to restore harmony. " Firm,
united, let us be. Rallying 'round our liberty," etc.,
etc. See Song Budget Music Series, Part III, pages
10, 11.

t When the United States was asked as the price of
peace to pay France $250,000, Mr. Pinckney made this
historic answer: "Millions for defence, but not a
cent for tribute! "

1799] An^ Era of Progress 335

the intelligence was everywhere received was soothed
by the recollection of his distinguished services, which
a grateful people now began to realize. A native of
Virginia, he seemed a citizen of Xew York, for there
had much of his public life been spent.

An era of progress. — Its position midway between
the eastern and southern colonies, its magnificent har-
bor, its natural waterways opening far into the State,
Its fertile soil, the character of its early settlers, all
guaranteed to New York a prosperous future. Lands
could not be opened rapidly enough to accommodate
the settlers that came hither. Men from all the Xew
England colonies had at sometime served on Xew
York's soil. These had carried home with them
stories of its rich valleys and beautiful lakes. So
there now came what was needed, — a wave of immi:
gration from among the hardy settlers of Massachu-
setts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Xew Hampshire,
bringing to the State their strong arms inured to toil,
their enterprise, economy, and intelligence with their
firm if somewhat narrow Puritan love for truth. They
poured into all these valleys ; they pushed up into the
higher and rougher table lands which the Dutch had
disregarded, and everywhere they took with them the
church and the school, those twin children of free

Erom the interior, cargoes of wheat began to arrive
at Albany; and instead of gewgaws for the Indians,
utensils for the houses and farms of the settlers were
sent out in return. Manufactures, which had been
confined to the household, now began to utilize the
abundant waterpower. Shipping had re-appeared at

336 Party Ts'ames [Period VIII

Xew York. Trade between the colonies sprang up,,
and ship-loads of goods arrived from and departed to
foreign ports.

Exports from New York rose from nothing to two
and one-half millions in 1791, and to fourteen mil-
lions in 1800.

Post-roads were now established, and mails came and
went with some degree of regularity. As by magic,,
newspapers appeared. In New York city Noah Web-
ster, the great lexicographer then published the "Ad-
vertiser", and Samuel Loudon the "Packet", both
ardent federalist journals. The republicans had
" Greenfield's Journal ", and the merchants the
"Price Current". Albany boasted of three news-
papers. Orange and Ulster counties each had two,
and several other counties had one. Of news, these
contained very little, for there was not for many years
any means of gathering it.

These papers discussed in long essays, serious ques-
tions of religion and State, and scolded the govern-
ment and its officers in articles which would now be
thought very tedious.

The postage on a letter for not more than thirty
miles was six cents; for sixty miles it was ten cents,
and the rate increased to twenty-five cents for 450
miles. People objected to paying postage on news-
papers, as they considered it as a " tax on knowledge ".

Party names. — As early as 1789 the name " repub-
lican " was adopted by those anti-federalists who s_ym-
pathized with the French revolutionists. The word
" democratic " was added by the federalists as a term

1799] Summary 337

of contempt, but was proudly adopted by the repub-
licans and generally used thereafter.


1. Elections of 1792.

2. Anti-federalists become republicans; Jacobins.

3. Citizen Genet.

4. The English treaty and Mr. Jay.

o. Bowling Green meeting; Abuse of Mr. Jay.

6. State finances; first comptroller; paper money.

7. First State banks.

8. Manhattan bank fraud.

9. French scare, 1798 ; origin of " Hail Columbia ".

10. Progress; immigration.

11. IS^ewspapers.


The CoKSTiTUTioNAL Revision of 1801

Constitutional convention. — Before the end of
Mr. Jay's second term as governor, it began to be ap-
parent that the State constitution should be amended.
Many defects had been discovered, but the chief objec-
tion made was to the "council of appointment".
The democrats were now coming into power in the
legislature, and the governor found himself hedged in
by this " council ". As the constitution made no pro-
vision for its own amendment, the legislature ordered
a constitutional convention to be elected by the people.
This met in October, 1801, and Aaron Burr was chosen
as its president.

In this convention were DeWitt Clinton and Daniel
D. Tompkins, — both future governors of the State. So
dominated were the members by political influence,
that not a single vote could be obtained for the aboli-
tion of that monstrosity, the "council of appoint-
ment". It was too useful as a part of the political
machinery of the party in power. The only changes
made in the fundamental law of the State were slight
ones in regard to membership in the senate and assem-
bly *. These were ratified by the people.

*The membership of the senate was then fixed at
32, and that of the assembly at 100, to be increased by
two, yearly, until the number should be 150.


1801] Xew Yoek in National Politics 339

New York politics ; George Clinton elected
governor. — In 1801 the democrats were fully in power.
They elected Ex- Governor George Clinton to the office
of governor and sent his nephew, DeWitt Clinton, to
the United States senate. x\aron Burr, now vice-
president, was seeking promotion to the presidency.
Between him and DeWitt Clinton sprang up such a
rivalry that the whole power of the Clinton family was
turned against Burr. The Livingstons, also, were
alienated from him, and as Burr's friends asserted,
were rewarded, through President Jefferson by the
appointment of Chancellor Robert R. Livingston as
minister to France*, and his brother Edward to the
office of L^nited States attorney for Xew York.

For the first time in our country's history the doc-
trine was enunciated that "the affairs of government
should be managed by those who were in accord with
the chiefs whom the people had elected."

To this no just objection could be raised, and were
all politicians both wise and honest it would never
descend to that kindred maxim, "To the victors be-
long the spoils."

In justice to the leaders of the majority, it should
be said that they, with the best men of the State, had
begun to distrust Burr, and had resolved to part com-
pany with him.

Burr's efforts to become governor; election
of Morgan Lewis. — In his own State Burr's fortunes

* During his residence in France, Mr. Livingston
was able to negotiate the treaty by which President
Jefferson purchased Louisiana from Xapoleon.

340 Feeling against Aaron Burr [Period VIII

were on the wane. Through
"The Citizen", the official
organ of the Clintons and
Livingstons, he was sub-
jected to bitter attacks, and
these were supported by
the "Evening Post", a
paper published in the in-
terests of Hamilton. These
MoKGAN L^ 1754-1844 chargcs worc replied to in
Governor, 1801-4 the " Moming Chronicle ",

a paper founded to further Burr's interests.

The warfare was even carried into the legislature,
and as a result Burr's friends were removed from posi-
tions of trust. The power of the Manhattan bank,
which he had founded was turned against him, the op-
position having secured a controlling interest in the
stock. Burr could easily persuade himself that he
was the victim of a plot intended to work his ruin.

His friends finally determined on a bold stroke, and
in February, 1804, he was nominated for governor of
New York. The opposition named Chief Justice Mor-
gan Lewis, a relative of the Livingstons, and he was
elected by a majority of 8,700 votes.

The Burr-Hamilton tragedy^ 1804. — In the cam-
paign against Burr, Alexander Hamilton was very
active. At a private meeting of federalists, Hamilton,
in speaking of the election, had said that " no reliance
ought to be placed on Burr". The usual mischief-
maker was present who soon repeated the remark as
an attack on Burr's private character.

A prompt retraction was demanded by Burr, but

1804] Duel op Burr and Hamiltoj^ 341

Hamilton's pride forbade a reply. A challenge fol-
lowed, and in the duel which ensued, Hamilton fell*

The excitement throughout the country was intense.
The coroner's jury found Burr guilty of murder, and
he fled from the State. For years he was a fugitive,
engaged in most visionary schemes, the chief of which
was to form a new republic from the States west of
the Blue Ridge mountains j. For this he was arrested,
brought to Washington (1807) and tried for treason.'
The verdict was "not proven" and Burr was once
more free, though he lived thereafter in obscurity +.

" The duel " which had even in :N"ew York become
very common as a means of settling disputes, came
into such ill-repute that, in the northern States, it
practically became unknown.

Burr and Hamilton contrasted.— Among the

many names of this period none are more prominent in
the history of XewYork politics than those of Hamilton
and Burr. Born within a year of each other,— Burr in
Xew Hampshire in 1756, Hamilton in the West Indies
in 1757,— their lives, m many respects ran parallel.

Burr was left an orphan at the age of three years,
but was able to enter Princeton college and to gradu-

*The duel occurred near Weehauken, JN". J., July
11, 1804. Hamilton had sat up all the previous night
transacting necessary business, which included the
niakmg of his will. His wife knew nothing of the
attair till he was brought home in a dying condition.

tRead "The Blennerhasset Affair".

o.^^^r^®^^ *^ England, but returned and died on
bt'dten Island in 1836.


Burr and Hamilton [Period VIII

Aaron Burr, 1756-lJ

Alexander Hamilton, 1757-1804

ate at sixteen. Hamilton's father having failed in
business when the son was but three years old, at the
age of twelve the boy was put to work in a counting-
house. Here his undoubted abilities attracted the
attention of friends who sent him to Kings college,
from which he was graduated at seventeen.

Both entered the patriot army in the same year,
1775. Burr entered as a private, but by his ability he
soon rose to the rank of lieutenant-colonel with a posi-
tion as aide to the commander-in-chief, whose general-
ship he despised and whose strategy he uniformly con-

Hamilton entered the service with the rank of cap-
tain of artillery, became a colonel, and also served as
aide to Washington, all of whose plans he seconded,
and to whom he became a most efficient assistant.

Burr married the daughter of a British officer, and
left the service in 1779; Hamilton married the daugh-
ter of General Schuyler, and served until peace was

1804] Burr and Hamilton 343

Both early entered politics, in which field they soon
became rivals. Hamilton was a federalist, an ardent
supporter of the new constitution, the author of sixty-
three of the eighty-five now famous essays on the con-
stitution, which make up the " Federalist".

Burr, at first in doubt, finally became an anti-feder-
alist, and opposed the adoption of the constitution and
every measure of Washington's administration.

Both were natural leaders of men; Hamilton, by
his winning, persuasive manner; Burr by his imperious
force of character. Hamilton was cheerful, courteous,
friendly; Burr, saturnine, jealous, revengeful. In
politics, both were ambitious and designing, but Ham-
ilton's good humor won friends, while Burr's gloomy
spirit repelled those who wished to be his friends.

Both men rose rapidly in the political field. In
1784, Burr was elected to the assembly and subse-
quently served as attorney-general of the State, as
United States senator, and vice-president. Hamilton
became Washington's secretary of the treasury, and
when war with France threatened, was made major-
general under Washington.

In a different measure both possessed the gift of
oratory. Hamilton was brilliant; Burr was logical.
The one was fascinating, the other forcible.

In private character, it is probable that Burr would
to-day pass as the better man, — and that without
ascribing to him all the virtues. The deed in which
their life-long antagonisms culminated would have
been entirely impossible in Hamilton, but was, in those
times, the natural expression of Burr's character.

344 Summary [Period VIII

By the final tragedy of their lives, one became fixed
in history as a disinterested patriot, while the memory
of the other was consigned to lasting infamy.


1. First revision of State constitution, 1801.

2. Political quarrels and maxims, 1801.

3. Burr for governor ; his defeat.

4. The Burr-Hamilton tragedy; effect.


The First Steamboat

Elections. In 1804, Mr. Jefferson was re-elected
president, and Ex-Goyernor George Clinton became
vice-president in place of Burr.

The West Point military academy was founded
in 1802, but in 1812 it was re-organized on a much
broader plan. The grade was raised, and the number
of cadets limited to 260*.

The first steamboats, 1807. — At the beginning
of the present century three men were at work on the
problem of steam navigation. These were John Cox
Stephens in Xew York and Robert R. Livingston and
Robert Fulton in Paris.

Stephens was an inventor. In 1812 he invented the
first iron-clad ship. He studied the problem of rail-
roads and suggested the construction of one from Al-
bany to Lake Erie, long before the Erie canal was un-
dertaken. He made the plans for the Camden and
Amboy railroad, in Xew Jersey.

Robert R. Livingston in 1801 was minister of the
United States to France. In Paris he became ac-
quainted with Robert Fulton, an artist and inventor.
The fact that both were working on the same problem
drew them together, and they formed a co-partner-
ship for the prosecution of their enterprise.

* The original fortifications at West Point were
planned by Thaddeus Kosciusko. See page 269.


346 The First Steamboat [Period VIII

Livingston's influence made it possible for him to
obtain from the legislature of Xew York, the exclu-
sive right of steam navigation within the bounds of
that State for twenty years, on condition that he should
within one year move a boat of twenty tons by steam,
at the rate of four miles an hour.

This he failed to do, but later, when he and Fulton
had prosecuted their experiments somewhat farther,
Livingston succeeded in getting this privilege extended
for two years. Meantime Stephens had built the first
steamer, the Phcenix, and was running it on the waters
about New York.

Finally Eobert Fulton launched his boat, the Cler-
mont, on East Eiver. It was
130 feet long and only 18
feet wide; it had a second
deck at both stem and stern
and was provided with mast
and sails for use in case
steam should fail.

The wheels were 15 feet
in diameter, with paddles
which dipped in the water

Egbert Fulton, 1765-1815 . » ,

two leet.
At one o'clock in the afternoon of August 7, 1807,
the voyage was begun. The weight of the machinery
nearly sank the craft, but she made the trip of 150
miles in thirty-two hours, and by the terms of the agree-
ment had won the exclusive right for her builders to
navigate the lakes and rivers of New York for twenty

1807] The Democrats in Power 347

The success of the undertaking is usually attributed
to Eobert Fulton. It is doubtful if it does not quite
as much belong to Robert Livingston, while to John
Cox Stephens certainly belongs the credit of being the
first to navigate the waters of New York bay by steam*.

Daniel D. Tompkins, governor. — In 1807 the

Daniel U. Tompkins, 1774-1825 James Madison, 1751-1836

Governor, 1807-1817 President. 1809-1817

democrats controlled the State and elected as governor
Daniel D. Tompkins. He was a graduate of Colum-
bia college; he had been a delegate to the constitu-
tional convention of 1801, a member of the State
legislature and a member of congress. He brought to
the governor's chair exceptional abilities and filled the
office continuously for ten years.

Madison and Clinton. — In New York the federalist

* By the monopoly secured by Livingston and Ful-
ton the Phoenix was driven out of New York bay, but
she went to the Delaware river and plied between
Philadelphia and Trenton. Mr. Livingston is rarely
mentioned in connection with "Fulton's steamboat".
This is probably on account of his high political

348 Political Changes [Period YIII

party was thought to be dead. In its opposition to
the infatuation of the democrats for everything that
came from France, it had gone to the opposite extreme
of complete "toadyism" to everything English. Its
adherents had even disapproved of the custom of read-
ing the Declaration of Independence on public occa-
sions. On this account its support had rapidly drifted
away, and in 1808 ihe country was easily carried for
James Madison as president, while George Clinton
was retained as vice-president.

National issues. — There was genuine cause for
complaint against both France and England. In their
almost chronic state of war, they entirely ignored the
rights of the United States. By the restrictions which
both 23laced upon commerce, American merchant ships
were being driven from the seas. Mr. Jefferson's pet
scheme of an "embargo"* on all commerce bore
heavily upon New York. Two effects could be plainly
seen: it gave an impetus to home manufactures, and
it woke the old federalist party to vigorous life. As
a result, in the elections of 1809 they captured the
legislature, made a new council of appointment and
turned the democrats out of office.

The " embargo " was repealed June 10th, 1809, and
there was great rejoicing throughout the State. Busi-
ness revived and politicians, for a time, had no great
"national issues" with which to mislead the people.

The federalists defeated^ 1810.— By the elec-
tions of 1810 the State government passed entirely into
the hands of the democrats. True to their traditional

* See U. S. History.

1811] The Tammany Society 349

policy, they formed a new council of appointment,
and in a few months not one federalist office holder re-
mained to tell of the victory of the preceding year.

Democratic quarrelS5 1811. — Seldom have poli-
ticians been able to refrain from quarrelling over the
spoils of office. DeWitt Clinton was now the rising
leader among the democrats, and the death of John
Broome, lieutenant-governor, furnished the occasion
for a contention in that party.

DeWitt Clinton had at this period in his life a gift
for doing the unexpected. In 1803, when he had but
just reached the United States senate, he resigned his
seat to become mayor of New York city; and now to
the surprise of every one, he became a candidate for
the office of lieutenant-governor, and received the
regular democratic nomination. The "Tammany
society"*, already a decided political power, nomi-
nated against him that gallant soldier. Colonel Marinus
Willett, while the federalists put forward Colonel
Nicholas Fish. The election was close; Clinton was
elected by a small majority.

*" The Tammany society ", or " Columbian order",
as it was also called, was founded soon after the inau-
guration of Washington. It was then strictly a national
society and its object, as stated was " to foster a true
love for our country". Men of both political parties
belonged to it. It took its name from the legendary
Indian chief "Tammany", described by Dr. Samuel
Latham Mitchell, founder of the New York Historical
society. William Mooney was the first Grand Sachem.
Gradually the society became a political factor, and in
later years it has often controlled the elections in our

350 SUMMARY [Period VIII


1. Steamboats, 1807.

2. The federalist party; in 1708.

3. National issues in New York ; the embargo.

4. Democratic quarrels.

5. Tammany society.



The. War of 1812

Causes of the war. — Several causes united to
bring on the war of 1812, or, as it is frequently called,
" The Second War for Independence: "

1. Great Britain had never carried out all the agree-
ments of the " Treaty of Paris".

2. While the United States claimed that a man might
transfer his allegiance and that "The Flag protects
the Sailor", England denied the right of "expatria-
tion ", and held that a man " once a British sailor was
always a British sailor". Consequently, she claimed
the right to stop merchantmen and even naval vessels
of the United States anywhere on the high seas and
search them for British sailors. This she frequently
did, even in the ports of the United States.

3. Great Britain in common with France had placed
restrictions on American commerce which practically
shut it out of one-half the ports of the world. Either
England or France would grant immunity to our mer-
chant marine on terms that would involve us in war
with the other power.

The federalists charged all our troubles on France,
— the democrats on England. On account of her more
extensive commerce, New York had felt these restric-
tions more than any other State and here the war feel-
ing became strongest. The rallying cry in the late
elections had been " Free ships and sailors' rights^ \


352 Wak Declared [Period VIII

War declared against Great Britain. — At last
when all honorable means for the preservation of peace
had been exhausted, when 900 American ships had
been seized and 2,000 sailors imprisoned, on June 19^
1812, a declaration of war against England was made.
Strangely enough this was done before any steps had
been taken to put the country into a state of defence.
There were no army, no navy, and no money in the
national treasury.

It was foreseen that New York would, as in preced-
ing wars, be the State to suffer most, but there was a
general feeling of relief and a universal rallying to the
support of the government when war was an assured

The State militia was at once organized. Stephen
Van Eensselaer was made major-general and placed in
command of a division; General William Mooers in
command of a second; and General Henry Dearborn
was to command the department '^.

New York in the war of 1812. — War having been
formally declared, Xew York entered at once upon her
part in its prosecution. All the plans for an invasion
of Canada had been formulated at Washington, but
they were seriously disarranged by the defeat and sur-
render of General Hull at Detroit, August 16, 1812.
This made it more certain that Xew York would be-
come the chief field of operations.

On Lake Champlain, by which invasions and

* General Dearborn was a New Hampshire man. He
had entered the patriot army at Lexington and served
through the War of the Revolution.

1812] Battles iiy^ Xeav York 353

counter-invasions had so frequently been made, was
General Dearborn with 3,000 regulars and 2,000
militia. Two thousand more militia were on the St.
Lawrence, extending to Sacketts Harbor, while at
Buffalo were 6,000 volunteers.

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