Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/230

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

his nomination as Secretary of the Treasury was therefore postponed till the next session. This delay was not allowed to prevent his taking charge of the office; but he was obliged first to make the long journey to his residence on the Monongahela, in southwestern Pennsylvania, in order to arrange his affairs and bring his family to Washington. During the interval between the inauguration and the meeting of his completed Cabinet, Jefferson was left without means of governing. For Attorney-General he selected Levi Lincoln, a lawyer of Worcester County in Massachusetts, who had been recently elected to fill a vacancy in the House of Representatives, and, being on the spot, was useful in acting as Secretary of State, or in any other capacity in which the services of a secretary were required. For the War Department the President chose Henry Dearborn, a resident of the District of Maine, then a part of Massachusetts. With such assistance as Lincoln and Dearborn could give, and with the aid of Samuel Dexter the Federalist Secretary of the Treasury, and Benjamin Stoddert the Federalist Secretary of the Navy, who consented to remain for a time, Jefferson slowly set his Administration in motion.

The Navy Department seemed likely to baffle the President's utmost efforts. The appointment was intended for Robert R. Livingston of New York, who refused, then it was offered to Samuel Smith of Maryland, a prominent member of Congress; but General Smith was a merchant, and declined to abandon