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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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1028. CABELL (J. C.), University of Va. and.—

We always counted on you as the
main pillar of their. [University of Virginia
measures] support.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Ford ed., ix, 500.
(M. 1815)

1029. CABINET, Confidence in.—

Cabinet Council of the President should be of
his bosom confidence. Our geographical position
has been an impediment to that.—
To Samuel Dexter. Washington ed. iv, 359. Ford ed., vii, 498.
(W. Feb. 1801)

1030. CABINET, Contentions.—

In the
discussions [on the affairs of France and England],
Hamilton and myself were daily pitted
in the cabinet like two cocks. We were then
but four in number, and, according to the
majority, which of course was three to one,
the President decided. The pain was for
Hamilton and myself, but the public experienced
no inconvenience.—
To Dr. Walter Jones. Washington ed. v, 510. Ford ed., ix, 273.
(M. 1810)

1031. CABINET, Contentions.—[continued].

The method of separate
consultation, practiced sometimes in the Cabinet,
prevents disagreeable collisions.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. v, 496. Ford ed., ix, 269.
(M. 1810)

1032. CABINET, Enmity in.—

I have
learned, with real sorrow, that circumstances
have arisen among our executive counsellors,
which have rendered foes those who once
were friends. To themselves it will be a
source of infinite pain and vexation, and
therefore chiefly I lament it, for I have
a sincere esteem for both parties. To the
President, it will be really inconvenient; but
to the nation I do not know that it can do
serious injury, unless we were to believe the
newspapers, which pretend that Mr. Gallatin
will go out. That, indeed, would be a day
of mourning for the United States; but I hope
that the position of both gentlemen may be
made so easy as to give no cause for either to
To Dr. Walter Jones. Washington ed. v, 509. Ford ed., ix, 273.
(M. March. 1810)

1033. CABINET, Enmity in.—[continued].

The dissensions between
two members of the Cabinet are to be lamented.
But why should these force Mr. Gallatin
to withdraw? They cannot be greater
than between. Hamilton and myself, and
yet we served together four years in that way.
We had indeed no personal dissensions.
Each of us, perhaps, thought well of the other
as a man, but as politicians it was impossible
for two men to be of more opposite principles.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. v, 496. Ford ed., ix, 269.
(M. 1810)

1034. CABINET, Equipoise of Opinion in.—

President Washington [said to me] that
he thought it important to preserve the check
of my opinions in the Administration, in order
to keep things in their proper channel, and
prevent them from going too far.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 121. Ford ed., i, 204.
(Oct. 1792)

1035. CABINET, Harmonious.—

Our Administration
now drawing towards a close, I
have a sublime pleasure in believing it will be
distinguished as much by having placed itself
above all the passions which could disturb its
harmony, as by the great operations by which
it will have advanced the well-being of the nation.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 23. Ford ed., viii, 476.
(W. 1806)

1036. CABINET, Harmonious.—[continued].

I have so much reliance
on the superior good sense and candor of all


Page 118
those associated with me, as to be satisfied
that they will not suffer either friend or foe
to sow tares among us.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 23. Ford ed., viii, 476.
(W. 1806)

1037. CABINET, Harmonious.—[further continued].

Among the felicities which have attended my administration, I
am most thankful for having been able to
procure coadjutors so able, so disinterested,
and so harmonious. Scarcely ever has a difference
of opinion appeared among us which
has not, by candid consultation, been amalgamated
into something which all approved;
and never one which in the slightest degree
affected our personal attachments.—
To Mr. Weaver. Washington ed. v, 89.
(W. 1807)

1038. CABINET, Harmonious.—[further continued] .

I look back with peculiar
satisfaction on the harmony and cordial good will which, to ourselves and to our
brethren of the Cabinet, so much sweetened
our toils.—
To Robert Smith. Washington ed. v, 451.
(M. June. 1809)

1039. CABINET, Harmonious.—[further continued].

I have thought it among
the most fortunate circumstances of my late
Administration that, through its eight years'
continuance, it was conducted with a cordiality
and harmony among all its members,
which never were ruffled on any, the greatest
or smallest occasion.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 533.
(M. 1810)

1040. CABINET, Harmonious.—[further continued] .

The harmony among us
was so perfect, that whatever instrument appeared
most likely to effect the object, was
always used without jealousy.—
To William Wirt. Washington ed. v, 594. Ford ed., ix, 318.
(M. 1811)

1041. CABINET, Harmonious.—[further continued].

The affectionate harmony
of our Cabinet is among the sweetest of
my recollections.—
To Cæsar Rodney. Washington ed. vi, 448.
(M. 1815)

1042. CABINET, Indebtedness to.—

from assuming to myself the merit of the
measures you note, they belong first, to a wise
and patriotic Legislature, which has given
them the form and sanction of law, and next
to my faithful and able fellow laborers in the
Executive administration.—
R. To A. Massachusetts Legislature. Washington ed. viii, 116. 1807)

1043. CABINET, Indebtedness to.—[continued].

For the advantages flowing
from the measures of the government, you
are indebted principally to a wise and patriotic
Legislature, and to the able and inestimable
coadjutors with whom it has been my good
fortune to be associated in the direction of affairs.—
R. To A. Philadelphia Citizens. Washington ed. viii, 145. 1809)

1044. CABINET, Indebtedness to.—[further continued].

Whatever may be the
merit or demerit of the acquisition of Louisiana,
I divide it with my colleagues, to whose
counsels I was indebted for a course of administration
which, notwithstanding this late
coalition of clay and brass, will, I hope, continue
to receive the approbation of our country.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. vii, 215. Ford ed., x, 192.
(M. Aug. 1821)

1045. CABINET, Intrigue in.—

It is impossible
for you to conceive what is passing
in our conclave; and it is evident that one or
two at least, under pretence of avoiding war
on the one side, have no great antipathy to
run foul of it on the other, and to make a
part in the confederacy of princes against
human liberty.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 563. Ford ed., vi, 261.
(Pa., May. 1793)

1046. CABINET, A Kitchen.—

there is an ostensible Cabinet and a concealed
one, a public profession and concealed counteraction,
is false.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. iv, 592. Ford ed., viii, 433.
(W. 1806)

1047. CABINET, Rules of Jefferson's.—

Coming all of us into executive office, new,
and unfamiliar with the course of business
previously practiced, it was not to be expected
we should in the outset, adopt in every part a
line of proceeding so perfect as to admit
no amendment. The mode and degrees of
communication, particularly between the President
and heads of departments, have not
been practiced exactly on the same scale in all
of them. Yet it would certainly be more safe
and satisfactory for ourselves as well as
the public, that not only the best, but also an
uniform course of proceeding as to manner
and degree, should be observed. Having been
a member of the first Administration under
General Washington, I can state with exactness
what our course then was. Letters of
business came addressed sometimes to the
President, but most frequently to the heads
of departments. If addressed to himself, he
referred them to the proper department to be
acted on; if to one of the Secretaries, the letter,
if it required no answer, was communicated to
the President, simply for his information. If
an answer was requisite, the Secretary of the
department communicated the letter and his
proposed answer to the President. Generally
they were simply sent back after perusal,
which signified his approbation. Sometimes
he returned them with an informal note, suggesting
an alteration or a query. If a doubt
of any importance arose, he reserved it for
conference. By this means, he was always in
accurate possession of all facts and proceedings
in every part of the Union, and to whatsoever
department they related; he formed a
central point for the different branches; preserved
an unity of object and action among
them; exercised that participation in the suggestion
of affairs which his office made incumbent
on him; and met himself the due responsibility
for whatever was done. During Mr.
Adam's Administration, his long and habitual
absences from the seat of government, rendered
this kind of communication impracticable,
removed him from any share in the
transaction of affairs, and parcelled out the
government, in fact, among four independent
heads, drawing sometimes in opposite directions.
That the former is preferable to the
latter course, cannot be doubted. It gave,
indeed, to the heads of departments the
trouble of making up, once a day, a packet of
all their communications for the perusal of
the President; it commonly also retarded
one day their despatches by mail. But in
pressing cases, this injury was prevented by


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presenting that case singly for immediate attention;
and it produced us in return the benefit
of his sanction for every act we did.
Whether any change in circumstances May
render a change in this procedure necessary,
a little experience will show us. But I cannot
withhold recommending to heads of departments,
that we should adopt this course
for the present, leaving any necessary modifications
of it to time and trial. I am sure my
conduct must have proved, better than a thousand
declarations would, that my confidence in
those whom I am so happy as to have associated
with me, is unlimited, unqualified, and
unabated. I am well satisfied that everything
goes on with a wisdom and rectitude which I
could not improve. If I had the universe to
choose from, I could not change one of my
associates to my better satisfaction. My sole
motives are those before expressed, as governing
the first Administration in chalking out
the rules of their proceeding; adding to them
only a sense of obligation imposed on me by
the public will, to meet personally the duties
to which they have appointed me.—
To the Heads of the Departments. Washington ed. iv, 415. Ford ed., viii, 99.
(W. Nov. 1801)

1048. CABINET, Rules of Jefferson's.—[continued].

In ordinary affairs every
head of a department consults me on those
of his department, and where anything arises
too difficult or important to be decided between
us, the consultation becomes general.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. iv, 592. Ford ed., viii, 432.
(W. 1806)

1049. CABINET, Rules of Jefferson's.—[further continued].

Something now occurs
almost every day on which it is desirable to
have the opinions of the heads of departments,
yet to have a formal meeting every
day would consume so much of their time as
to seriously obstruct their regular business. I
have proposed to them, as most convenient for
them, and wasting less of their time, to call
on me at any moment of the day which suits
their separate convenience, when, besides any
other business they may have to do, I can
learn their opinions separately on any matter
which has occurred, and also communicate the
information received daily.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 122. Ford ed., ix, 104.
(W. July. 1807)

1050. CABINET, Theory and the.—

Government, although in theory subject to be
directed by the unadvised will of the President,
is, and from its origin has been, a very
different thing in practice. The minor business
in each department is done by the head
of the department, on consultation with the
President alone. But all matters of importance
or difficulty are submitted to all the
heads of departments composing the Cabinet:
sometimes by the President consulting them
separately and successively, as they happen to
call on him; but in the gravest cases, by calling
them together, discussing the subject maturely,
and finally taking the vote, in which the
President counts himself but as one. So that
in all important cases the Executive is, in fact
a directory, which certainly the President
might control; but of this there was never an
example, either in the first or the present administration.
I have heard, indeed, that my
predecessor sometimes decided things against
his council by dashing and trampling his wig
on the floor. This only proves what you and
I know, that he had a better heart than head.—
To William Short. Washington ed. v, 94. Ford ed., ix, 69.
(W. 1807)

1051. CABINET, An Unbroken.—

would have been to me the greatest of consolations
to have gone through my term with
the same coadjutors, and to have shared with
them the merit, or demerit, of whatever good
or evil we may have done.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 229. Ford ed., ix, 171.
(W. Jan. 1808)

1052. CABINET, Verbal and Written Opinions.—

I practiced the method [of assembling
the Cabinet members and taking their
opinions verbally], because the harmony was
so cordial among us all, that we never failed,
by a contribution of mutual views on a subject,
to form an opinion acceptable to the
whole. I think there never was one instance
to the contrary, in any case of consequence.—
To Dr. Walter Jones. Washington ed. v, 510. Ford ed., ix, 273.
(M. 1810)

1053. CABINET, Verbal and Written Opinions.—[continued].

The [method of taking
the opinions of the Cabinet verbally] does, in
fact, transform the Executive into a directory,
and I hold the other method [opinions in writing ,] to be more constitutional. It is better
calculated, too, to prevent collision and irritation,
and to cure it, or at least suppress its
effects when it has already taken place.—
To Dr. Walter Jones. Washington ed. v, 510. Ford ed., ix, 273.
(M. 1810)

1054. CABINET, Verbal and Written Opinions.—[further continued].

The ordinary business of
every day is done by consultation between the
President and the head of the department
alone to which it belongs. For measures of importance
or difficulty; a consultation is held
with the heads of departments, either assembled,
or by taking their opinions separately in
conversation or in writing. The latter is
most strictly in the spirit of the Constitution:
because the President, on weighing the advice
of all, is left free to make up an opinion for
himself. In this way they are not brought together,
and it is not necessarily known to
any what opinion the others have given. This
was General Washington's practice for the
first two or three years of his Administration,
till the affairs of France and England threatened
to embroil us, and rendered consideration
and discussion desirable.—
To Dr. Walter Jones. Washington ed. v, 510. Ford ed., ix, 273.
(M. 1810)

1055. CABINET, Vice-President and.—

The Vice-President, Secretaries of the Treasury
and War, and myself, met. * * * We unanimously advised an immediate order [65]


Page 120
* * *.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 247. Ford ed., v, 320.
(Pa., April. 1791)


Before the President set out on his Southern tour
in April, 1791, he addressed a letter of the 4th of that
month, from Mt. Vernon to the Secretaries of State,
Treasury and War, desiring that if any serious and
important cases should arise during his absence, they
would consult and act on them, and he requested that
the Vice-President should also be consulted. This
was the only occasion on which that officer was ever
requested to take part in a Cabinet question.
—The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 96. Ford ed., i, 165. 1818)

1056. CABINET, Vice-President and.—[continued].

My letters inform me
that Mr. Adams speaks of me with great
friendship and with satisfaction in the prospect
of administering the government in concurrence
with me. * * * If by that he
means the Executive Cabinet, both duty and
inclination will shut that door to me. I cannot
have a wish to see the scenes of 1793 revived
as to myself, and to descend daily into
the arena like a gladiator, to suffer martyrdom
in every conflict.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 161. Ford ed., vii, 107.
(M. Jan. 1797)

1057. CABINET OFFICERS, Congress and.—

An attempt has been made to give further
extent to the influence of the Executive
over the Legislature, by permitting the heads
of departments to attend the House, and explain
their measures vivâ voce. But it was
negatived by a majority of 35 to 11, which
gives us some hope of the increase of the republican
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 491. Ford ed., vi, 134.
(Pa., Nov. 1792)

1058. CABINET OFFICERS, Courtesy between.—

It is but common decency to leave
to my successor [in the State Department] the
moulding of his own business.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 504. Ford ed., vi, 156.

1059. CABINET OFFICERS, Newspapers and.—

Is not the dignity, and even decency
of government committed, when one of
its principal ministers enlists himself as an
anonymous writer or paragraphist for either
the one or the other paper? [66]
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 467. Ford ed., vi, 108.
(M. 1792)


Refering to Alexander Hamilton's newspaper

1060. CABINET OFFICERS, Public Confidence in.—

It is essential to assemble in
the outset persons to compose our Administration,
whose talents, integrity and revolutionary
name and principles may inspire the
nation at once, with unbounded confidence,
and impose an awful silence on all the maligners
of republicanism; as may suppress in embryo
the purpose avowed by one of their most
daring and effective chiefs, of beating down
the Administration. These names do not
abound at this day. So few are they, that
yours cannot be spared among them without
leaving a blank which cannot be filled. If I
can obtain for the public the aid of those I
have contemplated, I fear nothing. If this
cannot be done, then we are unfortunate indeed!
We shall be unable to realize the prospects
which have been held out to the people,
and we must fall back into monarchism, for
want of heads, not hands to help us out of it.
This is a common cause, common to all republicans.
Though I have been too honorably
placed in front of those who are to enter the
breach so happily made, yet the energies of
every individual are necessary, and in the very
place where his energies can most serve the
enterprise. * * * The part which circumstances
constrain us to propose to you is the
Secretaryship of the Navy. * * * Come
forward, then, and give us the aid of your
talents, and the weight of your character towards
the new establishment of republicanism:
I say, for its new establishment, for
hitherto we have only seen its travesty.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 338. Ford ed., vii, 464.
(M. Dec. 1800)

1061. CABINET OFFICERS, Society and.—

The gentlemen who composed General
Washington's first Administration took up,
too universally, a practice of general entertainment,
which was unnecessary, obstructive of
business, and so oppressive to themselves, that
it was among the motives for their retirement.
Their successors profited by the experiment,
and lived altogether as private individuals,
and so have ever continued to do. Here,
[Washington] indeed, it cannot be otherwise,
our situation being so rural, that during the
vacations of the Legislature we shall have no
society but of the officers of the government,
and in time of sessions the Legislature is become
and becoming so numerous, that for the
last half dozen years nobody but the President
has pretended to entertain them.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 339. Ford ed., vii, 465.
(W. Dec. 1800)

— CABOT FAMILY, Arms of.—

See Birds, Turkey.


See Cicero.

1062. CALLENDER (J. T.), Defence of.

—I think it essentially just and necessary that
Callender should be substantially defended.
Whether in the first stages by public interference,
or private contributors, may be a question,
Perhaps it might be as well that it should be
left to the Legislature, who will meet in time,
and before whom you can lay the matter so
as to bring it before them. It is become peculiarly
their cause, and may furnish them a
fine opportunity of showing their respect to the
Union, and at the same time of doing justice in
another way to those whom they cannot protect
without committing the public tranquillity.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 448.
(Ep., May. 1800)

1063. CALLENDER (J. T.), Federalists and.—

I enclose you a paper which shows the
tories mean to pervert these charities to Callender
as much as they can. They will probably
first represent me as the patron and support of
the “Prospect Before Us,” and other things of
Callender's; and then picking out all the scurrilities
of the author against General Washington,
Mr. Adams, and others, impute them to me. i,
as well as most other republicans who were in
the way of doing it, contributed what I could
afford to the support of the republican papers
and printers, paid sums of money for The Bee, the Albany Register, &c., when they were staggering
under the Sedition law; contributed to
the fines of Callender himself, of Holt, Brown
and others, suffering under that law. I discharged,
when I came into office, such as were
under the persecution of our enemies, without
instituting any prosecutions in retaliation.
They may, therefore, with the same justice,
impute to me, or to every republican contributor,
everything which was ever published in


Page 121
those papers, or by those persons.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 447. Ford ed., viii, 167.
(W. 1802)

1064. CALLENDER (J. T.), Fine paid.—

To take from Callender all room for complaint,
I think, with you, we had better refund
his fine by private contributions. I enclose you
an order * * * for fifty dollars, which, I
believe, is one-fourth of the whole sum.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 58.
(W. May. 1801)

1065. CALLENDER (J. T.), Persecution of.—

The violence which was meditated
against you lately has excited a very general
indignation in this part of the country. Our
State, from its first plantation, has been remarkable
for its order and submission to the laws.
But three instances are recollected in its history
of an organized opposition to the laws.
The first was Bacon's rebellion; the second,
our Revolution; the third, the Richmond association,
who, by their committee, have in the
public papers avowed their purpose of taking
out of the hands of the law the function of declaring
who may or may not have free residence
among us. But these gentlemen miscalculate
the temper and force of this country extremely
if they supposed there would have been a want
of either to support the authority of the laws;
and equally mistake their own interests in setting
the example of club-law. Whether their
self-organized election of a committee, and publication
of their manifesto, be such overt acts
as bring them within the pale of the law; the
law, I presume is to decide; and there it is
our duty to leave it.—
To J. T. Callender. Ford ed., vii, 392.
(M. Sep. 1799)

1066. CALLENDER (J. T.), Belations with Jefferson.—

I am really mortified at the
base ingratitude of Callender. It presents human
nature in a hideous form. It gives me
concern, because I perceive that relief, which
was afforded him on mere motives of charity,
may be viewed under the aspect of employing
him as a writer. When the “Political Progress
of Britain
” first appeared in this country, it
was in a periodical publication called The Bee, where I saw it. I was speaking of it in terms
of strong approbation to a friend in Philadelphia,
when he asked me if I knew that the
author was then in the city, a fugitive from
prosecution on account of that work, and in
want of employ for his subsistence. This was the
first of my learning that Callender was author of
the work. I considered him as a man of science
fled from persecution, and assured my friend of
my readiness to do whatever could serve him.
It was long after this before I saw him; probably
not till 1798. He had, in the meantime,
written a second part of the Political Progress, much inferior to the first, and his History of
the United States.
In 1798, I think, I was applied
to by Mr. Leiper to contribute to his relief.
I did so. In 1799, I think, S. T. Mason
applied for him. I contributed again. He had,
by this time, paid me two or three personal
visits. When he fled in a panic from Philadelphia
to General Mason's, he wrote to me that
he was a fugitive, in want of employ, wished
to know if he could get into a counting-house
or a school, in my neighborhood or in that of
Richmond; that he had materials for a volume,
and if he could get as much money as would buy
the paper, the profit of the sale would be all his
own. I availed myself of this pretext to
cover a mere charity, by desiring him to consider
me a subscriber for as many copies of his
book as the money enclosed (fifty dollars)
amounted to; but to send me two copies only,
as the others might lie till called for. But I
discouraged his coming into my neighborhood.
His first writings here had fallen far short of
his original Political Progress, and the scurrilities
of his subsequent ones began evidently to do
mischief. As to myself, no man wished more
to see his pen stopped; but I considered him
still as a proper object of benevolence. The
succeeding year, he again wanted money to
buy paper for another volume. I made his letter,
as before, the occasion of giving him another
fifty dollars. He considers these as
proofs of my approbation of his writings, when
they were mere charities, yielded under a strong
conviction that he was injuring us by his
writings. It is known to many that the sums
given to him were such, and even smaller than
I was in the habit of giving to others in distress,
of the federal as well as the republican party,
without attention to political principles. Soon
after I was elected to the government, Callender
came on here [Washington] wishing to be made
postmaster at Richmond. I knew him to be
totally unfit for it; and however ready I was
to aid him with my own charities (and I then
gave him fifty dollars). I did not think the
public offices confided to me to give away as
charities. He took it in mortal offence, and
from that moment has been hauling off to his
former enemies, the federalists. Besides the
letters I wrote him in answer to the one from
General Mason, I wrote him another, containing
answers to two questions he addressed to me.
1. Whether Mr. Jay received salary as Chief
Justice and Envoy at the same time; and 2.
something relative to the expenses of an embassy
to Constantinople. I think these were
the only letters I ever wrote him in answer to
volumes he was perpetually writing to me.
This is the true state of what has passed between
him and me. I do not know that it
can be used without committing me in controversy,
as it were, with one too little respected
by the public to merit that notice. I leave to
your judgment what use can be made of these
facts. Perhaps it will be better judged of,
when we see what use the tories will endeavor
to make of their new friend.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 444. Ford ed., viii, 164.
(W. July. 1802)

1067. CALLENDER (J. T.), Threats of.—

Callender is arrived here [Washington].
He did not call on me; but understanding he
was in distress I sent Captain Lewis to him with
fifty dollars, to inform him we were making
some enquiries as to his fine which would take
a little time, and lest he should suffer in the
meantime, I had sent him, &c. His language
to Captain Lewis was very high-toned. He
intimated that he was in possession of things
which he could and would make use of in a
certain case; that he received the fifty dollars,
not as a charity but a due, in fact as hush
money; that I knew what he expected, viz. a
certain office, and more to this effect. Such a
misconstruction of my charities puts an end to
them forever. You will, therefore, be so good
as to make no use of the order [67] I enclosed you.
He knows nothing of me which I am not willing
to declare to the world myself. I knew him
first as the author of the Political Progress of
Britain, a work I had read with great satisfaction,
and as a fugitive from persecution for this
very work. I gave to him from time to time
such aids as I could afford, merely as a man
of genius suffering under persecution, and not


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as a writer in our politics. It is long since I
wished he would cease writing on them, as doing
more harm than good.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 61.
(W. May. 1801)


An order for fifty dollars towards payment of
Callender's fine.—Editor.

1068. CALONNE (C. A. de), Character of.—

The memoir of M. de Calonne, though it
does not prove him to be more innocent than
his predecessors, shows him not to have been
that exaggerated scoundrel which the calculations
and the clamors of the public have supposed.—
To Madame de Carny. D. L. J., 132.
(P. 1787)

1069. CALUMNY, Character and.—

laid it down as a law to myself, to take no
notice of the thousand calumnies issued
against me, but to trust my character to my
own conduct, and the good sense and candor
of my fellow citizens.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. v, 452. Ford ed., ix, 253.
(M. 1809)

1070. CALUMNY, Contradiction of.—

I have never even contradicted the thousands of
calumnies so industriously propagated against
To Thomas Seymour. Washington ed. v, 43. Ford ed., ix, 30.
(W. 1807)

1071. CALUMNY, Foolish.—

Of all the
charges brought against me by my political
adversaries, that of possessing some science
has probably done them the least credit. Our
countrymen are too enlightened themselves to
believe that ignorance is the best qualification
for their service.—
To C. F. Wells. Washington ed. v, 483.
(M. 1809)

1072. CALUMNY, Forgotten.—

The expression
respecting myself, stated in your letter
to have been imputed to you by your calumniators,
had either never been heard by me,
or, if heard, had been unheeded and forgotten.
I have been too much the butt of such falsehoods
myself to do others the injustice of permitting
them to make the least impression on
me. My consciousness that no man on earth
has me under his thumb is evidence enough
that you never used the expression.—
To General Wilkinson. Washington ed. v, 573.
(M. 1811)

1073. CALUMNY, Newspaper.—

Were I to undertake to answer the calumnies of the
newspapers, it would be more than all my
own time, and that of twenty aids could
effect. For while I should be answering one,
twenty new ones would be invented. I have
thought it better to trust to the justice of my
countrymen, that they would judge me by
what they see of my conduct on the stage
where they have placed me, and what they
knew of me before the epoch since which a
particular party has supposed it might answer
some view of theirs to villify me in the public
eye. Some, I know, will not reflect how
apocryphal is the testimony of enemies so
palpably betraying the views with which they
give it. But this is an injury to which duty
requires every one to submit whom the public
think proper to call into its councils.—
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. iv, 255. Ford ed., vii, 279.
(M. 1798)

1074. CALUMNY, Political.—

With the
aid of lying renegado from republicanism
[Callender], the federalists have opened all
their sluices of calumny. They say we lied
them out of power, and, openly avow they
will do the same by us. But it was not lies
or arguments on our part which dethroned
them, but their own foolish acts, Sedition
laws, Alien laws, taxes, extravagance and
heresies. “Porcupine,” their friend wrote
them down. Callender, their new recruit,
will do the same. Every decent man among
them revolts at his filth.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 448. Ford ed., viii, 173.
(W. Oct. 1802)

1075. CALUMNY, Political.—[continued].

It has been a source of
great pain to me, to have met with so many
among our opponents, who had not the liberality
to distinguish between political and
social opposition; who transferred at once to
the person, the hatred they bore to his political
opinions. I suppose, indeed, that in public
life, a man whose political principles have
any decided character, and who has energy
enough to give them effect, must always expect
to encounter political hostility from those
of adverse principles. But I came to the
government under circumstances calculated
to generate peculiar acrimony. I found all its
offices in the possession of a political sect,
who wished to transform it ultimately into
the shape of their darling model, the English
government; and in the meantime, to familiarize
the public mind to the change, by administering
it on English principles, and in
English forms. The elective interposition of
the people had blown all their designs, and
they found themselves and their fortresses of
power and profit put in a moment into the
hands of other trustees. Lamentations and
invective were all that remained to them.
This last was naturally directed against the
agent selected to execute the multiplied reformations,
which their heresies had rendered
necessary. I became, of course, the butt of
everything which reason, ridicule, malice and
falsehood could supply. They have concentrated
all their hatred on me, till they have
really persuaded themselves, that I am the sole
source of all their imaginary evils.—
To Richard M. Johnson. Washington ed. v, 256.
(W. 1808)

1076. CALUMNY, Political.—[further continued].

The large share I have enjoyed, and still enjoy of anti-republican hatred
and calumny, gives me the satisfaction of
supposing that I have been some obstacle to
anti-republican designs; and if truth should
find its way into history, the object of these
falsehoods and calumnies will render them
honorable to me.—
To W. Lambert. Washington ed. v, 450.
(M. May. 1809)

1077. CALUMNY, Political.—[further continued] .

If, brooding over past
calamities, the adherents of federalism can,
by abusing me, be diverted from disturbing
the course of government, they will make me
useful longer than I had expected to be so.
Having served them faithfully for a term of
twelve or fourteen years, in the terrific station
of Rawhead and Bloodybones, it was supposed
that, retired from power, I should have
been functus officio, of course, for them also.
If, nevertheless, they wish my continuance in
that awful office, I yield, and the rather as it


Page 123
may be exercised at home, without interfering
with the tranquil enjoyment of my farm, my
family, my friends and books. In truth, having
never felt a pain from their abuse. I bear
them no malice.—
To W. D. G. Worthington. Washington ed. v, 504.
(M. 1810)

1078. CALUMNY, Posterity and.—

It is fortunate for those in public trust that posterity
will judge them by their works and not
by the malignant vituperations and invectives
of the Pickerings and Gardiners of their age.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 62.
(M. 1817)

1079. CALUMNY, Public Service and.

—Calumny would not weigh an atom with me on any occasion where my avowal of either
facts or opinions would be of public use; but
whenever it will not, I then think it useful to
keep myself out of the way of calumny.—
To J. T. Callender. Ford ed., vii, 394.
(M. 1799)

1080. CALUMNY, Religion and.—

the moment that a portion of my fellow citizens
looked towards me with a view to one of
their highest offices, the flood-gates of calumny
have been opened upon me; not where I am
personally known, and where their slanders
would be instantly judged and suppressed
from the general sense of their falsehood; but
in the remote parts of the Union, where the
means of detection are not at hand, and the
trouble in an enquiry is greater than would
suit the hearers to undertake. I know that
I might have filled the courts of the United
States with actions for these slanders, and
have ruined, perhaps, many persons who are
not innocent. But this would be no equivalent
to the loss of character. I leave them,
therefore, to the reproof of their own consciences.
If these do not condemn them, there
will yet come a day when the false witness will
meet a Judge who has not slept over his slanders.
If the Rev. Cotton Mather Smith, of
Shena, believed this as firmly as I do, he
would surely never have affirmed that “I had
obtained my property by fraud and robbery;
that in one instance, I had defrauded and
robbed a widow and fatherless children of
an estate and to which I was executor, of ten
thousand pounds sterling by keeping the property
and paying then in money at the nominal
rate, when it was worth no more than forty
for one; and that all this could be proved.”
Every title of it is fable; there not having
existed a single circumstance of my life to
which any part of it can hang. I never was
executor but in two instances, both of which
having taken place about the beginning of
the Revolution, which withdrew me immediately
from all private pursuits, I never meddled
in either executorship. In one of the
cases only, were there a widow and children.
She was my sister. She retained and managed
the estate in her own hands, and no part of it
was ever in mine. In the other, I was a copartner
and only received on a division the
equal portion allotted to me. To neither of
these executorships, therefore, could Mr.
Smith refer. Again, my property is all patrimonial,
except about seven or eight hundred
pounds worth of lands, purchased by myself
and paid for not, to widows and orphans, but
to the very gentleman from whom I purchased.
If Mr. Smith, therefore, thinks the
precepts of the gospel intended for those who
preach them as well for others, he will doubtless
some day feel the duties of repentance,
and of acknowledgment in such forms
as to correct the wrong he has done. Perhaps
he will have to wait till the passions of
the moment have passed away. All this is
left to his own conscience.—
To Uriah McGregory. Washington ed. iv, 333.
(M. Aug. 1800)

1081. CALUMNY, Silence under.—

Though I see the pen of the Secretary of the Treasury [Alexander Hamilton] plainly in the
attack on me, yet, since he has not chosen to
put his name to it, I am not free to notice it
as his. I have preserved through life a resolution,
set in a very early part of it, never to
write in a public paper without subscribing my
name, and to engage openly an adversary who
does not let himself be seen, is staking all
against nothing. The indecency, too, of newspaper
squabbling between two public ministers,
besides my own sense of it, has drawn
something like an injunction from another
quarter [President Washington]. Every
fact alleged under the signature of “An
American” as to myself, is false, and can be
proved so * * *. But for the present, lying
and scribbling must be free to those mean
enough to deal in them, and in the dark.—
To Edmund Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 470. Ford ed., vi, 112.
(M. 1792)

1082. CALUMNY, Unnoticed.—

My rule
of life has been never to harass the public
with fendings and provings of personal slanders.
* * * I have ever trusted to the justice
and consideration of my fellow citizens,
and have no reason to repent it, or to change
my course.—
To Martin Van Buren. Washington ed. vii, 372. Ford ed., x, 315.
(M. 1824)

1083. CAMDEN, Battle of.—

I sincerely
condole with you on our late misfortune [the
battle of Camden], which sits the heavier on my
mind as being produced by my own countrymen.
Instead of considering what is past, however,
we are to look forward and prepare for
the future.—
To General Edward Stevens. Washington ed. i, 250. Ford ed., ii, 333.
(R. 1780)

1084. CAMDEN, Battle of.—[continued].

I am extremely mortified
at the misfortune [the battle of Camden] incurred in the South, and the more so as the
militia of our State concurred so eminently in
producing it.—
To General Gates. Ford ed., ii, 332.
(R. 1780)

1085. CAMPBELL (Col.), Battle of King's Mountain.—

Your favor * * * gives me the first information * * * that
the laurels which Colonel Campbell so honorably
won in the battle of King's Mountain had
ever been brought into question by any one.
To him has been ever ascribed so much of the
success of that brilliant action as the valor and
conduct of an able commander might justly
claim. * * * It was the joyful annunciation
of that turn of the tide of success which
terminated the Revolutionary war with the seal
of our Independence. * * * The descendants
of Colonel Campbell may rest their heads
quietly on the pillow of his renown. History


Page 124
has consecrated, and will forever preserve it
in the faithful annals of a grateful country.—
To John Campbell. Washington ed. vii, 268.
(M. 1822)

1086. CANADA, The Colonies and.—

They [Parliament] have erected in a neighboring
province [Quebec], acquired by the joint arms of Great Britain and America, a
tyranny dangerous to the very existence of
all these Colonies.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 468.
(July. 1775)

1087. CANADA, The Colonies and.—[continued].

The proposition [of Lord
North] is altogether unsatisfactory * * * because it does not propose to repeal the several
acts of Parliament * * * extending the
boundaries and changing the government and
religion of Quebec.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Washington ed. i, 480.
(July. 1775)

1088. CANADA, The Colonies and.—[further continued].

The cooperation of the
Canadians is taken for granted in all the ministerial
schemes. We hope, therefore, they
will be dislocated by the events in that quarter.—
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., i, 487.
(Pa., Oct. 1775)

1089. CANADA, The Colonies and.—[further continued] .

In a short time, we have
reason to hope, the delegates of Canada will
join us in Congress and complete the American
union, as far as we wish to have it completed.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 202. Ford ed., i, 492
(Pa., Nov. 1775)

1090. CANADA, Conquest of.—

The British
[by forcing us into war] will oblige us to
take from them Canada and Nova Scotia
which it is not our interest to possess.—
To William Carmichael. Ford ed., iv, 453.
(P. Sep. 1787)

1091. CANADA, Conquest of.—[continued].

One of our first [Cabinet] consultations must be on the question
whether we shall not order all the militia and
volunteers destined for the Canadas to be embodied
on the 26th of October, and to march
immediately to such points on the way to their
destination as shall be pointed out, there to
await the decision of Congress?—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 197. Ford ed., ix, 141.
(M. Sep. 1807)

1092. CANADA, Conquest of.—[further continued].

[It was agreed in Cabinet
to] prepare all necessaries for an attack
of Upper Canada, and the upper part of
Lower Canada, as far as the mouth of Richelieu
river; also to take possession of the
islands of Campobelio, &c. in the bay of Passamaquoddy.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 326.
(July. 1807)

1093. CANADA, Conquest of.—[further continued] .

The acquisition of Canada
this year, as far as the neighborhood of
Quebec, will be a mere matter of marching,
and will give us experience for the attack of
Halifax the next, and the final expulsion of
England from the American continent.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. vi, 75. Ford ed., ix, 366.
(M. Aug. 1812)

1094. CANADA, Conquest of.—[further continued].

Our present enemy will
have the sea to herself, while we shall be
equally predominant at land, and shall strip
her of all her possessions on this continent.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. vi, 68. Ford ed., ix, 361.
(M. June. 1812)

1095. CANADA, Conquest of.—[further continued].

To continue the war
popular, * * * it is necessary to stop Indian
barbarities. The conquest of Canada will
do this.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 70. Ford ed., ix, 364.
(M. June. 1812)

1096. CANADA, Conquest of.—[further continued].

The declaration of war
is entirely popular here [Virginia], the only
opinion being that it should have been issued
the moment the season admitted the militia
to enter Canada.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 70. Ford ed., ix, 364.
(M. June. 1812)

1097. CANADA, Conquest of.—[further continued] .

I know your feelings on
the present state of the world, and hope they
will be cheered by the successful course of
our war, and the addition of Canada to our
confederacy. The infamous intrigues of Great
Britain to destroy our government (of which
Henry's is but one sample), and with the Indians
to tomahawk our women and children,
prove that the cession of Canada, their fulcrum
for these Machiavelian levers, must be
a sine qua non at a treaty of peace.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. vi, 70. Ford ed., ix, 363.
(M. June. 1812)

1098. CANADA, Conquest of.—[further continued].

We have taken Upper
Canada, * * * and hope to remove the
British fully and finally from our continent.—
To Madame de Tesse. Washington ed. iv, 273. Ford ed., ix, 440.
(Dec. 1813)

1099. CANADA, Indemnification and.

—With Canada in hand we can go to treaty
with an off-set for spoliation before the war.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 78.
(M. Aug. 1812)

1100. CANADA, Indemnification and. [continued].

For one thousand ships
taken, and six thousand seamen impressed,
give us Canada for indemnification, and the
only security they can give us against their
Henrys and the savages.—
To Mr. Wright. Washington ed. vi, 78.
(M. Aug. 1812)

1101. CANADA, Indemnification and. [further continued].

If we could but get Canada
to Trois Rivièrés in our hands we should
have a set-off against spoliations to be treated
of, and in the meantime separate the Indians
from them, and set the friendly to attack the
hostile part with our aid.—
To President Madison. Ford ed., ix, 370.
(M. Nov. 1812)

1102. CANADA, Indemnification and. [further continued] .

We have a great and
a just claim of indemnifications against the
British for the thousand ships they have taken
piratically, and six thousand seamen impressed.
Whether we can, on this score, successfully
insist on curtailing their American
possessions, by the meridian of Lake Huron,
so as to cut them off from the Indians bordering
on us, would be matter for conversation
and experiment at the treaty of pacification.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vi, 129.
(M. June. 1813)

1103. CANADA, Indemnification and. [further continued].

Could we acquire that
country, we might perhaps insist successfully at St. Petersburg on retaining all westward of the meridian of Lake Huron, or of Ontario,
or of Montreal, according to the pulse of the
place, as an indemnification for the past and
security for the future. To cut them off from


Page 125
the Indians even west of the Huron would be
a great future security.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 131.
(M. June. 1813)

1104. CANADA, Indemnification and. [further continued] .

A thousand ships taken
unjustifiably in time of peace, and thousands
of our citizens impressed, warrant expectations
of indemnification; such a Western frontier,
perhaps, given to Canada, as may put it
out of their power to employ the tomahawk
and scalping knife of the Indians on our
women and children; or, what would be nearly
equivalent, the exclusive right to the Lakes.—
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. vi, 216. Ford ed., ix, 422.
(M. Oct. 1813)

1105. CANADA, Indemnification and. [further continued].

The conduct of the British
during the war in exciting the Indian
hordes to murder and scalp the women and
children on our frontier, renders peace forever
impossible but on the establishment of
such a meridian boundary to their possessions,
as that they never more can have such influence
with the savages as to excite again the
same barbarities. The thousand ships, too,
they took from us in peace, and the six thousand
seamen impressed call for this indemnification.—
To Don. V. Toronda Coruna. Washington ed. vi, 275.
(M. Dec. 1813)

1106. CANADA, Value of.—

If the war is
lengthened we shall take Canada, which will
relieve us from Indians, and Halifax, which
will put an end to their occupation of the
American Seas, because every vessel must then
go to England to repair every accident. To
retain these would become objects of first importance
to us, and of great importance to
Europe, as the means of curtailing the British
marine. But at present, being merely in
they should not be an impediment to
To William Short. Washington ed. vi, 129.
(M. June. 1813)

1107. CANAL, Big Beaver.—

I remember
having written to you, while Congress sat at
Annapolis, on the water communication between
ours and the western country, and to
have mentioned particularly the information I
had received of the plain face of the country
between the sources of Big Beaver and Cayohoga,
which made me hope that a canal of no
great expense might unite the navigation of
Lake Erie and the Ohio. You must since have
had occasion of getting better information on
this subject, and if you have, you would oblige
me by a communication of it. I consider this
canal, if practicable, as a very important work.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 250.
(P. 1787)

1108. CANAL, Big Beaver.—[continued].

I thank you for the information
* * * on the communication
between the Cayohoga and Big Beaver. I have
ever considered the opening of a canal between
those two water courses as the most important
work in that line which the State of Virginia
could undertake. It will infallibly turn through
the Potomac all the commerce of Lake Erie,
and the country west of that, except what May
pass down the Mississippi; and it is important
that it be soon done, lest that commerce should,
in the meantime, get established in another
channel. * * * I take the liberty of sending
you the notes I made when I examined
the canal of Languedoc, through its whole
course, last year. You may find in them some
thing, perhaps, which may be turned to account,
some time or other, in the prosecution of the
Potomac canal.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 370. Ford ed., v, 7.
(P. 1788)

1109. CANAL, Big Beaver.—[further continued].

Another vast object, and
of much less difficulty, is to add, also, all the
country on the Lakes and their waters. This
would enlarge our [Virginia's] field immensely,
and would certainly be effected by an union of
the Ohio and Lake Erie. The Big Beaver and
Cayohoga offer the most direct line. * * * The States of Maryland and Virginia should
make a common object of it. The navigation,
again, between Elizabeth River and the Sound,
is of vast importance, and in my opinion, it is
much better that these should be done at public
than private expense.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. iii, 30. Ford ed., v, 93.
(P. 1789)

1110. CANAL, Erie.—

The most gigantic undertaking yet proposed is that of New York,
for drawing the waters of Lake Erie into the
Hudson. The expense will be great, but its
effect incalculably powerful in favor of the
Atlantic States.—
To F. H. Alexander Von Humboldt. Washington ed. vii, 75. Ford ed., x, 89.
(M. 1817)

1111. CANAL, James River.—

The opinion
I have ever expressed of the advantages of
a western communication through the James
River, I still entertain; and that the Cayuga
is the most promising of the links of communication.
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 156.
(M. 1820)

1112. CANAL, Languedoc.—

I am now
about setting out on a journey to the South of
France. * * * I shall carefully examine
the canal of Languedoc.—
To Colonel Monroe. Washington ed. ii, 70.
(P. 1786)

1113. CANAL, New Orleans.—

The United
States feel a strong interest in the New Orleans
canal, * * * and in some conversations
* * * on the subject the winter before last,
there was a mutual understanding that the
company would complete the canal, and the
United States would make the locks. This we
are still disposed to do; and so anxious are we
to get this means of defence completed, that to
hasten it we would contribute any other encouragement
within the limits of our authority
which might produce this effect.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. v, 306.
(W. July. 1808)

1114. CANAL, New Orleans.—[continued].

The first interests of the
company will be to bring a practicable navigation
from the Lake Pontchartrain through the
Bayou St. Jean and Canal de Carondelet to the
city, because that entitles them to a toll on the
profitable part of the enterprise. But this
would answer no object of the government unless
it was carried through to the Mississippi,
so that our armed vessels drawing five feet of
water might pass through. Instead therefore of
the ground I suggested in my last letter, I
would propose to lend them a sum of money
on the condition of their applying it entirely
to that part of the canal which, beginning at the
Mississippi, goes round the city to a junction
with the canal of Carondelet; and we May
moreover at our own expense erect the locks.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. v, 319.
(W. July. 1808)

1115. CANAL, New Orleans.—[further continued].

The Canal Company ask
specifically that we should either lend them
fifty thousand dollars, or buy the remaining
part of their shares now on hand. On consultation
with Mr. Madison, Mr. Gallation and Mr.


Page 126
Rodney, we concluded it best to say we would
lend them a sum of money if they would agree
to lay out the whole of it in making the canal
from the Mississippi round the town to its junction
with the canal of Carondelet.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 321.
(W. 1808)

1116. CANAL, Panama.—

The Spaniards
are, at this time, desirous of trading to the
Philippine Islands, by the way of the Cape of
Good Hope; but opposed in it by the Dutch,
under authority of the treaty of Munster, they
are examining the practicability of a common
passage through the Straits of Magellan or
round Cape Horn. Were they to make an
opening through the Isthmus of Panama, a
work much less difficult than some even of the
inferior canals of France, however small this
opening should be in the beginning, the tropical
current, entering it with all its force, would
soon widen it sufficiently for its own passage.—
To M. Le Roy de L'Academie des Sciences. Washington ed. ii, 59.
(P. 1786)

See Gulf Stream.

1117. CANAL, Panama.—[continued].

I have been told that the
cutting through the Isthmus of Panama, which
the world has so often wished, and supposed
practicable, has at times been thought of by
the government of Spain, and that they once
proceeded so far as to have a survey and examination
made of the ground; but that the
result was either impracticable or of too great
difficulty. Probably the Count de Campornanes,
or Don Ulloa, can give you information
on this head. I should be exceedingly pleased
to get as minute details as possible on it, and
even copies of the survey, report, &c., if they
could be obtained at a moderate expense. I
take the liberty of asking your assistance in
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 325. Ford ed., iv, 473.
(P. 1787)

1118. CANAL, Panama.—[further continued].

With respect to the
Isthmus of Panama, I am assured by Burgoyne
* * * that a survey was made, that a canal
appeared very practicable, and that the idea
was suppressed for political reasons altogether.
He has seen and minutely examined the report.
This report is to me a vast desideratum, for
reasons political and philosophical.—
To Williiam Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 397. Ford ed., v, 22.
(P. 1788)

1119. CANAL, Potomac and Ohio.

consider the union of the Potomac and the Ohio
rivers as among the strongest links of communication
between the eastern and western sides
of our confederacy. It will, moreover, add to
the commerce of Virginia, in particular, all the
upper parts of the Ohio and its waters. * * * With respect to the doubts which you say are
entertained by some, whether the upper waters
of the Potomac can be rendered capable of
navigation on account of the falls and rugged
banks, they are answered, by observing that it
is reduced to a maxim that whenever there is
water enough to float a batteau, there may be
navigation for a batteau. Canals and locks
may be necessary, and they are expensive; but
I hardly know what expense would be too great
for the object in question.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. iii, 29. Ford ed., v, 93.
(P. 1789)

1120. CANAL, Santee and Cooper Rivers.

-As to the Santee and Cooper rivers
canal, I shall be glad to do anything I can to
promote it. But I confess I have small expectations
for the following reason: General
Washington sent me a copy of the Virginia
act for opening the Potomac. * * * It was
pushed here [Paris] among the moneyed men
to obtain subscriptions, but not a single one
could be obtained. The stockjobbing in this
city offered greater advantages than to buy
shares in the canal.—
To M. Terrasson. Washington ed. ii, 383.
(P. 1788)

1121. CANDOR, Appeal to.—

I ask only
to be judged with truth and candor.—
To the Rhode Island Assembly. Washington ed. iv, 397.
(W. May. 1801)

1122. CANDOR, Appreciating.—

If those,
who thought I might have been remiss, would
have written to me on the subject, I should
have admired them for their candor, and
thanked them for it; for I have no jealousies
nor resentments at things of this kind, where
I have no reason to believe they have been
excited by a hostile spirit.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 589. Ford ed., iv, 248.
(P. 1786)

1123. CANNIBALS, Rulers as.—

are not to be found in the wilds of America
only, but are revelling on the blood of every living people—
To Charles Clas. Washington ed. vi, 413.
(M. 1815)

1124. CANNING (George), Policy of.—

Canning's equivocations degrade his government
as well as himself.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 468.
(M. Sep. 1809)

1125. CANOVA (A.), Washington's

Statue and.—Who should make the Washington
statue? There can be but one answer to this. Old Canova, of Rome. No artist in
Europe would place himself in a line with him;
and for thirty years, within my own knowledge,
he has been considered by all Europe as without
a rival.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. vi, 534.
(M. 1816)

1126. CAPITAL, Corruption through.—

The capital employed in paper speculation
* * * has furnished effectual means of
corrupting such a portion of the Legislature,
as turns the balance between the honest voters,
whichever way it is directed. This corrupt
squadron, deciding the voice of the Legislature,
have manifested their dispositions to
get rid of the limitations imposed by the Constitution
on the General Legislature, limitations,
on the faith of which, the States acceded
to that instrument.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 361. Ford ed., vi, 3.
(Pa., May. 1792)

1127. CAPITAL, Creation of.—

may be produced by industry, and accumulated
by economy; but jugglers only will propose
to create it by legerdemain tricks with
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 241. Ford ed., ix, 413.
(M. Nov. 1813)

1128. CAPITAL, Opportunities for.—

The citizens of a country like ours will never have unemployed capital. Too many enterprises
are open, offering high profits, to permit
them to lend their capitals on a regular
and moderate interest. They are too enterprising
and sanguine themselves not to believe
they can do better with it.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 393. Ford ed., ix, 491.
(M. 1815)

1129. CAPITAL, Stock-jobbing and.—

The capital employed in paper speculation


Page 127
* * * nourishes in our citizens habits of vice
and idleness, instead of industry and morality.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 361. Ford ed., vi, 3.
(Pa., 1792)

1130. CAPITAL, Stock-jobbing and.—[continued].

The capital employed in
paper speculation is barren and useless, producing,
like that on a gaming table, no accession
to itself, and is withdrawn from commerce
and agriculture, where it would have
produced addition to the common mass.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 361. Ford ed., vi, 3.
(Pa., 1792)


See Death Penalty.

— CAPITAL National.—

See Washington

1131. CAPITALS (State), Location of.—

The equal rights of all the inhabitants require
that the seat of government should be
as nearly central to all as may be. [68]
Bill to Remove Va. Capital. Ford ed., ii, 106.


This principle has governed the selection of
nearly every State capital from 1776 to the present

1132. CAPITALS (State), Location of.—[continued].

The seat of government
[in Virginia] had been originally fixed in the
peninsula of Jamestown, the first settlement of
the colonists; and had been afterwards removed
a few miles inland to Williamsburg.
But this was at a time when our settlements
had not extended beyond the tide waters. Now
they had crossed the Alleghany; and the
centre of population was very far removed
from what it had been. Yet Williamsburg
was still the depository of our archives, the
habitual residence of the Governor and many
other of the public functionaries, the established
place for the sessions of the legislature,
and the magazine of our military stores; and
its situation was so exposed that it might be
taken at any time in war, and, at this time particularly,
an enemy might in the night run up
either of the rivers, between which it lies,
land a force above, and take possession of the
place, without the possibility of saving either
persons or things. I had proposed its removal
so early as October, '76; but it did not prevail
until the session of May, '79.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 40. Ford ed., i, 55.

1133. CAPITOL (United States), Burning of.—

The Vandalism of our enemy has triumphed at Washington over science as well
as the arts, by the destruction of the public
library with the noble edifice in which it was
deposited. Of this transaction, as of that of
Copenhagen, the world will entertain but one
sentiment. They will see a nation suddenly
withdrawn from a great war, full armed and
full handed, taking advantage of another
whom they had recently forced into it, unarmed,
and unprepared, to indulge themselves
in acts of barbarism which do not belong to a
civilized age. When Van Ghent destroyed
their shipping at Chatham, and De Ruyter
rode triumphantly up the Thames, he might
in like manner, by the acknowledgment of
their own historians, have forced all their
ships up to London Bridge, and there have
burned them, the Tower, and city, had these
examples been then set. London, when thus
menaced, was near a thousand years old,
Washington is but in its teens.—
To S. H. Smith. Washington ed. vi, 383. Ford ed., ix, 485.
(M. Sep. 1814)

1134. CAPITOL (United States), Inscription for.—

If it be proposed to place an
inscription on the Capitol, the lapidary style
requires that essential facts only should be
stated, and these with a brevity admitting no
superfluous word. The essential facts in the
two inscriptions proposed are these:
“Founded 1791.—Burnt by a British Army
1814.—Restored by Congress 1817.” The reasons
for this brevity are that the letters must
be of extraordinary magnitude to be read
from below; that little space is allowed them,
being usually put into a pediment or in a
frieze, or on a small tablet on the wall; and
in our case, a third reason may be added, that
no passion can be imputed to this inscription,
every word being justifiable from the most
classical examples. But a question of more
importance is whether there should be one at
all? The barbarism of the conflagration will
immortalize that of the nation. It will place
them forever in degraded comparison with the
execrated Bonaparte, who, in possession of
almost every capitol in Europe, injured no
one. Of this, history will take care, which all
will read, while our inscription will be seen
by few.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 41. Ford ed., x, 65.
(M. 1816)

1135. CAPITOL (United States), Wisdom of Inscription.—

But a question of more importance is whether there should be
one at all? The barbarism of the conflagration
will immortalize that of the
nation. It will place them forever in
degraded comparison with the execrated
Bonaparte, who, in possession of almost
every capitol in Europe, injured no one. Of
this, history will take care, which all will
read, while our inscription will be seen by
few. Great Britain, in her pride and ascendancy,
has certainly hated and despised us beyond
every earthly object. Her hatred May
remain, but the hour of her contempt
is passed and is succeeded by dread; not a
present, but a deep and distant one. It is the
greater as she feels herself plunged into an
abyss of ruin from which no human means
point out an issue. We have also more reason
to hate her than any nation on earth. But
she is not now an object for hatred. She is
falling from her transcendant sphere, which
all men ought to have wished, but not that
she should lose all place among nations. It
is for the interest of all that she should be
maintained nearly on a par with other members
of the republic of nations. Her power
absorbed into that of any other, would be an
object of dread to all, and to us more than
all, because we are accessible to her alone and
through her alone. The armies of Bonaparte
with the fleets of Britain would change the
aspect of our destinies. Under these circum


Page 128
stances should we perpetuate hatred against
her? Should we not, on the contrary, begin
to open ourselves to other and more rational
dispositions? It is not improbable that the
circumstances of the war [1812] and her own
circumstances may have brought her wise men
to begin to view us with other and even with
kindred eyes. Should not our wise men, then,
lifted above the passions of the ordinary citizen,
begin to contemplate what will be the
interests of our country on so important a
change among the elements which influence
it? I think it would be better to give her
time to show her present temper, and to prepare
the minds of our citizens for a corresponding
change of disposition, by acts of
comity towards England rather than by commemoration
of hatred. These views might be
greatly extended. Perhaps, however, they are
premature, and that I may see the ruin of
England nearer than it really is. This will be
matter of consideration with those to whose
councils we have committed ourselves, and
whose wisdom, I am sure, will conclude on
what is best. Perhaps they may let it go off
on the single and short consideration that the
thing can do no good, and may do harm.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 42. Ford ed., x, 66.
(M. 1816)

See Architecture.

1136. CAPTIVES, American in Algiers.

—The Algerines have taken two of our vessels,
and I fear they will ask such a tribute for
a forbearance of their piracies as the United
States would be unwilling to pay. When this
idea comes across my mind, my faculties are
absolutely suspended between indignation and
To General Greene. Washington ed. i, 509.
(P. 1786)

1137. CAPTIVES, Attempts at Ransom.—

If Congress decide to redeem our captives,
* * * it is of great importance that
the first redemption be made at as low a price
as possible, because it will form the future
tariff. If these pirates find that they can have
a very great price for Americans, they will
abandon proportionally their pursuits against
other nations to direct them towards ours.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 113.
(P. 1787)

1138. CAPTIVES, Failure to Release.—

The demands of Algiers for the ransom of our
prisoners, and also for peace, are so infinitely
beyond our instructions that we must refer the
matter back to Congress. [69] To Wm. Carmichael. Washington ed. i, 580.
(P. 1786)


Congress sent a Mr. Lambe to Europe with instructions
respecting Algiers. Jefferson and Adams
made him their agent to visit Algiers, but his mission
resulted in failure. Referring to it, Jefferson
wrote to Monroe (i, 606 [1786]. Ford ed., iv, 264) that, “an angel sent on this business, and so much
limited in his terms, could have done nothing”.——Editor.

1139. CAPTIVES, Intercession of the Mathurins.—

That the choice of Congress
may be enlarged as to the instruments they
may use for effecting the redemption [of our
captives], I think it my duty to inform them
that there is an order of priests called the
Mathurins, the object of whose institution is
to beg alms for the redemption of captives.
They keep members always in Barbary searching
out the captives of their country, and redeem,
I believe, on better terms than any other
body, public or private. It occurred to me,
that their agency might be obtained for the redemption
of our prisoners at Algiers. I obtained
conference with the General, and with
some members of the order. The General, with
all the benevolence and cordiality possible, undertook
to act for us, if we should desire it.
He told me that their last considerable redemption
was of about three hundred prisoners, who
cost them somewhat upwards of fifteen hundred
livres apiece; but that they should not be able
to redeem ours as cheap as they do their own,
and that it must be absolutely unknown that the
public concern themselves in the operation, or
the price would be greatly enhanced. The difference
of religion was not once mentioned,
nor did it appear to me to be thought of. It
was a silent reclamation and acknowledgment
of fraternity between two religions of the same
family which historical events of ancient date
had rendered more hostile to one another than
to their common adversaries. [70]
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 113.
(P. 1787)


The Mathurins were employed, but the negotiations
were fruitless, and the captives remained in
prison. In December, 1790, Jefferson made an exhaustive
report on the subject to Congress.—Editor.

1140. CAPTIVES, Jefferson and.—

I do
not wonder that Captain O'Bryan has lost patience
under his long continued captivity, and
that he may suppose some of the public servants
have neglected him and his brethren. He May
possibly have imputed neglect to me, because a
forbearance to correspond with him would
have that appearance, though it was dictated
by the single apprehension, that if he received
letters from me as Minister Plenipotentiary of
the United States at Paris, or as Secretary of
State, it would increase the expectations of
his captors, and raise the ransom beyond what
his countrymen would be disposed to give, and
so end in their perpetual captivity. But, in
truth, I have labored for them constantly and
zealously in every situation in which I have
been placed. In the first moment of their captivity,
I first proposed to Mr. Adams to take
upon ourselves their ransom, though unauthorized
by Congress. I proposed to Congress and
obtained their permission to employ the Order
of Mercy in France for their ransom, but never
could obtain orders for the money till just as
I was leaving France, and was obliged to turn
the matter over to Mr. Short. As soon as I
came here, I laid the matter before the President
and Congress in two long reports, but Congress
could not decide until the beginning of
1792, and then clogged their ransom by a
previous requisition of peace. The unfortunate
death of two successive commissioners [Paul
Jones and Mr. Barclay] have still retarded their
relief, and even should they be now relieved,
will probably deprive me of the gratification of
seeing my endeavors for them crowned at
length with success by their arrival when I
am here. It would, indeed, be grating to me
if, after all, I should be supposed by them to
have been indifferent to their situation. I will
ask of your friendship to do me justice in
their eyes, that to the pain I have already felt
for them, may not be added that of their dissatisfaction.—
To Colonel David. Washington ed. iii, 531.
(Pa., 1793)

1141. CARMICHAEL (William), Character.—

Mr. Carmichael is, I think, very little
known in America. I never saw him, and
while I was in Congress I formed rather a
disadvantageous idea of him. His letters *
* * showed him vain, and more attentive to
ceremony and etiquette, than we suppose men


Page 129
of sense should be. I have now a constant
correspondence with him, and find him a little
hypochondriac and discontented. He possesses
a very good understanding, though not of the first
order. I have had great opportunities of
searching into his character, and have availed
myself of them. Many persons of different
nations, coming from Madrid to Paris, all speak
of him as in high esteem, and I think it certain
that he has more of the Count de Blanca's
friendship, than any diplomatic character at
that court. As long as that minister is in
office, Carmichael can do more than any other
person who could be sent there.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 107. Ford ed., iv, 365.
(P. 1787)

1142. CARMICHAEL (William), Character.—[continued].

Neither Mr. J. nor Mr.—ever mentioned one word of any want of
decorum in Mr. Carmichael.—
To Edmund Randolph. Washington ed. iv, 108. Ford ed., vi, 513.
(M. 1794)

1143. CARMICHAEL (William), Spanish Mission and.—

I think it probable that Mr. Carmichael will impute to me an event
which must take place this year. In truth, it
is so extraordinary a circumstance, that a public
agent placed in a foreign court for the purpose
of correspondence, should, in three years, have
found means to get but one letter to us, that he
must himself be sensible that if he could have
sent us letters, he ought to be recalled as
negligent, and if he could not, he ought to be
recalled as useless. I have, nevertheless, procured
his continuance, in order to give him an
opportunity which occurred of his rendering
a sensible service to his country, and thereby
drawing some degree of favor on his return.—
To Colonel David. Washington ed. iii, 532.
(Pa., 1793)

1144. CARMICHAEL (William), Standing in Spain.—

With Mr. Carmichael I am unacquainted personally, but he stands on advantageous
grounds in the opinion of Europe,
and most especially in Spain. Every person,
whom I see from there, speaks of him with
great esteem. I mention this for your private
satisfaction, as he seemed to be little known in
Congress. Mr. Jay, however, knows him well.—
To Col. Monroe. Washington ed. i, 526.
(P. 1786)

— CAROLINA (North).—

See North Carolina.

— CAROLINA (South).—

See South

1145. CARONDELET (Baron), Animosity of.—

We are quite disposed to believe that
the late wicked excitements [among the Indians] to war have proceeded from the Baron
de Carondelet himself, without authority from
his court. If so, have we not reason to expect
the removal of such an officer from our neighborhood,
as an evidence of the disavowal of his
To Carmichael and Short. Washington ed. iii, 481. Ford ed., vi, 130.
(Pa., 1792)

1146. CARR (Dabney), Character.—

His character was of a high order. A spotless
integrity, sound judgment, handsome imagination,
enriched by education and reading, quick
and clear in his conceptions, of correct and
ready elocution, impressing every hearer with
the sincerity of the heart from which it flowed.
His firmness was inflexible in whatever he
thought was right; but when no moral principle
stood in the way, never had man more
of the milk of human kindness, of indulgence,
of softness, of pleasantry of conversation and
conduct. The number of his friends and the
warmth of their affection, were proofs of his
worth, and of their estimate of it. To give to
those now living, an idea of the affliction produced
by his death in the minds of all who
knew him, I liken it to that lately felt by themselves
on the death of his eldest son, Peter
Carr, so like in all his endowments and moral
qualities, and whose recollection can never
recur without a deep-drawn sigh from the
bosom of any one who knew him.—
To Dabney Carr, Jr. Washington ed. vi, 528. Ford ed., x, 17.
(M. 1816)

1147. CARR (Dabney), Character.—[continued].

Dabney Carr, * * * mover of the proposition of March, 1773, for
Committees of Correspondence, the first fruit
of which was the call of an American Congress,
merits honorable mention in your history,
if any proper occasion offers.—
To Mr. Girardin. Washington ed. vi, 411.
(M. 1815)

1148. CARR (Dabney), Character.—[further continued].

This friend of ours, Page, in a very small house, with a table, half
a dozen chairs, and one or two servants, is
the happiest man in the universe. Every incident
in life he so takes as to render it a
source of pleasure. With as much benevolence
as the heart of man will hold, but with
an utter neglect of the costly apparatus of life,
he exhibits to the world a new phenomenon
in philosophy—the Samian sage in the tub of
the cynic. [71]
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 195. Ford ed., i, 373.


Dabney Oarr married Jefferson's sister.—Editor.

1149. CARRIAGES, Tax on.—

every carriage owner has been taken in for a
double-tax; information through the newspapers
not being actual, though legal, in a
country where they are little read. This circumstance
has made almost every man, so
taken in, a personal enemy to the tax. I escaped
he penalty only by sending an express
over the country to search out the officer the
day before the forfeiture would have been incurred.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 2.
(M. Feb. 1795)

1150. CARRYING TRADE, Preservation of the.—

Admitting their right of keeping
their markets to themselves, ours cannot
be denied of keeping our carrying trade to
Report on the Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 554.

See Navigation.

1151. CARRYING TRADE, Protection of.—

We find in some parts of Europe monopolizing
discriminations, which, in the form
of duties, tend effectually to prohibit the
carrying thither our own produce in our own
vessels. From existing amities, and a spirit
of justice, it is hoped that friendly discussion
will produce a fair and adequate reciprocity.
But should false calculations of interest defeat
our hope, it rests with the Legislature to
decide whether they will meet inequalities
abroad with countervailing inequalities at
home, or provide for the evil in any other
Second Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 16. Ford ed., viii, 182.
(Dec. 1802)

1152. CARTER (Landon), Speeches of.

—Landon Carter's speeches, like his writings,
were dull, vapid, verbose, egotistical, smooth
as the lullaby of the nurse, and commanding,
like that, the repose only of the hearer.—
To William Wirt. Washington ed. vi, 486. Ford ed., ix, 474.
(M. 1815)

1153. CARTHAGE, History of.—

It has
often been a subject of regret, that Carthage


Page 130
had no writer to give her side of her own
history, while her wealth, power and splendor
prove she must have had a very distinguished
policy and government.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 63.
(M. 1817)

1154. CENSORS, Government and.—

government ought to be without censors; and
where the press is free, no one ever will.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 467. Ford ed., vi, 108.
(M. 1792)

1155. CENSURE, Pain of.—

I find the
pain of a little censure, even when it is unfounded,
is more acute than the pleasure of
much praise.—
To F. Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 587. Ford ed., v, 78.
(P. 1789)

1156. CENSUS, First U. S.—

I enclose
you a copy of the census which I have made
out for you.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., v, 371.
(Pa., 1791)

1157. CENSUS, First U. S.—[continued].

Nearly the whole of the
States have now returned their census. I send
you the result. * * * Making a very small
allowance for omissions, we are upwards of
four millions; and we know in fact that the
omissions have been very great.—
To David Humphreys. Ford ed., v, 372.
(Pa., Aug. 1791)

1158. CENSUS, Perfecting the.—

For the
articles of a statistical table, I think the last
census of Congress presented what was
proper, as far as it went, but did not go far
enough. It required detailed accounts of our
manufactures, and an enumeration of our people,
according to ages, sexes and colors. But
to this should be added an enumeration according
to their occupations. We should know
what proportion of our people are employed in
agriculture, what proportion are carpenters,
smiths, shoemakers, tailors, bricklayers, merchants,
seamen, &c. No question is more
curious than that of the distribution of society
into occupations, and none more wanting. I
have never heard of such tables being effected
but in the instance of Spain, where it was first
done under the administration, I believe, of
Count D'Aranda, and a second time under the
Count de Florida Blanca, and these have
been considered as the most curious and valuable
tables in the world. The combination of
callings with us would occasion some difficulty,
many of our tradesmen being, for instance,
agriculturists also; but they might
be classed under their principal occupation.—
To Thomas W. Maury. Washington ed. vi, 548.
(M. 1816)


Advancing toward.—I told the President [Washington] that they [the Hamilton party] had now
brought forward a proposition, far beyond
every one ever yet advanced, and to which
the eyes of many were turned, as the decision
which was to let us know, whether we live
under a limited or an unlimited government,
* * * [to wit], that in the Report on Manufactures
which, under color of giving bounties
for the encouragement of particular manufactures,
meant to establish the doctrine,
that the power given by the Constitution to
collect taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States, permitted Congress to
take everything under their management
which they should deem for the public welfare,
and which is susceptible of the application
of money; consequently, that the subsequent
enumeration of their powers was not
the description to which resort must be had,
and did not at all constitute the limits of their
authority; that this was a very different question
from that of the Bank [of the United
States], which was thought an incident to an
enumerated power.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 104. Ford ed., i. 177.
(Feb. 1792)

1160. CENTRALIZATION, [continued].

I wish to see maintained that wholesome distribution of powers established
by the Constitution for the limitation
of both; and never to see all offices transferred
to Washington, where, further withdrawn
from the eyes of the people, they May
more secretly be bought and sold as at market.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 297. Ford ed., x, 232.
(M. 1823)

1161. CENTRALIZATION, Balance of

Power and.—I said to [President Washington] that if the equilibrium of the three great
bodies, Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary,
could be preserved, if the Legislature could
be kept independent, I should never fear the
result of such a government; but that I could
not but be uneasy when I saw that the Executive
had swallowed up the Legislative branch.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 122. Ford ed., i, 204.

1162. CENTRALIZATION, Corruption and.—

Our government is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will
pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation
first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.
The engine of consolidation will be
the Federal judiciary; the two other branches
the corrupting and corrupted instruments.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. vii, 223.
(M. 1821)

1163. CENTRALIZATION, Corruption and.—[continued].

I do verily believe that * * * a single consolidated government
would become the most corrupt government
on the earth.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 331. Ford ed., vii, 451.
(M. Aug. 1800)

1164. CENTRALIZATION, Disguised

Toryism.—Consolidation is but toryism in disguise.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Ford ed., x, 379.
(M. 1826)

1165. CENTRALIZATION, Disguised [continued].

The consolidationists
may call themselves republicans if they please,
but the school of Venice, and all of this principle,
I call at once tories.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Ford ed., x, 378.
(M. 1826)


States and.—I' fear our eastern associates
wish for consolidation, in which they would
be joined by the smaller States generally.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. vii, 223. Ford ed., x, 194.
(M. 1821)

1167. CENTRALIZATION, Enumerated Powers and.

—To take from the States all the
powers of self-government and transfer them
to a general and consolidated government,
without regard to the special delegations and


Page 131
reservations solemnly agreed to in [the Federal] compact, is not for the peace, happiness
or prosperity of these States.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 468. Ford ed., vii, 300.


Jobbery and.—You hvve seen the practices by which the
public servants have been able to cover their
conduct, or, where that could not be done,
delusions by which they have varnished it
for the eye of their constituents. What an
augmentation of the field for jobbing, speculating,
plundering, office-building and officehunting
would be produced by an assumption
of all the State powers into the hands of the
General Government.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 331. Ford ed., vii, 451.
(M. Aug. 1800)

1169. CENTRALIZATION, Judiciary drives

on to.—After twenty years' confirmation
of the federal system by the voice of the
nation, declared through the medium of elections,
we find the judiciary on every occasion,
still driving us into consolidation.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 134. Ford ed., X, 140.

1170. CENTRALIZATION, Judiciary drives [continued].

It has long been my
opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression
(although I do not choose to put it
into a newspaper, nor like a Priam in armor to
offer myself as its champion), that the germ
of dissolution of our Federal Government is
in the constitution of the Federal Judiciary;
an irresponsible body (for impeachment is
scarcely a scare-crow), working like gravity
by night and by day, gaining a little to-day and
a little to-morrow, and advancing its noiseless
step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction,
until all shall be usurped from the States, and
the government of all be consolidatee into
one. To this I am opposed; because, when all
government, domestic and foreign, in little as
in great things, shall be drawn to Washington
as the centre of all power, it will render
powerless the checks provided of one government
on another, and will become as venal
and oppressive as the government from which
we separated. It will be, as in Europe, where
every man must be either pike or gudgeon,
hammer or anvil. Our functionaries and theirs
are wares from the same workshop; made of
the same materials and by the same hand. If
the States look with apathy on this silent
descent of their government into the gulf which
is to swallow all, we have only to weep over
the human character formed uncontrollable but
by a rod of iron, and the blasphemers of man,
as incapable of self-government, become his
true historians.—
To C. Hammond. Washington ed. vii, 216.
(M. 1821)

1171. CENTRALIZATION, Judiciary drives [further continued].

We already see the
power, installed for life, responsible to no
authority (for impeachment is not even a
scare-crow), advancing with a noiseless and
steady pace to the great object of consolidation.
The foundations are already deeply
laid by their decisions for the annihilation of
constitutional State rights, and the removal of
every check, every counterpoise to the ingulfing
power of which themselves are to make a
sovereign part. If ever this vast country is
brought under a single government, it will be
one of the most extensive corruption, indifferent
and incapable of a wholesome care over so
wide a spread of surface. This will not be
borne, and you will have to choose between
reformation and revolution. If I know the
spirit of this country, the one or the other is
inevitable. Before the canker is become inveterate,
before its venom has reached so
much of the body politic as to get beyond control,
remedy should be applied.—
To William T. Barry. Washington ed. vii, 256.
(M. 1822)

1172. CENTRALIZATION, Judiciary drives [further continued] .

There is no danger I apprehend
so much as the consolidation of our government by the noiseless, and, therefore,
unalarming instrumentality of the Supreme
Court. This is the form in which federalism
now arrays itself, and consolidation is the
present principle of distinction between republicans
and the pseudo-republicans but real federalists.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 278. Ford ed., X, 248.
(M. 1823)

1173. CENTRALIZATION, Liberty and.

—It is a singular phenomenon, that while our
State governments are the very best in the
without exception or comparison, our
General Government has, in the rapid course
of nine or ten years, become more arbitrary,
and has swallowed more of the public liberty
than even that of England.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 260. Ford ed., vii, 311.
(M. 1798)

1174. CENTRALIZATION, Liberty and. [continued].

What has destroyed the liberty and the rights of man in every government
which has ever existed under the sun?
The generalizing and concentrating all cares
and powers into one body, no matter whether
of the autocrats of Russia or France, or of
the aristocrats of a Venetian Senate.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vi, 543.
(M. 1816)

1175. CENTRALIZATION, Limitless.—

It is but too evident that the branches of our
foreign department of government, Executive,
Judiciary and Legislative, are in combination
to usurp the powers of the domestic branch,
all so reserved to the States, and consolidate
themselves into a single government without
limitation of powers. I will not trouble you
with details of the instances which are threadbare
and unheeded. The only question is,
what is to be done? Shall we give up the
ship? No, by heavens, while a hand remains
able to keep the deck. Shall we, with the hot-headed
Georgian, stand at once to our arms?
Not yet nor until the evil, the only greater
one than separation, shall be all upon us, that
of living under a government of discretion.
Between these alternatives there can be no
hesitation. But, again, what are we to do?
* * * We had better, at present, rest awhile
on our oars and see which way the tide will
set in Congress and in the State Legislatures.—
To William F. Gordon. Ford ed., X, 358.
(M. Jan. 1826)

1176. CENTRALIZATION, Local Government vs.—

It is not by the consolidation,
or concentration of powers, but by their distribution,
that good government is effected.


Page 132
Were not this great country already divided
into States, that division must be made, that
each might do for itself what concerns itself
directly, and what it can so much better do
than a distant authority. Every State again
is divided into counties, each to take care of
what lies within its local bounds; each county
again into townships or wards, to manage
minuter details; and every ward into farms,
to be governed each by its individual proprietor.
* * * It is by this partition of cares,
descending in gradation from general to particular,
that the mass of human affairs May
be best managed, for the good and prosperity
of all.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 82. Ford ed., i, 113.

1177. CENTRALIZATION, Local Interest and.—

Of the two questions of the tariff
and public improvements, the former, perhaps,
is not yet at rest, and the latter will excite
boisterous discussions. It happens that both
these measures fall in with the western interests,
and it is their secession from the agricultural
States which gives such strength to the
manufacturing and consolidating parties, on
these two questions. The latter is the most
dreaded, because thought to amount to a determination
in the Federal government to
assume all powers non-enumerated as well as
enumerated in the Constitution, and by giving
a loose to construction, make the text say
whatever will relieve them from the bridle of
the States. These are difficulties for your
day; I shall give them the slip.—
To Richard Rush. Washington ed. vii, 380. Ford ed., x, 322.
(M. 1824)

1178. CENTRALIZATION, Opposition to.—

I fear an explosion in our State Legislature.
I wish they may restrain themselves
to a strong but temperate protestation.
Virginia is not at present in favor with her
co-States. An opposition headed by her
would determine all the anti-Missouri States
to take the contrary side. She had better lie
by, therefore, till the shoe shall pinch an eastern
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. vii, 223. Ford ed., x, 194.
(M. Oct. 1821)

1179. CENTRALIZATION, Plunder and.—

Our country is too large to have all its affairs
directed by a single government. Public
servants at such a distance, and from under
the eye of their constituents, must, from the
circumstance of distance, be unable to administer
and overlook all the details necessary for
the good government of the citizens; and the
same circumstance, by rendering detection impossible
to their constituents, will invite the
public agents to corruption, plunder and
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 331. Ford ed., vii, 451.
(M. Aug. 1800)

— CENTRALIZATION, Plundered Yeomanry and.—

See Yeomanry.

1180. CENTRALIZATION, Poverty and.

—Were we directed from Washington when
to sow, and when to reap, we should soon
want bread.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 82. Ford ed., i, 113.

1181. CENTRALIZATION, Resistance to.—

Although I have little hope that the tor
rent of consolidation can be withstood, I
should not be for giving up the ship without
efforts to save her. She lived well through
the first squall, and may weather the present
To C. W. Gooch. Washington ed. vii, 430.
(M. Jan. 1826)

1182. CENTRALIZATION, Revolution and.—

I have been blamed for saying, that a prevalence of the doctrines of consolidation
would one day call for reformation or revolution.
I answer by asking if a single State of
the Union would have agreed to the Constitution
had it given all powers to the General
Government? If the whole opposition to it
did not proceed from the jealousy and fear
of every State, of being subjected to the other
States in matters merely its own? And if
there is any reason to believe the States more
disposed now than then, to acquiesce in this
general surrender of all their rights and powers
to a consolidated government, one and undivided?—
To Samuel Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 293. Ford ed., x, 228.
(M. 1823)

1183. CENTRALIZATION, States' Rights and.—

I see with the deepest affliction, the rapid strides with which the Federal
branch of our government is advancing towards
the usurpation of all the rights reserved
to the States, and the consolidation in itself of
all powers, foreign and domestic; and that
too, by constructions which, if legitimate,
leave no limits to their power. Take together
the decisions of the Federal Court, the doctrines
of the President [John Quincy Adams],
and the misconstructions of the constitutional
compact acted on by the legislature
of the Federal branch, and it is but too evident,
that the three ruling branches of that
department are in combination to strip their
colleagues, the State authorities, of the powers
reserved by them, and to exercise themselves
all functions foreign and domestic. Under the
power to regulate commerce, they assume indefinitely
that also over agriculture and manufactures,
and call it regulation to take the
earnings of one of these branches of industry,
and that, too, the most depressed, and put
them into the pockets of the other, the most
flourishing of all. Under the authority to establish
post roads, they claim that of cutting
down mountains for the construction of roads,
of digging canals, and aided by a little sophistry
on the words “general welfare,” a right
to do, not only the acts to effect that, which
are specifically enumerated and permitted, but
whatsoever they shall think, or pretend will
be for the general welfare. And what is our
resource for the preservation of the Constitution?
Reason and argument? You might as
well reason and argue with the marble columns
encircling them. The representatives
chosen by ourselves? They are joined in the
combination, some from incorrect views of
government, some from corrupt ones, sufficient
voting together to outnumber the sound
parts; and with majorities only of one, two,
or three, bold enough to go forward in defiance.
Are we then to stand to our arms, with
the hot-headed Georgian? No. That must
be the last resource, not to be thought of until


Page 133
much longer and greater sufferings. If every
infraction of a compact of so many parties is
to be resisted at once, as a dissolution of it,
none can ever be formed which would last
one year. We must have patience and longer
endurance then with our brethren while under
delusion; give them time for reflection
and experience of consequences; keep ourselves
in a situation to profit by the chapter of
accidents; and separate from our companions
only when the sole alternatives left, are
the dissolution of our Union with them, or
submission to a government without limitation
of powers. Between these two evils,
when we must make a choice, there can be
no hesitation. But, in the meanwhile, the
States should be watchful to note every material
usurpation on their rights; denounce
them as they occur in the most peremptory
terms; to protest against them as wrongs to
which our present submission shall be considered,
not as acknowledgments or precedents
of right, but as a temporary yielding to the
lesser evil, until their accumulation shall
overweigh that of separation. I would go
still further, and give to the Federal member,
by a regular amendment of the Constitution,
a right to make roads and canals of intercommunication
between the States, providing
sufficiently against corrupt practices in Congress
(log-rolling, &c.) by declaring that the
Federal proportion of each State of the moneys
so employed, shall be in works within the
State, or elsewhere with its consent, and with
a due salvo of jurisdiction. This is the course
which I think safest and best as yet.—
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. vii, 426. Ford ed., x, 354.
(M. Dec. 1825)

1184. CENTRALIZATION, Venality and.—

When all government, domestic and
foreign, in little as in great things, shall be
drawn to Washington as the centre of all
power, it will render powerless the checks
provided of one government on another, and
will become as venal and oppressive as the
government from which we separated.—
To C. Hammond. Washington ed. vii, 216.
(M. 1821)

1185. CEREMONY, Suppression of monarchical.—

We have suppressed all those public
forms and ceremonies which tended to
familiarize the public eye to the harbingers of
another form of government.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 430.
(W. April. 1802)

1186. CEREMONY, Unnecessary.—

Adams, your predecessor, seemed to understand,
on his being presented to the Court [of
St. James's] that a letter was expected for
the Queen also. You will be pleased to inform
yourself whether the custom of that
court requires this from us; and to enable
you to comply with it, if it should, I enclose
a letter sealed for the Queen, and a copy of it
open for your own information. Should its
delivery not be a requisite, you will be so
good as to return it, as we do not wish to set
a precedent which may bind us hereafter to
a single unnecessary ceremony.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 441. Ford ed., vi, 74.
(Pa., 1792)

1187. CEREMONY, Yellow fever and.

—Those [in Philadelphia] who caught the
yellow fever seemed to consider every man
as their personal enemy who would not catch
their disorder, and many suffered themselves
to think it was a sufficient cause for breaking
off society with them. I became sensible of
this on my next arrival in town, on perceiving
that many declined visiting me with
whom I had been on terms of the greatest
friendship and intimacy. I determined, for
the first time in my life, to stand on the ceremony
of the first visit, even with my friends;
because it served to sift out those who chose
a separation.—
To William Hamilton. Ford ed., vii, 441.
(Pa., 1800)

1188. CHANCELLORS, Inconsistencies of English.—

The English Chancellors have
gone on from one thing to another without
any comprehensive or systematic view of the
whole field of equity, and therefore they have
sometimes run into inconsistencies and contradictions.—
To Peter Carr. Washington ed. iii, 452. Ford ed., vi, 92.
(Pa., 1792)


See Courts.

1189. CHAPLAINS, Appointment of.—

These small preferments [chaplains to legislative
bodies] should be reserved to reward
and encourage genius, and not be strowed
with an indiscriminating hand among the
common herd of competitors.—
To Colonel W. Preston. Ford ed., i, 368.

1190. CHARACTER, Evidence of.—

uniform tenor of a man's life furnishes better
evidence of what he has said or done on any
particular occasion than the word of any
enemy, and of an enemy, too, who shows that
he prefers the use of falsehoods which suit
him to truths which do not.—
To De Witt Clinton. Washington ed. iv, 520.
(W. 1803)

1191. CHARACTER, Public Service and.—

There is sometimes an eminence of
character on which society have such peculiar
claims as to control the predilections of the
individual for a particular walk of happiness,
and restrain him to that alone arising from
the present and future benedictions of mankind.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 364. Ford ed., vi, 5.
(Pa., 1792)

1192. CHARACTER, Rational.—

the rest of mankind, General Washington was
disgusted with atrocities of the French Revolution,
and was not sufficiently aware of the
difference between the rabble who were used
as instruments of their perpetration, and the
steady and rational character of the American
people, in which he had not sufficient confidence.—
Introduction to Anas. Washington ed. ix, 99. Ford ed., i, 168.

1193. CHARACTER, Steady American.

—The steady character of our countrymen is
a rock to which we may safely moor.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 392. Ford ed., viii, 43.
(W. March. 1801)

1194. CHARACTER, Strong American.

—The order and good sense displayed in this


Page 134
recovery from delusion, and in the momentous
crisis [Presidential election] which lately
arose, really bespeak a strength of character
in our nation which augurs well for the duration
of our Republic; and I am much better
satisfied now of its stability than I was before
it was tried.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley, Washington ed. iv, 374. Ford ed., viii, 22.
(W. March. 1801)

1195. CHARITY, A duty.—

charities, as well as contributions to public
purposes in proportion to every one's circumstances,
are certainly among the duties we
owe to society.—
To Charles Christian. Washington ed. vi, 44.
(M. 1812)

1196. CHARITY, Principles of Distributing.—

We are all doubtless bound to contribute
a certain portion of our income to
the support of charitable and other useful
public institutions. But it is a part of our
duty also to apply our contributions in the
most effectual way we can to secure their object.
The question, then, is whether this will
not be better done by each of us appropriating
our whole contributions to the institutions
within our reach, under our own eye;
and over which we can exercise some useful
control? Or, would it be better that each
should divide the sum he can spare among
all the institutions of his State, or of the
United States? Reason, and the interest of
these institutions themselves, certainly decide
in favor of the former practice. This question
has been forced on me, heretofore, by
the multitude of applications which have
come to me from every quarter of the Union
on behalf of academies, churches, missions,
hospitals, charitable establishments, &c. Had
I parcelled among them all the contributions
which I could spare, it would have been for
each too feeble a sum to be worthy of being
either given or received. If each portion of
the State, on the contrary, will apply its aids
and its attentions exclusively to those nearest
around them, all will be better taken care of.
Their support, their conduct, and the best administration
of their funds, will be under the
inspection and control of those most convenient
to take cognizance of them, and most
interested in their prosperity.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. v, 489.
(M. 1810)

1197. CHARITY, Principles of Distributing.—[continued].

It is a duty certainly to
give our sparings to those who want; but
to see also that they are faithfully distributed,
and duly apportioned to the respective wants
of those receivers. And why give through agents whom we know not, to persons whom
we know not, and in countries from which we
get no account, when we can do it at short
hand, to objects under our eye, through
agents we know, and to supply wants we see?—
To Mr. Megear. Washington ed. vii, 286.
(M. 1823)

1198. CHARITY, Rules in bestowing.

—I deem it the duty of every man to devote a certain portion of his income for charitable
purposes; and that it is his further duty to
see it so applied as to do the most good of
which it is capable. This I believe to be best
insured, by keeping within the circle of his
own inquiry and information the subjects of
distress to whose relief his contributions shall
be applied. If this rule be reasonable in private
life, it becomes so necessary in my situation,
that to relinquish it would leave me
without rule or compass. The applications
of this kind from different parts of our own,
and foreign countries, are far beyond any
resources within my command. The mission
of Serampore, in the East Indies, the object of
the present application, is but one of many
items. However disposed the mind may feel
to unlimited good, our means having limits,
we are necessarily circumscribed by them.
They are too narrow to relieve even the distresses
under my own eye; and to desert
these for others which we neither see nor
know, is to omit doing a certain good for one
which is uncertain. I know, indeed, there
have been splendid associations for effecting
benevolent purposes in remote regions of the
earth. But no experience of their effect has
proved that more good would not have been
done by the same means employed nearer
home. In explaining, however, my own motives
of action, I must not be understood as
impeaching those of others. Their views are
those of an expanded liberality. Mine May
be too much restrained by the law of usefulness.
But it is a law to me, and with minds
like yours, will be felt as a justification.—
To Dr. Rogers. Washington ed. iv, 589.
(W. 1806)

1199. CHARITY, Rules in bestowing. [continued].

The general relation in
which I, some time since, stood to the citizens
of all our States, drew on me such multitudes
of applications as exceeded all resource.
Nor have they abated since my retirement
to the limited duties of a private
citizen, and the more limited resources of a
private fortune. They have obliged me to
lay down as a law of conduct for myself, to
restrain my contributions for public institutions
to the circle of my own State, and for
private charities to that which is under my
own observation; and these calls I find more
than sufficient for everything I can spare.—
To Charles Christian. Washington ed. vi, 44.
(M. 1812)

1200. CHARTERS, Abolishing.—

has combined with others * * * for taking
away our charters.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

1201. CHARTERS, Altering.—

But, what is of more importance [than the loss of property],
and what they keep in this proposal
[of Lord North] out of sight, as if no such
point was in contest, they claim a right of
altering all our charters and established laws,
which leaves us without the least security for
our lives or liberties.—
Reply To Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 481.
(July. 1775)

1202. CHARTERS, Violation of.—

[Parliament] have attempted fundamentally
to alter the form of government in one of
these Colonies, a form secured by charters
on the part of the crown and confirmed by
acts of its own legislature.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 468.
(July. 1775)


Page 135

1203. CHASE (Samuel), Independence and.—

A Fourth of July oration, delivered in
the town of Milford, in your State, gives to
Samuel Chase the credit of having “first
started the cry of Independence in the ears of
his countrymen”. Do you remember anything
of this? I do not. I have no doubt it was
uttered in Massachusetts even before it was
by Thomas Paine. But, certainly, I never
considered Samuel Chase as foremost, or even
forward in that hallowed cry. I know that
Maryland hung heavily on our backs, and that
Chase, although first named, was not most in
unison with us of that delegation.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 218.

1204. CHASE (Samuel), Partisan charge of.—

You must have heard of the extraordinary
charge of Chase to the grand jury
at Baltimore. Ought this seditious and official
attack on the principles of our Constitution,
and on the proceedings of a State, to go
unpunished? And to whom so pointedly as
yourself will the public look for the necessary
measures? I ask these questions for your
consideration; for myself it is better that I
should not interfere.—
To Mr. Nicholson. Washington ed. iv, 486.
(W. May. 1803)

1205. CHATHAM (Lord), Colonies and.

—When I saw Lord Chatham's bill, I entertained
high hope that a reconciliation could
have been brought about. The difference between
his terms and those offered by our Congress
might have been accommodated, if entered
on by both parties with a disposition to accommodate.—
To Dr. William Small. Washington ed. i, 199. Ford ed., i, 454.

1206. CHATHAM (Lord), Gratitude to.

—I hope Lord Chatham may live till the fortune
of war puts his son into our hands, and enables
us by returning him safe to his father, to
pay a debt of gratitude.—
To John Page. Ford ed., 496.

1207. CHEMISTRY, Application of.—

I have wished to see chemistry applied to domestic
objects, to malting, for instance, brewing,
making cider, to fermentation and distillation
generally, to the making of bread,
butter, cheese, soap, to the incubation of eggs,
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 73.
(M. 1812)

1208. CHEMISTRY, Experiments in.—

The contradictory experiments of chemists leave us at liberty to conclude what we please.
My conclusion is, that art has not yet invented
sufficient aids to enable such subtle
bodies [air, light, &c.] to make a well-defined
impression on organs as blunt as ours; that
it is laudable to encourage investigation but
to hold back conclusion.—
To Rev. James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 431.
(P. 1788)

1209. CHEMISTRY, Merits attention.

—I do not know whether you are fond of
chemical reading. There are some things in
this science worth reading.—
To Mr. Rittenhouse. Washington ed. i, 517.
(P. 1786)

1210. CHEMISTRY, Nomenclature.—

The attempt of Lavoisier to reform the chemical nomenclature is premature. One
single experiment may destroy the whole
filiation of his terms; and his string of
sulphates, sulphites, and sulphures, may have
served no other end than to have retarded
the progress of the science by a jargon, from
the confusion of which time will be requisite
to extricate us.—
To Rev. James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 432.
(P. 1788)

1211. CHEMISTRY, Nomenclature.—[continued].

You have heard of the
new chemical nomenclature endeavored to
be introduced by Lavoisier, Fourcroy, &c.
Other chemists of this country, of equal note,
reject it, and prove in my opinion that it is
premature, insufficient and false. These latter
are joined by the British chemists; and
upon the whole, I think the new nomenclature
will be rejected, after doing more harm than
good. There are some good publications in
it, which must be translated into the ordinary
chemical language before they will be useful.—
To Dr. Currie. Washington ed. ii, 544.
(P. 1788)

1212. CHEMISTRY, Nomenclature.—[further continued].

A schism has taken place among the chemists. A particular set of
them in France have undertaken to remodel
all the terms of the science, and to give to
every substance a new name, the composition,
and especially the termination of which, shall
define the relation in which it stands to other
substances of the same family. But the
science seems too much in its infancy as yet,
for this reformation; because in fact, the
reformation of this year must be reformed
again the next year, and so on, changing the
names of substances as often as new experiments
develop properties in them undiscovered
before. The new nomenclature has, accordingly,
been already proved to need numerous
and important reformations. * * * It is espoused by the minority only here, and
by very few, indeed, of the foreign chemists.
It is particularly rejected in England.—
To Dr. Willard. Washington ed. iii, 15.
(P. 1789)

1213. CHEMISTRY, System of.—

is yet, indeed, a mere embryon. Its
principles are contested; experiments seem
contradictory; their subjects are so minute as
to escape our senses; and their result too fallacious
to satisfy the mind. It is probably an
age too soon to propose the establishment of
a system.—
To Rev. James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 431.
(P. 1788)

1214. CHEMISTRY, Utility of.—

one day with Monsieur de Buffon, on the
present ardor of chemical inquiry, he affected
to consider chemistry but as cookery, and to
place the toils of the laboratory on a footing
with those of the kitchen. I think it, on the
contrary, among the most useful of sciences,
and big with future discoveries for the utility
and safety of the human race.—
To Rev. James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 431.
(P. 1788)

1215. CHERBOURG, Expense of.—

That work will be steadily pursued, and, in all
probability, be finally successful. They calculate
on half a million of livres, say twenty thousand
pounds sterling, for every cone, and that
there will be from seventy to eighty cones.
Probably they must make more cones. Suppose


Page 136
one hundred; this will be two millions of
pounds sterling. Versailles has cost fifty millions
of pounds sterling. Ought we to doubt
then that they will persevere to the end in a
work, small and useful in proportion as the
other was great and foolish?—
To Mr. Cutting. Washington ed. ii, 438.
(P. 1788)

1216. CHERBOURG, Harbor of.—

The King's visit to Cherbourg has made a great sensation
in England and here [France]. It proves
to the world, that it is a serious object to this
country, and that the King commits himself for
the accomplishment of it. Indeed, so many
cones have been sunk, that no doubt remains of
the practicability of it. It will contain, as is
said, eighty ships of the line, be one of the best
harbors in the world, and by means of two entrances,
on different sides, will admit vessels to
come in and go out with every wind. The effect
of this, in another war with England, defies
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 587. Ford ed., iv, 245.
(P. 1786)

1217. CHERBOURG, Invasion of England from.—

An event seems to be preparing, in the order of things, which will probably decide
the fate of that country [England]. It
is no longer doubtful that the harbor of Cherbourg
will be completed, that it will be a most
excellent one, and capacious enough to hold the
whole navy of France. Nothing has ever been
wanting to enable France to invade that but a
naval force conveniently stationed to protect
the transports. This change of situation must
oblige the English to keep up a great standing
army, and there is no king, who, with sufficient
force, is not always ready to make himself absolute.—
To George Wythe. Washington ed. ii, 8. Ford ed., iv, 269.
(P. 1786)

1218. CHERBOURG, Invasion of England from.—[continued].

This port will enable
them in case of a war with England, to invade
that country, or to annihilate its commerce,
and of course its marine. Probably, too, it
will oblige them to keep a standing army of
considerable magnitude.—
To Mr. Hawkins. Washington ed. ii, 3.
(P. 1786)

1219. CHERBOURG, Invasion of England from.—[further continued].

The harbor of Cherbourg
will * * * hold the whole [French] navy. This is putting a bridle into the mouth
of England.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. ii, 11.
(P. 1786)

1220. CHEROKEE INDIANS, Hopewell Treaty and.—

Were the treaty of Hopewell,
and the act of acceptance of Congress
to stand in any point in direct opposition to
each other, I should consider the act of acceptance
as void in that point; because the
treaty is a law made by two parties, and not
revocable by one of the parties either acting
alone or in conjunction with a third party.
If we consider the acceptance as a legislative
act of Congress, it is the act of one party
only; if we consider it as a treaty between
Congress and North Carolina, it is but a
subsequent treaty with another power, and
cannot make void a preceding one, with a
different power. But I see no such opposition
between these two instruments. The
Cherokees were entitled to the sole occupation
of the lands within the limits guaranteed
to them. The State of North Carolina,
according to the jus gentium established for
America by universal usage, had only a right
of preemption of these lands against all other
nations. It could convey, then, to its citizens
only this right of preemption, and the right of
occupation could not be united to it until obtained
by the United States from the Cherokees.
The act of cession of North Carolina
only preserves the rights of its citizens in the
same state as they would have been, had that
act never been passed.
It does not make imperfect
titles perfect; but only prevents their
being made worse. Congress, by their act,
accept on these conditions. The claimants
of North Carolina, then, and also the Cherokees,
are exactly where they would have been,
had neither the act of cession, nor that of
acceptance, been ever made; that is, the latter
possess the right of occupation, and the
former the right of preemption. Though
these deductions seem clear enough, yet the
question would be a disagreeable one between
the General Government, a particular government,
and individuals, and it would seem very
desirable to draw all the claims of preemption
within a certain limit, by commuting for
those out of it, and then to purchase of the
Cherokees the right of occupation.—
To Henry Knox. Washington ed. iii, 192. Ford ed., v, 237.
(N.Y., 1790)

— CHERRONESUS, Proposed State of.

—See Western Territory.

1221. CHESAPEAKE, Attack on Frigate.—

On the 22nd day of June last [1807], by
a formal order from the British admiral, the
frigate Chesapeake, leaving her port for distant
service, was attacked by one of those
vessels which had been lying in our harbors
under the indulgences of hospitality, was disabled
from proceeding, had several of her
crew killed, and four taken away. On this
outrage no commentaries are necessary. Its
character has been pronounced by the indignant
voice of our citizens with an emphasis
and unanimity never exceeded. I immediately,
by proclamation, interdicted our
harbors and waters to all British armed vessels,
forbade intercourse with them, and uncertain
how far hostilities were intended, and
the town of Norfolk, indeed, being threatened
with immediate attack, a sufficient force was
ordered for the protection of that place, and
such other preparations commenced and pursued
as the prospect rendered proper. An
armed vessel of the United States was dispatched
with instructions to our ministers at
London to call on that government for the
satisfaction and security required by the outrage.
A very short interval ought now to
bring the answer. * * * The aggression
thus begun has been continued on the part of
the British commanders by remaining within
our waters, in defiance of the authority of the
country, by habitual violations of its jurisdiction,
and at length by putting to death
one of the persons whom they had forcibly
taken from on board the Chesapeake. These
aggravations necessarily lead to the policy,
either of never admitting an armed vessel
into our harbors, or of maintaining in every
harbor such an armed force as may constrain
obedience to the laws, and protect the lives


Page 137
and property of our citizens, against their
armed guests. But the expense of such a
standing force, and its inconsistence with our
principles, dispense with those obligations of
hospitality which would necessarily call for
it, and leave us equally free to exclude the
navy, as we are the army of a foreign power,
from entering our limits.—
Seventh Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 83. Ford ed., viii, 152.
(Oct. 27, 1807)

1222. CHESAPEAKE, Demand for reparation.—

We now send a vessel to call upon
the British government for reparation for the
past outrage, and security for the future, nor
will anything be deemed security but a renunciation
of the practice of taking persons
out of our vessels, under the pretence of their
being English.—
To John Armstrong. Washington ed. v, 134. Ford ed., ix, 116.
(W. July. 1807)

1223. CHESAPEAKE, Demand for reparation.—[continued].

You will have seen by
the proclamation the measures adopted. We
act on these principles, I. That the usage of
nations requires that we shall give the offender
an opportunity of making reparation
and avoiding war. [72] 2. That we should give
time to our merchants to get in their property
and vessels and our seamen now afloat. And,
3. That the power of declaring war being
with the Legislature, the Executive should do
nothing, necessarily committing them to decide
for war in preference to non-intercourse,
which will be preferred by a great many.—
To Vice-President Clinton. Washington ed. v, 116. Ford ed., ix, 100.
(W. July. 1807)


The action of the commander of the Leopard was
disavowed by the British government, and it also
disclaimed the right of search in the case of ships of

1224. CHESAPEAKE, Demand for reparation.—[further continued].

We have acted on these
principles; 1, to give that government an
opportunity to disavow and make reparation;
2, to give ourselves time to get in the vessels,
property and seamen, now spread over the
ocean; 3, to do no act which might compromit
Congress in their choice between
war, non-intercourse, or any other measure.—
To Barnabas Bidwell. Washington ed. v, 126. Ford ed., ix, 106.
(W. 1807)

1225. CHESAPEAKE, Demand for reparation.—[further continued] .

Whether the outrage is
a proper cause of war, belonging exclusively
to Congress, it is our duty not to commit them
by doing anything which would have to be
retracted. We may, however, exercise the
powers entrusted to us for preventing future
insults within our harbors, and claim
firmly satisfaction for the past. This will
leave Congress free to decide whether war
is the most efficacious mode of redress in our
case, or whether, having taught so many
other useful lessons to Europe, we may not
add that of showing them that there are
peaceable means of repressing injustice, by
making it the interest of the aggressor to do
what is just, and abstain from future wrong.—
To W. H. Cabell. Washington ed. v, 114. Ford ed., ix, 87.
(W. June. 1807)

1226. CHESAPEAKE, Excitement Over.

—This country has never been in such a state
of excitement since the battle of Lexington.—
To James Bowdoin. Washington ed. v, 124. Ford ed., ix, 105.
(July. 1807)

1227. CHESAPEAKE, Excitement Over. [continued].

Never since the battle of
Lexington have I seen this country in such
a state of exasperation as at present, and even
that did not produce such unanimity. The
federalists themselves coalesce with us as to
the object, though they will return to their
trade of censuring every measure taken to obtain
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 127. Ford ed., ix, 110.
(W. July. 1807)

1228. CHESAPEAKE, Hostilities Threatened.—

You will perceive by the enclosed
copies of letters from Captain Decatur
that the British commanders have their foot
on the threshold of war. They have begun
the blockade of Norfolk; have sounded the
passage to the town, which appears practicable
for three of their vessels, and menace an
attack on the Chesapeake and Cybele. These,
with four gunboats, form the present defence,
and there are four more gunboats in Norfolk
nearly ready. The four gunboats at
Hampton are hauled up, and in danger, four
in Mopjack bay are on the stocks. Blows
may be hourly possible.—
To General Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 117. Ford ed., ix, 101.
(W. July. 1807)

1229. CHESAPEAKE, Interdiction of British ships.—

The interdicted ships are
enemies. Should they be forced, by stress of
weather, to run up into safer harbors, we
are to act towards them as we would towards
enemies in regular war, in a like case. Permit
no intercourse, no supplies; and if they
land, kill or capture them as enemies. If they
lie still, Decatur has orders not to attack them
without stating the case to me, and awaiting
instructions. But if they attempt to enter the
Elizabeth River, he is to attack them without
awaiting for instructions. Other armed vessels,
putting in from sea in distress, are
friends. They must report themselves to the
collector, he assigns them their station, and
regulates their repairs, supplies, intercourse
and stay. Not needing flags, they are under
the direction of the collector alone, who
should be reasonably liberal as to their repairs
and supplies, furnishing them for a
voyage to any of their American ports.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 173. Ford ed., ix, 130.
(M. Aug. 1807)

1230. CHESAPEAKE, Interdiction of British ships.—[continued].

The intention of the
[British] squadron in the bay is so manifestly
pacific, that your instructions are perfectly
proper, not to molest their boats merely for
approaching the shore. While they are giving
up slaves and citizen seamen, and attempting
nothing ashore, it would not be well
to stop this by any new restriction.—
To W. H. Cabell. Washington ed. v, 191.
(M. Sep. 1807)

1231. CHESAPEAKE, Interdiction of British ships.—[further continued].

If they come ashore,
they must be captured or destroyed if they
cannot be captured, because we mean to enforce
the proclamation rigorously in preventing
To W. H. Cabell. Washington ed. v, 191.
(M. Sep. 1807)


Page 138

1232. CHESAPEAKE, Interdiction of British ships.—[further continued] .

The authority of the
proclamation is to be maintained, no supplies
to be permitted to be carried to the British
vessels, nor their vessels permitted to land.
For these purposes force, and to any extent,
is to be applied, if necessary, but not unless'
necessary; nor, considering how short a time
the present state of things has to continue,
would I recommend any extraordinary vigilance
or great industry in seeking even just
occasions for collision. It will suffice to do
what is right when the occasion comes into
their way.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 202.
(Oct. 1807)

1233. CHESAPEAKE, New injuries.—

Should the British government give us reparation
of the past, and security for the future,
yet the continuance of their vessels in our
harbors in defiance constitutes a new injury,
which will not be included in any settlement
with our ministers, and will furnish good
ground for declaring their future exclusion
from our waters, in addition with the reasonable
ground before existing.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 195. Ford ed., ix, 139.
(M. Sep. 1807)

1234. CHESAPEAKE, Premeditation suspected.—

Though in the first moments of
the outrage on the Chesapeake I did not suppose
it was by authority from their government,
I now more and more suspect it, and of
course, that they will not give the reparation
for the past and security for the future, which
alone may prevent war. The new depredations
committing on us, with this attack on
the Chesapeake, and their calling on Portugal
to declare on the one side or the other,
if true, prove they have coolly calculated it
will be to their benefit to have everything on
the ocean fair prize, and to support their
navy by plundering all mankind. * * * It is
really mortifying that we should be forced
to wish success to Bonaparte, and to look to
his victories as our salvation.—
To Colonel John Taylor. Washington ed. v, 149.
(W. Aug. 1807)

1235. CHESAPEAKE, Preparations at New York.—

The spirit of the orders to Decatur
should be applied to New York. So
long as the British vessels merely enter the
Hook, or remain quiet there, I would not precipitate
hostilities. I do not sufficiently know
the geography of the harbor to draw the line
which they should not pass. * * * But a
line should be drawn which if they attempt to
pass, Commodore Rogers should attack them
with all his force.—
To Robert Smith. Washington ed. v, 196. Ford ed., ix, 140.
(M. Sep. 1807)

1236. CHESAPEAKE, Status of British captives.—

The relation in which we stand
with the British naval force within our waters
is so new, that differences of opinion are not
to be wondered at respecting the captives,
who are the subject of your letter. Are they
insurgents against the authority of the laws?
Are they public enemies, acting under the
orders of their sovereign? Or will it be more
correct to take their character from the act
of Congress for the preservation of peace in
our harbors, which authorizes a qualified war
against persons of their demeanor, defining its
objects, and limiting its extent? Considering
this act as constituting the state of things
between us and them, the captives may certainly
be held as prisoners of war. If we
restore them it will be an act of favor, and
not of any right they can urge. Whether
Great Britain will give us that reparation
for the past and security for the future, which
we have categorically demanded, cannot as
yet be foreseen; but we have believed we
should afford an opportunity of doing it,
as well from justice and the usage of nations,
as a respect to the opinion of an impartial
world, whose approbation and esteem are
always of value. This measure was requisite,
also, to produce unanimity among ourselves.
* * * It was necessary, too, for our own interests,
afloat on the ocean. * * * These considerations
render it still useful that we should
avoid every act which may precipitate immediate
and general war, or in any way shorten
the interval so necessary for our own purposes;
and they render it advisable that the
captives, in the present instance, should be
permitted to return, with their boat, arms,
&c., to their ships. * * * And we wish the
military to understand that while, for special
reasons, we restore the captives in this first
instance, we applaud the vigilance and activity
which, by taking them, have frustrated
the object of their enterprise, and urge a continuance
of them, to intercept all intercourse
with the vessels, their officers and crews, and
to prevent them from taking or receiving supplies
of any kind; and for this purpose, should
the use of force be necessary, they are unequivocally
to understand that force is to be
employed without reserve or hesitation.—
To W. H. Cabell. Washington ed. v, 141. Ford ed., ix, 89.
(W. July. 1807)

1237. CHESAPEAKE, Tergiversation of Great Britain.—

The communications
made to Congress at their last session explained
the posture in which the close of the
discussion, relating to the attack by a British
ship of war on the frigate Chesapeake, left
a subject on which the nation had manifested
so honorable a sensibility. Every view of
what had passed authorized a belief that immediate
steps would be taken by the British
government for redressing a wrong, which,
the more it was investigated, appeared the
more clearly to require what had not been provided
for in the special mission. It is found
that no steps have been taken for the purpose.
On the contrary, it will be seen, in the
documents laid before you, that the inadmissible
preliminary which obstructed the adjustment
is still adhered to; and moreover, that
it is now brought into connection with the distinct
and irrelative case of the orders in
Eighth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 105. Ford ed., ix, 220.
(Nov, 1808)

1238. CHILDREN, Affection for.—

considerations in this world would compensate
to me a separation from yourself and
your sister.—
To Mary Jefferson Eppes. Ford ed., vii, 478.
(W. Jan. 1801)


Page 139

1239. CHILDREN, Affection for.—[continued].

Francis will ever be to
me one of the dearest objects in life.—
To John W. Eppes. Ford ed., ix, 107.
(W. 1807)

1240. CHILDREN, A blessing.—

I sincerely
congratulate you on the addition to
your family. The good old Book, speaking
of children says, “happy is the man who hath
his quiver full of them”.—
To Cæsar A. Rodney. Ford ed., ix, 144.
(W. 1807)

1241. CHILDREN, Good humor in.—

In the ensuing autumn, I shall be sending on to
Philadelphia a grandson of about fifteen years
of age, to whom I shall ask your friendly attentions.
Without that bright fancy which
captivates, I am in hopes he possesses sound
judgment and much observation; and, what
I value more than all things, good humor.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 225.
(W. 1808)

1242. CHILDREN, Happiness and.—

An only daughter and numerous family of
grandchildren, will furnish me great resources
of happiness.—
To Charles Thomson. Washington ed. v, 403. Ford ed., ix, 234.
(W. 1808)

1243. CHILDREN, Happiness and.—[continued].

My expectations from
you are high, yet not higher than you may attain.
Industry and resolution are all that are
wanting. Nobody in this world can make me
so happy, or so miserable, as you. Retirement
from public life will ere long become
necessary for me. To your sister and yourself
I look to render the evening of my life serene
and contented. Its morning has been
clouded by loss after loss, till I have nothing
left but you. I do not doubt either your affections
or your dispositions. But great exertions
are necessary, and you have little time
left to make them. Be industrious, then, my
child. Think nothing insurmountable by resolution
and application, and you will be all
that I wish you to be.—
To Martha Jefferson. Ford ed., iv, 374.

1244. CHILDREN, Moral training of.—

When your sister arrives [in France] she will become a precious charge on your hands.
The difference of your age and your common
loss of a mother, will put that office on you.
Teach her above all things to be good, because
without that we can neither be valued
by others nor set any value on ourselves.
Teach her always to be true; no vice is so
mean as the want of truth, and at the same
time so useless. Teach her never to be angry;
anger only serves to torment ourselves, to
divert others, and alienare their esteem. And
teach her industry, and application to useful
pursuits. I will venture to assure you that
if you inculcate this in her mind, you will
make her a happy being herself, a most interesting
friend to you, and precious to all the
To Martha Jefferson. Ford ed., iv, 375.

1245. CHILDREN, Prattle of.—

were never more mistaken than in supposing
you were too long on the prattle, &c., of little
Anne [his granddaughter], I read it with quite
as much pleasure as you write it.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. Ford ed., vi, 163.
(Pa., 1793)

1246. CHINA, Conciliation of.—

Winchung the Chinese Mandarin, has, I believe,
his headquarters at New York, and
therefore his case is probably known to you.
He came to Washington just as I had left it
[for Monticello], and therefore wrote to me,
praying for permission to depart to his own
country with his property, in a vessel to be
engaged by himself * * * I consider it as
a case of national comity, and coming within
the views of the first section of the first embargo
act. The departure of this individual
with good dispositions, may be the means of
making our nation known advantageously at
the source of power in China, to which it is
otherwise difficult to convey information.
It may be of sensible advantage to our
merchants in that country. I cannot, therefore,
but consider that a chance of obtaining
a permanent national good will should
overweigh the effect of a single case taken
out of the great field of the embargo. The
case, too, is so singular, that it can lead to
no embarrassment as a precedent.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 325.
(M. July. 1808)

1247. CHINA, Conciliation of.—[continued].

In the case of the Chinese
Mandarin, * * * the opportunity hoped from that, of making known through
one of its own characters of note, our nation,
our circumstances and character, and of letting
that government understand at length the
difference between us and the English, and
separate us in its policy, rendered that measure
a diplomatic one in my view, and likely
to bring lasting advantage to our merchants
and commerce with that country.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 344.
(M. Aug. 1808)

1248. CHOCOLATE, Tea, coffee and.

—The superiority of chocolate, both for health
and nourishment, will soon give it the same
preference over tea and coffee in America,
which it has in Spain.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 494.
(P. 1785)

— CHRISTIANITY, The Common Law and.—

See Common Law.

1249. CHURCH, Definition of a.—

church is “a voluntary society of men, joining
themselves together of their own accord,
in order to the public worshipping of God in
such a manner as they judge acceptable to
Him and effectual to the salvation of their
souls”. It is voluntary, because no man is by
nature bound to any church. The hope of
salvation is the cause of his entering into it.
If he find anything wrong in it. he should be
as free to go out as he was to come in.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 101.

1250. CHURCH, Jurisdiction.—

church being free, no one can have jurisdiction
over another one, not even when the
civil magistrate joins it. It neither acquires
the right of the sword by the magistrate's
coming to it, nor does it lose the rights of instruction
or excommunication by his going
from it. It cannot by the accession of any
new member acquire jurisdiction over those
who do not accede. He brings only himself,
having no power to bring others. Suppose,
for instance, two churches, one of Arminians.


Page 140
another of Calvinists in Constantinople, has
either any right over the other? Will it be
said the orthodox one has? Every church is
to itself orthodox; to others erroneous or
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 99.

1251. CHURCH, Law of.—

What is the
power of that church? As it is a society, it
must have some laws for its regulation. Time
and place of meeting; admitting and excluding
members, &c., must be regulated. But
as it was a spontaneous joining of members,
it follows that its laws extend to its own members
only, not to those of any other voluntary
society; for then, by the same rule, some
other voluntary society might usurp power
over them.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 101.

1252. CHURCH, Regulation of.—

If anything
pass in a religious meeting seditiously and contrary to the public peace, let it be punished
in the same manner and no otherwise
than as if it had happened in a fair or market.
These meetings ought not to be sanctuaries
for faction and flagitiousness.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 102.

1253. CHURCH (Anglican in Virginia ), Disestablishment of.—

The first settlers
of Virginia were Englishmen, loyal subjects
to their king and church, and the grant to Sir Walter Raleigh contained an express
proviso that their laws “should not be against
the true Christian faith, now professed in the
Church of England”. As soon as the state of
the colony admitted, it was divided into parishes,
in each of which was established a minister
of the Anglican church, endowed with
a fixed salary, in tobacco, a glebe house and
land with the other necessary appendages. To
meet these expenses, all the inhabitants of the
parishes were assessed, whether they were or
not, members of the established church. Towards
Quakers who came here, they were
most cruelly intolerant, driving them from the
colony by the severest penalties. In process
of time, however, other sectarisms were
introduced, chiefly of the Presbyterian family;
and the established clergy, secure for life
in their glebes and salaries, adding to these,
generally, the emoluments of a classical
school, found employment enough, in their
farms and school-rooms, for the rest of the
week, and devoted Sunday only to the edification
of their flock, by service, and a sermon
at their parish church. Their other pastoral
functions were little attended to. Against this
inactivity, the zeal and industry of sectarian
preachers had an open and undisputed field;
and by the time of the Revolution, a majority
of the inhabitants had become dissenters from
the established church, but were still obliged
to pay contributions to support the pastors
of the minority. This unrighteous compulsion,
to maintain teachers of what they
deemed religious errors, was grievously felt
during the regal government, and without a
hope of relief. But the first republican legislature,
which met in '76, was crowded with
petitions to abolish this spiritual tyranny.
These brought on the severest contests in
which I have ever been engaged. Our great
opponents were Mr. Pendleton and Robert
Carter Nicholas; honest men, but zealous
churchmen. The petitions were referred to
the “committee of the Whole House on the
State of the Country”; [73] and, after desperate
contests in that committee, almost daily
from the 11th of October to the 5th of December,
we prevailed so far only, as to repeal the
laws which rendered criminal the maintenance
of any religious opinions, the forbearance
of repairing to church, or the exercise
of any mode of worship; and further, to exempt
dissenters from contributions to the support
of the established church; and to suspend,
only until the next session, levies on the members
of that church for the salaries of their
own incumbents. For although the majority
of our citizens were dissenters, as has been
observed, a majority of the legislature were
churchmen. Among these, however, were
some reasonable and liberal men, who enabled
us, on some points, to obtain feeble majorities.
But our opponents carried, in the general resolutions
of the committee of Nov. 19, a declaration
that religious assemblies ought to be
regulated, and that provision ought to be
made for continuing the succession of the
clergy, and superintending their conduct.
And, in the bill, now passed, [74] was inserted
an express reservation of the question,
whether a general assessment should not be
established by law, on every one, to the support
of the pastor of his choice; or whether all
should be left to voluntary contributions; and
on this question, debated at every session,
from '76 to '79 (some of our dissenting allies,
having now secured their particular object,
going over to the advocates of a general
assessment), we could only obtain a suspension
from session to session until '79, when
the question against a general assessment was
finally carried, and the establishment of the
Anglican church entirely put down. In justice
to the two honest but zealous opponents,
who have been named, I must add, that although,
from their natural temperaments, they
were more disposed generally to acquiesce in
things as they are, than to risk innovations,
yet whenever the public will had once decided,
none were more faithful or exact in their
obedience to it.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 38. Ford ed., i, 52.


A note in the Ford edition says these petitions
were referred to the “Committee of Religion” of
which Jefferson was a member. This committee
was subsequently discharged of this question, and it
was referred to the “Committee of the Whole House
upon the State of the Country”.—Editor.


Entitled; “An Act for exempting the different societies
of dissenters from contributing to the support
and maintenance of the church as by law esta blished,
and its ministers, and for other purposes therein
mentioned.” Passed by the House of Delegates, December
5th. Concurred in by the Senate, December
9th. Re-enacted January 1, 1778. It is printed in A Collection of Public Acts of Virginia, Richmond,
1785, p. 39.—NOTE, Ford ed.

1254. CHURCH (Anglican in Virginia ), Disestablishment of.—[continued].

The restoration of the rights of conscience relieved the people from
taxation for the support of a religion not
theirs; for the [Church of England] Estab


Page 141
lishment was truly of the religion of the rich,
the dissenting sects being entirely composed
of the less wealthy people. [75]
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 49. Ford ed., i, 69.


See Note to Entail—Editor.

— CHURCH (Anglican in Virginia), Persecution by.—

See Quakers.

1255. CHURCH AND STATE, Constitutional provisions against.—

No person
shall be compelled to frequent or maintain
any religious institution.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 27.
(June. 1776)

1256. CHURCH AND STATE, Constitutional provisions against.—[continued].

The General Assembly shall not have power * * * to abridge the
civil rights of any person on account of his religious
belief; to restrain him from professing
and supporting that belief, or compel him to
contributions, other than those he shall have
personally stipulated for the support of that
or any other.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Washington ed. viii, 445. Ford ed., iii, 325.

1257. CHURCH AND STATE, Constitutional provisions against.—[further continued].

No man shall be compelled
to frequent, or support, any religious
worship, place, or ministry, whatsoever; nor
shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or
burthened in his body or goods, or shall otherwise
suffer, on account of his religious opinions
or belief; but * * * all men shall be free
to profess, and by argument to maintain, their
opinion in matters of religion, and * * * the
same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or
affect their civil capacities.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 455. Ford ed., ii, 239.

1258. CHURCH AND STATE, Evils of union.—

If the magistracy had vouchsafed to
interpose in other sciences, we should have as
bad logic, mathematics, and philosophy as we
have divinity in countries where the law settles
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 95.

1259. CHURCH AND STATE, Evils of union.—[continued].

To suffer the civil magistrate
to intrude his powers into the
field of opinion, and to restrain the profession
or propagation of principles on supposition
of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy,
which at once destroys all religious liberty,
because he being, of course, judge of that
tendency will make his opinions the rule of
judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments
of others only as they shall square
with or suffer from his own.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 455. Ford ed., ii, 239.

1260. CHURCH AND STATE, False Religions.—

The impious presumption of legislators
and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical,
who, being themselves but fallible and
uninspired men, have assumed dominion over
the faith of others, setting up their own opinions
and modes of thinking as the only true
and infallible, and as such endeavoring to impose
them on others, hath established and
maintained false religions over the greatest
part of the world and through all time.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 454. Ford ed., ii, 38.

1261. CHURCH AND STATE, Guidance by.—

I cannot give up my guidance to
the magistrate, because he knows no more
of the way to heaven than I do, and is less
concerned to direct me right than I am to
go right.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 100.

1262. CHURCH AND STATE, Guidance by.—[continued].

If it be said the magistrate
may make use of arguments and so draw
the heterodox to truth, I answer, every man
has a commission to admonish, exhort, convince
another of error.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 101.

1263. CHURCH AND STATE, Guidance by.—[further continued].

If the magistrate command
me to bring my commodity to a public
store-house, I bring it because he can indemnify
me if he erred, and I thereby lose it; but
what indemnification can he give one for the
kingdom of heaven?—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 100.

1264. CHURCH AND STATE, New York, Pennsylvania and.—

Our sister States
of Pennsylvania and New York have long subsisted
without any establishment at all. The
experiment was new and doubtful when they
made it. It has answered beyond conception.
They flourish infinitely. Religion is well supported;
of various kinds, indeed, but all good
enough; all sufficient to preserve peace and
order; or if a sect arises, whose tenets would
subvert morals, good sense has fair play, and
reasons and laughs it out of doors, without
suffering the State to be troubled with it.
They do not hang more malefactors than we
do. They are not more disturbed with religious
dissensions. On the contrary, their harmony
is unparalleled, and can be ascribed to
nothing but their unbounded tolerance, because
there is no other circumstance in which
they differ from every nation on earth. They
have made the happy discovery, that the way
to silence religious disputes, is to take no notice
of them.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 402. Ford ed., iii, 265.

1265. CHURCH AND STATE, People and.—

The people have not given the magistrate
the care of souls because they could not.
They could not, because no man has the right
to abandon the care of his salvation to another.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 101.

1266. CHURCH AND STATE, Right of opinion and.—

The opinions of men are
not the object of civil government, nor under
its jurisdiction. [76]
Statute of Religious Freedom. Ford ed., ii, 238.


Parton in his Life of Jefferson, p. 211, says: “This
vigorous utterance of Thomas Jefferson was the arsenal
from which the opponents of the forced support
of religion drew their weapons, during the whole
period of about fifty years that elapsed between its
publication and the repeal of the last State law which
taxed a community for the support of the clergy; nor
will it cease to have a certain value as long as any
man, in any land, is distrusted, or undervalued, or
abridged of his natural rights, on account of any
opinion whatever.” This extract is not in the Statute
as printed in the Congress Edition.—Editor.

1267. CHURCH AND STATE, Support of.—

To compel a man to furnish contribu


Page 142
tions of money for the propagation of opinions
which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful
and tyrannical.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 454. Ford ed., ii, 238.

1268. CHURCH AND STATE, Support of.—[continued].

The forcing a man to
support this or that teacher even of his own
religious persuasion, is depriving him of the
comfortable liberty of giving his contributions
to the particular pastor whose morals he
would make his pattern, and whose powers he
feels most persuasive to righteousness; and is
withdrawing from the ministry those temporary
rewards, which, proceeding from an
approbation of their personal conduct, are an
additional incitement to earnest and unremitting
labors for the instruction of mankind.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 454. Ford ed., ii, 238.

1269. CHURCH AND STATE, Wall of separation.—

Believing that religion is a
matter which lies solely between man and his
God, that he owes account to none other for
his faith or his worship, that the legislative
powers of government reach actions only, and
not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign
reverence that act of the whole American people
which declared that their Legislature
should “make no law respecting an establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof”, thus building a wall of separation
between Church and State. [77]
R. to A. Danbury Baptists. Washington ed. viii, 113.


Before sending this reply to the Danbury Baptists,
Jefferson enclosed a copy of it to Levi Lincoln,
his Attorney General, with a note (Ford ed., viii.
129) in which he said: “The Baptist address admits
of a condemnation of the alliance between Church
and State, under the authority of the Constitution.
It furnishes an occasion, too, which I have long
wished to find, of saying why I do not proclaim fastings
and thanksgivings, as my predecessors did. *
* * I know it will give great offence to the New
England clergy; but the advocate of religious freedom
is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness from
them. Will you be so good as to examine the answer,
and suggest any alterations which might prevent an
ill effect, or promote a good one among the people?
You understand the temper of those in the North,
and can weaken it, therefore, to their stomachs; it is
at present seasoned to the Southern taste only.”—

1270. CICERO, Letters of.—

The letters
of Cicero breathe the purest effusions of an
exalted patriot, while the parricide C¢sar is
lost in odious contrast.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 148. Ford ed., x, 152.
(M. 1819)

1271. CINCINNATI SOCIETY, Foundation.—

When the army was about to be disbanded,
and the officers to take final leave,
perhaps never again to meet, it was natural
for men who had accompanied each other
through so many scenes of hardship, of difficulty,
and danger, who, in a variety of instances,
must have been rendered mutually
dear by those aids and good offices to which
their situations had given occasion; it was
natural, I say, for these to seize with fondness
any proposition which promised to bring them
together again at certain and regular periods.
And this, I take for granted, was the origin
and object of this institution; and I have no
suspicion that they foresaw, much less in
tended, those mischiefs which exist perhaps
in the forebodings of politicians only. I doubt,
however, whether, in its execution, it would
be found to answer the wishes of those who
framed it, and to foster those friendships it
was intended to preserve. The members
would be brought together at their annual
assemblies, no longer to encounter a common
enemy, but to encounter one another in
debate and sentiment. For something, I suppose,
is to be done at these meetings, and,
however unimportant, it will suffice to produce
difference of opinion, contradiction and irritation.
The way to make friends quarrel is to
put them in disputation under the public eye.
An experience of near twenty years has taught
me that few friendships stand this test, and
that public assemblies, where every one is
free to act and speak, are the most powerful
looseners of the bands of private friendship.
I think, therefore, that this institution would
fail in its principal object, the perpetuation
of the personal friendships contracted through
the war. [78]
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 333. Ford ed., iii, 465.
(A. April. 1784)


Washington asked Jefferson's opinions on the

1272. CINCINNATI SOCIETY, Objections to.—

The objections of those who are
opposed to the institution shall be briefly
sketched. They urge that it is against the
Confederation—against the letter of some of
our constitutions, against the spirit of all of
them—that the foundation on which all these
are built is the natural equality of man, the
denial of every preeminence but that annexed
to legal office, and, particularly, the denial of
preeminence by birth; that, however, in their
present dispositions, citizens might decline accepting
honorary instalments into the order,
a time may come, when a change of dispositions
would render these flattering, when a
well-directed distribution of them might draw
into the order all the men of talents, of office
and wealth, and, in this case, would probably
procure an ingraftment into the government;
that in this, they will be supported by their
foreign members, and the wishes and influence
of foreign courts; that experience has
shown that the hereditary branches of modern
governments are the patrons of privilege
and prerogative, and not of the natural rights
of the people, whose oppressors they generally
are; that, besides these evils, which are remote,
others may take place more immediately;
that a distinction is kept up between the
civil and military, which it is for the happiness
of both to obliterate; that when the
members assemble they will be proposing to
do something, and what that something May
be, will depend on actual circumstances; that
being an organized body under habits of subordination,
the first obstructions to enterprise
will be already surmounted; that the moderation
and virtue of a single character have
probably prevented this Revolution from being
closed, as most others have been, by a subversion
of that liberty it was intended to establish;
that he is not immortal, and his successor,
or some of his successors, may be led


Page 143
by false calculation into a less certain road to
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 334. Ford ed., iii, 466.
(A. April. 1784)

1273. CINCINNATI SOCIETY, Opposition in Congress.—

What are the sentiments
of Congress on this subject, and what line they
will pursue, can only be stated conjecturally.
Congress, as a body, if left to themselves, will,
in my opinion, say nothing on the subject.
They may, however, be forced into a declaration
by instructions from some of the States,
or by other incidents. Their sentiments, if
forced from them, will be unfriendly to the
institution. If permitted to pursue their own
path, they will check it by side-blows whenever
it comes in their way, and in competitions
for office, on equal or nearly equal ground,
will give silent preference to those who are
not of the fraternity. My reasons for thinking
this are, 1. The grounds on which they lately
declined the foreign order proposed to be
conferred on some of our citizens. 2. The
fourth of the fundamental articles of constitution
for the new States, * * * 3. Private
conversations on this subject with the
members. * * * I have taken occasion to extend
these, not, indeed, to the military members,
because, being of the order, delicacy
forbade it, but to the others pretty generally;
and among these, I have as yet found but
one who is not opposed to the institution.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 335. Ford ed., iii, 467.
(A. April. 1784)

1274. CINCINNATI SOCIETY, Sentiment in France.—

What has heretofore
passed between us on this institution, makes
it my duty to mention to you that I have
never heard a person in Europe, learned or unlearned,
express his thoughts on this institution,
who did not consider it as dishonorable
and destructive to our governments; and
that every writing which has come out since
my arrival here [Paris] in which it is mentioned,
considers it, even as now reformed, as
the germ whose development is one day to
destroy the fabric we have reared. I did not
apprehend this while I had American ideas
only. But I confess that what I have seen in
Europe has brought me over to that opinion;
and that though the day may be at some distance,
beyond the reach of our lives, perhaps,
yet it will certainly come, when a single fibre
left of this institution will produce an hereditary
aristocracy, which will change the form
of our governments from the best to the worst
in the world. To know the mass of evil
which flows from this fatal source, a person
must be in France. He must see the finest
soil, the finest climate, the most compact
State, the most benevolent character of people,
and every earthly advantage combined, insufficient
to prevent this scourge from rendering
existence a curse to twenty-four out
of twenty-five parts of the inhabitants of this
country. With us, the branches of this institution
cover all the States. The southern
ones at this time are aristocratical in their
disposition; and that that spirit should grow
and extend itself, is within the natural order
of things. I do not flatter myself with the im
mortality of our governments; but I shall
think little also of their longevity, unless this
germ of destruction be taken out. When the
society themselves shall weigh the possibility
of evil against the impossibility of any good
to proceed from this institution, I cannot help
hoping they will eradicate it. I know they
wish the permanence of our governments as
much as any individuals composing them.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 61. Ford ed., iv, 328.
(P. Nov. 1786)

1275. CIPHER, Jefferson's.—

A favorable
and confidential opportunity offering by
M. Dupont de Nemours, who is revisiting his
native country * * * I send you a cipher
to be used between us, which will give you some
trouble to understand, but, once understood, is
the easiest to use, the most undecipherable, and
varied by a new key with the greatest facility
of any I have ever known. I am in hopes the
explanation enclosed will be sufficient. Let
our key of letters be [some figures which are
] and the key of lines be [figures illegible
], and lest we should lose our key or be
absent from it, is so formed as to be kept in
the memory and put upon paper at pleasure;
being produced by writing our names and residences
at full length, each of which containing
twenty-seven letters is divided into three parts
of nine letters each; and each of the nine letters
is then numbered according to the place it
would hold if the nine were arranged alphabetically
thus [so blotted as to be illegible].
The numbers over the letters being then arranged
as the letters to which they belong
stand in our names, we can always construct
our key. But why a cipher between us, when
official things go naturally to the Secretary of
State, and things not political need no cipher?
1. Matters of a public nature, and proper to
go on our records, should go to the Secretary
of State. 2. Matters of a public nature, not
proper to be placed on our records, may still
go to the Secretary of State, headed by the
word “private.” But, 3, there may be matters
merely personal to ourselves, and which require
the cover of a cipher more than those of any
other character. This last purpose and others,
which we cannot foresee, may render it convenient
and advantageous to have at hand a
mask for whatever may need it.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 431. Ford ed., viii, 143.
(W. 1802)

1276. CIRACCHI, Genius of.—

was second to no sculptor living except Canova;
and, if he had lived, he would have rivalled him.
His style had been formed on the fine models
of antiquity in Italy, and he had caught their
ineffable majesty of expression. On his return
to Rome, he made the bust of General
Washington in marble, from that in plaster;
it was sent over here, was universally considered
as the best effigy of him ever executed,
was bought by the Spanish minister for the
King of Spain, and sent to Madrid.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. vi, 535.
(M. 1816)

1277. CITIES, Corruption and.—

we get piled upon one another in large cities,
as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as in
Europe. [79]
To James Madison. Ford ed., iv, 479.
(P. Dec. 1787)


Page 144

In the Congress edition (ii, 332) this extract has
been edited so as to read: “When we get piled upon
one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall
become corrupt as in Europe, and go to eating one
another as they do there.”—Editor.

1278. CITIES, Evils of.—

I view great
cities as pestilential to the morals, the
health, and the liberties of man. True, they
nourish some of the elegant arts, but the useful
ones can thrive elsewhere, and less perfection
in the others, with more health, virtue
and freedom, would be my choice.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 335. Ford ed., vii, 459.
(M. 1800)

1279. CITIES, Federalist strongholds.

—The cities [were] the strongholds of federalism.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 292. Ford ed., x, 227.
(M. 1823)

1280. CITIES, Federalist strongholds. [continued].

The inhabitants of the
commercial cities are as different in sentiment
and character from the country people as
any two distinct nations, and are clamorous
against the order of things [republicanism] established by the agricultural interest—
To M. Pictet. Washington ed. iv, 463.
(W. 1803)

1281. CITIES, Foreign Character of.—

In our cities your son will find distant imitations
of the cities of Europe. But if he
wishes to know the nation, its occupations,
manners, and principles, they reside not in
the cities. He must travel through the country,
accept the hospitalities of the country gentlemen,
and visit with them the school of the
To Madame de Stael. Washington ed. v, 133.
(W. 1807)

1282. CITIES, Foreign Character of.—[continued].

Our cities exhibit specimens
of London only; our country is a different
To M. Dashkoff. Washington ed. v, 463.
(M. 1809)

1283. CITIES, Founding.—

There are
places [in Virginia] at which * * * the laws
have said there shall be towns; but nature has
said there shall not. * * * Accidental circumstances,
however, may control the indications
of nature, and in no instance do they do it
more frequently than in the rise and fall of
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 351. Ford ed., iii, 213.

1284. CITIES, Life in.—

A city life offers
indeed more means of dissipating time, but
more frequent, also, and more painful objects
of vice and wretchedness.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 310.
(M. 1823)

1285. CITIES, Misery in.—

Even here we
find too strong a current from the country to
the towns; and instances are beginning to
appear of that species of misery, which you
are so humanely endeavoring to relieve with
you. Although we have in the old countries
of Europe the lesson of their experience to
warn us, yet I am not satisfied we shall have
the firmness and wisdom to profit by it.—
To David Williams, Washington ed. v, 514.
(W. 1803)

1286. CITIES, Misery in.—[continued].

The general desire of
men to live by their heads rather than their
hands, and the strong allurements of great
cities to those who have any turn for dissipation
threaten to make them here, as in
Europe, the sinks of voluntary misery.—
To David Williams. Washington ed. iv, 514.
(W. 1803)

1287. CITIES, Political influence of.—

The commercial cities, though, by the com
mand of newspapers, they make a great deal
of noise, have little effect in the direction of
the government.—
To M. Pictet. Washington ed. iv, 463.
(W. 1803)

1288. CITIZENS, Adopted.—

Born in
other countries, yet believing you could be
happy in this, our laws acknowledge, as they
should do, your right to join us in society,
conforming * * * to our established rules.
That these rules shall be as equal as prudential
considerations will admit, will certainly
be the aim of our legislatures, general and particular.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. iv, 394.
(W. May. 1801)

1289. CITIZENS, Adopted.—[continued].

If the unexampled state
of the world has, in any instance, occasioned
among us temporary departures from the system
of equal rule, the restoration of tranquillity
will doubtless produce reconsideration;
and your knowledge of the liberal conduct
heretofore observed towards strangers settling
among us will warrant the belief that what is
right will be done.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. iv, 394.
(May. 1801)

1290. CITIZENS, Dangerous.—

Every society
has a right to fix the fundamental
principles of its association, and to say to all
individuals, that, if they contemplate pursuits
beyond the limits of these principles, and involving
dangers which the society chooses to
avoid, they must go somewhere else for their
exercise; that we want no citizens, and still
less ephemeral and pseudo-citizens, on such
terms. We may exclude them from our territory,
as we do persons infected with disease.
We have most abundant resources of
happiness within ourselves, which we May
enjoy in peace and safety without permitting
a few citizens, infected with the mania of
rambling and gambling, to bring danger on
the great mass engaged in innocent and safe
pursuits at home.—
To William H. Crawford. Washington ed. i, 6. Ford ed., x, 34.
(M. 1816)

1291. CITIZENS, Fraudulent and real.

—[As to citizens] there is a distinction which we ought to make ourselves, and with which
the belligerent powers [France and England] ought to be content. Where, after the commencement
of a war, a merchant of either
comes here and is naturalized, the purpose is
probably fraudulent against the other, and intended
to cloak their commerce under our
flag. This we should honestly discountenance,
and never reclaim their property when captured.
But merchants from either, settled
and made citizens before a war, are citizens
to every purpose of commerce, and not to be
distinguished in our proceedings from natives.
Every attempt of Great Britain to
enforce her principle of “once a subject, always
a subject” beyond the case of her own
ought to be repelled.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., viii, 251.
(July. 1803)
See Expatriation.

1292. CITIZENS, Government and.—

Give to every citizen, personally, a part in
the administration of the public affairs.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 13. Ford ed., x, 41.
(M. 1816)


Page 145

1293. CITIZENS, Military service and.

—Every citizen [should] be a soldier. This
was the case with the Greeks and Romans,
and must be that of every free State.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 131.
(M. 1813)

1294. CITIZENS, Protection of.—

It is
an obligation of every government to yield
protection to its citizens as the consideration
of their obedience.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 458.
(P. 1785)

1295. CITIZENS, Protection of.—[continued].

The first foundations of
the social compact would be broken up, were
we definitely to refuse to its members the protection
of their persons and property, while
in their lawful pursuits.—
To James Maury. Washington ed. vi, 52. Ford ed., ix, 348.
(M. 1812)

1296. CITIZENS, Protection of.—[further continued].

The persons and property
of our citizens are entitled to the protection
of our government in all places where
they may lawfully go.—
Official Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 624.

1297. CITIZENS, Relief of imprisoned.

—There are in the prison of St. Pol de Leon
six or seven citizens of the United States of
America, charged with having attempted a
contraband of tobacco, but, as they say themselves,
forced into that port by stress of
weather. I believe that they are innocent.
Their situation is described to me as deplorable
as should be that of men found guilty of
the worst of crimes. They are in close jail,
allowed three sous a day only, and unable to
speak a word of the language of the country.
I hope their distress, which it is my duty to
relieve, * * * will apologize for the liberty
I take of asking you to advise them what to
do for their defence, to engage some good
lawyer for them, and to pass them the pecuniary
reliefs necessary. I write to Mr. Lister
Asquith, the owner of the vessel, that he
may draw bills on me from time to time, for
a livre a day for every person of them, and
what may be necessary to engage a lawyer
for him.—
To M. Desbordes. Washington ed. i, 402.
(P. 1785)

1298. CITIZENS, Relief of imprisoned. [continued].

I take the liberty of troubling your excellency on behalf of six
citizens of the United States who have been
for some time confined in the prison of St. Pol
de Leon, and of referring for particulars to the
enclosed state of their case. * * * I have thus
long avoided troubling your Excellency with
this case, in hopes it would receive its decision
in the ordinary course of law, and I relied
that that would indemnify the sufferers, if
they had been used unjustly; but though
they have been in close confinement, now near
three months, it has yet no appearance of approaching
to decision. In the meantime, the
cold of the winter is coming on, and, to men
in their situation, may produce events which
would render all indemnification too late.
I must, therefore, pray the assistance of your
Excellency, for the liberation of their persons,
if the established order of things may possibly
admit of it.—
To Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 479.
(P. 1785)

1299. CITIZENS, Rights of distressed.

—Citizens [in a foreign country] under un
expected calamity have a right to call for the
patronage of the public servants.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 583.
(P. 1786)

See Alien and Sedition Laws, Expatriation, Naturalization.

1300. CITIZENSHIP, Government and.

—No Englishman will pretend that a right to
participate in government can be derived from
any other source than a personal right, or a
right of property. The conclusion is inevitable
that he, who had neither his person nor
property in America, could rightfully assume
a participation in its government.—
To M. Soulés. Washington ed. ix, 299. Ford ed., iv, 306.
(P. 1786)


1301. CIVILIZATION, Letters and.—

Our experience with the Indians has proved
that letters are not the first, but the last step
in the progression from barbarism to civilization.—
To James Pemberton. Washington ed. v, 303.
(W. 1808)

1302. CIVILIZATION, Progress of.—

The idea which you present of the progress
of society from its rudest state to that it has
now attained, seems conformable to what May
be probably conjectured. Indeed, we have
under our eyes tolerable proofs of it. Let a
philosophic observer commence a journey
from the savages of the Rocky Mountains,
eastwardly to our seacoast. These he would
observe in the earliest stages of association
living under no law but that of nature, subsisting
and covering themselves with the flesh
and skins of wild beasts. He would next find
those on our frontiers in the pastoral state,
raising domestic animals to supply the defects
of hunting. Then succeed our semi-barbarous
citizens, the pioneers of the advance of
civilization, and so in his progress he would
meet the gradual shades of improving man
until he would reach his, as yet, most improved
state in our seaport towns. This, in
fact, is equivalent to a survey, in time, of the
progress of man from the infancy of creation
to the present day. I am eighty-one years of
age, born where I now live, in the first range
of mountains in the interior of our country.
And I have observed this march of civilization
advancing from the sea coast, passing over us
like a cloud of light, increasing our knowledge
and improving our condition, insomuch
as that we are at this time more advanced in
civilization here than the seaports were when
I was a boy. And where this progress will
stop no one can say. Barbarism has, in the
meantime, been receding before the steady
step of amelioration; and will in time, I
trust, disappear from the earth. You seem
to think that this advance has brought on us
too complicated a state of society, and that we
should gain in happiness by treading back our
steps a little way. I think, myself, that we
have more machinery of government than is
necessary, too many parasites living on the
labor of the industrious. I believe it might
be much simplified to the relief of those
who maintain it. Your experiment seems to
have this in view. A society of seventy


Page 146
families, the number you name, may very possibly
be governed as a single family, subsisting
on their common industry, and holding
all things in common. Some regulators of
the family you still must have, and it remains
to be seen at what period of your increasing
population your simple regulations
will cease to be sufficient to preserve order,
peace, and justice.—
To William Ludlow. Washington ed. vii, 377.
(M. 1824)

1303. CLAIBORNE (W. C. C.), Appointed Governor.—

Among the enclosed
commissions is one for yourself as Governor of
the Territory of Orleans. With respect to this
I will enter into frank explanations. This office
was originally destined for a person [80] whose
great services and established fame would have
rendered him peculiarly acceptable to the nation
at large. Circumstances, however, exist,
which do not now permit his nomination, and
perhaps may not at any time hereafter. That,
therefore, being suspended and entirely contingent,
your services have been so much approved
as to leave no desire to look elsewhere
to fill the office. Should the doubts you have
sometimes expressed, whether it would be eligible
for you to continue, still exist in your
mind, the acceptance of the commission gives
you time to satisfy yourself by further experience,
and to make the time and manner of withdrawing,
should you ultimately determine on
that, agreeable to yourself.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. iv, 558.
(M. Aug. 1804)


In the margin is written by Jefferson, “ Lafayette ”.—Editor.

1304. CLAIBORNE (W. C. C.), Federalists and.—

The federalists have been long endeavoring to batter down the Governor, who
has always been a firm republican. There were
characters superior to him whom I wished to
appoint, but they refused the office. I know no
better man who would accept of it, and it would
not be right to turn him out for one not better.—
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. v, 30. Ford ed., ix, 8.
(W. 1807)

1305. CLAIMANTS, Assistance to.—

is impossible for me to give any authority for
the advance of moneys to Mr. Wilson. Were
we to do it in his case, we should, on the
same principles, be obliged to do it in several
others, wherein foreign nations decline or
delay doing justice to our citizens. No law of
the United States would cover such an act
of the executive; and all we can do legally is
to give him all the aid which our patronage
of his claims with the British court can effect,—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 526.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

1306. CLAIMS, Settle just.—

Mr. Cutting
has a claim against the government. * * * I have only to desire that you will satisfy
yourself as to the facts * * * and communicate
the same to me, that justice may be done
between the public and the claimant.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 445.
(Pa., 1792)

1307. CLARK (George Rogers), Greatness of.—

I know the greatness of General
Clark's mind and am the more mortified at the
cause which obscures it. Had not this unhappily
taken place, there was nothing he might
not have hoped; could it be surmounted, his
lost ground might yet be recovered. No man
alive rated him higher than I did, and would
again, were he to become what I knew him.
We are made to hope he is writing an account
of his expeditions north of Ohio. They
will be valuable morsels of history, and will
justify to the world those who have told them
how great he was.—
To Harry Innes. Washington ed. iii, 217. Ford ed., v, 295.
(Pa., 1791)

1308. CLARKE (Daniel), Consul at New Orleans.—

I have appointed Mr. Daniel
Clarke, at New Orleans, our consul there. His
worth and influence will aid you powerfully in
the interfering interests of those who go, and
who reside there.—
To William C. Claiborne. Ford ed., viii, 72.
(W. July. 1801)

— CLASSICS, Study of the.—

See Languages.

1309. CLAY (Henry), Opposition to Jefferson.—

It is true, as you have heard, that a
distance has taken place between Mr. Clay
and myself. The cause I never could learn,
nor imagine. I had always known him to be an
able man, and I believe him an honest one. I
had looked to his coming into Congress with an
entire belief that he would be cordial with the
administration, and, even before that, I had
always had him in my mind for a high and important
vacancy which had been, from time to
time, expected, but is only now about to take
place. I feel his loss, therefore, with real concern,
but it is irremediable from the necessity
of harmony and cordiality between those who
are to manage the public concerns. Not only
his withdrawing from the usual civilities of
intercourse with me (which even the federalists
with two or three exceptions keep up), but his
open hostility in Congress to the administration,
leave no doubt of the state of his mind as a
fact, although the cause be unknown.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. v, 183.
(M. Sep. 1807)

1310. CLERGY, Benefit of.—

This privilege,
originally allowed to the clergy, is now
extended to every man, and even to women.
It is a right of exemption from capital punishment,
for the first offence, in most cases.
It is, then, a pardon by the law. In other
cases, the Executive gives the pardon. But
when laws are made as mild as they should be,
both these pardons are absurd. The principle
of Beccaria is sound. Let the legislators be
merciful, but the executors of the law inexorable.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 263. Ford ed., iv, 168.
(P. 1786)

1311. CLERGY, Public office and.—

In the scheme of constitution for Virginia
which I prepared in 1783, I observe an abridgment
of the right of being elected, which after
seventeen years more of experience and reflection,
I do not approve. It is the incapacitation
of a clergyman from being elected. The
clergy, by getting themselves established by
law, and ingrafted into the machine of government,
have been a very formidable engine
against the civil and religious rights of man.
They are still so in many countries, and even
in some of these United States. Even in 1783,
we doubted the stability of our recent measures
for reducing them to the footing of
other useful callings. It now appears that
our means were effectual. The clergy there
seem to have relinquished all pretension to
privilege, and to stand on a footing with lawyers,
physicians, &c. They ought, therefore,


Page 147
to possess the same rights.—
To Jeremiah Moor. Ford ed., vii, 454.
(M. Aug. 1800)

1312. CLERGY, Support of.—

In the ancient
feudal times of our good old forefathers,
when the seigneur married his daughter, or
knighted his son, it was the usage for his
vassals to give him a year's rent extra in the
name of an aid. I think it as reasonable
when our pastor builds a house, that each of
his flock should give him an aid of a year's
contribution. I enclose mine as a tribute of
justice, which of itself indeed is nothing, but
as an example, if followed, may become something.
In any event, be pleased to accept it
as an offering of duty.—
To The Rev. Mr. Hatch. Ford ed., x, 197.
(M. 1821)
See Church, Church and State, Ministers, Religion.

1313. CLIMATE, American and European.—

The comparison of climate between
Europe and North America, taking together its
corresponding parts, hangs chiefly on three
great points. 1. The changes between heat and
cold in America are greater and more frequent,
and the extremes comprehend a greater scale
on the thermometer in America than in Europe.
Habit, however, prevents these from affecting
us more than the smaller changes of Europe
affect the European. But he is greatly affected
by ours. 2. Our sky is always clear; that of
Europe always cloudy. Hence a greater accumulation
of heat here than there, in the same
parallel. 3. The changes between wet and dry
are much more frequent and sudden in Europe
than in America. Though we have double the
rain, it falls in half the time. Taking all these
together, I prefer much the climate of the
United States to that of Europe. I think it a
more cheerful one. It is our cloudless sky
which has eradicated from our constitutions
all disposition to hang ourselves, which we
might otherwise have inherited from our
English ancestors. During a residence of
between six and seven years in Paris, I never,
but once, saw the sun shine through a whole
day, without being obscured by a cloud in any
part of it; and I never saw the moment, in
which, viewing the sky through its whole
hemisphere, I could say there was not the
smallest speck of a cloud in it. I arrived at
Monticello, on my return from France, in
January; and during only two months' stay
there, I observed to my daughters, who had
been with me to France, that, twenty odd
times within that term, there was not a speck
of cloud in the whole atmosphere. Still, I
do not wonder that an European should prefer
his gray to our azure sky. Habit decides our
taste in this, as in most other cases.—
To C. F. Volney. Washington ed. iv, 570.
(W. 1805)

1314. CLIMATE, Enjoyment and.—

it is a truth that climate is one of the
sources of the greatest sensual enjoyment.—
To Dr Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 441. Ford ed., viii, 160.
(W. 1802)

1315. CLIMATE, Habit and.—

In no
case, perhaps, does habit attach our choice or
judgment more than in climate. The Canadian
glows with delight in his sleigh and snow; the
very idea of which gives me the shivers.—To C. F. Volney. Washington ed. iv, 569.
(W. 1805)

1316. CLIMATE, Humidity.—

It has
been an opinion pretty generally received
among philosophers, that the atmosphere of
America is more humid than that of Europe.
Monsieur de Buffon makes this hypothesis one
of the two pillars whereon he builds his system
of the degeneracy of animals in America. Having
had occasion to controvert this opinion of
his, as to the degeneracy of animals there, I
expressed a doubt of the fact assumed that our
climates are more moist. I did not know of
any experiments which might authorize a denial
of it. Speaking afterwards on the subject
with Dr. Franklin, he mentioned to me
the observations he had made on a case of
magnets, made for him by Mr. Nairne in
London. Of these you will see a detail, in the
second volume of the American Philosophical
Transactions, in a letter from Dr. Franklin to
Mr. Nairne, wherein he recommends to him to
take up the principle therein explained, and
endeavor to make an hygrometer, which, taking
slowly the temperature of the atmosphere, shall
give its mean degree of moisture, and enable us
to make with more certainty, a comparison between
the humidities of different climates.
May I presume to trouble you with an inquiry
of Mr. Nairne, whether he has executed the
Doctor's idea? and if he has, to get him to
make for me a couple of the instruments he
may have contrived. They should be made of
the same piece, and under like circumstances,
that sending one to America, I may rely on
its indications there, compared with those of
the one I shall retain here [Paris]. Being in
want of a set of magnets also, I would be glad
if he would at the same time send me a set, the
case of which should be made as Dr. Franklin
describes his to have been, so that I may repeat
his experiment.—
To Mr. Vaughan. Washington ed. ii, 82.
(P. 1786)

1317. CLIMATE, Humidity gauge.—

I think Mr. Rittenhouse never published an
invention of his in this way, which was a very
good one. It was of an hygrometer which, like
the common ones, was to give the actual moisture
of the air. He has two slips of mahogany
about five inches long, three-fourths of an inch
broad, and one-tenth of an inch thick, the one
having the grain running lengthwise, and the
other crosswise. These are glued together by
their faces, so as to form a piece five inches
long, three-fourths of an inch broad, and one-third
of an inch thick, which is stuck by its
lower end into a little plinth of wood, presenting
their edge to the view. The fibres of the
wood, you know, are dilated, but not lengthened
by moisture. The slip, therefore, whose
grain is lengthwise, becomes a standard, retaining
always the same precise length. That
which has its grain crosswise, dilates with
moisture, and contracts for the want of it. If
the right hand piece be the cross-grained one,
when the air is very moist, it lengthens, and
forces its companion to form a kind of interior
annulus of a circle on the left. When the air
is dry, it contracts, draws its companion to the
right, and becomes itself the interior annulus.
In order to show this dilation and contraction,
an index is fixed on the upper end of two of the
slips; a plate of metal or wood is fixed on the
upper end of two of the slips; a plate of metal
or wood is fastened to the front of the plinth,
so as to cover the two slips from the eye. A
slit, being nearly the portion of a circle, is cut
in this plate, so that the shank of the index
may play freely through its whole range. On
the edge of the slit is a graduation. The objection
to this instrument is, that it is not fit
for comparative observations, because no two
pieces of wood being of the same texture exactly,
no two will yield exactly alike to the


Page 148
same agent. However, it is less objectionable
on this account than are most of the substances
used. Mr. Rittenhouse had a thought of trying
ivory; but I do not know whether he executed
it. All these substances not only vary
from one, another at the same time, but from
themselves at different times. All of them,
however, have some peculiar advantages, and
I think this, on the whole, appeared preferable
to any other I had ever seen.—
To Mr. Vaughan. Washington ed. ii, 83.
(P. 1786)

1318. CLIMATE, Madeira.—

[I am] told
that the temperature of Madeira is generally
from 55° to 65°, its extreme about 50° and 70°
If I ever change my climate for health, it
should be for that Island.—
To Dr. Hugh Williamson. Washington ed. iv, 346. Ford ed., vii, 479.
(W. 1801)

1319. CLIMATE, Old persons and.—

have a great opinion of the favorable influence
of genial climates in winter, and especially
on old persons.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Ford ed., viii, 180.
(W. 1802)

1320. CLIMATE, Preference for warm.

—I wonder that any human being should remain
in a cold country who could find room in
a warm one.—
To Dr. Hugh Williamson. Washington ed. iv, 346. Ford ed., vii, 479.
(W. 1801)

1321. CLIMATE, Preference for warm. [continued].

I have often wondered
that any human being should live in a cold
country who can find room in a warm one.—
To William Dunbar. Washington ed. iv, 347. Ford ed., vii, 482.
(W. Jan. 1801)

1322. CLIMATE, Sufferings from cold.

—I have no doubt but that cold is the source
of more suffering to all animal nature than hunger,
thirst, sickness, and all the other pains of
life and of death itself put together. I live in a
temperate climate, and under circumstances
which do not expose me often to cold. Yet
when I recollect, on one hand, all the sufferings
I have had from cold, and, on the other, all my
other pains, the former preponderate greatly.
What, then, must be the sum of that evil if we
take in the vast proportion of men who are
obliged to be out in all weather, by land and by
sea; all the families of beasts, birds, reptiles,
and even the vegetable kingdom! for that, too,
has life, and where there is life there may be
To William Dunbar. Washington ed. iv, 347. Ford ed., vii, 482.
(W. Jan. 1801)

1323. CLIMATE, Theories concerning.

—I thank you for your pamphlet on the climate
of the west, and have read it with great
satisfaction. Although it does not yet establish
a satisfactory theory, it is an additional
step towards it. Mine was perhaps the first attempt,
not to form a theory, but to bring together
the few facts then known, and suggest
them to public attention. They were written
between forty and fifty years ago, before the
close of the Revolutionary war, when the
western country was a wilderness, untrodden
but by the foot of the savage or the hunter. It
is now flourishing in population and science,
and after a few years more of observation and
collection of facts, they will doubtless furnish
a theory of solid foundation. Years are requisite
for this, steady attention to the thermometer,
to the plants growing there, the times
of their leafing and flowering, its animal inhabitants,
beasts, birds, reptiles, and insects; its
prevalent winds, quantities or rain and snow.
temperature of fountains, and other indexes of
climate. We want this indeed for all the
States, and the work should be repeated once
or twice in a century, to show the effect of
clearing and culture towards changes of climate.
My Notes give a very imperfect idea of what
our climate was, half a century ago, at this
place [Monticello], which being nearly central
to the State may be taken for its medium. Latterly,
after seven years of close and exact observation,
I have prepared an estimate of what
it is now, which may some day be added to
the former work; and I hope something like this
is doing in the other States, which, when all
shall be brought together, may produce theories
meriting confidence.—
To Lewis M. Beck. Washington ed. vii, 375.


change in our [Virginia] climate is taking place
very sensibly. Both heats and colds are becoming
much more moderate within the memory
even of the middle-aged. Snows are less frequent
and less deep. They do not often lie, below the
mountains, more than, one, two, or three days,
and very rarely a week. They are remembered
to have been formerly frequent, deep, and of
long continuance. The elderly inform me, the
earth used to be covered with snow about three
months in every year. The rivers, which then
seldom failed to freeze over in the course of
the winter, scarcely ever do so now.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 327. Ford ed., iii, 185.

1325. CLIMATE OF VIRGINIA.—[continued].

The change which has
taken place in our [Virginia] climate, is one of
those facts which all men of years are sensible
of, and yet none can prove by regular evidence;
they can only appeal to each other's general
observation for the fact. I remember when I
was a small boy (say sixty years ago), snows
were frequent and deep in every winter—to
my knee very often, to my waist sometimes—
and that they covered the earth long. And I
remember while yet young, to have heard from
very old men, that in their youth, the winters
had been still colder, with deeper and longer
snows. In the year 1772, we had a snow two
feet deep in the champaign parts of Virginia,
and three feet in the counties next below the
mountains. That year is still marked in conversation
by the designation of “the year of
the deep snow.” But I know of no regular
diaries of the weather very far back. In latter
times, they might perhaps be found. While I
lived at Washington, I kept a diary, and by
recurring to that, I observe that from the winter
of 1802-3, to that of 1808-9, inclusive, the average
fall of snow of the seven winters was only
fourteen and a half inches, and that the ground
was covered but sixteen days in each winter
on an average of the whole. The maximum in
any one winter, during that period, was twenty-one
inches fall, and thirty-four days on the
To Dr. Chapman. Washington ed. v, 487.
(M. 1809)

1326. CLIMATE OF VIRGINIA.—[further continued].

I find nothing anywhere
else, in point of climate, which Virginia need
envy to any part of the world. Here [northern
New York] they are locked up in snow and ice
for six months. Spring and autumn, which
make a paradise of our country, are rigorous
winter with them; and a tropical summer breaks
on them all at once. When we consider how
much climate contributes to the happiness of
our condition, by the fine sensations it excites,
and the productions it is the parent of, we have
reason to value highly the accident of birth in
such a one as that of Virginia.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. Ford ed., v, 338.
See Weather.


Page 149

1327. CLINTON (De Witt), Defends Jefferson.—

Thomas Jefferson presents his
compliments to Mr. Clinton, and his thanks for
the pamphlet sent him. [81] He recollects the having
read it at the time with a due sense of his
obligation to the author, whose name was surmised,
though not absolutely known, and a conviction
that he had made the most of his matter.
The ground of defence might have been solidly
aided by the assurance (which is the absolute
fact) that the whole story fathered on Mazzei,
was an unfounded falsehood. Dr. Linn, as
aware of that, takes care to quote it from a
dead man, who is made to quote from one residing
in the remotest part of Europe. Equally
false was Dr. Linn's other story about Bishop
Madison's lawn sleeves, as the Bishop can testify,
for certainly Th: J. never saw him in
lawn sleeves. Had the Doctor ventured to
name time, place, and person, for his third lie
(the government without religion), it is probable
he might have been convicted on that also.
But these are slander and slanderers, whom
Th: J. has thought it best to leave to the
scourge of public opinion.—
To De Witt Clinton. Washington ed. v, 80. Ford ed., ix, 59.
(W. 1807)


“A vindication of Thomas Jefferson, against the
charges contained in a pamphlet entitled `Serious
Considerations'. By Grotius, N. Y., 1800”.—Editor.

1328. CLINTON (George), Election as Governor.—

It seems probable that Mr. Jay had a majority of the qualified voters, and I
think not only that Clinton would have honored
himself by declining to accept, and agreeing to
take another fair start, but that probably such
a conduct would have ensured him a majority
on a new election. To retain the office, when
it is probable the majority was against him, is
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vi, 94.
(Pa., June. 1792)

1329. CLINTON (George), Election as Governor.—[continued].

It does not seem possible
to defend Clinton as a just or disinterested
man, if he does not decline the office [of Governor],
of which there is no symptom; and I
really apprehend that the cause of republicanism
will suffer if its votaries be thrown into schism
by embarking in support of this man, and for
what? To draw over the anti-federalists who
are not numerous enough to be worth drawing
To James Madison. Ford ed., vi, 89.
(Pa., 1792)

1330. CLINTON (George), English war ships and.—

I congratulate you on your safe
arrival with Miss Clinton at New York, and especially
on your escape from British violence.
This aggression is of a character so distinct
from that on the Chesapeake, and of so aggravated
a nature, that I consider it as a very
material one to be presented with that to the
British government. I pray you, therefore, to
write me a letter, stating the transaction, and
in such form as that it may go to that government.—
To Vice-President Clinton. Washington ed. v, 115. Ford ed., ix, 100.
(W. July. 1807)

1331. CLINTON (George), Estrangement from Jefferson.—

I already perceive
my old friend Clinton, estranging himself from
me. No doubt lies are carried to him, as they
will be to the two other candidates [for the
Presidency], under forms which, however false,
he can scarcely question. Yet, I have been
equally careful as to him also, never to say a
word on this subject.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 247. Ford ed., ix, 177.
(W. Feb. 1808)

1332. CLINTON (George), Mental decay.—

It is wonderful to me that old men
should not be sensible that their minds keep
pace with their bodies in the progress of decay.
Our old revolutionary friend Clinton, for example,
who was a hero, but never a man of
mind, is wonderfully jealous on this head. He
tells eternally the stories of his younger days
to prove his memory, as if memory and reason
were the same faculty. Nothing betrays imbecility
so much as the being insensible of it.—
To Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. vi, 3. Ford ed., ix, 328.


See Defence.

1333. COAST LINE, Jurisdiction and.—

Governments and jurisconsults have been
much divided in opinion as to the distance
from their sea coasts to which they might
reasonably claim a right of prohibiting the
commitment of hostilities. The greatest distance,
to which any respectable assent among
nations has been at any time given, has been
the extent of the human sight, estimated at
upwards of twenty miles; and the smallest
distance, I believe, claimed by any nation
whatever, is the atmost range of a cannon
ball, usually stated at one sea league. Some
intermediate distances have also been insisted
on, and that of three sea-leagues has some
authority in its favor. The character of our
coast, remarkable in considerable parts of it
for admitting no vessels of size to pass the
shores, would entitle us in reason to as broad
a margin of protected navigation as any nation
whatever. Not proposing, however, at
this time, and without a respectful and friendly
communication with the powers interested
in this navigation, to fix on the distance to
which we may ultimately insist on the right
of protection, the President gives instructions
to the officers acting under his authority, to
consider those heretofore given them as restrained,
for the present, to the distance of
one sea-league, or three geographical miles,
from the sea shore. This distance can admit
of no opposition, as it is recognized by
treaties between some of the powers with
whom we are connected in commerce and
navigation, and is as little or less than is
claimed by any one of them on their own
coasts. [82]
To E. C. Genet. Washington ed. iv, 75. Ford ed., vi, 440.
(G. Nov. 1793)


Jefferson wrote to the same effect to Mr. Hammond,
the British Minister.—Editor.

1334. COAST LINE, Jurisdiction and.—[continued].

I think myself that the
limits of our [marine] protection are of great
consequence, and would not hesitate the sacrifice
of money to obtain them large. I would
say, for instance, to Great Britain, “we will
pay you for such of these vessels [taken by
France] as you choose; only requiring in return
that the distance of their capture from
shore shall, as between us, be ever considered
as within our limits; now say for yourself,
which of these vessels you will accept payment
for”. With France it might not be so
easy to purchase distance by pecuniary sacrifices;
but if by giving up all further reclamation
of the vessels in their hands, they could
be led to fix the same limits (say three
leagues) I should think it an advantageous
To President Washington. Ford ed., vi, 434.
(M. Oct. 1793)


Page 150

1335. COAST LINE, Limits of.—

rule of the common law is that wherever
you can see from land to land, all the water
within the line of sight is in the body of the
adjacent country, and within common law
jurisdiction. Thus, if in this curvature
[ILLUSTRATION] you can see from a to b, all the
water within the line of sight is within common
law jurisdiction, and a murder committed
at c is to be tried as at common law.
Our coast is generally visible, I believe, by the
time you get within about twenty-five miles.
I suppose that at New York you must be
some miles out of the Hook before the opposite
shores recede twenty-five miles from each
other. The three miles of marine jurisdiction
is always to be counted from this line of sight.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 559. Ford ed., viii, 319.
(M. 1804)

1336. COAST LINE, Rivers, Bays and.

—For the jurisdiction of the rivers and bays
of the United States, the laws of the several
States * * * have made provision, and they
are, moreover, as being land-locked, within
the body of the United States.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iv, 76. Ford ed., vi, 442.
(G. 1793)

1337. COCKADES, Politics and.—

of the young men, who addressed the President
[John Adams] on Monday, mounted the black
(or English) cockade. The next day, numbers
of the people appeared with the tricolored (or
French) cockade. Yesterday being the fast day,
the black cockade again appeared, on which the
tricolor also showed itself. A fray ensued, the
light horse were called in, and the city [Philadelphia] was so filled with confusion, from
about 6 to 10 o'clock last night, that it was
dangerous going out.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 251.
(Pa., May 10, 17988)

1338. COCKADES, Politics and.—[continued].

In the first moments of
the tumult in Philadelphia, the cockade assumed
by one party was mistaken to be the tricolor.
It was the old blue and red, adopted in some
places in an early part of the Revolutionary
war. It is laid aside, but the black is still frequent.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 253.
(Pa., May. 1798)

1339. COERCION OF A STATE, The Confederation and.—

It has been often said
that the decisions of Congress are impotent
because the Confederation provides no compulsory
power. But when two or more nations
enter into compact, it is not usual for
them to say what shall be done to the party
who infringes it. Decency forbids this, and
it is as unnecessary as indecent, because the
right of compulsion naturally results to the
party injured by the breach. When any one
State in the American Union refuses obedience
to the Confederation by which they have
bound themselves, the rest have a natural
right to compel them to obedience. Congress
would probably exercise long patience before
they would recur to force; but if the case ultimately
required it, they would use that recurrence.
Should this case ever arise, they
will probably coerce by a naval force, as being
more easy, less dangerous to liberty, and
less likely to produce much bloodshed.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 291. Ford ed., iv, 147.
(P. 1786)

1340. COERCION OF A STATE, Law of Nature and.—

The coercive powers supposed
to be wanting in the federal head, I am of
opinion they possess by the law of nature,
which authorizes one party to an agreement
to compel the other to performance. A delinquent
State makes itself a party against the
rest of the confederacy.—
To Edward Randolph. Washington ed. ii, 211.
(P. 1787)

1341. COERCION OF A STATE, Law of Nature and.—[continued].

It has been so often said, as to be generally believed, that Congress have
no power by the Confederation to enforce
anything, for example, contributions of
money. It was not necessary to give them
that power expressly, for they have it by the
law of nature. When two parties make a
compact, there results to each a power of
compelling the other to execute it.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 217. Ford ed., iv, 424.
(P. Aug. 1787)

1342. COERCION OF A STATE, Methods of.—

Peaceable means should be contrived
for the Federal head to enforce compliance
on the part of the States.—
To George Wythe. Washington ed. ii, 267. Ford ed., iv, 445.
(P. Sep. 1787)

1343. COERCION OF A STATE, A navy and.—

Compulsion was never so easy as in
our case, where a single frigate would soon
levy on the commerce of any State the deficiency
of its contributions; nor more safe
than in the hands of Congress which has always
shown that it would wait, as it ought
to do, to the last extremities before it would
execute any of its powers which are disagreeable.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 218. Ford ed., iv, 424.
(P. Aug. 1787)

1344. COERCION OF A STATE, Necessity of.—

There never will be money in the
treasury till the confederacy shows its teeth.
The States must see the rod; perhaps it must
be felt by some of them. I am persuaded all
of them would rejoice to see every one obliged
to furnish its contributions. It is not the
difficulty of furnishing them, which beggars
the treasury, but the fear that others will not
furnish as much. Every rational citizen must
wish to see an effective instrument of coercion,
and should fear to see it on any other
element than the water. A naval force can
never endanger our liberties, nor occasion
bloodshed: a land force would do both.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 606. Ford ed., iv, 265.
(P. 1786)


See Dollar.

1345. COKE (Lord), Opinions of.—

Cokes opinion it is ever dangerous to neglect.—
Note to Crimes Bill. Washington ed. i, 150. Ford ed., ii, 208.

— COLD, Suffering caused by.—

See Climate.

1346. COLES (Edward), Jefferson's secretary.—

Mr. Coles, the bearer of public despatches,
by an aviso, has lived with me as Secretary,
is my wealthy neighbor at Monticello,
and worthy of all confidence. His intimate
knowledge of our situation has induced us to


Page 151
send him, because he will be a full supplement
as to all those things which cannot be detailed
in writing.—
To John Armstrong. Washington ed. v, 433.
(W. March. 1809)

1347. COLES (Edward), Jefferson's secretary.—[continued].

To give you a true description
of the state of things here, I must
refer you to Mr. Coles, the bearer of this
[letter], my Secretary, a most worthy, intelligent
and well-informed young man, whom I
recommend to your notice. * * * His discretion
and fidelity may be relied on.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 432.
(W. 1809)

— COLLEGES Arrangement, of buildings for.—

See Academies.

1348. COLONIES (The American), Beginning of the.—

America was conquered, and her settlements made, and firmly established,
at the expense of individuals, and not
of the British public. Their own blood was
spilt in acquiring lands for their settlement,
their own fortunes expended in making that
settlement effectual; for themselves they
fought, for themselves they conquered, and
for themselves alone they have right to hold.
No shilling was ever issued from the public
treasuries of his Majesty, or his ancestors,
for their assistance, till of very late times,
after the colonies had become established on a
firm and permanent footing.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 126. Ford ed., i, 430.
See Rights of British America, Appendix.

1349. COLONIES (The American), The Crown and.—

Our forefathers, inhabitants of
the island of Great Britain, left their native
land to seek on these shores a residence for
civil and religious freedom. At the expense
of their blood, to the ruin of their fortunes,
with the relinquishment of everything quiet
and comfortable in life, they effected settlements
in the inhospitable wilds of America;
and there established civil societies with various
forms of constitution. To continue
their connection with the friends whom they
had left, they arranged themselves by charters
of compact under the same common King,
who thus completed their powers of full and
perfect legislation and became the link of
union between the several parts of the empire.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 464.
(July. 1775)

1350. COLONIES (The American), The Crown and.—[continued].

That settlement having
been thus effected in the wilds of America,
the emigrants thought proper to adopt that
system of laws under which they had hitherto
lived in the mother country, and to continue
their union with her, by submitting themselves
to the same common sovereign, who
was thereby made the central link, connecting
the several parts of the empire thus newly
Rights of British. America. Washington ed. i, 126. Ford ed., i, 431.

— COLONIES (The American), George III. and.—

See George III.

1351. COLONIES (The American), Harassed by the Stuarts.—

But not long were
the Colonies permitted, however far they
thought themselves removed from the hand
of oppression, to hold undisturbed the rights
acquired at the hazard of their lives and loss
of their fortunes. A family of princes was
then on the British throne, whose treasonable
crimes against their people brought on
them, afterwards, the exertion of those
sacred and sovereign rights of punishment,
reserved in the hands of the people for cases
of extreme necessity, and judged by the constitution
unsafe to be delegated to any other
judicature. While every day brought forth
some new and unjustifiable exertion of power
over their subjects on that side of the water,
it was not to be expected that those here,
much less able at the time to oppose the designs
of despotism, should be exempted from
injury. Accordingly, this country which had
been acquired by the lives, the labors, and fortunes
of individual adventurers, was by these
Princes, several times, parted [83] out and distributed
among the favorites and followers
of their fortunes; and, by an assumed right
of the Crown alone, was erected into distinct
and independent governments; a measure
which, it is believed, his Majesty's prudence
and understanding would prevent him from
imitating at this day; as no exercise of such
power of dividing and dismembering a
country has ever occurred in his Majesty's
realm of England, though now of very ancient
standing; nor could it be justified or
acquiesced under there, or in any other part
of his Majesty's empire.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 127. Ford ed., i, 431.


In 1621, Nova Scotia was granted by James I. to
Sir William Alexander. In 1632, Maryland was
granted by Charles I. to Lord Baltimore. In 1664,
New York was granted by Charles II. to the Duke of
York; as also New Jersey, which the Duke of York
conveyed again to Lord Berkely and Sir George Carteret.
So also were the Delaware counties, which the
same Duke conveyed to Wm. Penn. In 1665, the
country including North and South Carolina, Georgia
and the Floridas was granted by Charles II. to
the Earl of Clarendon, Duke of Albemarle, Earl of
Craven, Lord Berkely, Lord Ashlev, Sir George Carteret,
Sir John Coleton, and Sir Wm. Berkely. In
1681, Pennsylvania was granted by Charles II. to
Wm. Penn.—Note by Jefferson.

1352. COLONIES (The American), Parliamentary encroachments.—

In 1650, the
parliament, considering itself as standing in
the place of their deposed king, and as having
succeeded to all his powers, without as
well as within the realm, began to assume
a right over the Colonies, passing an act for
inhibiting their trade with foreign nations.
This succession to the exercise of kingly authority
gave the first color for parliamentary
interference with the Colonies, and produced
that fatal precedent which they continued to
follow, after they had retired, in other respects,
within their proper functions.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 355. Ford ed., iii, 217.

1353. COLONIES (The American), Parliamentary encroachments.—[continued].

What powers the Parliament
might rightfully exercise over us,
and whether any, had never been declared
either by them or us. They had very early
taken the gigantic step of passing the Navigation
Act. The Colonies remonstrated violently
against it, and one of them. Virginia,
when she capitulated to the Commonwealth
of England, expressly stipulated for a free


Page 152
trade. This capitulation, however, was as
little regarded as the original right, restored
by it, had been. The Navigation Act was
reenacted by Charles II., and was enforced.
And we had been so long in the habit of seeing
them consider us merely as objects for
the extension of their commerce, and of submitting
to every duty or regulation imposed
with that view, that we had ceased to complain
of them.—
Notes on M. Soulés's Book. Washington ed. ix, 294. Ford ed., iv, 302.
(P. 1786)

1354. COLONIES (The American), Political relations of.—

The settlement of the
Colonies was not made by public authority,
or at the public expense of England; but by
the exertions, and at the expense of individuals.
Hence it happened that their constitutions
were not formed systematically, but according
to the circumstances which happened
to exist in each. Hence, too, the principles
of the political connection between the old
and new countries were never settled. That
it would have been advantageous to have settled
them, is certain; and, particularly to have
provided a body which should decide, in the
last resort, all cases wherein both parties
were interested. But it is not certain that
that right would have been given, or ought
to have been given to the Parliament; much
less, that it resulted to the Parliament, without
having been given to it expressly. Why
was it necessary that there should have been
a body to decide in the last resort? Because
it would have been for the good of both
parties. But this reason shows it ought not
to have been the Parliament, because that
would have exercised it for the good of one
party only.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 255. Ford ed., iv, 160.
(P. 1786)

1355. COLONIES (The American), Reconciliation of.—

There was * * * a plan of
accommodation offered in Parliament, which,
though not entirely equal to the terms we
had a right to ask, yet differed but in few
points from what the General Congress had
held out. Had Parliament been disposed sincerely,
as we are, to bring about a reconciliation,
reasonable men had hoped, that by meeting
us on this ground something might have
been done. Lord Chatham's Bill, on the one
part, and the terms of Congress on the other,
would have formed a basis for negotiations,
which a spirit of accomodation on both sides
might, perhaps, have reconciled. It came recommended,
too, from one whose successful
experience in the art of government should
have insured it some attention from those to
whom it was intended. He had shown to the
world, that Great Britain with her Colonies
united firmly under a just and honest Government
formed a power which might bid defiance
to the most potent enemies. With a
change of Ministers, however, a total change
of measures took place. The component
parts of the Empire have from that moment
been falling asunder, and a total annihilation
of its weight in the political scale of the world
seems justly to be apprehended.—
Address of Va. House of Burgesses to Lord Dunmore. Ford ed., i, 458.

1356. COLONIES (The American), Reconciliation of.—[continued].

Though desirous and determined
to consider, in the most dispassionate
view, every advance towards reconciliation
made by the British Parliament, let our
brethren of Britain reflect what would have
been the sacrifice to men of free spirits, had
even fair terms been proffered, * * * as
these were, with circumstances of insult and
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 478.
(July. 1775)

1357. COLONIES (The American), Reconciliation of.—[further continued].

With what patience could Britain have received articles of treaty
from any power on earth, when borne on the
point of the bayonet by military plenipotentiaries?—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 479.
(July. 1775)

1358. COLONIES (The American), Reconciliation of.—[further continued]

If * * * Great Britain, disjoined from her Colonies, be a match for
the most potent nations of Europe, with the
Colonies thrown into their scale, they may go
on securely. But if they are not assured of
this, it would be certainly unwise, by trying
the event of another campaign, to risk our
accepting a foreign aid, which, perhaps, May
not be obtainable, but on condition of everlasting
avulsion from Great Britain. This
would be thought a hard condition to those
who still wish for reunion with their parent
country. I am sincerely one of those, and
would rather be in dependence on Great
Britain, properly limited, than on any nation
on earth, or than on no nation. But I am one
of those, too, who, rather than submit to the
rights of legislating for us, assumed by the
British Parliament, and which late experience
has shown they will so cruelly exercise,
would lend my hand to sink the whole Island
in the ocean.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 201. Ford ed., i, 484.
(M. Aug. 1775)

1359. COLONIES (The American), Resistance to Unjust Taxation.—

When Parliament
proposed to consider us as objects of
taxation, all the States took the alarm. Yet
so little had we attended to this subject, that
our advocates did not know at first on what
ground to take their stand. Mr. Dickinson,
a lawyer of more ingenuity than sound judgment,
and still more timid than ingenious,
not daring to question the authority to regulate
commerce so as best to answer their own
purpose, to which we had long submitted,
admitted that authority in its utmost extent.
He acknowledged * * * that they could
levy duties, internal or external, payable in
Great Britain or in the States. He only required
that these duties should be bonâ fide for the regulation of commerce, and not to
raise a solid revenue. He admitted, therefore,
that they might control our commerce,
but not tax us. This mysterious system took
for a moment in America as well as in Europe.
But sounder heads saw in the first
moment that he who could put down the
loom, could stop the spinning wheel, and he
who could stop the spinning wheel could tie
the hands which turned it. They saw that
this flimsy fabric could not be supported.
Who were to be the judges whether duties
were imposed with a view to burden and suppress


Page 153
a branch of manufacture or to raise a revenue? If either party, exclusively of the
other, it was plain where that would end.
If both parties, it was plain where that
would end also. They saw, therefore, no
sure clew to lead them out of their difficulties
but reason and right. They dared to follow
them, assured that they alone could lead them
to defensible ground. The first elements of
our reason showed that the members of Parliament
could have no power which the
people of the several counties had not; that
these had naturally a power over their own
farms, and collectively over all England.
But if they had any power over counties out
of England, it must be founded on compact
or force. No compact could be shown, and
neither party chose to bottom their pretensions
on force. It was objected that this
annihilated the Navigation Act. True, it
does. The Navigation Act therefore, becomes
a proper subject of treaty between
the two nations. Or, if Great Britain does
not choose to have its basis questioned, let
us go on as we have done. Let no new
shackles be imposed, and we will continue to
submit to the old. We will consider the
restrictions on our commerce now actually
existing as compensations yielded by us for
the protection and privileges we actually enjoy,
only trusting that if Great Britain on a
revisal of these restrictions, is sensible that
some of them are useless to her and oppressive
to us, she will repeal them. But on this
she shall be free. Place us in the condition
we were when the King came to the throne,
let us rest so, and we will be satisfied. This
was the ground on which all the States very
soon found themselves rallied, and that there
was no other which could be defended.—
Notes on M. Soulés's Book. Washington ed. ix, 295. Ford ed., iv, 302.
(P. 1786)

See Taxation.

— COLONIES (The American), Restrictions on trade of.—

See Trade.

1360. COLONIES (The American), Separation from England.—

It is neither our
wish nor our interest to separate from Great
Britain. We are willing, on our part, to sacrifice
everything which reason can ask to the
restoration of that tranquillity for which all
must wish. On their part, let them be ready
to establish union on a generous plan. Let
them name their terms, but let them be just.
Accept of every commercial privilege which
it is in our power to give, for such things
as we can raise for their use, or they make
for ours. But let them not think to exclude
us from going to other markets to dispose
of those commodities which they cannot use,
or to supply those wants which they cannot
supply. Still less, let it be proposed, that our
properties within our own territories shall
be taxed or regulated by any power on earth
but our own. The God who gave us life,
gave us liberty at the same time: the hand of
force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them.
This, Sire, is our last, our determined resolution.
And that you will be pleased to interpose
with that efficacy which your earnest
endeavors may insure to procure redress of
these our great grievances, to quiet the minds
of your subjects in British America against
any apprehensions of future encroachment,
to establish fraternal love and harmony and
love through the whole empire, and that that
may continue to the latest ages of time, is
the fervent prayer of all British America.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 141. Ford ed., i, 446.

1361. COLONIES (The American), Separation from England.—[continued].

Before the commencement
of hostilities I never had heard a
whisper of disposition to separate from Great
Britain. And after that, its possibility was
contemplated with affliction by all.—
To George A. Otis. Ford ed., x, 188.
(M. 1821)

1362. COLONIES (The American), Toryism of George III. and.—

The tory education
of the King was the first preparation
for that change in the British government
which that party never ceases to wish. This
naturally ensured tory administration during
his life. At the moment he came to the
throne and cleared his hands of his enemies
by the peace of Paris, the assumptions of
unwarrantable right over America commenced.
They were so signal, and followed
one another so close, as to prove they were
part of a system, either to reduce it under
absolute subjection, and thereby make it an
instrument for attempts on Great Britain
itself, or to sever it from Britain, so that it
might not be a weight in the Whig scale.
This latter alternative, however, was not considered
as the one which would take place.
They knew so little of America, that they
thought it unable to encounter the little finger
of Great Britain.—
Notes on M. Soulés's Work. Washington ed. ix, 299. Ford ed., iv, 307.
(P. 1786)

See George III.

— COLONIES (The American), Tyranny of George III. and.—

See Tyranny.

1363. COLONIES (The American), Union of.—

We cannot, my Lord, close with
the terms of that Resolution [Lord North's
Conciliatory Proposition] because * * * [it] involves the interests of all the other
Colonies. We are now represented in General
Congress by members approved by this
House, where the former union, it is hoped,
will be so strongly cemented, that no partial
applications can produce the slightest departure
from the common cause. We consider
ourselves as bound in honor, as well as interest,
to share one general fate with our
sister Colonies; and should hold ourselves
base deserters of that union to which we
have acceded, were we to agree on any
measures distinct and apart from them.—
Address to Lord Dunmore from Va. House of Burgesses. Ford ed., i, 457.

1364. COLONIES (The American), Union of.—[continued].

[Lord North's] proposition
* * * is unreasonable and insidious:
unreasonable because if we declare we
accede to it, we declare, without reservation,
we will purchase the favor of Parliament,
not knowing at the same time at what price


Page 154
they will please to estimate their favor; it is
insidious because any individual Colonies,
having bid and bidden again till they find the
avidity of the seller too great for all their
powers, are then to return into opposition,
divided from their sister Colonies, whom the
minister will have previously detached by a
grant of easier terms, or by an artful procrastination
of a definitive answer.—
Reply of Congress to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 478.
(July. 1775)

1365. COLONIES (The American), Union of.—[further continued].

We will ever be ready
to join with our fellow-subjects in every part
of the British empire, in executing all those
rightful powers which God has given us, for
the reestablishment and guaranteeing * * * their constitutional rights, when, where, and
by whomsoever invaded. [84]
Resolution of Albemarle County. Ford ed., i, 419.
(July 26, 1774)

See Committees of Correspondence.


Jefferson's own county.—Editor.


(The American), Violations
of Charters.—See Charters.

1366. COLONIES, Ancient and Modern.

—Ancient nations considered colonies principally
as receptacles for a too numerous population,
and as natural and useful allies in
time of war; but modern nations, viewing
commerce as an object of first importance,
value colonies chiefly as instruments for the
increase of that. This is principally effected
by their taking commodities from the mother
State, whether raised within herself, or obtained
elsewhere in the course of her trade,
and furnishing in return colonial productions
necessary for her consumption or for her
commerce of exchange with other nations.
In this way the colonies of Spain, Protugal,
France and England, have been chiefly subservient
to the advantages of their mother
country. In this way, too, in a smaller degree
has Denmark derived utility from her
American colonies, and so, also, has Holland,
except as to the island of St. Eustatius.—
To Baron Stahe. Ford ed., iv, 238.
(P. 1786)

1367. COLONIES, European nations and their.—

The habitual violation of the
equal rights of the colonist by the dominant
(for I will not call them the mother)
countries of Europe, the invariable sacrifice
of their highest interests to the minor advantages
of any individual trade or calling at
home, are as immoral in principle as the continuance
of them is unwise in practice, after
the lessons they have received.—
To Clement Caine. Washington ed. vi, 13. Ford ed., ix. 329.
(M. 1811)

1368. COLONIZATION (Negro), Africa and.—

In the disposition of these unfortunate
people, there are two rational objects to be
distinctly kept in view. First. The establishment
of a colony on the coast of Africa,
which may introduce among the aborigines
the arts of cultivated life and the blessings
of civilization and science. By doing this,
we may make to them some retribution for
the long course of injuries we have been committing
on their population. And considering
that these blessings will descend to the
“nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis”, we
shall in the long run have rendered them
perhaps more good than evil. To fulfil this
object, the colony of Sierra Leone promises
well, and that of Mesurado adds to our prospect
of success. Under this view the Colonization
Society is to be considered as a
missionary society, having in view, however,
objects more humane, more justifiable, and
less aggressive on the peace of other nations
than the others of that appellation. The second
object, and the most interesting to us,
as coming home to our physical and moral
characters, to our happiness and safety, is
to provide an asylum to which we can, by
degrees, send the whole of that population
from among us, and establish them under
our patronage and protection, as a separate,
free and independent people, in some country
and climate friendly to human life and happiness.
That any place on the coast of Africa
should answer the latter purpose, I have ever
deemed entirely impossible. And without repeating
the other arguments which have been
urged by others, I will appeal to figures only,
which admit no controversy. [85]
To Jared Sparks. Washington ed. vii, 332. Ford ed., x, 290.
(M. 1824)


Jefferson then made a calculation showing that it
would require six hundred millions of dollars to purchase
the slaves, while the cost of transportation,
provisions, support in the settlement, &c., would take
three hundred millions additional,—an amount which
made it “impossible to look at the question a second

1369. COLONIZATION (Negro), Emancipation and.—

There is, I think, a way in
which [the removal of the slaves to another
country] can be done; that is by emancipating
the after-born, leaving them, on due
compensation, with their mothers, until their
services are worth their maintenance. and
then putting them to industrious occupations
until a proper age for deportation. This
was the result of my reflections on the subject
five and forty years ago, and I have
never yet been able to conceive any other
practicable plan. It was sketched in the
“Notes on Virginia”. The estimated value
of the new-born infant is so low (say twelve
dollars and fifty cents) that it would probably
be yielded by the owner gratis, and
would thus reduce the six hundred millions
of dollars, the first head of expense, to thirty-seven
millions and a half; leaving only the
expenses of nourishment while with the
mother, and of transportation.—
To Jared Sparks. Washington ed. vii, 333. Ford ed., x, 291.
(M. 1824)

1370. COLONIZATION (Negro), Expenses of.—

From what fund are these expenses
to be furnished? Why not from that
of the lands which have been ceded by the
very States now needing this relief? And
ceded on no consideration, for the most part,
but that of the general good of the whole.
These cessions already constitute one-fourth
of the States of the Union. It may be said


Page 155
that these lands have been sold; are now the
property of the citizens composing those
States; and the money long ago received and
expended. But an equivalent of lands in
the territories since acquired may be appropriated
to that object, or so much, at least, as
may be sufficient; and the object, although
more important to the slave States, is highly
so to the others also, if they were serious in
their arguments on the Missouri question.
The slave States, too, if more interested,
would also contribute more by their gratuitous
liberation, thus taking on themselves
alone the first and heaviest item of expense.—
To Jared Sparks. Washington ed. vii, 334. Ford ed., x, 291.
(M. 1824)

1371. COLONIZATION (Negro), San Domingo and.—

In the plan sketched in the
“Notes on Virginia”, no particular place of
asylum was specified; because it was
thought possible that in the revolutionary
state of America, then commenced, events
might open to us some one within practicable
distance. This has now happened. Santo
Domingo has become independent, and with
a population of that color only; and if the
public papers are to be credited, their Chief
offers to pay their passage, to receive them
as free citizens, and to provide them employment.
This leaves, then, for the general confederacy,
no expense but that of nurture with
the mother for a few years, and would call,
of course, for a very moderate appropriation
of the vacant lands. * * * In this way
no violation of private right is proposed.—
To Jared Sparks. Washington ed. vii, 334. Ford ed., x, 292.
(M. 1824)

See Colony, Slaves.

1372. COLONY (Penal), Establishment of.—

Questions would arise whether the establishment
of a [negro penal] colony [86] within
our limits, and to become a part of our
Union, would be desirable to the State of
Virginia itself, or to other States—especially
those who would be in its vicinity.
Could we procure lands beyond the limits
of the United States to form a receptacle
for these people? On our northern boundary,
the country not occupied by British subjects,
is the property of Indian nations, whose title
would have to be extinguished, with the consent
of Great Britain; and the new settlers
would be British subjects. It is hardly to be believed
that either Great Britain or the Indian
proprietors have so disinterested a regard
for us, as to be willing to relive us, by
receiving such a colony themselves. * * * On our western and southern frontiers, Spain
holds an immense country, the occupancy of
which, however, is in the Indian natives, except
a few insulated spots possessed by Spanish
subjects. It is very questionable, indeed,
whether the Indians would sell? whether
Spain would be willing to receive these people?
and nearly certain that she would not
alienate the sovereignty. The same question
to ourselves would recur here also, as did
in the first case: should we be willing to have
such a colony in contact with us? However
our present interests may restrain us within
our own limits, it is impossible not to look
forward to distant times, when our rapid
multiplication will expand itself beyond those
limits, and cover the whole northern, if not
the southern continent, with a people speaking
the same language, governed in similar
forms, and by similar laws; nor can we contemplate
with satisfaction either blot or mixture
on that surface. Spain, France, and
Portugal hold possessions on the southern
continent, as to which I am not well enough
informed to say how far they might meet our
views. But either there or in the northern
continent, should the constituted authorities
of Virginia fix their attention, of preference,
I will have the dispositions of those powers
sounded in the first instance.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 420. Ford ed., viii, 104.
(W. 1801)


James Monroe, then Governor of Virginia, wrote
to Jefferson asking his good offices towards the establishment
of a penal colony in America. A short time
before, there had been a negro insurrection in Virginia
and the House of Representatives of the State
had passed a resolution on the subject.—Editor.

1373. COLONY (Penal), Sierra Leone and.—

The course of things in the * * * West
Indies appears to have given a considerable
impulse to the minds of the slaves in * * * the United States. A great disposition to
insurgency has manifested itself among them,
which, in one instance, in the State of Virginia,
broke out into actual insurrection. This
was easily suppressed; but many of those
concerned (between twenty and thirty, I believe )
fell victims to the law. So extensive
an execution could not but excite sensibility in
the public mind, and beget a regret that the
laws had not provided for such cases, some
alternative, combining more mildness with
equal efficacy. The Legislature of the State
* * * took the subject into consideration, and
have communicated to me through the Governor
of the State, their wish that some
place could be provided, out of the limits of
the United States, to which slaves guilty of
insurgency might be transported; and they
have particularly looked to Africa as offering
the most desirable receptacle. We might, for
this purpose, enter into negotiations with the
natives, on some part of the coast, to obtain
a settlement; and, by establishing an African
company, combine with it commercial operations,
which might not only reimburse expenses,
but procure profit also. But there being
already such an establishment on that
coast by the English Sierra Leone Company,
made for the express purpose of colonizing
civilized blacks to that country, it would seem
better, by incorporating our emigrants with
theirs, to make one strong, rather than two
weak colonies. This would be the more desirable
because the blacks settled at Sierra
Leone, having chiefly gone from the States,
would often receive among those whom we
should send, their acquaintances and relatives.
The object of this letter is to ask * * * you
to enter into conference with such persons,
private and public, as would be necessary
to give us permission to send thither the persons
under contemplation. * * * They are
not felons, or common malefactors, but persons


Page 156
guilty of what the safety of society, under
actual circumstances, obliges us to treat
as a crime, but which their feelings may represent
in a far different shape. They will be
a valuable acquisition to the settlement, * * * and well calculated to cooperate in the plan
of civilization.—
To Rufus King. Washington ed. iv, 442. Ford ed., viii, 161.
(W. 1802)

1374. COLONY (Penal), Sierra Leone and.—[continued].

The consequences of
permitting emancipations to become extensive,
unless a condition of emigration be annexed
to them, furnish matter of solicitude to the
Legislature of Virginia. Although provision
for the settlement of emancipated negroes
might perhaps be obtained nearer home than
Africa, yet it is desirable that we should be
free to expatriate this description of people
also to the colony of Sierra Leone, if considerations
respecting either themselves or us
should render it more expedient. I pray you,
therefore, to get the same permission extended
to the reception of these as well as the [insurgents].
Nor will there be a selection of
bad subjects; the emancipations, for the most
part, being either of the whole slaves of the
master, or of such individuals as have particularly
deserved well. The latter are most
To Rufus King. Washington ed. iv, 443. Ford ed., viii, 163.
(W. 1802)

1375. COLONY (Penal), Transportation to.—

As the expense of so distant a transportation
would be very heavy, and might
weigh unfavorably in deciding between the
modes of punishment, it is very desirable that
it should be lessened as much as is practicable.
If the regulations of the place would permit
these emigrants to dispose of themselves,
as the Germans and others do who come to
this country poor, by giving their labor for a
certain time to some one who will pay their
passage; and if the master of the vessel could
be permitted to carry articles of commerce
from this country and take back others from
that, which might yield him a mercantile profit
sufficient to cover the expenses of the voyage,
a serious difficulty would be removed.—
To Rufus King. Washington ed. iv, 443. Ford ed., viii, 162.
(W. 1802)

1376. COLONY (Penal), West Indies and.—

The West Indies offer a more probable
and practicable retreat for them. Inhabited
already by a people of their own race and
color; climates congenial with their natural
constitution; insulated from the other descriptions
of men; nature seems to have
formed these islands to become the receptacle
of the blacks transplanted into this hemisphere.
Whether we could obtain from the
European sovereigns of those islands leave to
send thither the persons under consideration,
I cannot say; but I think it more probable than
the former propositions, because of their being
already inhabited more or less by the same
race. The most promising portion of them is
the island of St. Domingo, where the blacks
are established into a sovereignty de facto, and have organized themselves under regular
laws and government. I should conjecture
that their present ruler might be willing * * * to receive over that description which would
be exiled for acts deemed criminal by us, but
meritorious, perhaps, by him. The possibility
that these exiles might stimulate and conduct
vindictive or predatory descents on our coasts,
and facilitate concert with their brethren remaining
here, looks to a state of things between
that island and us not probable on a
contemplation of our relative strength. * * * Africa would offer a last and undoubted resort,
if all others more desirable should fail
us. Whenever the Legislature of Virginia
shall have brought its mind to a point, so that
I may know exactly what to propose to foreign
authorities, I will execute their wishes
with fidelity and zeal.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 421. Ford ed., viii, 105.
(W. 1801)

— COLUMBIA RIVER, Fur trading posts on.—

See Astor's Settlement and Fur Trade.

1377. COLUMBUS, Portrait of.—

I resided at Paris, knowing that the portraits
of Columbus and Americus Vespucius were in
the gallery of Medici at Florence, I took measures
for engaging a good artist to take and
send me copies of them. I considered it as
even of some public concern that our country
should not, be without the portraits of its first
To Mr. Delaplaine. Washington ed. vi, 343.
(M. 1814)

1378. COMMERCE, Agriculture and.—

The exercise, by our own citizens, of so much
commerce as may suffice to exchange our superfluities
for our wants, may be advantageous
for the whole. But it does not follow,
that with a territory so boundless, it is the
interest of the whole to become a mere city of
London, to carry on the business of one half
the world at, the expense of eternal war with
the other half. The agricultural capacities
of our country constitute its distinguishing
feature; and the adapting our policy and pursuits
to that, is more likely to make us a numerous
and happy people, than the mimicry of
an Amsterdam, a Hamburg, or a city of London.—
To William H. Crawford. Washington ed. vii, 6. Ford ed., x, 34.
(M. 1816)

1379. COMMERCE, Agriculture and.—[continued].

I am sensible of the
great interest which Rhode Island justly feels
in the prosperity of commerce. It is of vital
interest also to States more agricultural,
whose produce, without commerce, could not
be exchanged.—
To The Rhode Island Assembly. Washington ed. iv, 398.
(W. May. 1801)

1380. COMMERCE, Agriculture, manufactures and.—

I trust the good sense of our country will see that its greatest prosperity
depends on a due balance between agriculture,
manufactures and commerce.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. v, 417. Ford ed., ix, 239.
(W. 1809)

See Manufactures.

1381. COMMERCE, But no alliance.—

Commerce with all nations, alliance with none,
should be our motto.—
To T. Lomax. Washington ed. iv, 301. Ford ed., vii, 374.
(M. March. 1799)

1382. COMMERCE, Cherish.—

As the
handmaid of agriculture, commerce will be


Page 157
cherished by me both from principle and duty.—
To the Rhode Island Assembly. Washington ed. iv, 398.
(W. May. 1801)

1383. COMMERCE, Cherish.—[continued].

Unconscious of partiality
between the different callings of my fellow
citizens, I trust that a fair review of my attention
to the interests of commerce in particular,
in every station of my political life, will
afford sufficient proofs of my just estimation
of its importance in the social system. What
has produced our present difficulties, and what
will have produced the impending war, if that
is to be our lot? Our efforts to save the
rights of commerce and navigation. From
these, solely and exclusively, the whole of our
present dangers flow.—
R. to A. Leesburg Citizens. Washington ed. viii, 161.

1384. COMMERCE, Cherish.—[further continued].

One imputation in particular
has been remarked till it seems as if
some at least believe it: that I am an enemy
to commerce. They admit me as a friend to
agriculture, and suppose me an enemy to the
only means of disposing of its produce.—
To Major William Jackson. Washington ed. iv, 358.
(M. Feb. 1801)

1385. COMMERCE, Coercion of Europe by.—

War is not the best engine for us to resort
to; nature has given us one in our commerce,
which, if properly managed, will be
a better instrument for obliging the interested
nations of Europe to treat us with justice.
If the commercial regulations had been
adopted which our Legislature were at one
time proposing, we should at this moment
have been standing on such an eminence of
safety and respect as ages can never recover.
But having wandered from that, our object
should now be to get back, with as little loss
as possible, and when peace shall be restored
to the world, endeavor so to form our commercial
regulations as that justice from other
nations shall be their mechanical result.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iv, 177. Ford ed., vii, 129.
(Pa., May. 1797)

— COMMERCE, The Confederation and.

—See Confederation.

1386. COMMERCE, Control by Congress.—

A general disposition is taking place
to commit the whole management of our
commerce to Congress. [87] This has been much
promoted by the interested policy of England
which, it was apparent, could not be counterworked
by the States separately.—
To W. Carmichael. Washington ed. i, 393.
(P. 1785)


The Congress of the Confederation. This movement
finally resulted in the adoption of the Federal

1387. COMMERCE, Control by Congress.—[continued].

I am much pleased with
the proposition to the States to invest Congress
with the regulation of their trade, reserving
its revenue to the States. I think it
a happy idea, removing the only objection
which could have been justly made to the
proposition. The time, too, is the present,
before the admission of the Western States.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 347. Ford ed., iv, 52.
(P. 1785)

1388. COMMERCE, Control by Congress.—[further continued].

The late proceedings in
America have produced a wonderful sensation
in England in our favor. I mean the
disposition which seems to be becoming general,
to invest Congress with the regulation
of our commerce, and, in the meantime, the
measures taken to defeat the avidity of the
British government grasping at our carrying
business. I can add with truth, that it was
not till these symptoms appeared in America
that I have been able to discover the smallest
token of respect towards the United States in
any part of Europe.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 413.
(P. Sep. 1785)

1389. [further continued].

Congress have desired
to be invested with the whole regulation of
their trade, and forever; and to prevent all
temptations to abuse the power, and all fears
of it, they propose that whatever moneys shall
be levied on commerce, either for the purpose
of revenue, or by way of forfeitures or penalty,
shall go directly into the coffers of the
State wherein it is levied, without being
touched by Congress. From the present temper
of the States, and the conviction which
your country [England] has carried home to
their minds, that there is no other method of
defeating the greedy attempts of other countries
to trade with them on equal terms, I
think they will add an article for this purpose
to their Confederation.—
To David Hartley. Washington ed. i, 425. Ford ed., iv, 94.
(P. 1785)

1390. [further continued] .

The British * * * attempt
without disguise to possess themselves
of the carriage of our produce, and to prohibit
our own vessels from participating of
it. This has raised a general indignation in
America. The States see, however, that their
constitutions have provided no means of counteracting
it. They are, therefore, beginning
to invest Congress with the absolute power
of regulating their commerce, only reserving
all revenue arising from it to the State
in which it is levied. This will consolidate
our Federal building very much, and for this
we shall be indebted to the British.—
To Count Van Hogendorp. Washington ed. i, 465. Ford ed., iv, 104.
(P. Oct. 1785)

1391. [further continued].

The determination of
the British cabinet to make no equal treaty
[of commerce] with us, confirms me in the
opinion * * * that the United States must
pass a navigation act against Great Britain,
and load her manufactures with duties, so as
to give a preference to those of other countries;
and I hope our Assemblies will wait
no longer, but transfer such a power to Congress,
at the sessions of this fall.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 486.
(P. Nov. 1785)

1392. [further continued] .

I have heard with great
pleasure that the [Virginia] Assembly have
come to the resolution of giving the regulation
of their commerce to the federal head.
I will venture to assert, that there is not one
of its opposers who, placed on this ground
[Europe] would not see the wisdom of this
measure. The politics of Europe render it
indispensably necessary that with respect to


Page 158
everything external, we be one nation only,
firmly hooped together. * * * If it were seen
in Europe that all our States could be brought
to concur in what the Virginia Assembly has
done, it would produce a total revolution in
their opinion of us, and respect for us.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 531. Ford ed., iv, 192.
(P. Feb. 1786)

1393. [further continued].

All the States have
agreed to the impost. But New York has
annexed such conditions that it cannot
be accepted. It is thought, therefore, they
will grant it unconditionally. But a new
difficulty has started up. Three or four
States had coupled the grant of the impost
with the grant of the supplementary funds,
asked by Congress at the same time, declaring
that they should come into force only
when all the States had granted both. One
of these, Pennsylvania, refuses to let the impost
come into being alone. We are still to
see whether they will persist in this.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 19.
(P. 1786)

1394. COMMERCE, Cultivate.—

All the
world is becoming commercial. Were it practicable
to keep our new empire separated from
them, we might indulge ourselves in speculating
whether commerce contributes to the happiness
of mankind. But we cannot separate
ourselves from them. Our citizens have had
too full a taste of the comforts furnished by
the arts and manufactures to be debarred the
use of them. We must, then, in our defence
endeavor to share as large a portion as we can
of this modern source of wealth and power.—
To General Washington. Ford ed., iii, 422.
(A. 1784)

1395. COMMERCE, Cultivate.—[continued].

I am decidedly of opinion
we should take no part in European quarrels,
but cultivate peace and commerce with
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 533. Ford ed., v, 57.
(P. 1788)

1396. COMMERCE, Debt and.—

earthly consideration could induce my consent
to contract such a debt as England has
by her wars for commerce, to reduce our citizens
by taxes to such wretchedness, as that
laboring sixteen of the twenty-four hours,
they are still unable to afford themselves
bread, or barely to earn as much oatmeal or
potatoes as will keep soul and body together.
And all this to feed the avidity of a few millionary
merchants, and to keep up one thousand
ships of war for the protection of their
commercial specula ions.—
To William H. Crawford. Washington ed. vii, 7. Ford ed., x, 35.
(M. 1816)

1397. COMMERCE, Discriminating Duties.—

It is true we must expect some inconvenience
in practice from the establishment of
discriminating duties. But in this, as in so
many other cases, we are left to choose between
two evils. These inconveniences are
nothing when weighed against the loss of
wealth and loss of force, which will follow
our perseverance in the plan of indiscrimination.
When once it shall be perceived that
we are either in the system or in the habit of
giving equal advantages to those who extinguish
our commerce and navigation by duties
and prohibitions, as to those who treat
both with liberality and justice, liberality and
justice will be converted by all into duties and
prohibitions. It is not to the moderation and
justice of others we are to trust for fair and
equal access to market with our productions,
or for our due share in the transportation of
them; but to our own means of independence,
and the firm will to use them. Nor do the
inconveniences of discrimination merit consideration.
Not one of the nations before
mentioned, perhaps not a commercial nation
on earth, is without them. In our case, one
distinction alone will suffice: that is to say,
between nations who favor our productions
and navigation, and those who do not favor
them. One set of moderate duties, say the
present duties, for the first, and a fixed advance
on these as to some articles, and prohibitions
as to others, for the last.—
Report on Foreign Commerce and Navigation. Washington ed. vii, 650. Ford ed., vi, 483.
(Dec. 1793)

— COMMERCE, Drawbacks and.—

See Drawbacks.

— COMMERCE, The Embargo and.—

See Embargo.

1398. COMMERCE, Encouragement of.

—[The] encouragement of agriculture, and of
commerce as its handmaid, I deem [one of
the] essential principles of our government
and, consequently [one] which ought to shape
its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 5.

1399. COMMERCE, Exchange of productions.—

A commerce carried on by exchange
of productions is the most likely to be lasting and to meet mutual encouragement.—
To Dr. Ramsay. Washington ed. ii, 50.
(P. 1786)

1400. COMMERCE, Exchange of productions.—[continued].

I hope that the policy of
our country will settle down with as much
navigation and commerce only as our own
exchanges will require, and that the disadvantage
will be seen of our undertaking to carry
on that of other nations. This, indeed, May
bring gain to a few individuals, and enable
them to call off from our farms more laborers
to be converted into lackeys and grooms
for them, but it will bring nothing to our
country but wars, debt, and dilapidation.—
To J. B. Stuart. Washington ed. vii, 64.
(M. 1817)

— COMMERCE, Drawbacks and.—

See France.

1401. COMMERCE, Freedom of.—

If we
are to contribute equally with the other parts
of the empire, let us equally with them enjoy
free commerce with the whole world.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 479.
(July. 1775)

1402. COMMERCE, Freedom of.—[continued].

Our interest will be to
throw open the doors of commerce, and to
knock off all its shackles, giving perfect freedom
to all persons for the vent of whatever
they may choose to bring into our ports, and
asking the same in theirs.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 412. Ford ed., iii, 279.


Page 159

1403. COMMERCE, Freedom of.—[further continued].

By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate * * * freedom of commerce against monopolies
* * *.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 355.
(P. 1788)

1404. COMMERCE, Freedom of.—[further continued] .

One of my favorite ideas is to leave commerce free.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 431. Ford ed., i, 198.

1405. COMMERCE, Freedom of.—[further continued].

Instead of embarrassing
commerce under piles of regulating laws, duties
and prohibitions, could it be relieved
from all its shackles in all parts of the world,
could every country be employed in producing
that which nature has best fitted it to produce,
and each be free to exchange with others
mutual surpluses for mutual wants the
greatest mass possible would then be produced
of those things which contribute to human
life and human happiness; the numbers of
mankind would be increased, and their condition
bettered. Would even a single nation
begin with the United States this system of
free commerce, it would be advisable to begin
it with that nation; since it is one by one only
that it can be extended to all. Where the circumstances
of either party render it expedient
to levy a revenue, by way of impost, on
commerce, its freedom might be modified, in
that particular, by mutual and equivalent
measures, preserving it entire in all others.—
Report on Foreign Commerce and Navigation. Washington ed. vii, 646. Ford ed., vi, 479.
(Dec. 1793)

1406. COMMERCE, Freedom of.—[further continued] .

I am for free commerce
with all nations.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 328.
(Pa., 1799)


See England.

1407. COMMERCE, Independence and.

—To have submitted our rightful commerce
to prohibitions and tributary exactions from
others, would have been to surrender our independence.—
Reply to a Boston Request. Washington ed. viii, 133.
(Aug. 1808)

1408. COMMERCE, Individual enterprise and.—

Agriculture, manufactures, commerce,
and navigation, the four pillars of our
prosperity, are the most thriving when left
most free to individual enterprise. Protection
from casual embarrassments, however,
may sometimes be seasonably interposed.—
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 13. Ford ed., viii, 123.
(Dec. 1801)

1409. COMMERCE, Interdicted.—

several acts of parliament * * * they [the
British ministers] have interdicted all commerce
to one of our principal towns.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 468.
(July. 1775)

1410. COMMERCE, Laws governing.—

George Mason's proposition in the [Federal] Convention was wise, that on laws regulating
commerce, two-thirds of the votes should be
required to pass them.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 323. Ford ed., vii, 432.
(Pa., March. 1800)

1411. COMMERCE, Madness for.—

are running commerce mad.—
To Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 311. Ford ed., vii, 406.
(Pa., Jan. 1800)

1412. COMMERCE, Maintain.—

To maintain
commerce and navigation in all their lawful
enterprises * * * [is one of] the landmarks
by which we are to guide ourselves
in all our proceedings.—
Second Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 21. Ford ed., viii, 186.
(Dec. 1802)

1413. COMMERCE, Merchants and.—

Where a nation refuses permission to our
merchants and factors to reside within certain
parts of their dominions, we may, if it should
be thought expedient, refuse residence to
theirs in any and every part of ours, or modify
their transactions.—
Report on Foreign Commerce and Navigation. Washington ed. vii, 649. Ford ed., vi, 482.
(Dec. 1793)

1414. COMMERCE, Merchants and.—[continued].

The merchants will manage
commerce the better, the more they are
left free to manage for themselves.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 331. Ford ed., vii, 452.
(M. 1800)

— COMMERCE, Navigation and.—

See Navigation, Ocean.

1415. COMMERCE, Neutrality and.—

If the new government wears the front which
I hope it will, I see no impossibility in availing
ourselves of the wars of others to open
the other parts [88] of America to our commerce,
as the price of our neutrality.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 533. Ford ed., v, 57.
(P. 1788)


The Colonies of the European powers.—Editor.

— COMMERCE, The Ocean and.—

See Ocean.

1416. COMMERCE, Oppressing.—

I am
principally afraid that commerce will be overloaded
by the assumption [of the State debts],
believing that it would be better that property
should be duly taxed.—
To Mr. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 185.
(N.Y., 1790)

1417. COMMERCE, Power of Congress over.—

The power given to Congress by the
Constitution does not extend to the internal
regulation of the commerce of a State (that
is to say of the commerce between citizen and
citizen), which remains exclusively with its
own Legislature; but to its external commerce
only, that is to say, its commerce with
another State, or with foreign nations, or with
the Indian tribes.—
National Bank Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 557. Ford ed., v, 286.

1418. COMMERCE, Protection of.—

If we wish our commerce to be free and uninsulted,
we must let [the European] nations
see that we have an energy which at present
they disbelieve. The low opinion they entertain
of our powers, cannot fail to involve us
soon in a naval war.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 401.
(P. 1785)

1419. COMMERCE, Protection of.—[continued].

Should any nation, contrary
to our wishes, suppose it may better
find its advantage by continuing its system
of prohibitions, duties and regulations, it behooves
us to protect our citizens, their commerce
and navigation, by counter prohibitions,
duties and regulations, also. Free


Page 160
commerce and navigation are not to be given
in exchange for restrictions and vexations;
nor are they likely to produce a relaxation of
Report on Commerce and Navigation. Washington ed. vii, 647. Ford ed., vi, 480.
(Dec. 1793)


See Frederick The Great.

1420. COMMERCE, Pursuit of.—

You ask what I think on the expediency of encouraging
our States to be commercial? Were
I to indulge my own theory, I should wish
them to practice neither commerce nor navigation,
but to stand, with respect to Europe,
precisely on the footing of China. We should
thus avoid wars, and all our citizens would be
husbandmen. Whenever, indeed, our numbers
should so increase as that our produce would
overstock the markets of those nations who
should come to seek it, the farmers must
either employ the surplus of their time in
manufactures, or the surplus of our hands
must be employed in manufactures, or in navigation.
But that day would, I think, be distant,
and we should long keep our workmen
in Europe, while Europe should be drawing
rough materials, and even subsistence from
America. But this is theory only, and a theory
which the servants of America are not
at liberty to follow. Our people have a decided
taste for navigation and commerce.
They take this from their mother country;
and their servants are in duty bound to calculate
all their measures on this datum: we
wish to do it by throwing open all the doors
of commerce, and knocking off its shackles.
But as this cannot be done for others, unless
they will do it for us, and there is no probability
that Europe will do this, I suppose we
shall be obliged to adopt a system which May
shackle them in our ports, as they do us in
To Count Van Hogendorp. Washington ed. i, 465. Ford ed., iv, 104.
(P. 1785)

1421. COMMERCE, Reciprocity.—

nations, not yet ripe for free commerce in all
its extent, might still be willing to mollify its
restrictions and regulations for us, in proportion
to the advantages which an intercourse
with us might offer. Particularly they
may concur with us in reciprocating the duties
to be levied on each side, or in compensating
any excess of duty by equivalent advantages
of another nature. Our commerce
is certainly of a character to entitle it to favor
in most countries. The commodities we offer
are either necessaries of life, or materials for
manufacture, or convenient subjects of revenue;
and we take in exchange, either manufactures,
when they have received the last
finish of art and industry, or mere luxuries.
Such customers may reasonably expect welcome
and friendly treatment at every market.
Customers, too, whose demands, increasing
with their wealth and population, must very
shortly give full employment to the whole
industry of any nation whatever, in any line of
supply they may get into the habit of calling
for from it.—
Report on Foreign Commerce and Navigation. Washington ed. vii, 646. Ford ed., vi, 479.
(Dec. 1793)

1422. COMMERCE, Regulation of.—

interests of commerce require steady regulations.—
To Comte de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 531.
(P. 1788)

1423. COMMERCE, Restrictions on.—

The question is, in what way may best be
removed, modified or counteracted, the restrictions
on the commerce and navigation
of the United States? As to commerce, two
methods occur. 1. By friendly arrangements
with the several nations with whom these
restrictions exist: Or, 2, by the separate
act of our own legislatures for countervailing
their effects. There can be no doubt
but that of these two, friendly arrangement
is the most eligible. * * * Friendly arrangements
are preferable with all who will come
into them; and we should carry into such arrangements
all the liberality and spirit of
accommodation which the nature of the case
will admit.—
Report on Foreign Commerce and Navigation. Washington ed. vii, 645. 650.
Ford ed., vi, 479-483.
(Dec. 1793)

1424. COMMERCE, Routes of.—

is slow in changing its channel.—
To Comte de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 300.
(P. 1787)

1425. COMMERCE, Selfish.—

The selfish
spirit of commerce knows no country, and
feels no passion or principle but that of gain.—
To Larkin Smith. Washington ed. v, 441.
(M. 1809)

1426. COMMERCE, The States and.—

As long as the States exercise, separately, those acts of power which respect foreign nations,
so long will there continue to be irregularities
committed by some one or other of
them, which will constantly keep us on an ill
footing with foreign nations.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 531. Ford ed., iv, 192.
(P. Feb. 1786)

1427. COMMERCE, Suppression of.—

They [Parliament] have cut off the commercial
intercourse of whole Colonies with foreign
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 468.
(July. 1775)

1428. COMMERCE, Swollen.—

That the
wars of the world have swollen our commerce
beyond the wholesome limits of exchanging
our own productions for our own
wants, and that, for the emolument of a
small proportion of our society, who prefer
these demoralizing pursuits to labors useful
to the whole, the peace of the whole is endangered,
* * * are evils more easily to be deplored
than remedied.—
To Abbe Salimankis. Washington ed. v, 516.
(M. 1810)

1429. COMMERCE, Swollen.—[continued].

You have fairly stated the alternatives between which we are to
choose: 1, licentious commerce and gambling
speculations for a few, with eternal war
for the many; or, 2, restricted commerce,
peace, and steady occupations for all. If any
State in the Union will declare that it prefers
separation with the first alternative, to a continuance
in union without it, I have no hesitation
in saying “let us separate.” I would
rather the States should withdraw which are
for unlimited commerce and war, and confederate


Page 161
with those alone which are for peace and agriculture. I know that every nation in
Europe would join in sincere amity with the
latter, and hold the former at arm's length,
by jealousies, prohibitions, restrictions, vexations
and war.—
To William H. Crawford. Washington ed. vii, 7. Ford ed., x, 35.
(M. 1816)

COMMERCE, Treaties of.—See Treaties.

1430. COMMERCE, Vices of.—

greediness for wealth, and fantastical expense,
have degraded, and will degrade, the minds
of our maritime citizens. These are the peculiar
vices of commerce.—
To John Admas. Washington ed. vii, 104. Ford ed., x, 107.
(M. 1818)

1431. COMMERCE, War and.—

The actual
habits of our countrymen attach them to
commerce. They will exercise it for themselves.
Wars, then, must sometimes be our
lot; and all the wise can do, will be to avoid
that half of them which would be produced
by our own follies, and our own acts of injustice;
and to make for the other half the best
preparations we can. Of what nature should
these be? A land army would be useless for
offence, and not the best nor safest instrument
of defence. For either of these purposes,
the sea is the field on which we should
meet an European enemy. On that element
it is necessary we should possess some power.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 413. Ford ed., iii, 279.

1432. COMMERCE, War and.—[continued].

My principle has ever
been that war should not suspend either exports
or imports.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vi, 128.
(M. 1813)

1433. COMMERCE, War and.—[further continued].

Whether we shall engage
in every war of Europe, to protect the
mere agency of our merchants and shipowners
in carrying on the commerce of other nations,
even were these merchants and shipowners
to take the side of their country in
the contest, instead of that of the enemy, is
a question of deep and serious consideration.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 460.
(M. June. 1815)

— COMMERCE, West Indies and.—

See West Indies.

— COMMERCE, Western Routes of.—

See Canals.

1434. COMMISSIONS, Adams's Midnight.—

Among the midnight appointments of Mr. Adams were commissions to some federal
justices of the peace for Alexandria. These
were signed and sealed by him but not delivered.
I found them on the table of the
department of State, on my entrance into
office, and I forbade their delivery. Marbury,
named in one of them, applied to the Supreme
Court for a mandamus to the Secretary
of State (Mr. Madison) to deliver the commission
intended for him. The Court determined
at once that, being an original process,
they had no cognizance of it; and, therefore,
the question before them was ended. But the
Chief Justice went on to lay down what the
law would be, had they jurisdiction of the
case, to wit: that they should command the
delivery. The object was clearly to instruct
any other court, having the jurisdiction, what
they should do if Marbury should apply to
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 295. Ford ed., x, 230.
(M. 1823)

1435. COMMISSIONS, Blank.—

In matters
of government, there can be no question
but that a commission sealed and signed with
a blank for the name, date, place, &c., is good;
because government can in no country be carried
on without it. The most vital proceedings
of our own government would soon become
null were such a construction to prevail,
and the argumentum ab inconvenienti, which is one of the great foundations of the
law, will undoubtedly sustain the practice,
and sanction it by the maxim “qui facit per
alium, facit per se.
” I would not, therefore,
give the countenance of the government
to so impracticable a construction by issuing
a new commission.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 371.
(W. 1808)

1436. COMMISSIONS, Delivery of.—

In the case of Marbury and Madison, the Federal
judges declared that commissions, signed
and sealed by the President, were valid, although
not delivered. I deemed delivery essential
to complete a deed, which, as long as
it remains in the hands of the party, is yet
no deed, it is in posse only, but not in esse, and I withheld delivery of the commissions.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 135. Ford ed., x, 142.

1437. COMMISSIONS, Delivery of.—[continued].

The Constitution, having
given to the Judiciary branch no means
of compelling the Executive either to deliver a commission, or to make a record of it, shows
that it did not intend to give the Judiciary
that control over the Executive, but that it
should remain in the power of the latter to do
it or not.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 84. Ford ed., ix, 53.
(W. 1807)

1438. COMMISSIONS, Signing of.—

delivery of a commission is immaterial. As
it may be sent by letter to any one, so it May
be delivered by hand to him anywhere. The
place of signature by the sovereign is the material
thing. Were that to be done in any
other jurisdiction than his own, it might draw
the validity of the act into question.—
To Thomas Pinckney, Washington ed. iii, 583. Ford ed., vi, 302.
(Pa., June. 1793)

1439. COMMISSIONERS, Executive.—

To the list may be added the appointment of
Gouverneur Morris to negotiate with the
court of London, by letter written and signed
by General Washington, and David Humphreys
to negotiate with Liston by letter.
Commissions were not given in form because
no ministers had been sent here by those
courts. But all the powers were given them,
and half the salary (as they were not to display
the diplomatic ranks, half-salary was
thought sufficient) but they were completely
officers on salaries, and no notice given the
Senate till afterwards.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Ford ed., viii, 131.
(W. Jan. 1802)


See Confederation.


Page 162

1440. COMMON LAW, Christianity and.—

I was glad to find in your book a formal contradiction of the judiciary usurpation
of legislative powers; for such the
judges have usurped in their repeated decisions,
that Christianity is a part of the common
law. The proof of the contrary, which
you have adduced, is incontrovertible; to wit,
that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons
were yet Pagans, at a time when they
had never heard the name of Christ pronounced,
or knew that such a character had
ever existed. But it may amuse you, to show
when, and by what means, they stole this law
in upon us. In a case of quare impedit in the
Year Book 34, H. 6, folio 38 (anno 1458.) a
question was made, how far the ecclesiastical
law was to be respected in a common law
court? And Prisot, Chief Justice, gives his
opinion in these words: “A tiel leis qu'ils de
seint eglise ont en ancien scripture, covient à
nous à donner credence; car ceo common ley
sur quels touts manners leis sont fondés. Et
auxy, Sir, nous sumus oblègés de conustre
lour ley de saint eglisse; et semblablement
its sont obligés de consustre nostre ley. Et,
Sir, si poit apperer or à nous que l'evesque ad
fait come un ordinary fera en tiel cas, adong
nous devons cee adjuger bon, ou auterment
nemy,” æc. See S. C. Fitzh. Abr. Qu. imp.
89, Bro. Abr. Qu. imp. 12. Finch in his first
book c. 3, is the first afterwards who quotes
this case and mistakes it thus: “To such
laws of the church as have warrant in holy
our law giveth credence.” And
cites Prisot; mistranslating “ancien scripture,
into “holy scripture.” Whereas Prisot
palpably says, “to such laws as those of holy
church have in ancient writing, it is proper for
us to give credence,” to wit, to their ancient
laws. This was in 1613, a century and
a half after the dictum of Prisot. Wingate, in
1658, erects this false translation into a maxim
of the common law, copying the words of
Finch, but citing Prisot, Wing. Max. 3. And
Sheppard, title, “Religion,” in 1675, copies
the same mistranslation, quoting the Y. B.
Finch and Wingate. Hale expresses it in
these words: “Christianity is parcel of the
laws of England.” 1 Ventr. 293, 3 Keb. 607.
But he quotes no authority. By these echoings
and re-echoings from one to another, it
had become so established in 1728, that in the
case of the King vs. Woolston, 2 Stra. 834,
the court would not suffer it to be debated,
whether to write against Christianity was
punishable in the temporal court at common
law? Wood, therefore, 409, ventures still to
vary the phrase, and say, that all blasphemy
and profaneness are offences by the common
law; and cites 2 Stra. Then Blackstone, in
1763, iv. 59, repeats the words of Hale, that
“Christianity is part of the laws of England,”
citing Ventris and Strange. And finally, Lord
Mansfield, with a little qualification, in Evans'
case, in 1767, says, that “the essential principles
of revealed religion are part of the common
law.” Thus ingulphing Bible, Testament
and all into the common law, without
citing any authority. And thus we find this
chain of authorities, hanging link by link, one
upon another, and all ultimately on one and
the same hook, and that a mistranslation of
the words “ancien scripture,” used by Prisot.
Finch quotes Prisot; Wingate does the same.
Sheppard quotes Prisot, Finch and Wingate.
Hale cites nobody. The court in Woolston's
case, cites Hale. Wood cites Woolston's case.
Blackstone quotes Woolston's case and Hale.
And Lord Mansfield, like Hale, ventures it on
his own authority. Here I might defy the
best-read lawyer to produce another scrip of
authority for this judiciary forgery; and I
might go on further to show, how some of
the Anglo-Saxon priests interpolated into the
text of Alfred's laws, the 20th, 21st, 22d, and
23d chapters of Exodus, and the 15th, of the
Acts of the Apostles, from the 23d to the
29th verses. But this would lead my pen and
your patience too far. What a conspiracy
this between Church and State!—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 359.
(M. 1824)

1441. COMMON LAW, Christianity and.—[continued].

Those who read Prisot's
opinion with a candid view to understand and
not to chicane it, cannot mistake its meaning.
The reports in the Year-Books were taken
very short. The opinions of the judges were
written down sententiously, as notes or memoranda,
and not with all the development
which they probably used in developing them.
Prisot's opinion, to be fully expressed, should
be thus paraphrased: “To such laws as those
holy church have recorded, and preserved in
their ancient books and writings, it is proper
for us to give credence; for so is, or so says
the Common Law, or law of the land, on
which all manner of other laws rest for their
authority, or are founded; that is to say, the
Common Law, or the law of the land common
to us all, and established by the authority
of us all, is that from which is derived the
authority of all other special and subordinate
branches of law, such as the canon law, law
merchant, law maritime, law of gavelkind,
Borough English, corporation laws, local customs
and usages, to all of which the common
law requires its judges to permit authority
in the special or local cases belonging to them.
The evidence of these laws is preserved in
their ancient treatises, books and writings, in
like manner as our common law itself is
known, the text of its original enactments
having been long lost, and its substance only
preserved in ancient and traditionary writings.
And if it appears, from their ancient
books, writings and records, that the bishop,
in this case, according to the rules prescribed
by these authorities, has done what an ordinary
would have done in such case, then we
should adjudge it good, otherwise not.” To
decide this question, they would have to turn
to the ancient writings and records of the
canon law, in which they would find evidence
of the laws of advowsons, quare impedit, the duties of bishops and ordinaries, for
which terms Prisot could never have
meant to refer them to the Old or New
Testament, les saincts scriptures, where
surely they would not be found. A
license which should permit “ancien scrip


Page 163
ture,” to be translated “holy scripture,” annihilates
at once all the evidence of language.
With such a license, we might reverse
the sixth commandment into “Thou
shalt not omit murder.” It would be the more
extraordinary in this case, where the mistranslation
was to effect the adoption of the
whole code of the Jewish and Christian laws
into the text of our statutes, to convert religious
offenses into temporal crimes, to make
the breach of every religious precept a subject
of indictment; to submit the question of
idolatry, for example, to the trial of a jury,
and to a court, its judgment, to the third and
fourth generation of the offender. Do we allow
our judges this lumping legislation?—
To Edward Everett. Washington ed. vii, 381.
(M. 1824)

1442. COMMON LAW, Codification of.

—Whether we should undertake to reduce
the common law, our own, and so much of the
English statutes as we have adopted, to
a text, is a question of transcendent difficulty.
It was discussed at the first meeting
of the committee of the Revised Code [of
Virginia] in 1776, and decided in the negative,
by the opinions of Wythe, Mason and myself,
against Pendleton and Thomas Lee.
Pendleton proposed to take Blackstone for that
text, only purging him of what was inapplicable
or unsuitable to us. In that case, the
meaning of every word of Blackstone would
have become a source of litigation, until it
had been settled by repeated legal decisions.
And to come at that meaning, we should have
had produced, on all occasions, that very pile
of authorities from which it would be said he
drew his conclusion, and which, of course,
would explain it, and the terms in which it is
couched. Thus we should have retained the
same chaos of law lore from which we wished
to be emancipated, added to the evils of
the uncertainty which a new text and new
phrases would have generated. An example of
this may be found in the old statutes, and
commentaries on them, in Coke's Second Institute,
but more remarkably in the Institute
of Justinian, and the vast masses explanatory
or supplementary of that which fill the libraries
of the civilians. We were deterred from
the attempt by these considerations, added to
which, the bustle of the times did not admit
leisure for such an undertaking.—
To John Tyler. Washington ed. vi, 66.
(M. 1812)

1443. COMMON LAW, The Colonists and.—

I deride with you the ordinary doctrine,
that we brought with us from England
the common law rights. This narrow notion
was a favorite in the first moment of rallying
to our rights against Great Britain. But it
was that of men who felt their rights before
they had thought of their explanation. The
truth is, that we brought with us the right of
of expatriated men. On our arrival
here, the question would at once arise, by
what law will we govern ourselves? The
resolution seems to have been, by that system
with which we are familiar, to be altered by
ourselves occasionally, and adapted to our
new situation. The proofs of this resolution
are to be found in the form of the oaths of
the judges, 1. Henings Stat. 169. 187: of the
Governor, ib. 504; in the act for a provisional
government, ib, 372; in the preamble to the
laws of 1661-2; the uniform current of opinions
and decisions, and in the general recognition
of all our statutes, framed on that
basis. But the state of the English law at
the date of our emigration, constituted
the system adopted here. We may doubt,
therefore, the propriety of quoting in our
courts English authorities subsequent to that
adoption; still more the admission of authorities
posterior to the Declaration of Independence,
or rather to the accession of that
King, whose reign, ab initio, was the very
tissue of wrongs which rendered the Declaration
at length necessary. The reason for it
had inception at least as far back as the commencement
of his reign. This relation to the
beginning of his reign, would add the advantage
of getting us rid of all Mansfield's
innovations, or civilizations of the Common
Law. For, however, I admit the superiority
of the civil over the common law code, as a
system of perfect justice, yet an incorporation
of the two would be like Nebuchadnezzar's
image of metals and clay, a thing without
cohesion of parts. The only natural improvement
of the common law, is through its
homogeneous ally, the Chancery, in which
new principles are to be examined, concocted
and digested. But when, by repeated decisions
and modifications, they are rendered pure
and certain, they should be transferred by
statute to the courts of common law and
placed within the pale of juries. The exclusion
from the courts of the malign influence
of all authorities after the Georgium Sidus became ascendant, would uncanonize Blackstone,
whose book, although the most elegant
and best digested of our law catalogue, has
been perverted more than all others, to the
degeneracy of legal science. A student finds
there a smattering of everything, and his indolence
easily persuades him that if he understands
that book, he is master of the whole
body of the law. The distinction between
these, and those who have drawn their stores
from the deep and rich mines of Coke on Littleton,
seems well understood even by the unlettered
common people who apply the appellation
of Blackstone lawyers to these
ephemeral insects of the law. [89]
To John Tyler. Washington ed. vi, 65.


W. G. Hammond, in his edition of Blackstone's
(i. 276) says:-“Jefferson and the party
he represented were always disposed to disown the
Common Law and claim their freedom as one of the
`rights of man', but the majority of the `rebels'
insisted only on what they considered their commonlaw
rights, and maintained that the English Colonists
had brought these with them over the sea. The Declaration
of Independence unites both positions in the
most skilful manner.”—Editor.

1444. COMMON LAW, The Constitution and.—

I consider all the encroachments made on the Constitution, heretofore, as
nothing, as mere retail stuff compared with
the wholesale doctrine, that there is a Common
Law in force in the United States of
which, and of all the cases within its provi


Page 164
sions, their courts have cognizance. [90] It is
complete consolidation. [Judges] Ellsworth
and Iredell have openly recognized it. [Bushrod] Washington has squinted at it, and
I have no doubt it has been decided to cram
it down our throats.—
To Charles Pinckney. Ford ed., vii, 398.
(M. Oct. 1799)


The subjoined extracts from Jefferson's Anas,
bear on the assertion of this doctrine in the United
States Senate:

1—Mr. Dexter, Mr. Hillhouse and Mr. Read insisted
[in the Senate] in the fullest and most explicit terms,
that the Common Law of England is in force in these
States, and may be the rule of adjudication in all
cases where the laws of the United States have made
no provision. Mr. Livermore seemed to urge the
same, though he seemed to think that in criminal cases it might be necessary to adopt by an express
law. Mr. Tracy was more reserved on this occasion.
He only said that Congress might by a law adopt
the provisions of the Common Law on any subjects
by a reference to that, without detailing the particulars;
as in this bill it was proposed that the marshals
should summon juries “according to the practice of
the Common Law”.
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 288. (April 1800.)

2—Dexter maintained that the Common Law as to
crimes is in force in the courts of the United States.
Chipman says that the principles of common right
are Common Law. And he says the Common Law
of England is in force here. There being no law in
Vermont for appointing juries which the marshal
can follow, he says he may appoint them as provided
by the Common Law of England, though that part
of the Common Law was never adopted in Vermont.
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 286. (March 19, 1800.)

3—Heretical doctrines maintained in Senate on
the motion against the Aurora * * * that the
Common Law authorizes the proceeding proposed
against the Aurora, and is in force here. By Read.
* * * Tracy says he would not exactly say that
the Common Law of England in all its extent is in
force here; but common sense, reason and morality,
which are the foundations of the Common Law, are
in force here and establish a Common Law. He held
himself so nearly half way between the Common
Law of England and what everybody else has called
natural law, and not Common Law, that he could
hold to either the one or the other, as he should find
expedient. Dexter maintained that the Common
Law, as to crimes, is in force in the United States.
Chipman says that the principles of common right
are Common Law.—
The Anas.ix, 198. Ford ed., i, 285. 1800)

4—The jury bill before the Senate. Mr. Read says
that, if from any circumstances of inaptitude the
marshal cannot appoint a jury analogously with
the State juries, the Common Law steps in, and he
may name them according to that. And March 12,
same bill, Mr. Chipman speaking of the case of Vermont,
where a particular mode of naming jurors
was in force under a former law of that State, when
the law of the United States passed declaring that
juries shall be appointed in their courts in the several
States in the mode “now” in use in the same
State. Vermont has since altered their mode of
naming them. Mr. Chipman admits the Federal
courts cannot adopt the new mode, but in that case
he says their marshal may name them according to
the rules of the Common Law. Now observe that
that is a part of the Common Law which Vermont
had never adopted, but, on the contrary, had made
a law of their own, better suited to their circumstances.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 286. (March 11,

5—See in the Wilmington Mirror of Feb. 14th, Mr.
Bayard's elaborate argument to prove that the Common
Law, as modified by the laws of the respective
States at the epoch of the ratification of the Constitution,
attached to the courts of the United States.—
The Anasix, 203. Ford ed., i, 291. (Feb. 1801.)

1445. COMMON LAW, Corruption and.

—I do verily believe, that if the principle were
to prevail, of a Common Law being in force
in the United States (which principle possesses
the General Government at once of all
the powers of the State governments, and
reduces us to a single consolidated government ),
it would become the most corrupt
government on the earth.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 331. Ford ed., vii, 451.
(M. Aug. 1800)

1446. COMMON LAW, Origin of.—

The term “common law,” although it has more
than one meaning, is perfectly definite, secundum
subjectam materiem.
Its most probable
origin was on the conquest of the Heptarchy
by Alfred, and the amalgamation of their several
codes of law into one, which became common
to them all. The authentic text of these
enactments has not been preserved; but their
substance has been committed to many ancient
books and writings, so faithfully as to have
been deemed genuine from generation to generation,
and obeyed as such by all. We have
some fragments of them collected by Lambard,
Wilkins and others, but abounding with
proofs of their spurious authenticity. Magna
Charta is the earliest statute, the text of
which has come down to us in an authentic
form, and thence downward we have them
entire. We do not know exactly when the
common law and statute law, the lex scripta
et non scripta,
began to be contra-distinguished,
so as to give a second acceptation
to the former term; whether before, or after
Prisot's day, at which time we know that
nearly two centuries and a half of statutes
were in preservation. In later times, on the
introduction of the chancery branch of law,
the term common law began to be used in a
third sense as the correlative of chancery law.—
To Edward Everett. Washington ed. vii, 382.
(M. 1824)

1447. COMMON LAW, State Laws and.

—On the settlement of the colonies now composing
the United States, and the settlement of a legislature in each of them, that legislature,
in some cases, finding that the enacting
a complete code of laws which should reach
every transaction needing legislation, would
be far beyond their time and abilities, adopted,
by an express act of their own, the laws of
England as they stood at that date, comprehending
the common law, statutes to that
period, and the chancery law. In other cases,
instead of adopting them by an express statute
of their own, they considered themselves as
having brought with them, and been, even on
their passage, under the constant obligation
of the laws of the mother country, and on
their arrival they continued to practice them
without any act of adoption, which practice
or usage is evidence that there was an adoption
by general consent. In the case of Connecticut,
they did not adopt the common law
of England at all as their basis, but declared
by an act of their own, that the law of God,
as it stood revealed in the Old and New Testaments,
should be the basis of their laws, to
be subject to such alterations as they should
make. In all the cases where the common
law, or laws of England, were adopted either
expressly or tacitly, the legislatures held of
course, and exercised the power of making
additions and alterations. As the different
States were settled at very different periods,
and the adoption for each State was the laws
of England as they stood at the moment of
the adoption by the State, it is evident that


Page 165
the system as adopted in 1607 by Virginia, was
one thing, as by Pennsylvania was another
thing, as by Georgia, in 1759, was still a different
one. And when to this is added the
very diversified modifications of the adopted
code, produced by the subsequent laws passed
by the legislatures of the different States, the
system of common law in force in any one
State on the 24th of September, 1789, when
Congress assumed the jurisdiction given them
by the Constitution, was very different from
the systems in force at the same moment in
the several other States: that in all of these
the common law was in force by virtue of
the adoption of the State, express or tacit, and
that it was not in force in Connecticut, because
they had never adopted it.—
Observations on Hardin's Case. Washington ed. ix, 485.
(Nov. 1812)

1448. COMMON LAW, United States Law and.—

Having settled by way of preliminary,
to what extent, and by what authority,
the common law of England is the law of
each of the States, we will proceed to consider
how far, and by what authority, it is the law
of the United States as a national government.
By the Constitution, the General Government
has jurisdiction in all cases arising
under the Constitution, under the ( constitutional )
laws of the United States, and under
treaties; in all cases, too, of ambassadors, of
admiralty jurisdiction, where the United
States is a party, between a State or its citizens,
or another State or its citizens, or foreign
State or its citizens. The General Government,
then, had a right to take under their
cognizance all these cases, and no others.
This might have been done by Congress, by
passing a complete code, assuming the whole
field of their jurisdiction, and by applying
uniformly to every State, without any respect
to the laws of that State. But, like the State
legislatures, who had been placed before in
a similar situation, they felt that it was a
work of too much time and difficulty to be
undertaken. Observing, therefore, that ( except
cases of piracy and murder on the high
seas) all the cases within the jurisdiction must
arise in some of the States, they declared
by the act of September, 24, 1789. C. 20 §
34, “that the laws of the several States, except
where the Constitution, treaties, or statutes
of the United States shall otherwise provide,
shall be regarded as rules of decision in
trials at common law in the courts of the
United States in cases where they apply.”
Here, then, Congress adopted for each State
the laws of that State; and among the laws so
adopted were portions of the common law,
greater or less in different States, and in force,
not by any innate authority of its own, but by
the adoption or enacting of it by the State
authority. Now what was the opinion to
which this was opposed? Several judges of
the General Government declared that “the
common law of England is the unwritten
law of the United States in their national and
federal capacity.” A State judge, in a printed
work, lays it down as “certainly wrong to
say that the judiciary power of the nation can
exercise no authority but what depends for
its principle on acts of the national legislature.
” And then, quoting the preamble to
the Constitution of the United States, which
says that its object is, “to insure domestic
tranquillity, promote the general welfare”
&c., he adds, that “what is here expressed is
the common law of the whole country,” and
that “whatever is in opposition to it, whether
treason, insurrection, sedition, murder, riot,
assaults, batteries, thefts or robberies, may be
punished as crimes, independent of any act of
Congress.” And opinions equivalent to these
were declared by one party on the floor of
Congress. This is the doctrine which the republicans
declared heretical. They deny that
Congress can pass any law not authorized by
the Constitution, and that the judges can act
on any law not authorized by Congress, or by
the Constitution in very direct terms. If the
true doctrine then be, that certain portions
of the common and statute law of England
be in force in the different States by virtue of
the adoption in that State, and in the Federal
courts of the same State by virtue of the adoption
by Congress of the laws of that State
within its limits, then whenever a case is
presented to a Federal court, they are to ask
themselves the following questions: 1. Is this
case within any of the definitions of jurisdiction
given by the Constitution to the General
Government? If it be decided that it is, then,
2. Has Congress by any positive statute assumed
cognizance of this case as permitted
them by the Constitution? To determine this
question, the judge must first look into the
statutes of Congress generally; if he finds it
not there, he must look into the laws of the
State, as well as that portion of the English
code which the State may have adopted, as
the acts passed specially by the legislature.
If the case be actually found provided for
in these laws, another question still remains,
viz.: 3. Is the law of the State applicable to
the analogous case of the General Government?
for it may happen that a law of the
State, adapted perfectly to its own organization
and local circumstances, may not tally
with the different organizations or circumstances
of the Federal government. If the
difference be such as to defeat the application,
it must be considered as a case
unprovided for by Congress, and not cognizable
in their courts. Just so parts
of the common or statute law of England
are found by the State judges inapplicable
to their State from a difference of
circumstances. These differences of circumstances
will be shaded off from nothing to
direct inconsistence, and it will be only by
many decisions on a great variety of cases
that the line will at length be drawn. Let
us apply these questions to Hardin's case,
which is simply this: Congress by an express
statute, 1802, c. 13, § 6, have made the murder
of an Indian within the territory of the
United States, punishable by death. A murder
is committed on an Indian in that territory.
The murderers fly to Kentucky. They
are demanded by the Governor of Indiana of
the Governor of Kentucky; under whose


Page 166
authority our officer attempting to take them,
they were protected by Hardin and others in
arms. 1. Is this case within the jurisdiction
of Congress? Answer. Congress having a
right “to make all rules and regulations respecting
the territory of the United States,”
have declared this to be a case of murder. As
they can “make all laws necessary and proper
for carrying their power into execution,”
they can make the protecting a murderer criminal
in any part of the United States. 2. Has
Congress assumed cognizance of the offence
of Hardin? We must first examine whether
the act of Congress, 1799. c. 9, § 22, takes in
this offence. Then whether the laws of Kentucky,
common, statute, or State law, as
adopted by Congress comprehend this offence.
3. Whether any difference of organization or
other circumstance renders the law of Kentucky
inapplicable to this offence, can be decided
by those only who are particularly acquainted
with that law.—
Observations on Hardin's Case. Washington ed. ix, 486.
(Nov. 1812)

1449. COMMON LAW, United States Law and.—[continued].

I read the sixth chapter
of your book with interest and satisfaction, on
the question whether the common law (of
England) makes a part of the laws of our
General Government. That it makes more
or less a part of the laws of the States is,
I suppose, an unquestionable fact. Not by
birthright, * * * but by adoption. But, as to
the General Government, the Virginia Report
on the Alien and Sedition laws, has so
completely pulverized this pretension that
nothing new can be said on it. Still, seeing
the judges of the Supreme Court (I recollect,
for example, Ellsworth and Story) had been
found capable of such paralogism, I was glad
to see that the Supreme Court had given it
up. In the case of Libel in the United States
District Court of Connecticut, the rejection of
it was certainly sound; because no law of the
General Government had made it an offence.
But such a case might, I suppose, be sustained
in the State courts which have State laws
against libels. Because as to the portions of
power within each State assigned to the General
Government, the President is as much the
Executive of the State, as their particular
governor is in relation to State powers.—
To Mr. Goodenow. Washington ed. vii, 251.
(M. 1822)

1450. COMMON SENSE, Authority and.—

Common sense is the foundation of all
authorities, of the laws themselves, and of
their construction.—
Batture Case. Washington ed. viii, 575.

1451. COMMON SENSE, Confidence in.

—I have great confidence in the common
sense of mankind in general.—
To Jeremiah Moor. Ford ed., vii, 455.
(M. 1800)

1452. COMMON SENSE, Kings and.—

No race of kings has ever presented above one
man of common sense in twenty generations.
To Benjamin Hawkins. Washington ed. ii, 221. Ford ed., iv, 426.
(P. 1787)

1453. COMMON SENSE, Safety in.—

can never fear that things will go far wrong
where common sense has fair play.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 73.
(P. 1786)

1454. COMMON SENSE, Safety in.—[continued].

Let common sense and
common honesty have fair play and they will
soon set things to rights.—
To Ezra Stiles. Washington ed. ii, 77.
(P. 1786)

1455. COMMON SENSE, Stock-jobbing and.—

Happy if the victims of the stock-jobbers
now * * * get back into the tract of
plain, unsophisticated common sense which
they ought never to have been decoyed from.—
To Nicholas Lewis. Ford ed., v, 508.
(Pa., 17921792)gt;

See Sense.

1456. COMPACT, The Federal.—

States in North America which confederated
to establish their independence of the Government
of Great Britain, of which Virginia was
one, became, on that acquisition free and independent
States, and as such, authorized to
constitute governments, each for itself, in
such form as it thought best. They entered
into a compact (which is called the Constitution
of the United States of America),
by which they agreed to unite in a single
government as to their relations with each
other and with foreign nations, and as to certain
other articles particularly specified. They
retained at the same time, each to itself the
other rights of independent government, comprehending
mainly their domestic interests.
For the administration of their Federal
branch, they agreed to appoint, in conjunction,
a distinct set of functionaries, legislative, executive
and judiciary, in the manner settled in
that compact: while to each, severally, and
of course remained its original right of appointing,
each for itself, a separate set of
functionaries, legislative, executive and judiciary,
also for administering the domestic
branch of their respective governments.
These two sets of officers, each independent
of the other, constitute thus a whole of government,
for each State separately; the powers
ascribed to the one, as specifically made
federal, exercisable over the whole, the residuary
powers, retained to the other, exercisable
exclusively over its particular
State, foreign herein, each to the others,
as they were before the original compact.—
Declaration and Protest of Virginia. Washington ed. ix, 496. Ford ed., x, 349.
(Dec. 1825)

1457. COMPACTS, Enforcing.—

The coercive
powers supposed to be wanting in the
federal head I am of opinion they possess by
the law of nature, which authorizes one party
to an agreement to compel the other to performance.
A delinquent State makes itself
a party against the rest of the confederacy.—
To Edward Randolph. Washington ed. ii, 211.
(P. 1787)
See Coercion.

1458. COMPACTS, Infractions of.—

in all other cases of compact among powers
having no common judge, each party has an
equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions
as of the mode and measure of redress.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 465. Ford ed., vii, 292.

1459. COMPACTS, Infractions of.—[continued].

Where a party from
necessity or danger withholds compliance with
part of a treaty, it is bound to make com


Page 167
pensation where the nature of the case admits
and does not dispense with it.—
Opinion on French Treaties. Washington ed. vii, 617. Ford ed., vi, 224.

1460. COMPACTS, Self-preservation and.—

Obligation is [to observe compacts] not suspended till the danger [of self-preservation] is become real, and the moment of it
so imminent, that we can no longer avoid decision
without forever losing the opportunity
to do it.—
Opinion on French Treaties. Washington ed. vii, 615. Ford ed., vi, 222.

1461. COMPACTS, Straining.—

strong the cord of compact may be, there is a
point of tension at which it will break.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 404.
(M. 1825)
See Treaties.

1462. COMPROMISE, Necessity of.—

is necessary to give as well as take in a government
like ours.—
To George Mason. Washington ed. iii, 147. Ford ed., v, 184.
(N.Y., 1790)


see the necessity of sacrificing our opinions
sometimes to the opinions of others for the
sake of harmony.—
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., v, 194.
(N.Y., 1790)

1464. COMPROMISE OF OPINION.—[continued].

A government held together
by the bands of reason only, requires
much compromise of opinion; that things
even salutary should not be crammed down
the throats of dissenting brethren, especially
when they may be put into a form to be willingly
swallowed, and that a great deal of indulgence
is necessary to strengthen habits of
harmony and fraternity.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 343. Ford ed., x, 301.
(M. 1824)


See Shells.

1465. CONCILIATION, Coalition and.

—If we can hit on the true line of conduct
which may conciliate the honest part of those
who were called federalists, and do justice to
those who have so long been excluded from it,
I shall hope to be able to obliterate, or rather
to unite the names of federalists and republicans.—
To Horatio Gates. Ford ed., viii, II.
(W. March. 1801)

1466. CONCILIATION, Principle and.

—My inaugural address * * * will present
the leading objects to be conciliation and adherence
to sound principle. This, I know, is
impracticable with the leaders of the late faction,
whom I abandon as incurables, and will
never turn an inch out of my way to reconcile
them. But with the main body of the federalists,
I believe it very practicable.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 367. Ford ed., viii, 8.
(W. March. 1801)

1467. CONCILIATION, Principle and. [continued].

After the first unfavorable
impressions of doing too much [91] in the
opinion of some, and too little in that of
others, shall be got over. I should hope a
steady line of conciliation very practicable, and
that without yielding a single republican prin
ciple. A certainty that these principles prevailed
in the breasts of the main body of federalists,
was my motive for stating them as
the ground of reunion.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 384. Ford ed., viii, 32.
(W. March. 1801)


With respect to appointments and removals.——Editor.


See Sympathy.

1468. CONDORCET (M. J. A. N. C. de), Genius of.—

I am glad the bust of Condorcet
has been saved. His genius should be before
us; while the lamentable, but singular act of
ingratitude which tarnished his latter days, May
be thrown behind us.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 141. Ford ed., x, 145.
(M. 1819)

1469. CONDUCT, Advice as to.—

Be very
select in the society you attach yourself to;
avoid taverns, drinkers, smokers, idlers, and
dissipated persons generally * * * and
you will find your path more easy and tranquil.—
To Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Washington ed. v, 391. Ford ed., ix, 233.
(W. 1808)

1470. CONDUCT, Advice as to.—[continued].

A determination never
to do what is wrong, prudence and good humor,
will go far towards securing to you the estimation
of the world. When I recollect that at
fourteen years of age, the whole care and direction
of myself was thrown on myself entirely,
without a relation or friend qualified to
advise or guide me, and recollect the various
sorts of bad company with which I associated
from time to time, I am astonished I did not
turn off with some of them, and become as
worthless to society as they were. I had the
good fortune to become acquainted very early
with some characters of very high standing, and
to feel the incessant wish that I could ever become
what they were. Under temptations and
difficulties, I would ask myself what would Dr.
Small, Mr. Wythe, Peyton Randolph do in this
situation? What course in it will insure me
their approbation? I am certain that this mode
of deciding on my conduct, tended more to its
correctness than any reasoning powers I possessed.
Knowing the even and dignified line
they pursued, I could never doubt for a moment
which of two courses would be in character for
them. Whereas, seeking the same object
through a process of moral reasoning, and with
the jaundiced eye of youth, I should often have
erred. From the circumstances of my position,
I was often thrown into the society of horse
racers, card players, fox hunters, scientific and
professional men, and of dignified men; and
many a time have I asked myself, in the enthusiastic
moment of the death of a fox, the victory
of a favorite horse, the issue of a question
eloquently argued at the bar, or in the great
council of the nation, well, which of these kinds
of reputation should I prefer? That of a horse
jockey? a fox hunter? an orator? or the honest
advocate of my country's rights? Be assured,
my dear Jefferson, that these little returns into
ourselves, this self-catechising habit, is not trifling
nor useless, but leads to the prudent selection
and steady pursuit of what is right.—
To Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Washington ed. v, 388. Ford ed., ix, 231.
(W. 1808)

1471. CONFEDERATION, The Articles of.—

On Friday, July 12 [1776], the committee
appointed to draw the Articles of Confederation
reported them, and, on the 22d, the
House resolved themselves into a committee
to take them into consideration. On the 30th
and 31st of that month, and 1st of the ensuing,


Page 168
those Articles were debated which determined
the proportion, or quota, of money
which each State should furnish to the common
treasury, and the manner of voting in
Congress. The first of these Articles was
expressed in the original draft in these words.
“Art. XI. All charges of war and all other
expenses that shall be incurred for the common
defence, or general welfare, and allowed
by the United States assembled, shall be defrayed
out of a common treasury, which shall
be supplied by the several colonies in proportion
to the number of inhabitants of every age,
sex, and quality, except Indians not paying
taxes, in each Colony, a true account of
which, distinguishing the white inhabitants,
shall be triennially taken and transmitted to
the Assembly of the United States.” * * * [Here follows Jefferson's report of the debates,
printed in the Appendix to this volume.] These Articles, reported July 12, '76, were
debated from day to day and time to time, for
two years, were ratified July 9, '78, by ten
States, by New Jersey on the 26th of November
of the same year, and by Delaware on the
23d of February following. Maryland alone
held off two years more, acceding to them
March 1, '81, and thus closing the obligation.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 26. Ford ed., i, 38.

1472. CONFEDERATION, Commerce and.—

Congress, by the Confederation, have
no original and inherent power over the commerce
of the States. But, by the 9th article,
we are authorized to enter into treaties of
commerce. The moment these treaties are
concluded, the jurisdiction of Congress over
the commerce of the States springs into exisence,
and that of the particular States is
superseded so far as the articles of the treaty
may have taken up the subject. There are
two restrictions only, on the exercise of the
power of treaty by Congress. 1st. That they
shall not, by such treaty, restrain the legislatures
of the States from imposing such duties
on foreigners as their own people are subject
to; nor, 2ndly, from prohibiting the exportation
or importation of any particular species of
goods. Leaving these two points free, Congress
may, by treaty, establish any system of
commerce they please; but, as I before observed,
it is by treaty alone they can do it.
Though they may exercise their other powers
by resolution or ordinance, those over commerce
can only be exercised by forming a
treaty, and this probably by an accidental
wording of our Confederation.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 349. Ford ed., iv, 54.
(P. 1785)

See Treaties.

1473. CONFEDERATION, Congress under the.—

Our body [the Confederation
Congress] was little numerous, but very contentious.
Day after day was wasted on the
most unimportant questions. My colleague
[John F.] Mercer, was one of those afflicted
with the morbid rage of debate, of an ardent
mind, prompt imagination, and copious flow
of words, who heard with impatience any logic
which was not his own. Sitting near me on
some occasion of a trifling but wordy debate,
he asked how I could sit in silence, hearing so
much false reasoning, which a word should
refute? I observed to him, that to refute was
easy, but to silence was impossible; that in
measures brought forward by myself, I took
the laboring oar, as was incumbent on me;
but that in general, I was willing to listen;
that if every sound argument or objection was
used by some one or other of the numerous
debaters, it was enough; if not, I thought it
sufficient to suggest the omission, without going
into a repetition of what had been already
said by others; that this was a waste and
abuse of the time and patience of the House,
which could not be justified. And I believe,
that if the members of deliberative bodies
were to observe this course generally, they
would do in a day what takes them a week;
and it is really more questionable, than may at
first be thought, whether Bonaparte's dumb
legislature which said nothing and did much,
may not be preferable to one which talks
much and does nothing.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 58. Ford ed., i, 81.

See Congress.

— CONFEDERATION, Consuls and.—

See Consuls.

— CONFEDERATION, Debates on Articles.—

See Appendix.

1474. CONFEDERATION, Defects of.—

There are some alterations which experience
proves to be wanting. Those are principally
three. 1. To establish a general rule for
the admission of new States into the Union.
* * * 2. The Confederation, in its eighth article,
decides that the quota of money, to be
contributed by the several States, shall be in
proportion to the value of the landed property
in the State. Experience has shown it impracticable
to come at this value. Congress
have, therefore, recommended to the States
to agree that their quotas shall be in proportion
to the number of their inhabitants, counting
five slaves, however, but as equal to
three free inhabitants. 3. The Confederation
forbids the States individually to enter
into treaties of commerce, or of any other
nature, with foreign nations; and it authorizes
Congress to establish such treaties,
with two reservations however, viz., that they
shall agree to no treaty which would, 1, restrain
the legislatures from imposing such
duties on foreigners as matters are subject
to; or 2, from prohibiting the exportation or
importation of any species of commodities.
Congress may, therefore, be said to have a
power to regulate commerce, so far as it
can be effected by conventions with other
nations, and by conventions which do not
infringe the two fundamental reservations
before mentioned. But this is too imperfect.
Because till a convention be made
with any particular nation, the commerce of
any one of our States with that nation
may be regulated by the State itself, and
even when a convention is made, the regulation
of commerce is taken out of the hands
of the several States only so far as it is covered
or provided for by that convention or


Page 169
treaty. But treaties are made in such general
terms, that the greater part of the regulations
would still result to the legislatures. * * * The commerce of the, States cannot be regulated
to the best advantage but by a single
body, and no body so proper as Congress.
* * *—
Answers to M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 285. Ford ed., iv, 141.
(P. 1786)

1475. CONFEDERATION, Defects of.—[continued].

Its greatest defect is the
imperfect manner in which matters of commerce
have been provided for.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 217. Ford ed., iv, 424.
(P. 1787)

1476. CONFEDERATION, Defects of.—[further continued].

The fundamental defect of the Confederation was that Congress was
not authorized to act immediately on the people,
and by its own officers. Their power was
only requisitory, and these requisitions were
addressed to the several Legislatures, to be
by them carried into execution, without other
coercion than the moral principle of duty.
This allowed in fact a negative to every Legislature,
on every measure proposed by Congress;
a negative so frequently exercised in
practice as to benumb the action of the Federal
Government, and to render it inefficient
in its general objects, and more especially in
pecuniary and foreign concerns. The want,
too, of a separation of the Legislative, Executive,
and Judiciary functions, worked disadvantageously
in practice. Yet this state of
things afforded a happy augury of the future
march of our confederacy, when it was seen
that the good sense and good dispositions of
the people, as soon as they perceived the incompetence
of their first compact, instead
of leaving its correction to insurrection and
civil war, agreed with one voice to elect deputies
to a general Convention, who should
peaceably meet and agree on such a Constitution
as “would ensure peace, justice, liberty,
the common defence and general welfare.”—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 78. Ford ed., i, 108.

1477. CONFEDERATION, Distribution of Powers.—

To make us one nation as to foreign concerns, and keep us distinct in domestic
ones, gives the outline of the proper
division of power between the general and
particular governments. But, to enable the
Federal head to exercise the power given it,
to best advantage, it should be organized, as
the particular ones are, into legislative, Executive
and Judiciary. The first and last are
already separated. The second should also be.
When last with Congress, I often proposed to
members to do this, by making of the Committees
of the States, an Executive Committee
during the recess of Congress, and, during
its sessions, to appoint a Committee to receive
and despatch all executive business, so
that Congress itself should meddle only with
what should be legislative. But I question if
any Congress (much less all successively)
can have self-denial enough to go through
with this distribution. The distribution, then,
should be imposed on them.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 66. Ford ed., iv, 333.
(P. Dec. 1786)

— CONFEDERATION, Executive Committee for.—

See 1477.

1478. CONFEDERATION, Failure of.—

Our first essay, in America, to establish a federative
government had fallen, on trial, very
short of its object. During the war of Independence,
while the pressure of an external
enemy hooped us together, and their enterprises
kept us necessarily on the alert, the
spirit of the people, excited by danger, was a
supplement to the Confederation, and urged
them to zealous exertions, whether claimed by
that instrument, or not; but, when peace and
safety were restored, and every man became
engaged in useful and profitable occupation,
less attention was paid to the calls of Congress.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 78. Ford ed., i, 107.

1479. CONFEDERATION, Financial Embarrassments under.—

Mr. Adams, while
residing at the Hague, had a general authority
to borrow what sums might be
requisite for ordinary and necessary expenses.
Interest on the public debt, and the maintenance
of the diplomatic establishment in Europe,
had been habitually provided in this
way. He was now elected Vice-President of
the United States, was soon to return to
America, and had referred our bankers to me
for future counsel on our affairs in their
hands. But I had no powers, no instructions,
no means, and no familiarity with the subject.
It had always been exclusively under his
management, except as to occasional and partial
deposits in the hands of Mr. Grand,
banker in Paris, for special and local purposes.
These last had been exhausted for
some time, and I had frequently pressed the
Treasury Board to replenish this particular
deposit, as Mr. Grand now refused to make
further advances. They answered candidly
that no funds could be obtained until the
new government should get into action, and
have time to make its arrangements. Mr.
Adams had received his appointment to the
court of London while engaged at Paris, with
Dr. Franklin and myself, in the negotiations
under our joint commissions. He had repaired
thence to London, without returning to
the Hague to take leave of that government.
He thought it necessary, however, to do so
now, before he should leave Europe, and accordingly
went there. I learned of his departure
from London by a letter from Mrs.
Adams received on the very day on which he
would arrive at the Hague. A consultation
with him, and some provision for the future
was indispensable, while we could yet avail
ourselves of his powers; for when they would
be gone, we should be without resource. I
was daily dunned by a Company who had
formerly made a small loan to the United
States, the principal of which was now become
due; and our bankers in Amsterdam
had notified me that the interest on our general
debt would be expected in June; that if
we failed to pay it, it would be deemed an
act of bankruptcy and would effectually destroy
the credit of the United States and all
future prospect of obtaining money there;
that the loan they had been authorized to
open, of which a third only was filled, had


Page 170
now ceased to get forward and rendered desperate
that hope of resource. I saw that there
was not a moment to lose, and set out for the
Hague on the second morning after receiving
the information of Mr. Adams's journey.
* * * Mr. Adams concurred with me at once
in opinion that something must be done, and
that we ought to risk ourselves on doing it
without instructions, to save the credit of the
United States. We foresaw that before the
new government could be adopted, assembled,
establish its financial system, get the
money into the Treasury and place it in Europe,
considerable time would elapse; that,
therefore, we had better provide at once for
the years 1788, 1789 and 1790 in order to
place our government at its ease, and our
credit in security, during that trying interval.
We set out * * * for Amsterdam.

I had prepared an estimate showing that:

There would be necessary for the
year '88 
531.937-10 Florins 
There would be necessary for the
year '89 
538.540 Florins 
There would be necessary for the
year '90 
473.540 Florins 
Total  1.544.017-10 Florins 
To meet this the bankers had in
79.268-2-8 florins 
And the unsold bonds would yield  542.800 florins 
622.068-2-8 florins 
Leaving a deficit of  921.949-7-4 florins 
We proposed then to borrow a
million, yielding 
920.000 florins 
Which would leave a small deficiency
1.949-7-4 florins 

Mr. Adams accordingly executed 1000
bonds, for 1000 florins each and deposited
them in the hands of our bankers, with instructions,
however, not to issue them until
Congress should ratify the measure. * * * I had the satisfaction to reflect that by this
journey our credit was secured, the new government
was placed at ease for two years to
come and that, as well as myself, relieved
from the torment of incessant duns, whose
just complaints could not be silenced by any
means within our power.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 83. Ford ed., i, 114.

1480. CONFEDERATION, Franklin's plan for.—

I was absent from Congress from
the beginning of January, 1776, to the middle
of May. Either just before I left Congress,
or immediately on my return to it (I rather
think it was the former), Dr. Franklin put
into my hands the draft of a plan of Confederation,
desiring me to read it, and tell him
what I thought of it. I approved it highly.
He showed it to others. Some thought as I
did; others were revolted at it. We found it
could not be passed, and the proposing it
to Congress as the subject for any vote
whatever would startle many members so
much, that they would suspect we had lost
sight of reconciliation with Great Britain,
and that we should lose much more
ground than we should gain by the proposition.
Yet, that the idea of a more firm
bond of union than the undefined one under
which we then acted might be suggested and
permitted to grow, Dr. Franklin informed
Congress that he had sketched the outlines of
an instrument which might become necessary
at a future day, if the ministry continued pertinacious,
and would ask leave for it to lay
on the table of Congress, that the members
might in the meantime be turning the subject
in their minds, and have something more
perfect prepared by the time it should become
necessary. This was agreed to by the more
timid members, only on condition that no
entry whatever should be made in the journals
of Congress relative to this instrument.
This was to continue in force only till a
reconciliation with Great Britain. This is all
that ever was done or proposed in Congress
on the subject of a Confederation before June,
1776, when the proposition was regularly
made to Congress, a committee appointed to
draw an instrument of Confederation, who
accordingly drew one, very considerably differing
from the sketch of Dr. Franklin.—
Notes on M. Soulés's Work. Washington ed. ix, 303. Ford ed., iv, 310.
(P. 1786)

1481. CONFEDERATION, Jealousy of government under.—

Our first federal constitution,
or Confederation, as it was called,
was framed in the first moments of our separation
from England, in the highest point of
our jealousies of independence as to her, and
as to each other. It formed, therefore, too
weak a bond to produce an union of action
as to foreign nations. This appeared at once
on the establishment of peace, when the pressure
of a common enemy which had hooped
us together during the war, was taken away.
Congress was found to be quite unable to
point the action of the several States to a
common object. A general desire, therefore,
took place of amending the federal constitution.—
To C. D. Ebeling. Ford ed., vii, 45.

1482. CONFEDERATION, Money requisitions and.—

Among the debilities of the
government of the Confederation, no one was
more distinguished or more distressing than
the utter impossibility of obtaining, from the
States, the moneys necessary for the payment
of debts, or even for the ordinary expenses
of the government. Some contributed
a little, some less, and some nothing, and the
last furnished at length an excuse for the
first to do nothing also.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 82. Ford ed., i, 114.

1483. CONFEDERATION, Perfection of.—

The confederation is a wonderfully perfect
instrument considering the circumstances
under which it was formed.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 285. Ford ed., iv, 141.
(P. 1786)

1484. CONFEDERATION, Perfection of.—[continued].

With all the imperfections
of our present government, it is without
comparison the best existing, or that ever did exist.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 217. Ford ed., iv, 424.
(P. 1787)

1485. CONFEDERATION, Representation under.—

I learn from our delegates that
the Confederation is again on the carpet, a
great and a necessary work, but I fear al


Page 171
most desperate. The point of representation
is what most alarms me, and I fear the great
and small colonies are bitterly determined not
to cede. Will you be so good as to collect the
proposition I formerly made you in private,
and try if you can work it into some good
to save our union? It was, that any proposition
might be negatived by the representatives
of a majority of the people of America,
or of a majority of the Colonies of America.
The former secures the larger; the latter,
the smaller Colonies. I have mentioned
it to many here [Williamsburg]. The good
Whigs, I think, will so far cede their opinions
for the sake of the union, and others we
care little for.—
To John Adams. Ford ed., ii, 130.
(Wg. May. 1777)

1486. CONFEDERATION, State Coercion and.—

It has often been said that the
decisions of Congress are impotent because the
Confederation provides no compulsory power.
But when two or more nations enter into
compact, it is not usual for them to say what
shall be done to the party who infringes it.
Decency forbids this, and it is as unnecessary
as indecent, because the right of compulsion
naturally results to the party injured by the
breach. When any one State in the American
Union refuses obedience to the confederation
by which they have bound themselves,
the rest have a natural right to compel them
to obedience. Congress would probably exercise
long patience before they would recur
to force; but if the case ultimately required
it, they would use that recurrence. Should
this case ever arise, they will probably coerce
by a naval force, as being more easy, less
dangerous to liberty, and less likely to produce
much bloodshed.—
To M. de Meunier, Washington ed. ix, 291. Ford ed., iv, 147.
(P. 1786)
See Coercion.

1487. CONFEDERATION, The States' Committee.—

The Committee of the States,
which shall be appointed pursuant to the 9th
article of Confederation and perpetual union,
to sit in the recess of Congress for transacting
the business of the United States, shall
possess all the powers which may be exercised
by seven States in Congress assembled. except
that of sending ambassadors, ministers,
envoys, resident-consuls or agents to foreign
countries or courts: Establishing rules for deciding
what captures on land or water shall
be legal, and in what manner prizes, taken by
land or naval forces in the service of the
United States, shall be divided or appropriated:
Establishing courts for receiving and
determining finally appeals in cases of capture,
constituting courts for deciding disputes
and differences arising between two or
more States: Fixing the standard of weights
and measures for the United States: Changing
the rate of postage on the papers passing
through the post-offices established by Congress,
and of repealing or travening any
ordinance or act passed by Congress. No
question except for adjourning from day to
day shall be determined without the concurrence
of nine votes. A chairman to be
chosen by the Committee shall preside. The
officers of Congress, when required, shall
attend on the Committee. The Committee
shall keep a journal of their proceedings, to
be laid before Congress, and in these journals,
which shall be published monthly, and transmitted
to the Executives of the several States,
shall be entered the yeas and nays of the
members, when any one of them shall have
desired it before the question be put.—
Report on Com. of the States. Ford ed., iii, 392.
(Jan. 1784)

1488. CONFEDERATION, The States' Committee.—[continued].

As the Confederation
had made no provision for a visible head of
the government during the vacations of Congress,
and such a one was necessary to superintend
the executive business, to receive and
communicate with foreign ministers and nations,
and to assemble Congress on sudden
and extraordinary emergencies, I proposed
early in April [April 14, 1784] the appointment
of a committee, to be called the Committee
of the States, to consist of a member from
each State, who should remain in session
during the recess of Congress: that the functions
of Congress should be divided into executive
and legislative, the latter to be reserved,
and the former by a general resolution
to be delegated to that Committee. This
proposition was afterwards agreed to.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 54. Ford ed., i, 75.

1489. CONFEDERATION, The States' Committee.—[further continued].

A Committee [of the States] was appointed who entered on duty
on the subsequent adjournment of Congress
[in 1784], quarrelled very soon, split, into two
parties, abandoned their post, and left the
government without any visible head until the
next meeting in Congress. [92] We have since
seen the same thing take place in the Directory
of France; and I believe it will forever
take place in any Executive consisting of a
plurality. Our plan best, I believe, combines
wisdom and practicability, by providing a
plurality of Counsellors, but a single Arbiter
for ultimate decision.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 54. Ford ed., i, 75.


Jefferson adds that in speaking of this disruption
of the Committee with Franklin in Paris, the latter
told the famous story of the Eddystone lighthouse

— CONFIDENCE, Public.—

See Public

1490. CONFISCATION, George III. and.—

He has incited treasonable insurrections
of our fellow citizens, with the allurements
of forfeiture and confiscation of our
property. [93]
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Struck out by Congress.—Editor.

1491. CONFISCATION, Loyalist Refugees and.—

The British court had it extremely
at heart to procure a restitution of the estates
of the refugees who had gone over to
their side [in the Revolution]; they proposed
it in the first conferences [on the treaty of
peace], and insisted on it to the last. Our
Commissioners, on the other hand, refused
it from first to last, urging, 1st, that it was
unreasonable to restore the confiscated property
of the refugees unless they would reim


Page 172
burse the destruction of the property of our
citizens, committed on their part; and 2dly,
that it was beyond the powers of the commissioners
to stipulate, or of Congress to enforce.
On this point, the treaty hung long. It was
the subject of a special mission of a confidential
agent of the British negotiator from Paris
to London. It was still insisted on, on his
return, and still protested against, by our
commissioners; and when they were urged
to agree only, that Congress should recommend
to the State Legislatures to restore the
estates, &c., of the refugees, they were expressly
told that the Legislatures would not
regard the recommendation. In proof of this,
I subjoin extracts from the letters and journals
of Mr. Adams and Dr. Franklin, two of
our commissioners, the originals of which are
among the records of the Department of
State. * * * These prove, beyond all question,
that the difference between an express agreement
to do a thing and to recommend it to
be done, was well understood by both parties,
and that the British negotiators were put on
their guard by those on our part, not only
that the Legislatures will be free to refuse, but
that they probably would refuse. And it
is evident from all circumstances, that Mr.
Oswald accepted the recommendation merely
to have something to oppose to the clamors of
the refugees—to keep alive a hope in them
that they might yet get their property from
the State Legislatures; and that if they should
fail in this, they would have ground to demand
indemnification from their own government;
and he might think it a circumstance
of present relief at least, that the question of
indemnification by them should be kept out of
sight, till time and events should open it
upon the nation insensibly. The same was
perfectly understood by the British ministry,
and by the members of both Houses in Parliament,
as well those who advocated, as those
who opposed the treaty; the latter of whom,
being out of the secrets of the negotiation,
must have formed their judgment on the mere
import of the terms. [94]
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 372. Ford ed., vi. 18.
(Pa., May. 1792)


The extract is from Jefferson's reply to Mr. Hammond,
the British minister, on the infraction of the
treaty of peace. A summary of the confiscation laws
of the different colonies is given in this masterly
State paper.—Editor.

1492. CONFISCATION, Principles Underlying.—

It cannot be denied that the state
of war strictly permits a nation to seize the
property of its enemies found within its own
limits, or taken in war, and in whatever form
it exists whether in action or possession.
This is so perspicuously laid down by one
of the most respectable writers on subjects of
this kind, that I shall use his words. “Since
it is a condition of war, that enemies may be
deprived of all their rights, it is reasonable
that everything of an enemy's, found among
his enemies, should change its owner, and go
to the treasury. It is, moreover, usually directed,
in all declarations of war, that the
goods of enemies, as well those found among
as those taken in war, shall be confiscated.
If we follow the mere right of war, even im movable property may be sold, and its price
carried into the treasury, as is the custom
with movable property. But in almost all
Europe, it is only notified that their profits,
during the war, shall be received by the treasury;
and the war being ended, the immovable
property itself is restored, by agreement, to
the former owner.” Bynkersh. Quest. Jur.
Pub. L. i. c. 7. Every nation, indeed, would
wish to pursue the latter practice, if under
circumstances leaving them their usual resources.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 369. Ford ed., vi, 15.
(Pa., May. 1792)

1493. CONFISCATION, The Revolution

and.—The circumstances of our war were
without example; excluded from all commerce,
even with neutral nations, withoutarms,
money, or the means of getting them abroad,
we were obliged to avail ourselves of such reources
as we found at home. Great Britain,
too, did not consider it as an ordinary war,
but a rebellion; she did not conduct it according
to the rules of war, established by the law
of nations, but according to her acts of parliament,
made from time to time, to suit circumstances.
She would not admit our title
even to the strict rights of ordinary war; she
cannot then claim from us its liberalities; yet
the confiscations of property were by no means
universal, and that of debts still less so.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 369. Ford ed., vi, 16.
(Pa., May. 1792)

1494. CONGRESS, Adjournment.—

Houses of Congress hold [the right of adjournment],
not from the Constitution, but
from nature. [95]
Official Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 499. Ford ed., v, 209.

See Adjournment.


In all the extracts respecting the National Legislature,
the date sufficiently indicates the particular
Congress—Continental, Federal, or Confederation,
and United States,—to which Jefferson referred.——Editor.

1495. CONGRESS, Adjournment.—[continued].

The right of adjournment
is not given by the Constitution, and
consequently, it may be modified by law without
interfering with that instrument.—
Official Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 498. Ford ed., v, 208.

1496. CONGRESS, The Administration

and.—I do not mean that any gentleman, relinquishing
his own judgment, should implicitly
support all the measures of the administration,
but that, where he does not disapprove
of them, he should not suffer them
to go off in sleep, but bring them to the attention
of the House, and give them a fair
chance. Where he disapproves, he will of
course leave them to be brought forward by
those who concur in the sentiment. Shall I
explain my idea by an example? The classification
of the militia was communicated to
General Varnum and yourself merely as a
preposition which, if you approved, it was
trusted you would support. I knew, indeed,
that General Varnum was opposed to anything
which might break up the present organization
of the militia; but when so modified
as to avoid this, I thought he might,
perhaps, be reconciled to it. As soon as I


Page 173
found it did not coincide with your sentiments,
I could not wish you to support it; but
using the same freedom of opinion, I procured
it to be brought forward elsewhere.—
To Mr. Bidwell. Washington ed. v, 15.
(W. 1806)

1497. CONGRESS, The Administration [continued].

If members of Congress
are to know nothing but what is important
enough to be put into a public message, and
indifferent enough to be made known to all
the world; if the Executive is to keep all other
information to himself and the House to
plunge on in the dark, it becomes a government
of chance and not of design.—
To Mr. Bidwell. Washington ed. v, 16.
(W. 1806)

1498. CONGRESS, The Administration [further continued].

When a gentleman,
through zeal for the public service, undertakes
to do the public business, we know that we
shall hear the cant of backstairs councillors.
But we never heard this while the declaimer
[John Randolph] was himself a backstairs
man, as he calls it, but in the confidence and
views of the administration, as may more
properly and respectfully be said.—
To Mr. Bidwell. Washington ed. v, 16.
(W. 1806)

1499. CONGRESS, The Administration [further continued] .

The imputation [backstairs
councillors] was one of those artifices
used to despoil an adversary of his most effectual
arms; and men of mind will place themselves
above a gabble of this order.—
To Mr. Bidwell. Washington ed. v, 16.
(W. 1806)

1500. CONGRESS, The Administration [further continued].

All we have to wish is,
that at the ensuing session, every one May
take the part openly which he secretly befriends.—
To Mr. Bidwell. Washington ed. v, 17.
(W. 1806)

1501. CONGRESS, Appointment of Members.—

Delegates to represent this colony
[Va.] in the American Congress shall be appointed, when necessary, by the House of
Representatives. After serving one year in
that office, they shall not be capable of being
reappointed to the same during an interval of
one year.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 20.
(June. 1776)

1502. CONGRESS, Appointment of Members.—[continued].

The delegates to Congress
shall be five in number; any three of
whom, and no fewer, may be a representation.
They shall be appointed by joint ballot
of both houses of Assembly for any term
not exceeding one year, subject to be recalled,
within the term, by joint vote of both the
said houses. They may, at the same time, be
members of the legislative or judiciary departments.
but not of the executive.—
Proposed Constitution for Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 452. Ford ed., iii, 331.

1503. CONGRESS, Apportionment and.

—No invasions of the Constitution are fundamentally
so dangerous as the tricks played
on their own numbers, appointment, and
other circumstances respecting themselves,
and affecting their legal qualifications to legislate
for the Union.—
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed. vii, 601. Ford ed., v, 500.

See Apportionment.

— CONGRESS, Arrest of Members.—

See 1572.

1504. CONGRESS, Attendance.—

every State should be represented in the great
council of the nation, is not only the interest
of each, but of the whole united, who have a
right to be aided by the collective wisdom
and information of the whole, in questions
which are to decide on their future well-being.
I trust that your Excellency will deem
it incumbent on you to call an immediate
meeting of your [Tennessee's] Legislature,
in order to put it in their power to fulfil this
high duty, by making special and timely provision
for the representation of their State
at the ensuing meeting of Congress; to which
measures I am bound earnestly to exhort
yourself and them. I am not insensible of the
personal inconvenience of this special call to
the members composing the Legislature of so
extensive a State; but neither will I do them
the injustice to doubt their being ready to
make much greater sacrifices for the common
safety, should the course of events still lead
to a call for them.—
To Governor Sevier. Washington ed. v, 421.
(W. Jan. 1809)

1505. CONGRESS, Authority.—

The authority
of Congress can never be wounded
without injury to the present Union.—
To the President of Congress. Ford ed., ii, 286.
(Wg. 1779)

1506. CONGRESS, Authority.—[continued].

The sense of Congress
itself is always respectable authority.—
Official Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 499. Ford ed., v, 209.

— CONGRESS, Bribery of Members.—

See 1573.

1507. CONGRESS, Buildings for.—

United States should be made capable of acquiring
and holding in perpetuum such
grounds and buildings in and about the place
of the session of [the Continental] Congress as
may be necessary for the transaction of business
by their own body, their committees and
officers; each State should be made capable
of acquiring and holding in perpetuum such
grounds and buildings as they may at any
time think proper to acquire and erect for the
personal accommodation of their delegates;
and all the grounds and buildings * * * should
be exempt from taxation.—
Resolve on Continental Congress. Ford ed., iii, 463.
(April. 1784?)

1508. CONGRESS, Business Men in.—

We want men of business [in Congress]. * * * I am convinced it is in the power of any man
who understands business, and who will undertake
to keep a file of the business before
Congress and press it, as he would his own
docket in a court, to shorten the sessions a
month one year with another, and to save in
that way $30,000 a year. An ill-judged modesty
prevents those from undertaking it who
are equal to it. I really wish you were here.—
To Cæsar A. Rodney. Ford ed., viii, 187.
(W. Dec. 1802)

1509. CONGRESS, Cabinet Officers in.

—An attempt has been made to give further
extent to the influence of the executive over


Page 174
the Legislature, by permitting the heads of departments
to attend the House and explain
their measures vivâ voce. But it was negatived
by a majority of 35 to 11, which gives us
some hope of the increase of the republican
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 491. Ford ed., vi, 134.
(Pa., Nov. 1792)

1510. CONGRESS, Call for Continental.

—We (Patrick Henry, R. H. Lee, Francis
R. Lee, Thomas Jefferson, and three or four
other members of the Virginia House of
Burgesses) * * * agreed to an association,
and instructed the committee of correspondence
to propose to the corresponding committees
of the other Colonies, to appoint deputies
to meet in Congress at such place, annually, as should be convenient, to direct from time to
time, the measures required by the general interest:
and we declared that an attack on any
one Colony, should be considered as an attack
on the whole. This was in May, 1774. We
further recommended to the several counties
to elect deputies to meet at Williamsburg, the
1st of August ensuing, to consider the state of
the Colony, and particularly to appoint delegates
to a general Congress, should that measure
be acceded to by the committees of correspondence
generally. It was acceded to:
Philadelphia was appointed for the place, and
the 5th of September for the time of meeting.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 7. Ford ed., i, 11.

1511. CONGRESS, Compensation of Members.—

You you did not understand to what proceeding of Congress I alluded as
likely to produce a removal of most of the
members, and that by a spontaneous movement
of the people, unsuggested by the newspapers,
which had been silent on it. I alluded
to the law giving themselves $1500 a
year. There has never been an instant before
of so unanimous an opinion of the people,
and that through every State in the Union.
A very few members of the first order of
merit in the House will be reelected; Clay, of
Kentucky, by a small majority, and a few
others. But the almost entire mass will go
out, not only those who supported the law or
voted for it, or skulked from the vote, but
those who voted against it or opposed it actively,
if they took the money; and the examples
of refusals to take it were very few.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., x, 63.
(M. Sep. 1816)

1512. CONGRESS, Compensation of Members.—[continued].

According to the opinion
I hazarded to you, we have had almost an
entire change in the body of Congress. The
unpopularity of the compensation law was
completed, by the manner of repealing it as
to all the world except themselves. In some
States, it is said, every member is changed;
in all, many. What opposition there was to
the original law, was chiefly from Southern
members. Yet many of those have been left
out, because they received the advanced
wages. I have never known so unanimous a
sentiment of disapprobation; and what is
more remarkable is, that it was spontaneous.
The newspapers were almost entirely silent,
and the people not only unled by their leaders,
but in opposition to them. I confess I was
highly pleased with this proof of the innate
good sense, the vigilance, and the determination
of the people to act for themselves.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. vii, 78. Ford ed., x, 90.
(M. 1817)

— CONGRESS, Under the Confederation.—

See 1473.

1513. CONGRESS, The Constitution and.—

Congress * * * [is] not a party but
merely the creature of the [Federal] compact,
and [is] subject, as to its assumptions of
power, to the final judgment of those by
whom, and for whose use, itself and its powers
were all created and modified.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 469. Ford ed., vii, 302.

1514. CONGRESS, Constitutional view of Continental.—

There is one opinion in
your book which I will ask you to reconsider,
because it appears to me not entirely accurate,
and not likely to do good. Page 362, “ Congress
[Continental] is not a legislative, but a
diplomatic body.” Separating into parts the
whole sovereignty of our States, some of these
parts are yielded to Congress. Upon these I
should think them both legislative and executive,
and that would have been judiciary
also, had not the Confederation required them
for certain purposes to appoint a judiciary.
It has accordingly been the decision of our
courts that the Confederation is a part of the
law of the land, and superior in authority to
the ordinary laws, because it cannot be altered
by the legislature of any one State. I doubt
whether they are at all a diplomatic assembly.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 128.
(P. 1787)

— CONGRESS, Contempt of.—

See 1573.

1515. CONGRESS, Contracts to Members.—

I am averse to giving contracts of any kind to members of the Legislature.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 50.
(W. 1807)

1516. CONGRESS, Control over.—

It is not from this branch of government [Congress] we have most to fear. Taxes and short
elections will keep them right.—
To Thomas Ritchie. Washington ed. vii, 192. Ford ed., x, 170.
(M. 1820)

1517. CONGRESS, Convening.—

I have
carefully considered the question whether the
President may call Congress to any other
place than that to which they have adjourned
themselves, and think he cannot have such a
right unless it has been given him by the
Constitution, or the laws, and that neither of
these has given it. The only circumstance
which he can alter, as to their meeting is that
of time, by calling them at an earlier day than
that to which they stand adjourned, but no
power to change the place is given. * * * I think * * * Congress must meet in
Philadelphia, even if it be in the open fields,
to adjourn themselves to some other place.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iv, 73. Ford ed., vi, 436.
(M. Oct. 1793)

1518. CONGRESS, Corruption and.—

told President [Washington] that it was a
fact, as certainly known as that he and I


Page 175
were then conversing, that particular members
of the Legislature, while those laws [Assumption,
Funding, &c.] were on the carpet,
had feathered their nests with paper, had then
voted for the laws, and constantly since lent
all the energy of their talents, and instrumentality
of their offices, to the establishment
and enlargement of the [Treasury] system.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 104. Ford ed., i, 177.
(Feb. 1792)

1519. CONGRESS, Corruption and.—[continued].

It [is] a cause of just
uneasiness, when we [see] a legislature legislating
for their own interests, in opposition
to those of the people.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 118. Ford ed., i, 200.

1520. CONGRESS, Corruption and.—[continued].

The capital employed in
paper speculation * * * has furnished effectual
means of corrupting such a portion
of the Legislature, as turns the balance between
the honest which ever way it is
directed. This corrupt squadron, deciding
the voice of the Legislature, have manifested
their dispositions to get rid of the limitations
imposed by the Constitution on the general
Legislature, limitations, on the faith of which,
the States acceded to that instrument.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 361. Ford ed., vi, 3.
(Pa., May. 1792)

1521. CONGRESS, Corruption and.—[continued].[further continued].

Of all the mischiefs objected
to the system of measures [public debt,
paper money] none is so afflicting as the corruption
of the Legislature. As it was the
earliest of these measures, it became the instrument
for producing the rest, and will be
the instrument for producing in future a
king, lords and commons, or whatever else
those who direct it may choose.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 362. Ford ed., vi, 4.
(Pa., May. 1792)

1522. CONGRESS, Corruption and. [further continued] .

Withdrawn such a distance
from the eye of their constituents, and
these so dispersed as to be inaccessible to public
information, and particularly to that of
the conduct of their own representatives, they
will form the most corrupt government on
earth, if the means of their corruption be not
To President Washington, Washington ed. iii, 362. Ford ed., vi, 4.
(Pa., 1792)

1523. CONGRESS, Corruption and.—[further continued].

I told President Washington
there was great difference between the
little accidental schemes of self-interest, which
would take place in every body of men, and
influence their votes, and a regular system
for forming a corps of interested persons, who
should be steadily at the orders of the
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 122. Ford ed., i, 205.

1524. CONGRESS, Corruption and.—[further continued] .

I indulge myself on one
political topic only, that is, in declaring to my
countrymen the shameless corruption of a portion
of the representatives to the first and
second Congresses, and their implicit devotion
to the Treasury. I think I do good in this,
because it may produce exertions to reform
the evil, on the success of which the form of
the government is to depend.—
To Edmund Randolph. Washington ed. iv, 101. Ford ed., vi, 498.
(M. Feb. 1794)

1525. CONGRESS, Corruption and.—[further continued].

Alexander Hamilton
avowed the opinion that man could be governed
by one of two motives only, force or
interest. Force, he observed, in this country
was out of the question; and the interests,
therefore, of the members must be laid hold
of to keep the Legislature in unison with the
Executive. And with grief and shame it
must be acknowledged that his machine was
not without effect; that even in this, the birth
of our government, some members were
found sordid enough to bend their duty to
their interests, and to look after personal
rather than public good.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 91. Ford ed., i, 160.

1526. CONGRESS, Credentials of Members.—

We have had hopes till to-day of receiving
an authentication of the next year's delegation [to the Continental Congress], but
are disappointed. I know not who should
have sent it,—the Governor, or President of
the convention; but certainly somebody
should have done it. What will be the consequence,
I know not. We cannot be admitted
to take our seat on any precedent, or
the spirit of any precedent yet set. According
to the standing rules, not only an authentic
copy will be required, but it must be
entered in the journals verbatim, that it May
there appear we have right to sit.—
To John Page. Ford ed., ii, 74.
(Pa., 1776)

1527. CONGRESS, Credentials of Members.—[continued].

Some of the newspapers indeed mention that on such a day, such and
such gentlemen were appointd to serve for
the next year, but could newspaper evidence
be received? They could not furnish the
form of the appointment.—
To John Page. Ford ed., ii, 75.
(Pa., 1776)

— CONGRESS, Debate in.—

See 1571.

1528. CONGRESS, Delegates.—

their admission by their delegates into Congress,
any of the said States, after the establishment
of their temporary Government,
shall have authority to keep a sitting member
in Congress, with a right of debating, but not
of voting.—
Western Territory Report. Ford ed., iii, 409.

1529. CONGRESS, Election of Members.—

An election [of members of Congress] by
districts would be best, if it could be general;
but while ten States choose either by their
legislatures or by a general ticket, it is folly
and worse than folly for the other six not to
do it. In these ten States the minority is entirely
unrepresented; and their majorities not
only have the weight of their whole State in
their scale, but have the benefit of so much of
our minorities as can succeed at a district
election. This is, in fact, ensuring to our
minorities the appointment of the Government.
To state it in another form, it is
merely a question whether we will divide the
United States into sixteen or one hundred and
thirty-seven districts. The latter being more
chequered, and representing the people in
smaller sections, would be more likely to be
an exact representation of their diversified
sentiments. But a representation of a part by


Page 176
great, and a part by small sections, would give
a result very different from what would be
the sentiment of the whole people of the
United States, were they assembled together.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 308. Ford ed., vii, 401.
(Pa., 1800)

1530. CONGRESS, Executive influence.

—The republicans complain that the influence and patronage of the Executive are to become
so great as to govern the Legislature.
They endeavored a few days ago to take away
one means of influence by condemning references
to the heads of departments. They
failed by a majority of five votes. They were
more successful in their endeavor to prevent
the introduction of a new means of influence,
that of admitting the heads of departments to
deliberate occasionally in the House in explanation
of their measures.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 493. Ford ed., vi, 143.
(Pa., 1792)

1531. CONGRESS, Executive information.—

The Secretary of the Treasury [Alexander
Hamilton] has been guilty of indecorum
to this House, in undertaking to
judge of its motives in calling for information
which was demandable of him, from the
constitution of his office; and in failing to
give all the necessary information within his
knowledge, relatively to the subjects of the
reference made to him of the 19th, January,
1792, and of the 22d November, 1792, during
the present session.—
Giles Treasury Resolutions. Ford ed., vi, 170.

1532. CONGRESS, Expenditures and.—

The subject of the debates was, whether the representatives of the people were to have
no check on the expenditure of the public
money, and the Executive to squander it at
their will, leaving to the Legislature only the
drudgery of furnishing the money. They begin
to open their eyes on this to the Eastward,
and to suspect they have been hoodwinked.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 229. Ford ed., vii, 228.
(Pa., April. 1798)

1533. CONGRESS, Farmers in.—

The only corrective of what is corrupt in our
present form of government will be the augmentation
of the members in the lower House
so as to get a more agricultural representation,
which may put that interest above that
of the stock-jobbers.—
To George Mason. Washington ed. iii, 209. Ford ed., v, 275.
(Pa., 1791)

1534. CONGRESS, Foreign Powers and.

—The Legislature should never show itself in
a matter with a foreign nation, but where the
case is very serious, and they mean to commit
the nation on its issue.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 296. Ford ed., v, 391.

1535. CONGRESS, Influencing.—

As I
never had the desire to influence the members,
so neither had I any other means than my
friendships, which I valued too highly to risk
by usurpation on their freedom of judgment,
and the conscientious pursuit of their own
sense of duty.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 460. Ford ed., vi, 102.
(M. 1792)

1536. CONGRESS, Influencing.—[continued].

If it has been supposed
that I have ever intrigued among the members
of the Legislature to defeat the plans of the
Secretary of the Treasury, it is contrary to all
truth. * * * That I have utterly, in my
private conversations, disapproved of the
system of the Secretary of the Treasury,
I acknowledge and avow; and this was
not merely a speculative difference.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 460. Ford ed., vi, 102.
(M. 1792)

— CONGRESS, Instructing Members.—

See Instructions.

— CONGRESS, Insult to Members.—

See 1572, 1575.

1537. CONGRESS, Intermeddling with.

—With the affairs of the Legislature, I never
did intermeddle.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 467. Ford ed., vi, 108.
(M. 1792)

1538. CONGRESS, Intermeddling with. [continued].

When I embarked in the government, it was with a determination to
intermeddle not at all with the Legislature.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 460. Ford ed., vi, 102.
(M. 1792)

1539. CONGRESS, Jobbery in.—

I have
always observed that in questions of expense,
where members may hope either for offices or
jobs for themselves or their friends, some few
will be debauched, and that is sufficient to
turn the decision where a majority is, at most,
but small.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 103. Ford ed., vi, 503.
(M. April. 1794)

1540. CONGRESS, The Judiciary vs.—

Were I called upon to decide whether the people
had best be omitted in the Legislative or
Judiciary department, I would say it is better
to leave them out of the Legislative. The
execution of the laws is more important than
the making them.—
To M. L'Abbé Arnond. Washington ed. iii, 82. Ford ed., v, 104.
(P. 1789)

1541. CONGRESS, Lawyers in.—

I have
much doubted whether, in case of a war,
Congress would find it practicable to do their
part of the business. That a body containing
one hundred lawyers in it, should direct the
measures of a war, is, I fear, impossible; and
that thus that member of our Constitution,
which is its bulwark, will prove to be an
impracticable one from its cacoethes loquendi. It may be doubted how far it has the power,
but I am sure it has not the resolution to
reduce the right of talking to practicable
To President Madison. Ford ed., ix, 337.
(M. Feb. 1812)

1542. CONGRESS, Lawyers in.—[continued].

How can expedition be expected from a body which we have saddled
with an hundred lawyers, whose trade is talking.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. vi, 466. Ford ed., ix, 521.
(M. 1815)

See Debate, Lawyers.

1543. CONGRESS, Leadership in.—

wish sincerely you were back in the Senate;
and that you would take the necessary measures
to get yourself there. Perhaps, as a
preliminary, you should go to our [Virginia] Legislature. * * * A majority of the
Senate means well. But Tracy and Bayard


Page 177
are too dexterous for them, and have very
much influenced their proceedings. Tracy
has been of nearly every committee during
the session, and for the most part the chairman,
and of course drawer of the reports.
Seven federalists voting always in phalanx,
and joined by some discontented republicans,
some oblique ones, some capricious, have so
often made a majority, as to produce very
serious embarrassment to the public operations;
and very much do I dread the submitting
to them, at the next session, any treaty
which can be made with either England or
Spain, when I consider that five joining the
federalists, can defeat a friendly settlement
of our affairs.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. v, 4. Ford ed., viii, 435.
(W. April. 1806)

1544. CONGRESS, Leadership in.—[continued].

The House of Representatives
is as well disposed as I ever saw
one. The defection of so prominent a leader
[John Randolph], threw them into disMay
and confusion for a moment; but they soon
rallied to their own principles, and let him
go off with five or six followers only. One
half of these are from Virginia. His late
declaration of perpetual opposition to this administration,
drew off a few others who at
first had joined him, supposing his opposition
occasional only, and not systematic. The
alarm the House has had from this schism,
has produced a rallying together and a harmony,
which carelessness and security had begun
to endanger. On the whole, this little
trial of the firmness of our representatives in
their principles, and that of the people also,
which is declaring itself in support of their
public functionaries, has added much to my
confidence in the stability of our government;
and to my conviction, that, should things go
wrong at any time, the people will set them
to rights by the peaceable exercise of their
elective rights.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. v, 5. Ford ed., viii, 435.
(W. April. 1806)

1545. CONGRESS, Leadership in.—[further continued].

There never was a time
when the services of those who possess talents,
integrity, firmness, and sound judgment,
were more wanted in Congress. Some one
of that description is particularly wanted to
take the lead in the House of Representatives,
to consider the business of the nation as his
own business, to take it up as if he were
singly charged with it, and carry it through.
I do not mean that any gentleman, relinquishing
his own judgment, should implicitly support
all the measures of the administration;
but that, where he does not disapprove of
them, he should not suffer them to go off in
sleep, but bring them to the attention of the
House, and give them a fair chance. Where
he disapproves, he will of course leave them
to be brought forward by those who concur
in the sentiment.—
To Mr. Bidwell. Washington ed. v, 15.
(W. 1806)

1546. CONGRESS, Leadership in.—[further continued] .

Mr. T. M. Randolph is,
I believe, determined to retire from Congress,
and it is strongly his wish, and that of all
here, that you should take his place. Never
did the calls of patriotism more loudly assail
you than at this moment. After excepting
the Federalists who will be twenty-seven, and
the little band of schismatics, who will be
three or four (all tongue), is as well-disposed
House of Representatives is as well-disposed
a body of men as I ever saw collected. But
there is no one whose talents and standing,
taken together, have weight enough to give
him the lead. The consequence is, that there
is no one who will undertake to do the public
business, and it remains undone. Were you
here, the whole would rally round you in an
instant, and willingly cooperate in whatever
is for the public good. Nor would it require
you to undertake drudgery in the House.
There are enough, able and willing to do that.
A rallying point is all that is wanting. Let
me beseech you, then, to offer yourself.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. v, 48. Ford ed., ix, 32.
(W. 1807)

1547. CONGRESS, Legislation and.—

Whatever of the enumerated objects [in the
Constitution] is proper for a law, Congress
may make the law.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 506. Ford ed., viii, 248.
(M. 1803)

— CONGRESS, Long speeches in.—

See 1517 and 1579.

1548. CONGRESS, Majority.—

[you ask] has led Congress to determine that
the concurrence of seven votes is requisite in
questions which, by the Confederation, are
submitted to the decision of a majority of
the United States, in Congress assembled?
The ninth article of Confederation, section
six, evidently establishes three orders of questions
in Congress. 1. The greater ones, which
relate to making peace or war, alliances,
coinage, requisitions for money, raising military
force, or appointing its commander-in-chief.
2. The lesser ones, which comprehend
all other matters submitted by the Confederation
to the federal head. 3. The single question
of adjourning from day to day. This
gradation of questions is distinctly characterized
by the article. In proportion to the magnitude
of these questions, a greater concurrence
of the voices composing the Union
was thought necessary. Three degrees of
concurrence, well distinguished by substantial
circumstances, offered themselves to notice.
1. A concurrence of a majority of the
of the Union. It was thought that
this would be ensured by requiring the voices
of nine States; because according to the loose
estimates which had been made of the inhabitants,
and the proportion of them which were
free, it was believed that even the nine smallest
would include a majority of the free citizens
of the Union. The voices, therefore, of
nine States were required in the greater questions.
2. A concurrence of the majority of
the States.
Seven constitute that majority.
This number, therefore, was required in the
lesser questions. 3. A concurrence of the
majority of Congress, that is to say, of the
States actually present in it. As there is no
Congress, when there are not seven States
present, this concurrence could never be of
less than four States. But these might happen
to be the four smallest, which would not


Page 178
include one-ninth part of the free citizens of
the Union. This kind of majority, therefore,
was entrusted with nothing but the power of
adjourning themselves from day to day.
Here, then, are three kinds of majorities. 1.
Of the people. 2. Of the States. 3. Of the
Congress; each of which is entrusted to a
certain length.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 244. Ford ed., iv, 148.
(P. 1786)

1549. CONGRESS, Messages to.—

first communication to the next Congress
will be, like all subsequent ones, by me sage,
to which no answer will be expected.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. iv, 396. Ford ed., viii, 52.
(W. May. 1801)

1550. CONGRESS, Messages to.—[continued].

The circumstances under
which we find ourselves placed rendering
inconvenient the mode heretofore practiced
of making, by personal address, the first communications
between the Legislative and Executive
branches, I have adopted that by message,
as used on all subsequent occasions
through the session. In doing this, I have
had principal regard to the convenience of
the Legislature, to the economy of their time,
to their relief from the embarrassment of immediate
answers on subjects not yet fully
before them, and to the benefits thence resulting
to the public affairs. Trusting that a
procedure founded on these motives will meet
their approbation, I beg leave through you,
Sir, to communicate the enclosed message,
with the documents accompanying it, to the
honorable the Senate, * * *.—
To the President of the Senate. Washington ed. iv, 423. Ford ed., viii, 108.
(W. Dec. 1801)

1551. CONGRESS, Messages to.—[further continued].

By sending a message,
instead of making a speech, * * * I have
prevented the bloody conflict to which the
making an answer would have committed
them. They consequently were able to set
into real business at once, without losing ten
or twelve days in combating an answer.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 426. Ford ed., viii, 127.
(W. 1801)

1552. CONGRESS, Mutiny against.—

The conduct of [the Federation] Congress
was marked with indignation and firmness.
They received no propositions from the mutineers.
They came to the resolutions which
may be seen in the journals of June the 21st,
1783, then adjourned regularly, and went
through the body of the mutineers to their
respective lodgings. The measures taken by
Dickinson, the President of Pennsylvania, for
pubishing this insult, not being satisfactory to
Congress, they assembled, nine days after, at
Princeton, in Jersey. The people of Pennsylvania
sent petitions declaring their indignation
at what passed, their devotion to
the federal head, and their dispositions
to protect it, and praying them to return;
the Legislature, as soon as assembled, did
the same thing; the Executive, whose
irresolution had been so exceptionable;
made apologies. But Congress was now
removed; and, to the opinion that this
example was proper, other causes were now
added, sufficient to prevent their return to
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 258. Ford ed., iv, 163.
(Pa., 1786)

1553. CONGRESS, Non-attendance.—

It is now above a fortnight since Congress
should have met, and six States only appear.
We have some hopes of Rhode Island coming
in to-day, but when two more will be added
seems as insusceptible of calculation as when
the next earthquake will happen.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 347.
(A. Dec. 1783)

1554. CONGRESS, Non-attendance.—[continued].

I am sorry to say that
I see no immediate prospect of making up
nine States [requisite to ratify the definitive
treaty of peace with Great Britain], so careless
are either the States or their delegates
to their particular interests, as well as the
general good which would require that they
be all constantly and fully represented in Congress.—
To Governor Benj. Harrison. Ford ed., iii, 350.
(A. Dec. 1783)

1555. CONGRESS, Non-attendance.—[further continued].

We have never yet had
more than seven States [in attendance], and
very seldom that, a Maryland is scarcely
ever present, and we are now without a hope
of its attending till February. Consequently,
having six States only. we do nothing. Expresses
and letters are gone forth to hasten on
the absent States, that we may have nine for
a ratification of the definitive treaty. Jersey
perhaps may come in. and if Beresford will
not come to Congress, Congress must go to
him to do this one act.—
To James Madison, Ford ed., iii, 371.
(A. Jan. 1, 1784)

1556. CONGRESS, Non-attendance.—[further continued] .

We have but nine States
present, seven of which are represented by
only two members each. There are fourteen
gentlemen, then, any one of whom differing
from the rest, stops our procedding on questions
requiring the concurrence of nine States.
* * * It is my expectation that after having
tried several of these questions successively,
and finding it impossible to obtain a
single determination, Congress will find it
necessary to adjourn till the Spring, first informing
the States that they adjourn because
from the inattendance of members their business
cannot be done, recommending to them
to instruct and enable their members to come
on at the day appointed, and that they constantly
keep three at least with Congress while
it shall be sitting. I believe if we had thirteen
States present represented by three members
each, we could clear off our business in
two or three months, and hereafter a session
of two or three months in the year could
To Governor Benj. Harrison. Ford ed., iii, 379.
(A. Jan. 1784)

1557. CONGRESS, Non-attendance.—[further continued].

We cannot make up a
Congress at all. There are eight States in
town, six of which are represented by two
members only. Of these, two members of
different States are confined by the gout, so
that we cannot make a House. We have
not sat above three days, I believe, in as many
weeks. Admonition after admonition has
been sent to the States, to no effect. We
have sent one to-day. If it fails, it seems as


Page 179
well we should all retire. There have never
been nine States on the floor but for the ratification
of the treaty [of peace with England] and a day or two after.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 399.
(A. Feb. 20, 1784)

1558. CONGRESS, Non-attendance.—[further continued] .

We have only nine
States present, eight of which are represented
by two members each and, of course, on all
great questions not only an unanimity of
States but of members is necessary, an unanimity
which can never be obtained on a matter
of any importance. The consequence is
that we are wasting our time and labor in vain
efforts to do business. Nothing less than the
presence of thirteen States, represented by
an odd number of delegates, will enable us
to get forward a single capital point.—
To George Washington. Ford ed., iii, 420.
(A. 1784)

1559. CONGRESS, Non-attendance.—[further continued].

Delaware and South
Carolina, we lost within these two days by
the expiration of their powers. The other absent
States are New York, Maryland and
Georgia. We have done nothing, and can
do nothing in this condition, but waste our
time, temper, and spirits, in debating things
for days and weeks and then losing them by
the negative of one or two individuals.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 426.
(A. 1784)

1560. CONGRESS, Opportunity and.—

Congress is the great commanding theatre of
this nation, and the threshold to whatever
department of office a man is qualified to
To William Wirt. Washington ed. v, 233.
(W. 1808)

1561. CONGRESS, Opposition in.—

now see the composition of our public bodies,
and how essential system and plan are for
conducting our affairs wisely with so bitter a
party in opposition to us, who look not at all
to what is best for the public, but how they
may thwart whatever we may propose, though
they should thereby sink their country.—
To Cæsar A. Rodney. Ford ed., viii, 296.
(W. 1804)

1562. CONGRESS, Parliament and.—

There is a difference between the British Parliament
and our Congress. The former is a
legislature, an inquest and a council for the
king. The latter is, by the Constitution, a
legislature and an inquest, but not a council.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 113. Ford ed., i, 190.

1563. CONGRESS, Partisan.—

I had
hoped that the proceedings of this session of
Congress would have rallied the great body of
our citizens at once to one opinion. But the
inveteracy of their quondam leaders has been
able by intermingling the grossest lies and
misrepresentations to check the effect in some
small degree until they shall be exposed. The
great sources and authors of these are in Congress.
Besides the slanders in their speeches,
such letters have been written to their constituents
as I shall forbear to qualify by the
proper terms.—
To Cæsar A. Rodney. Ford ed., viii, 147.
(W. April. 1802)

1564. CONGRESS, Partisan.—[continued].

And what is our resource
for the preservation of the Constitution?
Reason and argument? You might
as well reason and argue with the marble
columns encircling them. The representatives
chosen by ourselves? They are joined in the
combination, some from incorrect views of
government, some from corrupt ones, sufficient
voting together to outnumber the sound
parts; and with majorities only of one, two,
or three, bold enough to go forward in defiance.—
To W. B. Giles. Washington ed. vii, 427. Ford ed., x, 355.
(M. 1825)

1565. CONGRESS, The People and.—

look for our safety to the broad representation
of the people [in Congress]. It will be
more difficult for corrupt views to lay hold
of so large a mass.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 455.
(Pa., 1792)

1566. CONGRESS, The People and.—[continued].

The only hope of safety
hangs now on the numerous representation
which is to come forward the ensuing year.
Some of the new members will be, probably,
either in principle or interest, with the present
majority, but it is expected that the great
mass will form an accession to the republican
party. They will not be able to undo all
which the two preceding Legislatures, and
especially the first, have done. Public faith
and right will oppose this. But some parts of
the system may be rightfully reformed, a
liberation from the rest unremittingly pursued
as fast as right will permit, and the door shut
in future against similar commitments of the
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 362. Ford ed., vi, 4.
(Pa., May. 1792)

1567. CONGRESS, Power over papers.

—At a meeting of the cabinet the subject [of
discussion] was the resolution of the House
of Representatives of March 27, to appoint
a committee to inquire into the causes of the
failure of the late expedition under Major
General St. Clair, with power to call for such
persons, papers and records as may be necessary
to assist their inquiries. The President
[Washington] said he had called us to
consult, merely because it was the first example,
and he wished that so far as it should
become a precedent, it should be rightly conducted.
He neither acknowledged nor denied,
nor even doubted the propriety of what the
House were doing, for he had not thought
upon it, nor was acquainted with subjects of
this kind. He could readily conceive there
might be papers of so secret a nature as that
they ought not to be given up. [The cabinet
was not then ready to give their opinions,
but another meeting was held two days later
when] we had all considered and were of
one mind: 1. That the House was an inquest,
and, therefore, might institute inquiries. 2.
That it might call for papers generally. 3.
That the Executive ought to communicate such
papers as the public good would permit, and
ought to refuse those, the disclosure of which
would injure the public. Consequently,
[they] were to exercise discretion. 4. That
neither the Committee nor the House had a
right to call on the head of a Department, who


Page 180
and whose papers were under the President
alone; but that the Committee should instruct
their Chairman to move the House to address
the President. * * * Hamilton agreed with
us in all these points except as to the power
of the House to call on the heads of Departments.
He observed, that as to his Department,
the act constituting it had made it subject
to Congress in some points, but he
thought himself not so far subject, as to be
obliged to produce all papers they might call
for. They might demand secrets of a very
mischievous nature. * * * I observed here a
difference between the British Parliament and
our Congress, that the former was a legislature,
an inquest, and a council for the King.
The latter was, by the Constitution, a legislature
and an inquest but not a council. [It
was] finally agreed, to speak [separately] to
the members of the Committee, and bring
them by persuasion into the right channel.
It was agreed in this case, that there was not
a paper which might not be properly produced,
that copies only should be sent, with an assurance,
that if they should desire it, a clerk
should attend with the originals to be verified
by themselves.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 112. Ford ed., i, 189.
(April. 1792)

1568. CONGRESS, Prayer in.—

I enclose
you (to amuse your curiosity) the form of the
prayer substituted in the room of the prayer
for the King by Mr. Duché, chaplain to the
Congress. I think by making it so general as
to take in conventions, assemblies, &c., it
might be used instead of that for the Parliament.—
To John Page. Ford ed., ii, 75.
(Pa., 17761776)gt;

1569. CONGRESS, Precedence.—

As the
United States in Congress assembled, represent
the sovereignty of the whole Union, their
body collectively, and their President individually,
should on all occasions have precedence
of all other bodies and persons.—
Congress Resolution. Ford ed., iii, 464.

1570. CONGRESS, Precedence.—[continued].

During the recess of
Congress the Committee of the States, being
left to pursue the same objects and under the
same circumstances, their body, their members
and their President, should respectively be
placed on the same footing with the body, the
members, and the President of Congress.—
Congress Resolution. Ford ed., iii, 464.
(April. 1784?)

1571. CONGRESS, Previous question in.—

I observe the House is endeavoring to
remedy the eternal protraction of debate by
sitting up all night, or by the use of the previous
question. Both will subject them to the
most serious inconvenience. The latter May
be turned upon themselves by a 'trick of their
adversaries. I have thought that such a rule
as the following would be more effectual and
less inconvenient: “Resolved, that at
[VIII.] o'clock in the evening (whenever the
House shall be in session at that hour) it shall
be the duty of the Speaker to declare that
hour arrived, whereupon all debate shall cease.
If there be then before the House a main
question for the reading or passing of a bill,
resolution or order, such main question shall
immediately be put by the Speaker, and decided
by yeas and nays. If the question before
the House be secondary, as for amendment,
commitment, postponement, adjournment
of the debate or question, laying on the
table, reading papers, or a previous question,
such secondary (or any other which May
delay the main question) shall stand ipso
discharged, and the main question shall
then be before the House, and shall be immediately
put and decided by yeas and nays.
But a motion for adjournment of the House,
may once and once only, take place of the
main question, and if decided in the negative,
the main question shall then be put as before.
Should any question of order arise, it shall
be decided by the Speaker instanter, and
without debate or appeal; and questions of
privilege arising, shall be postponed till the
main question be decided. Messages from the
President or Senate may be received but not
acted on till after the decision of the main
question. But this rule shall be suspended
during the [three] last days of the session
of Congress.” No doubt this, on investigation,
will be found to need amendment; but
I think the principle of it better adapted to
meet the evil than any other which has occurred
to me—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. v, 491. Ford ed., ix, 268.
(M. 1810)

1572. CONGRESS, Privilege.—

to Congress ought to be invested in the place
where they may be sitting with such privileges
and immunities as will cover them from molestation
and disturbance, and leave them in
freedom and tranquillity to apply their whole
time and attention to the objects of their
delegation. * * * Long experience has
led the civilized nations of Europe to
an ascertainment of those principles and
immunities, which may enable the representatives
of an independent nation, exercising
high functions within another, to do the
same unawed and undisturbed, and, therefore,
the privileges and immunities annexed
by the law and usage of nations to such characters
should be allowed to the Congress of
the United States collectively, and to their
members individually, by the laws of the
States in and adjacent to which they may be
sitting and should be secured in their continuance
by sufficient sanctions.—
Resolve on Continental Congress. Ford ed., iii, 463.
(April. 1784?)

1573. CONGRESS, Privilege.—[continued].

In December, 1795, the
House of Representatives committed two
persons of the names of Randall and Whitney,
for attempting to corrupt the integrity
of certain members, which they considered
as a contempt and breach of the privileges of
the House; and the facts being proved,
Whitney was detained in confinement a
fortnight, and Randall three weeks, and was
reprimanded by the Speaker. In March,
1796, the House of Representatives voted a
challenge given to a member of their House,
to be a breach of the privileges of the House;
but satisfactory apologies and acknowledgments


Page 181
being made, no further proceedings were had. The editor of the Aurora having
in his paper of February 19, 1800, inserted
some paragraphs defamatory to the Senate,
and failed in his appearance, he was ordered
to be committed. In debating the legality of
this order, it was insisted in support of it,
that every man, by the law of nature, and
every body of men, possesses the right of selfdefence;
that all public functionaries are
essentially invested with the powers of self-preservation;
that they have an inherent right
to do all acts necessary to keep themselves
in a condition to discharge the trusts confided
to them; that whenever authorities are
given, the means of carrying them into execution
are given by necessary implication;
that thus we see the British Parliament exercise
the right of punishing contempts; all
the State Legislatures exercise the same
power; and every Court does the same; that
if we have it not, we sit at the mercy of every
intruder who may enter our doors or gallery,
and by noise and tumult render proceeding
in business impracticable; that if our tranquillity
is to be perpetually disturbed by newspaper
defamation, it will not be possible to
exercise our functions with the requisite coolness
and deliberation; and that we must,
therefore, have a power to punish these disturbers
of our peace and proceedings. To
this it was answered, that the Parliament and
Courts of England have cognizance of contempts
by the express provisions of their law;
that the State Legislatures have equal authority,
because their powers are plenary; they
represent their constituents completely, and
possess all their powers, except such as their
Constitutions have expressly denied them;
that the Courts of the several States have
deputies ad libitum to aid him (3 Grey, 59.
147, 255), is equal to the smallest disturbances;
that, in requiring a previous law, the
Constitution has regard to the inviolability of
the citizen as well as of the member; as,
should one House, in the regular form of a
bill, aim at too broad privileges, it may be
checked by the other, and both by the President;
and also as, the law being promulgated,
the citizen will know how to avoid offence.
But, if one branch may assume its own
privileges without control; if it may do it
on the spur of the occasion, conceal the law
in its own breast, and after the fact committed
make its sentence both the law and
the judgment on that fact; if the offence is
to be kept undefined, and to be declared only
ex re nata, and according to the passions of
the moment, and there be no limitation either
in the manner or measure of the punishment,
the condition of the citizen will be perilous indeed.
Which of these doctrines is to prevail,
time will decide. Where there is no fixed
law, the judgment on any particular case is
the law of that single case only, and dies with
it. When a new and even similar case arises,
the judgment which is to make, and, at the
same time, apply, the law, is open to question
and consideration, as are all new laws. Perhaps
Congress, in the meantime, in their care
for the safety of the citizen, as well as that
for their own protection may declare by law
what is necessary and proper to enable them
to carry into execution the powers vested in
them, and thereby hang up a rule for the inspection
of all, which may direct the conduct
of the citizen, and, at the same time, test the
judgments they shall themselves pronounce in
their own case.—
Parliamentary Manual. Washington ed. x, 9.


Page 182

Navy, who repeated the word “ragamuffin.”
His friends present supported him spiritedly,
so that nothing further followed. Conceiving,
and, as I think justly, that the House of
Representatives (not having passed a law on
the subject) could not punish the offenders,
he wrote a letter to the President, who laid
it before the House. * * * He has conducted
himself with great propriety, and I
have no doubt will come out with increase
of reputation, being determined himself to oppose
the interposition of the House when they
have no law for it.—
To Mary Jefferson Eppes. Ford ed., vii, 404.
(Pa., Jan. 1800)

1576. CONGRESS, Public Opinion and.

—I think it a duty in those entrusted with the
administration of their affairs to conform
themselves to the decided choice of their constituents.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 404. Ford ed., iv, 89.
(P. 1785)

1577. CONGRESS, Qualifications of Members.—

You ask my opinion on the question,
whether the States can add any qualifications
to those which the Constitution has
prescribed for their members of Congress? It
is a question I had never before reflected on;
yet had taken up an off-hand opinion, agreeing
with your first, that they could not; that
to add new qualifications to those of the Constitution,
would be as much an alteration as
to detract from them. And so I think the
House of Representatives decided in some
case; I believe that of a member from Baltimore.
But your letter having induced me
to look into the Constitution, and to consider
the question a little, I am again in your predicament,
of doubting the correctness of my
first opinion. Had the Constitution been silent,
nobody can doubt but that the right to
prescribe all the qualifications and disqualifications
of those they would send to represent
them, would have belonged to the State.
So also the Constitution might have prescribed
the whole, and excluded all others.
It seems to have preferred the middle way.
It has exercised the power in part, by declaring
some disqualifications, to wit, those of
not being twenty-five years of age, of not having
been a citizen seven years, and of not being
an inhabitant of the State at the time of
election. But it does not declare, itself, that
the member shall not be a lunatic, a paupen
a convict of treason, of murder, of felony, or
other infamous crime, or a non-resident of
his district; nor does it prohibit to the State
the power of declaring these, or any other
disqualifications which its particular circumstances
may call for; and these may be
different in different States. Of course,
then, by the tenth amendment, the power is
reserved to the State. If, wherever the Constitution
assumes a single power out of many
which belong to the same subject, we should
consider it as assuming the whole, it would
vest the General Government with a mass of
power never contemplated. On the contrary,
the assumption of particular powers seems an
exclusion of all not assumed. This reasoning
appears to me to be sound; but, on so recent a
change of view, caution requires us not to be
too confident, and that we admit this to be one
of the doubtful questions on which honest men
may differ with the purest motives; and the
more readily, as we find we have differed from
ourselves on it.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vi, 309. Ford ed., ix, 451.
(M. 1814)

1578. CONGRESS, Qualifications of Members.—[continued].

I have always thought
that where the line of demarcation between
the powers of the General and the State
governments was doubtfully or indistinctly
drawn, it would be prudent and praiseworthy
in both parties, never to approach
it but under the most urgent necessity. Is the
necessity now urgent, to declare that no non-resident
of his district shall be eligible as a
member of Congress? It seems to me that,
in practice, the partialities of the people are
a sufficient security against such an election;
and that if, in any instance, they should ever
choose a non-resident, it must be one of such
eminent merit and qualifications, as would
make it a good, rather than an evil; and that,
in any event, the examples will be so rare, as
never to amount to a serious evil. If the case
then be neither clear nor urgent, would it
not be better to let it lie undisturbed? Perhaps
its decision may never be called for.
But if it be indispensable to establish this
disqualification now, would it not be better to
declare such others, at the same time, as May
be proper?—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vi, 310. Ford ed., ix, 452.
(M. Jan. 1814)

1579. CONGRESS, Reconsideration.—

“How far” [you ask] “is it permitted to
bring on the reconsideration of a question
which Congress has once determined?” The
first Congress which met, being composed
mostly of persons who had been members of
the legislatures of their respective States, it
was natural for them to adopt those rules in
their proceedings to which they had been accustomed
in their legislative houses; and the
more so, as there happened to be nearly the
same, as having been copied from the same
original, those of the British Parliament.
One of these rules of proceeding was, that “a
question, once determined, cannot be proposed
a second time in the same session.” Congress,
during the first session, in the autumn
of 1774, observed this rule strictly. But before
their meeting in the spring of the following
year, the war had broken out. They
found themselves at the head of that war,
in an Executive as well as Legislative capacity.
They found that a rule, wise and
necessary for a legislative body, did not suit
an executive one, which, being governed by
events, must change their purposes, as those
change. Besides, their session was likely
then to become of equal duration with the
war; and a rule, which should render their
legislation immutable during all that period
could not be submitted to. They, therefore,
renounced it in practice, and have ever since
continued to reconsider their questions freely.
The only restraint as yet provided against
the abuse of this permission to reconsider, is
that when a question has been decided, it can


Page 183
not be proposed for reconsideration but by
some one who voted in favor of the former
decision, and declares that he has since
changed his opinion.—
Answers to M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 246. Ford ed., iv, 149.
(P. 1786)

1580. CONGRESS, Reform and.—

[new Congress] will not be able to undo all
which the two preceding Legislatures, and
especially the first, have done. Public faith
and right will oppose this. But some parts of
the system may be rightfully reformed, a
liberation from the rest unremittingly pursued
as fast as right will permit, and the door
shut in future against similar commitments
of the nation.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 362. Ford ed., vi, 4.
(Pa., 1792)

1581. CONGRESS, Reform and.—[continued].

The representatives of
the people in Congress are alone competent
to judge of the general disposition of the
people, and to what precise point of reformation
they are ready to go.—
To Mr. Rutherford. Washington ed. iii, 499.
(Pa., 1792)

1582. CONGRESS, Reform and.—[further continued].

The session of the first Congress, convened since republicanism has
recovered its ascendancy, * * * will pretty
completely fulfil all the desires of the people.
They have reduced the army and navy to what
is barely necessary. They are disarming executive
patronage and preponderance, by putting
down one-half the offices of the United
States, which are no longer necessary. These
economies have enabled them to suppress all
the internal taxes, and still to make such provision
for the payment of their public debt
as to discharge that in eighteen years. They
have lopped off a parasite limb, planted by
their predecessors on their judiciary for party
purposes, and they are opening the doors of
hospitality to the fugitives from the oppressions
of other countries.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 430.
(W. April. 1802)

1583. CONGRESS, Republicanism and.

—In the General Government, the House of Representatives is mainly republican; * * * as elected by the people directly.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 607. Ford ed., x, 30.
(M. 1816)

— CONGRESS, Residence of Members.—

See 1577, 1578.

1584. CONGRESS, Rules for.—

No person
to read printed papers. Every Colony
present, unless divided, to be counted. No
person to vote unless present when the question
is put. No person to walk while the
question is putting. Every person to sit while
not speaking. Orders of day at 12 o'clock.
Amendments first proposed to be first put.
Committees or officers to be named before
ballot. Call of the House every morning;
absentees to be noted and returned to Convention.
No members to be absent without
leave of the House, or written order of Convention
on pain of being returned to Convention.
Notes of Rules for Congress. Ford ed., ii, 60.


Jefferson was member of a committee to frame
rules for the Congress.—Editor.

1585. CONGRESS, Salaries of Members.—

Our [financial] distresses ask notice
[by the Virginia Legislature]. I had been
from home four months, and had expended
$1200 before I received one farthing. By the
last post we received about seven weeks' allowance.
In the meantime, some of us had
had the mortification to have our horses
turned out of the livery stable for want of
money. There is really no standing this.
The supply gives us no relief because it was
mortgaged. We are trying to get something
more effectual from the treasury, having sent
on express to inform them of our predicament.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 404.
(A. Feb. 1784)

See 1511.

1586. CONGRESS, Sessions of.—

house of Congress possesses the natural right
of governing itself, and, consequently, of fixing,
its own times and places of meeting, so
far as it has not been abridged by the law of
those who employ them, that is to say, by
the Constitution.—
Official Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 496. Ford ed., v, 206.

1587. CONGRESS, Sessions of.—[continued].

To shorten the sessions,
is to lessen the evils and burthens of the government
on our country.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 243. Ford ed., vii, 259.
(Pa., 1798)

1588. CONGRESS, Sessions of.—[further continued].

I was in hopes that all
efforts to render the sessions of Congress
permanent were abandoned. But a clear
profit of three or four dollars a day is sufficient
to reconcile some to their absence from
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 254.

1589. CONGRESS, Sessions of.—[further continued] .

Congress separate in
two ways only to wit, by adjournment or
dissolution by the efflux of their time. What
then constitutes a session with them? A
dissolution certainly closes one session, and
the meeting of the new Congress begins another.
The Constitution authorizes the
President, “on extraordinary occasions, to
convene both Houses, or either of them.”
If convened by the President's proclamation,
this must begin a new session, and of course
determine the preceding one to have been a
session. So, if it meets under the clause of
the Constitution, which says, “the Congress
shall assemble, at least once in every year, and
such meeting shall be on the first Monday in
December, unless they shall by law appoint
a different day,” this must begin a new session.
For even if the last adjournment was
to this day, the act of adjournment is merged
in the higher authority of the Constitution,
and the meeting will be under that, and not
under their adjournment. So far we have
fixed landmarks for determining sessions.
In other cases, it is declared by the joint vote
authorizing the President of the Senate and
the Speaker to close the session on a fixed
Parliamentary Manual. Washington ed. ix, 79.

1590. CONGRESS, Size of.—

Our present federal limits are not too large for good government,
nor will the increase of votes in
Congress produce any ill effect. On the contrary,
it will drown the little divisions at


Page 184
present existing there.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. i, 518. Ford ed., iv, 188.
(P. Jan. 1786)

1591. CONGRESS, State representation in.—

I am captivated by the compromise
[in the Federal Constitution] of the opposite
claims of the great and little States, of the
latter to equal, and the former to proportional
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 329. Ford ed., iv, 475.
(P. 1787)

1592. CONGRESS, Stock-jobbers in.—

Too many stock-jobbers and King-jobbers
have come into our Legislature, or rather too
many of our Legislature have become stock-jobbers
and King-jobbers.—
To General Lafayette. Washington ed. iii, 450. Ford ed., vi, 78.
(Pa., 17921792)gt;

1593. CONGRESS, Stock-jobbers in.—[continued].

I told President Washington
that my wish was to see both Houses
of Congress cleansed of all persons interested
in the bank or public stocks; and that
a pure Legislature being given us, I should
always be ready to acquiesce under their determinations,
even if contrary to my own
opinions; for that I subscribe to the principle,
that the will of the majority, honestly
expressed, should give law.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 131. Ford ed., i, 215.
(Feb. 1793)

1594. CONGRESS, Taxation and.—

like the power given the Legislature [in the
Federal Constitution] to levy taxes, and for
that reason solely approve of the greater
House being chosen by the people directly.
For though I think a House chosen by them
will be very illy qualified to legislate for the
Union, for foreign nations, &c., yet this evil
does not weigh against the good of preserving
inviolate the fundamental principle that the
people are not to be taxed but by representatives
chosen immediately by themselves.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 328. Ford ed., iv, 475.
(P. 1787)

1595. CONGRESS, Term of Members.—

To prevent every danger which might arise to
American freedom by continuing too long
in office the members of the Continental Congress,
to preserve to that body the confidence
of their friends, and to disarm the malignant
imputation of their enemies: It is earnestly
recommended to the several Provinces, Assemblies
or Conventions of the United Colonies,
that in their future elections of delegates
to the Continental Congress, one half,
at least, of the persons chosen be such as were
not of the delegation next preceding, and the
residue be of such as shall not have served in
that office longer than two years. [97]
Ford ed., ii, 61.


This resolution * * * was probably offered in
July, 1776, when Congress was establishing rules for
its own guidance, and rejected.—Note in Ford ed.

1596. CONGRESS, Term of Members.—[continued].

No person who shall
have served two years in Congress, shall be
capable of serving therein again, till he shall
have been out of the same one whole year. [98]
Congress Bill. Ford ed., ii, 128.


From a bill drafted by Jefferson and passed by
the Virginia House of Delegates. The representation
of the Colony in the Continental Congress excited
bitter factional animosity. Richard Henry
Lee, being the leader of one party, and Benjamin
Harrison, with whom Jefferson acted, of the other.—Editor.

1597. CONGRESS, Verbosity in.—

[Delaware's] long speeches and wicked workings
at this session have added at least thirty
days to its length, cost us $30,000, and filled
the Union with falsehoods and misrepresentations.—
To Cæsar A. Rodney. Ford ed., viii, 148.
(W. April. 1802)

1598. CONGRESS, Verbosity in.—[continued].

I observe that the House
of Representatives are sensible of the ill effects
of the long speeches in their house on
their proceedings. But they have a worse
effect in the disgust they excite among the
people, and the disposition they are producing
to transfer their confidence from the Legislature
to the Executive branch, which would
soon sap our Constitution. These speeches,
therefore, are less and less read, and if continued
will soon cease to be read at all.—
To John Wayles Eppes. Washington ed. v, 490. Ford ed., ix, 267.
(M. 1810)

See Debate.

1599. CONGRESS, Voting in.—

I am
much pleased with the substitution [in the
Federal Constitution] of the method of voting
by persons, instead of that of voting by
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 329. Ford ed., iv, 475.
(P. 1787)

1600. CONGRESS, Wisdom of.—

decisions are almost always wise; they are
like pure metal.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 152. Ford ed., iv, 391.
(P. 1787)

1601. CONGRESS, Young men and.—

Congress is a good school for our young
statesmen. It gives them impressions friendly
to the Federal Government instead of those
adverse, which too often take place in persons
confined to the politics of their State.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 472.
(A. 1784)

1602. CONGRESS, Young men and.—[continued].

I see the best effects
produced by sending our young statesmen [to
Congress]. They see the affairs of the Confederacy
from a high ground: they learn the
importance of the Union, and befriend federal
measures when they return. Those who never
come here, see our affairs insulated, pursue
a system of jealousy and self-interest, and distract
the Union as much as they can.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 403.
(A. Feb. 1784)

1603. CONNECTICUT, Bigotry of.—

Connecticut, they are so priest-ridden that
nothing is expected from them but the most
bigoted, passive obedience.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 219. Ford ed., vii, 213.
(Pa., 1789)

1604. CONNECTICUT, Bigotry of.—[continued].

Connecticut remains riveted
in her political and religious bigotry.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 344.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

— CONNECTICUT, Federal offices in.

—See Bishop.

1605. CONNECTICUT, Government in.

—The nature of your government being a


Page 185
subordination of the civil to the ecclesiastical
power, I consider it as desperate for long
years to come. Their steady habits exclude
the advances of information, and they seem
exactly where they were when they separated
from the saints of Oliver Cromwell. And
there your clergy will always keep them if
they can. You will follow the bark of liberty
only by the help of a tow-rope.—
To Pierrepont Edwards. Ford ed., viii, 74.
(W. July. 1801)

1606. CONNECTICUT, Politics of.—

Connecticut is still federal by a small majority.
She will be with us in a short time.—
To C. F. Volney. Washington ed. iv, 573.
(W. 1805)

1607. CONNECTICUT, Republicanism and.—

I rejoice that in some forms, though
not in all, republicanism shows progress in
Connecticut. A clerical bondage is the root
of the evil. * * * The lawyers, the other
pillar of federalism, are from the nature of
their calling so ready to take either side, that
as soon as they see as much, or perhaps more
money to be got on one side than the other,
they will tack over. The clergy are unwilling
to exchange the certain resource of legal
compulsion for the uncertain one of their own
merit and industry.—
To Gideon Granger. Ford ed., viii, 232.
(W. May. 1803)

1608. CONNECTICUT, Resurrection of.

—What need we despair of after the resurrection
of Connecticut to light and liberty? I
had believed that the last retreat of monkish
darkness, bigotry, and abhorrence of those advances
of the mind which had carried the
other States a century ahead of them. They
seemed still to be exactly where their forefathers
were when they schismatized from
the covenant of works, and to consider as
dangerous heresies all innovations, good or
bad. I join you, therefore, in sincere congratulations
that this den of the priesthood is at
length broken up, and that a Protestant Popedom
is no longer to disgrace the American
history and character. [99]
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 62.
(M. 1817)


Mr. Adams replied: “Do you think that Protestant
Popedom is annihilated in America? Do you
recollect, or have you ever attended to the ecclesiastical
strifes in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York,
and every part of New England? What a mercy it
is that these people cannot whip, and crop and pillory
and roast, as yet in the United States! If they
could, they would.”—Editor.

1609. CONNECTICUT, Resurrection of. [continued].

Even Connecticut, as a
State, and the last one expected to yield its
steady habits (which were essentially bigoted
in politics as well as religion), has chosen a
republican governor, and republican legislature.—
To Marquis de Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 66. Ford ed., x, 83.
(M. 1817)

1610. CONQUEST, Avoid.—

If there be
one principle more deeply rooted than any
other in the mind of every American, it is
that we should have nothing to do with conquest.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 275. Ford ed., v, 364.
(Pa., 1791)

1611. CONQUEST, Compact and equality vs.—

I have much confidence that we shall
proceed successfully for ages to come, and
that, contrary to the principle of Montesquieu
it will be seen that the larger the extent
of country, the more firm its republican structure,
if founded, not on conquest, but in principles
of compact and equalify.—
To M. De Marbois. Washington ed. vii, 77.
(M. 1817)

1612. CONQUEST, Disavowed.—

We did
not raise armies for glory or for conquest.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 475.
(July. 1775)

1613. CONQUEST, Submission to.—

government of a nation may be usurped by the
forcible intrusion of an individual into the
throne. But to conquer its will, so as to rest
the right on that, the only legitimate basis,
requires long acquiescence and cessation of all
To——. Washington ed. vii, 413.
(M. 1825)

1614. CONQUEST, Title by.—

It is an
established principle that conquest gives only
an inchoate right, which does not become
perfect till confirmed by the treaty of peace,
and by a renunciation or abandonment by the
former proprietor.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 572. Ford ed., v, 463.

1615. CONQUEST, Un-American.—

is not in our principles. It is inconsistent
with our government.—
Instructions to William Carmichael. Washington ed. ix, 414. Ford ed., v, 230.

1616. CONSCIENCE, Coercing.—

It is inconsistent
with the spirit of our laws and
Constitution to force tender consciences.—
Proclamation Concerning Paroles. Ford ed., ii, 430.
(P. 1781)

1617. CONSCIENCE, Elections and.—

Every officer of the government may vote at
elections according to his conscience; but we
should betray the cause committed to our
care, were we to permit the influence of official
patronage to be used to overthrow that
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. iv, 451. Ford ed., viii, 176.
(W. Oct. 1802)

1618. CONSCIENCE, Elections and.—[continued].

Our principles render
federalists in office safe if they do not employ
their influence in opposing the government,
and only give their own vote according to
their conscience. And this principle we act
on as well with those put in office by others,
as by ourselves.—
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. v, 264.
(W. March. 1808)

1619. CONSCIENCE, Freedom of.—

are bound, you. I, and every one, to make
common cause, even with error itself, to maintain
the common right of freedom of conscience.—
To Edward Dowse. Washington ed. iv, 478.
(W. 1803)

1620. CONSCIENCE, Freedom of.—[continued].

Nor should we wonder
at * * * [the] pressure [for a fixed constitution
in 1788-9] when we consider the
monstrous abuses of power under which *
* * the [French] people were ground to
powder; when we pass in review * * * the shackles on the freedom of conscience.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.


Page 186

1621. CONSCIENCE, A guide.—

is the only sure clew which will eternally
guide a man clear of all doubts and inconsistencies.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. iii, 31. Ford ed., v, 96.
(P. 1789)

1622. CONSCIENCE, Inquisition over.

—I am averse to the communication of my religious
tenets to the public; because it would
countenance the presumption of those who
have endeavored to draw them before that
tribunal, and to seduce public opinion to erect
itself into that inquisition over the rights of
conscience, which the laws have so justly proscribed.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 480. Ford ed., viii, 224.
(W. April. 1803)

1623. CONSCIENCE, Liberty of.—

It behooves
every man who values liberty of
conscience for himself, to resist invasions
of it in the case of others; or their case may,
by change of circumstances, become his own.
It behooves him, too, in his own case, to give
no example of concession, betraying the
common right of independent opinion, by
answering questions of faith, which the laws
have left between God and himself.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 480. Ford ed., viii, 224.
(April. 1803)

1624. CONSCIENCE, Liberty of.—[continued].

This blessed country of
free inquiry and belief has surrendered its
creed and conscience to neither kings nor
To Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse. Washington ed. vii, 253. Ford ed., x, 220.
(M. 1822)

1625. CONSCIENCE, Moral laws and.—

The true fountains of evidence [are] the head
and heart of every rational and honest man,
It is there nature has written her moral laws,
and where every man may read them for himself.—
French Treaties Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 613. Ford ed., vi, 221.

1626. CONSCIENCE, Office and.—

their conscience urges them [federalists] to
take an active and zealous part in opposition,
it ought also to urge them to retire from a
post which they could not conscientiously
conduct with fidelity to the trust reposed in
To John Page. Washington ed. v, 136. Ford ed., ix, 119.
(W. 1807)

1627. CONSCIENCE, Rights of.—

error seems not sufficiently eradicated, that the
operations of the mind, as well as the acts of
the body, are subject to the coercion of the
laws. But our rulers can have no authority
over such natural rights, only as we have submitted
to them. The rights of conscience we
never submitted, we could not submit. We
are answerable for them to our God.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 400. Ford ed., iii, 263.

1628. CONSCIENCE, Rights of.—[continued].

A right to take the side
which every man's conscience approves in a
civil contest is too precious a right, and too
favorable to the preservation of liberty not
to be protected by all its well informed
friends. The Assembly of Virginia have
given sanction to this right in several of their
laws, discriminating honorably those who took
side against us, before the Declaration of Independence,
from those who remained among
us, and strove to injure us by their treacheries.—
To Mrs. Sprowle. Ford ed., iv, 66.
(P. 1785)

1629. CONSCIENCE, Rights of.—[further continued].

No provision in our Constitution
ought to be dearer to man than that
which protects the rights of conscience against
the enterprises of the civil authority. It has
not left the religion of its citizens under the
power of its public functionaries, were it
possible that any of these should consider
a conquest over the conscience of men either
attainable or applicable to any desirable purpose.—
R. To A. New London Methodists. Washington ed. viii, 147.

1630. CONSCIENCE, Rights of.—[further continued] .

The restoration of the
rights of conscience [in the Revised Code of
Virginia] relieved the people from taxation
for the support of a religion not theirs: for
the [Church of England] Establishment was
truly of the religion of the rich, the dissenting
sects being entirely composed of the
less wealthy people.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 49. Ford ed., i, 69.


See Government.


See Centralization.

1631. CONSTANTINOPLE, The Key of Asia.—

Constantinople is the Key of Asia.
Who shall have it? is the question.—
To George Wythe. Washington ed. ii, 267. Ford ed., iv, 444.
(P. 1787)

See Turks.

1632. CONSTITUTION, Definition of a.—

A constitution, ex vi termini, means “an
act above the powers of the ordinary legislature.
Constitutio, constitutum, statutum, lex, are convertible terms. “Constitutio dicitur
jus quod a principe conditur.” Constitutum quod ab imperatoribus rescriptum statutumve
est.” “Statutum, idem quod lex.” (Calvini
Lexicon juridicum.)Constitution and statute were originally terms of the [100] civil law, and
from thence introduced by ecclesiastics into
the English law. Thus in the statute 25
Hen. viii, c. 19, § 1, “Constitutions and
ordinances” are used as synonymous. The
term constitution has many other significations
in physics and politics; but in jurisprudence,
whenever it is applied to any act of the legislature,
it invariably means a statute, law, or
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 365. Ford ed., iii, 227.


To bid, to set, was the ancient legislative word of
the English. L1. Hlotharri and Eadrici. L1. Inæ.
L1. Eadwerdi, L1. Æthelstani.—Note by Jefferson.

1633. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Acceptance of.—

I am glad to hear that the
new Constitution is received with favor. I
sincerely wish that the nine first conventions
may receive, and the four last reject it. The
former will receive it finally, while the latter
will oblige them to offer a declaration of
rights in order to complete the Union. We


Page 187
shall thus have all its good, and cure its
principal defect.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., v, 5.
(P. Feb. 1788)

1634. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Acceptance of.—[continued].

I wish with all my soul
that the nine first conventions may accept
the new Constitution, because this will secure
to us the good it contains which I think great
and important. But I equally wish that the
four latest conventions, whichever they May
be, may refuse to accede to it till a declaration
of rights be annexed. This would probably
command the offer of such a declaration, and
thus give to the whole fabric, perhaps, as
much perfection as any one of that kind ever
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 355.
(P. Feb. 1788)

1635. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Acceptance of.—[further continued].

I am glad to hear that
our new Constitution is pretty sure of being
accepted by States enough to secure the good
it contains, and to meet such opposition in
some others as to give us hopes it will be
accommodated to them by the amendment of
its most glaring faults, particularly the want
of a declaration of rights.—
To William Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 350. Ford ed., v, 4.
(P. Feb. 1788)

1636. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Acceptance of.—[further continued] .

I learn with great pleasure
the progress of the new Constitution. Indeed
I have presumed it would gain on the
public mind, as I confess it has on my own.
At first, though I saw that the great mass
and groundwork were good, I disliked many
appendages. Reflection and discussion have
cleared off most of these.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 404. Ford ed., v, 19.
(P. May. 1788)

1637. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Acceptance of.—[further continued].

My first wish was that nine States would adopt it in order to
ensure what was good in it, and that the
others might, by holding off, produce the
necessary amendments. But the plan of
Massachusetts is far preferable, and will, I
hope, be followed by those who are yet to decide.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 404. Ford ed., v, 20.
(P. May. 1788)

1638. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Acceptance of.—[further continued] .

It will be easier to get
the assent of nine States to correct what is
wrong in the way pointed out by the Constitution
itself, than to get thirteen to concur
in a new convention and another plan of confederation.
I therefore sincerely pray that
the remaining States may accept it, as Massachusetts
has done, with standing instructions
to their delegates to press for amendments
till they are obtained. They cannot fail of
being obtained when the delegates of eight
States shall be under such perpetual instructions.—
To T. Lee Shippen. Washington ed. ii, 415.
(P. June. 1788)

1639. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Acceptance of.—[further continued].

I sincerely rejoice at the
acceptance of our new Constitution by nine
States. It is a good canvas, on which some
strokes only want retouching. What these
are, I think are sufficiently manifested by
the general voice from north to south, which
calls for a bill of rights. It seems pretty
generally understood, that this should go to
juries, habeas corpus, standing armies, print
ing, religion and monopolies.—
To Jame Madison. Washington ed. ii, 445. Ford ed., v, 45.
(P. July. 1788)

1640. CONSTITUTION (The Federal) Action by the States.—

With respect to the
new government, nine or ten States will
probably have accepted by the end of this
month. The others may oppose it. Virginia
I think, will be of this number. Besides other
objections of less moment, she will insist or
annexing a bill of rights to the new Constitution,
i. e. a bill wherein the government
shall declare that, I. Religion shall be free.
2. Printing presses free. 3. Trials by jury
preserved in all cases. 4. No monopolies in
commerce. 5. No standing army. Upon receiving
this bill of rights, she will probably
depart from her other objections, and the bill
is so much to the interest of all the States
that I presume they will offer it, and thus our
Constitution be amended, and our Union
closed by the end of the present year. In this
way, there will have been opposition enough
to do good, and not enough to do harm.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. ii, 356.
(P. Feb. 1788)

1641. CONSTITUTION (The Federal) Action by the States. mdash; [continued].

At first, I wished that
when nine States should have accepted the
Constitution, so as to ensure us what is good
in it, the other four might hold off till the
want of the bill of rights, at least, might be
supplied. But I am now convinced that the
plan of Massachusetts is the better, that is,
to accept, and to amend afterwards. If the
States which were to decide after her, should
all do the same, it is impossible but they must
obtain the essential amendments. It will
be more difficult if we lose this instrument,
to recover what is good in it, than to correct
what is bad, after we shall have adopted it.
It has, therefore, my hearty prayers.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 399. Ford ed., v, 25.
(P. May. 1788)

1642. CONSTITUTION (The Federal) Action by the States. mdash; [further continued].

The conduct of Massachusetts
has been noble. She accepted the
Constitution, but voted that it should stand
as a perpetual instruction to her delegates, to
endeavor to obtain such and such reformations;
and the minority, though very strong
both in numbers and abilities, declared viritim and seriatim that acknowledging the principle
that the majority must give the law, they
would now support the new Constitution with
their tongues, and with their blood, if necessary.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 398. Ford ed., v, 24.
(P. 1788)

1643. CONSTITUTION (The Federal) Action by the States. mdash; [further continued] .

I congratulate you on
the accession of your State [South Carolina] to the new Federal Constitution. I expect to
hear daily that my own has followed the good
example. Our government needed bracing.
Still we must take care not to run from one
extreme to another; not to brace too high.—
To E. Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 435. Ford ed., v, 41.
(P. July. 1788)

1644. CONSTITUTION (The Federal) Action by the States. mdash; [further continued].

In New York, two-thirds
of the State were against it [the new Constitution],
and certainly, if they had been called to
the decision in any other stage of the business,


Page 188
they would have rejected it; but before they
put it to the vote, they would certainly have
heard that eleven States had joined in it,
and they would find it safer to go with those
eleven, than put themselves into opposition,
with Rhode Island only.
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 465.
(P. Aug. 1788)

1645. CONSTITUTION (The Federal) Action by the States. mdash; [further continued] .

No news from North Carolina; but in such a case no news is good
news, as an unfavorable decision of the 12th
State would have flown like an electrical
shock through America and Europe.—
To Mr. Shippen. Washington ed. ii, 484.
(P. Sep. 1788)

1646. CONSTITUTION (The Federal) Action by the States. mdash; [further continued].

I have seen with infinite
pleasure our new Constitution accepted by
eleven States, not rejected by the twelfth;
and that the thirteenth happens to be a State
of the least importance. It is true, that the
minorities in most of the accepting States
have been very respectable; so much so as to
render it prudent, were it not otherwise
reasonable, to make some sacrifice to them.
I am in hopes that the annexation of a bill
of rights to the Constitution will alone draw
over so great a proportion of the minorities,
as to leave little danger in the opposition of
the residue; and that this annexation may be
made by Congress and the Assemblies, without
calling a convention which might endanger
the most valuable parts of the
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 533. Ford ed., v, 56.
(P. Dec. 1788)

1647. CONSTITUTION (The Federal) Action by the States. mdash; [further continued] .

The Virginia Assembly, furiously anti-federal, have passed a bill
rendering every person holding any Federal
office incapable of holding at the same time
any State office. This is a declaration of
war against the new Constitution.—
To William Short. Washington ed. ii, 576.
(P. Feb. 1789)

1648. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Adopt and amend.—

Were I in America, I would advocate it warmly till nine [States] should have adopted and then as warmly take
the other side to convince the remaining four
that they ought not to come into it till the
declaration of rights is annexed to it. By
this means we should secure all the good of
it, and procure so respectable an opposition as
would induce the accepting States to offer
a bill of rights. This would be the happiest
turn the thing could take.—
To William Stephens Smith. Ford ed., iv, 2.
(P. Feb. 1788)

1649. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Adopt and amend.—[continued].

Under this hope [that
the necessary amendments will be made] I
look forward to the general adoption of the
new Constitution with anxiety, as necessary
for us under our present circumstances.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 375. Ford ed., v, 8.
(P. May. 1788)

1650. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Adopt and amend.—[further continued].

I see in this instrument a great deal of good. The consolidation of
our government, a just representation, an administration
of some permanence, and other
features of great value will be gained by it.
There are, indeed, some faults which revolted
me a good deal in the first moment; but we
must be contented to travel on towards per
fection, step by step. We must be contented
with the ground which this Constitution will
gain for us, and hope that a favorable moment
will come for correcting what is amiss in it.—
To Comte de Moustier. Washington ed. ii, 388. Ford ed., v, II.
(P. May. 1788)

1651. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Adopt and amend.—[further continued] .

I should deprecate with you, indeed, the meeting of a new convention.
I hope they will adopt the mode of
amendment by Congress and the Assemblies,
in which case I should not fear any dangerous
innovation in the plan. But the minorities
are too respectable not to be entitled to some
sacrifice of opinion in the majority; especially,
when a great proportion of them would be
contented with a bill of rights.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 506. Ford ed., v, 53.
(P. Nov. 1788)

1652. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—

We must be contented to accept of its good, and to cure what is evil in
it hereafter. It seems necessary for our happiness
at home; I am sure it is so for our respectability
To John Brown. Washington ed. ii, 397. Ford ed., v, 19.
(P. May. 1788)

1653. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—[continued].

There are two amendments
only which I am anxious for: 1. A bill of rights, which it is so much the interest of
all to have, that I conceive it must be yielded.
The first amendment proposed by Massachusetts
[101] will in some degree answer this end,
but not so well. It will do too much in some
instances, and too little in others. It will
cripple the Federal Government in some
cases where it ought to be free, and not restrain
it in some others where restraint would
be right. The 2d amendment which appears
to me essential is the restoring the principle
of necessary rotation, particularly to the Senate
and Presidency, but most of all to the last. * * * Of the correction of this article,
however, I entertain no present hope, because
I find it has scarcely excited an objection in
America. And if it does not take place ere
long, it assuredly never will.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 404. Ford ed., v, 20.
(P. May. 1788)


The 1st amendment of Massachusetts was:
“That it explicitly declare that all powers, not expressly
delegated by the aforesaid Constitution, are
reserved to the several States, to be by them exercised.

1654. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—[further continued].

Though I approve of the
mass, I would wish to see some amendments,
further than those which have been proposed,
fixing it more surely on a republican basis.
* * * To secure the ground we gain, and
gain what more we can, is the wisest course.—
To George Mason. Washington ed. iii, 147. Ford ed., v, 183.
(N.Y., 1790)

1655. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—[further continued] .

It is too early to think of a declaratory act as yet, but the time is
approaching and not distant. Two elections
more will give us a solid majority in the
House of Representatives, and a sufficient one
in the Senate. As soon as it can be depended
on, we must have “A Declaration of the
Principles of the Constitution,” in nature of
a Declaration of Rights, in all the points in


Page 189
which it has been violated.—
To P. N. Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 327. Ford ed., vii, 439.
(Pa., April. 1800)

1656. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—[further continued].

How the good [in the new
Constitution] should be secured and the ill
brought to right was the difficulty. To refer
it back to a new Convention might endanger
the loss of the whole. My first idea was that
the nine States, first acting, should accept it
unconditionally, and thus secure what in it was
good and that the four last should accept on the
previous condition, that certain amendments
should be agreed to; but a better course was
devised of accepting the whole and trusting
that the good sense and honest intentions of
our citizens would make the alterations which
should be deemed necessary. Accordingly, all
accepted, six without objection and seven with
recommendations of specified amendments.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 79. Ford ed., i, 109.

1657. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—[further continued] .

Let us go on perfecting the Constitution by adding, by way of amendment,
those forms which time and trial show
are still wanting.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 506. Ford ed., viii, 248.
(M. 1803)

1658. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—[further continued].

The States are now so
numerous that I despair of ever seeing another
amendment to the Constitution, although
the innovations of time will certainly
call, and now already call, for some.—
To George Hay. Ford ed., x, 265.
(M. 1823)

1659. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—[further continued] .

Those who formerly
usurped the name of federalists, which in
they never were, have now openly abandoned
it, and are as openly marching by the
road of construction, in a direct line to that
consolidation which was always their real object.
They, almost to a man, are in possession
of one branch of the government, and appear
to be very strong in yours. The three
great questions of amendment now before
you, will give the measure of their strength.
I mean, 1st, the limitation of the term of the
Presidential service; 2nd, the placing the
choice of President effectually in the hands of
the people; 3rd, the giving to Congress the
power of internal improvement, on condition
that each State's federal proportion of the
moneys so expended shall be employed within
the State. The friends of consolidation would
rather take these powers by construction than
accept them by direct investiture of the States.
Yet, as to internal improvement particularly,
there is probably not a State in the Union
which would not grant the power on the condition
proposed, or which would grant it
without that. * * * If I can see these
three great amendments prevail, I shall consider
it as a renewed extension of the term
of our lease, shall live in more confidence and
die in more hope.—
To Robert J. Garnett. Washington ed. vii, 336. Ford ed., x, 294.
(M. Feb. 1824)

1660. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—[further continued]..

The real friends of the
Constitution in its federal form, if they wish
it to be immortal, should be attentive, by
amendments, to make it keep pace with the
advance of the age in science and experience.
Instead of this, the European governments
have resisted reformation, until the people,
seeing no other resource, undertake it themselves
by force, their only weapon, and work
it out through blood, desolation and long-continued
anarchy. Here it will be by large fragments
breaking off, and refusing reunion, but
on condition of amendment, or perhaps permanently.—
To Robert J. Garnett. Washington ed. vii, 336. Ford ed., x, 295.
(M. 1824)

1661. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Amendments to.—[further continued] .

I have read with pleasure
and satisfaction the very able and eloquent
speech you have been so kind as to send
me on the amendment of the Constitution,
proposed by Mr. McDuffie, and concur with
much of its contents.—
To Edward Everett. Washington ed. vii, 437. Ford ed., x, 385.
(M. April. 1826)

1662. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Approval of.—

I like much the general idea
of framing a government which should go on
of itself, peaceably, without needing continual
recurrence to the State Legislatures. I like
the organization of the government into Legislative,
Judiciary and Executive. I like the
power given the Legislature to leavy taxes,
and for that reason solely, I approve of the
greater House being chosen by the people directly.
For though I think a House chosen
by them will be very illy qualified to legislate
for the Union, for foreign nations, &c., yet
this evil does not weigh against the good of
preserving inviolate the fundamental principle
that the people are not to be taxed but by representatives
chosen immediately by themselves.
I am captivated by the compromise of
the opposite, claims of the great and little
States, of the latter to equal, and the former
to proportional influence. I am much pleased,
too, with the substitution of the method of
voting by persons instead of that of voting by
States: and I like the negative given to the
Executive, conjointly with a third of either
House; although I should have liked it better,
had the Judiciary been associated for that
purpose, or invested separately with a similar
power. There are other good things of less
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 328. Ford ed., iv, 475.
(P. Dec. 20, 1787 )

1663. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Approval of.—[continued].

It is a good canvas, on
which some strokes only want retouching.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 445. Ford ed., v, 45.
(P. July. 1788)

1664. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Approval of.—[further continued].

I approved, from the
first moment, of the great mass of what is in
the new Constitution; the consolidation of the
government; the organization into Executive,
Legislative, and Judiciary; the subdivision of
the Legislative; the happy compromise of interests
between the great and little States, by
the different manner of voting in the different
Houses; the voting by persons instead of
States; the qualified negative on laws given
to the Executive, which, however, I should
have liked better if associated with the Judiciary
also as in New York; and the power
of taxation. I thought at first that the latter
might have been limited. A little reflection
soon convinced me it ought not to be.—
To F. Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 586. Ford ed., v, 76.
(P. March. 1789)


Page 190

— CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Bill of Rights and.—

See Bill of Rights.

1665. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Compromises of.—

The Constitution was a
matter of compromise; a capitulation between
conflicting interests and opinions.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 37. Ford ed., x, 46.
(M. 1816)

— CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Consolidation and.—

See Centralization.

1666. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Construction of.—

I told the President
[Washington] * * * that they [the Hamilton
members of the Legislature] had chained
it [the Treasury system] about our necks for a
great length of time, and, in order to keep
the game in their hands had, from time to
time, aided in making such legislative constructions
of the Constitution, as made it a
very different thing from what the people
thought they had submitted to.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 104. Ford ed., i, 177.
(Feb. 1792)

1667. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Construction of.—[continued].

Our peculiar security is
in the possession of a written Constitution.
Let us not make it a blank paper by construction.
I say the same as to the opinion of those
who consider the grant of the treaty-making
power as boundless. If it is, then we have
no Constitution. If it has bounds, they can
be no others than the definitions of the powers
which that instrument gives. It specifies and
delineates the operations permitted to the
Federal Government, and gives all the powers
necessary to carry these into execution. Whatever
of these enumerated objects is proper for
a law, Congress may make the law; whatever
is proper to be executed by way of a treaty,
the President and Senate may enter into the
treaty; whatever is to be done by a judicial
sentence, the Judges may pass the sentence.
Nothing is more likely than that their enumeration
of powers is defective. This is the
ordinary case of all human works. Let us then
go on perfecting it, by adding, by way of
amendment to the Constitution those powers
which time and trial show are still wanting.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 505. Ford ed., viii, 247.
(M. Sep. 1803)

1668. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Construction of.—[further continued].

When an instrument admits
two constructions, the one safe the other
dangerous; the one precise, the other indefinite,
I prefer that which is safe and precise.
I had rather ask an enlargement of power
from the nation, where it is found necessary,
than to assume it by a construction which
would make our powers boundless.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 506. Ford ed., viii, 247.
(M. 1803)

1669. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Construction of.—[further continued] .

Strained constructions
* * * loosen all the bands of the Constitution.—
To George Ticknor. Ford ed., x, 81.

1670. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Construction of.—[further continued].

In denying the right they
[the Supreme Court] usurp of exclusively explaining
the Constitution, I go further than
you do, if I understand rightly your quotation
from the Federalist, of an opinion that
“the judiciary is the last resort in relation to
the other departments
of the government, but
not in relation to the rights of the parties to
the compact under which the judiciary is derived.
” If this opinion be sound, then indeed
is our Constitution a complete felo de se. For intending to establish three departments,
co-ordinate and independent, that they might
check and balance one another, it has given,
according to this opinion, to one of them
alone, the right to prescribe rules for the government
of the others, and to that one, too,
which is unelected by and independent of the
nation. For experience has already shown
that the impeachment it has provided is not
even a scare-crow; that such opinions as
the one you combat, sent cautiously out, as
you observe also, by detachment, not belonging
to the case often, but sought for out of it,
as if to rally the public opinion beforehand to
their views, and to indicate the line they are
to walk in, have been so quietly passed over
as never to have excited animadversion, even
in a speech of any one of the body entrusted
with impeachment. The Constitution, on this
hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the
hands of the judiciary, which they may twist
and shape into any form they please. * * * My construction of the Constitution is very
different from that you quote. It is that each
department is truly independent of the others,
and has an equal right to decide for itself
what is the meaning of the Constitution in
the cases submitted to its action; and especially,
where it is to act ultimately and without
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 134. Ford ed., x, 140.

1671. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Construction of.—[further continued] .

Each of the three departments
has equally the right to decide for
itself what is its duty under the Constitution,
without any regard to what the others May
have decided for themselves under a similar
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 136. Ford ed., x, 142.

1672. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Construction of.—[further continued].

My construction of the
Constitution is * * * that each department
is truly independent of the others, and
has an equal right to decide for itself what
is the meaning of the Constitution in the cases
submitted to its action; and especially, where
it is to act ultimately and without appeal. I
will explain myself by examples, which, having
occurred while I was in office, are better
known to me, and the principles which governed
them. A Legislature had passed the
Sedition law. The Federal courts had subjected
certain individuals to its penalties of
fine and imprisonment. On coming into office,
I released these individuals by the power
of pardon committed to executive discretion,
which could never be more properly exercised
than where citizens were suffering without the
authority of law, or, which was equivalent,
under a law unauthorized by the Constitution,
and therefore null. In the case of Marbury
vs. Madison, the Federal judges declared that
commissions, signed and sealed by the President,
were valid although not delivered. I
deemed delivery essential to complete a deed,
which, as long as it remains in the hands of


Page 191
the party, is as yet no deed, it is in posse only,
but not in esse, and I withheld delivery of the
commissions. They cannot issue a mandamus to the President or Legislature, or to any of
their officers. [102] When the British treaty of—arrived, without any provision against
the impressment of our seamen, I determined
not to ratify it. The Senate thought I should
ask their advice. I thought that would be a
mockery of them, when I was predetermined
against following it, should they advise its
ratification. The Constitution had made their
advice necessary to confirm a treaty, but not
to reject it. This has been blamed by some;
but I have never doubted its soundness. In
the cases of two persons, antenati, under exactly
similar circumstances, the Federal court
had determined that one of them (Duane)
was not a citizen; the House of Representatives
nevertheless determined that the other
(Smith, of South Carolina) was a citizen, and
admitted him to his seat in their body. Duane
was a republican, and Smith a federalist, and
these decisions were made during the federal
ascendency. These are examples of my position,
that each of the three departments has
equally the right to decide for itself what is
its duty under the Constitution, without any
regard to what the others may have decided
for themselves under a similar question.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 135. Ford ed., x, 141.


Jefferson adds this note: “The Constitution controlling
the common law in this particular.”—

1673. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Construction of.—[further continued] .

The judges are practicing
on the Constitution by inferences, analogies,
and sophisms, as they would on an
ordinary law. They do not seem aware that
it is not even a constitution, formed by a
single authority, and subject to a single
superintendence and control; but that it
is a compact of many independent powers,
every single one of which claims an equal
right to understand it, and to require its observance.
However strong the cord of compact
may be, there is a point of tension at
which it will break. A few such doctrinal
decisions, as barefaced as that of the Cohens,
happening to bear immediately on two or
three of the large States, may induce them to
join in arresting the march of government,
and in arousing the co-States to pay some
attention to what is passing, to bring back
the compact to its original principles, or to
modify it legitimately by the express consent
of the parties themselves, and not by the
usurpation of their created agents. They imagine
they can lead us into a consolidate
government, while their road leads directly to
its dissolution.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 403.
(M. 1825)

See 1684.

— CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Corporations and.—

See Incorporation.

1674. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Disapproval of.—

How do you like our new
Constitution? I confess there are things in
it which stagger all my dispositions to subscribe
to what such an assembly has proposed.
The House of Federal representatives will
not be adequate to the management of affairs,
either foreign or federal. Their President
seems a bad edition of a Polish king.
He may be elected from four years to four
years for life. Reason and experience prove
to us that a chief magistrate, so continuable,
is an officer for life. When one or two generations
shall have proved that this is an office
for life, it becomes on every occasion worthy
of intrigue, of bribery, of force, and even of
foreign interference. It will be of great consequence
to France and England to have
America governed by a Galloman, or an
Angloman. Once in office, and possessing the
military force of the Union, without the aid
or check of a council, he would not be easily
dethroned even if the people could be induced
to withdraw their votes from him. I wish
that at the end of four years they had made
him forever ineligible a second time. Indeed,
I think all the good of this new Constitution
might have been couched in three or four new
articles, to be added to the good, old and
venerable fabric, which should have been
preserved even as a religious relique.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 316.
(P. Nov. 13, 1787)

1675. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Disapproval of.—[continued].

There are very good articles
in it, and very bad. I do not know
which preponderate.—
To W. S. Smith. Washington ed. ii, 318. Ford ed., iv, 466.
(P. Nov. 1787)

1676. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Disapproval of.—[further continued].

I dislike, and greatly
dislike, the abandonment in every instance, of
the necessity of rotation in office, and most
particularly in the case of the President. Experience
concurs with reason in concluding
that the first magistrate will always be reelected,
if the Constitution permits it. He is
then an officer for life. This once observed,
it becomes of so much consequence to certain
nations to have a friend or a foe at the head
of our affairs, that they will interfere with
money and with arms. A Galloman, or an
Angloman will be supported by the nation he
befriends. If once elected, and at a second or
third election outvoted by one or two votes,
he will pretend false votes, foul play, hold
possession of the reins of government, be
supported by the States voting for him, especially
if they are the central ones, lying in
a compact body themselves, and separating
their opponents; and they will be aided by
one nation of Europe, while the majority are
aided by another. The election of a President
of America, some years hence will be
much more interesting to certain nations of
Europe than ever the election of a King of
Poland was. Reflect on all the instances in
history, ancient and modern, of elective monarchies,
and say if they do not give foundation
for my fears. The Roman Emperors, the
Popes, while they were of any importance;
the German Emperors, till they became hereditary
in practice; the Kings of Poland; the
Deys of the Ottoman Dependencies. It May
be said that if elections are to be attended
with these disorders, the seldomer they are
renewed the better. But experience shows
that the only way to prevent disorder is to


Page 192
render them uninteresting by frequent
changes. An incapacity to be elected a
second time would have been the only effectual
preventive. The power of removing him
every fourth year by the vote of the people,
is a power which will not be exercised. The
King of Poland is removable every day by
the Diet, yet he is never removed. Smaller
objections are, the appeal in fact as well as
law, and the binding all persons, legislative,
executive, and judiciary by oath to maintain
that Constitution. I do not pretend to decide
what would be the best method of procuring
the establishment of the manifold good
things in this Constitution, and of getting rid
of the bad. Whether by adopting it, in
hopes of future amendment; or after it has
been duly weighed and canvassed by the
people, after seeing the parts they generally
dislike, and those they generally approve, to
say to them: “We see now what you wish.
Send together your deputies again, let them
frame a constitution for you, omitting what
you have condemned, and establishing the
powers you approve. Even these will be a
great addition to the energy of your government.
” At all events, I hope you will not be
discouraged from other trials, if the present
one should fail of its full effect. I have thus
told you freely what I like and dislike; merely
as a matter of curiosity, for I know your own
judgment has been formed on all these points
after having heard everything which could be
urged on them. * * * After all, it is my
principle that the will of the majority should
always prevail. If they approve the proposed
convention in all its parts, I shall concur
in it cheerfully, in hopes that they will
amend it whenever they shall find it works
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 330. Ford ed., iv, 477.
(P. December 20, 1787)

1677. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Disapproval of.—[further continued] .

As to the new Constitution,
I find myself nearly a neutral. There
is a great mass of good in it, in a very desirable
form; but there is also to me a bitter
pill or two.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 334. Ford ed., iv, 481.
(P. Dec. 1787)

1678. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Disapproval of.—[further continued].

I was much pleased with
many and essential parts of this instrument
from the beginning. But I thought I saw in
it many faults, great and small. What I
have read and reflected has brought me over
from several of my objections of the first
moment, and to acquiesce under some others.
Two only remain of essential consideration,
to wit, the want of a bill of rights, and the
expunging the principle of necessary rotation
in the offices of President and Senator.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 398. Ford ed., v, 25.
(P. May. 1788)

1679. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Disapproval of.—[further continued] .

What I disapproved from
the first moment was the want of a bill of
rights, to guard liberty against the Legislative
as well as the Executive branches of the
government; that is to say, to secure freedom
in religion, freedom of the press, freedom
from monopolies, freedom from unlawful imprisonment,
freedom from a permanent military,
and a trial by jury, in all cases de
terminable by the laws of the land. I disapproved,
also, the perpetual re-eligibility of
the President. To these points of disapprobation
I adhere. My first wish was that the
nine first conventions might accept the Constitution,
as the means of securing to us the
great mass of good it contained; and that the
four last might reject it, as the means of obtaining
amendments. But I was corrected in
this wish the moment I saw the much better
plan of Massachusetts, and which had never
occurred to me. With respect to the declaration
of rights. I suppose the majority of
the United States are of my opinion; for, I
apprehend, all the anti-federalists, and a
very respectable proportion of the federalists,
think that such a declaration should now be
annexed. The enlightened part of Europe
have given us the greatest credit for inventing
this instrument of security for the rights
of the people, and have not been a little surprised
to see us so soon give it up. With
respect to the re-eligibility of the President,
I find myself differing from the majority of
my countrymen; for I think there are but
three States out of the eleven which have
desired an alteration of this. And, indeed,
since the thing is established, I would wish
it not to be altered during the life of our
great leader, whose executive talents are
superior to those I believe, of any man in
the world, and who, alone, by the authority
of his name, and the confidence reposed in
his perfect integrity, is fully qualified to put
the new government so under way, as to
secure it against the efforts of opposition.
But, having derived from our error all the
good there was in it, I hope we shall correct
it, the moment we can no longer have the
same name at the helm. * * * These, my
opinions, I wrote within a few hours after
I had read the Constitution, to one or two
friends in America.—
To F. Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 586. Ford ed., v, 76.
(P. March. 1789)

1680. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Disapproval of.—[further continued].

I received a copy [of the
new Federal Constitution] early in November
[1787] and read and contemplated its
provisions with great satisfaction. As not a
member of the Convention, however, nor
probably a single citizen of the Union had
approved it in all its parts, so I, too, found
articles which I thought objectionable. The
absence of express declarations ensuring
freedom of religion, freedom of the press,
freedom of the person under the uninterrupted
protection of the habeas corpus, and
trial by jury in civil as well as in criminal
cases excited my jealousy; and the re-eligibility
of the President for life I quite disapproved.
I expressed freely in letters to
my friends and most particularly to Mr.
Madison and General Washington my approbations
and objections.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 79. Ford ed., i, 108.

— CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Federal Convention and.—

See Convention.

1681. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Foundation of.—

I consider the foundation of
the Constitution as laid on this ground:

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Thomas Jefferson
Age about 44 years

From an engraving by Dequevauviller after the painting by Desnoyers. This portrait
was painted by the French artist Desnoyers, when Jefferson was in France as United States
Ambassador (1784-1789).

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Page 193
That “all powers not delegated to the
United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited
by it to the States, are reserved to the
States or to the people.” [XIIth Amendment.] To take a single step beyond the
boundaries thus specifically drawn around the
powers of Congress, is to take possession of
a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible
of any definition.—
National Bank Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 556. Ford ed., v, 285.

— CONSTITUTION (The Federal), General Welfare clause of.—

See General Welfare

1682. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Infractions of.—

If on [one] infraction [of
the Constitution] we build a second, on that
second a third, &c., any one of the powers
in the Constitution may be made to comprehend
every power of government.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 450. Ford ed., viii, 175.

1683. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Intention of.—

We ought always to presume
that the real intention [of the Constitution] which is alone consistent with the Constitution.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 449. Ford ed., viii, 174.

— CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Internal Improvements and.—

See Internal

1684. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Interpretation of.—

Where a phrase is susceptible
of two meanings, we ought certainly
to adopt that which will bring upon us the
fewest inconveniences.—
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed. vii, 599. Ford ed., v, 498.

1685. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Interpretation of.—[continued].

The Constitution * * * was meant to be republican, and we believe it
to be republican according to every candid
interpretation. Yet we have seen it so interpreted
and administered, as to be truly
what the French have called, a monarchie

To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 338. Ford ed., vii, 464.
(W. Dec. 1800)

1686. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Interpretation of.—[further continued].

The Constitution on
which our Union rests, shall be administered
by me according to the safe and honest meaning
contemplated by the plain understanding
of the people of the United States, at the time
of its adoption,—a meaning to be found in
the explanations of those who advocated, not
those who opposed it, and who opposed it
merely lest the construction should be applied
which they denounced as possible.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. iv, 387.
(W. March. 1801)

1687. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Interpretation of.—[further continued] .

The Constitution is a
compact of many independent powers, every
single one of which claims an equal right to
understand it, and to requre its observance.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 404.
(M. 1825)

1688. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Interpretation of.—[further continued].

The Constitution of the
United States is a compact of independent
nations, subject to the rules acknowledged in
similar cases, as well that of amendment provided
within itself, as, in case of abuse, the
justly dreaded but unavoidable ultima ratio

To Edward Everett. Washington ed. vii, 437. Ford ed., x, 385.
(M. 1826)

1689. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Jefferson and.—

One passage in the paper
you enclosed me must be corrected. It is
the following: “And all say it was yourself
more than any other individual that planned
and established the Constitution.” I was in
Europe when the Constitution was planned,
and never saw it till after it was established.
On receiving it, I wrote strongly to Mr. Madison,
urging the want of provision for the freedom
of religion, freedom of the press, trial
by jury, habeas corpus, and substitution of
militia for a standing army, and an express
reservation to the State of all rights not
specifically granted to the Union. He accordingly
moved in the first session of
Congress for these amendments, which were
agreed to and ratified by the States as they
now stand. This is all the hand I had in
what related to the Constitution.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 441. Ford ed., viii, 159.
(W. 1802)

1690. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Jurisdiction of.—

It may be impracticable to
lay down any general formula of words which
shall decide at once and with precision in
every case, this limit of jurisdiction. But
there are two canons which will guide us
safely in most of the cases. 1st. The capital
and leading object of the Constitution was to
leave with the States all authorities which
respected their own citizens only, and to
transfer to the United States those which
respected citizens of foreign or other States;
to make us several as to ourselves, but one
as to all others. In the latter case, then, constructions
should lean to the general jurisdiction,
if the words will bear it, and in
favor of the States in the former, if possible
to be so construed. And, indeed, between citizens
and citizens of the same State and under
their own laws, I know but a single case in
which a jurisdiction is given to the General
Government. That is where anything but gold
or silver is made a lawful tender, or the obligation
of contracts is any otherwise impaired.
The separate legislatures had so often abused
that power that the citizens themselves chose
to trust it to the general rather than to their
own special authorities. 2d. On every question
of construction, carry ourselves back to
the time when the Constitution was adopted,
recollect the spirit manifested in the debates,
and instead of trying what meaning may be
squeezed out of the text, or invented against
it, conform to the probable one in which it
was passed.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 296. Ford ed., x, 230.
(M. 1823)

1691. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Model for France.—

Ours [Constitution] has
been professedly their model, in which such
changes are made as a difference of circumstances
rendered necessary, and some others
neither necessary nor advantageous, but into


Page 194
which men will ever run, when versed in
theory and new in the practice of the government,
when acquainted with man only as
they see him in their books, and not in the
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 98. Ford ed., v, 109.
(P. Aug. 1789)

1692. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Monarchizing.—

I am opposed to the monarchizing
its features by the forms of its administration,
with a view to conciliate a
first transition to a President and Senate
for life, and from that to an hereditary tenure
of these offices, and thus to worm out the
elective principle.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 327.
(Pa., 1799)

1693. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Necessity for.—

Our new Constitution has
succeeded beyond what I apprehended it
would have done. I did not at first believe
that eleven States out of thirteen would have
consented to a plan consolidating themselves
as much into one. A change in their dispositions,
which had taken place since I left
them, had rendered this consolidation necessary,
that is to say, had called for a federal
government which could walk upon its own
legs, without leaning for support on the State
Legislatures. A sense of necessity, and a
submission to it, is to me a new and consolatory
proof that whenever the people are
well-informed, they can be trusted with their
own government; that whenever things get
so far wrong as to attract their notice, they
may be relied on to set them to rights.—
To Dr. Price. Washington ed. ii, 553.
(P. 1789)

See 1648.

1694. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Preservation of.—

The preservation of the
Federal Constitution is all we need contend
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. iii, 314. Ford ed., v, 409.
(Pa., 1791)

1695. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Preservation of.—[continued].

The preservation of the
General Government in its whole constitutional
vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace
at home and safety abroad, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government,
and consequently [one of] those which ought
to shape its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 4.

1696. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Preservation of.—[further continued].

I do, with sincere zeal,
wish an inviolable preservation of our present
Federal Constitution according to the true
sense in which it was adopted by the States;
that in which it was advocated by its friends,
and not that which its enemies apprehended,
who therefore became its enemies.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 327.
(Pa., 1799)

1697. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Preservation of.—[further continued] .

May you and your cotemporaries
meet them [attacks on the Constitution] with the same determination and
effect, as your father and his did the Alien
and Sedition laws, and preserve inviolate a
constitution, which, cherished in all its
chastity and purity, will prove in the end a
blessing to all the nations of the earth.—
To Mr. Nicholas. Washington ed. vii, 230.
(M. 1821)

1698. CONSTITUTION (The Federal), Preservation of.—[further continued].

To preserve the republican
forms and principles of our Constitution,
and cleave to the salutary distribution of
powers which that has established, * * * are the two sheet anchors of our Union. If
driven from either we shall be in danger of
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 29