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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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2851. FACTION, Baleful.—

In the present factions division of your State [Pennsylvania] an angel from heaven could do no
To W. T. Franklin. Washington ed. i, 555.
(P. 1786)

2852. FACTION, Government and.—

With respect to the schism among the republicans
of your State [Pennsylvania] I have
ever declared to both parties that I consider
the General Government as bound to take no
part in it, and I have carefully kept both my
judgment, my affections, and my conduct,
clear of all bias to either.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. v, 182.
(M. 1807)

2853. FACTION, Violent.—

I have seen
with regret the violence of the dissensions
in your quarter [Mississippi]. We have the
same in the Territories of Louisiana and
Michigan. It seems that the smaller the society
the bitterer the dissensions into which
it breaks. Perhaps this observation answers
all the objections drawn by Mr. [John] Adams
from the small republics of Italy. I believe


Page 321
ours is to owe its permanence to its great extent,
and the smaller portion comparatively,
which can ever be convulsed at one time by
local passions.—
To Governor Robert Williams. Washington ed. v, 209. Ford ed., ix, 166.
(Nov. 1807)

2854. FAITH (Good), Adherence to.—

It is a great consolation to me that our government,
as it cherishes most its duties to its
own citizens, so is it the most exact in its
moral conduct towards other nations. I do
not believe that in the four Administrations
which have taken place, there has been a
single instance of departure from good faith
towards other nations. We may sometimes
have mistaken our rights, or made an erroneous
estimate of the actions of others, but
no voluntary wrong can be imputed to us.—
To George Logan. Ford ed., x, 68.
Nov. 1816)

2855. FAITH (Good), Rule of.—

faith ought ever to be the rule of action in
public as well as in private transactions.—
Sixth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 64. Ford ed., viii, 489.

2856. FAITH (Good), The surest guide.—

Good faith is every man's surest guide. [185]
Peace Proclamation. Ford ed., iii, 377.


The proclamation announcing the ratification of
the definitive treaty of peace with Great Britain.——Editor.

2857. FAITH (Public), Breach of impossible.—

The separation of these troops
(British prisoners in Virginia) would be a
breach of public faith, therefore, I suppose it
is impossible.—
To Governor Henry. Washington ed. i, 221. Ford ed., ii, 179.

2858. FAITH (Public), Cherishing.—

think it very certain that a decided majority
of the next Congress will be actuated by a
very different spirit from that which governed
the two preceding Congresses. Public faith
will be cherished equally, I would say more,
because it will be on purer principles; and
the tone and proceedings of the government
will be brought back to the true spirit of the
Constitution, without disorganizing the machine
in its essential parts.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Ford ed., vi, 214.
(Pa., April. 1793)

2859. FAITH (Public), Preservation of.—

[The] sacred preservation of the public
faith, 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.

2860. FAITH (Public), Preservation of.—[continued].

To preserve the faith of
the nation by an exact discharge of its debts
and contracts * * * [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, 187.
(Dec. 1802)

2861. FAITH (Public), Preservation of.—[further continued].

There can never be a
fear but that the paper which represents the
public debt will be ever sacredly good. The
public faith is bound for this, and no change
of system will ever be permitted to touch this;
but no other paper stands on ground equally
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 343. Ford ed., v, 460.
(Pa., March. 1792)

2862. FAITH (Public), Respect for.—

respect for public faith, though it was engaged
by false brethren, must protect the funding
To C. D. Ebeling. Ford ed., vii, 47.

2863. FALSEHOOD, Truth and.—

who knows nothing is nearer the truth than
he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and
To John Norvell. Washington ed. v, 92. Ford ed., ix, 73.
(W. 1807)

2864. FAMILY, Affection.—

The circle
of our nearest connections is the only one in
which a faithful and lasting affection can be
found, one which will adhere to us under all
changes and chances. It is, therefore, the
only soil on which it is worth while to bestow
much culture. Of this truth you will become
more convinced every day you advance into
To Mary Jefferson Eppes. D. L. J.255.
(Pa., 1799)

2865. FAMILY, Complications in.—

the lady has anything difficult in her disposition,
avoid what is rough, and attach her
good qualities to you. [186] Consider what are
otherwise as a bad stop in your harpsichord,
and do not touch on it, but make yourself
happy with the good ones. Every human
being must thus be viewed, according to what
it is good for; for none of us, no not one, is
perfect; and were we to love none who had
imperfections, this world would be a desert
for our love. All we can do is to make the
best of our friends, love and cherish what
is good in them, and keep out of the way of
what is bad; but no more think of rejecting
them for it, than of throwing away a piece of
music for a flat passage or two. Your situation
will require peculiar attentions and respect
to both parties. Let no proof be too
much for either your patience or acquiescence.
Be you the link of love, union, and peace
for the whole family. The world will give
you the more credit for it, in proportion to
the difficulty of the task, and your own happiness
will be the greater as you perceive that
you promote that of others.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. D. L. J.187.
(N.Y., 17901790)gt;


Jefferson was advising his daughter respecting
her demeanor towards a young wife whom her
father-in-law had married.—Editor.

2866. FAMILY, A happy.—

I now see
our fireside formed into a group no one member
of which has a fibre in their composition
which can ever produce any jarring or jealousies
among us. No irregular passions, no
dangerous bias, which may render problematical
the future fortunes and happiness of
our descendants. We are quieted as to their
condition for at least one generation more.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. D. L. J.245.
(Pa., 1797)


Page 322

2867. FAMILY, Love of.—

It is in the
love of one's family only that heartfelt happiness
is known.—
To Mary Jefferson Eppes. D. L. J.281.
(W. 1801)

2868. FAMILY, Society.—

When I look
to the ineffable pleasure of my family society.
I become more and more disgusted with the
jealousies, the hatred, and the rancorous and
malignant passions of this scene [the Capital],
and lament my having ever again been drawn
into public view. Tranquillity is now my object.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. D. L. J.245.
(Pa., 1797)

2869. FAMILY, Thoughts of.—

here in scenes of constant torment,
malice, and obloquy, worn down in a station
where no effort to render service can avail
anything, I feel not that existence is a blessing,
but when something recalls my mind
to my family or farm.—
To Mary Jefferson Eppes. D. L. J.256.
(Feb. 1799)


I find myself detaching
very fast, perhaps too fast, from
everything but yourself, your sister, and those
who are identified with you. These form the
last hold the world will have on me, the cords
which will be cut only when I am loosened
from this state of being.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. D. L. J.248.
(Pa., 17981798)gt;

2871. FAMILY TIES.—[continued].

My attachments to the
world, and whatever it can offer, are daily
wearing off; but you are one of the links
which hold to my existence, and can only
break off with that.—
To Mary Jefferson Eppes. D. L. J.263.
(Pa., 1800)

2872. FAMILY, Unhappiness without.—

By a law of our nature, we cannot be
happy without the endearing connections of a
To W. Clarke. Washington ed. v, 468.
(M. 1809)

2873. FAMINE, Anarchy and.—

The first thing to be feared for the French Republic
is famine. This will infallibly produce anarchy.
Indeed, that joined to a draft of soldiers,
has already produced some serious insurrections.—
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 570.
(Pa., June. 1793)

2874. FAMINE, Insurrection and.—

are in danger of hourly insurrection [in Paris] for want of bread; and an insurrection once
begun for that cause, may associate itself
with those discontented for other causes, and
produce incalculable events.—
To E. Rutledge. Washington ed. iii, 111.
(P. Sep. 1789)

2875. FANATICISM, Education and.—

The atmosphere of our country is unquestionably
charged with a threatening cloud of fanaticism,
lighter in some parts, denser in
others, but too heavy in all. * * * The
diffusion of instruction * * * will be the
* * * remedy for this fever of fanaticism.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vii, 266. Ford ed., x, 242.
(M. 1822)

2876. FANATICISM, Growth and decline.—

I hope and believe you are mistaken
in supposing the reign of fanaticism to be on
the advance. I think it certainly declining.
It was first excited artificially by the sovereigns
of Europe as an engine of opposition to
Bonaparte and to France. It rose to a great
height there, and became, indeed, a powerful
engine of loyalism, and of support to their
governments. But that loyalism is giving way
to very different dispositions, and its
prompter, fanaticism, is vanishing with it. In
the meantime, it had been across the
Atlantic, and chiefly from England, with their
other fashions, but it is here also on the wane.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vii, 170.
(M. 1820)

2877. FANEUIL HALL, Sedition and.—

What mischief is this which is brewing anew between Faneuil Hall and the nation of
God-dem-mees? Will that focus of sedition
be never extinguished?—
To Mrs. John Adams. Ford ed., iv, 68.
(P. July. 1785)

2878. FARMER, Jefferson as a.—

I first entered on the stage of public life (now
twenty-four years ago), I came to a resolution
never * * * to wear any other character
than that of a farmer.—
To——. Washington ed. iii, 527.
(Pa., 1793)

2879. FARMER, Jefferson as a.—[continued].

To keep a Virginia estate
together requires in the owner both skill
and attention. Skill, I never had, and attention
I could not have; and, really, when I reflect
on all circumstances, my wonder is that
I should have been so long as sixty years in reaching the result to which I am now reduced.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., x, 383.
(M. 1826)

2880. FARMERS, Americanism of.—

Farmers, whose interests are entirely agricultural,
are the true representatives of the great
American interests, and are alone to be relied
on for expressing the proper American
To Arthur Campbell. Washington ed. iv, 198. Ford ed., vii, 170.
(M. 1797)

2881. FARMERS, Barter and.—

The truth
is that farmers, as we all are, have no
command of money. Our necessaries are all
supplied, either from our farms, or a neighboring
store. Our produce, at the end of the
year, is delivered to the merchant, and thus
the business of the year is done by barter,
without the intervention of scarcely a dollar;
and thus, also, we live with a plenty of everything
except money.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 576. Ford ed., ix, 312.
(M. 1811)

2882. FARMERS, As citizens.—

of the earth are the most valuable
citizens. They are the most vigorous, the
most independent, the most virtuous, and they
are tied to their country, and wedded to its
liberty and interests, by the most lasting
bonds. As long, therefore, as they can find
employment in this line. I would not convert
them into mariners, artisans, or anything else.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 403. Ford ed., iv, 88.
(P. 1785)

2883. FARMERS, As citizens.—[continued].

Cultivators of the earth
are the most virtuous citizens and possess
most of the amor patriæ.
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 288. Ford ed., iv, 143.
(P. 1786)


Page 323

2884. FARMERS, As citizens.—[further continued].

The proportion which the aggregate of the other classes of citizens bears
in any State to that of its husbandmen, is,
generally speaking, the proportion of its unsound
to its healthy parts, and is a good
enough barometer whereby to measure its
degree of corruption.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 405. Ford ed., iii, 269.

2885. FARMERS, As citizens.—[further continued] .

Cultivators of the earth
are the most virtuous and independent citizens.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 413. Ford ed., iii, 279.

2886. FARMERS, Education of.—

agriculturist needs ethics, mathematics, chemistry
and natural philosophy. To them the languages
are but ornament and comfort.—
To John Brazier. Washington ed. vii, 133.

2887. FARMERS, Happiness of Virginia.—

I know no condition happier than
that of a Virginia farmer might be, conducting
himself as he did during the war [of the
Revolution]. His estate supplies a good table,
clothes himself and his family with their ordinary
apparel, furnishes a small surplus to
buy salt, sugar, coffee, and a little finery for
his wife and daughters enables him to receive
and to visit his friends and furnishes
him pleasing and healthy occupation. To secure
all this, he needs the one act of self-denial,
to put off buying anything till he has the
money to pay for it.—
To Dr. Currie. Washington ed. ii, 219.
(P. 1787)

2888. FARMERS, Morals of.—

of morals in the mass of cultivators is a
phenomenon of which no age nor nation has
furnished an example. It is the mark set on
those, who, not looking up to heaven, to their
own soil and industry, as does the husbandman,
for their subsistence, depend for it on
casualties and caprice of customers.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 405. Ford ed., iii, 268.

2889. FARMERS, Neglected.—

[Philadelphia, the seat of government], the
unmoneyed farmer, as he is termed, his cattle
and crops, are no more thought of than if
they did not feed us. Scrip and stock are
food and raiment here.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 455.
(Pa., 1792)

— FARMERS, Plundered.—

See 2589.

2890. FARMERS, Prices and.—

farmers are cheerful in the expectation of a
good price for wheat in autumn. Their pulse
will be regulated by this, and not by the successes
or disasters of the war.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 78.
(M. Aug. 1812)

2891. FARMERS, Sacrificing.—

Shall the
whole mass of our farmers be sacrificed to
the class of shipwrights?—
Opinion on Ship Passports. Washington ed. vii, 625.
(May. 1793)

2892. FARMERS, Virtues of.—

who labor in the earth are the chosen people
of God, if He ever had a chosen people,
whose breasts He has made His peculiar deposit
for substantial and genuine virtue. It
is the focus in which he keeps alive that sa
cred fire, which otherwise might escape from
the face of the earth.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 405. Ford ed., iii, 268.


See Monopoly.

2893. FARMING, Absorbed in.—

If you
visit me as a farmer, it must be as a co-disciple;
for I am but a learner; an eager one
indeed, but yet desperate, being too old now to
learn a new art. However, I am as much delighted
and occupied with it, as if I was the
greatest adept. I shall talk with you about it
from morning till night, and put you on very
short allowance as to political aliment. Now
and then a pious ejaculation for the French
and Dutch republicans, returning with due
dispatch to clover, potatoes, wheat, &c.—
To W. B. Giles, Washington ed. iv, 118. Ford ed., vii, 12.
(M. 1795)

2894. FARMING, Ardor for.—

I return
to farming with an ardor which I scarcely
knew in my youth, and which has got the
better entirely of my love of study.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 103. Ford ed., vi, 505.
(M. April. 1794)

2895. FARMING, Beauty and.—

In Virginia
we are all farmers, but not in a pleasing
style. We have so little labor in proportion
to our land that, although perhaps we
make more profit from the same labor, we cannot
give to our grounds that style of beauty
which satisfies the eye of the amateur.—
To C. W. Peale. Washington ed. vi, 6.

2896. FARMING, Delight in.—

No occupation
is so delightful to me as the culture
of the earth.—
To C. W. Peale. Washington ed. vi, 6.

2897. FARMING, Management.—

farm, however large, is not more difficult to
direct than a garden, and does not call for
more attention or skill.—
To J. B. Stuart. Washington ed. vii, 64.
(M. 1817)

2898. FARMING, Theory and practice.—

Attached to agriculture by inclination, as
well as by a conviction that it is the most
useful of the occupations of man, my course
of life has not permitted me to add to its
theories the lessons of practice.—
To M. Silvestre. Washington ed. v, 83.
(W. 1807)

2899. FASHION, Revolution and.—

I have hopes that the majority of the nobles
are already disposed to join the Tiers Etat in
deciding that the vote [in the States General] shall be by persons. This is the opinion a
la mode
at present, and mode has acted a
wonderful part in the present instance. All
the handsome young women, for example,
are for the Tiers Etat, and this is an army
more powerful in France, than the 200,000
men of the King.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 11. Ford ed., v, 87.

2900. FAST-DAY, Appointment of a.—

[After the promulgation of the Boston Port-bill
in 1774] we [the young leaders in the
Virginia House of Burgesses] were under the
conviction of the necessity of arousing our peo


Page 324
ple from the lethargy into which they had fallen
as to passing events; and thought that the appointment
of a day of general fasting and
prayer would be most likely to call up and alarm
their attention. No example of such a solemnity
had existed since the days of our distresses
in the war of 1755, since which a new
generation had grown up. With the help, therefore,
of Rushworth, whom we rummaged over
for the revolutionary precedents and forms of
the Puritans of that day, preserved by him,
we cooked up a resolution, somewhat modernizing
their phrases, for appointing the 1st
day of June, on which the Port-bill was to commence,
for a day of fasting, humiliation and
prayer, to implore Heaven to avert from us the
evils of civil war, to inspire us with firmness in
support of our rights, and to turn the hearts of
the King and Parliament to moderation and
justice. To give greater emphasis to our proposition,
we agreed to wait the next morning
on Mr. [Robert Carter] Nicholas, whose
grave and religious character was more in
unison with the tone of our resolution, and to
solicit him to move it. We accordingly went
to him in the morning. He moved it the same
day; the 1st of June was proposed; and it
passed without opposition. The Governor dissolved
us as usual. * * * We returned
home, and in our several counties invited the
clergy to meet assemblies of the people on the
1st of June, to perform the ceremonies of the
day, and to address to them discourses suited to
the occasion. The people met generally, with
anxiety and alarm in their countenances, and
the effect of the day through the whole Colony,
was like a shock of electricity, arousing every
man, and placing him erect and solidly on his
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 6. Ford ed., i, 9.

2901. FAST-DAYS, Federal Government and.—

I consider the government of the
United States as interdicted by the Constitution
from intermeddling in religious institutions,
their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.
This results not only from the provision that
no law shall be made respecting the establishment
or free exercise of religion, but from
that also which reserves to the States the
powers not delegated to the United States.
Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious
exercise, or to assume authority in religious
discipline, has been delegated to the General
Government. It must, then, rest with the
States, so far as it can be in any human authority.
But it is only proposed that I should
recommend, not prescribe, a day of fasting
and prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the United States an authority over
religious exercises, which the Constitution
has directly precluded them from. It must
be meant, too, that this recommendation is to
carry some authority, and to be sanctioned
by some penalty on those who disregard it;
not indeed of fine and imprisonment, but of
some degree of proscription perhaps in public
opinion. And does the change in the nature
of the penalty make the recommendation less
a law of conduct for those to whom it is directed?
I do not believe it is for the interest
of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct
its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines;
nor of the religious societies, that the
General Government should be invested with
the power of effecting any uniformity of time
or matter among them. Fasting and prayer
are religious exercises; the enjoining them an
act of discipline. Every religious society has
a right to determine for itself the times for
these exercises, and the objects proper for
them, according to their own particular tenets;
and this right can never be safer than in their
own hands, where the Constitution has deposited
it. I am aware that the practice of
my predecessors may be quoted. But I have
ever believed that the example of State executives
led to the assumption of that authority
by the General Government, without due
examination, which would have discovered
that what might be a right in a State government,
was a violation of that right when assumed
by another. Be this as it may, every
one must act according to the dictates of his
own reason, and mine tells me that civil
powers alone have been given to the President
of the United States, and no authority to direct
the religious exercises of his constituents.—
To Rev. Samuel Miller. Washington ed. v, 236. Ford ed., ix, 174.
(W. 1808)

2902. FAST-DAYS, Federal Government and.—[continued].

In matters of religion, I
have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the power
of the General Government. I have, therefore,
undertaken on no occasion to prescribe
the religious exercises suited to it; but have
left them as the Constitution found them.
under the direction and discipline of State or
Church authorities acknowledged by the several
religious societies.—
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 42. Ford ed., vii, 344.

2903. FAUQUIER (Francis), Ability.—

The ablest man who had ever filled that office
[Governor of Virginia]. [187]
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 3. Ford ed., i, 4.


Jefferson, while a student at William and Mary
College, was introduced to Governor Fauquier.
“With him, and at his table,” says Jefferson ( Autobiography,
i, 3), “Dr. Small and Mr. Wythe, his
amici omnium, horarum, and myself, formed a
partie quarree, and to the habitual conversations on
these occasions I owed much instruction.”—Editor.

2904. FAVORITISM, Equal rights vs.—

To special legislation we are generally averse, lest a principle of favoritism should
creep in and pervert that of equal rights.—
To George Flower. Washington ed. vii, 83.

2905. FAVORITISM, Justice and.—

out justice without partiality or favoritism.—
To Hugh Williamson. Ford ed., v, 492.
(Pa., 17921792)gt;

2906. FAVORITISM, Regal.—

The single
interposition of an interested individual
against a law was scarcely ever known to fail
of success, though in the opposite scale were
placed the interests of a whole country.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 135. Ford ed., i, 440.

2907. FAVORS, Personal.—

In these countries
[France and Holland] personal favors
weigh more than public interest.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 569. Ford ed., iv, 226.
(P. 1786)

2908. FAVORS, Solicitation of.—

who have had, and who may yet have, occa


Page 325
sion to ask great favors, should never ask
small ones.—
To M. de Lafayette. Washington ed. i, 579.
(P. 1786)


See Washington


See Judiciary
Supreme Court.

2909. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Birth of.—

The new government has ushered itself
to the world, as honest, masculine and dignified.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 100. Ford ed., v, 112.
(P. 1789)

— FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Centralization.—

See Centralization.

2910. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Expansion and.—

Who can limit the extent to
which the federative principle may operate
effectively? The larger our association, the
less will it be shaken by local passions.—
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 41. Ford ed., viii, 344.

2911. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Expansion and.—[continued].

I still believe that the
Western extension of our confederacy will ensure
its duration, by overruling local factions,
which might shake a smaller association.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. vii, 215. Ford ed., x, 192.
(M. 1821)

See Territory.

2912. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—

I find by the public papers,
that your commercial convention [at Annapolis] failed in point of representation. If it
should produce a full meeting in May, and a
broader reformation, it will still be well. To
make us one nation, as to foreign concerns,
and keep us distinct in domestic ones, gives
the outline of the proper division of powers
between the general and particular governments.
But, to enable the federal head to exercise
the powers 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 Committee 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. [188]
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 65. Ford ed., iv, 332.
(P. Dec. 16, 1786)


Alexander H. Stephens, in commenting on this
passage in his History of the United States, page
278, says: “This, as far as the author has been able
to discover, after no inconsiderable research, is the
first embodied conception of the general outline of
those proper changes of the old Constitution, or
Articles of Confederation, which were subsequently
actually and in fact ingrafted on the old system of
confederations; and which make the most marked
difference between ours, and all other like systems.”—Editor.

2913. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—[continued].

I think it very material
to separate in the hands of Congress the ex
ecutive and legislative powers, as the judiciary
already are in some degree. * * * The
want of it has been the source of more evil
than we have experienced from any other
cause. Nothing is so embarrassing nor so
mischievous in a great assembly as the details
of execution. The smallest trifle of that
kind occupies as long as the most important
act of legislation, and takes place of everything
else. Let any man recollect, or look over
the files of [the Confederation] Congress;
he will observe the most important propositions
hanging over, from week to week, and
month to month, till the occasions have passed
them, and the thing never done. I have ever
viewed the executive details as the greatest
cause of evil to us, because they, in fact, place
us as if we had no federal head, by diverting
the attention of that head from great to small
objects; and should this division of power
not be recommended by the convention, it is
my opinion Congress should make it itself,
by establishing an Executive Committee.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 218. Ford ed., iv, 424.
(P. Aug. 1787)

2914. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—[further continued].

To give the Federal head
some peaceable mode of enforcing its just authority,
[and] to organize that head into legislative,
executive and judiciary departments,
are great desiderata in our Federal constitution.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 250.
(P. Aug. 1787)

2915. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—[further continued] .

To make our States one
as to all foreign concerns, [and] preserve
them several as to all merely domestic * * * are great desiderata in our Federal constitution.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 250.
(P. Aug. 1787)

2916. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—[further continued].

You ask me what
amelionation I think necessary in our Federal
constitution. * * * My own general idea
is that the States should severally preserve
their sovereignty in whatever concerns themselves alone, and that whatever may concern
another State, or any foreign nation, should
be made a part of the Federal sovereignty;
that the exercise of the Federal sovereignty
should be divided among three several bodies,
legislative, executive and judiciary, as the
State sovereignties are; and that peaceable
means should be contrived for the Federal
head to enforce compliance on the part of the
To George Wythe. Washington ed. ii, 267. Ford ed., iv, 445.
(P. Sep. 1787)

2917. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—[further continued] .

My idea is that we
should be made one nation in every case concerning
foreign affairs, and separate ones in
whatever is merely domestic.—
To J. Blair. Washington ed. ii, 249.
(P. 1787)

2918. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—[further continued].

My idea is that the Federal
government should be organized into
legislative, executive, and judiciary, as are
the State governments, and some peaceable
means of enforcement devised for the Federal
head over the States.—
To J. Blair. Washington ed. ii, 249.
(P. 1787)

2919. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Formation of.—[further continued] .

My general plan would
be to make the States one as to everything


Page 326
connected with foreign nations, and several as
to everything purely domestic.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 217. Ford ed., iv, 424.
(P. 1787)

2920. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, A frugal.—

I am for a government rigorously
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 327.
(Pa., 1799)

2921. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, A frugal.—[continued].

Kindly separated by nature
and a wide ocean from the exterminating
havoc of one quarter of the globe;
too high-minded to endure the degradations
of the others; possessing a chosen
country, with room enough for our descendants
to the hundredth and thousandth generation;
entertaining a due sense of our equal
right to the use of our own faculties, to the
acquisitions of our industry, to honor and
confidence from our fellow citizens, resulting,
not from birth, but from our actions, and
their sense of them; enlightened by a benign
religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in
various forms, yet all of them inculcating
honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the
love of man; acknowledging and adoring an
overruling Providence, which, by all its dispensations,
proves that it delights in the happiness
of man here and his greater happiness
hereafter,—with all these blessings, what more
is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous
people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal government, which
shall restrain men from injuring one another,
which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate
their own pursuits of industry and improvement,
and shall not take from the mouth
of labor the bread it has earned. This is the
sum of good government, and this is necessary
to close the circle of our felicities.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 3. Ford ed., viii, 3.

2922. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Functions.—

To draw around the whole nation
the strength of the General Government,
as a barrier against foreign foes, to
watch the borders of every State, that no external
hand may intrude, or disturb the exercise
of self-government reserved to itself, to
equalize and moderate the public contributions,
that while the requisite services are
invited by due remuneration, nothing beyond
this may exist to attract the attention of our
citizens from the pursuits of useful industry,
nor unjustly to burthen those who continue
in those pursuits—these are functions of the
General Government on which you have a
right to call * * * These shall be faithfully
pursued according to the plain and candid
import of the expressions in which they
were announced [in the first inaugural address].—
Reply to Vermont Address. Washington ed. iv, 418.
(W. 1801)

2923. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Happiness under.—

That the [Federal] Government
is calculated to produce general happiness,
when administered in its true republican
spirit, I am thoroughly persuaded.—
To David Campbell. Ford ed., v, 489.
(Pa., 17921792)gt;

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Judiciary.—See Judiciary and Supreme Court.


See Offices.

2924. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Powers of.—

If the three powers [of our government] maintain their mutual independence on
each other it may last long, but not so if
either can assume the authorities of the other.—
To William C. Jarvis. Washington ed. vii, 179. Ford ed., x, 161.
(M. 1820)

See Power.

2925. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Preservation of.—

The fate of this country,
whether it shall be irretrievably plunged into
a form of government rejected by the makers
of the Constitution, or shall get back to the
true principles of that instrument, depends on
the turn which things may take within a
short period of time ensuing the present moment.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 287. Ford ed., vii, 355.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

2926. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 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, consequently
[one] which ought to shape its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 4.

2927. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Principles of.—

About to enter, fellow citizens, on
the exercise of duties which comprehend
everything dear and valuable to you, it is
proper that you should understand what I
deem the essential principles of our government,
and consequently those which ought
to shape its administration. I will compress
them within the narrowest compass they will
bear, stating the general principle, but not
all its limitations. Equal and exact justice
to all men, of whatever state or persuasion,
religious or political; peace, commerce and
honest friendship with all nations, entangling
alliances with none; the support of the State
governments in all their rights, as the most
competent administrations for our domestic
concerns, and the surest bulwark against antirepublican
tendencies; the preservation of the
General Government in its whole constitutional
vigor, as the sheet anchor of our peace
at home and safety abroad; a jealous care of
the right of election by the people—a mild
and safe corrective of abuses, which are lopped
by the sword of revolution, where peaceable
remedies are unprovided; absolute acquiescence
in the decisions of the majority—the
vital principle of republics, from which there
is no appeal but to force, the vital principle
and immediate parent of despotism; a welldisciplined
militia—our best reliance in peace
and for the first moments of war, till regulars
may relieve them; the supremacy of the civil
over the military authority; economy in the
public expense, that labor may be lightly
burdened; the honest payment of our debts
and sacred preservation of the public faith;
encouragement of agriculture, and of commerce
as its handmaid: the diffusion of information


Page 327
and the arraignment of all abuses at the bar of public reason; freedom of religion;
freedom of the press: freedom of person,
under the protection of the habeas corpus;
and trial by juries impartially selected.
These principles form the bright constellation
which has gone before us, and guided our
steps through an age of revolution and reformation.
The wisdom of our sages and the
blood of our heroes have been devoted to their
attainment. They should be the creed of our
political faith; the text of civil instruction;
the touchstone by which to try the services
of those we trust; and should we wander
from them in moments of error or alarm, let
us hasten to retrace our steps, and to regain
the road which alone leads to peace, liberty,
and safety.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 4.

2928. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Principles of.—[continued].

The fundamental principle
of the government is that the will of the
majority is to prevail.—
To William Eustis. Washington ed. v, 411. Ford ed., ix, 236.
(W. Jan. 1809)

2929. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Safety under.—

The national government
constitutes the safety of every part, by uniting
for its protection the powers of the whole.—
To Dr. William Eustis. Washington ed. v, 410. Ford ed., ix, 235.
(W. 1809)

2930. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Shield of.—

Although under the pressure of
serious evils at this moment, the governments
of the other hemisphere cannot boast a more
favorable situation. We certainly do not wish
to exchange our difficulties for the sanguinary
distresses of our fellow men beyond the
water. In a state of the world unparalleled in
times past, and never again to be expected,
according to human probabilities, no form of
government has, so far, better shielded its
citizens from the prevailing afflictions.—
R. To A. Connecticut Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 140.
(Nov. 1808)

2931. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Simplicity.—

I am for a government rigorously
* * * simple.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 327.
(Pa., 1799)

2932. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Strength of.—

I know, indeed, that some
honest men fear that a republican government
cannot be strong; that this government is not
strong enough. But would the honest patriot,
in the full tide of successful experiment,
abandon a government which has so far kept
us free and firm, on the theoretic and visionary
fear that this government, the world's
best hope, may by possibility want energy
to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe
this, on the contrary, the strongest government
on earth. I believe it is the only
one where every man, at the call of the laws,
would fly to the standard of the law, and
would meet invasions of the public order as
his own personal concern.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 3. Ford ed., viii, 3.

2933. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—

It is the duty of
the General Government to guard its subor
dinate members from the encroachments of
each other, even when they are made through
error or inadvertence, and to cover its citizens
from the exercise of powers not authorized by
the law.—
Official Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 515. Ford ed., v, 260.

2934. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[continued].

The several States composing
the United States of America, are not
united on the principle of unlimited submission
to their General Government; but * * * by a compact under the style and title of a
Constitution for the United States, and of
Amendments thereto, they constituted a General
Government for special purposes,—delegated
to that government certain definite
powers, reserving, each State to itself, the
residuary mass of right to their own self-government;
and * * * whensoever the General
Government assumes undelegated powers,
its acts are unauthoritative, void, and of no
force. * * * To this compact each State
acceded as a State and is an integral party, its
co-States forming, as to itself, the other party.
* * * The Government created by this compact
was not made the exclusive or final judge of
the extent of the powers delegated to itself;
since that would have made its discretion, and
not the Constitution the measure of its powers,
but * * * as in all 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, 464. Ford ed., vii, 289.

2935. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued].

Foreign relations are our province; domestic regulations and institutions
belong in every State, to itself.—
To Cæsar Rodney. Ford ed., vii, 473.
(W. Dec. 1800)

2936. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued] .

Our citizens have wisely
formed themselves into one nation as to
others, and several States as among themselves.
To the united nation belong our external
and mutual relations; to each State,
severally, the care of our persons, our property,
our reputation and religious freedom.
This wise distribution, if carefully preserved,
will prove, I trust from example, that while
smaller governments are better adapted to
the ordinary objects of society, larger confederations
more effectually secure independence,
and the preservation of republican government.—
To the Rhode Island Assembly. Washington ed. iv, 398.
(W. May. 1801)

2937. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued].

It is a fatal heresy to suppose
that either our State governments are
superior to the Federal, or the Federal to the
States. The people, to whom all authority
belongs, have divided the powers of government
into two distinct departments, the leading
characters of which are foreign and domestic;
and they have appointed for each a
distinct set of functionaries. These they have
made coordinate, checking and balancing each
other, like the three cardinal departments in
the individual States; each equally supreme as
to the powers delegated to itself, and neither
authorized ultimately to decide what belongs
to itself, or to its coparcener in government,


Page 328
As independent, in fact, as different nations,
a spirit of forbearance and compromise, therefore,
and not of encroachment and usurpation,
is the healing balm of such a Constitution;
and each party should prudently shrink from
all approach to the line of demarcation, instead
of rashly overleaping it, or throwing
grapples ahead to haul to hereafter. But,
finally, the peculiar happiness of our blessed
system is, that in differences of opinion between
these different sets of servants, the appeal
is to neither, but to their employers
peaceably assembled by their representatives
in convention. This is more rational than the
jus fortioris, or the cannon's mouth, the ultima
et sola ratio regum.

To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 213. Ford ed., x, 190.
(M. 1821)

2938. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued] .

Maintain the line of power
marked by the Constitution between the two
coordinate governments, each sovereign and
independent in its department; the States as
to everything relating to themselves and their
State; the General Government as to everything
relating to things or persons out of a
particular State. The one may be strictly
called the domestic branch of government,
which is sectional but sovereign; the other,
the foreign branch of government, coordinate
with the other domestic, and equally sover
eign on its own side of the line.—
To Samuel H. Smith. Ford ed., x, 263.
(M. 1823)

2939. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued].

The best general key for
the solution of questions of power between our
governments, is the fact that “every foreign
and federal power is given to the Federal
Government, and to the States every power
purely domestic.” I recollect but one instance
of control vested in the Federal, over
the State authorities, in a matter purely domestic,
which is that of metallic tenders. The
Federal is, in truth, our foreign government,
which department alone is taken from the sovereignty
of the separate States.—
To Robert J. Garnett. Washington ed. vii, 336. Ford ed., x, 295.
(M. 1824)

2940. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued] .

The radical idea of the
character of the Constitution of our government,
which I have adopted as a key in cases
of doubtful construction, is, that the whole
field of government is divided into two departments,
domestic and foreign (the States
in their mutual relations being of the latter);
that the former department is reserved exclusively
to the respective States within their
own limits, and the latter assigned to a separate
set of functionaries, constituting what
may be called the foreign branch, which, instead
of a federal basis, is established as a
distinct government quoad hoc, acting as the
domestic branch does on the citizens directly
and coercively; that these departments have
distinct directories, coordinate and equally
independent and supreme, each in its own
sphere of action. Whenever a doubt arises
to which of these branches a power belongs,
I try it by this test. I recollect no case where
a question simply between citizens of the
same State, has been transferred to the foreign
department, except that of inhibiting tenders
but of metallic money, and ex post facto legislation.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 342. Ford ed., x, 300.
(M. 1824)

2941. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, State Governments and.—[further continued]..

With respect to our State
and Federal governments, I do not think
their relations correctly understood by foreigners.
[189] They generally suppose the former
subordinate to the latter. But this is not the
case. They are coordinate departments of
one simple and integral whole. To the State
governments are reserved all legislation and
administration, in affairs which concern their
own citizens only, and to the Federal Government
is given whatever concerns foreigners,
or the citizens of other States; these functions
alone being made Federal. The one is
the domestic, the other the foreign branch of
the same government; neither having control
over the other, but within its own department.
There are one or two exceptions only to this
partition of power.—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 358.
(M. 1824)


Cartwright was an Englishman.—Editor.

2942. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Success of.—

Our experience so far, has satisfactorily
manifested the competence of a republican
government to maintain and promote the
best interests of its citizens; and every future
year, I doubt not, will contribute to settle a
question on which reason, and a knowledge of
the character and circumstances of our fellow
citizens, could never admit a doubt, and much
less condemn them as fit subjects to be consigned
to the dominion of wealth and force.—
R. To A. Connecticut Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 140.

2943. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Watchfulness over.—

Our political machine
is now pretty well wound up, but are the
spirits of our people sufficiently wound down
to let it work glibly. I trust it is too soon
for that, and that we have many centuries
to come yet before my countrymen cease to
bear their government hard in hand.—
To W. S. Smith. Washington ed. ii, 448.
(P. 1788)

2944. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, Watchfulness over.—[continued].

We, I hope, shall adhere
to our republican government, and keep it to
its original principles by narrowly watching it.—
To——. Washington ed. iii, 527.
(Pa., 1793)

2945. FEDERALISM, Consolidation.—

Consolidation is the form in which federalism now arrays itself, and 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)

See Centralization.

2946. FEDERALISM, Dead.—

in the north-eastern and your south-western
corner of the Union, monarchism, which has
been so falsely miscalled federalism, is dead
and buried, and no dav of resurrection will
ever dawn upon it. It has retired to the two
extreme and opposite angles of our land,
whence it will have ultimately and shortly to
take its final flight.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. iv, 488.
(W. 1803)


Page 329

2947. FEDERALISM, Dead.—[continued].

Federalism is dead, without
even the hope of a day of resurrection.
The quondam leaders, indeed, retain their rancor
and principles; but their followers are
amalgamated with us in sentiment, if not in
To Richard M. Johnson. Washington ed. v, 257.
(W. March. 1808)

2948. FEDERALISM, Judiciary and.—

It is unfortunate that federalism is still
predominant in our Judiciary department,
which is consequently in opposition to the
Legislative and Executive branches, and is
able to baffle their measures often.—
To James Bowdoin. Washington ed. v, 65. Ford ed., ix, 41.
(W. 1807)

2949. FEDERALISM, Monarchism and,—

Federalism, stripped as it now nearly is,
of its landed and laboring support, is monarchism
and Anglicism, and whenever our
own dissensions shall let these in upon us,
the last ray of free government closes on the
horizon of the world.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 602.
(M. 1811)

See Monarchy.

2950. FEDERALISM, Odious.—

name of federalism is become so odious that
no party can rise under it.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. iv, 438. Ford ed., viii, 150.
(W. May. 1802)

2951. FEDERALISM, Prostrated.—

Hartford Convention, the victory of Orleans,
the peace of Ghent, prostrated the name of
federalism. Its votaries abandoned it through
shame and mortification and now call themselves
republicans. But the name alone is
changed, the principles are the same. * * * The line of division now, is the preservation
of State rights as reserved in the Constitution,
or by strained constructions of that instrument,
to merge all into a consolidated
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 325. Ford ed., x, 281.
(M. 1823)

2952. FEDERALISM, Virginia and.—

There is so little federalism in Virginia that it
is not feared, nor attended to, nor a principle
of voting. What little we have is in the string
of Presbyterian counties in the valley between
the Blue Ridge and North Mountain, where
the clergy are as bitter as they are in Connecticut.—
To Gideon Granger. Ford ed., viii, 233.
(W. May. 1803)

2953. FEDERALISTS, Anglomaniacs.—

A party has risen among us, or rather has
come among us, which is endeavoring to separate
us from all friendly connection with
France, to unite our destinies with those of
Great Britain, and to assimilate our government
to theirs. Our lenity in permitting the
return of the old tories, gave the first body to
this party; they have increased by large importations
of British merchants and factors,
by American merchants dealing on British
capital, and by stock dealers and banking companies,
who, by the aid of a paper system,
are enriching themselves to the ruin of the
country, and swaying the government by
their possession of the printing presses, which
their wealth commands, and by other means,
not always honorable to the character of our
countrymen. Hitherto, their influence and
their system have been irresistible, and they
have raised up an Executive power which is
too strong for the Legislature. But I flatter
myself they have passed their zenith. The
people, while these things were doing, were
lulled into rest and security from a cause
which no longer exists. No prepossessions
now will shut their ears to truth. They begin
to see to what part their leaders were steering
during their slumbers, and there is yet time
to haul in, if we can avoid a war with France.—
To Arthur Campbell. Washington ed. iv, 197. Ford ed., vii, 169.
(M. Sep. 1797)

— FEDERALISTS, Callender and.—

See 1063.

2954. FEDERALISTS, Centralization and.—

Consolidation becomes the fourth chapter
of the next book of their history. But
this opens with a vast accession of strength
from their younger recruits, who, having
nothing in them of the feelings or principles
of '76, now look to a single and splendid government
of an aristocracy, founded on banking
institutions, and moneyed incorporations
under the guise and cloak of their favored
branches of manufactures, commerce and
navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered
ploughman and beggared yeomanry.
This will be to them a next best blessing to the
monarchy of their first aim, and perhaps the
surest stepping stone to it.—
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. vii, 428. Ford ed., x, 356.
(M. Dec. 1825)

See Centralization.

2955. FEDERALISTS, Defeated.—

my old friend, Governor Gerry, that I give
him glory for the resping with which he
rubbed down his herd of traitors. Let them
have justice and protection against personal
violence, but no favor. Powers and preeminences
conferred on them are daggers put
into the hands of assassins, to be plunged into
our own bosoms in the moment the thrust can
go home to the heart. Moderation can never
reclaim them. They deem it timidity, and
despise without fearing the tameness from
which it flows. Backed by England, they never
lose the hope that their day is to come, when
the terrorism of their earlier power is to be
merged in the more gratifying system of
deportation and the guillotine.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 608.
Aug. 1811)

2956. FEDERALISTS, Divisions among.—

Among that section of our citizens called
federalists, there are three shades of opinion.
Distinguishing between the leaders and people who compose it, the leaders consider the English
constitution as a model of perfection, some,
with a correction of its vices, others, with all
its corruptions and abuses. This last was
Alexander Hamilton's opinion, which others,
as well as myself, have often heard him declare,
and that a correction of what are called
its vices, would render the English an impracticable
government. This government
they wished to have established here, and only
accepted and held fast at first, to the present
Constitution, as a stepping stone to the final


Page 330
establishment of their favorite model. This
party has, therefore, always clung to England
as their prototype, and great auxiliary in promoting
and effecting this change. A weighty
MINORITY, however, of these leaders, considering
the voluntary conversion of our government
into a monarchy as too distant, if not
desperate, wish to break off from our Union
its eastern fragment, as being, in truth, the
hotbed of American monarchism, with a view
to a commencement of their favorite government,
from whence the other States, May
gangrene by degrees, and the whole be thus
brought finally to the desired point. For
Massachusetts, the prime mover in this enterprise,
is the last State in the Union to mean
a final separation, as being of all the most dependent
on the others. Not raising bread for
the sustenance of her own inhabitants, not
having a stick of timber for the construction
of vessels, her principal occupation, nor an
article to export in them, where would she
be, excluded from the ports of the other
States, and thrown into dependence on England,
her direct, and natural, but now insidious
rival? At the head of this MINORITY is
what is called the Essex Junto of Massachusetts.
But the MAJORITY of these leaders do
not aim at separation. In this, they adhere to
the known principle of General Hamilton,
never, under any views, to break the Union.
Anglomany, monarchy and separation, then,
are the principles of the Essex federalists.
Anglomany and monarchy, those of the Hamiltonians,
and Anglomany alone, that of the
portion among the people who call themselves
federalists. These last are as good
republicans as the brethren whom they oppose,
and differ from them only in their
devotion to England and hatred of France,
which they have imbibed from their leaders.
The moment that these leaders should avowedly
propose a separation of the Union, or the
establishment of regal government, their
popular adherents would quit them to a man,
and join the republican standard; and the
partisans of this change, even in Masschusetts,
would thus find themselves an army of
officers without a soldier. The party called
republican is steadily for the support of the
present Constitution. They obtained at its
commencement, all the amendments to it
they desired. These reconciled them to it
perfectly, and if they have any ulterior view,
it is only, perhaps, to popularize it further, by
shortening the senatorial term, and devising
a process for the responsibility of judges,
more practicable than that of impeachment.
They esteem the people of England and
France equally, and equally detest the governing
powers of both. This I verily believe,
after an intimacy of forty years with the public
councils and characters, is a true statement
of the grounds on which they are at
present divided, and that it is not merely an
ambition for power.—
To John Mellish. Washington ed. vi, 95. Ford ed., ix, 374.
(M. Jan. 1813)

— FEDERALISTS, Embargo and.—

See Embargo.

2957. FEDERALISTS, Extinguishment of.—

The Hartford Convention and the battle
of New Orleans extinguished the name of
To Henry Dearborn. Ford ed., x, 237.
(M. Oct. 1822)

2958. FEDERALISTS, Extinguishment of.—[continued].

The name of federalist
was extinguished in the battle of New Orleans;
and those who wear it now [1822] call
themselves republicans. Like the fox pursued
by the dogs, they take shelter in the midst of
the sheep. They see that monarchism is a
hopeless wish in this country, and are rallying
anew to the next best point, a consolidated
government. They are, therefore, endeavoring
to break down the barriers of the State
rights, provided by the Constitution against
a consolidation.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Ford ed., x, 233.
(M. 1822)

2959. FEDERALISTS, Impotent.—

federalists have not been able to carry a single
strong measure in the lower House the
whole session [of Congress]. When they
met, it was believed they had a majority of
twenty; but many of these were new and
moderate men, and soon saw the true character
of the party to which they had been well
disposed while at a distance. The tide, too,
of public opinion sets so strongly against the
federal proceedings, that this melted off
their majority, and discouraged the heroes of
the party.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 329. Ford ed., vii, 446.
(Pa., May. 1800)

2960. FEDERALISTS, Jay's Treaty and.—

Though the Anglomen have in the end
got their treaty through, and so far triumphed
over the cause of republicanism, yet
it has been to them a dear-bought victory.
It has given the most radical shock to their
party it has ever received; and there is no
doubt, they would be glad to be replaced on
the ground they possessed the instant before
Jay's nomination extraordinary. They see
that nothing can support them but the colossus
of the President's merits with the people,
and the moment he retires, that his successor,
if a monocrat, will be overborne by the republican
sense of his constituents; if a republican,
he will, of course, give fair play to
that sense, and lead things into the channel
of harmony between the governors and
governed. In the meantime, patience.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 148. Ford ed., vii, 89.
(M. July. 1796)

See Jay Treaty.

2961. FEDERALISTS, Judiciary and.—

They have retired into the judiciary as a
stronghold. There the remains of federalism
are to be preserved and fed from the treasury,
and from that battery all the works of republicanism
are to be beaten down and
erased. By a fraudulent use of the Constitution,
which has made judges irremovable,
they have multiplied useless judges merely to
strengthen their phalanx.—
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 424.
(W. 1801)

See Judiciary.

2962. FEDERALISTS, Justice to.—

I never did them an act of injustice, nor failed


Page 331
in any duty to them imposed by my office.—
To William Short. Ford ed., ix, 51.
(W. May. 1807)

2963. FEDERALISTS. Leaders of.—

The quondam leaders of the people infuriated
with the sense of their impotence, will
soon be seen or heard only in the newspapers,
which serve as chimneys to carry off noxious
vapors and smoke.—
To General Kosciusco. Washington ed. iv, 430.
(W. April. 1802)

2964. FEDERALISTS. Leaders of.—[continued].

There are some characters
who have been too prominent to retract,
too proud and impassioned to relent, too
greedy after office and profit to relinquish
their longings, and who have covered their
devotion to monarchism under the mantle of
federalism, who never can be cured of their
enmities. These are incurable maniacs, for
whom the hospitable doors of Bedlam are
ready to open, but they are permitted to walk
abroad while they refrain from personal assault.—
To Timothy Bloodworthy. Washington ed. iv, 524.
(W. Jan. 1804)

2965. FEDERALISTS. Leaders of.—[further continued].

Though the people in
mass have joined us, their leaders had committed
themselves too far to retract. Pride
keeps them hostile; they brood over their
angry passions, and give them vent in the
newspapers which they maintain. They still
make as much noise as if they were the whole
nation. Unfortunately, these being the mercantile
papers, published chiefly in the seaports,
are the only ones which find their way
to Europe, and make very false impressions
To C. F. Volney. Washington ed. iv, 573.
(W. 1805)

2966. FEDERALISTS. Leaders of.—[further continued] .

I hope that my retirement
will abate some of their [federalists'] disaffection to the government of their
To Richard M. Johnson. Washington ed. v, 257.
(W. 1808)

2967. FEDERALISTS. Leaders of.—[further continued].

Contented with our government,
elective as it is in three of its principal
branches, I wish not, on Hamilton's
plan, to see two of them for life; and still
less, hereditary, as others desire. I believe
that the yeomanry of the federalists think
on this subject with me. They are substantially
republican. But some of their leaders,
who get into the public councils, would prefer
Hamilton's government, and still more the
hereditary one. Hinc illœ lachrymœ. I wish
them no harm, but that they may never
get into power, not for their harm, but for
the good of our country.—
To W. D. G. Worthington. Washington ed. v, 504.
(M. 1810)

2968. FEDERALISTS, Madness of.—

am entirely confident that ultimately the great
body of the people are passing over from the
federalists. * * * The madness and extravagance
of their career are what ensure it.—
To E. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 328. Ford ed., vii, 443.
(Pa., April. 1800)

2969. FEDERALISTS, Madness of.—[continued].

A little more prudence
and moderation in those [federal leaders] who had mounted themselves on the fears [of
the people], and it would have been long and
difficult to unhorse them. Their madness had
done in three years what reason alone, acting
against them, would not have effected in
many; and the more, as they might have gone
on forming new entrenchments for themselves
from year to year.—
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 424.
(W. 1801)

2970. FEDERALISTS, Objects of.—

have been ever opposed to the party so falsely
called federalists, because I believe them
desirous of introducing into our government
authorities, hereditary or otherwise, independent
of the national will.—
To David Howell. Washington ed. v, 554.
(M. 1810)

2971. FEDERALISTS, Objects of.—[continued].

The original objects of
the federalists were, 1st, to warp our government
more to the form and principles of monarchy;
and 2d, to weaken the barriers of the
State governments as coordinate powers. In
the first they have been so completely foiled
by the universal spirit of the nation that they
have abandoned the enterprise, shrunk from
the odium of their old appellation, taken to
themselves a participation of ours, and under
the pseudo-republican mask, are now aiming
at their second object, and strengthened by
unsuspecting or apostate recruits from our
ranks, are advancing fast towards an ascendency.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 293. Ford ed., x, 228.
(M. 1823)

See Monarchy.

2972. FEDERALISTS, Opposition of.—

Though we may obtain, and I believe shall
obtain, a majority in the Legislature of the
United States, attached to the preservation of
the Federal Constitution according to its obvious
principles, and those on which it was
known to be received; attached equally to the
preservation to the States of those rights unquestionably
remaining with them; friends to
the freedom of religion, freedom of the press,
trial by jury, and to economical government;
opposed to standing armies, paper systems,
war, and all connection, other than commerce,
with any foreign nation; in short, a majority
firm in all those principles which we have
espoused and the federalists have opposed
uniformly; still, should the whole body of
New England continue in opposition to these
principles of government, either knowingly or
through delusion, our government will be a
very uneasy one. It can never be harmonious
and solid, while so respectable a portion of its
citizens support principles which go directly to
a change of the Federal Constitution, to sink
the State governments, consolidate them into
one and monarchize that.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 330. Ford ed., vii, 450.
(M. Aug. 1800)

2973. FEDERALISTS, Proposed coalition.—

In our last conversation you mentioned
a federal scheme afloat, of forming a coalition
between the federalists and republicans, of
what they called the seven eastern States.
The idea was new to me, and after time for
reflection I had no opportunity of conversing
with you again. The federalists know, that,
eo nomine, they are gone forever. Their object,
therefore, is, how to return into power


Page 332
under some other form. Undoubtedly they
have but one means, which is to divide the
republicans, join the minority, and barter with
them for the cloak of their name. I say, join
the minority;
because the majority of the republicans
not needing them, will not buy
them. The minority, having no other means
of ruling the majority, will give a price for
auxiliaries, and that price must be principle.
It is true that the federalists, needing their
numbers also, must also give a price, and principle
is the coin they must pay in. Thus a bastard
system of federo-republicanism will rise
on the ruins of the true principles of our
revolution. And when this party is formed,
who will constitute the majority of it, which
majority is then to dictate? Certainly the
federalists. Thus their proposition of putting
themselves into gear with the republican
minority, is exactly like Roger Sherman's
proposition to add Connecticut to Rhode Island.
The idea of forming seven eastern
States is moreover clearly to form the basis
of a separation of the Union. Is it possible
that real republicans can be gulled by such a
bait? And for what? What do they wish
that they have not? Federal measures?
That is impossible. Republican measures?
Have they them not? Can any one deny, that
in all important questions of principle, republicanism
prevails? But do they want that
their individual will shall govern the majority?
They may purchase the gratification of
this unjust wish, for a little time, at a great
price; but the federalists must not have the
passions of other men, if, after getting thus
into the seat of power, they suffer themselves
to be governed by their minority. This
minority may say, that whenever they relapse
into their own principles, they will quit them,
and draw the seat from under them. They
may quit them, indeed, but, in the meantime,
all the venal will have become associated with
them, and will give them a majority sufficient
to keep them in place, and to enable them to
eject the heterogeneous friends by whose aid
they get again into power. I cannot believe
any portion of real republicans will enter into
this trap; and if they do, I do not believe they
can carry with them the mass of their States,
advancing so steadily as we see them, to an
union of principle with their brethren. It will
be found in this, as in all other similar cases,
that crooked schemes will end by overwhelming
their authors and coadjutors in disgrace,
and that he alone who walks strict and
upright, and who, in matters of opinion, will
be contented that others should be as free
as himself, and acquiesce when his opinion
is freely overruled, will attain his object in
the end.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 542. Ford ed., viii, 298.
(M. April. 1804)

2974. FEDERALISTS, Pusillanimous.—

The federalists * * * wish to rub through
this fragment of a year as they have through
the four preceding ones, opposing patience to
insult, and interest to honor. * * * This
is, indeed, a most humiliating state of things,
but it commenced in 1793. Causes have been
adding to causes, and effects accumulating on
effects, from that time to this. We had, in
1793, the most respectable character in the
universe. What the neutral nations think of
us now, I know not; but we are low indeed
with the belligerents. Their kicks and cuffs
prove their contempt.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 191. Ford ed., vii, 154.
(Pa., June. 1797)

2975. FEDERALISTS, Republicans and.—

My hope is that the distinction between
republican and federalist will be soon
lost, or at most that it will be only of republican
and monarchist; that the body of the
nation, even that part which French excesses
forced over to the federal side, will rejoin the
republicans, leaving only those who were pure
monarchists, and who will be too few to form
a sect.—
To Dr. B. S. Barton. Washington ed. iv, 353. Ford ed., vii, 489.
(W. Feb. 1801)

2976. FEDERALISTS, Republicans and.—[continued].

I entertain real hope that
the whole body of our citizens (many of
whom had been carried away by the X. Y.
Z. business), will shortly be consolidated
* * *. When they examine the real principles
of both parties, I think they will find
little to differ about. I know, indeed, that
there are some of their leaders who have so
committed themselves, that pride, if no other
passion, will prevent their coalescing. We
must be easy with them.—
To Moses Robinson. Washington ed. iv, 379.
(March. 1801)

2977. FEDERALISTS, Republicans and.—[further continued].

The manœuvres of the year X. Y. Z. carried over from us a great
body of the people, real republicans, and
honest men under virtuous motives. The delusion
lasted a while. At length the poor
arts of tub plots, &c., were repeated till the
designs of the party became suspected. From
that moment those who had left us began to
come back. It was by their return to us that
we gained the victory in November, 1800,
which we should not have gained in November,
1799. But during the suspension of
the public mind, from the 11th to the 17th
of February [last], and the anxiety and
alarm lest there should be no election,
and anarchy ensue, a wonderful effect was
produced on the mass of federalists who had
not before come over. Those who had before
become sensible of their error in the
former change, and only wanted a decent
excuse for coming back, seized that occasion
for doing so. Another body, and a
large one it is, who from timidity of constitution
had gone with those who wished for a
strong executive, were induced by the same
timidity to come over to us rather than risk
anarchy: so that, according to the evidence
we receive from every direction, we may say
that the whole of that portion of the people
which were called federalists, were made to
desire anxiously the very event they had just
before opposed with all their energies, and to
receive the election which was made, as an
object of their earnest wishes, a child of their
own. These people (I always exclude their
leaders) are now aggregated with us. They
look with a certain degree of affection and
confidence to the administration, ready to become
attached to it, if it avoids in the outset


Page 333
acts which might revolt and throw them off.
To give time for a perfect consolidation seems
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 367. Ford ed., viii, 9.
(W. March. 1801)

2978. FEDERALISTS, Republicans and.—[further continued] .

The revolutionary movements
in Europe had, by industry and artifice,
been wrought into objects of terror even to
this country, and had really involved a great
portion of our well-meaning citizens in a panic
which was perfectly unaccountable, and during
the prevalence of which they were led
to support measures the most insane. They
are now pretty thoroughly recovered from it,
and sensible of the mischief which was done,
and preparing to be done, had their minds
continued a little longer under that derangement.
The recovery bids fair to be complete,
and to obliterate entirely the line of party
division which had been so strongly drawn.
Not that their late leaders have come over,
or even can come over. But they stand, at
present, almost without followers. The principal
of them have retreated into the judiciary
as a stronghold, the tenure of which renders
it difficult to dislodge them.
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. iv, 369.
(W. March. 1801)

2979. FEDERALISTS, Republicans and.—[further continued].

I was always satisfied that the great body of those called federalists
were real republicans as well as federalists.—
To General Henry Knox. Washington ed. iv, 386. Ford ed., viii, 36.
(W. March. 1801)

2980. FEDERALISTS, Republicans and.—[further continued] .

The federal sect of republicans
* * * differ from us only in the
shades of power to be given to the Executive,
being, with us attached to republican government.
The Essex junto and their associate
monocrats in every part of the Union, wish
to sap the Republic by fraud, if they cannot
destroy it by force, and to erect an English
monarchy in its place; some of them (as Mr.
Adams) thinking its corrupt parts should be
cleansed away, others (as Hamilton) thinking
that it would make it an impracticable
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. iv, 398. Ford ed., viii, 67.
(W. July. 1801)

2981. FEDERALISTS, Republicans and.—[further continued].

My idea is that the mass
of our countrymen, even of those who call
them federalists, are republicans. They differ
from us but in a shade of more or less of
power to be given to the Executive or Legislative
organ. They were decoyed into the net
of monarchists by the X. Y. Z. contrivance,
but they are come or are coming back. So
much moderation in our proceedings as not
to revolt them, while doubting or newly
joined with us, and they will coalesce and
grow to us as one flesh. But any violence
against their quondam leaders before they are
thoroughly weaned from them, would carry
them back again.—
To Thomas McKean. Ford ed., viii, 78.
(W. July. 1801)

2982. FEDERALISTS, Republicans and.—[further continued] .

I consider the pure federalist
as a republican who would prefer a
somewhat stronger Executive; and the republican
as one more willing to trust the
legislature as a broader representation of the
people, and a safer deposit of power for many
reasons. But both sects are republican, en
titled to the confidence of their fellow citizens.
Not so their quondam leaders, covering under
the mask of federalism hearts devoted to
monarchy. The Hamiltonians, the Essexmen,
the Revolutionary tories, &c. They have
a right to tolerance, but neither to confidence
nor power.—
To John Dickinson. Ford ed., viii, 76.
(W. July. 1801)

2983. FEDERALISTS, Republican schisms and.—

I consider the federalists as
completely vanquished, and never more to
take the field under their own banners. They
will now reserve themselves to profit by the
schisms among republicans, and to earn favors
from minorities, whom they will enable to
triumph over their more numerous antagonists.
So long as republican minorities barely
accept their votes, no great harm will be
done; because it will only place in power one
shade of republicanism, instead of another.
But when they purchase the votes of the
federalists, by giving them a participation of
office, trust and power, it is a proof that
anti-monarchism is not their strongest passion.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. v, 101. Ford ed., ix, 77.
(W. June. 1807)

2984. FEDERALISTS, Self-government and.—

The leaders of federalism say
that man cannot be trusted with his own government.
We must do no act which shall replace
them in the direction of the experiment.—
To Governor Hall. Ford ed., viii, 157.
(W. 1802)

2985. FEDERALISTS, States' rights and.—

The federalists, baffled in their schemes
to monarchize us, have given up their name,
which the Hartford Convention had made
odious, and have taken shelter among us
and under our name. But they have only
changed the point of attack. On every question
of the usurpation of State powers by the
Foreign or General Government, the same
men rally together, force the line of demarcation
and consolidate the government. The
judges are at their head as heretofore, and
are their entering wedge. The true old republicans
stand to the line, and will I hope
die on it if necessary.—
To Samuel H. Smith. Ford ed., x, 263.
(M. Aug. 1823)

2986. FEDERALISTS, Terrorism and treason.—

When General Washington was
withdrawn, these energumeni of royalism,
[the federal leaders], kept in check hitherto
by the dread of his honesty, his firmness, his
patriotism, and the authority of his name,
now mounted on the car of State and free
from control, like Phäeton on that of the
sun, drove headlong and wild, looking neither
to right nor left, nor regarding anything
but the objects they were driving at; until,
displaying these fully, the eyes of the nation
were opened, and a general disbandment of
them from the public councils took place.
* * * But no man who did not witness it
can form an idea of their unbridled madness,
and the terrorism with which they surrounded
themselves. The horrors of the French Revolution,
then raging, aided them mainly, and


Page 334
using that as a rawhead and bloody-bones,
they were enabled by their stratagems of X. Y. Z. i
n which this historian [Judge Marshall] was a leading mountebank. their tales
of tub-plots, ocean massacres, bloody buoys,
and pulpit lyings, and slanderings, and maniacal
ravings of their Gardiners, their Osgoods
and Parishes, to spread alarm into
all but the firmest breasts. Their AttorneyGeneral
had the impudence to say to a republican
member, that deportation must be
resorted to, of which, said he, “you republicans
have set the example,” thus daring to
identify us with the murderous Jacobins of
France. These transactions, now [1818] recollected, but as dreams of the night, were
then sad realities; and nothing rescued us
from their liberticide effect, but the unyielding
opposition of those firm spirits who sternly
maintained their post, in defiance of terror,
until their fellow citizens could be aroused
to their own danger, and rally, and rescue the
standard of the Constitution. This has been
happily done. Federalism and monarchism
have languished from that moment until their
treasonable combinations with the enemies of
their country during the late war, their plots
of dismembering the Union, and their Hartford
Convention, have consigned them to the
tomb of the dead; and I fondly hope we May
now truly say, “we are all republicans, all federalists,
” and that the motto of the standard
to which our country will forever rally, will
be “Federal Union and Republican Government
”; and sure I am we may say that, we
are indebted for the preservation of this point
of ralliance, to that opposition of which so injurious
an idea is so artfully insinuated
and excited in this history
[Marshall's Life of Washington].—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 97. Ford ed., i, 166.

2987. FEDERALISTS, Unprogressive.—

What a satisfaction have we in the contemplation
of the benevolent effects of our efforts,
compared with those of the leaders on the
other side, who have discountenanced all advances
in science as dangerous innovations,
have endeavored to render philosophy and republicanism
terms of reproach, to persuade us
that man cannot be governed but by the rod.
I shall have the happiness of living and dying
in the contrary hope.—
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 366. Ford ed., viii, 8.
(W. March. 1801)

2988. FEDERALISTS, Violations of Constitution.—

Their usurpations and violations
of the Constitution at that period [the
administration of John Adams] and their majority
in both Houses of Congress, were so
great, so decided, and so daring, that after
combating their aggressions, inch by inch,
without being able in the least to check their
career, the republican leaders thought it would
be best for them to give up their useless efforts
there, go home, get into their respective
Legislatures, embody whatever of resistance
they could be formed into, and if ineffectual,
to perish there as in the last ditch. All, therefore,
retired, leaving Mr. Gallatin alone in the
House of Representatives, and myself in the
Senate, where I then presided as Vice-President.
Remaining at our posts, and bidding
defiance to the brow-beatings and insults by
which they endeavored to drive us off also,
we kept the mass of republicans in phalanx
together, until the Legislature could be
brought up to the charge; and nothing on
earth is more certain, than that if myself particularly,
placed by my office of Vice-President
at the head of the republicans, had given
way and withdrawn from my post, the republicans
throughout the Union would have
given up in despair, and the cause would have
been lost forever. By holding on, we obtained
time for the Legislatures to come up with
their weight; and those of Virginia and Kentucky
particularly, but more especially the
former, by their celebrated resolutions, saved
the Constitution at its last gasp. No person
who was not a witness of the scenes of that
gloomy period, can form any idea of the afflicting
persecutions and personal indignities
we had to brook. They saved our country
however. The spirits of the people were so
much subdued and reduced to despair by the
X. Y. Z. imposture, and other stratagems
and machinations, that they would have sunk
into apathy and monarchy, as the only form
of government which could maintain itself. [190]
Miscellaneous Papers. Washington ed. ix, 507. Ford ed., x, 368.


Jefferson said, in the same paper, that he considered
this action on his part “the most important,
in its consequences, of any transaction in any portion
of his life”.—Editor.

2989. FEDERALISTS, Worthy and unworthy.—

With respect to the federalists, I
believe we think alike; for when speaking of
them, we never mean to include a worthy
portion of our fellow citizens, who consider
themselves as in duty bound to support the
constituted authorities of every branch, and to
reserve their opposition to the period of election.
Those having acquired the appellation
of federalists, while a federal administration
was in place, have not cared about throwing
off their name, but adhering to their principle,
are the supporters of the present order of
things. The other branch of the federalists,
those who are so in principle as well as in
name, disapprove of the republican principles
and features of our Constitution, and would, I
believe, welcome any public calamity (war
with England excepted) which might lessen
the confidence of our country in those principles
and forms. I have generally considered
them rather as subjects for a madhouse. But
they are now playing a game of the most mischievous
tendency, without perhaps being
themselves aware of it. They are endeavoring
to convince England that we suffer more
by the Embargo than they do, and that if
they will but hold out awhile, we must abandon
it. It is true, the time will come when
we must abandon it. But if this is before the
repeal of the orders of council, we must abandon
it only for a state of war. The day is
not distant, when that will be preferable to
a longer continuance of the Embargo. But
we can never remove that, and let our vessels


Page 335
go out and be taken under these orders, without
making reprisal. Yet this is the very
state of things which these federal monarchists
are endeavoring to bring about; and in
this it is but too possible they may succeed.
But the fact is, that if we have war with England
it will be solely produced by their
To Dr. Thomas Leib. Washington ed. v, 304. Ford ed., ix, 196.
(W. June. 1808)
See Parties, Republicanism and Republicans.

2990. FENNER (James), Character of.—

No one was more sensible than myself, while
Governor Fenner was in the senate, of the
soundness of his political principles, and rectitude
of his conduct. Among those of my fellow
laborers of whom I had a distinguished
opinion, he was one.—
To David Howell. Washington ed. v, 554.
(M. 1810)

2991. FENNO (John), Gazette of.—

[Fenno's Gazette] is a paper of pure toryism,
disseminating the doctrines of monarchy, aristocracy,
and the exclusion of the influence of
the people.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 334.
(Pa., 1791)

2992. FENNO (John), Gazette of.—[continued].

The tory paper of Fenno
rarely admits anything which defends the present
form of government in opposition to his
desire of subverting it to make way for a
king, lords and commons.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 361.


See Yellow Fever.

2993. FICTION, Education and.—

great obstacle to good education is the inordinate
passion prevalent for novels, and the
time lost in that reading which should be
instructively employed. When this poison infects
the mind, it destroys its tone and revolts
it against wholesome reading. Reason
and fact, plain and unadorned, are rejected.
Nothing can engage attention unless dressed
in all the figments of fancy, and nothing so
bedecked comes amiss. The result is a
bloated imagination, sickly judgment, and
disgust towards all the real businesses of
life. [191]
To N. Burwell. Washington ed. vii, 102. Ford ed., x, 104.
(M. 1818)


Jefferson made an exception in favor of Maria
Edgeworth and others whose works inculcated a
sound morality.—Editor.

2994. FICTION, Value of sound.—

little attention to the nature of the human
mind evinces that the entertainments of fiction
are useful as well as pleasant. That they
are pleasant when well written, every person
feels who reads. But wherein is its utility,
asks the reverend sage, big with the notion
that nothing can be useful but the learned
lumber of Greek and Roman reading with
which his head is stored? I answer everything
is useful which contributes to fix in the
principles and practices of virtue. When any
original act of charity or of gratitude, for
instance, is presented either to our sight or
imagination, we are deeply impressed with
its beauty and feel a strong desire in ourselves
of doing charitable and grateful acts
also. On the contrary, when we see or read
of any atrocious deed, we are disgusted with
its deformity, and conceive an abhorrence of
vice. Now every emotion of this kind is
an exercise of our virtuous dispositions, and
dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the
body, acquire strength by practice. But exercise
produces habit, and in the instance
of which we speak, the exercise being of the
moral feelings, produces a habit of thinking
and acting virtuously. We never reflect
whether the story we read be truth or fiction.
If the painting be lively, and a tolerable
picture of nature, we are thrown into
a reverie, from which if we awaken it is
the fault of the writer. I appeal to every
reader of feeling and sentiment whether the
fictitious murder of Duncan by Macbeth, in
Shakespeare, does not excite in him as great
a horror of villainy, as the real one of Henry
IV. by Ravaillac, as related by Davila? And
whether the fidelity of Nelson and generosity
of Blandford, in Marmontel, do not dilate his
breast and elevate his sentiments as much as
any similar incident which real history can
furnish? Does he not in fact feel himself a
better man while reading them, and privately
covenant to copy the fair example? We
neither know nor care whether Laurence
Sterne really went to France, whether he was
there accosted by the Franciscan, at first rebuked
him unkindly, and then gave him a
peace offering; or whether the whole be not
fiction. In either case, we equally are sorrowful
at the rebuke, and secretly resolve we will never do so: we are pleased with the
subsequent atonement, and view with emulation
a soul candidly acknowledging its fault
and making a just reparation. Considering
history as a moral exercise, her lessons would
be too infrequent if confined to real life. Of
those recorded by historians few incidents
have been attended with such circumstances
as to excite in any high degree this sympathetic
emotion of virtue. We are, therefore,
wisely framed to be as warmly interested for
a fictitious as for a real personage. The field
of imagination is thus laid open to our use
and lessons may be formed to illustrate and
carry home to the heart every moral rule
of life. Thus a lively and lasting sense of
filial duty is more effectually impressed on
the mind of a son or daughter by reading
King Lear, than by all the dry volumes of
ethics and divinity that ever were written.
This is my idea of well written Romance, of
Tragedy, Comedy and Epic poetry.—
To Robert Skipwith. Ford ed., i, 396.
(M. 1771)

2995. FILIBUSTERISM, Prevention.—

If you will * * * give me such information
as to persons and places as may indicate to what points the vigilance of the officers is
to be directed, proper measures will be immediately
taken for preventing every attempt
to make any hostile expedition from these
States against any of the dominions of
France. The stronger the proofs you can
produce, and the more pointed as to persons,
the stronger will be the means of coercion
which the laws will allow to be used.—
To E. C. Genet. Ford ed., vi, 426.
(Pa., Sep. 1793)

2996. FILIBUSTERISM, Punishment of.—

Let it be our endeavor * * * to restrain


Page 336
our citizens from embarking individually
in a war [192] in which their country takes
no part; to punish severely those persons,
citizen or alien, who shall usurp the cover
of our flag for vessels not entitled to it, infecting
thereby with suspicion those of real
Americans, and committing us into controversies
for the redress of wrongs not our
Third Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 28. Ford ed., viii, 272.


Between England and France.—Editor.

2997. FILIBUSTERISM, Punishment of.—[continued].

I am sorry to learn that
a banditti from our country are taking part
in the domestic contests of the country adjoining
you; and the more so as from the
known laxity of execution in our laws, they
cannot be punished. It will give a wrongful
hue to a rightful act of taking possession of
Mobile, and will be imputed to the national
authority, as Miranda's enterprise was, because
not punished by it.—
To Dr. Samuel Brown. Washington ed. vi, 165.
(M. 1813)

2998. FILIBUSTERISM, Restraining.—

That individuals should undertake to wage
private war, independently of the authority of
their country, cannot be permitted in a well
ordered society. Its tendency to produce aggression
on the laws and rights of other
nations, and to endanger the peace of our own
is so obvious, that I doubt not you will adopt
measures for restraining it effectually in
Fourth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 34. Ford ed., viii, 326.

2999. FILIBUSTERISM, Suppression.—

Having received information that a great
number of private individuals were combining
together, arming and organizing themselves
contrary to law, to carry on military
expeditions against the territories of Spain, I
thought it necessary, by proclamations, as well
as by special orders, to take measures for
preventing and suppressing this enterprise, for
seizing the vessels. arms, and other means
provided for it, and for arresting and bringing
to justice its authors and abettors. It
was due to that good faith which ought ever
to be the rule of action in public as well as
in private transactions; it was due to good
order and regular government, that while the
public force was strictly on the defensive and
merely to protect our citizens from aggression,
the criminal attempts of private individuals
to decide for their country the question
of peace or war, by commencing active and
unauthorized hostilities, should be promptly
and efficaciously suppressed.—
Sixth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 63. Ford ed., viii, 489.
(Dec. 1806)

3000. FILIBUSTERISM, Suppression.—[continued].

The late piratical depredations
which your commerce has suffered as
well as ours, and that of other nations, seem
to have been committed by renegade rovers of
several nations, French, English, American,
which they as well as we have not been careful
enough to suppress. I hope our Congress
* * * will strengthen the measures of suppression.
Of their disposition to do it there
can be no doubt; for all men of moral principle
must be shocked at these atrocities. I
had repeated conversations on this subject
with the President * * *. No man can
abhor these enormities more deeply. I trust
it will not have been in the power of abandoned
rovers, nor yet of negligent functionaries,
to disturb the harmony of two nations
so much disposed to mutual friendship, and
interested in it.—
To J. Correa. Washington ed. vii, 184. Ford ed., x, 164.
(M. 1820)

3001. FINANCES, Disordered.—

I do not
at all wonder at the condition in which the
finances of the United States are found.
Hamilton's object from the beginning, was to
throw them into forms which should be utterly
undecipherable. I ever said he did not
understand their condition himself, nor was
able to give a clear view of the excess of our
debts beyond our credits, nor whether we
were diminishing or increasing the debt. My
own opinion was, that from the commencement
of this government to the time I ceased
to attend to the subject, we had been increasing
our debt about a million of dollars annually.
If Mr. Gallatin would undertake to
reduce this chaos to order, present us with
a clear view of our finances, and put them
into a form as simple as they will admit, he
will merit immortal honor. The accounts of
the United States ought to be, and may be
made as simple as those of a common farmer,
and capable of being understood by common
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 131. Ford ed., vii, 61.
(M. March. 1796)

3002. FINANCES, Disordered.—[continued].

The finances are said to
have been left by the late financier in the utmost
derangement, and his tools are urging
the funding the new debts they have contracted.
Thus posterity is to be left to pay
the ordinary expenses of our government in
time of peace.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 60.
(M. March. 1796)

3003. FINANCES, Disordered.—[further continued].

I had always conjectured,
from such facts as I could get hold of,
that our public debt was increasing about a
million of dollars a year. You will see by
Gallatin's speeches that the thing is proved.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 140. Ford ed., vii, 80.
(M. June. 1796)

3004. FINANCES, Misapplied.—

finances are now under such a course of application
as nothing could derange but war
or federalism. The gripe of the latter has
shown itself as deadly as have the jaws of
the former. Our adversaries say we are indebted
to their providence for the means of
paying the public debt. We never charged
them with the want of foresight in providing
money, but with the misapplication of it after
they had levied it. We say they raised not
only enough, but too much; and that, after
giving back the surplus, we do more with a
part than they did with the whole.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. iv, 453. Ford ed., viii, 178.
(W. 1802)

3005. FINANCES, Simplification of.—

think it an object of great importance. * * * to simplify our system of finance, and
bring it within the comprehension of every


Page 337
member of Congress.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 428. Ford ed., viii, 139.
(W. April. 1802)

See 39.

3006. FINANCES, Sound system of.—

The other great and indispensable object [in
prosecuting the war] is to enter on such a
system of finance, as can be permanently pursued
to any length of time whatever. Let us
be allured by no projects of banks, public or
private, or ephemeral expedients, which, enabling
us to gasp and flounder a little longer,
only increase, by protracting the agonies of
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 395. Ford ed., ix, 492.
(M. Oct. 1814)

3007. FINANCES, Sound system of.—[continued].

The British ministers
found some hopes [of success in the war] on the state of our finances. It is true that
the excess of our banking institutions, and
their present discredit, have shut us out from
the best source of credit we could ever command
with certainty. But the foundations of
credit still remain to us, and need but skill
which experience will soon produce, to marshal
them into an order which may carry us
through any length of war.—
To Marquis de Lafayette. Washington ed. vi, 425. Ford ed., ix, 508.
(M. 1815)

See Banks and Debt.

3008. FISHERIES, British acts against.—

To show they [Parliament] mean no discontinuance
of injury, they pass acts, at the
very time of holding out this proposition, for
restraining * * * the fisheries of the province
of New England.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 480.
(July. 1775)

3009. FISHERIES, British rivalry in.—

England fears no rivals in the whale fishery
but America; or rather, it is the whale fishery
of America, of which she is endeavoring to
possess herself. It is for this object she is
making the present extraordinary efforts, by
bounties and other encouragements; and her
success, so far, is very flattering. Before the
war, she had not one hundred vessels in the
whale trade, while America employed three
hundred and nine. In 1786, Great Britain
employed one hundred and fifty-one vessels;
in 1787, two hundred and eighty-six; in
1788, three hundred and fourteen, nearly the
ancient American number; while the latter
has fallen to about eighty. They have just
changed places then; England having gained
exactly what America has lost. France, by
her ports and markets, holds the balance between
the two contending parties, and gives
the victory, by opening and shutting them,
to which she pleases.—
To Comte Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 523.
(P. 1788)

3010. FISHERIES, Competition in.—

There is no other nation in present condition to maintain a competition with Great Britain
in the whale fishery. The expense at which
it is supported on her part seems enormous.
Two hundred and fifty-five vessels, of seventy-five
thousand four hundred and thirty-six
tons, employed by her this year in the northern
fishery, at forty-two men each; and fiftynine
in the southern at eighteen men each,
make eleven thousand seven hundred and
seventy-two men. These are known to have
cost the government fifteen pounds each, or
one hundred and seventy-six thousand five
hundred and eighty pounds, in the whole; and
that, to employ the principal part of them,
from three to four months only. The northern
ships have brought home twenty, and the
southern sixty tons of oil, on an average;
making eighty-six hundred and forty tons.
Every ton of oil, then, has cost the government
twenty pounds in bounty. Still, if
they can beat us out of the field and have it
to themselves, they will think their money
well employed.—
To Comte de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 524.
(P. 1788)

3011. FISHERIES, Distresses of.—

the disadvantages opposed to us [in the Fisheries] those which depend on ourselves, are:
Tonnage and naval duties on the vessels employed
in the fishery; impost duties on salt;
on tea, rum, sugar, molasses, hooks, lines
and leads, duck, cordage and cables, iron,
hemp and twine, used in the fishery; coarse
woollens, worn by the fishermen, and the poll
tax levied by the State on their persons.
* * * The amount of these, exclusive of the
State tax and drawback on the fish exported
* * * [is] $5.25 per man, or $57.75 per
vessel of sixty-five tons. When a business is
so nearly in equilibrio that one can hardly
discern whether the profit be sufficient to continue
it or not, smaller sums than these suffice
to turn the scale against it. To these
disadvantages, add ineffectual duties on the
importation of foreign fish. In justification of
these last, it is urged that the foreign fish
received, is in exchange for the produce of
agriculture. To which it may be answered,
that the thing given, is more merchantable
than that received in exchange, and agriculture
has too many markets to be allowed
to take away those of the fisheries.—
Report on the Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 543.

3012. FISHERIES, Encouragement of.—

The encouragement of our fishery abridges
that of a rival nation, whose power on the
ocean has long threatened the loss of all balance
on that element.—
Report on the Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 541.

3013. FISHERIES, Fostering.—

To foster
our fisheries and nurseries of navigation and for the nurture of man * * * [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, 187.
(Dec. 1802)

3014. FISHERIES, Massachussetts and.—

I fear there is foundation for the design
intimated in the public papers, of demanding
a cession of our rights in the fisheries.
What will Massachusetts say to this? I mean
her majority, which must be considered as
speaking through the organs it has appointed
itself, as the index of its will. She chose to
sacrifice the liberties of our sea-faring citizens,
in which we were all interested, and
with them her obligations to the co-States,


Page 338
rather than war with England. Will she now
sacrifice the fisheries to the same partialities?
This question is interesting to her alone; for
to the middle, the southern and western
States, they are of no direct concern; of no
more than the culture of tobacco, rice and
cotton, to Massachusetts. I am really at a
loss to conjecture what our refractory sister
will say on this occasion. I know what, as a
citizen of the Union, I would say to her.
“Take this question ad referendum. It concerns
you alone. If you would rather give
up the fisheries than war with England,
we give them up. If you had rather fight
for them, we will defend your interests to
the last drop of our blood, choosing rather
to set a good example than follow a bad one.”
And I hope she will determine to fight for
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 353. Ford ed., ix, 462.
(M. July. 1814)

3015. FISHERIES, Preservation of.—

As to the fisheries, England was urgent to
retain them exclusively, France neutral, and
I believe, that had they been ultimately made
a sine quâ non, our commissioners (Mr.
Adams excepted) would have relinquished
them, rather than have broken off the treaty.
[Of peace with Great Britain.] To Mr.
Adams's perseverance alone, on that point, I
have always understood we were indebted for
their reservation.—
To Robert Walsh. Washington ed. vii, 108. Ford ed., x, 117.
(M. 1818)

3016. FISHERIES, Prostrated.—

fisheries of the United States, annihilated during
the war [of the Revolution], their vessels,
utensils, and fishermen destroyed; their
markets in the Mediterranean and British
America lost, and their produce dutied in
those of France; their competitors enabled by
bounties to meet and undersell them at the
few markets remaining open, without any
public aid, and, indeed paying aids to the public;—such were the hopeless auspices under
which this important business was to be resumed.—
Report on the Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 542.

3017. FISHERIES, Protection of.—

will rest with the wisdom of the Legislature
to decide, whether prohibition should not be
opposed to prohibition, and high duty to high
duty, on the fish of other nations; whether any,
and which, of the naval and other duties May
be remitted, or an equivalent given to the fisherman,
in the form of a drawback, or bounty;
and whether the loss of markets abroad, May
not, in some degree, be compensated, by creating
markets at home; to which might contribute
the constituting fish a part of the
military ration, in stations not too distant
from navigation, a part of the necessary sea
stores of vessels, and the encouraging private
individuals to let the fishermen share with
the cultivator, in furnishing the supplies of the
table. A habit introduced from motives of
patriotism, would soon be followed from
motives of taste; and who will undertake to
fix the limits to this demand, if it can be
once excited, with a nation which doubles,
and will continue to double, at very short
Report on Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 544.

3018. FISHERIES, Protection of.—[continued].

The ex parte regulations
which the English have begun for mounting
their navigation on the ruins of ours, can only
be opposed by counter regulations on our
part. And the loss of seamen, the natural
consequence of lost and obstructed markets
for our fish and oil, calls in the first place,
for serious and timely attention. It will be
too late when the seaman shall have changed
his vocation, or gone over to another interest.
If we cannot recover and secure for
him these important branches of employment,
it behooves us to replace them by
others equivalent.—
Report on Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 552.

3019. FISHERIES, Relief of.—

What relief
does the condition of the whale fishery
require? 1. A remission of duties on the articles
used for their calling. 2. A retaliating
duty on foreign oils, coming to seek a competition
with them in or from our ports. 3.
Free markets abroad. * * * The only
nation whose oil is brought hither for competition
with our own, makes ours pay a duty of
about eighty-two dollars the ton, in their ports.
Theirs is brought here, too, to be reshipped
fraudulently, under our flag, and ought not
to be covered by ours, if we mean to preserve
our own admission into them.—
Report on the Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 551.

3020. FISHERIES, Relief of.—[continued].

The historical view we
have taken of these fisheries, proves they are
so poor in themselves, as to come to nothing
with distant nations, who do not support
them from their own treasury. We have
seen that the advantages of our position place
our fisheries on a ground somewhat higher,
such as to relieve our treasury from giving
them support; but not to permit it to draw
support from them, nor to dispense the government
from the obligation of effectuating
free markets for them; that, from the great
proportion of our salted fish, for our common
oil, and a part of our spermaceti oil, markets
may perhaps be preserved, by friendly arrangements
towards those nations whose arrangements
are friendly to us, and the residue
be compensated by giving to the seamen,
thrown out of business, the certainty of employment
in another branch, of which we have
the sole disposal (the carrying trade).—
Report on the Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 538.

3021. FISHERIES, Whale.—

In 1715, the Americans began their whale fishery. They
were led to it at first by the whales which
presented themselves on their coasts. They
attacked them there in small vessels of forty
tons. As the whale, being infested, retired
from the coast, they followed him farther and
farther into the ocean, still enlarging their
vessels with their adventures, to sixty, one
hundred, and two hundred tons. Having extended
their pursuit to the Western Islands,
they fell in, accidentally, with the spermaceti
whale, of a different species from that of


Page 339
Greenland, which alone had hitherto been
known in commerce; more fierce and active,
and whose oil and head matter were found to
be more valuable, as it might be used in the
interior of houses without offending the smell.
The distinction now first arose between the
Northern and Southern fisheries; the object of
the former being the Greenland whale,
which frequents the Northern coasts and seas
of Europe and America; that of the latter
being the spermaceti whale. which was found
in the Southern seas, from the Western Islands
and coast of Africa, to that of Brazil,
and still on to the Falkland Islands. Here,
again, within soundings, on the coast of
Brazil, they found a third species of whale,
which they called the black or Brazil whale,
smaller than the Greenland, yielding a still
less valuable oil, fit only for summer use, as
it becomes opaque at 50 degrees of Fahrenheit's
thermometer, while that of the spermaceti
whale is limpid to 41, and of the Greenland
whale to 36, of the same thermometer.
It is only worth taking, therefore, when it falls
in the way of the fishermen, but not worth
seeking, except when they have failed of success
against the spermaceti whale, in which
case, this kind, easily found and taken, serves
to moderate their loss.—
Report on Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 545.

3022. FLAG, Neutrality of.—

The neutrality
of our flag would render the carriage for belligerents an incalculable source of
Report on Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 554.

See Navigation and Neutrality.

3023. FLAG, Usurpation of.—

It will be
necessary for all our public agents to exert
themselves with vigilance * * * to prevent
the vessels of other nations from usurping
our flag. This usurpation tends to commit
us with the belligerent powers, to draw
on those vessels truly ours, vigorous visitations
to distinguish them from the counterfeits,
and to take business from us.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. iii, 535.
(Pa., 1793)

3024. FLAG, Usurpation of.—[continued].

Present appearances in
Europe render a general war there probable.
* * * In the * * * event * * * give
no countenance to the usurpation of our flag
by foreign vessels, but * * * aid in detecting
it, as without bringing to us any advantage,
the usurpation will tend to commit us
with the belligerent powers, and to subject
those vessels, which are truly ours, to harassing
scrutinies in order to distinguish them
from the counterfeits.—
To Samuel Shaw. Washington ed. iii, 530.
(Pa., March. 1793)

3025. FLAG, Usurpation of.—[further continued].

It is impossible to detest
more than I do the fraudulent and injurious
practice of covering foreign vessels and cargoes
under the American flag; and I sincerely
wish a systematic and severe course of punishment
could be established.—
To Mr. Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 223. Ford ed., x, 170.
(W. 1807)

3026. FLAG, Reception of.—

If British officers set the example of refusing to receive
a flag, let ours then follow it by never sending
or receiving another.—
To W. H. Cabell. Washington ed. v, 201.
(W. Oct. 1807)

3027. FLAG, Reception of.—[continued].

In answering [Minister
Erskine's] last [letter], should he not be reminded
how strange it is he should consider
as a hostility our refusing to receive but under
a flag, persons from vessels remaining
and acting in our waters in defiance of the
authority of the country?—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 197. Ford ed., ix, 141.
(M. Sep. 1807)

3028. FLATTERY, Un-American.—

those flatter who fear: it is not an American
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 141. Ford ed., i, 446.

3029. FLATTERY, Un-American.—[continued].

According to the ideas
of our country, we do not permit ourselves
to speak even truths, when they may have the
air of flattery.—
To Marquis de Lafayette. Washington ed. ii, 136.

3030. FLETCHER OF SALTOUN, Principles of.—

The political principles of that
patriot were worthy of the purest periods of
the British constitution; They are those which
were in vigor at the epoch of the American
emigration. Our ancestors brought them
here, and they needed little strengthening to
make us what we are. But in the weakened
condition of English whigism at this day, it
requires more firmness to publish and advocate
them than it then did to act on them.
This merit is peculiarly your Lordships; and
no one honors it more than myself.—
To Earl of Buchan. Washington ed. iv, 493.
(W. 1803)

3031. FLORIDA, Acquisition of.—

Quesada, by order of his court, is inviting
foreigners to go and settle in Florida.
This is meant for our people. * * * I wish
a hundred thousand of our inhabitants would
accept the invitation. It will be the means of
delivering to us peaceably what may otherwise
cost us a war. In the meantime, we May
complain of this seduction of our inhabitants
just enough to make them believe we think
it very wise policy for them, and confirm them
in it.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 235. Ford ed., v, 316.
(Pa., 1791)

3032. FLORIDA, Buying.—

It was
agreed at a cabinet meeting [that] Monroe be instructed
to endeavor to purchase both Floridas
if he can; West [Florida] if he cannot
East, at the prices before agreed on; but if
neither can be procured, then to stipulate a
plenary right to use all the rivers rising within
our limits and passing through theirs. * * * We are more indifferent about pressing the
purchase of the Floridas, because of the money
we have to provide for Louisiana, and because
we think they cannot fail to fall into our hands.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i. 300.
(Oct. 1803)

3033. FLORIDA, Buying.—[continued].

The extension of the war in Europe leaving us without danger of a
sudden peace, depriving us of the chance of
an ally, I proposed [in cabinet] that we should
address ourselves to France, informing her
it was a last effort at amicable settlement with
Spain, and offer to her or through her, 1. a
sum of money for the rights of Spain east of
Iberville, say the Floridas. 2. To cede the
part of Louisiana from the Rio Bravo to the
Guadaloupe. 3. Spain to pay within a certain
time spoliations under her own flag, agreed to


Page 340
by the convention (which we guess to be one
hundred vessels worth two million dollars);
and those subsequent (worth as much more),
and to hypothecate to us for those payments
the country from Guadaloupe to Rio Bravo.
Armstrong was to be employed. The 1st was
to be the exciting motive with France to whom
Spain is in arrears for subsidies, and who
will be glad also to secure us from going into
the scale of England. The 2d. the soothing
motive with Spain, which France would press
bona fide, because she claimed to the Rio
Bravo. The 3d. to quiet our merchants. It
was agreed to unanimously, and the sum to be
offered fixed not to exceed five million dollars.
Mr. Gallatin did not like purchasing Florida
under an apprehension of war, lest we should
be thought, in fact, to purchase peace. We
thought this over-weighed by taking advantage
of an opportunity, which might not occur again,
of getting a country essential to our peace,
and to the security of the commerce of the
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 308.
(Nov. 12, 1805)

3034. FLORIDA, Buying.—[further continued].

Since our [the Cabinet's] last meeting, we have received a letter from
General Armstrong, containing Talleyrand's
propositions, which are equivalent to ours
nearly, except as to the sum, he requiring seven
million dollars. He advises that we alarm the
fears of Spain by a vigorous language and
conduct, in order to induce her to join us in
appealing to the interference of the Emperor.
We now agree to modify our propositions, so as
to accommodate them to his as much as possible.
We agree to pay five million dollars for the
Floridas as soon as the treaty is ratified by
Spain, a vote of credit obtained from Congress,
and orders delivered us for the surrender of
the country. We agree to his proposition that
the Colorado shall be our Western boundary,
and a belt of thirty leagues on each side of it
be kept unsettled. We agree that joint commissioners
shall settle all spolitations, and to
take payment from Spain by bills on her colonies.
We agree to say nothing about the
French spoliators in Spanish ports which broke
off the former convention. We propose to pay
the five millions, after a simple vote of credit,
by stock redeemable in three years, within
which time we can pay it.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 309.
(Nov. 19, 1805)

3035. FLORIDA, Buying.—[further continued] .

If you can succeed in procuring
us Florida, and a good Western boundary,
it will fill the American mind with joy.
It will secure to our fellow citizens one of their
most ardent wishes, a long peace with Spain
and France. For be assured, the object of
war with them and alliance with England,
which, at the last session of Congress, drew off
from the republican band about half a dozen
of its members, is universally reprobated by our
native citizens from north to south. I have
never seen the nation stand more firmly to its
principles, or rally so firmly to its constituted
authorities, and in reprobation of the opposition
to them.—
To James Bowdoin. Washington ed. v, 18.
(W. 1806)

3036. FLORIDA, England and.—

will immediately seize on the Floridas as
a point d'appui to annoy us. What are we to
do in that case? I think she will find that there
is no nation on the globe which can gall her so
much as we can.—
To John Armstrong. Washington ed. v, 135. Ford ed., ix, 117.
(W. July. 1807)

See 298.

3037. FLORIDA, France and.—

Bonaparte would give us the Floridas to withhold
intercourse with the residue of the
[Spanish] colonies cannot be doubted. But
that is no price; because they are ours in the
first moment of the first war; and until a war
they are of no particular necessity to us.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 444.
(M. April. 1809)

3038. FLORIDA, Reprisal and.—

As soon
as we have all the proofs of the Western intrigues
[of Spain], let us make a remonstrance
and demand of satisfaction, and, if Congress
approves, we may in the same instant make
reprisals on the Floridas, until satisfaction for
that and for spoliations, and until a settlement
of boundary.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 164. Ford ed., ix, 124.
(M. Aug. 1807)

3039. FLORIDA, Reprisal and.—[continued].

If England should be
disposed to continue peace with us, and Spain
gives to Bonaparte the occupation she promises,
will not the interval be favorable for our
reprisals on the Floridas for the indemnifications
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 335.
(M. Aug. 1808)

3040. FLORIDA, Reprisal and.—[further continued].

The situation of affairs
in Spain * * * may produce a favorable
occasion of doing ourselves justice in the South.
We must certainly so dispose of our southern
recruits and armed vessels as to be ready for
the occasion.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 336.
(M. Aug. 1808)

3041. FLORIDA, Reprisal and.—[further continued] .

Should England get to
rights with us, while Bonaparte is at war with
Spain, the moment may be favorable to take
possession of our own territory held by Spain,
and so much more as may make a proper reprisal
for her spoliations. We ought, therefore,
to direct the rendezvous of our southern
recruits and gunboats so as to be in proper
position for striking * * * in an instant,
when Congress shall will it.—
To Robert Smith. Washington ed. v, 337.
(M. Aug. 1808)

3042. FLORIDA, Reprisal and.—[further continued].

Should England make
up with us, while Bonaparte continues at war
with Spain, a moment may occur when we May
without danger of commitment with either
France or England seize to our own limits of
Louisiana as of right, and the residue of the
Floridas as reprisal for spoliations. It is our
duty to have an eye to this in rendezvousing
and stationing our new recruits and our armed
vessels, so as to be ready, if Congress authorizes
it, to strike in a moment.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 338.
(M. Aug. 1808)

3043. FLORIDA, Reprisal and.—[further continued] .

Should the conference
[with Canning] announced in Mr. Pinckney's
letter of June 5th, settle friendship between
England and us, and Bonaparte continue at war
with Spain, a moment may occur favorable,
without compromitting us with either France
or England, for seizing our own from the Rio
Bravo to Perdido, as of right, and the residue
of Florida, as a reprisal for spoliations. I
have thought it proper to suggest this possibility
to General Dearborn and Mr. Smith, and to recommend
an eye to it in their rendezvousing and
stationing the new southern recruits and gunboats,
so that we may strike in a moment when
Congress says so.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 339. Ford ed., ix, 204.
(M. Aug. 1808)

3044. FLORIDA, Right to.—

moreover, is ours. Every nation in Europe considers
it such a right. We need not care for its
occupation in time of peace and, in war, the
first cannon makes it ours without offence to
anybody. * * * The cession of the Floridas
in exchange for Techas imports an acknowledgment
of our right to it. This province,
moreover, the Floridas and possibly Cuba, will


Page 341
join us on the acknowledgment of their independence,
a measure to which their new government
will probably accede voluntarily.—
To President Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 160. Ford ed., x, 159.
(M. 1820)

3045. FLORIDA, Seizure of.—

I wish
you [Congress] would authorize the President
to take possession of East Florida immediately.
The seizing West Florida will be a signal to
England to take Pensacola and St. Augustine;
and be assured it will be done as soon as the
order can return after they hear of our taking
Baton Rouge, and we shall never get it from
them but by a war, which may be prevented by
anticipation. There never was a case where the
adage was more true, “in for a penny, in for a
pound”; and no more offence will be taken by
France and Spain at our seizure of both than
of one.—
To J. W. Eppes. Ford ed., ix, 290.
(M. Jan. 1811)

3046. FLORIDA, Seizure of.—[continued].

The English will take
East Florida, pretendedly for Spain. We
should take it with a declaration; 1, that it is
a reprisal for indemnities Spain has acknowledged
due to us; 2, to keep it from falling into
hands in which it would essentially endanger
our safety; 3, that in our hands it will still
be held as a subject of negotiation. The leading
republican members should come to an understanding,
close the doors, and determine not
to separate till the vote is carried, and all the
secrecy you can enjoin should be aimed at until
the measure is executed.—
To J. W. Eppes. Ford ed., ix, 291.
(M. Jan. 1811)

3047. FLORIDA, Seizure of.—[further continued].

We are in a state of
semi-warfare with your adjoining colonies, the
Floridas. We do not consider this as affecting
our peace with Spain, or any other of her former
possessions. We wish her and them well;
and under her present difficulties at home, and
her doubtful future relations with her colonies,
both wisdom and interest will, I presume, induce
her to leave them to settle themselves the quarrels
they draw on themselves from their neighbors.
The commanding officers in the Floridas
have excited and armed the neighboring savages
to war against us, and to murder and scalp
many of our women and children as well as
men, taken by surprise—poor creatures! They
have paid for it with the loss of the flower of
their strength, and have given us the right, as
we possess the power, to exterminate or to expatriate
them beyond the Mississippi. This conduct
of the Spanish officers will probably oblige
us to take possession of the Floridas, and the
rather as we believe the English will otherwise
seize them, and use them as stations to
distract and annoy us. But should we possess
ourselves of them, and Spain retain her other
colonies in this hemisphere, I presume we shall
consider them in our hands as subjects of
To Don V. Toranda Coruna. Washington ed. vi, 274.
(M. Dec. 1813)

3048. FLORIDA, Spain and.—

Some fear
our envelopment in the wars engendering from
the unsettled state of our affairs with Spain,
and therefore are anxious for a ratification of
our treaty with her. I fear no such thing, and
hope that if ratified by Spain it will be rejected
here. We may justly say to Spain, “when this
negotiation commenced, twenty years ago, your
authority was acknowledged by those you are
selling to us. That authority is now renounced,
and their right of self-disposal asserted. In
buying them from you, then, we buy but a wartitle,
a right to subdue them, which you can
neither convey nor we acquire. This is a family
quarrel in which we have no right to med
dle. Settle it between yourselves, and we will
then treat with the party whose right is acknowledged.
” With whom that will be, no
doubt can be entertained. And why should we
revolt them by purchasing them as cattle,
rather than receiving them as fellow-men?
Spain has held off until she sees they are lost
to her, and now thinks it better to get something
than nothing for them. When she shall
see South America equally desperate, she will
be wise to sell that also.—
To M. de Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 194. Ford ed., x, 179.
(M. 1820)

3049. FLORIDA, Spain and.—[continued].

I am not sorry for the
non-ratification of the Spanish treaty. Our assent
to it has proved our desire to be on friendly
terms with Spain; their dissent, the imbecility
and malignity of their government towards us,
have placed them in the wrong in the eyes of
the world, and that is well; but to us the province
of Techas will be the richest State of our
Union, without any exception. Its southern
part will make more sugar than we can consume,
and the Red River, on its North, is the
most luxuriant country on earth. Florida,
moreover, is ours. Every nation in Europe
considers it such a right. We need not care
for its occupation in time of peace, and, in war,
the first cannon makes it ours without offence
to anybody. The friendly advisements, too, of
Russia and France, as well as the change of
government in Spain, now ensured, require a
further and respectful forbearance. While their
request will rebut the plea of proscriptive possession,
it will give us a right to their approbation
when taken in the maturity of circumstances.
I really think, too, that neither the
state of our finances, the condition of our country,
nor the public opinion, urges us to precipitation
into war. The treaty has had the valuable
effect of strengthening our title to the
Techas, because the cession of the Floridas in
exchange for Techas imports an acknowledgment
of our right to it. This province moreover,
the Floridas and possibly Cuba, will join
us on the acknowledgment of their independence,
a measure to which their new government,
will probably accede voluntarily.—
To President Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 160. Ford ed., x, 158.
(M. May. 1820)

See Louisiana, Monroe Doctrine, and Spain.

3050. FOLLY, National.—

We, too, shall
encounter follies; out if great, they will be
short; if long, they will be light, and the
vigor of our country will get the better of
To Mr. Digges. Washington ed. v, 14.
(W. 1806)

3051. FOLLY, National.—[continued].

We shall have our follies
without doubt. Some one or more of them will always be afloat. But ours will be
the follies of enthusiasm, not of bigotry
* * *.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 27.
(M. 1816)

3052. FONTAINBLEAU, Description.—

This is a village of about 5000 inhabitants
when the Court is not here, and 20.000 inhabitants
when they are; occupying a valley
through which runs a brook, and on each side
of it a ridge of small mountains most of which
are naked rock. The King comes here, in the
fall always, to hunt. His court attend him, as
do also the foreign diplomatic corps. But as
this is not indispensably required, and my finances
do not admit the expense of a continued
residence here. I propose to come occasionally
to attend the King's levees, returning again to
Paris, distant forty miles.—
To Rev. James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 33.
(P. 1785)


Page 342

3053. FOPPERY, Admiration of.—

for admiration, I am sure the man who powders
most, perfumes most, embroiders most,
and talks most nonsense, is most admired.
Though to be candid, there are some who have
too much good sense to esteem such monkeylike
animals as these, in whose formation, as the
saying is, the tailors and barbers go halves with
God Almighty. [193]
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 183. Ford ed., i, 344.


Jefferson was 19 years of age in 1762.—Editor.

3054. FORCE, Despotism and.—

Force [is] the vital principle and immediate parent of
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 4.

3055. FORCE, Government and.—

That nature has formed man insusceptible of any
other government than that of force, is a conclusion
not founded in truth nor experience.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 104. Ford ed., iv, 362.
(P. 1787)

3056. FORCE, Money and.—

The want of
money cramps every effort. This will be supplied
by the most unpalatable of all substitutes,
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 242. Ford ed., ii, 309.
(Wg. 1780)

3057. FORCE, Politics and.—

Force is not
the kind of opposition the American people
will permit.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 287. Ford ed., vii, 356.
(Pa., 1799)

3058. FORCE, Reason vs.—

The friends of reform, while they remain firm, [should] avoid every act and threat against the peace
of the Union. That would check the favorable
sentiments of the middle States, and rally
them again around the measures which are
ruining us. Reason, not rashness, is the only
means of bringing our fellow citizens to their
true minds.—
To N. Lewis. Washington ed. iv, 278.

3059. FORCE, Right and.—

Force cannot give right.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 141. Ford ed., i, 445.

3060. FORCE, Right and.—[continued].

With respect to America,
Europeans in general, have been too long
in the habit of confounding force with right.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 276. Ford ed., v, 364.
(Pa., 1791)

3061. FORCE, Right and.—[further continued].

Force cannot change
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 355.
(M. 1824)

3062. FORCE, Wisdom and.—

It is the
multitude which possesses force, and wisdom
must yield to that.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. vi, 592. Ford ed., x, 25.

3063. FOREIGN AGENTS, Authorization.—

The sending an agent within our limits,
we presume has been done without the authority or knowledge of the Spanish government.
It has certainly been the usage,
where one nation has wished to employ agents
of any kind within the limits of another, to
obtain the permission of that other, and even
to regulate by convention, and on principles
of reciprocity, the functions to be exercised by
such agents. [194]
To the Spanish Commissioners. Ford ed., vi, 99.
(Pa., 1792)


The Government of West Florida had established
an agent within the Creek territory.—Editor.

3064. FOREIGN AGENTS, Authorization.—[continued].

I consider the keeping by Spain of an agent in the Indian Country
as a circumstance which requires serious interference
on our part; and I submit to your
decision whether it does not furnish a proper
occasion to us to * * * insist on a mutual
and formal stipulation to forbear employing
agents, or pensioning any persons, within each
other's limits; and if this be refused, to propose
the contrary stipulation, to wit, that each
party may freely keep agents within the Indian
territories of the other, in which case we
might soon sicken them of the license.—
To President Washington. Ford ed., vi, 101.
(M. 1792)

3065. FOREIGN AGENTS, Authorization.—[continued]. [further continued].

It is a general rule, that
no nation has a right to keep an agent within
the limits of another, without the consent of
that other, and we are satisfied it would be
best for both Spain and us, to abstain from
having agents or other persons in our employ,
or pay, among the savages inhabiting our respective
territories, whether as subjects or independent.
You are, therefore, desired to propose
and press a stipulation to that effect.
Should they absolutely decline it, it may be
proper to let them perceive, that as the right
of keeping agents exists on both sides, or on
neither, it will rest with us to reciprocate their
own measures.—
To Carmichael and Short. Washington ed. iii, 475. Ford ed., vi, 119.
(Pa., 1792)

3066. FOREIGN AGENTS, Conciliation of.—

I think it of real value to produce favorable
dispositions in the agents of foreign
nations here. Cordiality among nations depends
very much on the representations of
their agents mutually, and cordiality once established,
is of immense value, even counted
in money, from the favors it produces in commerce,
and the good understanding it preserves
in matters merely political.—
To President Washington. Ford ed., vi, 152.
(Pa., 1793)

3067. FOREIGN AGENTS, Duty of.—

The President of the United States being the only channel of communication between
this country and foreign nations, it is from
him alone that foreign nations or their agents
are to learn what is or has been the will of
the nation, and whatever he communicates as
such, they have a right and are bound to consider
as the expression of the nation, and no
foreign agent can be allowed to question it,
to interpose between him and any other
branch of government, under the pretext of
either's transgressing their functions, nor to
make himself the umpire and final judge between
them. I am, therefore, not authorized
to enter into any discussions with you on the
meaning of our Constitution in any part of it,
or to prove to you that it has ascribed to him
alone the admission or interdiction of foreign
agents. I inform you of the fact by authority
from the President.—
To Edmond Charles Genet. Washington ed. iv, 84. Ford ed., vi, 451.
(G. Nov. 1793)

3068. FOREIGN AGENTS, Intermeddling.—

For a foreign agent, addressed to the
Executive, to embody himself with the law


Page 343
yers of a faction whose sole object is to
embarrass and defeat all the measures of the
country, and by their opinions, known to be
always in opposition, to endeavor to influence
our proceedings, is a conduct not to be permitted.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 368.
(M. 1808)

3069. FOREIGN AGENTS, Secret.—

want an intelligent, prudent native, who will
go to reside at New Orleans, as a secret correspondent,
for $1000 a year. He might do
a little business, merely to cover his real office.
Do point out such a one. Virginia ought to offer
more loungers equal to this, and ready for
it, than any other State.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vi, 269.
(Pa., 1793)

3070. FOREIGN INFLUENCE, Deplored.—

I do sincerely wish that we could take our stand on a ground perfectly neutral
and independent towards all nations. It has
been my constant object through my public
life; and with respect to the English and
French, particularly, I have too often expressed
to the former my wishes, and made to them
propositions, verbally and in writing, officially
and privately, to official and private characters,
for them to doubt of my views, if they would
be content with equality. Of this they are
in possession of several written and formal
proofs, in my own hand-writing. But they
have wished a monopoly of commerce and
influence with us; and they have in fact obtained
it. When we take notice that theirs
is the workshop to which we go for all we
want; that with them centre either immediately
or ultimately all the labors of our hands
and lands; that to them belongs, either openly
or secretly, the great mass of our navigation;
that even the factorage of their affairs here,
is kept to themselves by factitious citizenships;
that these foreign and false citizens
now constitute the great body of what are
called our merchants, fill our seaports, are
planted in every little town and district of
the interior country, sway everything in the
former places, by their own votes, and those
of their dependents, in the latter, by their insinuations
and the influence of their ledgers;
that they are advancing rapidly to a monopoly
of our banks and public funds, and thereby
placing our public finances under their control;
that they have in their alliance the most
influential characters in and out of office;
when they have shown that by all these bearings
on the different branches of the government,
they can force it to proceed in whatever
direction they dictate, and bend the interests
of this country entirely to the will of another;
when all this, I say, is attended to, it is impossible
for us to say we stand on independent
ground, impossible for a free mind not to
see and to groan under the bondage in which
it is bound. If anything after this could
excite surprise, it would be that they have
been able so far to throw dust in the eyes of
our own citizens, as to fix on those who
wish merely to recover self-government the
charge of observing one foreign influence
because they resist submission to another.
But they possess our printing presses, a
powerful engine in their government of us.
At this very moment they would have drawn
us into a war on the side of England, had it
not been for the failure of her bank. Such
was their open and loud cry, and that of
their gazettes, till this event. After plunging
us in all the broils of the European nations,
there would remain but one act to close our
tragedy, that is, to break up our Union; and
even this they have ventured seriously and
solemnly to propose and maintain by arguments
in a Connecticut paper. I have been
happy, however, in believing from the stifling
of this effort, that that dose was found too
strong, and excited as much repugnance there
as it did horror in other parts of our country,
and that whatever follies we may be led into
as to foreign nations, we shall never give up
our Union, the last anchor of our hope, and
that alone which is to prevent this heavenly
country from becoming an arena of gladiators.
Much as I abhor war, and view it as
the greatest scourge of mankind, and anxiously
as I wish to keep out of the broils of
Europe, I would yet go with my brethren into
these, rather than separate from them. But
I hope we may still keep clear of them, notwithstanding
our present thraldom, and that
time may be given us to reflect on the awful
crisis we have passed through, and to find
some means of shielding ourselves in future
from foreign influence, political, commercial, or
in whatever other form it may be attempted. I
can scarcely withhold myself from joining in
the wish of Silas Deane, that there were an
ocean of fire between us and the old world. [195]
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 172. Ford ed., vii, 121.
(Pa., May. 1797)


In the draft of the letter this paragraph was
changed to the form above printed. Before the
alteration it read: “I shall never forget the prediction
of the Count de Vergennes, that we shall exhibit
the singular phenomenon of a fruit rotten before it
is ripe, nor cease to join in the wish of Silas Deane,
that there were an ocean of fire between us and the
old world. Indeed, my dear friend, I am so disgusted
with this entire subjection to a foreign
power, that if it were in the end to appear to be the
wish of the body of my countrymen to remain in
that vassalage, I should feel my unfitness to be an
agent in their affairs, and seek in retirement that
personal independence without which this world has
nothing I value. I am confident you set the same
store by it which I do; but perhaps your situation
may not give you the same conviction of its existence.
Ford ed., vii, 123.

3071. FOREIGN INFLUENCE, English.—

The proof England exhibited on that
occasion [the repeal of the Embargo] that
she can exercise such an influence in this
country as to control the will of its government
and three-fourths of its people, and
oblige the three-fourths to submit to onefourth,
is to me the most mortifying circumstance
which has occurred since the establishment
of our government. The only prospect
I see of lessening that influence, is in her own
conduct, and not from anything in our power.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 530. Ford ed., ix, 278.
(M. July. 1810)

3072. FOREIGN INFLUENCE, Exclusion.—

Our countrymen have divided themselves
by such strong affections, to the French
and the English, that nothing will secure us


Page 344
internally but a divorce from both nations.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 188. Ford ed., vii, 149.
(Pa., 1797)

3073. FOREIGN INFLUENCE, Exclusion.—[continued].

We consider their [Cuba's
and Mexico's] interests and ours as the same,
and that the object of both must be to exclude
all European influence from this hemisphere.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. v, 381. Ford ed., ix, 213.
(W. Oct. 1808)


Foreign influence is the present and just
object of public hue and cry, and, as often
happens, the most guilty are foremost and
loudest in the cry. If those who are truly
independent, can so trim our vessel as to
beat through the waves now agitating us, they
will merit a glory the greater as it seems less
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iv, 176. Ford ed., vii, 128.
(Pa., May. 1797)

3075. FOREIGN INFLUENCE, French.—[continued].

Those [members of Congress] who have no wish but for the peace of
their country, and its independence of all foreign
influence, have a hard struggle indeed,
overwhelmed by a cry as loud and imposing
as if it were true, of being under French
influence, and this raised by a faction composed
of English subjects residing among us,
or such as are English in all their relations
and sentiments. However, patience will bring
all to rights, and we shall both live to see the
mask taken from their faces, and our citizens
sensible on which side true liberty and independence
are sought.—
To Horatio Gates. Washington ed. iv, 178. Ford ed., vii, 131.
(Pa., May. 1797)

3076. FOREIGN INFLUENCE, Mercantile.—

The commerce of England has spread its roots over the whole face of our
country. This is the real source of all the
obliquities of the public mind.—
To A. H. Rowan. Washington ed. iv, 257. Ford ed., vii, 280.
(M. 1798)


Wretched, indeed, is the nation in
whose affairs foreign powers are once permitted
to intermeddle.—
To B. Vaughan. Washington ed. ii, 167.
(P. 1787)


What a crowd of lessons do the
present miseries of Holland teach us? * * * Never to call in foreign nations to settle domestic
differences; * * *.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 283. Ford ed., iv, 455.
(P. 1787)

See Alliances, Hereditary Bodies, War.

3079. FOREIGN INTERVENTION, Exclude.—[continued].

Our young Republic
* * * should never call on foreign powers
to settle their differences.—
To Colonel Humphreys. Washington ed. ii, 253.
(P. 1787)

3080. FOREIGN INTERVENTION, United States and.—

We wish not to meddle
with the internal affairs of any country, nor
with the general affairs of Europe.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. iii, 535.
(Pa., 1793)


See Alien and Sedition
Laws, Aliens, Asylum, Citizens and Expatriation.

3081. FORMALITIES, Business and.—

I have ever thought that forms should yield
to whatever should facilitate business.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 401. Ford ed., viii, 59.
(W. 1801)

3082. FORMALITIES, Dispensing with.—

There are situations when form must
be dispensed with. A man attacked by assassins
will call for help to those nearest him,
and will not think himself bound to silence
till a magistrate may come to his aid.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 305. Ford ed., v, 396.
(Pa., 1791)

3083. FORMALITIES, Insisting upon.—

I noticed to you * * * that the commission
of consul to M. Dannery ought to
have been addressed to the President of the
United States. * * * [As] we were persuaded
* * * that the error in the address
had proceeded from no intention in the Executive
Council of France to question the functions
of the President, * * * no difficulty
was made in issuing the commission. We are
still under the same persuasion. But in your
letter of the 14th instant, you personally question
the authority of the President, and, in
consequence of that, have not addressed to
him the commission of Messrs. Pennevert and
Chervi. Making a point of this formality on
your part, it becomes necessary to make a
point of it on ours also; and I am therefore
charged to return you those commissions, and
to inform you, that bound to enforce respect
to the order of things established by our
Constitution, the President will issue no
exequatur to any consul or vice-consul, not
directed to him in the usual form, after the
party from whom it comes, has been apprised
that such should be the address.—
To E. C. Genet. Washington ed. iv, 84. Ford ed., vi, 451.
(G. Nov. 1793)

3084. FORMALITIES, International.—

I am of opinion that all communications
between nations should pass through the
channels of their Executives. However, in
the instance of condolence on the death of
Dr. Franklin, the letter from our General
Government was addressed to the President
of the National Assembly; so was a letter
from the Legislature of Pennsylvania, containing
congratulations on the achievement
of liberty to the French nation. I have not
heard that, in either instance, their Executive
took it amiss that they were not made the
channel of communication.—
To Governor Lee. Washington ed. iii, 456.
(M. 1792)

3085. FORMALITIES, Jefferson and.—

General Phillips * * * having * * * taken great offence at a [recent] threat of
retaliation in the treatment of prisoners, enclosed
his answer to my letter [with respect
to a passport for a supply vessel] under this
address, “To Thomas Jefferson, Esq., American
Governor of Virginia”. I paused on receiving
the letter, and for some time would not
open it; however, when the miserable condition
of our brethren in Charleston occurred
to me, I could not determine that they should
be left without the necessaries of life, while
a punctilio should be discussing between the


Page 345
British General and myself; and, knowing that
I had an opportunity of returning the compliment
to Mr. Phillips in a case perfectly corresponding,
I opened the letter. Very shortly
after, I received, as I expected, the permission
of the Board of War for the British vessel,
then in Hampton Roads with clothing and
refreshments, to proceed to Alexandria, I enclosed
and addressed it, “To William Phillips,
Esq., commanding the British forces in the
Commonwealth of Virginia”. Personally knowing
Phillips to be the proudest man of the
proudest nation on earth, I well know he will
not open this letter; but having occasion at
the same time, to write to Captain Gerbach, the
flag-master, I informed him that the Convention
troops in this State should perish for want
of necessaries, before any should be carried to
them through this State, till General Phillips
either swallowed this pill of retaliation, or
made an apology for his rudeness. And in this,
should the matter come ultimately to Congress,
we hope for their support. [196]
To the Virginia Delegation in Congress. Washington ed. i, 308.
(R. 1781)


General Howe, in June 1776, sent a letter under a
flag of truce to General Washington addressed to
“George Washington, Esq.” It was returned, unopened.
Howe sent a second letter, and it also was
sent back. A third one addressed to “George
Washington, Esq., &c., &c., &c.,” was also refused.
The fourth one was addressed to General George
Washington and accepted. General Washington, in
writing to Congress on the subject said: “I would
not, on any occasion, sacrifice essentials to punctilio;
but, in this instance, I deemed it my duty to my
country, and to my appointment, to insist upon that
respect, which, in any other than a public view, I
would willingly have waived.” General Howe said
that he had adopted this style of address to save
himself from censure by his own government.——Editor.

3086. FORMALITIES, Principles and.—

No government can disregard formalities
more than ours. But when formalities are
attacked with a view to change principles,
* * * it becomes material to defend formalities.
They would be no longer trifles,
if they could, in defiance of the national will,
continue a foreign agent among us whatever
might be his course of action.—
To E. C. Genet. Washington ed. iv, 92. Ford ed., vi, 464.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

3087. FORTIFICATIONS, The Administration of Washington and.—

[Among] the heads of the [President's] speech [considered
in cabinet] was a proposition to Congress
to fortify the principal harbors. I opposed
the expediency of the General Government's
undertaking it, and the expediency of
the President's proposing it. It was amended,
by substituting a proposition to adopt means
for enforcing respect to the jurisdiction of
the United States within its waters. * * * The President acknowledged he had doubted
the expediency of undertaking it. * * * The clause recommending the fortifications
was left out of the speech.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 182. Ford ed., i, 269.
(Nov. 1793)

3088. FORTIFICATIONS, The Administration of Washington and.—[continued].

The putting the several
harbors of the United States into a state of
defence, having never yet been the subject
of deliberation and decision with the Legislature,
and consequently, the necessary
moneys not having been appropriated or
levied, the President does not find himself
in a situation competent to comply with the
proposition on the subject of Norfolk.—
To the Governor of Virginia. Washington ed. iii, 564.
(Pa., May. 1793)

3089. FORTIFICATIONS, Adequate.—

Some of [the injuries of the belligerent
powers] are of a nature to be met by
force only, and all of them may lead to
it. I cannot, therefore, but recommend
such preparations as circumstances call for.
The first object is to place our seaport towns
out of the danger of insult. Measures have
been already taken for furnishing them with
heavy cannon for the service of such land batteries
as may make a part of their defence
against armed vessels approaching them. In
aid of these it is desirable that we should
have a competent number of gun-boats; and
the number, to be competent, must be considerable.—
Fifth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 49. Ford ed., viii, 391.

3090. FORTIFICATIONS, Adequate.—[continued].

I think it would make an
honorable close of your term as well as mine,
to leave our country in a state of substantial
defence, which we found quite unprepared
for it. Indeed, it would for me be a joyful
annunciation to the next meeting of Congress,
that the operations of defence are all complete.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 295. Ford ed., ix, 171.
(M. May. 1808)

3091. FORTIFICATIONS, New York.—

I wish you would stay long enough at New
York to settle * * * the plan of defence
for that place; and I am in hopes you will
also see Fulton's [torpedo] experiments tried,
and see how far his means may enter into
your plan.—
To General Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 117. Ford ed., ix, 101.
(W. July. 1807)

3092. FORTIFICATIONS, New York.—[continued].

Among the objects of our
care, New York stands foremost in the points
of importance and exposure; and if permitted
we shall provide such defences for it
as, in our opinion, will render it secure
against attacks by sea.—
To Governor Tompkins. Washington ed. v, 283.
(W. 1808)

3093. FORTIFICATIONS, New York.—[further continued].

The Legislature of New York may be assured that every exertion will
be used to put the United States in the best
condition of defence, that we may be fully
prepared to meet the dangers which menace
the peace of our country.—
To Governor Tompkins. Washington ed. viii, 154.

3094. FORTIFICATIONS, St. Lawrence.—

Should our present differences [with
England] be amicably settled, it will be
a question for consideration whether we
should not establish a strong post on the
St. Lawrence, as near our northern boundary
as a good position can be found. To do
this at present would only produce a greater
accumulation of hostile force in that quarter.—
To Governor Tompkins. Washington ed. v, 239.
(W. Jan. 1808)

3095. FORTIFICATIONS, St. Lawrence.—[continued].

It appears to me that it
would be well to have a post on the St. Lawrence,
as near our line as a commanding position
could be found, that it might afford


Page 346
some cover for our most advanced inhabitants.—
To Governor Tompkins. Washington ed. v, 284.
(W. 1808)

3096. FORTIFICATIONS, Sites for.—

I do not see that we can avoid agreeing to
estimates made by worthy men of our own
choice for the sites of fortifications, or that
we could leave an important place undefended
because too much is asked for the site. And,
therefore, we must pay what the sites at Boston
have been valued at. At the same time,
I do not know on what principles of reasoning
it is that good men think the public
ought to pay more for a thing than they
would themselves if they wanted it.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 293.
(M. 1808)

3097. FORTIFICATIONS, Sites for.—[continued].

In proceeding to carry
into execution the act [providing for the public
defence], it is found that the sites most
advantageous for the defence of our harbors
and rivers, and sometimes the only sites competent
to that defence, are in some cases the
property of minors, incapable of giving a
valid assent to their alienation; in others belong
to persons who on no terms will alienate;
and in others the proprietors demand such exaggerated
compensation as, however liberally
the public ought to compensate in such cases,
would exceed all bounds of justice or liberality.
From this cause the defence of our seaboard,
so necessary to be pressed during the
present session will in various parts be defeated,
unless the national Legislature can apply
a constitutional remedy. The power of repelling
invasions, and making laws necessary
for carrying that power into execution, seem
to include that of occupying those sites
which are necessary to repel an enemy; observing
only the amendment to the Constitution
which provides that private property
shall not be taken for public use without just
compensation. I submit, therefore, to the
consideration of Congress, where the necessary
sites cannot be obtained by the joint and
valid consent of parties, whether provision
should be made by a process of ad quod damnum,
or any other eligible means for authorizing
the sites which are necessary for the
public defence to be appropriated to that purpose.
I am aware that as the consent of the
Legislature of the State to the purchase of the
site moy not, in some instances have been
previously obtained, exclusive legislation cannot
be exercised therein by Congress until
that consent is given. But, in the meantime, it
will be held under the same laws which protect
the property of individuals in that State,
and other property of the United States, and
the Legislatures at their next meetings will
have opportunities of doing what will be so
evidently called for by the interest of their
own State.—
Message on Public Defence. Ford ed., ix, 187.
(March. 1808)

3098. FORTIFICATIONS, System of.—

Whether we have peace or war, I think the
present Legislature will authorize a complete
system of defensive works, on such a scale
as they think they ought to adopt. The state
of our finances now permits this.—
To W. H. Cabell. Washington ed. v, 208. Ford ed., ix, 97.
(W. Nov. 1807)

3099. FORTIFICATIONS, System of.—[continued].

The surplus may partly,
indeed, be applied towards completing the defence
of the exposed points of our country,
on such a scale as shall be adapted to our
principles and circumstances. This object is
doubtless among the first entitled to attention,
in such a state of our finances, and it is one
which, whether we have peace or war, will
provide security where it is due.—
Seventh Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 88. Ford ed., ix, 165.

3100. FORTIFICATIONS, System of.—[further continued].

I hope, that this summer
we shall get our whole seaports put into that
state of defence, which Congress has thought
proportioned to our circumstances and situation;
that is to say, put hors d'insulte from a
maritime attack, by a moderate squadron.—
To Charles Pinckney. Washington ed. v, 266.
(W. March. 1808)

See Defence.

3101. FORTITUDE, Virtue of.—

teaches us to meet and surmount difficulties;
not to fly from them, like cowards;
and to fly, too, in vain, for they will meet and
arrest us at every turn of our road. Fortitude
is one of the four cardinal virtues of
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 140. Ford ed., x, 145.
(M. 1819)

3102. FORTUNE, Injured.—

I should
have been much wealthier had I remained in
that private condition which renders it lawful
and even laudable to use proper efforts
to better it.—
To—. Washington ed. iii, 527.
(Pa., 1793)

3103. FORTUNE, Public Service and.—

When I first entered on the stage of public life (now twenty-four years ago), I came to a
resolution never to engage while in public
office in any kind of enterprise for the improvement
of my fortune, [and] I have never
departed from it in a single instance.—
To——. Washington ed. iii, 527.
(Pa., 1793)

3104. FORTUNE, Public Service and.—[continued].

I have the consolation of
having added nothing to my private fortune,
during my public service, and of retiring with
hands as clean as they are empty.—
To Comte Diodati. Washington ed. v, 62.
(W. 1807)

See Disinterestedness.

3105. FORTUNES, Imperilled.—

fortunes, in the present state of our circulation,
are at the mercy of those selfcreated
money-lenders, and are prostrated by
the floods of nominal money with which their
avarice deluges us.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 142. Ford ed., ix, 394.
(M. 1813)

3106. FORTUNES, Pledge of.—

For the
support of this Declaration, [197] we mutually
pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes,
and our sacred honor.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress inserted after Declaration, “with a
firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”—Editor.

3107. FOURTH OF JULY, Despotism and.—

The flames kindled on the Fourth of


Page 347
July, 1776, have spread over too much of the
globe to be extinguished by the feeble engines
of despotism; on the contrary, they will
consume these engines and all who work
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 218.
(M. Sep. 1821)

3108. FOURTH OF JULY, Europe and.—

The Fourth of July * * * divorced us
from the follies and crimes of Europe.—
To Mr. Digges. Washington ed. v, 14.
(W. 1806)
See Birthday and Declaration of Independence.

3109. FOURTH OF JULY, Europe and.—[continued].

The light which has been
shed on the mind of man through the civilized
world, has given it a new direction
from which no human power can divert it.
The sovereigns of Europe who are wise, or
have wise counsellors, see this, and bend to
the breeze which blows; the unwise alone
stiffen and meet its inevitable crush.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 193. Ford ed., x, 179.

3110. FOX (Charles James), Character.—

In Mr. Fox, personally, I have more confidence
than in any man in England, and it is
founded in what, through unquestionable channels,
I have had opportunities of knowing of
his honesty and his good sense. While he shall
be in the administration, my reliance on that
government will be solid.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 11. Ford ed., viii, 449.
(W. May. 1806)

3111. FOX (Charles James), Statesmanship.—

His sound judgment saw that
political interest could never be separated in
the long run from moral right, and his frank
and great mind would have made a short business
of a just treaty with you.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 477.
(W. Oct. 1806)

3112. FRANCE, Affection for.—

It is very much our interest to keep up the affection
of this country [France] for us, which
is considerable.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 346. Ford ed., iv, 50.
(P. 1785)

3113. FRANCE, Affection for.—[continued].

A sincere affection between
the two peoples is the broadest basis
on which their peace can be built.—
To Comte de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 456.
(P. 1785)

3114. FRANCE, Affection for.—[further continued].

Nobody [is] more sensible
than you are of the motives, both moral
and political, which should induce us to bind
the two countries together by as many ties
as possible of interest and affection.—
To Dr. Ramsay. Washington ed. ii, 49.
(P. 1786)

3115. FRANCE, Affection for.—[further continued] .

I am happy in concurring
with you * * * in the sentiment,
that as the principles of our governments
become more congenial, the links of affection
are multiplied between us. It is
impossible that they should multiply beyond
our wishes.—
To J. B. Ternant. Washington ed. iii, 516. Ford ed., vi, 189.
(Pa., 1793)

3116. FRANCE, Affection for.—[further continued].

Mutual good offices,
mutual affection, and similar principles of
government seem to destine the two nations
for the most intimate communion.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 522. Ford ed., vi, 200.
(Pa., 1793)

See People (French)

3117. FRANCE, Affronted by Adams.—

Mr. Adams's speech to Congress in May
[1798] is deemed such a national affront, that
no explanation on other topics can be entered
on till that, as a preliminary, is wiped away
by humiliating disavowals or acknowledgments.
This working hard with our Envoys,
and indeed seeming impracticable for
want of that sort of authority, submission to
a heavy amercement (upwards of a million
sterling) was, * * *, suggested as an
alternative, which might be admitted if proposed
by us. These overtures had been
through informal agents; and both the alternatives
bringing the Envoys to their ne
they resolve to have no more communication
through inofficial characters, but to
address a letter directly to the government,
to bring forward their pretensions.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 232. Ford ed., vii, 234.
(Pa., April. 1798)
See X. Y. Z. Plot.

3118. FRANCE, The Allied Powers and.—

The sufferings of France, I sincerely
deplore, and what is to be their term? The
will of the Allies. There is no more moderation,
forbearance, or even honesty in theirs,
than in that of Bonaparte. They have proved
that their object, like his, is plunder. They,
like him, are shuffling nations together, or
into their own hands, as if all were right
which they feel a power to do. In the exhausted
state in which Bonaparte has left
France, I see no period to her sufferings,
until this combination of robbers fall together
by the ears. The French may then
rise up and choose their side. And I trust
they will finally establish for themselves a
government of rational and well-tempered
liberty. So much science cannot be lost; so
much light shed over them can never fail
to produce to them some good, in the end.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. vi, 500.
(M. Oct. 1815)

3119. FRANCE, American politics and.—

It is still a comfort to see by the address of Dumouriez * * *, that the constitution
of 1791 is the worst thing which is to be
forced on the French. But even the falling
back to that would give wonderful vigor to
our monocrats, and unquestionably affect the
tone of administering our government. Indeed.
I fear that if this summer should prove
disastrous to the French, it will damp that
energy of republicanism in our new Congress,
from which I had hoped so much reformation.—
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 571.
(Pa., June. 1793)

3120. FRANCE, Attraction of.—

freed from that monster, Bonaparte, must
again become the most agreeable country on
earth. It would be the second choice of all
whose ties of family and fortune give a
preference to some other one, and the first
choice of all not under those ties.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vi, 402.
(M. 1814)

— FRANCE, Bill of Rights for.—

See Bill of Rights (French).

— FRANCE, Bonaparte and.—

See Bonaparte.


Page 348

3121. FRANCE, Cabinet of Washington and.—

The doubts I entertained that the offers of the French republic would be declined,
will pretty certainly be realized. One
person [Hamilton] represents them as a
snare into which he hopes we shall not fall.
His second [Knox] is of the same sentiment
of course. He [Randolph] whose vote for
the most part, or say always, is casting, has
by two or three private conversations or
rather disputes with me, shown his opinion
to be against doing what would be a mark
of predilection to one of the parties, though
not a breach of neutrality in form. And an
opinion of still more importance is still in
the same way. I do not know what line will
be adopted, but probably a procrastination,
which will be immediately seen through.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vi, 268.
(Pa., May. 1793)

See Neutrality.

— FRANCE, Cherbourg.—

See Cherbourg.

3122. FRANCE, Commerce with.—

mutual extension of their commerce was
among the fairest advantages to be derived
to France and the United States, from the
independence of the latter. An exportation
of eighty millions, chiefly in raw materials, is
supposed to constitute the present limits of
the commerce of the United States with the
nations of Europe; limits, however, which extend
as their population increases. To draw
the best proportion of this into the ports of
France, rather than of any other nation, is
believed to be the wish and interest of both.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 186.
(P. 1787)

3123. FRANCE, Commerce with.—[continued].

The French [in their recent
treaty with England] have clearly reserved
a right of favoring, specially, any
nation not European; and there is no nation
out of Europe, who could so probably have
been in their eye at that time, as ours.
They are wise. They must see it probable, at
least, that any concert with England, will be
but of short duration; and they could hardly
propose to sacrifice for that, a connection
with us, which may be perpetual.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 112.
(P. 1787)

3124. FRANCE, Commerce with.—[further continued].

The system of the United
States is to use neither prohibitions nor
premiums. Where a government finds itself
under the necessity of undertaking that regulation,
it would seem that it should conduct
it as an intelligent merchant would; that is
to say, invite customers to purchase by
facilitating their means of payment, and by
adapting goods to their taste. If this idea
be just, government here [France] has two
operations to attend to with respect to the
commerce of the United States: 1. to do
away, or to moderate, as much as possible,
the prohibitions and monopolies of their materials
for payment; 2. to encourage the institution
of the principal manufactures,
which the necessities or the habits of their
new customers call for.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 529.
(P. 1788)

3125. FRANCE, Commerce with.—[further continued] .

I am happy to learn that the [people of Alexandria, Va.] have felt a
benefit from the encouragements to our commerce,
which have been given by an allied
nation. But truth and candor oblige me, at
the same time, to declare you are indebted
for these encouragements solely to the
friendly dispositions of that nation, which
has shown itself ready on every occasion to
adopt all arrangements which might strengthen
our ties of mutual interest and friendship.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. iii, 127. Ford ed., v, 146.

3126. FRANCE, Commerce with.—[further continued].

With respect to the reformation
of the unfriendly restrictions on
our commerce and navigation, we cannot be
too pressing for its attainment, as every
day's continuance gives it additional firmness,
and endangers its taking root in their habits
and constitution. Indeed, I think the French
government should be told, that as soon as
they are in a condition to act, if they do not
revoke the late innovations, we must lay additional
and equivalent burthens on French
by name.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 489. Ford ed., vi, 131.
(Nov. 1792)

3127. FRANCE, Commerce with.—[further continued] .

I cannot too much press
it on you, to improve every opportunity * * * for placing our commerce with France and
its dependencies, on the freest and most encouraging
footing possible.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 522. Ford ed., vi, 200.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

3128. FRANCE, Commerce with.—[further continued].

I was a sincere wellwisher
to the success of the French Revolution,
* * * but I have not been insensible
under the atrocious depredations they have
committed on our commerce.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 269. Ford ed., vii, 329.
(Pa., 17991799)gt;

3129. FRANCE, Commerce with.—[further continued] .

[In the negotiation of
commercial treaties with France] I must say,
in justice, that I found the government
entirely disposed to befriend us on all occasions,
and to yield us every indulgence not
absolutely injurious to themselves.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 64. Ford ed., i, 90.
See Treaties.

3130. FRANCE, The Consulate.—

have established Bonaparte, Sieyès, and Duc
ós into an executive, or rather Dictatorial
Consulate, [and] given them a committee of
between twenty and thirty from each council.
Thus the Constitution of the Third year,
which was getting consistency and firmness
from time, is demolished in an instant, and
nothing is said about a new one. How the
nation will bear it is yet unknown.—
To John Breckenridge. Ford ed., vii, 417.
(Pa., Jan. 1800)

— FRANCE, Consuls of.—

See Consuls.

3131. FRANCE, Debt to.—

Besides endeavoring
on all occasions to multiply the
points of contact and connection with
France, * * * I have had it much at
heart to remove from between us every subject
of misunderstanding or irritation. Our


Page 349
debts to the King, to the Officers, to the
Farmers, are of this description. The having
complied with no part of our engagements
in these, draws on us a great deal of
censure, and occasioned a language in the
Assemblée des Notables very likely to produce
dissatisfaction between us.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 163. Ford ed., iv, 398.
(P. 1787)

3132. FRANCE, Debt to.—[continued].

I told [President Washington] I had meant on that day to take his
orders for removing the suspension of payments
to France, which had been imposed by
my last letter to Gouverneur Morris, but was
meant, as I supposed, only for the interval
between the abolition of the late constitution
by the dethronement of the King, and the
meeting of some other body, invested by the
will of the nation with powers to transact
their affairs; that I considered the National
Convention, then assembled, as such a body;
and that, therefore, we ought to go on with
the payments to them, or to any government
they should establish. [198]
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 128. Ford ed., i, 213.
(Dec. 27, 1792)

See Debts (French).


There had been a consultation at the President's
(about the first week in November) on the expediency
of suspending payments to France under her
present situation. I had admitted that the late constitution
was dissolved by the dethronement of the
King; and the management of affairs surviving to
the National Assembly only, this was not an integral
legislature, and, therefore, not competent to give a
legitimate discharge for our payments: that I
thought, consequently, that none should be made
till some legitimate body came into place, and that I
should consider the National Convention called, but
not met as we had yet heard, to be a legitimate
body. Hamilton doubted whether it would be a
legitimate body, and whether, if the King should be
reestablished, he might not disallow such payments
on good grounds. Knox, for once, dared to differ
from Hamilton, and to express, very submissively,
an opinion that a convention named by the whole
body of the nation, would be competent to do anything.
It ended by agreeing that I should write to
Gouverneur Morris, to suspend payment generally,
till further orders.
—Note by Jefferson. Washington ed. ix, 125. Ford ed., i, 208. 1792.

3133. FRANCE, Den of Robbers.—

for France and England, with all their preeminence
in science, the one is a den of robbers,
and the other of pirates.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 37. Ford ed., ix, 333.
(M. 1812)

— FRANCE, Directory.—

See Executives.

3134. FRANCE, Errors of.—

The French
have been guilty of great errors in their conduct
towards other nations, not only in insulting
uselessly all crowned heads, but in endeavoring
to force liberty on their neighbors
in their own form.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., vi, 318.
(Pa., June. 1793)

3135. FRANCE, Federalist Hostility to.—

Nothing less than the miraculous string of events which have taken place, to wit, the
victories of the Rhine and Italy, peace with
Austria, bankruptcy of England, mutiny in
her fleet, and King's writing letters recommending
peace, could have cooled the fury
of the British faction. Even that will not
prevent considerable efforts still in both
Houses to show our teeth to France.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 143.
(Pa., June. 1797)

3136. FRANCE, Federalist Hostility to.—[continued].

The inflammatory composition
of the [President's] speech [199] excited
[in Congress] sensations of resentment which
had slept under British injuries, threw the
wavering into the war scale, and produced
the war address. Bonaparte's victories and
those on the Rhine, the Austrian peace, British
bankruptcy, mutiny of the [British] seamen,
and Mr. King's exhortations to pacific
measures [towards France], have cooled
them down again, and the scale of peace
To Aaron Burr. Washington ed. iv, 185. Ford ed., vii, 146.
(Pa., June. 1797)


President Adams's message to Congress at the
special session in May 1797.—Editor.

3137. FRANCE, Federalist Hostility to.—[further continued].

The threatening propositions
founded in the address [of Congress
to the President], are abandoned one by one,
and the cry begins now to be that we have
been called together to do nothing. The
truth is, there is nothing to do, the idea of
war being scouted by the events of Europe;
but this only proves that war was the object
for which we were called. It proves that
the Executive temper was for war; and that
the convocation of the Representatives was
an experiment of the temper of the nation,
to see if it was in unison. Efforts at negotiation
indeed were promised; but such a
promise was as difficult to withhold, as easy
to render nugatory. If negotiation alone had
been meant, that might have been pursued
without so much delay, and without calling
the Representatives; and if strong and earnest
negotiation had been meant, the additional
nomination would have been of persons
strongly and earnestly attached to the
alliance of 1778. War then was intended.—
To Aaron Burr. Washington ed. iv, 185. Ford ed., vii, 146.
(Pa., June. 1797)

3138. FRANCE, Federalist Hostility to.—[further continued] .

President [Adams] has
appointed, and the Senate approved Rufus
King, to enter into a treaty of commerce with
the Russians, at London, and William Smith
(Phocian) Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary, to go to Constantinople
to make one with the Turks. So that as
soon as there is a coalition of Turks, Russians
and English, against France, we seize
that moment to countenance it as openly as
we dare by treaties, which we never had with
them before. All this helps to fill up the
measure of provocation towards France, and
to get from them a declaration of war, which
we are afraid to be the first in making.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 289. Ford ed., vii, 358.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

— FRANCE, Free Ports.—

See Free

3139. FRANCE, Friendship.—

I cannot
pretend to affirm that this country will stand
by us on every just occasion, but I am sure,
it this will not, there is no other that will.—
To Dr. Ramsay. Washington ed. ii, 49.
(P. 1786)


Page 350

3140. FRANCE, Friendship.—[continued].

Nothing should be spared on our part to attach this country to us.
It is the only one on which we can rely for
support under every event. Its inhabitants
love us more, I think, than they do any other
nation on earth. This is very much the
effect of the good dispositions with which
the French officers returned.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 109. Ford ed., iv, 367.
(P. 1787)

3141. FRANCE, Friendship.—[further continued].

I consider France as our
surest mainstay under every event.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 163. Ford ed., iv, 398.
(P. 1787)

3142. FRANCE, Friendship.—[further continued] .

Among the circumstances
which will reconcile me to my new
position [Secretary of State] the most powerful
are the opportunities it will give me of
cementing the friendship between our two
To La Duchesse D'Auville. Washington ed. iii, 135. Ford ed., iii, 153.
(N.Y., 1790)

3143. FRANCE, Friendship.—[further continued].

May this union of interests
forever be the patriot's creed in both
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. iii, 137.
(M. 1790)

3144. FRANCE, Friendship.—[further continued] .

There is a fund of friendship
and attachment between the mass of the
two nations * * *. The present administration
of this country have these feelings
of their constituents, and will be true
to them. We shall act steadily on the desire
of cementing our interests and affections;
and of this you cannot go too far in assuring
To Robert R. Livingston. Ford ed., viii, 138.
(W. March. 1802)

— FRANCE, Genet.—

See Genet.

3145. FRANCE, Government.—

is the wealthiest but worst governed country
on earth.—
To Joseph Jones. Washington ed. i, 353.
(P. 1785)

See Government (French) and Government Recognition

3146. FRANCE, Gratitude to.—

American owes her gratitude, as our sole
ally during the war of Independence.—
To M. de Neuville. Washington ed. vii, 110.
(M. 1818)

3147. FRANCE, Honesty of.—

A wise
man, if nature has not formed him honest, will
yet act as if he were honest; because he will
find it the most advantageous and wise part
in the long run. I have believed that this
Court possesses this high species of wisdom
even if its new faith be ostensible only. If
they trip on any occasion it will be warning
to us. I do not expect they will, but it is
our business to be on the watch.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 40.
(P. 1785)

3148. FRANCE, Honesty of.—[continued].

There are great numbers
of well enlightened men in this nation. The
ministry is such. The King has an honest
heart. The line of policy hitherto pursued
by them has been such as virtue would dictate
and wisdom approve. Relying on their
wisdom only, I think they would not accept
the bribe suppose it would be to relinquish
that honorable character of disinterestedness
and new faith which they have acquired by
many sacrifices and which has put in their
hands the government, as it were, of Europe.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 39.
(P. 1785)

3149. FRANCE, Influence of.—

summer is of immense importance to the
future condition of mankind all over the
earth, and not a little so to ours. For though
its issue should not be marked by any direct
change in our Constitution, it will influence
the tone and principles of its administration
so as to lead it to something very different
in the one event from what it would be in
the other.—
To H. Innes. Ford ed., vi, 266.
(Pa., May. 1793)

3150. FRANCE, Injuries by.—

denies but that France has given just cause
of war, but so has Great Britain, and she
is now capturing our vessels as much as
France, but the question was one merely of
prudence, whether seeing that both powers in
order to injure one another, bear down
everything in their way, without regard to
the rights of others, spoliating equally
Danes, Swedes and Americans, it would not
be more prudent in us to bear with it as the
Danes and Swedes do, curtailing our commerce,
and waiting for the moment of peace,
when it is probable both nations would for
their own interest and honor retribute for
their wrongs.—
To Archibald Stuart. Ford ed., vii, 270.
(Pa., June. 1798)

— FRANCE, Jacobins.—

See Jacobins.

— FRANCE, Louisiana Purchase.—

See Louisiana.

3151. FRANCE, Manufactures of.—

It is
the interest of France as well as our interest
to multiply the means of payment [for her
manufactures]. These must be found in the
catalogue of our exports, and among these
will be seen neither gold nor silver. We have
no mines of either of these metals. Produce,
therefore, is all we can offer. Some articles
of our produce will be found very convenient
to France for her own consumption. Others
will be convenient, as being more commerciable
in her hands than those she will
give in exchange for them.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. i, 596. Ford ed., iv, 256.
(P. 1786)

3152. FRANCE, Manufactures of.—[continued].

A century's experience
has shown that we double our numbers every
twenty or twenty-five years. No circumstance
can be foreseen. at this moment, which
will lessen our rate of multiplication for centuries
to come. For every article of the
productions and manufactures of France,
then, which can be introduced into the habit
there, the demand will double every twenty
or twenty-five years. And to introduce the
habit, we have only to let the merchants alone.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 190.
See Manufactures.

— FRANCE, Monarchy.—

See Louis
XVI. and
Marie Antoinette.

— FRANCE, Monopoly of Tobacco.—

See Monopoly.


Page 351

3153. FRANCE, Murray's Mission.—

The President [John Adams] nominated to
the Senate yesterday William Vans Murray,
Minister Plenipotentiary to the French Republic,
and added, that he shall be instructed
not to go to France, without direct and unequivocal
assurances from the French government
that he shall be received in character,
enjoy the due privileges, and a minister
of equal rank, title and power, be appointed
to discuss and conclude our controversy by
a new treaty. This had evidently been kept
secret from the federalists of both Houses,
as appeared by their dismay. The Senate
have passed over this day without taking it
up. It is said they are gravelled and divided;
some are for opposing, others do not know
what to do. But, in the meantime, they have
been permitted to go on with all the measures
of war and patronage, and when the close of
the session is at hand, it is made known.
However, it silences all arguments against
the sincerity of France, and renders desperate
every further effort towards war.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 292. Ford ed., vii, 362
(Pa., Feb. 19, 1799)

3154. FRANCE, Murray's Mission.—[continued].

We were for a moment
flattered with the hope of a friendly accommodation
of our differences with France, by the
President's nomination of Mr. Murray, our
Minister at the Hague, to proceed to Paris
for that purpose. But our hopes have been
entirely dashed by his revoking that, and
naming Mr. Ellsworth, Mr. Patrick Henry
and Murray. * * * The effect of the new
nomination is completely to parry the advances
made by France towards a reconciliation.—
To Bishop James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 299. Ford ed., vii, 372.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

3155. FRANCE, Murray's Mission.—[further continued].

The face the federalists
will put on this business is that they have
frightened France into a respectful treatment.
Whereas, in truth, France has been sensible
that her measures to prevent the scandalous
spectacle of war between the two republics,
from the known impossibility of our injuring
her, would not be imputed to her as a
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 294. Ford ed., vii, 365.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

— FRANCE, Navigation and.—

See Navigation.

3156. FRANCE, Neutral rights and.—

The French have behaved atrociously towards
neutral nations, and us particularly;
and though we might be disposed not to
charge them with all the enormities committed
in their name in the West Indies, yet
they are to be blamed for not doing more
to prevent them. A just and rational censure
ought to be expressed on them, while
we disapprove the constant billingsgate
poured on them officially.
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 289. Ford ed., vii, 358.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

See Neutrality.

3157. FRANCE, Neutral rights and.—[continued].

You have seen that the
French Directory had published an arret declaring
they would treat as pirates any neutrals
they should take in the ships of their
enemies. The President [Adams] communicated
this to Congress as soon as he received
it. A bill was brought into the Senate
reciting that arret, and authorizing retaliation.
The President received information
almost the same instant that the Directory
had suspended the arret (which fact was
privately declared by the Secretary of State
to two of the Senate), and, though it was
known we were passing an act founded on
that arret, yet the President has never communicated
the suspension.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. iv, 286. Ford ed., vii, 353.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

3158. FRANCE, Peace with.—

It was
with infinite joy to me, that you [Elbridge
Gerry] were yesterday announced to the Senate,
as Envoy Extraordinary, jointly with
General [Charles Cotesworth] Pinckney and
Mr. [John] Marshall, to the French Republic.
It gave me certain assurance that there would
be a preponderance in the mission, sincerely
disposed to be at peace with the French government
and nation. Peace is undoubtedly at
present the first object of our nation. Interest
and honor are also national considerations.
But interest, duly weighed, is in favor of peace
even at the expense of spoliations past and
future; and honor cannot now be an object.
The insults and injuries committed on us by
both the belligerent parties, from the beginning
of 1793 to this day and still continuing,
cannot now be wiped off by engaging in war
with one of them. As there is great reason to
expect this is the last campaign in Europe, it
would certainly be better for us to rub through
this year, as we have done through the four
proceding ones, and hope that on the restoration
of peace, we may be able to establish
some plan for our foreign connections more
likely to secure our peace, interest and honor
in future. Our countrymen have divided
themselves by such strong affections, to the
French and the English, that nothing will
secure us internally but a divorce from both
nations; and this must be the object of every
real American, and its attainment is practicable
without much self-denial. But for this,
peace is necessary. Be assured of this, that
if we engage in a war during our present passions,
and our present weakness in some quarters,
our Union runs the greatest risk of
not coming out of that war in the shape in
which it enters it. My reliance for our preservation
is in your acceptance of this mission.
I know the tender circumstances which
will oppose themselves to it. But its duration
will be short, and its reward long. You
have it in your power, by accepting and determining
the character of the mission, to secure
the present peace and eternal union of
your country. If you decline, on motives of
private pain, a substitute may be named who
has enlisted his passions in the present contest,
and by the preponderance of his vote in
the mission may entail on us calamities, your
share in which, and your feelings, will far
outweigh whatever pain a temporary absence
from your family could give you. The sacrifice
will be short, the remorse would be neverending.


Page 352
Let me, then, conjure your acceptance,
and that you will, by this act, seal the
mission with the confidence of all parties.
Your nomination has given a spring to hope,
which was dead before.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 187. Ford ed., vii, 149.
(Pa., June 21, 1797)

3159. FRANCE, Peace with.—[continued].

I know that both France
and England have given, and are daily giving,
sufficient cause of war; that in defiance of the
laws of nations, they are every day trampling
on the rights of the neutral powers, whenever
they can thereby do the least injury, either to
the other. But, as I view a peace between
France and England the ensuing winter to be
certain, I have thought it would have been
better for us to continue to bear from France
through the present summer, what we have
been bearing both from her and England
these four years, and still continue to bear
from England, and to have required indemnification
in the hour of peace, when I verily
believe it would have been yielded by both.
This seems to have been the plan of the other
neutral nations; and whether this, or the commencing
war on one of them, as we have
done, would have been wiser, time and events
must decide.—
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. iv, 254. Ford ed., vii, 277.
(M. Aug. 1798)

3160. FRANCE, Peace with.—[further continued].

All which the advocates
of peace can now attempt, is to prevent war
measures externally, consenting to every rational
measure of internal defence and preparation.
Great expenses will be incurred; and
it will be left to those whose measures render
them necessary, to provide to meet them.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 234. Ford ed., vii, 237.
(Pa., April. 1798)

3161. FRANCE, Peace with.—[further continued] .

I have not been insensible
under the atrocious depredations they [the
French] have committed on our commerce.
* * * But though deeply feeling the injuries
of France, I did not think war the
surest means of redressing them. I did believe,
that a mission sincerely disposed to
preserve peace, would obtain for us a peaceable
and honorable settlement and restitution,
and I appeal to you to say, whether this might
not have been obtained, if either of your colleagues
had been of the same sentiment with
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 269. Ford ed., vii, 329.
(P. 1799)

3162. FRANCE, Peace with.—[further continued].

The people now see that
France has sincerely wished peace, and their
seducers [federalists] have wished war, as
well for the loaves and fishes which arise out
of war expenses, as for the chance of changing
the Constitution, while the people should
have time to contemplate nothing but the
levies of men and money.—
To T. Lomax. Washington ed. iv, 300. Ford ed., vii, 374.
(M. 1799)

— FRANCE, People of.—

See People.

3163. FRANCE, Policy towards.—

stand completely corrected of the error, that
either the government or the nation of France
has any remains of friendship for us. The
portion of that country which forms an ex
ception, though respectable in weight, is weak
in numbers. On the contrary, it appears evident,
that an unfriendly spirit prevails in the
most important individuals of the government,
towards us. In this state of things,
we shall so take our distance between the two
rival nations, as, remaining disengaged till
necessity compels us, we may haul finally to
the enemy of that which shall make it necessary.
We see all the disadvantageous consequences
of taking a side, and shall be
forced into it only by a more disagreeable
alternative; in which event, we must countervail
the disadvantages by measures which will
give us splendor and power, but not as much
happiness as our present system. We wish,
therefore, to remain well with France. But
we see that no consequences, however ruinous
to them, can secure us with certainty against
the extravagance of her present rulers. I
think, therefore, that while we do nothing
which the first nation on earth would deem
crouching, we had better give to all our communications
with them a very mild, complaisant,
and even friendly complexion, but always
independent. Ask no favors, leave small and
irritating things to be conducted by the individuals
interested in them, interfere ourselves
but in the greatest cases, and then not push
them to irritation. No matter at present existing
between them and us is important
enough to risk a breach of peace; peace being
indeed the most important of all things for us,
except the preserving an erect and independent
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 448. Ford ed., viii, 173.
(W. Oct. 1802)

— FRANCE, Privateers of.—

See Privateers.

3164. FRANCE, Punishment of.—

deserves much punishment, and her successes
and reverses will be a wholesome lesson to
the world hereafter; but she has now had
enough, and we may lawfully pray for her
resurrection, and I am confident the day is
not distant. No one who knows that people,
and the elasticity of their character, can believe
they will long remain crouched on the
earth as at present. They will rise by acclamation,
and woe to their riders. What havoc
are we not yet to see!—
To Mrs. Trist. D. L. J.363.
April. 1816)

3165. FRANCE, Reconciliation overtures.—

The event of events was announced
in the Senate yesterday. It is this: It seems
that soon after Gerry's departure, overtures
must have been made by Pichon, French
Chargé d'Affaires at the Hague, to Murray.
They were so soon matured, that on the 28th
of September, 1798, Talleyrand writes to
Pichon, approving what had been done, and
particularly of his having assured Murray
that whatever Plenipotentiary the government
of the United States should send to
France to end our differences would undoubtedly
be received with the respect due to the
representative of a free, independent and
powerful nation;
declaring that the President's
instructions to his envoys at Paris, if
they contain the whole of the American government's


Page 353
intentions, announce dispositions which have been always entertained by the
Directory; and desiring him to communicate
these expressions to Murray, in order to convince
him of the sincerity of the French government,
and to prevail on him to transmit
them to his government. This is dated September
the 28th, and may have been received
by Pichon October 1st: and nearly five
months elapse before it is communicated.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 292. Ford ed., vii, 362.
(Pa., Feb. 19 1799)

3166. FRANCE, Reconciliation overtures.—[continued].

Mr. Gerry's communications,
with other information, prove * * * that France is sincere in her wishes for reconciliation;
and a recent proposition from that
country, through Mr. Murray, puts the matter
out of doubt.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 294.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

3167. FRANCE, Reformation of.—

France is advancing to a change of constitution.
The young desire it, the middle-aged
are not averse, the old alone oppose it. They
will die. The provincial assemblies will chalk
out the plan; and the nation, ripening fast,
will execute it.—
To M. de Crevecœur. Washington ed. ii, 234.
(P. 1787)

3168. FRANCE, Reliance on.—

Washington observed [that] there was no nation
on whom we could rely, at all times, but
France; and that, if we did not prepare in
time some support, in the event of rupture
with Spain and England, we might be charged
with a criminal negligence. I was much
pleased with the tone of these observations.
It was the very doctrine which had been my
polar star, and I did not need the successes of
the republican arms in France, lately announced
to us. to bring me to these sentiments
* * * I, therefore, expressed to the President
my cordial approbation of these ideas.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 128. Ford ed., i, 212.
( Dec. 1792)

3169. FRANCE, Republican Government.—

I look with great anxiety for the firm
establishment of the new government in
France, being perfectly convinced that if it
takes place there, it will spread sooner or
later all over Europe. On the contrary, a
check there would retard the revival of liberty
in other countries.—
To George Mason. Washington ed. iii, 209. Ford ed., v, 274.
(Pa., 1791)

3170. FRANCE, Republican Government.—[continued].

With respect to the French
government, we are under no call to express
opinions which might please or offend any
party, and, therefore, it will be best to avoid
them on all occasions, public or private.
Could any circumstances require unavoidably
such expressions, they would naturally be in
conformity with the great mass of our countrymen,
who, having first in modern times,
taken the ground of government founded on
the will of the people, cannot but be delighted
on seeing so distinguished and so esteemed
a nation arrive on the same ground, and plant
their standard by our side.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 325. Ford ed., v, 428.
(Pa., Jan. 1792)

3171. FRANCE, Republican Government.—[further continued].

It accords with our principles
to acknowledge any government to be
rightful, which is formed by the will of the
nation substantially declared. The late government
was of this kind, and was accordingly
acknowledged in like manner. With
such a government every kind of business
may be done.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 489. Ford ed., vi, 131.
(Pa., Nov. 1792)

3172. FRANCE, Republican Government.—[further continued] .

You express a wish in
your letter to be generally advised as to the
tenor of your conduct, in consequence of the
late revolution in France, the questions relative
to which, you observe, incidentally present
themselves to you. It is impossible to
foresee the particular circumstances which
may require you to decide and act on that
question. But, principles being understood,
their application will be less embarrassing.
We certainly cannot deny to other nations
that principle whereon our government is
founded, that every nation has a right to
govern itself internally under what form it
pleases, and to change these forms at its own
will; and, externally, to transact business
with other nations through whatever organ it
chooses, whether that be a King, Convention,
Assembly, Committee, President, or whatever
it be. The only thing essential is the will of
the nation. Taking this as your polar star,
you can hardly err.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 500.
(Pa., Dec. 1792)

3173. FRANCE, Republic recognized.—

I have laid before the President of the United
States your notification of the 17th instant,
in the name of the Provisory Executive
Council, charged with the administration of
your Government, that the French nation
has constituted itself into a Republic. The
President receives, with great satisfaction,
this attention of the Executive Council and
the desire they have manifested of making
known to us the resolution entered into by
the National Convention, even before a definitive
regulation of their new establishment
could take place. Be assured, Sir, that the
Government and the citizens of the United
States view with the most sincere pleasure
every advance of your nation towards its
happiness, an object essentially connected
with its liberty, and they consider the union
of principles and pursuits between our two
countries as a link which binds still closer
their interests and affections. The genuine
and general effusions of joy which you saw
overspread our country on their seeing the
liberties of yours rise superior to foreign invasion
and domestic trouble, have proved to
you that our sympathies are great and sincere,
and we earnestly wish on our part that these,
our mutual dispositions, may be improved to
mutual good, by establishing our commercial
intercourse on principles as friendly to natural
right and freedom as are those of our
To J. B. Ternant. Washington ed. iii, 518. Ford ed., vi, 189.
(Pa., Feb. 23, 1793)

3174. FRANCE, Restoration of.—

It is
impossible that France should rest under her
present oppressions and humiliations. She


Page 354
will rise in that gigantic strength which cannot
be annihilated, and will fatten her fields
with the blood of her enemies. I only wish
she may exercise patience and forbearance
until divisions among [the Allies] may give
her a choice of sides.—
To M. Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. vi, 508.
(M. 1815)

3175. FRANCE, Restoration of.—[continued].

France is too highminded,
has too much innate force, intelligence and
elasticity, to remain under its present compression.
Samson will arise in his strength,
as of old, and as of old, will burst asunder
the withes and the cords, and the webs of the
Philistines. But what are to be the scenes
of havoc and horror, and how widely they
may spread between brethren of the same
house, our ignorance of the interior feuds
and antipathies of the country places beyond
our ken. It will end, nevertheless, in a representative
government, in a government in
which the will of the people will be an effective
To Benjamin Austin. Washington ed. vi, 520. Ford ed., x, 8.
(M. 1816)

3176. FRANCE, Restoration of.—[further continued].

In the desolation of Europe,
to gratify the atrocious caprices of
Bonaparte, France sinned much; but she has
suffered more than retaliation. Once relieved
from the incubus of her late oppression,
she will rise like a giant from her slumbers.
Her soil and climate, her arts and
eminent sciences, her central position and free
constitution, will soon make her greater than
she ever was.—
To M. de Neuville, Washington ed. vii, 109.
(M. 1818)

— FRANCE, Revolution.—

See Revolution

3177. FRANCE, Self-Government in.—

What government France can bear, depends
not on the state of science, however exalted,
in a select band of enlightened men, but on
the condition of the general mind. * * * The last change of government was fortunate.
inasmuch as the new will be less obstructive
to the effects of that advancement.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 66. Ford ed., x, 82.
(M. 1817)

3178. FRANCE, Self-Government in.—[continued].

Whether the state of society
in Europe can bear a republican government,
I doubted, you know, when with you,
and I do now. A hereditary chief, strictly
limited, the right of war vested in the legislative
body, a rigid economy of the public
contributions, and absolute interdiction of all
useless expenses, will go far towards keeping
the government honest and unoppressive.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 325. Ford ed., x, 280.
(M. 1823)

3179. FRANCE, Strength.—

As long as
the French can be tolerably unanimous internally,
they can resist the whole world.
The laws of nature render a large country
unconquerable if they adhere firmly together,
and to their purpose.—
To H. Innes. Ford ed., vi, 266.
(Pa., 1793)

3180. FRANCE, Sufferings of.—

I grieve
for France; although it cannot be denied that
by the afflictions with which she wantonly
and wickedly overwhelmed other nations, she
has merited severe reprisals. For it is no excuse
to lay the enormities to the wretch who
led to them.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. vi, 499.
(M. Oct. 1815)

3181. FRANCE, Supplies to St. Domingo.—

[Alexander] Hamilton called on me
to speak about our furnishing supplies to the
French colony of St. Domingo. He expressed
his opinion, that we ought to be
cautious, and not to go too far in our application
of money to their use, lest it should not
be recognized by the mother country. He did
not even think that some kinds of government
they might establish could give a sufficient
sanction. I observed that the National
Convention was now met, and would certainly
establish a form of government; that
as we had recognized the former government
because established by the authority of the
nation, so we must recognize any other which
should be established by the authority of the
nation. He said had recognized the
former, because it contained an important
member of the ancient, to wit; the King, and
wore the appearance of his consent; but if,
in any future form, they should omit the
King, he did not know that we could with
safety recognize it, or pay money to its order.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 125. Ford ed., i, 208.
(Nov. 1792)

3182. FRANCE, Sympathy with.—

yeomanry of the city (not the fashionable
people nor paper men), showed prodigious joy
when, flocking to the wharves, they saw the
British colors reversed and the French flying
above them.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., vi, 241.
(Pa., 1793)

3183. FRANCE, Sympathy with.—[continued].

The [French forces] have lately sustained some severe checks.
* * * Their defeats are as sensibly felt
at Philadelphia as at Paris, and I foresee we
are to have a trying campaign of it.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iii, 549. Ford ed., vi, 240.
(Pa., May. 1793)

— FRANCE, Talleyrand's Propositions.—

See X. Y. Z. Plot.

— FRANCE, Treaties with.—

See Treaties.

3184. FRANCE, Union with.—

We wish
to omit no opportunity of convincing [the
French nation] how cordially we desire the
closest union with them. Mutual good offices,
mutual affection, and similar principles
of government seem to have destined the two
peoples for the most intimate communion,
and even for a complete exchange of citizenship
among the individuals composing them.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Ford ed., vi, 151.
(Pa., Dec. 1792)

3185. FRANCE, United States, England and.—

Our interest calls for a perfect
equality in our conduct towards these two
nations. [France and England]; but no preference
anywhere. If, however, circumstances
should ever oblige us to show a preference,
a respect for our character, if we had no


Page 355
better motive, would decide to which it should
be given.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 436.
(P. 1785)

3186. FRANCE, United States, England and.—[continued].

When of two nations,
the one has engaged herself in a ruinous war
for us, has spent her blood and money to save
us, has opened her bosom to us in peace, and
received us almost on the footing of her own
citizens, while the other has moved heaven,
earth, and hell to exterminate us in war, has
insulted us in all her councils in peace, shut
her doors to us in every port where her interests
would admit it, libelled us in foreign
nations, endeavored to poison them against
the reception of our most precious commodities;
to place these two nations on a
footing, is to give a great deal more to one
than to the other, if the maxim be true, that
to make unequal quantities equal, you must
add more to one than the other. To say, in
excuse, that gratitude is never to enter into
the motives of national conduct, is to revive
a principle which has been buried for centuries
with its kindred principles of the lawfulness
of assassination, poison, perjury, &c.
All of these were legitimate principles in the
dark ages, which intervened between ancient
and modern civilization, but exploded and
held in just horror in the eighteenth century.
I know but one code of morality for men,
whether acting singly or collectively. He
who says I will be a rogue when I act in company
with a hundred others, but an honest
man when I act alone, will be believed in
the former assertion, but not in the latter.
I would say with the poet “hic niger est, hunc
tu Romane caveto.”
If the morality of one
man produces a just line of conduct in him,
acting individually, why should not the morality
of one hundred men produce a just line
of conduct in them, acting together? But I
indulge myself in these reflections, because
my own feelings run me into them; with
you they were always acknowledged. Let us
hope that our new government will take
some other occasions to show that they mean
to proscribe no virtue from the canons of
their conduct with other nations. In every
other instance, the new government has
ushered itself to the world as honest, masculine,
and dignified.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 99. Ford ed., v, 111.
(P. Aug. 1789)

3187. FRANCE, War with England.—

How the mighty duel is to end between Great
Britain and France, is a momentous question.
The sea which divides them makes it a game
of chance; but it is narrow, and all the
chances are not on one side. Should they
make peace, still our fate is problematical.—
To Horatio Gates. Washington ed. iv, 213. Ford ed., vii, 204.
(Pa., Feb. 1798)

— FRANCE, West Indies.—

See West

— FRANCE, X. Y. Z. Plot.—

See X. Y. Z. Plot.

3188. FRANKING PRIVILEGE, Jefferson and.—

The law making my letters post
free goes to those to me only, not those from me. The bill had got to its passage before this
war was observed. * * * As the privilege
of freedom was given to the letters from as
well as to both my predecessors, I suppose no
reason exists for making a distinction. And in
so extensive a correspondence as I am subject
to, and still considerably on public matters, it
would be a sensible convenience to myself, as
well as to those who have occasion to receive
letters from me. * * * I state this matter
to you as being my representative, which must
apologize for the trouble of it.—
To W. C. Nicholas. Washington ed. v, 454. Ford ed., ix, 254.
(M. 1809)

3189. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), America's Ornament.—

The ornament of our country
and, I may say, of the world.—
To M. Grand. Washington ed. iii, 140.
(N.Y., 1790)

3190. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), America's Ornament.—[continued].

The greatest man and
ornament of the age and country in which he
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. iv, 253. Ford ed., vii, 276.
(M. 1798)

3191. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), America's Reception of.—

At a large table where I dined the other
day, a gentleman from Switzerland expressed
his apprehensions for the fate of Dr. Franklin,
as he said he had been informed that he would
be received with stones by the people, who were
generally dissatisfied with the Revolution, and
incensed against all those who had assisted in
bringing it about. I told him his apprehensions
were just and that the people of America
would probably salute Dr. Franklin with the
same stones they had thrown at the Marquis
Lafayette. The reception of the Doctor is an
object of very general attention, and will
weigh in Europe as an evidence of the satisfaction
or dissatisfaction of America with their
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 407. Ford ed., iv, 87.
(P. 1785)

3192. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), America's Reception of.—[continued].

Europe fixes an attentive
eye on your reception of Doctor Franklin. He
is infinitely esteemed. Do not neglect any
mark of your approbation which you think
* * * proper. It will honor you here.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 65.
(P. 1785)

3193. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Argand's lamp.—

A little before my arrival in
France, Argand had invented his celebrated
lamp, in which the flame is spread into a hollow
cylinder, and thus brought into contact
with the air within as well as without. Dr.
Franklin had been on the point of the same
discovery. The idea had occurred to him; but
he had tried a bulrush as a wick, which did not
succeed. His occupations did not permit him
to repeat and extend his trials to the introduction
of a larger column of air than could pass
through the stem of a bulrush.—
To Rev. William Smith. Washington ed. iii, 213. Ford ed., v, 291.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

3194. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Beloved.—

The venerable and beloved Franklin.
—. Washington ed. i, 108. Ford ed., i, 150.

3195. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Defence of.—

I have seen, with extreme indignation,
the blasphemies lately vended against the memory of the father of American philosophy.—
To Jonathan Williams. Washington ed. iv, 147. Ford ed., vii, 87.
(M. 1796)

3196. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Defence of.—[continued].

As to the charge of subservience
to France, besides the evidence of
his friendly colleagues [Silas Deane and Mr.
Laurens], two years of my own service with


Page 356
him at Paris, daily visits, and the most friendly
and confidential conversation convince me it
had not a shadow of foundation.—
To Robert Walsh. Washington ed. vii, 109. Ford ed., x, 117.
(M. 1818)

3197. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Diplomatic methods.—

He possessed the confidence
of the French government in the highest
degree, insomuch, that it may truly be said, that
they were more under his influence, than he
under theirs. The fact is, that his temper was
so amiable and conciliatory, his conduct so
rational, never urging impossibilities, or even
things unreasonably inconvenient to them, in
short, so moderate and attentive to their difficulties,
as well as our own, that what his enemies
called subserviency, I saw was only that
reasonable disposition, which, sensible that advantages
are not all to be on one side, yielding
what is just and liberal, is the more certain of
obtaining liberality and justice. Mutual confidence
produces, of course, mutual influence,
and this was all which subsisted between Dr.
Franklin and the government of France.—
To Robert Walsh. Washington ed. vii, 109. Ford ed., x, 117.
(M. 1818)

3198. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Discoveries of.—

In physics we have produced a
Franklin, than whom no one of the present
age has made more important discoveries, nor
has enriched philosophy with more, or more
ingenious solutions of the phenomena of nature.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 313. Ford ed., iii, 168.

3199. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Enduring fame.—

Time will be making him
greater while it is spunging us from its records.—
To Rev. William Smith. Washington ed. iii, 214. Ford ed., v, 293.
(Pa., 1791)

3200. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Enduring fame.—[continued].

His memory will be preserved
and venerated as long as the thunder of
heaven shall be heard or feared.—
To Jonathan Edwards. Washington ed. iv, 148. Ford ed., vii, 87.
(M. 1796)

3201. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), French admiration.—

No greater proof of his estimation
in France can be given than the late
letters of condolence on his death, from the
National Assembly of that country, and the
community of Paris, to the President of the
United States and to Congress, and their public
mourning on that event. It is, I believe, the
first instance of that homage having been paid
by a public body of one nation to a private citizen
of another.—
To Rev. William Smith. Washington ed. iii, 213. Ford ed., v, 292.
(Pa., 1791)

3202. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), French admiration.—[continued].

I have it in charge from
the President * * * to communicate to the
National Assembly * * * the peculiar sensibility
of Congress to the tribute paid to the
memory of Benjamin Franklin. * * * That
the loss of such a citizen should be lamented
by us, among whom he lived, whom he so
long and eminently served, and who feel their
country advanced and honored by his birth,
life and labors, was to be expected. But it
remained for the National Assembly of France,
to set the first example of the representative of
one nation, doing homage, by a public act, to
the private citizen of another, and by withdrawing
arbitrary lines of separation, to reduce
into one fraternity the good and the great,
wherever they have lived or died. That these
separations may disappear between us in all
times and circumstances, and that the union of
sentiment which mingles our sorrows on this
occasion may continue long to cement the
friendships of our two nations, is our constant
To the President of the National Assembly. Washington ed. iii, 218.
(Pa., 1791)

3203. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), French admiration.—[further continued].

When he left Passy [200] [for America], it seemed as if the village had
lost its patriarch. On taking leave of the
court, which he did by letter, the King ordered
him to be handsomely complimented, and furnished
him with a litter and mules of his own,
the only kind of conveyance the state of his
health could bear.—
To Rev. William Smith. Washington ed. iii, 213. Ford ed., v, 292.
(Pa., 1791)


Franklin lived in Passy, a suburb of Paris.—Editor.

3204. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), French admiration.—[further continued] .

There appeared to me
more respect and veneration attached to the
character of Dr. Franklin in France, than to
that of any other person in the same country,
foreign or native.—
To Rev. William Smith. Washington ed. iii, 212. Ford ed., v, 213.
(Pa., 1791)

3205. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Greatness of.—

The succession to Doctor Franklin,
at the court of France, was an excellent school
of humility. On being presented to any one
as the minister of America, the commonplace
question used in such cases was “c'est vous,
Monsieur, qui remplace le Docteur Franklin”?
“It is you, sir, who replace Doctor Franklin”?
I generally answered, “no one can replace him,
sir; I am only his successor”.—
To Rev. William Smith. Washington ed. iii, 213. Ford ed., v, 293.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

3206. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Longevity.—

His death was an affliction which
was to happen to us at some time or other. We
have reason to be thankful he was so long
spared; that the most useful life should be the
longest also; that it was protracted so far beyond
the ordinary span allotted to man, as
to avail us of his wisdom in the establishment
of our own freedom, and to bless him with a
view of its dawn in the East, where they
seemed, till now, to have learned everything,
but how to be free.—
To Rev. William Smith. Washington ed. iii, 213. Ford ed., v, 292.
(Pa., 1791)

3207. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Loyalty.—

That Dr. Franklin would have waived
the formal recognition of our Independence, I
never heard on any authority worthy notice.—
To Robert Walsh. Washington ed. vii, 108. Ford ed., x, 117.
(M. 1818)

3208. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Mesmerism unveiled.—

The animal magnetism of
the maniac Mesmer, * * * received its death
wound from his hand in conjunction with his
brethren of the learned committee appointed to
unveil that compound of fraud and folly.—
To Rev. William Smith. Washington ed. iii, 212. Ford ed., v, 291.
(Pa., 1791)

3209. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Philosophy's loss.—

[In his death] Philosophy
has to deplore one of its principal luminaries
To Rev. William Smith. Washington ed. iii, 212. Ford ed., v, 290.
(Pa., 1791)

3210. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Presidency and.—

Had I had a vote for the Presidentship,
I doubt whether I should not have
withheld it from you, that you might have leisure
to collect and digest the papers you have
written from time to time, and which the
world will expect to be given them.—
To Dr. Franklin. Washington ed. i, 525.
(P. Jan. 1786)


Page 357

3211. FRANKLIN (Benjamin), Respected.—

Mr. Jay, Silas Deane, Mr. Laurens,
his colleagues also, ever maintained towards
him unlimited confidence and respect.—
To Robert Walsh. Washington ed. vii, 108. Ford ed., x, 117.
(M. 1818)

3212. FRANKLIN (William Temple), Diplomatic Desires.—

I wish with all my
heart Congress may call you into the diplomatic
line, as that seems to have attracted your own
desires. It is not one in which you can do
anything more than pass the present hour
agreeably, without any prospect of future provision.—
To W. T. Franklin. Washington ed. i, 555.
(P. 1786)

3213. FRANKLIN (William Temple), Office-seeking.—

Can nothing be done for
young Franklin? He is sensible, discreet, polite,
and good-humored, had fully qualified as
a Secretaire d' Ambassade. His grandfather
has none annexed to his legation at this Court
[Versailles]. He is most sensibly wounded at
his grandson's being superseded.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 8.
(P. 1784)

3214. FRANKLIN (William Temple), Estimate of.—

I have never been with Master
Franklin enough to unravel his character with
certainty. He seems to be good in the main.
I see sometimes an attempt to keep himself
unpenetrated, which perhaps is the effect of
the old lesson of his grandfather. His understanding
is good enough for common use,
but not great enough for uncommon ones. *
* * The Doctor is extremely wounded by
the inattention of Congress to his application
for him. He expects something to be done as
a reward for his service. He will present
* * * a determined silence on this subject
in future.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 65.
(P. 1785)

3215. FRANKLIN, State of.—

Carolina, by an act of their Assembly, ceded
to Congress all their lands westward of the
Alleghany. The people inhabiting that territory,
thereon declared themselves independent,
called their State by the name of Franklin, and
solicited Congress to be received into the
Union. But before Congress met, North Carolina
(for what reasons I could never learn)
resumed their Session. The people, however,
persist; Congress recommended the State to
desist from their opposition, and I have no
doubt they will do it.—
To David Hartley. Washington ed. i, 424. Ford ed., iv, 93.
(P. 1785)

3216. FRANKNESS, Complete.—

dispositions are * * * against mysteries,
innuendos and half-confidences.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 259. Ford ed., vii, 309.
(M. 1798)

3217. FRANKNESS, Complete.—[continued].

Half-confidences are not
in my character.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 273. Ford ed., vii, 335.
(Pa., 1799)

3218. FRANKNESS, Complete.—[further continued].

I cannot say things by
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 17. Ford ed., x, 44.
(M. 1816)

3219. FRANKS (David), Office for.—

Franks will doubtless be asking some appointment.
I wish there may be one for which he
is fit. He is light, indiscreet, active, honest,
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 108. Ford ed., iv, 365.
(P. 1787)

3220. FREDERICK THE GREAT, Posthumous influence.—

His kingdom, like a
machine, will go on for some time with the
winding up he has given it.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 587. Ford ed., iv, 245.
(P. July. 1786)

3221. FREDERICK THE GREAT, Posthumous influence.—[continued].

The death of the King
of Prussia will employ the pens, if not the
swords, of politicians.—
To Ezra Stiles. Ford ed., iv, 300.
(P. 1786)

3222. FREDERICK THE GREAT, Treaty with.—

Without urging, we [201] sounded
the ministers of the several European nations
at the Court of Versailles, on their dispositions
towards mutual commerce, and the expediency
of encouraging it by the protection of a treaty.
Old Frederick, of Prussia, met us cordially and
without hesitation, and appointing the Baron
de Thulemeyer, his minister at the Hague, to
negotiate with us, we communicated to him
our projét, which, with little alteration by
the King was soon concluded.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 62. Ford ed., i, 87.
See Treaties.


Franklin, Adams and Jefferson, appointed by
Congress to negotiate commercial treaties.—Editor.

3223. FREDERICK WILLIAM II., Bulldog of tyranny.—

If foreign troops
should be furnished, it would be most probably
by the King of Prussia, who seems to offer
himself as the bulldog of tyranny to all his
To John Jay. Washington ed. iii, 118.
(P. Sep. 1789)

3224. FREDERICK WILLIAM II., Weakness of.—

The King of Prussia does not
seem to take into account the difference between
his head and the late King's. This May
be equal, perhaps, to half his army.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. ii, 492.
(P. 1788)

3225. FREEDOM, Birth.—

first-born daughter of science.—
To M. D'Ivernois. Washington ed. iv, 113. Ford ed., vii, 3.
(M. Feb. 1795)

3226. FREEDOM, Gaining.—

It is unfortunate,
that the efforts of mankind to recover
the freedom of which they have been so
long deprived, will be accompanied with
violence, with errors, and even with crimes.
But while we weep over the means, we must
pray for the end.—
To M. D'Ivernois. Washington ed. iv, 115. Ford ed., vii, 5.
(M. Feb. 1795)

3227. FREEDOM, Solicitude for.—

future solicitude will be * * * to be instrumental
to the happiness and freedom of
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 5. Ford ed., viii, 6.

See Government, Liberty and Tyranny.


See Opinion.

3228. FREEDOM OF PERSON, Federal Constitution and.—

The imprisonment of a
person under the laws of * * * [Kentucky],
on his failure to obey the simple order of the President to depart out of the United
States, as is undertaken by the act entitled
“An Act concerning Aliens”, is contrary to
the Constitution, one amendment to which
has provided that “no person shall be deprived
of liberty without due process of law”;
and that another having provided that “in
all criminal prosecutions the accused shall enjoy


Page 358
the right to be tried by an impartial jury, to be informed of the nature and cause of
the accusation, to be confronted with the
witnesses against him, to have compulsory
process for obtaining witnesses in his favor,
and to have the assistance of counsel for his
defense”, the same act, undertaking to authorize
the President to remove a person out
of the United States, who is under the protection
of the law, on his own suspicion, without
accusation, without jury, without public
trial, without confrontation of the witnesses
against him, without hearing witnesses in
his favor, without defence, without counsel, is
contrary to the provision also of the Constitution,
is therefore not law, but utterly void,
and of no force; * * * [and the] transferring
the power of judging any person, who
is under the protection of the laws, from the
courts to the President of the United States,
as is undertaken by the same act concerning
aliens, is against the article of the Constitution
which provides that “the judicial power
of the United States shall be vested in courts,
the judges of which shall hold their offices
during good behavior”; and * * * the
said act is void for that reason also. And
it is further to be noted, that this transfer
of judiciary power is to that magistrate of the
General Government who already possesses all
the executive, and a negative on all legislative
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 467. Ford ed., vii, 297.

3229. FREEDOM OF PERSON, Federal Government and.—

Freedom of the person
under the protection of the habeas corpus, 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.

3230. FREEDOM OF PERSON, State Constitutions and.—

There are certain principles
in which the constitutions of our several
States all agree, and which all cherish
as vitally essential to the protection of the
life, liberty, property and safety of the citizen.
[One is] Freedom of Person, securing every
one from imprisonment, or other bodily restraint,
but by the laws of the land. This is
effected by the well-known law of habeas

To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 323.
(M. 1823)
See Habeas Corpus.


See Press.


See Religion.

3231. FREEDOM OF SPEECH, The Constitution and.—

One of the amendments
to the Constitution * * * expressly declares,
that “Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof, or abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press”;
thereby guarding in the same sentence, and
under the same words, the freedom of religion,
of speech and of the press; insomuch,
that whatever violates either, throws down
the sanctuary which covers the others.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 466. Ford ed., vii, 295.

See 820.

3232. FREEDOM OF SPEECH, Error and.—

Truth is the proper and sufficient antagonist
to error, and has nothing to fear
from the conflict, unless, by human interposition,
disarmed of her natural weapons, free
argument and debate.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Ford ed., ii, 239.

3233. FREEDOM OF SPEECH, Government invasion of.—

There are rights which
it is useless to surrender to the government,
and which governments have yet always been
found to invade. [Among] these are the
rights of thinking, and publishing our
thoughts by speaking or writing.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 13. Ford ed., v, 89.
(P. 1789)

3234. FREEDOM OF SPEECH, Guard to liberty.—

The liberty of speaking and
writing guards our other liberties.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. viii, 129.

3235. FREEDOM OF SPEECH, Opinion and.—

Differences of opinion, when permitted
* * * to purify themselves by free
discussion, are but as * * * clouds overspreading
our land transiently, and leaving
our horizon more bright and serene.—
To Benjamin Waring. Washington ed. iv, 378.
(W. March. 1801)

3236. FREEDOM OF SPEECH, Shackled.—

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 thought and of speech.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.

3237. FREE PORTS, Honfleur.—

Famin called on me on the subject of making Honfleur a free port, and wished me
to solicit it. I told him it was for our interest,
as for that also of all the world, that every port
of France, and of every other country, should
be free; * * * but that I could not solicit
it, as I had no instructions to do so.—
To M. de Lafayette. Washington ed. i, 579.
(P. 1786)

3238. FREE PORTS, Honfleur.—[continued].

Some late regulations of
the King and Council in favor of the commerce
of the United States having given us room to
hope that our endeavors may be successful to
remove a good part of it from Great Britain to
France, Honfleur presents itself as a more important
instrument for this purpose than it
had heretofore appeared. We are, therefore,
now pressing more earnestly its establishment
as a free port, and such other regulations in
its favor as may invite the commerce to it.—
To M. Famin. Washington ed. ii, 53.
(P. 1786)

3239. FREE PORTS, Honfleur.—[further continued].

The enfranchising the port of Honfleur at the mouth of the Seine for
multiplying the connections with us, is at present
an object. It meets with opposition in the
ministry but I am in hopes that it will prevail.
If natural causes operate uninfluenced by accidental
circumstances, Bourdeaux and Honfleur
or Havre, must ultimately take the greatest part
of our commerce. The former by the Garonne


Page 359
and canal of Languedoc opens the Southern
provinces to us; the latter, the northern ones
and Paris. Honfleur will be peculiarly advantageous
for our rice and whale oil, of which
the principal consumption is at Paris. Being
free, they can be reexported when the market
here shall happen to be overstocked.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 92.
(P. 1787)

3240. FREE PORTS, St. Bartholomew.—

The island of St. Bartholomew, lately ceded
to Sweden, is, if I am rightly informed, capable
of furnishing little of its own productions to
that country. It remains, then, to make it the
instrument for obtaining through its intermediation
such American productions as Sweden
can consume or dispose of, and for finding in
return a vent for the native productions of
Sweden. Let us suppose it, then, made a free
port without a single restriction. These consequences
will follow: 1. It will draw to itself
that tide of commerce which at present sets
towards the Dutch and Danish islands, because
vessels going to these are often obliged to negotiate
a part of their cargoes at St. Eustatius,
and to go to St. Thomas to negotiate the residue;
whereas when they shall know that there
is a port where all articles are free for both importation
and exportation, they will go to
that port which enables them to perform by one
voyage the exchanges which hitherto they could
only effect by two. 2. Every species of American
produce, whether of the precious metals or
commodities, which Sweden may want for its
own consumption, or as aliment for its own
commerce with other nations, will be collected
either fairly or by contraband into the magazines
of St. Bartholomew. 3. All the productions
which Sweden can furnish from within
itself, or obtain to advantage from other nations,
will in like manner be deposited in the
magazines of St. Bartholomew, and will be
carried to the several ports of America in payment
for what shall be taken from them.—
To Baron Stahe. Ford ed., iv, 240.
(P. 1786)

3241. FREE PORTS, St. Bartholomew.—[continued].

The interest of the United
States is that St. Bartholomew be made a
port of unlimited freedom, and such, too, is
evidently the interest of Sweden. If it be
freed by halves, the free ports of other nations,
at present in possession of the commerce, will
retain it against any new port offering no superior
advantages. The situation of St. Bartholomew
is very favorable to these views, as
it is among the most windward, and therefore
the most accessible of the West Indian Islands.—
To Baron Stahe. Ford ed., iv, 242.
(P. 1786)

3242. FREE PORTS, St. Eustatius.—

Eustatius is by nature a rock, barren and unproductive
in itself, but its owners became sensible
that what nature had denied it, policy
could more than supply. It was conveniently
situated for carrying on contraband trade with
both the centinents, and with the islands of
America. They made it, therefore, an entrepot for all nations. Hither are brought the productions
of every other port of America, and
the Dutch give in exchange such articles as,
in the course of their commerce, they can most
advantageously gather up. And it is a question,
on which they will not enable us to decide,
whether by furnishing American productions
to the commerce of Holland, and by
finding vent for such productions of the old
world as the Dutch merchants obtain to advantage,
the barren rock of St. Eustatius does not
give more activity to their commerce, and leave
with them greater profits, than their more fer
tile possessions on the continent of South,
To Baron Stahe. Ford ed., iv, 239.
(P. 1786)

3243. FREE PORTS, San Juan.—

ports in the Spanish possessions in America,
and particularly at the Havana, San Domingo,
in the island of that name, and St. John of
Porto Rico, are more to be desired than expected.
It can, therefore, only be recommended
to the best endeavors of the commissioners
to obtain them.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 589. Ford ed., v, 478.
(March. 1792)

3244. FREE SHIPS, Free goods, history of principle.—

When Europe assumed
the general form in which it is occupied by the
nations now composing it, and turned its attention
to maritime commerce, we found
among its earliest practices, that of taking the
goods of an enemy from the ship of a friend;
and that into this practice every maritime
State went sooner or later, as it appeared on
the theatre of the ocean. If, therefore, we are
to consider the practice of nations as the sole
and sufficient evidence of the law of nature
among nations, we should unquestionably place
this principle among those of natural laws. But
its inconveniences, as they affected neutral
nations peaceably pursuing their commerce, and
its tendency to embroil them with the powers
happening to be at war, and thus to extend the
flames of war, induced nations to introduce
by special compacts, from time to time, a
more convenient rule: “that free ships should
make free goods”; and this latter principle
has by every maritime nation of Europe been
established, to a greater or less degree, in its
treaties with other nations; insomuch, that all
of them have, more or less frequently, assented
to it, as a rule of action in particular cases.
Indeed, it is now urged, and I think with great
appearance of reason, that this is the genuine
principle dictated by national morality; and
that the first practice arose from accident,
and the particular convenience of the States
(Venice and Genoa) which first figured on the
water, rather than from well digested reflections
of the relations of friend and enemy, on
the rights of territorial jurisdiction, and on the
dictates of moral law applied to these. Thus
it had never been supposed lawful, in the territory
of a friend to seize the goods of an enemy.
On an element which nature has not subjected
to the jurisdiction of any particular nation, but
has made common to all for the purposes to
which it is filled, it would seem that the particular
portion of it which happens to be occupied
by the vessel of any nation, in the course of its
voyage, is for the moment, the exclusive property
of that nation, and, with the vessel, is
exempt from intrusion by any other, and from
its jurisdiction, as much as if it were lying in
the harbor of its sovereign. In no country, we
believe, is the rule otherwise, as to the subjects
of property common to all. Thus the
place occupied by an individual in a highway, a
church, a theatre, or other public assembly, cannot
be intruded on, while its occupant holds it
for the purposes of its institution. The persons
on board a vessel traversing the ocean,
carrying with them the laws of their nation,
have among themselves a jurisdiction, a police,
not established by their individual will, but by
the authority of their nation, of whose territory
their vessel still seems to compose a part, so
long as it does not enter the exclusive territory
of another. No nation ever pretended
a right to govern by their laws the ship of another
nation navigating the ocean. By what


Page 360
law, then, can it enter that ship while in peaceable
and orderly use of the common element?
We recognize no natural precept for submission
to such a right; and perceive no distinction
between the movable and immovable jurisdiction
of a friend, which would authorize the
entering the one and not the other, to seize the
property of an enemy. It may be objected that
this proves too much, as it proves you cannot
enter the ship of a friend to search for contraband
of war. But this is not proving too
much. We believe the practice of seizing what
is called contraband of war, is an abusive
practice, not founded in natural right. War
between two nations cannot diminish the rights
of the rest of the world remaining at peace.
The doctrine that the rights of nations remaining
quietly in the exercise of moral and social
duties, are to give way to the convenience of
those who prefer plundering and murdering
one another, is a monstrous doctrine; and
ought to yield to the more rational law, that
“the wrong which two nations endeavor to
inflict on each other, must not infringe on the
rights or conveniences of those remaining at
peace”. And what is contraband, by the law
of nature? Either everything which may aid
or comfort an enemy, or nothing. Either all
commerce which would accommodate him is unlawful,
or none is. The difference between
articles of one or another description, is a difference
in degree only. No line between them
can be drawn. Either all intercourse must
cease between neutrals and belligerents, or
all be permitted. Can the world hesitate to
say which shall be the rule? Shall two nations
turning tigers, break up in one instant the
peaceable relations of the whole word? Reason
and nature clearly pronounce that the
neutral is to go on in the enjoyment of all its
rights, that its commerce remains free, not
subject to the jurisdiction of another, nor
consequently its vessels to search, or to enquiries
whether their contents are the property
of an enemy, or are of those which have been
called contraband of war. Nor does this doctrine
contravene the right of preventing vessels
from entering a blockaded port. This
right stands on other ground. When the fleet
of any nation actually beleaguers the port of its
enemy, no other has a right to enter their line,
any more than their line of battle in the open
sea, or their lines of circumvallation, or of encampment,
or of battle array on land. The
space included within their lines in any of those
cases, is either the property of their enemy,
or it is common property assumed and possessed
for the moment, which cannot be intruded
on, even by a neutral, without committing
the very trespass we are now considering,
that of intruding into the lawful possession
of a friend. [202]
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 408. Ford ed., viii, 88.
(M. Sep. 1801)


These principles were set forth by Jefferson in an
opinion on “Neutral Trade” in 1793. (ix, 443. Ford
ed., 485.)—Editor.

3245. FREE SHIPS, Free goods, International Law and.—

On the question whether
the principle of “free bottoms making free
goods, and enemy bottoms enemy goods”, is
now to be considered as established in the law
of nations, I will state to you a fact within my
own knowledge, which may lessen the weight
of our authority as having acted in the war of
France and England on the ancient principle
“that the goods of an enemy in the bottom of
a friend are lawful prize; while those of a
friend in an enemy bottom are not so”. Eng
land became a party in the general war against
France on the 1st of February, 1793. We took
immediately the stand of neutrality. We were
aware that our great intercourse with these two
maritime nations would subject us to harassment
by multiplied questions on the duties of
neutrality, and that an important and early one
would be which of the two principles above
stated should be the law of action with us?
We wished to act on the new one of “free bottoms,
free goods”; and we had established it
in our treaties with other nations, but not with
England. We determined, therefore, to avoid,
if possible, committing ourselves on this question
until we could negotiate with England her
acquiescence in the new principle. Although
the cases occurring were numerous, and the
ministers. Genet and Hammond, eagerly on the
watch, we were able to avoid any declaration
until the massacre of St. Domingo. The
whites, on that occasion, took refuge on board
our ships, then in their harbor, with all the
property they could find room for; and on their
passage to the United States, many of them
were taken by British cruisers, and their cargoes
seized as lawful prize. The inflammable
temper of Genet kindled at once, and he wrote,
with his usual passion, a letter reclaiming an
observance of the principle of “free bottoms,
free goods”, as if already an acknowledged law
of neutrality. I pressed him in conversation
not to urge this point; that although it had
been acted on by convention, by the armed
neutrality, it was not yet become a principle of
universal admission; that we wished indeed to
strengthen it by our adoption, and were negotiating
an acquiescence on the part of Great
Britain: but if forced to decide prematurely,
we must justify ourselves by a declaration of
the ancient principle, and that no general consent
of nations had as yet changed it. He was
immovable, and on the 25th of July wrote a
letter, so insulting, that nothing but a determined
system of justice and moderation would
have prevented his being shipped home in the
first vessel. I had the day before answered his
of the 9th, in which I had been obliged in our
own justification, to declare that the ancient
was the established principle, still existing and
authoritative. Our denial, therefore, of the
new principle, and action on the old one, were
forced upon us by the precipitation and intemperance
of Genet, against our wishes, and
against our aim; and our involuntary practice,
therefore, is of less authority against the new
To Edward Everett. Washington ed. vii, 271.
(M. Feb. 1823)

3246. FREE SHIPS, Free goods, treaties and.—

By the former usage of nations,
the goods of a friend were safe though taken
in an enemy bottom, and those of an enemy
were lawful prize though found in a free bottom.
But in our treaties with France, &c., we
have established the simpler rule, that a free
bottom makes free goods, and an enemy bottom,
enemy goods. The same rule has been
adopted by the treaty of armed neutrality between
Russia, Sweden. Denmark, Holland and
Portugal, and assented to by France and Spain.
Contraband goods, however, are always excepted,
so that they may still be seized; but
the same powers have established that naval
stores are not contraband goods; and this May
be considered now as the law of nations.
Though England acquiesced under this during
the late war, rather than draw on herself the
neutral powers, yet she never acceded to the
new principle.—
To Mr. Cairnes. Washington ed. ii, 280.
(P. 1787)


Page 361

3247. FREE SHIPS, Free goods, treaties and.—[continued].

In our treaties with
France, the United Netherlands, Sweden and
Prussia, the principle of free bottoms, free
goods, was uniformly maintained. In the instructions
of 1784, given by Congress to their
ministers appointed to treat with the nations of
Europe generally, the same principle, and the
doing away contraband of war, were enjoined,
and were acceded to in the treaty signed with
Portugal. In the late treaty with England,
indeed, that power perseveringly refused the
principle of free bottoms, free goods; and it
was avoided in the late treaty with Prussia, at
the instance of our then administration, lest it
should seem to take side in a question then
threatening decision by the sword. At the
commencement of the war between France and
England, the representative of the French Republic
then residing in the United States
[Genet], complaining that the British armed
ships captured French property in American
bottoms, insisted that the principle of “free
bottoms, free goods”, was of the acknowledged
law of nations; that the violation of that principle
by the British was a wrong committed on
us, and such an one as we ought to repel by
joining in the war against that country. We
denied his position, and appealed to the universal
practice of Europe, in proof that the
principle of “free bottoms, free goods”, was
not acknowledged as of the natural law of nations,
but only of its conventional law. And
I believe we may safely affirm, that not a single
instance can be produced where any nation of
Europe, acting professedly under the law of
nations alone, unrestrained by treaty, has,
either by its executive or judiciary organs, decided
on the principle of “free bottoms, free
goods”. Judging of the law of nations by
what has been practiced among nations, we
were authorized to say that the contrary principle
was their rule, and this but an exception
to it, introduced by special treaties in special
cases only; that having no treaty with England
substituting this instead of the ordinary rule,
we had neither the right nor the disposition
to go to war for its establishment. But though
we would not then, nor will we now, engage in
war to establish this principle, we are nevertheless
sincerely friendly to it. We think that
the nations of Europe have originally set out
in error; that experience has proved the error
oppressive to the rights and interests of the
peaceable part of mankind; that every nation
but one has acknowledged this, by consenting
to the change, and that one has consented in
particular cases; that nations have a right to
correct an erroneous principle, and to establish
that which is right as their rule of action; and
if they should adopt measures for effecting this
in a peaceable way, we shall wish them success
and not stand in the way to it. But should it
become, at any time, expedient for us to cooperate
in the establishment of this principle,
the opinion of the executive on the advice of
its constitutional counsellors, must then be
given; and that of the Legislature, an independent
and essential organ in the operation,
must also be expressed; in forming which, they
will be governed, every man by his own judgment,
and may, very possibly, judge differently
from the Executive. With the same honest
views, the most honest men often form different
conclusions. As far, however, as we can
judge, the principle of “free bottoms, free
goods”, is that which would carry the wishes
of our nation.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 411. Ford ed., viii, 91.
(M. Sep. 1801)

3248. FREE TRADE, Alliance for.—

think nothing can bring the security of our
continent and its cause into danger, if we can
support the credit of our paper. To do that,
I apprehend, one of two steps must be taken.
Either to procure free trade by alliance with
some naval power able to protect it; or, if
we find there is no prospect of that, to shut
our ports totally, to all the world, and turn
our Colonies into manufactories. The former
would be most eligible, because most conformable
to the habits and wishes of our people.—
To Benjamin Franklin. Washington ed. i, 205. Ford ed., ii, 132.

3249. FREE TRADE, Appeal for.—

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.

3250. FREE TRADE, Benefit of.—

think all the world would gain by setting commerce
at perfect liberty.—
To John Adams, Washington ed. i, 371. Ford ed., iv, 81.
(July. 1785)

3251. FREE TRADE, Confederation Congress and.—

Congress had, in the year
1784, made up their minds as to the system of
commercial principles they wished to pursue.
These were very free. They proposed them to
all the powers of Europe. All declined except
Prussia. To this general opposition they
may now find it necessary to present a very
different general system to which their treaties
will form cases of exception.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. ii, 321.
(P. 1787)

3252. FREE TRADE, Desire for.—

I take
for granted that the commercial system,
wished for by Congress, was such a one as
should leave commerce on the freest footing
possible. This was the plan on which we
prepared our general draft for treating with
all nations.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 487.
(P. 1785)

3253. FREE TRADE, Desire for.—[continued].

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.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 646. Ford ed., vi, 479.

3254. FREE TRADE, Desire for.—[further continued].

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

3255. FREE TRADE, Encouragement.—

The permitting an exchange of industries
with other nations is a direct encouragement
of your own, which without that, would bring
you nothing for your comfort, and would of
course cease to be produced.—
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. vii, 286. Ford ed., x, 253.
(M. 1823)

3256. FREE TRADE, France and.—

Merchandise received [in France] from the
other nations of Europe takes employment
from the poor of France; ours gives it.
Their's is brought in the last stage of manu


Page 362
facture; ours in the first. We bring our tobaccos
to be manufactured into snuff, our flax
and hemp into linen and cordage, our furs
into hats, skins into saddlery, shoes and
clothing. We take nothing till it has received
the last hand. [203]
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 173. Ford ed., iv, 400.
(P. 1787)


Jefferson was arguing in favor of the free importation
of American productions into France.—Editor.

3257. FREE TRADE, Great Britain and.—

The system into which the United States
wished to go, was that of freeing commerce
from every shackle. A contrary conduct in
Great Britain will occasion them to adopt
the contrary system, at least as to that island.—
To W. W. Seward. Washington ed. i, 479.
(P. 1785)

3258. FREE TRADE, Great Britain and.—[continued].

I had persuaded myself
[in 1804] that a nation, distant as we are
from the contentions of Europe, avoiding all
offences to other powers, and not over-hasty
in resenting offence from them, doing justice
to all, faithfully fulfilling the duties of
neutrality, performing all offices of amity, and
administering to their interests by the benefits
of our commerce, that such a nation, I
say, might expect to live in peace, and consider
itself merely as a member of the great
family of mankind; that in such case it
might devote itself to whatever it could best
produce, secure of a peaceable exchange of
surplus for what could be more advantageously
furnished by others, as takes place
between one country and another of France.
But experience has shown that continued
peace depends not merely on our own justice
and prudence, but on that of others also;
that when forced into war, the interception of
exchanges which must be made across a wide
ocean, becomes a powerful weapon in the
hands of an enemy domineering over that element,
and to the other distresses of war adds
the want of all those necessaries for which
we have permitted ourselves to be dependent
on others, even arms and clothing. This
fact, therefore, solves the question by reducing
it to its ultimate form, whether profit or
preservation is the first interest of a State?
We are consequently become manufacturers
to a degree incredible to those who do not
see it, and who only consider the short period
of time during which we have been driven to
them by the suicidal policy of England.—
To J. B. Say. Washington ed. vi, 430.
(M. March. 1815)

3259. FREE TRADE, Human happiness and.—

Could each [country] 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.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 646. Ford ed., vi, 479.
(Dec. 1793)

3260. FREE TRADE, Natural right of.—

The exercise of a free trade with all parts of
the world, possessed by the American Colonists,
as of natural right, and which no law
of their own had taken away or abridged,
was next the object of unjust encroachment.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 127. Ford ed., i, 432.

3261. FREE TRADE, Neighbor nations and.—

An exchange of surpluses and wants
between neighbor nations, is both a right
and a duty under the moral law.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 275. Ford ed., v, 364.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

See Agriculture, Commerce, Manufactures, Navigation, Protection and Tariff.

3262. FRENEAU (Philip), Clerkship.—

The clerkship for foreign languages in my
office is vacant. The salary, indeed, is very
low, being but two hundred and fifty dollars a
year; but also, it gives so little to do as not to
interfere with any other calling the person May
choose, which would not absent him from the
seat of government. I was told a few days
ago, that it might perhaps be convenient to
you to accept it. If so, it is at your service.
It requires no other qualification than a moderate
knowledge of the French.—
To Philip Freneau. Washington ed. iii, 215.
(Pa., 1791)

3263. FRENEAU (Philip), Gazette of.—

Freneau has come here [Philadelphia] to set up
a national gazette, to be published twice a
week, and on whig principles.—
To David Humphreys. Ford ed., v, 373.
(Pa., 1791)

3264. FRENEAU (Philip), Gazette of.—[continued].

Freneau's paper is getting
into Massachusetts under the patronage of
Hancock and Sam Adams; and Mr. Ames, the
Colossus of the monocrats and paper men, will
either be left but or hard run. The people of
that State are republican; but hitherto they have
heard nothing but the hymns and lauds chanted
by Fenno.—
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 491. Ford ed., vi, 134.
(Pa., 1792)

3265. FRENEAU (Philip), Gazette of.—[further continued].

As to the merits or demerits
of his paper, they certainly concern me
not. He and Fenno are rivals for the public
favor. The one courts them by flattery, the
other by censure; and I believe it will be admitted
that the one has been as servile, as the
other severe.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 466. Ford ed., vi, 108.
(M. 1792)

3266. FRENEAU (Philip), Jefferson's relations to.—

While the government was at
New York I was applied to in behalf of Freneau
to know if there was any place within my
Department to which he could be appointed.
I answered there were but four clerkships, all
of which I found full, and continued without
any change. When we removed to Philadelphia,
Mr. Pintard, the translating clerk, did not
choose to remove with us. His office then became
vacant. I was again applied to there for
Freneau, and had no hesitation to promise the
clerkship for him. I cannot recollect whether
it was at the same time, or afterwards, that I
was told he had a thought of setting up a
newspaper there. But whether then, or afterwards,
I considered it a circumstance of some
value, as it might enable me to do, what I had
long wished to have done, that is, to have the
material parts of the Leyden Gazette brought
under your eye, and that of the public, in order
to possess yourself and them of a juster view
of the affairs of Europe than could be obtained
from any other public source. This I had ineffectually
attempted through the press of Mr.
Fenno, while in New York, selecting and translating
passages myself at first, then having it


Page 363
done through Mr. Pintard, the translating clerk,
but they found their way too slowly into Mr.
Fenno's papers. Mr. Bache essayed it for me
in Philadelphia, but his being a daily paper, did
not circulate sufficiently in the other States. He even tried, at my request, the plan of a
weekly paper of recapitulation from his daily
paper, in hopes that that might go into the
other States, but in this, too, we failed. Freneau,
as translating clerk, and the printer of a
periodical paper likely to circulate through the
States (uniting in one person the parts of
Pintard and Fenno), revived my hopes that the
thing could at length be effected. On the establishment
of his paper, therefore, I furnished
him with the Leyden gazettes, with an expression
of my wish that he could always translate
and publish the material intelligence they contained,
and have continued to furnish them
from time to time, as regularly as I received
them. But as to any further direction or indication
of my wish how his press should be
conducted, what sort of intelligence he should
give, what essays encourage, I can protest, in
the presence of Heaven, that I never did by
myself, or any other, or indirectly, say a syllable,
nor attempt any kind of influence. I can
further protest, in the same awful presence,
that I never did, by myself, or any other, directly
or indirectly, write, dictate. or procure
any one sentence or sentiment to be inserted
in his, or any other gazette, to which my name
was not affixed or that of my office. * * * Freneau's proposition to publish a paper, having
been about the time that the writings of
“Publicola”, and the discourses on Davila, had
a good deal excited the public attention, I
took for granted from Freneau's character,
which had been marked as that of a good whig,
that he would give free place to pieces written
against the aristocratical and monarchical principles
these papers had inculcated. This having
been in my mind, it is likely enough I May
have expressed it in conversation with others;
though I do not recollect that I did. To Freneau
I think I could not, because I had still seen
him but once, and that was at a public table,
* * * as I passed through New York the
last year. And I can safely declare that my
expectations looked only to the chastisement
of the aristocratical and monarchical writers,
and not to any criticisms on the proceedings of
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 464. Ford ed., vi, 106.
(M. 1792)

3267. FRIENDS, College.—

Friends we
have, if we have merited them. Those of our
earliest years stand nearest in our affections.
Our college friends are the dearest.—
To John Page. Washington ed. iv, 547.
(W. 1804)

3268. FRIENDS, Inconstant.—

the whole of the Revolutionary war, which
was trying enough. I never deserted a friend
because he had taken an opposite side; and
those of my own State, who joined the British
government, can attest my unremitting
zeal in saving their property, and can point
out the laws in our statute book which I
drew, and carried through in their favor.
However, I have seen during the late political
paroxysm here [Philadelphia] numbers
whom I had highly esteemed, draw off from
me insomuch as to cross the street to avoid
meeting me. The fever is abating, and doubtless
some of them will correct the momentary
wanderings of their heart, and return again.
If they do, they will meet the constancy of
my esteem, and the same oblivion of this as
of any other delirium which might happen
to them.—
To William Hamilton. Ford ed., vii, 441.
(Pa., 1800)

3269. FRIENDS, Political.—

Of one thing
I am certain, that they will not suffer personal
dissatisfactions to endanger the republican
cause. Their principles, I know, are
far above all private considerations. And
when we reflect that the eyes of the virtuous
all over the earth are turned with anxiety
on us, as the only depositories of the sacred
fire of liberty, and that our falling into anarchy
would decide forever the destinies of
mankind, and seal the political heresy that
man is incapable of self-government, the
only contest between divided friends should
be who will dare farthest into the ranks of
the common enemy.—
To John Hollins. Washington ed. v, 596.
(M. 1811)

3270. FRIENDS, Separation of.—

No one
feels more painfully than I do, the separation
of friends, and especially when their sensibilities
are to be daily harrowed up by
cannibal newspapers. In these cases, however,
I claim from all parties the privilege
of neutrality, and to be permitted to esteem
all as I ever did. The harmony which made
me happy while at Washington, is as dear
to me now as then, and I should be equally
afflicted, were it, by any circumstance, to be
impaired as to myself.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 588.
(M. April. 1811)

3271. FRIENDS, Separation of.—[continued].

Near friends, falling out,
never reunite cordially.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 356.
(P. 1788)

3272. FRIENDS, Wounded.—

the friend of all the parties, I ask of none
why they have fallen out by the way, and
would gladly infuse the oil and wine of the
Samaritan into all their wounds. I hope
that time, the assuager of all evils, will heal
these also; and I pray for them all a continuance
of their affection, and to be permitted
to bear to all the same unqualified esteem.—
To John Hollins. Washington ed. v, 596.
(M. 1811)

3273. FRIENDSHIP, Affectionate.—

The happiest moments my heart knows are those in which it is pouring forth its affections
to a few esteemed characters.—
To Mrs. Trist. D. L. J.84.

3274. FRIENDSHIP, Ambition and.—

I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage,
with my books, my family and a few
old friends, dining on simple bacon, and
letting the world roll on as it liked than to
occupy the most splendid post which any
human power can give.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 356.
(P. 1788)

3275. FRIENDSHIP, Ancient.—

I enjoy,
in recollection, my ancient friendships, and
suffer no new circumstances to mix alloy
with them.—
To David Howell. Washington ed. v, 555.
(M. 1810)

3276. FRIENDSHIP, Broken.—

The late
misunderstandings at Washington have been


Page 364
a subject of real concern to me. I know that
the dissolutions of personal friendship are
among the most painful occurrences in
human life. I have sincere esteem for all who
have been affected by them, having passed
with them eight years of great harmony and
affection. These incidents are rendered
more distressing in our country than elsewhere,
because our printers ravin on the
agonies of their victims, as wolves do on
the blood of the lamb.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 598. Ford ed., ix, 323.
(M. May. 1811)

3277. FRIENDSHIP, Comforts of.—

What an ocean is life! And how our barks
get separated in beating through it! One of the
greatest comforts of the retirement to which
I shall soon withdraw will be its rejoining
me to my earliest and best friends, and acquaintances.—
To St. George Tucker. Ford ed., vi, 425.
(Pa., 1793)

3278. FRIENDSHIP, Comforts of.—[continued].

The only thing wanting
to make me completely happy, is the more
frequent society of my friends. It is the more
wanting, as I am become more firmly fixed
to the glebe.—
To W. B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 118. Ford ed., vii, 12.
(M. 1795)

3279. FRIENDSHIP, Comforts of.—[further continued].

So long a time has
elapsed since we have been separated by
events, that your favor was like a letter from
the dead, and recalled to my memory very
dear recollections. My subsequent journey
through life has offered nothing which, in
comparison with those, is not cheerless and
dreary. It is a rich comfort sometimes to
look back on them.—
To T. Lomax. Washington ed. iv, 300. Ford ed., vii, 373.
(M. 1799)

3280. FRIENDSHIP, Early.—

As I grow
older, I set a higher value on the intimacies
of my youth, and am more afflicted by whatever
loses one of them to me.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 193. Ford ed., iv, 413.
(P. 1787)

3281. FRIENDSHIP, Early.—[continued].

I find as I grow older, that I love those most whom I loved first.—
To Mrs. Bowling. Ford ed., iv, 412.

3282. FRIENDSHIP, Early.—[further continued].

The fond recollections of
ancient times are much dearer to me than
anything I have known since. * * * No
attachments soothe the mind so much as
those contracted in early life.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 356.
(P. 1788)

3283. FRIENDSHIP, Enduring.—

I never considered a difference of opinion in
politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause
for withdrawing from a friend.—
To William Hamilton. Ford ed., vii, 441.
(Pa., 18001800)gt;

3284. FRIENDSHIP, Enduring.—[continued].

Difference of opinion
was never, with me, a motive of separation
from a friend. In the trying times of Federalism,
I never left a friend. Many left
me, have since returned and been received
with open arms.—
To President Monroe. Ford ed., x, 298.
(M. 1824)

3285. FRIENDSHIP, False nationa.—

No circumstances of morality, honor, in
terest, or engagement are sufficient to authorize
a secure reliance on any nation, at all
times, and in all positions. A moment of
difficulty, or a moment of error, may render
forever useless the most friendly dispositions
in the King, in the major part of his ministers,
and the whole of his nation.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 304.
(P. 1787)

3286. FRIENDSHIP, Honest national.—

Honest friendship with all nations, entangling
alliances with none, 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, 4.

3287. FRIENDSHIP, Honest national.—[continued].

We have endeavored to
cultivate the friendship of all nations.—
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 40. Ford ed., viii, 343.

3288. FRIENDSHIP, Precious.—

is precious, not only in the shade,
but in the sunshine of life; and thanks to a
benevolent arrangement of things, the greater
part of life is sunshine.—
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 39. Ford ed., iv, 319.

3289. FRIENDSHIP, Private.—

I declare
to you that I have never suffered political
opinion to enter into the estimate of my private friendships; nor did I ever abdicate
the society of a friend on that account
till he had first withdrawn from mine. Many
have left me on that account, but with many
I still preserve affectionate intercourse, only
avoiding to speak on politics, as with a
Quaker or Catholic I would avoid speaking
on religion.—
To J. F. Mercer. Washington ed. iv, 563.
(W. 1804)

3290. FRIENDSHIP, Qualities of.—

Wealth, title, office are no recommendations
to my friendship. On the contrary, great
good qualities are requisite to make amends
for their having wealth, title and office.—
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 41. Ford ed., iv, 321.
(P. 1786)

3291. FRIENDSHIP, Value of.—

is a miserable arithmetic which could estimate
friendship at nothing, or at less than nothing.—
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 39. Ford ed., iv, 319.
(P. 1786)

3292. FRIENDSHIP, Like wine.—

I find
friendship to be like wine, raw when new,
ripened with age, the true old man's milk
and restorative cordial.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. vi, 4. Ford ed., ix, 329.

3293. FRIENDSHIP, Youthful.—

friendships of my youth are those which adhere
closest to me, and in which I most confide.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 399.
(P. 1785)

3294. FRIENDSHIP, Youthful.—[continued].

I find in old age that the impressions of youth are the deepest and
most indelible. Some friends, indeed, have
left me by the way, seeking by a different
political path the same object, their country's
good, which I pursued with the crowd along
the common highway. It is a satisfaction to


Page 365
me that I was not the first to leave them. I
have never thought that a difference in political,
any more than in religious opinions,
should disturb the friendly intercourse of society.
There are so many other topics on
which friends may converse and be happy,
that it is wonderful they would select, of
preference, the only one on which they cannot
To David Campbell. Washington ed. v, 499.
(M. 1810)


Both the United
States and England ought to wish for peace
and cordial friendship; we, because you can
do us more harm than any other nation; and
you, because we can do you more good than
any other. Our growth is now so well established
by regular enumerations through a
course of forty years, and the same grounds
of continuance so likely to endure for a much
longer period, that, speaking in round numbers,
we may safely call ourselves twenty
millions in twenty years, and forty millions
in forty years. Many of the statesmen now
living saw the commencement of the first
term, and many now living will see the end
of the second. It is not then a mere concern
of posterity; a third of those now in life will
see that day. Of what importance, then, to
you must such a nation be, whether as
friends or foes.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. vii, 22.
(M. 1816)

3296. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Advocates and antagonists.—

[friendly] dispositions [towards Great Britain] have been strong on our part in every
administration from the first to the present
one, that we would at any time have gone
our full half way to meet them, if a single
step in advance had been taken by the other
party, I can affirm of my own intimate
knowledge of the fact. During the first year
of my own administration, I thought I discovered
in the conduct of Mr. Addington
some marks of comity towards us, and a
willingness to extend to us the decencies and
duties observed towards other nations. My
desire to catch at this, and to improve it for
the benefit of my own country, induced me,
in addition to the official declarations from
the Secretary of State, to write with my own
hand to Mr. King, then our Minister Plenipotentiary
at London, in the following words:
[See 3299.] My expectation was that Mr.
King would show this letter to Mr. Addington,
and that it would be received by him as
an overture towards a cordial understanding
between the two countries. He left the ministry,
however, and I never heard more of
it and certainly never perceived any good
effect from it. I know that in the present
temper, the boastful, the insolent, and the
mendacious newspapers, on both sides, will
present serious impediments. Ours will be insulting
your public authorities, and boasting
of victories; and yours will not be sparing
of provocations and abuse of us. But if those
at our helms could not place themselves
above these pitiful notices, and throwing aside
all personal feelings, look only to the in
terest of their nations, they would be unequal
to the trusts confided to them. I am
equally confident, on our part, in the administration
now in place, as in that which will
succeed it; and that if friendship is not hereafter
sincerely cultivated, it will not be their
fault. * * * Although what I write is
from no personal privity with the views or
wishes of our government, yet believing
them to be what they ought to be, and confident
in their wisdom and integrity, I am
sure I hazard no deception in what I have
said of them, and I shall be happy indeed
if some good shall result to both our countries.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. vii, 23.
(M. 1816)

3297. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Common interest.—

No two countries
upon earth have so many points of common
interest and friendship; and the rulers
must be great bunglers indeed, if, with such
dispositions, they break them asunder.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 12. Ford ed., viii, 449.
(W. May. 1806)

3298. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Cultivation of.—

As to the duties of
your office [Minister to England], I shall only
express a desire that they be constantly exercised
in that spirit of sincere friendship which
we bear to the English nation, and that in all
transactions with the minister, his good dispositions
be conciliated by whatever in language
or attentions may tend to that effect.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 441. Ford ed., vi, 75.
(Pa., 1792)

3299. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Cultivation of.—[continued].

I hope that through your
agency we may be able to remove everything
inauspicious to a cordial friendship between
this country and the one in which you are
stationed; a friendship dictated by too many
considerations not to be felt by the wise and
the dispassionate of both nations. It is,
therefore, with the sincerest pleasure I have
observed on the part of the British government
various manifestations of just and
friendly disposition towards us. [204] We wish
to cultivate peace and friendship with all nations,
believing that course most conducive to
the welfare of our own. It is natural that
these friendships should bear some proportion
to the common interests of the parties.
The interesting relations between Great
Britain and the United States are certainly
of the first order; and as such are estimated,
and will be faithfully cultivated by us.
These sentiments have been communicated to
you from time to time in the official correspondence
of the Secretary of State; but I
have thought it might not be unacceptable to


Page 366
be assured that they perfectly concur with
my own personal convictions, both in relation
to yourself and the country in which you are.—
To Rufus King. Washington ed. iv, 444. Ford ed., viii, 163.
(W. July. 1802)


In the Ford edition, it is noted that in the draft
of the letter to Mr. King, the following paragraph is
stricken out: “These seeds are not sown in barren
ground. I have too high an opinion of the understanding
of those at the helm of British affairs to suppose
they judge of the dispositions of this administration
from the miserable trash of the public papers;
and I trust they have more respect for our understandings
than to suppose we are Gallomen or Anglomen,
or anything but Americans and the friends
of our friends, Peace and friendship are essential
with all other nations.”—Editor.


Would to God that nation
[England] would so far be just in her conduct,
as that we might with honor give her
that friendship it is so much our interest to
bear her.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., viii, 300.
(M. April. 1804)

3301. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Desired.—[continued].

Instead of fearing and
endeavoring to crush our prosperity, had the
British cultivated it in friendship, it might
have become a bulwark instead of a breaker
to them. There has never been an administration
in this country which would not
gladly have met them more than half way on
the road to an equal, a just and solid connection
of friendship and intercourse. And
as to repressing our growth, they might as
well attempt to repress the waves of the
To John Melish. Washington ed. vi, 403.
(M. 1814)

3302. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Desired.—[further continued].

No one feels more indignation
than myself when reflecting on the insults and injuries of that country to this.
But the interests of both require that these
should be left to history, and in the meantime
be smothered in the living mind. I have,
indeed, little personal concern in it. Time
is drawing her curtain on me. But I should
make my bow with more satisfaction, if I
had more hope of seeing our countries shake
hands together cordially.—
To James Maury. Washington ed. vi, 469.
(M. June. 1815)

3303. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Her advantage.—

If the British
adopt a course of friendship with us, the commerce
of one hundred millions of people,
which some now born will live to see will
maintain them forever as a great unit of the
European family. But if they go on checking,
irritating, injuring, and hostilizing us,
they will force on us the motto “Carthago delenda
And some Scipio Americanus will
leave to posterity the problem of conjecturing
where stood once the ancient and splendid
city of London. * * * I hope the good
sense of both parties will concur in travelling
rather the paths of peace, of affection, and
reciprocations of interests.—
To C. F. Gray. Washington ed. vi, 439.
(M. 1815)

3304. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, How obtained.—

But is their friendship
to be obtained by the irritating policy of
fomenting among us party discord, and a teasing
opposition; by bribing traitors, whose sale
of themselves proves they would sell their
purchasers also, if their treacheries were
worth a price? How much cheaper would it
be, how much easier, more honorable more
magnanimous and secure, to gain the government
itself by a moral, a friendly and respectful
course of conduct, which is all they
would ask for a cordial and faithful return.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. vii, 22.
(M. 1816)

3305. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Influence of George III.—

have nourished between our kindred
countries angry dispositions which both
ought long since to have banished from their
bosoms. I have ever considered a cordial affection
as the first interest of both. No nation
on earth can hurt us so much as yours, none
be more useful to you than ours. The obstacle,
we have believed, was in the obstinate and
unforgiving temper of your late King, and
a continuance of his prejudices kept up from
habit, after he was withdrawn from power.
I hope I now see symptoms of sounder views
in your government; in which I know it will
be cordially met by ours, as it would have
been by every administration which has existed
under our present Constitution. None
desired it more cordially than myself, whatever
different opinions were impressed on
your government by a party who wishes to
have its weight in their scale as its exclusive
To Mr. Roscoe. Washington ed. vii, 196.
(M. 1820)

3306. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Mr. Merry and.—

I thought that in
the administration of Mr. Addington, I discovered
some dispositions towards justice,
and even friendship and respect for us, and
began to pave the way for cherishing these
dispositions and improving them into ties of
mutual good-will. But we had then a Federal
minister there, whose dispositions to believe
himself, and to inspire others with a
belief in our sincerity, his subsequent conduct
has brought into doubt; and poor Merry,
the English minister here, had learned nothing
of diplomacy but its suspicions, without
head enough to distinguish when they were
misplaced. Mr. Addington and Mr. Fox
passed away too soon to avail the two countries
of their dispositions.—
To James Maury. Washington ed. vi, 53. Ford ed., ix, 350.
(M. April. 1812)

3307. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Mutual interest.—

Time and prudence
on the part of the two governments
may get over these [irritations, produced by
the war of 1812]. Manifestations of cordiality
between them, friendly and kind offices
made visible to the people on both sides, will
mollify their feelings, and second the wishes
of their functionaries to cultivate peace and
promote mutual interest.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. vii, 23.
(M. 1816)

3308. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Obstacles to.—

The war interests in England include a numerous and wealthy
part of their population; and their influence
is deemed worth courting by ministers wishing
to keep their places. Continually endangered
by a powerful opposition, they find
it convenient to humor the popular passions
at the expense of the public good. The shipping
interest, commercial interest, and their
janizaries of the navy, all fattening on war,
will not be neglected by ministers of ordinary
minds. Their tenure of office is so infirm
that they dare not follow the dictates of
wisdom, justice, and the well-calculated interests


Page 367
of their country. This vice in the English constitution, renders a dependence on
that government very unsafe. The feelings
of their King, too, fundamentally adverse to
us, have added another motive for unfriendliness
in his ministers. This obstacle to friendship,
however, seems likely to be soon removed;
and I verily believe the successor will
come in with fairer and wiser dispositions
towards us; perhaps on that event their conduct
may be changed.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. v, 556. Ford ed., ix, 293.
(M. 1811)

3309. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Obstacles to.—[continued].

Instead of cultivating the
government itself, whose principles are those
of the great mass of the nation, they [the
British Ministry] have adopted the miserable
policy of teasing and embarrassing it, by allying
themselves with a faction here [the
monarchical Federalists], not a tenth of the
people, noisy and unprincipled, and which can
never come into power while republicanism is
the spirit of the nation, and that must continue
to be so, until such a condensation of
population shall have taken place as will require
centuries. Whereas, the good will of
the government itself would give them, and
immediately, every benefit which reason or
justice would permit it to give.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. v, 556. Ford ed., ix, 292.
(M. 1811)


What is the price we ask
for our friendship? Justice, and the comity
usually observed between nation and nation.
Would there not be more of dignity in this,
more character and satisfaction, than in her
teasings and harrassings, her briberies and intrigues,
to sow party discord among us, which
can never have more effect here than the
opposition within herself has there; which
can never obstruct the begetting children, the
efficient source of growth; and by nourishing
a deadly hatred, will only produce and hasten
events which both of us, in moments of sober
reflection, should deplore and deprecate? One
half of the attention employed in decent observances
towards our Government, would be
worth more to her than all the Yankee duperies
played off upon her, at a great expense
on her part of money and meanness, and of
nourishment to the vices and treacheries of
the Henrys and Hulls of both nations.—
To James Maury. Washington ed. vi, 468.
(M. 1815)

3311. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Sacrifices for.—

There is not a nation
on the globe with whom I have more
earnestly wished a friendly intercourse on
equal conditions. On no other would I hold
out the hand of friendship to any. I know
that their creatures represent me as personally
an enemy to England. But fools only
can believe this, or those who think me a
fool. I am an enemy to her insults and injuries.
I am an enemy to the flagitious principles
of her administration, and to those which
govern her conduct towards other nations.
But would she give to morality some place
in her political code, and especially should
she exercise decency, and at least neutral
passions towards us, there is not, I repeat
it, a people on earth with whom I would sacrifice
so much to be in friendship.—
To CÆSAR A. Rodney. Washington ed. vi, 449.
(M. March. 1815)


No man was more sensible
than myself of the just value of the
friendship of Great Britain. There are between
us so many of those circumstances
which naturally produce and cement kind dispositions,
that if they could have forgiven
our resistance to their usurpations, our connections
might have been durable, and have
insured duration to both our governments.
I wished, therefore, a cordial friendship with
them, and I spared no occasion of manifesting
this in our correspondence and intercourse
with them; not disguising, however,
my desire of friendship with their enemy
also. During the administration of Mr. Addington,
I thought I discovered some friendly
symptoms on the part of that government;
at least, we received some marks of respect
from the administration, and some of regret
at the wrongs we were suffering from
their country. So, also, during the short interval
of Mr. Fox's power. But every other
administration since our Revolution has been
equally wanton in their injuries and insults,
and have manifested equal hatred and aversion.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. v, 555. Ford ed., ix, 292.
(M. 1811)

3313. FRIENDSHIP WITH ENGLAND, Value of.—[continued].

I reciprocate congratulations
with you sincerely on the restoration of
peace between our two nations. * * * Let both parties now count soberly the value
of mutual friendship. I am satisfied both
will find that no advantage either can derive
from any act of injustice whatever will be
of equal value with those flowing from
friendly intercourse.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. vii, 22.
(M. 1816)

3314. FRUGALITY, Advocated.—

a missionary appear, who would make
frugality the basis of his religious system,
and go through the land preaching it up as
the only road to salvation, I would join his
school, though not generally disposed to seek
my religion out of the dictates of my own
reason, and feelings of my own heart.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 550. Ford ed., iv, 214.
(P. 1786)

3315. FRUGALITY, Government and.—

What more is necessary to make us a happy
and prosperous people? Still one thing
more: a wise and frugal Government, which
shall restrain men from injuring one another,
which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate
their own pursuits of industry and improvement,
and shall not take from the
mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This
is the sum of good government, and this is
necessary to close the circle of our felicities.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 3. Ford ed., viii, 4.

3316. FUGITIVES, Debtors.—

In the case
of fugitive debtors and criminals, it is always
well that coterminous States should under


Page 368
stand one another, as far as their ideas on
the rightful powers of government can be
made to go together. When they separate,
the cases may be left unprovided for.—
To Messrs. Carmichael and Short. Washington ed. iii, 349.
(Pa., 1792)

3317. FUGITIVES, England and.—

has no such convention with any nation,
and their laws have given no power to their
Executive to surrender fugitives of any description;
they are accordingly constantly refused,
and hence England has been the
asylum of the Paolis, the La Mottes, the
Calonnes, in short, of the most atrocious offenders
as well as the most innocent victims,
who have been able to get there.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 299. Ford ed., v, 386.
(Pa., 1791)

3318. FUGITIVES, Exile and.—

Does the
fugitive from his country avoid punishment?
He incurs exile, not voluntary, but under a
moral necessity, as strong as physical. Exile,
in some countries, has been the highest punishment
allowed by the laws. To most minds
it is next to death; to many beyond it. The
fugitive, indeed, is not of the latter: he must
estimate it somewhat less than death. It May
be said that to some, as foreigners, it is no
Report on Spanish Convention. Washington ed. iii, 353. Ford ed., v, 483.

3319. FUGITIVES, Mariners.—

When the consular convention with France was
under consideration, this subject was attended
to; but we could agree to go no further than
is done in the ninth article of that instrument,
when we agree mutually to deliver
up “captains, officers, mariners, sailors, and
all other persons being part of the crews of
vessels”, &c. Unless, therefore, the persons
before named [205] be part of the crew of some
vessel of the French nation, no person in
this country is authorized to deliver them up;
but, on the contrary, they are under the
protection of the laws.—
To E. C. Genet. Ford ed., vi, 426.
(Pa., Sep. 1793)


M. Genet had requested the delivery of several
persons “escaped from the ship Jupiter, and from
the punishment of crime committed against the Republic
of France”.—Editor.

3320. FUGITIVES, Murderers.—

person having committed murder of malice
not of the nature of treason, within
the United States or the Spanish provinces
adjoining thereto, and fleeing from the justice
of the country, shall be delivered up by
the government where he shall be found, to
that from which he fled, whenever demanded
by the same.—
Project of a Spanish Convention. Washington ed. iii, 350. Ford ed., v, 485.

3321. FUGITIVES, Murderers.—[continued].

Murder is one of the extreme
crimes justifying a denial of habitation, arrest and redelivery. It should be carefully
restrained by definition to homicide of
malice prepense, and not of the nature of
* * * The only rightful subject
then of arrest and delivery, for which we
have need [to provide by convention], is
Report on Spanish Convention. Washington ed. iii, 352. Ford ed., v, 482.

3322. FUGITIVES, Political.—

desirable it be that the perpetrators of crimes,
acknowledged to be such by all mankind,
should be delivered up to punishment, yet it is
extremely difficult to draw the line between
those and acts rendered criminal by tyrannical
laws only; hence the first step always,
is a convention defining the cases where a
surrender shall take place.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 300. Ford ed., v, 386.
(Pa., 1791)

3323. FUGITIVES, Protection of.—

laws of this country take no notice of crimes
committed out of their jurisdiction. The
most atrocious offender coming within their
pale, is received by them as an innocent man,
and they have authorized no one to seize or
deliver him. The evil of protecting malefactors
of every dye is sensibly felt here, as in
other countries; but until a reformation of
the criminal codes of most nations, to deliver
fugitives from them, would be to become
their accomplices; the former, therefore, is
viewed as the lesser evil.—
To Edmond Charles Genet. Ford ed., vi, 426.
(Pa., Sep. 1793)

3324. FUGITIVES, Punishment of.—

excess of punishment is a crime. To remit
a fugitive to excessive punishment, is to be
accessory to the crime. Ought we to wish for
the obligation, or the right to do it? Better
on the whole, to consider these crimes as
sufficiently punished by the exile.—
Report on Spanish Convention. Washington ed. iii, 354. Ford ed., v, 484.

3325. FUGITIVES, Rights of.—

Has a
nation a right to punish a person who has
not offended itself? Writers on the law of
nature agree that it has not; that on the
contrary, exiles and fugitives are to them
as other strangers, and have a right of residence,
unless their presence would be noxious;
e. g., infectious persons. One writer,
(Vattel, L. I. 5, 233.) extends the exception
to atrocious criminals, too imminently dangerous
to society; namely, to pirates, murderers,
and incendiaries.—
Report on Spanish Convention. Washington ed. iii, 352. Ford ed., v, 481.

3326. FUGITIVES, Slaves.—

has been made by the representatives of
Spain that certain individuals of Georgia entered
the State of Florida, and without any
application to the Government, seized and
carried into Georgia, certain persons, whom
they claimed to be their slaves. This aggression
was thought the more of, as there exists
a convention between that government and
the United States against receiving fugitive
slaves. The minister of France has complained
that the master of an American vessel,
while lying within a harbor of St. Domingo,
having enticed some negroes on
board his vessel, under pretext of employment,
brought them off, and sold them in
Georgia as slaves. 1. Has the General Government
cognizance of these offences? 2. If
it has, is any law already provided for try


Page 369
ing and punishing them? 1. The Constitution
says “Congress shall have power to lay
and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises,
to pay the debts, &c., provide for the common
defence and general welfare of the United
States”. I do not consider this clause as
reaching the point. * * * The Constitution
says further, that Congress shall have
power to “define and punish piracies and
felonies committed on the high seas, and offences
against the law of nations”. These
offences were not committed on the high
seas, and consequently not within that
branch of the clause. Are they against the
law of nations, taken as it may be in its whole
extent, as founded, 1st, in nature; 2d, usage;
3d, convention. So much may be said in the
affirmative, that the legislators ought to send
the case before the judiciary for discussion;
and the rather, when it is considered that
unless the offenders can be punished under
this clause, there is no other which goes directly
to their case, and consequently our
peace with foreign nations will be constantly
at the discretion of individuals. 2. Have the
legislators sent this question before the
Courts by any law already provided? The
act of 1789, chapter 20, section 9, says the
district courts shall have cognizance concurrent
with the courts of the several States,
or the circuit courts, of all causes, where an
alien sues for a tort only, in violation of
the law of nations; but what if there be no
alien whose interest is such as to support
an action for the tort?—which is precisely
the case of the aggression on Florida. If
the act in describing the jurisdiction of the
Courts, had given them cognizance of proceedings
by way of indictment or information
against offenders under the law of nations, for
the public wrong, and on the public behalf,
as well as to an individual for the special tort,
it would have been the thing desired. The
same act, section 13, says, the “Supreme
Court shall have exclusively all such jurisdiction
of suits or proceedings against ambassadors,
or other public ministers, or their
domestics or domestic servants, as a court of
law can have or exercise consistently, with
the law of nations”. Still this is not the case,
no ambassador, &c., being concerned here. I
find nothing else in the law applicable to this
question, and therefore presume the case is
still to be provided for, and that this may be
done by enlarging the jurisdiction of the
courts, so that they may sustain indictments
and informations on the public behalf, for
offences against the law of nations. [206]
Opinion on Fugitive Slaves. Washington ed. vii, 601. Ford ed., vi, 141.


Jefferson added at a later period: “On further
examination it does appear that the 11th section of
the Judiciary Act, above cited, gives to the circuit
courts exclusively, cognizance of all crimes and offences
cognizable under the authority of the United
States, and not otherwise provided for. This removes
the difficulty, however, but one step further; for questions
then arise, 1st: What is the peculiar character
of the offence in question; to wit, treason, felony,
misdemeanor, or trespass? 2d. What is its specific
punishment, capital or what? 3d. Whence is the venue
to come?”—Editor.

3327. FUGITIVES, Treaties Respecting.—

Two neighboring and free governments,
with laws equally mild and just, would find
no difficulty in forming a convention for the
interchange of fugitive criminals. Nor
would two neighboring despotic governments,
with laws of equal severity. The latter wish
that no door should be opened to their subjects
flying from the oppression of their
laws. The fact is, that most of the governments
on the continent of Europe have such
conventions; but England, the only free one
till lately, has never yet consented to enter
into a convention for this purpose, or to give
up a fugitive. The difficulty between a free
government and a despotic one, is indeed
To Governor Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 346. Ford ed., v, 492.

3328. FUNDING, Posterity and.—

principle of spending money to be paid by
posterity, under the name of funding, is but
swindling futurity on a large scale.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 608. Ford ed., x, 31.
(M. 1816)

3329. FUNDING, Redemption and.—

Funding I consider as limited, rightfully, to
a redemption of the debt within the lives of a
majority of the generation contracting it;
every generation coming equally, by the laws
of the Creator of the world, to the free
possession of the earth He made for their subsistence,
unincumbered by their predecessors,
who, like them, were but tenants for life.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 605. Ford ed., x, 28.
(M. May. 1816)

See Assumption of State Debts, Debt, Generations, and Hamilton.

3330. FUR TRADE, Aid to Astor.—

learn with great satisfaction the disposition of
our merchants to form into companies for undertaking
the Indian trade within our own
territories. I have been taught to believe it
an advantageous one for the individual adventurers,
and I consider it as highly desirable to
have that trade centered in the hands of our
own citizens. * * * All beyond the Mississippi
is ours exclusively, and it will be in our
own power to give our own traders great advantages
over their foreign competitors on this
side the Mississippi. You may be assured that
in order to get the whole of this business
passed into the hands of our own citizens, and
to oust foreign traders, who so much abuse
their privilege by endeavoring to excite the Indians
to war on us, every reasonable patronage
and facility in the power of the Executive will
be afforded.—
To John Jacob Astor. Washington ed. v, 269.
(W. 1808)

3331. FUR TRADE, Aid to Astor.—[continued].

A powerful company is
at length forming for taking up the Indian
commerce on a large scale. They will employ
a capital the first year of $300,000, and raise it
afterwards to a million. The English Mackinac
company will probably withdraw from the
competition. It will be under the direction of
a most excellent man, a Mr. Astor, merchant of
New York, long engaged in the business, and
perfectly master of it. He has some hope of
seeing you at St. Louis, in which case I recommend
him to your particular attention. Nothing
but the exclusive possession of the Indian
commerce can secure us their peace.—
To Meriwether Lewis. Washington ed. v, 321. Ford ed., ix, 199.
(W. July. 1808)


Page 370

3332. FUR TRADE, Difficulties in.—

am sorry your enterprise for establishing a factory
on the Columbia river, and a commerce
through the line of that river and the Missouri,
should meet with the difficulties stated in your
letter. I remember well having invited your
proposition on that subject, and encouraged it
with the assurance of every facility and protection
which the government could properly
afford. I considered as a great public acquisition
the commencement of a settlement on
that point of the Western coast of America,
and looked forward with gratification to the
time when its descendants should have spread
themselves through the whole length of that
coast, covering it with free and independent
Americans, unconnected with us but by the ties
of blood and interest, and employing like us
the rights of self-government. I hope the
obstacles you state are not insurmountable;
that they will not endanger, or even delay the
accomplishment of so great a public purpose.—
To John Jacob Astor. Washington ed. vi, 55. Ford ed., ix, 351.
(M. May. 1812)

3333. FUR TRADE, Great Britain and.—

In the present state of affairs between Great
Britain and us, the government is justly jealous
of the contraventions of those commercial
restrictions which have been deemed necessary
to exclude the use of British manufactures in
these States, and to promote the establishment
of similar ones among ourselves. The interests,
too, of the revenue require particular
watchfulness. But in the non-importation
of British manufactures, and the revenue
raised on foreign goods, the Legislature
could only have in view the consumption
of our own citizens, and the revenue to be
levied on that. We certainly did not mean to
interfere with the consumption of nations foreign
to us, as the Indians of the Columbia and
Missouri are, or to assume a right of levying
an impost on that consumption; and if the
words of the laws take in their supplies in
either view, it was probably unintentional, and
because their case not being under the contemplation
of the Legislature, has been inadvertently
embraced by it. The question with
them would be not what manufactures these
nations should use, or what taxes they should
pay us on them, but whether we would give a
transit for them through our country. We
have a right to say we will not let the British
exercise that transit. But it is our interest,
as well as a neighborly duty, to allow it when
exercised by our own citizens only. To guard
against any surreptitious introduction of British
influence among those nations, we May
justifiably require that no Englishman be permitted
to go with the trading parties, and
necessary precautions should also be taken to
prevent this covering the contravention of our
own laws and views. But these once securely
guarded, our interest would permit the transit
free of duty.—
To John Jacob Astor. Washington ed. vi, 55. Ford ed., ix, 351.
(M. May. 1812)

3334. FUTURE, Dreams of.—

I like the
dreams of the future better than the history of
the past.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 27.
(M. 1816)

3335. FUTURE LIFE, Belief in.—

son found me in a retirement I doat on, living
like an antediluvian patriarch among my
children and grandchildren, and tilling my soil.
As he had lately come from Philadelphia,
Boston, &c., he was able to give me a great deal
of information of what is passing in the world,
and I pestered him with questions pretty much
as our friends Lynch, Nelson, &c., will [pester] us, when we step across the Styx, for they will
wish to know what has been passing above
ground since they left us.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 124. Ford ed., vii, 39.
(M. Nov. 1795)

3336. FUTURE LIFE, Belief in.—[continued].

Your letter was like the
joy we expect in the mansions of the blessed,
when received with the embraces of our fathers,
we shall be welcomed with their blessing
as having done our part not unworthily of
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 365. Ford ed., viii, 7.
(W. March. 1801)

3337. FUTURE LIFE, Felicity of.—

one of the elements of future felicity is
to be a constant and unimpassioned view of
what is passing here.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 53. Ford ed., x, 71.
(M. 1817)

3338. FUTURE LIFE, Felicity of.—[continued].

But these are speculations
which we may as will deliver over to
those who are to see their development. We
shall only be lookers on, from the clouds above,
as now we look down on the laborers, the hurry
and bustle of the ants and bees. Perhaps in
that super-mundane region, we may be amused
with seeing the fallacy of our own guesses, and
even the nothingness of those labors, which
have filled and agitated our own time here.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 105. Ford ed., x, 109.
(M. 1818)

3339. FUTURE LIFE, Reunion.—

age of eighty-four and mine of eighty-one years
insure us a speedy meeting. We may then
commune at leisure, and more fully, on the
good and evil which, in the course of our long
lives, we have both witnessed.—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 361.
(M. 1824)