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“ Account of expences incurred by Oliver Wolcott, in consequence of the removal of the govern. ment, from Philadelphia to the City of Washing
Dols. Cts. « For chests and cases, and expences of packing furniture,
152 45 Porterage and other small expences, 31 97 « House-rent in Philadelphia,
66 66 Freight of baggage and furniture,
43 92 “ Loss on the sale of sundry articles of
furniture, (at least)
“ December 29, 1800.
“ I authorise Edward Jones, Esq. to receive payment of the above account (of this statement) for my use.
" OLIVER WOLCOTT.
“ N. B. Part of my furniture remains at Philadelphia, the storage and removal of which will occasion further expence, which in my opinion, ought to be borne by the United States, and will accordingly be claimed by me when the amount of said expence is ascertained.
« OLIVER WOLCOTT."
The silly credulity with which Mr. Adams is possessed, cannot be better exemplified than by the following story:
In the summer of 1799, a person waited on Mr. Boudinot, director of the mint, and after soliciting a private interview, produced several ingots of metal, of a dusky white color, and left them with Mr. Boudinot, desiring that they might be assayed, and he would call again to learn the result, and make a very important discovery. The ingots were found to be one half of them of pure tin, the remaining half pure silver. The person on calling, informed Mr. Boudinot, that he had been so fortunate as to discover a chemical process, by which tin was converted into silver, and that the silver ingots which he had left, were so produced. He suggested to Mr. Boudinot the advantages which the country would derive by having all its silver bullion created at home, and that by a proper use of the secret, the mint might command the universe....that it was a dangerous thing for him to possess it, but that he was willing to engage with the mint, to produce a given quantity exclusively for the mint. Mr. Boudinot was in raptures, and solicited the chemist to call upon him the next day. The director of the American mint waited directly on the President Adams, and to him communicated the secret. The whole of the conversation on this momentous discovery we cannot detail, but it appears that Mr. Adams was equally impressed with the importance and value of the secret, and expressed very serious apprehensions, that if the secret were not confined to hiinself, the director of the mint and the alchemist, the power which it might give, would not only endanger the governinent, but by the capacity which it gave of encreasing the quantity of bullion, produce the same consequences as the discovery of the American mines had on the Spanish monarchy. The inportance of preserving the secret, inviolate and exclusively to themselves, was forcibly impressed, and the negociation for securing it entrusted to the sagacity and discretion of the director.
On the next day the alchemist produced some more ingots, but alarms of the yellow-fever were then general, and he pointed out the necessity of removing the furnaces, and erecting them at some safe distance from the city. A situation on the Delaware, in New Jersey, was named, and after some preliminaries as to the necessity of secrecy, of which the chemist appeared to be equally earnest with the director, there remained nothing more to be done than to remove the apparatus and procure the requisite quantity of the raru material. For these purposes several hundred hard dollars, of the vul. gar silver of South America, were advanced; and the chemist, to prevent any suspicions in the minds of those who might chance to see the ingots, took the tin ingots with a view to convert them into silver, and the silver ingots to pack up with the quantity that was to form the first delivery for public use.
The director left town along with others who were apprehensive of the contagion, and the chemist departed likewise. Upon the return of Mr. Boudinot to Philadelphia, he made enquiries for his friend the chemist, but unhappily without success; upon communicating this information to the President, he drily observed, the man must have died of the yellow-fever, and perhaps fortunately for the world. But it appears that Mr. Boudinot discovered that the man did escape the disease, but by some cause he had lost the secret so completely as not to be able to return the money advanced to carry on the process which was to have given Mr. Adams the command of the universe.
Extravagance and folly characterised the lastas well as the first measures of Mr. Adams. The benches of justice were filled with men who fought against American Independence, and those who have been since most active to destroy it.—Mr. Adams determined and declared that he would nominate to the last hour of his presidential existence, and was not sparing of a species of insult and indecency to his successor which no man of common sense and civility could be guilty of.
There were several Senators nominated for Judges under a law created by themselves, though the sixth section of the constitution declared, that “ No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office, under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emo
luments whereof shall have encreased during such
Yet Jacob Reed of South-Carolina, Paine of Vermont, Green of Rhode Island, were nominated by Mr. Adams to the offices for the creation of which they voted.
The manner in which Mr. Adams departed from Washington after his power ceased, has even received the censure of his warmest friends : in place of remaining to witness the inauguration of Mr. Jefferson like his illustrious predecessor, he ordered his carriage ready the moment the hour of twelve at night struck, and as if ashamed to witness in a private station, the capital of that nation which he had for four years insulted and oppressed, he took his departure before sun rise, and bid (it is to be hoped) a final adieu to the seat of American government.