WASHINGTON AS A PARTY MAN
Washington was not chosen to office by a political party; he considered parties to be perilous things, and he entered the presidency determined to have nothing to do with them. Yet, as has already been pointed out, he took the members of his cabinet entirely from one of the two parties which then existed, and which had been produced by the divisions over the Constitution and its adoption. To this charge he would no doubt have replied that the parties caused by the constitutional differences had ceased to exist when that instrument went into operation, and that it was to be supposed that all men were then united in support of the government. Accepting this view of it, it only remains to see how he fared when new and purely political parties, as was inevitable, sprang into active life.
Whatever his own opinions may have been as to parties and party-strife, Washington was under no delusions in regard either to human nature or to himself, and he had no expectation that everything he said or did would meet with universal approbation. He well knew that there would be dissatisfaction, and no man ever took high office with a mind more ready to bear criticism and to profit by it. Three months after his inauguration he wrote to his friend David Stuart: “I should like to be informed of the public opinion of both men and measures, and of none more than myself; not so much of what may be thought commendable parts, if any, of my conduct, as of those which are conceived