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a circuit, and, while so doing, manifested the confidence reposed in him by the first man in the country, by writing to the president, proposing to him subjects to be brought before Congress at their ensuing session. Among these, he recommended measures for the improvement of our intercourse with the Indians; laws for the coinage; the preservation of old and establishment of new fortresses; and also the inspection of articles of export. The president replied by requesting farther communications, and indicating the way of forwarding them so that they might be received.

During the year 1791, the time of the chiefjustice was wholly taken up by attending to his official duties. The charges of the chief-justice to juries during this year were generally well-written essays, in which he laid down moral and political principles, and proved the necessity of conforming to them.

During the year 1792 much dissatisfaction was expressed by many of the inhabitants of NewYork at the course pursued by their governor; it was therefore determined to oppose him, and, if possible, prevent his re-election. It was necessary to decide upon an opposition candidate, and Mr. Jay was honoured by the choice. His nomination was first decided upon at a meeting of the citizens of New-York, and was soon approved of

by the opposition throughout the state. Mr. Jay accepted this nomination, in conformity with the opinions he had expressed when rejecting a like nomination some years before. He thought that the time had now arrived when he was called upon by a prevailing discontent, and by a general conviction of the insufficiency of their ruler, to accept that office, the reform of which he was the most capable to perfect. He could have been actuated by no motives of private benefit in accepting this nomination; for, if he were elected, he would be obliged to resign an office equally honourable, less dependant for its permanency on mere popularity, while, at the same time, it was more lucrative, and more congenial to his inclinations. The friends of the party in power roused themselves to combat this powerful opposition; and, as one means of doing so, attacked and exaggerated many of the actions and well-known opinions of Jay. They, in a state, the majority of whose inhabitants had been antifederalists, attacked his course, and misrepresented his motives in regard to the adoption of the Constitution. They tried to carry into politics his opinions on the subject of slavery, and incited against him slave owners, by declaring that, if in power, he would rob them of their slaves who were fit to labour, and oblige them to educate those who were yet too young to work. Of these attacks and insinuations he took no pub

lic notice; but his private feelings were excited by the turning against him and the active opposition of his old friend Chancellor Livingston. A letter was addressed to Livingston, in one of the papers, couched in a high tone of feeling; many of his partisans spread the opinion that this was a production of Mr. Jay; and one of them, in the same newspaper, replied to Mr. Jay as its author. He publicly disavowed it as his production.

Mr. Jay was absent from the state during the election. His letters during this period show how little his feelings were interested in the result; even to his wife he never alludes to the subject, except when forced, and declares that he is perfectly resigned and unconcerned about his success or defeat.

Although Mr. Jay had, without doubt, a majority of votes, he was not returned as elected, for reasons which we shall proceed to explain. By law, all the ballots were to be transmitted by the sheriffs of the different counties to a committee appointed by the Legislature to canvass them. This committee, named by the party in power, took advantage of an informality in the appointment of sheriffs. The sheriffs had been in the habit of performing the duties of their office beyond the time for which they had been appointed, and until it was found convenient to nominate and induct into office a successor. Custom and expediency alex


not positive law, had sanctioned this practice. The committee on elections so decided, and threw out the votes of those counties which were brought in by sheriffs holding office according to this custom. By taking advantage of this and some other slight informalities, they reduced Mr. Jay's votes from a majority to a minority, and declared Mr. Clinton elected governor of the state. The minority of the committee entered a protest against these proceedings. An intense public feeling was excited throughout the state; and those were not wanting who advised Mr. Jay to assume the office of governor, assuring him that he would be supported in such a course by a majority of the inhabitants of the state. Happily for the community, he was no demagogue ambitious for party superiority and public power, and therefore refused this advice, considering that it was the duty of himself and all good citizens rather to suffer a present wrong than to right themselves by violence.

In February, 1793, the Supreme Court was held at Philadelphia, and a case perfectly novel, and interesting from its bearing upon the new Constitution, was brought before it for decision. The case was this: an inhabitant of one state sued the government of another state. The state so sued refused to appear, on the grounds that, being sovereign and independent, it could be brought before no tribunal. One of the principal objec

tions to the new Constitution had been that, when carried into effect, it would impair state rights and do away with state sovereignty. It no doubt did this in some degree, and it was now to be seen whether the officer charged with that duty would carry into effect such a provision in the face of a strong opposition. But Mr. Jay had firmness enough to avow any opinion, provided he knew it to be consistent with his duty and his principles. He therefore, on the following grounds, decided that the State of Georgia could be sued. He admitted that the state was sovereign, and then inquired who exercised the sovereignty; it was not the governor, it was not the legislature, but the people; the people. were the sovereigns: therefore it was not an individual suing a kingdom, but one sovereign contending against others; it was a contest between equals. He declared that all admitted that one city might sue another; one state bring an action against another state; then why not one citizen, who exercised a portion of the state sovereignty. He admitted that it would be impossible to sue the United States, because there was no superior power to enforce a decision when given; this was not the case with a state, to whom the United States was a superior.

By this decision great jealousy was excited in the different states, great alarm for the deprival of their power. Their legislatures therefore too!

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