SUMMER OF 1800.
The period long hoped for by the anti-federalists, had now arrived, when the differences between the President and a large division of his party should be widened into an irreparable breach. The first overt act was the forced resignation of one, and the sudden dismission of another of the cabinet. The circumstances attending these events need explanation, as bearing upon the rest of Mr. Adams' political course.
The first removal was that of Mr. McHenry. Its immediate cause, "as well as the more remote, will be found in the following letter from that gentleman.
PHILADELPHIA, 20th May, 1800.
You will, no doubt, be somewhat surprised to hear that I resigned the office of Secretary of War--the resignation to take effect on the last of June--on the 6th instant, and may feel perhaps a momentary regret at my leaving the administration, before you had closed your political career. I will mention to you some general circumstances inducing to the event, reserving a more particular detail till I may have the pleasure of seeing you.
It is now reduced to a certainty that the anti-federal ticket has prevailed in the State of New York, by a small majority. You will add to this the influence which some of the characters, chosen in the State Legislature, (the members of which elect the electors of the President and Vice President), must enjoy in a