CHAPTER XXII
MADISON AS A PARTISAN

WASHINGTON yielded to the requests of the leaders of both parties and determined to hold the Presidency for a second term, but the Anti-Federalists endeavored to defeat the re-election of John Adams to the Vice- Presidency. At Hamilton's request* Madison had given his aid to Adams' first election, and had opposed George Clinton, whom Patrick Henry favoured and who was regarded as the arch-conspirator against the Constitution. Clinton was now, of course, reconciled to the Constitution, and was put forward against Adams, who, it was alleged, was of aristocratic tendencies. In reality no well-informed man believed him to be a real aristocrat, but he was a Federalist and his party would suffer by his defeat. John Beckley, clerk of the House of Representatives, was the active agent of Madison, Monroe and other Southern leaders in the endeavour to compass Adams' defeat. He wrote to Madison, October 17, 1792, from Philadelphia, the letter to be opened by Monroe if it did not find Madison at Fredericksburg where he was supposed to be, reporting that he had conferred with Melancthon Smith, who acted for the Republicans in New York, and an authorized representative of the party in Pennsylvania, and they had decided to drop Aaron Burr for the Vice-Presidency and vigorously press the candidacy of Clinton. It was hoped Henry would win over North Carolina, and some electoral votes could even be counted upon from New England. Beckley spoke bitterly of Hamilton, whom he hated and feared.

____________________
*
Dept. of State MSS.
Rives, III, 311, et seq.

-213-

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