1796 · Philadelphia
Congress's most eloquent Federalist and Anglophile advocates adoption of the Jay Treaty with England. His support assured its passage.
He warns the opposition "that a government wantonly refusing to fulfill its engagement is the corrupter of its citizens." The French Revolution has destroyed the good judgment of some Americans: "In the spirit of party, we could not love or hate enough." Citizen Genet had a lot to do with this: in an effort to raise an army in this country against England, "every popular passion was inflamed."
According to DAB Joseph Priestly, who was in the gallery, called this speech "the most bewitching piece of parliamentary oratory I ever heard." Channing's History called it "one of the greatest speeches ever made in Congress." "The effect produced was absolute enchantment" [Port Folio]. "It was necessary for the treaty opponents to carry an adjournment in order to break the spell, but the next day the House by a majority of three voted to execute the treaty" [DAB].
Evans 29985. (Inventory #: 26111)