On February 12, 1793, Washington signed into law the Fugitive Slave Act, which overrode state laws and courts, allowing agents to cross state lines to capture and return escaped slaves. Many in the north decried the law believing the act allowed bounty hunting and the kidnappings of blacks. The Slave Trade Act of 1794, limiting American involvement in the Atlantic slave trade, was also enacted.
Washington, with nominal fanfare, arrived alone at his inauguration in his carriage. Sworn into office by Associate Justice William Cushing on March 4, 1793 in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Washington gave a brief address and then immediately retired to his Philadelphia presidential house, weary of office and in poor health.
On April 22, 1793, during the French Revolution, Washington issued his famous Neutrality Proclamation and was resolved to pursue, "a conduct friendly and impartial toward the belligerent Powers" while he warned Americans not to intervene in the international conflict.
On July 31, 1793 Jefferson submitted his resignation from Washington's cabinet. Washington signed the Naval Act of 1794 and commissioned the first six federal frigates to combat Barbary pirates.