THE CONSTITUTION IN VIRGINIA AND IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.
FROM MAY 1785 TO 25 JUNE 1788.
FROM Virginia proceeded the southern opposition to the consolidation of the union. A strife in congress, in which the North was too much in the wrong to succeed, united the five southernmost states together in a struggle which endangered the constitution.
In May 1785, Diego Gardoqui arrived, charged with the affairs of Spain, and seemingly empowered to fix the respective limits and adjust other points* between two countries which bordered on each other from the Atlantic to the headspring of the Mississippi. On the twentieth of July 1785 congress invested Secretary Jay with full powers to negotiate with Gardoqui,† instructing him, however, previous to his making or agreeing to any proposition, to communicate it to congress. The commission was executed, and negotiations immediately began. Jay held the friendship of Spain most desirable as a neighbor; as a force that could protect the United States from the piracies of the Barbary powers and conciliate the good-will of Portugal and Italy; as a restraint on the influence of France and of Great Britain; and as the ruler of dominions of which the trade offered tempting advantages. He therefore proposed that the United States, as the price of a treaty of reciprocity in commerce, should forego the navigation of the Mississippi for twenty-five or thirty years.
On the third of August 1786, Jay appeared before congress
* Diplomatic Correspondence, vi., 81–97. Secret Journals, iii., 569, 570.
† Secret Journals, iii., 568–570.