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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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7139. RACE, Improvement of human.—

The passage you quote from Theognis, I
think has an ethical rather than a political object.
The whole piece is a moral exhortation, * * * and this passage particularly seems to
be a reproof to man, who, while with his domestic
animals he is curious to improve the
race, by employing always the finest male, pays
no attention to the improvement of his own
race, but intermarries with the vicious, the ugly
or the old, for considerations of wealth or ambition.
It is in conformity with the principle
adopted afterwards by the Pythagoreans, and
expressed by Ocellus in another form * * * which, as literally as intelligibility will admit,
may be thus translated, “concerning the interprocreation
of men, how, and of whom it shall
be, in a perfect manner, and according to the
laws of modesty and sanctity, conjointly, this is
what I think right. First, to lay it down that
we do not commix for the sake of pleasure, but
of the procreation of children. For the powers,
the organs and desires for coition have not been
given by God to man for the sake of pleasure,
but for the procreation of the race. For as it
were incongruous, for a mortal born to partake
of divine life, the immortality of the race being


Page 736
taken away, God fulfilled the purpose by making
the generations uninterrupted and continuous.
This, therefore, we are especially to lay down
as a principle, that coition is not for the sake
of pleasure”. But nature, not trusting to this
moral and abstract motive, seems to have provided
more securely for the perpetuation of the
species, by making it the effect of the oestrum implanted in the constitution of both sexes.
And not only has the commerce of love been
indulged on this unhallowed impulse, but made
subservient also to wealth and ambition by marriage,
without regard to the beauty, the healthiness,
the understanding, or virtue of the subject
from which we are to breed. The selecting
the best male for a harem of well chosen females
also, which Theognis seems to recommend
from the example of our sheep and asses, would
doubtless improve the human, as it does the
brute animal, and produce a race of veritable
αριςτοι. For experience proves that the
moral and physical qualities of man, whether
good or evil, are transmissible in a certain degree
from father to son. But I suspect that the
equal rights of man will rise up against this
privileged Solomon and his harem, and oblige
us to continue acquiescence under the “Αμαμρωςις
γενεος αςτων
” which Theognis complains
of, and to content ourselves with the accidental
aristoi produced by the fortuitous concourse
of breeders.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 222. Ford ed., ix, 424.
(M. 1813)

7140. RACES, Mingling of.—

In time,
you [Indians] will be as we are; you will become
one people with us. Your blood will mix
with ours; and will spread with ours, over this
great Island.—
Indian Address. Washington ed. viii, 234.

7141. RAINBOWS, Formation of.—

Abbé here [Paris] has shaken, if not destroyed,
the theory of Dominis, Descartes and Newton,
for explaining the phenomenon of the rainbow.
According to that theory, you know, a cone of
rays issuing from the sun, and falling on a
cloud in the opposite part of the heavens, is
reflected back in the form of a smaller cone, the
apex of which is the eye of the observer; so that
the eye of the observer must be in the axis of
both cones, and equally distant from every part
of the bow. But he observes that he has repeatedly
seen bows, the one end of which has
been very near to him, and the other at a very
great distance. I have often seen the same
thing myself. I recollect well to have seen the
end of a rainbow between myself and a house,
or between myself and a bank, not twenty yards
distant; and this repeatedly. But I never saw,
what he says he has seen, different rainbows
at the same time interesting each other. I
never saw coexistent bows, which were not concentric
also. Again, according to the theory,
if the sun is in the horizon, the horizon intercepts
the lower half of the bow; if above the
horizon, that intercepts more than half, in proportion.
So that, generally, the bow is less
than a semi-circle, and never more. He says
he has seen it more than a semi-circle. I have
often seen the leg of the bow below my level.
My situation at Monticello admits this, because
there is a mountain there in the opposite direction
of the afternoon's sun, the valley between
which and Monticello, is five hundred feet deep.
I have seen a leg of a rainbow plunge down on
the river running through the valley. But I do
not recollect to have remarked at any time that
the bow was more than half a circle. It appears
to me that these facts demolish the Newtonian
hypothesis, but they do not support that in its
stead by the Abbé. He supposes a cloud between
the sun and the observer, and that
through some opening in that cloud, the rays
pass, and form an iris on the opposite part of
the heavens, just as a ray passing through a
hole in the shutter of a darkened room, and
falling on a prism there, forms the prismatic
colors on the opposite wall. According to this,
we might see bows of more than the half circle,
as often as of less. A thousand other objections
occur to this hypothesis. * * * The result
is that we were wiser than we were, by having
an error the less in our catalogue.—
To Rev. James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 430.
(P. 1788)

7142. RAINBOWS, Lunar.—

I have
twice seen bows formed by the moon. They
were of the color of the common circle round
the moon, and were very near, being within a
few paces of me in both instances.—
To William Dunbar. Washington ed. iv, 348. Ford ed., vii, 482.
(W. Jan. 1801)


I remark a rainbow of a great portion of
the circle observed by you when on the line of
demarcation. I live in a situation which has
given me an opportunity of seeing more than the
semicircle often. I am on a hill five hundred
feet perpendicularly high. On the east side it
breaks down abruptly to the base, where a river
passes through. A rainbow, therefore, about
sunset, plunges one of its legs down to the river,
five hundred feet below the level of the eye on
the top of the hill.—
To William Dunbar. Washington ed. iv, 348. Ford ed., vii, 482.
(W. Jan. 1801)

7144. RANDOLPH (Edmund), Indecisiveness.—

Everything [in the cabinet] hangs upon the opinion of a single person
[Edmund Randolph] and that the most indecisive
one I ever had to do business with. He
will always contrive to agree in principle with
one but in conclusion with the other.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 556.

7145. RANDOLPH (Edmund), Principles and practice.—

Though he mistakes his
own political character in the aggregate, yet he
gives it * * * in the detail [in his pamphlet
entitled “Vindication”]. Thus, he supposes
himself a man of no party (page 97);
that his opinions not containing any systematic
adherence to party, fall sometimes on one side
and sometimes on the other (page 58). Yet he
gives you these facts, which show that they
fall generally on both sides, and are complete
inconsistencies. 1. He never gave an opinion
in the cabinet against the rights of the people
(page 97); yet he advised the denunciation of
the popular [Democratic] societies (page 67).
2. He would not neglect the overtures of a commercial
treaty with France (page 79); yet he
always opposed it while Attorney General, and
never seems to have proposed it while Secretary
of State. 3. He concurs in resorting to the militia
to quell the pretended insurrections in the
west (page 81), and proposes an augmentation
from twelve thousand five hundred to fifteen
thousand, to march against men at their
ploughs (page 80); yet on the 5th of August he
is against their marching (pages 83, 101), and
on the 25th of August he is for it (page 84).
4. He concurs in the measure of a mission extraordinary
to London (as inferred from page
58), but objects to the men, to wit, Hamilton
and Jay (page 58). 5. He was against granting
commercial powers to Mr. Jay (page 58); yet
he besieged the doors of the Senate to procure
their advice to ratify. 6. He advises the President
to a ratification on the merits of the [Jay]


Page 737
treaty (page 97), but to a suspension till the
provision order is repealed (page 98). The fact
is, that he has generally given his principles
to the one party, and his practice to the other,
the oyster to one, the shell to the other. Unfortunately,
the shell was generally the lot of his
friends, the French and republicans, and the
oyster of their antagonists. Had he been firm
to the principles he professes in the year 1793,
the President would have been kept from an
habitual concert with the British and anti-republican
party. But at that time I do not know
which Randolph feared most, a British fleet, or
French disorganizers. Whether his conduct is
to be ascribed to a superior view of things, an
adherence to right without regard to party, as he
pretends, or to an anxiety to trim between both,
those who know his character and capacity will
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 125. Ford ed., vii, 40.
(M. Dec. 1795)

7146. RANDOLPH (Edmund), Principles and practice.—[continued].

[Edmund Randolph's] narrative [in his pamphlet] is so straight and
plain, that even those who did not know him
will acquit him of the charge of bribery. Those
who knew him had done it from the first.—
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 125. Ford ed., vii, 41.
(M. Dec. 1795)

7147. RANDOLPH (Edmund), Resignation.—

The resignation, or rather the removal,
of Randolph, you will have learned.
His vindication bears hard on the Executive
in the opinions of this quarter, and though it
clears him in their judgment of the charge of
bribery, it does not give them high ideas of
his wisdom or steadiness.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 59.
(M. 1796)

7148. RANDOLPH (John), Attacks on Jefferson.—

That Mr. Randolph has openly
attacked the Administration is sufficiently
known. We were not disposed to join in league
with Britain, under any belief that she is fighting
for the liberties of mankind, and to enter
into war with Spain, and consequently France.
The House of Representatives were in the same
sentiment when they rejected Mr. Randolph's
resolutions for raising a body of regular troops
for the western service. We are for a peaceable
accommodation with all those nations, if it can
be effected honorably. This, perhaps, is not
the only ground of his alienation; but which
side retains its orthodoxy, the vote of eightyseven
to eleven republicans may satisfy you.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. iv, 591. Ford ed., viii, 432.
(W. March. 1806)

7149. RANDOLPH (John), Defection.—

The separation of a member of great talents and
weight from the present course of things, scattered
dismay for a time among those who had
been used to see him with them. A little time,
however, enabled them to rally to their own principles,
and to resume their track under the guidance
of their own good sense. As long as we
pursue without deviation the principles we have
always professed, I have no fear of deviation
from them in the main body of republicans.—
To Caesar A. Rodney. Ford ed., viii, 436.
(W. March. 1806)

7150. RANDOLPH (John), Defection.—[continued].

Unexpected and strange
phenomena in the early part of the session, produced
a momentary dismay within the walls of
the House of Representatives. However the
body of republicans soon discovered their true
situation, rallied to their own principles, and
moved on towards their object in a solid phalanx;
insomuch that the session did most of the
good which was in their power, and did it
well. Republicanism may perhaps have lost a
few of its anomalous members, but the steadiness
of its great mass has considerably increased
on the whole my confidence in the solidity and
permanence of our government.—
To John Tyler. Ford ed., viii, 442.
(W. April. 1806)

7151. RANDOLPH (John), Defection.—[further continued].

His course [in opposition
to the administration] has excited considerable
alarm. Timid men consider it as a proof of the weakness of our government, and
that it is to be rent into pieces by demagogues,
and to end in anarchy. I survey the scene with
a different eye and draw a different augury from
it. In a House of Representatives of a great
mass of good sense, Mr. Randolph's popular
eloquence gave him such advantages as to place
him unrivalled as a leader of the House; and
although not conciliatory to those whom he led,
principles of duty and patriotism induced many
of them to swallow humiliations he subjected
them to, and to vote as was right, as long as he
kept the path of right himself. The sudden
defection of such a man could not but produce
a momentary astonishment, and even dismay;
but for a moment only. The good sense of the
House rallied around its principles, and without
any leader pursued steadily the business of the
session, did it well, and by a strength of vote
which has never before been seen. Upon all
trying questions, exclusive of the federalists,
the minority of republicans voting with him has
been from four to six or eight, against from
ninety to one hundred; and although he treats
the federalists with ineffable contempt, yet,
having declared eternal opposition to this administration,
and consequently associated with
them, in his votes, he will * * * end with
them. The augury I draw from this is, that
there is a steady, good sense in the Legislature,
and in the body of the nation, joined with good
intentions, which will lead them to discern and
to pursue the public good under all circumstances
which can arise, and that no ignis
will be able to lead them long astray.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 9. Ford ed., viii, 447.
(W. May. 1806)

7152. RANDOLPH (John), Florida purchase.—

He speaks of secret communications
between the Executive and members [of
Congress], of backstairs' influence, &c. But
he never spoke of this while he and Mr. Nicholson
enjoyed it almost solely. But when
he differed from the Executive in a leading
measure, and the Executive, not submitting
to him, expressed their sentiments to
others, the very sentiments (to wit, the purchase
of Florida) which he acknowledges they
expressed to him, then he roars out upon the
backstairs' influence.—
To W. A. Burwell. Washington ed. v, 21. Ford ed., viii, 470.
(M. Sep. 1806)
See Congress, Leadership.

7153. RANDOLPH (Peyton), Estimate of.—

He was indeed a most excellent man;
and none was ever more beloved and respected
by his friends. Somewhat cold and coy towards
strangers, but of the sweetest affability when
ripened into acquaintance. Of Attic pleasantry
in conversation, always good humored and conciliatory.
With a sound and logical head, he
was well read in the law; and his opinions, when
consulted, were highly regarded, presenting always
a learned and sound view of the subject,
but generally, too, a listlessness to go into its
thorough development; for being heavy and inert
in body, he was rather too indolent and
careless for business, which occasioned him to
get a smaller proportion of it at the bar than his
abilities would otherwise have commanded. Indeed,
after his appointment as Attorney-General


Page 738
[of the King], he did not seem to court, nor
scarcely to welcome business. In that office, he
considered himself equally charged with the
rights of the Colony as with those of the crown;
and in criminal prosecutions, exaggerating nothing,
he aimed at a candid and just state of the
transaction, believing it more a duty to save an
innocent than to convict a guilty man. Although
not eloquent, his matter was so substantial
that no man commanded more attention,
which, joined with a sense of his great worth,
gave him a weight in the House of Burgesses
which few ever attained.—
To Joseph Delaplaine. Ford ed., x, 59.
(M. 1816)

7154. RANDOLPH (Thomas Mann), Independence.—

I am aware that in parts of the Union, and even with persons to whom Mr.
Eppes and Mr. [T. M.] Randolph are unknown,
and myself little known, it will be presumed,
from their connection, [411] that what comes from
them comes from me. No men on earth are
more independent in their sentiments than they
are, nor any one less disposed than I am to
influence the opinions of others. We rarely
speak of politics, or of the proceedings of the
House, but merely historically, and I carefully
avoid expressing an opinion on them in their
presence, that we may all be at our ease. With
other members [of Congress], I have believed
that more unreserved communications would be
advantageous to the public.—
To John Randolph. D. L. J., 293.
(W. Dec. 1803)


Sons-in-law of Jefferson.—Editor.

7155. RANDOLPH (Thomas Mann), Tribute to.—

A gentleman of genius, science, and honorable mind. [412] He filled a dignified
station in the General Government, and the most
dignified in his own State.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 108. Ford ed., i, 150.


He married Jefferson's eldest daughter.—Editor.


See Apportionment.

7156. READING, Passion for.—

My repugnance
to the writing table becomes daily and
hourly more deadly and insurmountable. In
place of this has come on a canine appetite for
reading. And I indulge in it, because I see in it
a relief against the tœdium senectutis; a lamp
to lighten my path through the dreary wilderness
of time before me, whose bourne I see not.
Losing daily all interest in the things around
us, something else is necessary to fill the void.
With me it is reading, which occupies the mind
without the labor of producing ideas from my
own stock.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 104. Ford ed., x, 108.
(M. 1818)

7157. REASON, Action and.—

Every one
must act according to the dictates of his own
To Rev. Samuel Miller. Washington ed. v, 237. Ford ed., ix, 175.
(W. 1808)

7158. REASON, Diverting.—

Is reason
to be forever amused with the crochets of
physical sciences, in which she is indulged
merely to divert her from solid speculations
on the rights of man, and wrongs of his oppressors?
It is impossible. The day of deliverance
will come, although I shall not live
to see it.—
To M. Paganel. Washington ed. v, 582.
(M. 1811)

7159. REASON, Fallible.—

I have learned
to be less confident in the conclusions of
human reason, and give more credit to the
honesty of contrary opinions.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 342. Ford ed., x, 300.
(M. 1824)

7160. REASON, Government and.—

hope that we have not labored in vain and
that our experiment will still prove that men
can be governed by reason.—
To George Mason. Washington ed. iii, 209. Ford ed., v, 275.
(Pa., 1791)

7161. REASON, Oracle.—

Every man's own reason must be his oracle.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. vi, 106.
(M. 1813)

7162. REASON, Power of.—

Truth and reason are eternal. They have prevailed.
And they will eternally prevail, however, in
times and places they may be overborne for a
while by violence, military, civil, or ecclesiastical.—
To Rev. Mr. Knox. Washington ed. v, 503.
(M. 1810)

7163. REASON, Seeking.—

The public
say from all quarters that they wish to hear
reason and not disgusting blackguardism.
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 281. Ford ed., vii, 344.
(Pa., 1799)

7164. REASON, Surrender of.—

once surrendering his reason, has no remaining
guard against absurdities the most
monstrous, and like a ship without rudder,
is the sport of every wind.—
To James Smith. Washington ed. vii, 270.
(M. 1822)

7165. REASON, Umpirage of.—

should be most unwise, indeed, were we to
cast away the singular blessings of the position
in which nature has placed us, the opportunity
she has endowed us with * * * of cultivating general friendship, and of
bringing collisions of interest to the umpirage
of reason rather than of force.—
Third Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 29. Ford ed., viii, 273.

7166. REASON, Umpirage of.—[continued].

Every man's reason is
his own rightful umpire. This principle,
with that of acquiescence in the will of the
majority, will preserve us free and prosperous
as long as they are sacredly observed.—
To John F. Watson. Washington ed. vi, 346.
(M. 1814)

7167. REASON vs. ERROR.—

and experiment have been indulged, and error
has fled before them.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 401. Ford ed., iii, 264.

7168. REASON vs. ERROR.—[continued].

Reason and free inquiry
are the only effectual agents against error.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 400. Ford ed., iii, 263.

7169. REASON vs. FORCE.—

A government
of reason is better than one of force.—
To Richard Rush. Washington ed. vii, 183.
(M. 1820)

7170. REBELLION, Bacon's.—

I return
you the manuscript history of Bacon's rebellion.
* * * It is really a valuable morsel in the
history of Virginia. That transaction is the
more marked, as it was the only rebellion or insurrection
* * * in the colony before the
American Revolution.—
To Rufus King. Washington ed. iv, 528.
(W. 1804)

7171. REBELLION, Freedom from.—

We have had thirteen States independent eleven


Page 739
years. There has been one rebellion. That
comes to one rebellion in a century and a half
for each State. What country before ever existed
a century and a half without a rebellion?—
To W. S. Smith. Washington ed. ii, 318. Ford ed., iv, 467.
(P. 1787)
See Government.

7172. REBELLION, Necessary.—

I hold
it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good
thing, and as necessary in the political world as
storms are in the physical.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 105. Ford ed., iv, 362.
(P. 1787)

7173. REBELLION, Necessary.—[continued].

A little rebellion now and then * * * is a medicine necessary for
the sound health of government.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 105. Ford ed., iv, 363.
(P. 1787)

— REBELLION, Shays's.—

See Shays's

7174. REBELLION, Spirit of.—

spirit of resistance to government is so valuable
on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always
kept alive. It will often be exercised when
wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at
To Mrs. John Adams. Ford ed., iv, 370.
(P. 1787)

7175. REBELLION, Remedy for.—

What country can preserve its liberties if its
rulers are not warned, from time to time, that
the people preserve the spirit of resistance?
Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them
right as to facts, pardon and pacify them.—
To W. S. Smith. Washington ed. ii, 318. Ford ed., iv, 467.
(P. 1787)

See Publicity.

7176. REBELLION, Unsuccessful.—

Unsuccessful rebellions generally establish the
encroachments on the rights of the people which
have produce them. An observation of this
truth should render honest republican governors
so mild in their punishment of rebellions, as
not to discourage them too much.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 105. Ford ed., iv, 362.
(P. 1787)

7177. REBELLION, Useful.—

I like a
little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm
in the atmosphere.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Ford ed., iv, 370.
(P. 1787)

— RECEPTIONS, Presidential.—

See Ceremony, Etiquette, Formalities and Levees.

7178. RECIPROCITY, British.—

It is
with satisfaction I lay before you an act of
the British Parliament anticipating this subject
so far as to authorize a mutual abolition
of the duties and countervailing duties permitted
under the treaty of 1794. It shows
on their part a spirit of justice and friendly
accommodation which it is our duty and our
interest to cultivate with all nations. Whether
this would produce a due equality in the
navigation between the two countries, is a
subject for your consideration.—
Second Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 16. Ford ed., viii, 182.
(Dec. 1802)

7179. RECIPROCITY, Commerce and.—

Free commerce and navigation are not to be
given in exchange for restrictions and vexations;
nor are they likely to produce any relaxation
of them.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 647. Ford ed., vi, 480.

7180. RECIPROCITY, French.—

I have been laboring with the ministry to get the
trade between France and the United States
put on a better footing, by admitting a free
importation and sale of our produce, assuring
them that we should take their manufactures
at whatever extent they would enable
us to pay for them.—
To Mr. Otto. Washington ed. i, 558.
(P. 1786)

7181. RECIPROCITY, Justice and.—

On the restoration of peace in Europe, that
portion of the general carrying trade which
had fallen to our share during the war, was
abridged by the returning competition of
the belligerent powers. This was to be expected,
and was just. But in addition we
find in some parts of Europe monopolizing
discriminations, which, in the form of duties,
tend effectually to prohibit the carrying
thither our own produce in our own vessels.
From existing amities, and a spirit of justice,
it is hoped that friendly discussion will
produce a fair and adequate reciprocity. But
should false calculations of interest defeat
our hope, it rests with the Legislature to
decide whether they will not meet inequalities
abroad with countervailing inequalities
at home, or provide for the evil in any other
Second Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 16. Ford ed., viii, 182.
(Dec. 1802)

7182. RECIPROCITY, Modification of.—

Where the circumstances of either party
render it expedient to levy a revenue, by way
of impost, on commerce, its freedom might
be modified, in that particular, by mutual
and equivalent measures, preserving it entire
in all others.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 646. Ford ed., vi, 479.
(Dec. 1793)

— RECORDS, Preservation of.—

See History, Records of.

7183. RECTITUDE, Contentment and.—

Crooked schemes will end by overwhelming
their authors and coadjutors in disgrace, and 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 fairly overruled, will attain his
object in the end.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 543. Ford ed., viii, 300.
(M. 1804)

7184. RECTITUDE, Fame and.—

up money, give up fame, give up science, give
the earth itself and all it contains, rather than
do an immoral act. And never suppose, that in
any possible situation, or under any circumstances,
it is best for you to do a dishonorable
thing, however slightly so it may appear to you. [413]
To Peter Carr. Washington ed. i, 396.
(P. 1785)


Peter Carr was the young nephew of Jefferson.——Editor.


See Population.

7185. REFORM, Adequate.—

The hole and the patch should be commensurate.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 152. Ford ed., iv, 390.
(P. 1787)

7186. REFORM, Congress and.—

representatives of the people in Congress are
alone competent to judge of the general disposition
of the people and to what precise
point of reformation they are ready to go.—
To Mr. Rutherford. Washington ed. iii, 499.
(Pa., 1792)


Page 740

7187. REFORM, Constitutional.—

for us that when we find our constitutions
defective and insufficient to secure the happiness of our people, we can assemble
with all the coolness of philosophers, and set
them to rights, while every other nation on
earth must have recourse to arms to amend,
or to restore their constitutions.—
To M. Dumas. Washington ed. ii, 264.
(P. 1787)

7188. REFORM, In France.—

Surely under such a mass of misrule and oppression
[as existed in France in 1788] a people might
justly press for a thorough reformation, and
might even dismount their rough-shod riders
and leave them to walk on their own legs.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 119.

7189. REFORM, Generations and.—

idea that institutions established for the use
of the nation cannot be touched nor modified,
even to make them answer their end, because
of rights gratuitously supposed in those employed
to manage them in trust for the public,
may perhaps be a salutary provision
against the abuses of a monarch, but is most
absurd against the nation itself. Yet our
lawyers and priests generally inculcate this
doctrine, and suppose that preceding generations
held the earth more freely than we do;
had a right to impose laws on us, unalterable
by ourselves, and that we, in like manner,
can make laws and impose burthens on future
generations, which they will have no
right to alter; in fine, that the earth belongs
to the dead and not to the living.—
To Governor Plumer. Washington ed. vii, 19.
(M. 1816)
See Generations.

7190. REFORM, Government and.—

Our citizens may be deceived for awhile, and
have been deceived; but as long as the presses
can be pretected, we may trust to them for
light; still more perhaps to the taxgatherers;
for it is not worth the while of our anti-republicans
to risk themselves on any change of
government, but a very expensive one. Reduce
every department to economy, and there
will be no temptation to them to betray their
To Archibald Stuart. Ford ed., vii, 378.
(M. 1799)

7191. REFORM, Gradual.—

A forty
years' experience of popular assemblies has
taught me, that you must give them time for
every step you take. If too hard pushed, they
balk, and the machine retrogrades.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. v, 217. Ford ed., ix, 169.
(W. 1807)

7192. REFORM, Gradual.—[continued].

Truth advances, and
error recedes step by step only; and to do our
fellow-men the most good in our power, we
must lead where we can, follow where we
cannot, and still go with them, watching always
the favorable moment for helping them
to another step.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 390.
(M. 1814)

7193. REFORM, Moderation in.—

Things even salutary should not be crammed
down the throats of dissenting brethren, es
pecially when they may be put into a form to be
willingly swallowed. [414]
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 343. Ford ed., x, 301.
(M. 1824)


From the time when Jefferson began his great
reforms in the Virginia House of Burgesses, the general
tendency and large lines of his purposes and
policy held with much steadiness in the noble direction
of a perfect humanitarianism. To this day
[1886] the multitude cherish and revere his memory,
and in so doing pay a just debt of gratitude to a
friend who not only served them, as many have done,
but who honored and respected them, as very few
have done.—Morse's Life of Jefferson.

7194. REFORM, Necessity for.—

I think moderate imperfections [in constitutions and
laws] had better be borne with; because,
when once known, we accommodate ourselves
to them, and find practical means of correcting
their ill effects. But I know also, that
laws and institutions must go hand in hand
with the progress of the human mind. As
that becomes more developed, more enlightened,
as new discoveries are made, new truths
disclosed, and manners and opinions change
with the change of circumstances, institutions
must advance also, and keep pace with the
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 15. Ford ed., x, 42.
(M. 1816)

7195. REFORM, Peaceable.—

Go on doing
with your pen what in other times was
done with the sword: show that reformation
is more practicable by operation on the mind
than on the body of man.—
To Thomas Paine. Ford ed., vi, 88.
(Pa., 1792)

7196. REFORM, Peaceable.—[continued].

All [reforms] can be
* * * [achieved] peaceably, by the people
confining their choice of Representatives and
Senators to persons attached to republican
government and the principles of 1776, not
office-hunters, but farmers, whose interests
are entirely agricultural. Such men are the
true representatives of the great American
interest, and are alone to be relied on for expressing
the proper American sentiments.—
To Arthur Campbell. Washington ed. iv, 198. Ford ed., vii, 170.
(M. 1797)

7197. REFORM, People and.—

things get so far wrong as to attract
their notice, the people, if well informed, May
be relied on to set them to rights.—
To Dr. Price. Washington ed. ii, 553.
(P. 1789)

7198. REFORM, People and.—[continued].

[Reformation] must be
brought about by the people, using their elective
rights with prudence and self-possession,
and not suffering themselves to be duped by
treacherous emissaries.—
To Arthur Campbell. Washington ed. iv, 198. Ford ed., vii, 170.
(M. 1797)

7199. REFORM, Persistent.—

No good measure was ever proposed which, if duly
pursued, failed to prevail in the end.—
To Edward Coles. Ford ed., ix, 479.
(M. 1814)

7200. REFORM, Persistent.—[continued].

In endeavors to improve
our situation, we should never despair.—
To John Quincy Adams. Washington ed. vii, 89.
(M. 1817)

7201. REFORM, Public money and.—

am sensible how far I should fall short of effecting
all the reformation which reason would


Page 741
suggest, and experience approve, were I free to
do whatever I thought best; but when we
reflect how difficult it is to move or inflect the
great machine of society, how impossible to
advance the notions of a whole people suddenly
to ideal right, we see the wisdom of
Solon's remark, that no more good must be
attempted than the nation can bear, and that
all will be chiefly to reform the waste of public
money, and thus drive away the vultures
who prey upon it, and improve some little
upon old routines. Some new fences for securing
constitutional rights may, with the aid
of a good Legislature, perhaps be attainable.—
To Dr. Walter Jones. Washington ed. iv, 392.
(W. March. 1801)

7202. REFORM, Quixotic.—

Don Quixote
undertook to redress the bodily wrongs of the
world, but the redressment of mental vagaries
would be an enterprise more than Quixotic.—
To Dr. Waterhouse. Washington ed. vii, 257. Ford ed., x, 220.
(M. 1822)

7203. REFORM, Retrenchment and.—

Levees are done away. The first communication
to the next Congress will be, like all
subsequent ones, by message, to which no answer
will be expected. The diplomatic establishment
in Europe will be reduced to three
ministers. The compensations to collectors
depend on you [Congress], and not on me.
The army is undergoing a chaste reformation.
The navy will be reduced to the legal establishment
by the last of this month. Agencies
in every department will be revised. We
shall push you to the uttermost in economizing.
A very early recommendation * * * [was] to the Postmaster General to employ
no printer, foreigner, or revolutionary tory in
any of his offices.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. iv, 396. Ford ed., viii, 52.
(W. May. 1801)

7204. REFORM, Retrenchment and.—[continued].

The multiplication of
public offices, increase of expense beyond income,
growth and entailment of a public debt,
are indications soliciting the employment of
the pruning knife.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 212. Ford ed., x, 188.
(M. 1821)

7205. REFORM, Suffrage and.—

revolution of 1800 was as real a revolution in
the principles of our government as that of
1776 was in its form; not effected, indeed, by
the sword, as that, but by the rational and
peaceable instrument of reform, the suffrage
of the people.
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 133. Ford ed., x, 140.

7206. REFORM, Timely.—

It can never
be too often repeated that the time for fixing
every essential right, on a legal basis, is while
our rulers are honest and ourselves united.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 402. Ford ed., iii, 266.

7207. REFORMERS, Dangerous.—

office of reformer of the superstitions of a
nation is ever dangerous.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 167.
(M. 1820)

7208. REGENCIES, Peaceable.—

are generally peaceable.—
To Dr. Currie. Washington ed. ii, 544.
(P. 1788)

7209. RELATIONS, Appointment to office.—

The public will never be made to believe that an appointment of a relative is
made on the ground of merit alone, uninfluenced
by family views; nor can they ever
see with approbation offices the disposal of
which they entrust to their Presidents for public
purposes, divided out as family property.
Mr. Adams degraded himself infinitely by his
conduct on this subject, as General Washington
had done himself the greatest honor.
With two such examples to proceed by, I
should be doubly inexcusable to err. It is
true that this places the relations of the President
in a worse situation than if he were a
stranger, but the public good, which cannot
be affected if its confidence be lost, requires
this sacrifice. Perhaps, too, it is compensated
by sharing in the public esteem.—
To George Jefferson. Washington ed. iv, 388. Ford ed., viii, 38.
(W. March. 1801)

7210. RELATIONS, Appointment to office.—[continued]

——. I am much concerned to
learn that any disagreeable impression was made
on your mind, by the circumstances which are
the subject of your letter. Permit me first to
explain the principles which I had laid down
for my own observance. In a government like
ours, it is the duty of the Chief Magistrate, in
order to enable himself to do all the good which
his station requires, to endeavor, by all honorable
means, to unite in himself the confidence
of the whole people. This alone, in any case
where the energy of the nation is required, can
produce a union of the powers of the whole,
and point them in a single direction, as if all
constituted but one body and one mind, and this
alone can render a weaker nation unconquerable
by a stronger one. Towards acquiring the confidence
of the people, the very first measure is
to satisfy them of his disinterestedness, and that
he is directing their affairs with a single eye
to their good, and not to build up fortunes for
himself and family, and especially, that the officers
appointed to transact their business, are
appointed because they are the fittest men, and
not because they are his relations. So prone
are they to suspicion, that where a President appoints
a relation of his own, however worthy,
they will believe that favor and not merit, was
the motive. I, therefore, laid it down as a law
of conduct for myself, never to give an appointment
to a relation. Had I felt any hesitation in
adopting this rule, examples were not wanting
to admonish me what to do and what to avoid.
Still, the expression of your willingness to act
in any office for which you were qualified, could
not be imputed to you as blame. It would not
readily occur that a person qualified for office
ought to be rejected merely because he was
related to the President, and the then more recent
examples favored the other opinion. In
this light I considered the case as presenting
itself to your mind, and that the application
might be perfectly justifiable on your part,
while, for reasons occurring to none perhaps,
but the person in my situation, the public interest
might render it unadvisable. Of this,
however, be assured that I considered the
proposition as innocent on your part, and that
it never lessened my esteem for you, or the interest
I felt in your welfare.—
To J. Garland Jefferson. Washington ed. v, 497. Ford ed., ix, 270.
(M. 1810)

7211. RELATIONS, Appointment to office.—[further continued].

I have never enquired
what number of sons, relations and friends of
Senators, Representatives, printers, or other useful
partisans Colonel Hamilton has provided for


Page 742
among the hundred clerks of his department,
the thousand excisemen, custom house officers,
loan officers, &c., &c., appointed by him, or
at his nod, and spread over the Union; nor
could I ever have imagined that the man who
has the shuffling of millions backwards and forwards
from paper into money and money into
paper, from Europe to America, and America to
Europe, the dealing out of Treasury-secrets
among his friends in what time and measure he
pleases, and who never slips an occasion of making
friends with his means, that such an one, I
say, would have brought forward a charge
against me for having appointed the poet,
Freneau, translating clerk to my office, with a
salary of 250 dollars a year.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 464. Ford ed., vi, 105.
(M. 1792)

7212. RELATIONS, Recommending.—

Does Mr. Lee go back to Bordeaux? If he
does, I have not a wish to the contrary. If he
does not, permit me to place my friend and
kinsman G. J. [George Jefferson] on the list
of candidates. No appointment can fall on an
honester man, and his talents though not of
the first order, are fully adequate to the station.
His judgment is very sound, and his prudence
To President Madison. Ford ed., ix, 284.
(M. 1810)

7213. RELIGION, Compulsion.—

in religion is distinguished peculiarly
from compulsion in every other thing. I May
grow rich by art I am compelled to follow;
I may recover health by medicines I am compelled
to take against my own judgment; but
I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve
and abhor.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 102.

7214. RELIGION, Differences.—

thinking men would have the courage to
think for themselves, and to speak what they
think, it would be found they do not differ
in religious opinions as much as is supposed.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 191. Ford ed., ix, 410.
(M. 1813)

7215. RELIGION, Discussions concerning.—

I not only write nothing on religion,
but rarely permit myself to speak on it, and
never but in a reasonable society.—
To Charles Clas. Washington ed. vi, 412.
(M. 1815)

7216. RELIGION, Essence of.—

The life
and essence of religion consist in the internal
persuasion or belief of the mind.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 101.

7217. RELIGION, Faith and.—

No man
has power to let another prescribe his faith.
Faith is not faith without believing.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 101.

7218. RELIGION, Federal government and.—

In matters of religion, I have considered
that its free exercise is placed by the
Constitution independent of the powers 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
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 42. Ford ed., viii, 344.

7219. RELIGION, Federal government and.—[continued]

I consider the government
of the United States as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with 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
any authority in religious discipline, has been
delegated to the General Government. It
must then rest with the States, as far as it
can be in any human authority.—
To Rev. Samuel Miller. Washington ed. v, 236. Ford ed., ix, 174.
(W. 1808)

7220. RELIGION, Federal government and.—[further continued].

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.—
To Rev. Samuel Miller. Washington ed. v, 237. Ford ed., ix, 175.
(W. 1808)

7221. RELIGION, Freedom of.—

persons shall have full and free liberty of
religious opinion.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 27.
(June. 1776)

7222. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[continued].

From the dissensions among Sects themselves arise, necessarily, a
right of choosing and necessity of deliberating
to which we will conform. But if we
choose for ourselves, we must allow others to
choose also. This establishes religious liberty.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 98.

7223. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued].

If I be marching on
with my utmost vigor in that way which according
to the sacred geography leads to Jerusalem
straight, why am I beaten and ill used
by others because my hair is not of the right
cut; because I have not been dressed right;
because I eat flesh on the road; because I
avoid certain by-ways which seem to lead into
briars; because among several paths I take
that which seems shortest and cleanest; because
I avoid travellers less grave and keep
company with others who are more sour and
austere; or because I follow a guide crowned
with a mitre and clothed in white? Yet these
are the frivolous things which keep Christians
at war.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 100.

7224. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued] .

We [the Assembly of
Virginia] * * * declare that the rights
hereby asserted [in the Statute of Religious
Freedom] are of the natural rights of mankind,
and that if any act shall be hereafter
passed to repeal the present [act], or to narrow
its operations, such act will be an infringement
of natural right.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 456. Ford ed., ii, 239.

7225. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued].

I do not like [in the
Federal Constitution] the omission of a bill
of rights, providing clearly and without the


Page 743
aid of sophisms for freedom of religion.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 329. Ford ed., iv, 476.
(P. Dec. 1787)

7226. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued] .

Almighty God hath
created the mind free, and manifested His
supreme will that free it shall remain by making
it altogether insusceptible of restraint.
* * * All attempts to influence it by temporal
punishments or burthens, or by civil
incapacitations, tend only to beget habits of
hypocrisy and meanness, and are a departure
from the plan of the Holy Author of our
religion, who, being Lord both of body and
mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions
on either, as was in his Almighty power
to do, but to exalt it by its influence on reason
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 454. Ford ed., ii, 237.

7227. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued].

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

7228. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued] .

I sincerely rejoice at
the acceptance of our new Constitution by
nine States. It is a good canvas, on which
some strokes only want retouching. What
these are, I think are sufficiently manifested
by the general voice from north to south,
which calls for a bill of rights. It seems
pretty generally understood that this should
go to * * * religion. * * * The
declaration, that religious faith shall be unpunished,
does not give impunity to criminal
acts, dictated by religious error.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 445. Ford ed., v, 45.
(P. July. 1788)

7229. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued]..

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.

7230. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued] .

I am for freedom of
religion, and against all manœuvres to bring
about a legal ascendancy of one sect over
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 328.
(Pa., 1799)

7231. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued]..

Freedom of religion 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.

7232. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued] .

Among the most inestimable
of our blessings is that * * * of
liberty to worship our Creator in the way we
think most agreeable to His will; a liberty
deemed in other countries incompatible with
good government and yet proved by our experience
to be its best support.—
R. to A. of Baptists. Washington ed. viii, 119.

7233. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued]

We have solved * * * the great and interesting question whether
freedom of religion is compatible with order
in government, and obedience to the laws.
And we have experienced the quiet as well as
the comfort which results from leaving every
one to profess freely and openly those principles
of religion which are the inductions of
his own reason, and the serious convictions
of his own inquiries.—
R. to A. Virginia Baptists. Washington ed. viii, 139.

7234. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued]

Having ever been an
advocate for the freedom of religious opinion
and exercise, from no person, certainly, was
an abridgment of these sacred rights to be
apprehended less than from myself.—
R. to A. Pittsburg Methodists. Washington ed. viii, 142.

7235. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued]

The Constitution has
not placed our religious rights under the
power of any public functionary.—
R. to A. Pittsburg Methodists. Washington ed. viii, 142.

7236. RELIGION, Freedom of.—[further continued]

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 Religion, restricted only
from acts of trespass on that of others.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 323.
(M. 1823)

See Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, in Appendix.

7237. RELIGION, Government and.—

Whatsoever is lawful in the Commonwealth,
or permitted to the subject in the ordinary
way, cannot be forbidden to him for religious
uses; and whatsoever is prejudicial to the
Commonwealth in their ordinary uses and,
therefore, prohibited by the laws ought not to
be permitted to churches in their sacred
rites. For instance, it is unlawful in the ordinary
course of things, or in a private house,
to murder a child. It should not be permitted
any sect then to sacrifice children: it is ordinarily
lawful (or temporarily lawful) to kill
calves or lambs. They may, therefore, be
religiously sacrificed, but if the good of the
State required a temporary suspension of
killing lambs, as during a siege, sacrifices of
them may then be rightfully suspended also.
This is the true extent of toleration.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 102.

7238. RELIGION, Growth of.—

To me
no information could be more welcome than
that the minutes of the several religious societies
should prove, of late, larger additions
than have been usual, to their several associations.—
R. to A. New London Methodists. Washington ed. viii, 147.

7239. RELIGION, Honesty of life and.—

I must ever believe that religion substantially
good which produces an honest life.—
To Miles King. Washington ed. vi, 388.
(M. 1814)

7240. RELIGION, Interference with.—

No man complains of his neighbor for ill management of his affairs, for an error in
sowing his land, or marrying his daughter,
for consuming his substance in taverns, pulling


Page 744
down, building, &c. In all these he has his liberty: but if he do not frequent the
church, or there conform to ceremonies, there
is an immediate uproar. The care of every
man's soul belongs to himself. But what if
he neglect the care of it? Well, what if he
neglect the care of his health or estate, which
more nearly relate to the State? Will the
magistrate make a law that he shall not be
poor or sick? Laws provide against injury
from others, but not from ourselves. God
Himself will not save men against their wills.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 99.

7241. RELIGION, Intermeddling with.—

With the religion of other countries my
own forbids intermeddling.—
To Samuel Greenhow. Washington ed. vi, 308.
(M. 1814)

7242. RELIGION, And law.—

I consider
* * * religion a supplement to law in the
government of men.—
To Mr. Woodward. Washington ed. vii, 339.
(M. 1824)

7243. RELIGION, Opinions respecting.—

It is a matter of principle with me to avoid
disturbing the tranquillity of others by the
expression of any opinion on the innocent
questions on which we schismatize.—
To James Fishback. Washington ed. v, 471.
(M. 1809)

7244. RELIGION, Personal.—

of us knows the religious opinions of the
other; that is a matter between our Maker
and ourselves.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. v, 417. Ford ed., ix, 238.
(W. 1809)

7245. RELIGION, Personal.—[continued].

I have considered religion
as a matter between every man and
his Maker, in which no other, and far less
the public had a right to intermeddle.—
To Richard Rush. Ford ed., ix, 385.
(M. 1813)

7246. RELIGION, Personal.—[further continued].

Religion is a subject
on which I have ever been most scrupulously
reserved. I have considered it as a matter
between every man and his Maker, in which
no other, and far less the public had a right to
To Richard Rush. Ford ed., ix, 385.
(M. 1813)

7247. RELIGION, Personal.—[further continued] .

I inquire after no man's
religion, and trouble none with mine; nor is
it given us in this life to know whether yours
or mine, our friends' or our foes', is exactly
the right.—
To Miles King. Washington ed. vi, 388.
(M. 1814)

7248. RELIGION, Personal.—[further continued].

Our particular principles
of religion are a subject of accountability to
our God alone.—
To Miles King. Washington ed. vi, 388.
(M. 1814)

7249. RELIGION, Personal.—[further continued] .

I have ever thought religion
a concern purely between our God and
our consciences, for which we were accountable
to Him, and not to the priests. I never
told my own religion, nor scrutinized that of
another. I never attempted to make a convert
nor wished to change another's creed.
I have ever judged of the religion of others
by their lives * * * for it is in our lives,
and not from our words, that our religion
must be read.—
To Mrs. M. Harrison Smith. Washington ed. vii, 28.
(M. 1816)

7250. RELIGION, Personal.—[further continued].

I do not wish to trouble
the world with my creed, nor to be troubled
for them. These accounts are to be settled
only with Him who made us; and to Him
we leave it, with charity for all others, of
whom, also, He is the only rightful and competent
To Timothy Pickering. Washington ed. vii, 211.
(M. 1821)

7251. RELIGION, Personal.—[further continued] .

I am of a sect by myself,
as far as I know.—
To Ezra Stiles. Washington ed. vii, 127.
(M. 1819)

7252. RELIGION, Personal.—[further continued]..

One of our fan-coloring
biographers, who paints small men as very
great, enquired of me lately, with real affection,
too, whether he might consider as
authentic, the change in my religion much
spoken of in some circles. Now this supposed
that they knew what had been my religion
before, taking for it the word of their priests,
whom I certainly never made the confidants
of my creed. My answer was, “say nothing
of my religion. It is known to my God and
myself alone. Its evidence before the world
is to be sought in my life; it that has been
honest and dutiful to society, the religion
which has regulated it cannot be a bad one”.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 55. Ford ed., x, 73.
(M. 1817)

7253. RELIGION, Political sermons.—

On one question I differ, * * * the right
of discussing public affairs in the pulpit.
* * * The mass of human concerns, moral
and physical, is so vast, the field of knowledge
requisite for man to conduct them to the
best advantage is so extensive, that no human
being can acquire the whole himself, and
much less in that degree necessary for the instruction
of others. It has of necessity, then,
been distributed into different departments,
each of which singly, may give occupation
enough to the whole time and attention of a
single individual. Thus we have teachers of
languages, teachers of mathematics, of natural
philosophy, of chemistry, of medicine, of law,
of history, of government, &c. Religion, too,
is a separate department, and happens to be
the only one deemed requisite for all men,
however high or low. Collections of men
associate under the name of congregations,
and employ a religious teacher of the particular
set of opinions of which they happen
to be, and contribute to make up a stipend as
a compensation for the trouble of delivering
them, at such periods as they agree on, lessons
in the religion they profess. If they
want instruction in other sciences or arts,
they apply to other instructors; and this is
generally the business of early life. But, I
suppose, there is not a single instance of a
single congregation which has employed their
preacher for the mixed purposes of lecturing
them from the pulpit in chemistry in medicine,
in law, in the science and principles of
government, or in anything but religion exclusively.
Whenever, therefore, preachers, instead


Page 745
of a lesson in religion, put them off with a discourse on the Copernican system,
on chemical affinities, on the construction of
government, or the characters or conduct of
those administering it, it is a breach of contract,
depriving their audience of the kind of
service for which they are salaried, and giving
them, instead of it, what they did not
want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from
better sources in that particular art or science.
In choosing our pastor, we look to his religious
qualifications, without enquiring into
his physical or political dogmas, with which
we mean to have nothing to do. I am aware
that arguments may be found, which May
twist a thread of politics into the cord of
religious duties. So may they for every other
branch of human art or science. Thus, for
example, it is a religious duty to obey the
laws of our country; the teacher of religion,
therefore, must instruct us in those laws, that
we may know how to obey them. It is a religious
duty to assist our sick neighbors; the
preacher must, therefore, teach us medicine,
that we may do it understandingly. It is a
religious duty to preserve our health; our
religious teacher, then, must tell us what
dishes are wholesome, and give us recipes
in cookery, that we may learn how to prepare
them. And so, ingenuity, by generalizing
more and more, may amalgamate all the
branches of science into every one of them,
and the physician who is paid to visit the
sick, may give a sermon instead of medicine;
and the merchant to whom money is sent
for a hat, may send a handkerchief instead of
it. But notwithstanding this possible confusion
of all sciences into one, common sense
draws the lines between them sufficiently distinct
for the general purposes of life, and no
one is at a loss to understand that a recipe in
medicine or cookery, or a demonstration in
geometry, is not a lesson in religion. I do
not deny that a congregation may if they
please, agree with their preacher that he shall
instruct them in medicine also, or law, or
politics. Then, lectures in these, from the
pulpit, become not only a matter of right, but
of duty also. But this must be with the consent
of every individual; because the association
being voluntary, the majority has no
right to apply the contributions of the minority
to purposes unspecified in the agreement
of the congregation.—
To Mr. Wendover. Washington ed. vi, 445.
(M. 1815)

7254. RELIGION, Political sermons.—[continued].

I agree, too, that on all
other occasions, the preacher has the right,
equally with every other citizen, to express
his sentiments, in speaking or writing, on the
subjects of medicine, law, politics, &c., his leisure
time being his own, and his congregation
not obliged to listen to his conversation or to
read his writings.—
To Mr. Wendover. Washington ed. vi, 446.
(M. 1815)

7255. RELIGION, Public office and.—

The proscribing any citizen as unworthy the
public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity
of being called to offices of trust or
emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, * * * tends to
corrupt the principles of that very religion
it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a
monopoly of worldly honors and emoluments,
those who will externally profess and conform
to it.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 455. Ford ed., ii, 238.

7256. RELIGION, Public opinion and.—

We ought with one heart and one hand to
hew down the daring and dangerous efforts
of those who would seduce the public opinion
to substitute itself into that tyranny over religious
faith which the laws have so justly
abdicated. For this reason, were my opinions
up to the standard of those who arrogate the
right of questioning them, I would not countenance
that arrogance by descending to an
To Edward Dowse. Washington ed. iv, 478.
(W. 1803)

7257. RELIGION, Reason and.—

as long as we will on religious tenets,
our reason at last must ultimately decide, as
it is the only oracle which God has given us
to determine between what really comes from
Him and the phantasms of a disordered or
deluded imagination. When He means to
make a personal revelation, He carries conviction
of its authenticity to the reason He
has bestowed as the umpire of truth. You
believe you have been favored with such a
special communication. Your reason, not
mine, is to judge of this; and if it shall be
His pleasure to favor me with a like admonition,
I shall obey it with the same fidelity
with which I would obey His known will in
all cases.—
To Miles King. Washington ed. vi, 387.
(M. 1814)

7258. RELIGION, Reason and.—[continued].

Hitherto I have been
under the guidance of that portion of reason
which God has thought proper to deal out
to me. I have followed it faithfully in all
important cases, to such a degree at least as
leaves me without uneasiness; and if on
minor occasions I have erred from its dictates,
I have trust in Him who made us what
we are, and I know it was not His plan to
make us always unerring.—
To Miles King. Washington ed. vi, 388.
(M. 1814)

7259. RELIGION, Schismatics.—

It was
the misfortune of mankind that during the
darker centuries the Christian priests, following
their ambition and avarice, combining
with the magistrate to divide the spoils of the
people, could establish the notion that schismatics
might be ousted of their possessions and
destroyed. This notion we have not yet
cleared ourselves from. In this case no wonder
the oppressed should rebel, and they will
continue to rebel, and raise disturbance, until
their civil rights are fully restored to them,
and all partial distinctions, exclusions and incapacitations
are removed.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 103.

7260. RELIGION, Toleration.—

How far does the duty of toleration extend? 1. No
church is bound by the duty of toleration to
retain within her bosom obstinate offenders
against her laws. 2. We have no right to


Page 746
prejudice another in his civil enjoyments because
he is of another church. If any man err
from the right way, it is his own misfortune,
no injury to thee; nor therefore art thou to
punish him in the things of this life because
thou supposeth he will be miserable in that
which is to come—on the contrary, according
to the spirit of the gospel, charity, bounty,
liberality are due him.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 99. 1776
See Presbyterian Spirit.

7261. RELIGION, Toleration.—[continued].

Why have Christians
been distinguished above all people who have
ever lived, for persecutions? Is it because it
is the genius of their religion? No, its genius
is the reverse. It is the refusing toleration to those of a different opinion which has
produced all the bustles and wars on account
of religion.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 103.

7262. RELIGION, Toleration.—[further continued].

Three of our papers
have presented us the copy of an act of the
Legislature of New York, which if it has
really passed, will carry us back to the
times of the darkest bigotry and barbarism,
to find a parallel. Its purport is,
that all those who shall hereafter join
in communion with the religious sect of
Shaking Quakers, shall be deemed civilly
dead, their marriages dissolved, and all their
children and property taken out of their
hands. This act being published nakedly in
the papers, without the usual signatures, or
any history of the circumstances of its passage,
I am not without a hope it may have
been a mere abortive attempt. It contrasts
singularly with a cotemporary vote of the
Pennsylvania Legislature, who, on a proposition
to make the belief in God a necessary
qualification for office, rejected it by a great
majority, although assuredly there was not a
single atheist in their body. And you May
remember to have heard that when the act
for Religious Freedom was before the Virginia
Assembly, a motion to insert the name
of Jesus Christ before the phrase, “the author
of our holy religion”, which stood in
the bill, was rejected, although that was the
creed of a great majority of them.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. vii, 79. Ford ed., x, 91.
(M. 1817)

7263. RELIGION, Virginia laws respecting.—

The present [1782] state of our
[Virginia] laws on the subject of religion is
this. The convention of May, 1776, in their
declaration of rights, declared it to be a truth,
and a natural right, that the exercise of religion
should be free; but when they proceeded
to form on that declaration the ordinance
of government, instead of taking up every
principle declared in the bill of rights, and
guarding it by legislative sanction, they passed
over that which asserted our religious rights,
leaving them as they found them. The same
convention, however, when they met as a member
of the General Assembly in October, 1776,
repealed all acts of Parliament which had rendered
criminal the maintaining any opinions in
matters of religion, the forbearing to repair to
church, and the exercising any mode of worship;
and suspended the laws giving salaries to
the clergy, which suspension was made perpetual
in October, 1779. Statutory oppressions in
religion being thus wiped away, we remain at
present under those, only imposed by the common
law, or by our own acts of Assembly. At
the common law, heresy was a capital offence,
punishable by burning. Its definition was left to
the ecclesiastical judges, before whom the conviction
was, till the statute of the 1 El. c. 1.
circumscribed it, by declaring, that nothing
should be deemed heresy, but what had been
so determined by authority of the canonical
Scriptures, or by one of the four first general
councils, or by some other council, having for
the grounds of their declaration the express
and plain words of the Scriptures. Heresy,
thus circumscribed, being an offence against
the common law, our act of Assembly of October,
1777, c. 17, gives cognizance of it to the
General Court, by declaring that the jurisdiction
of that Court shall be general in all matters at
the common law. The execution is by the writ
De hæretico comburendo. By our act of Assembly
of 1705, c. 30, if a person brought up in
the Christian religion denies the being of a
God, or the Trinity, or asserts that there are
more gods than one, or denies the Christian
religion to be true, or the Scriptures to be of
divine authority, he is punishable on the first
offence by incapacity to hold any office or employment,
ecclesiastical, civil, or military; on
the second, by disability to sue, to take any gift
or legacy to be guardian, executor, or administrator,
and by three years' imprisonment, without
bail. A father's right to the custody of his
own children being founded in law on his right
of guardianship, this being taken away, they
may, of course, be severed from him, and put
by the authority of a court, into more orthodox
hands. This is a summary view of that
religious slavery under which a people have
been willing to remain, who have lavished their
lives and fortunes for the establishment of their
civil freedom. The error seems not sufficiently
eradicated, that the operations of the mind, as
well as the acts of the body, are subject to the
coercion of the laws. But our rulers can have
no authority over such natural rights, only as
we have submitted to them. The rights of conscience
we never submitted, we could not submit.
We are answerable for them to our God.
The legitimate powers of government extend
to such acts only as are injurious to others. [415] But it does me no injury for my neighbor to
say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither
picks my pocket nor breaks my legs. If it be
said, his testimony in a court cannot be relied
on, reject it then, and be the stigma on him.
Constraint may make him worse by making him
a hypocrite, but it will never make him a truer
man. It may fix him obstinately in his errors,
but will not cure them.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 398. Ford ed., iii, 262.


Jefferson makes the following note from “ Tertullanus
ad Scapulam, cap. ii.”

“Tamen humani juris et naturalis postestatis est,
unicuique quod putaverit, colere; nec alii obest, aut
prodest, alterius religio.
Sed nec religionis est
cogere religionem, quæ sponte suscipi debeat, non
vi.”—Editor. See Church, and Church and

7264. REPARATION, Demand for.—

will be very difficult to answer Mr. Erskine's
demand respecting the water casks in the
tone proper for such a demand. I have heard
of one who, having broken his cane over the
head of another, demanded payment for his
cane. This demand might well enough have
made part of an offer to pay the damages


Page 747
done to the Chesapeake, and to deliver up the
authors of the murders committed on board
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 169. Ford ed., ix, 127.
(M. Aug. 1807)

See Chesapeake.

7265. REPARATION, War and.—

could not declare war without a demand
of satisfaction.—
To General Smith. Washington ed. v, 146.
(W. July. 1807)

See Indemnification.

7266. REPOSE, Evils of.—

Your love of
repose will lead, in its progress, to a suspension
of healthy exercise, a relaxation of mind,
an indifference to everything around you, and
finally to a debility of body, and hebetude of
mind, the farthest of all things from the happiness
which the well-regulated indulgences of
Epicurus ensure.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 140. Ford ed., x, 145.
(M. 1819)

7267. REPRESENTATION, Apportionment and.—

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

See Apportionment.

7268. REPRESENTATION, Aristocracy and.—

It will be forever seen that of
bodies of men even elected by the people,
there will always be a greater proportion
aristocratic than among their constituents.—
To Benjamin Hawkins. Washington ed. iv, 466. Ford ed., viii, 212.
(W. 1803)


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


See Congress.

7270. REPRESENTATION, Democratic.—

The full experiment of a government
democratical, but representative, was
and is still reserved for us. The idea (taken,
indeed, from the little specimen formerly existing
in the English constitution, but now
lost) has been carried by us, more or less,
into all our legislative and executive departments;
but it has not yet, by any of us, been
pushed into all the ramifications of the system,
so far as to leave no authority existing
not responsible to the people; whose rights,
however, to the exercise and fruits of their
own industry, can never be protected against
the selfishness of rulers not subject to their
control at short periods. The introduction of
this new principle of representative democracy
has rendered useless almost everything written
before on the structure of government;
and, in a great measure, relieves our regret,
if the political writings of Aristotle, or of any
other ancient, have been lost, or are unfaithfully
rendered or explained to us.—
To Isaac H. Tiffany. Washington ed. vii, 32.
(M. 1816)

7271. REPRESENTATION, Democratic.—[continued].

My most earnest wish
is to see the republican element of popular
control pushed to the maximum of its practicable
exercise. I shall then believe that
our Government may be pure and perpetual.—
To Isaac H. Tiffany. Washington ed. vii, 32.
(M. 1816)

7272. REPRESENTATION, Deprivation of.—

George III. in execution of the trust confided to him, has, within his own day,
loaded the inhabitants of Great Britain with
debts equal to the whole fee-simple value of
their island, and, under pretext of governing
it, has alienated its whole soil to creditors
who could lend money to be lavished on
priests, pensions, plunder and perpetual war.
This would not have been so, had the people
retained organized means of acting on their
agents. In this example, then, let us read a
lesson for ourselves, and not “go and do
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 36. Ford ed., x, 45.
(M. 1816)

See Debt, Oppressive English.


The French flatter themselves they shall form
a better constitution than the English one. I
think it will be better in some points—worse
in others. It will be better in the article of
representation, which will be more equal.—
To Dr. Price. Washington ed. ii, 557.
(P. Jan. 1789)

7274. REPRESENTATION, Equal.—[continued].

At the birth of our republic
I committed my opinion [an equal representation] to the world in the draft of a
constitution annexed to the “Notes on Virginia ”, in which a provision was inserted for
a representation permanently equal. The infancy
of the subject at that moment, and our
inexperience of self-government, occasioned
gross departures in that draft from genuine
republican canons. In truth, the abuses of
monarchy had so much filled all the space of
political contemplation, that we imagined
everything republican which was not monarchy.
We had not yet penetrated to the
mother principle, that “governments are republican
only in proportion as they embody
the will of their people, and execute it”.
Hence, our first constitutions had really no
leading principles in them. But experience
and reflection have but more and more confirmed
me in the particular importance of the
equal representation then proposed.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 9. Ford ed., x, 37.
(M. 1816)

7275. REPRESENTATION, Equal.—[further continued].

A government is republican
in proportion as every member composing
it has his equal voice in the direction of
its concerns (not indeed in person, which
would be impracticable beyond the limits of
a city, or small township, but) by representatives
chosen by himself, and responsible to
him at short periods.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 10. Ford ed., x, 38.
(M. 1816)

7276. REPRESENTATION, Equal.—[further continued] .

Let every man who fights or pays, exercise his just and equal right in
the election of [members of the Legislature].—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 11. Ford ed., x, 39.
(M. 1816)

7277. REPRESENTATION, Freedom and.—

To us is committed [by the Constitution]


Page 748
the important task of proving by example
that a government, if organized in all
its parts on the representative principle, unadulterated
by the infusion of spurious elements,
if founded, not in the fears and follies
of man, but on his reason, on his sense of
right, on the predominance of the social over
his dissocial passions, may be so free as to
restrain him in no moral right, and so firm
as to protect him from every moral wrong.—
Reply to Vermont Address. Washington ed. iv, 418.
(W. 1801)

7278. REPRESENTATION, Government by.—

Modern times have * * * discovered
the only device by which the [equal] rights [of man] can be secured, to wit: government
by the people, acting not in person,
but by representatives chosen by themselves,
that is to say, by every man of ripe years
and sane mind, who either contributes by his
purse or person to the support of his country.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 319.
(M. 1823)

7279. REPRESENTATION, Government without.—

Shall these governments be dissolved, their property annihilated, and
their people reduced to a state of nature, at
the imperious breath of a body of men whom
they never saw, in whom they never confided,
and over whom they have no powers of punishment
or removal, let their crimes against
the American public be ever so great?—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 131. Ford ed., i, 436.

7280. REPRESENTATION, Government without.—[continued].

Can any one reason be
assigned why one hundred and sixty thousand
electors in the Island of Great Britain
should give law to four millions in the States
of America, every individual of whom is equal
to every individual of them, in virtue, in
understanding, and in bodily strength? Were
this to be admitted, instead of being a free
people, as we have hitherto supposed, and
mean to continue ourselves, we should suddenly
be found the slaves not of one but of
one hundred and sixty thousand tyrants, distinguished,
too, from all others by the singular
circumstances, that they are removed from
the reach of fear, the only restraining motive
which may hold the hand of a tyrant.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 131. Ford ed., i, 436.

7281. REPRESENTATION, Human happiness and.—

A representative government,
responsible at short intervals of election,
* * * produces the greatest sum of
happiness to mankind.—
R. to A. Vermont Legislature. Washington ed. viii, 121.

7282. REPRESENTATION, Imperfect.—

The small and imperfect mixture of representative
government in England, impeded as
it is by other branches, aristocratical and
hereditary, shows yet the power of the representative
principle towards improving the
condition of man.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 319.
(M. 1823)

7283. REPRESENTATION, Principles of.—

In the structure of our Legislatures, we
think experience has proved the benefit of
subjecting questions to two separate bodies of
deliberants; but in constituting these, natural
right has been mistaken, some making one
of these bodies, and some both, the representatives
of property instead of persons; whereas
the double deliberation might be as well
obtained without any violation of true principle,
either by requiring a greater age in one
of the bodies, or by electing a proper number
of representatives of persons, dividing
them by lot into two chambers, and renewing
the division at frequent intervals, in order
to break up all cabals.—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 357.
(M. 1824)

7284. REPRESENTATION, Qualified.—

Were our State a pure democracy, in which all its inhabitants should meet together to
transact all their business, there would yet
be excluded from their deliberations: 1. Infants,
until arrived at age of discretion. 2.
Women, who, to prevent depravation of
morals and ambiguity of issue, could not mix
promiscuously in the public meetings of men.
3. Slaves, from whom the unfortunate state
of things with us takes away the rights of
will and of property. Those, then, who have
no will could be permitted to exercise none in
the popular assembly; and, of course, could
delegate none to an agent in a representative
assembly. The business, in the first case,
would be done by qualified citizens only.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 36. Ford ed., x, 46.
(M. 1816)

7285. REPRESENTATION, Right of.—

Does his Majesty seriously wish, and publish
it to the world, that his subjects should give
up the glorious right of representation, with
all the benefits derived from that, and submit
themselves the absolute slaves of his sovereign
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 136. Ford ed., i, 441.

7286. REPRESENTATION, Right of.—[continued].

He [George III.] has
endeavored to pervert the exercise of the
kingly office in Virginia into a detestable and
insupportable tyranny * * * by refusing
to pass certain laws unless the persons to be
benefited by them would relinquish the inestimable
right of representation in the Legislature.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 10.
(June. 1776)

7287. REPRESENTATION, Right of.—[further continued].

He has refused to pass
* * * laws for the accommodation of large
districts of people, unless those people would
relinquish the right of representation in the
legislature, a right inestimable to them, and
formidable to tyrants only.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

7288. REPRESENTATION, For slaves.—

I have been told, that on the question of
equal representation, our fellow-citizens in
some sections of the State [Virginia] claim
peremptorily a right of representation for
their slaves. Principle will, in this, as in
most other cases, open the way for us to correct
conclusion. * * * It is true, that in
the general Constitution, our State is allowed
a larger representation on account of its
slaves. But every one knows, that that Consitution


Page 749
was a matter of compromise; a capitulation
between conflicting interests and
opinion. In truth, the condition of different
descriptions of inhabitants in any country is a
matter of municipal arrangement, of which no
foreign country has a right to take notice.
All its inhabitants are men as to them. Thus,
in the New England States, none have the
powers of citizens but those whom they call
freemen; and none are freemen until admitted
by a vote of the freemen of the town. Yet, in
the General Government, these non-freemen
are counted in their quantum of representation
and of taxation. So, slaves with us have no
powers as citizens; yet, in representation in
the General Government, they count in the
proportion of three to five; and so also in taxation.
Whether this is equal, is not here the
question. It is a capitulation of discordant
sentiments and circumstances, and is obligatory
on that ground. But this view shows
there is no inconsistency in claiming representation
for them for the other States, and
refusing it within our own.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 36. Ford ed., x, 45.
(M. 1816)

7289. REPRESENTATION, Taxation and.—

Preserve inviolate the fundamental
principle that the people are not to be taxed
but by representatives chosen immediately by
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 328. Ford ed., iv, 475.
(P. 1787)

7290. REPRISAL, Act of war.—

and refusal of satisfaction ought to
precede reprisal, and when reprisal follows it
is considered as an act of war, and never yet
failed to produce it in the case of a nation able
to make war.—
Opinion on the “Little Sarah”. Washington ed. vii, 628. Ford ed., vi, 259.

7291. REPRISAL, Congress and.—

the case were important enough to require
reprisal, and ripe for that step, Congress must
be called on to take it; the right of reprisal
being expressly lodged with them by the Constitution,
and not with the Executive.—
Opinion on the “Little Sarah”. Washington ed. vii, 628. Ford ed., vi, 259.

7292. REPRISAL, Retaliation by.—

determination to take all our vessels bound to
any other than her ports, amounting to all
the war she can make (for we fear no invasion ),
it would be folly in us to let that
war be all on one side only, and to make no
effort towards indemnification and retaliation
by reprisal.—
To Clement Caine. Washington ed. vi, 14. Ford ed., ix, 330.
(M. Sep. 1811)

7293. REPUBLIC, Definition of.—

must be acknowledged that the term republic is of very vague application in every language.
Witness the self-styled republics of
Holland, Switzerland, Genoa, Venice, Poland.
Were I to assign to this term a precise and
definite idea, I would say, purely and simply,
it means a government by its citizens in mass,
acting directly and personally, according to
rules established by the majority; and that
every other government is more or less republican,
in proportion as it has in its compo
sition more or less of this ingredient of the
direct action of the citizens. Such a government
is evidently restrained to very narrow
limits of space and population. I doubt if
it would be practicable beyond the extent of
a New England township.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 605. Ford ed., x, 28.
(M. 1816)

7294. REPUBLIC, Definition of.—[continued].

The first shade from this
pure element, which, like that of pure vital
air, cannot sustain life of itself, would be where
the powers of the government, being divided,
should be exercised each by representatives
chosen either pro hoc vice, or for such short
terms as should render secure the duty of expressing
the will of their constituents. This
I should consider as the nearest approach to
a pure republic, which is practicable on a large scale of country or population. And
we have examples of it in some of our State
constitutions, which, if not poisoned by priestcraft,
would prove its excellence over all mixtures
with other elements; and, with only
equal doses of poison, would still be the best.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 605. Ford ed., x, 29.
(M. 1816)

7295. REPUBLIC, Definition of.—[further continued].

Other shades of republicanism
may be found in other forms of government,
where the executive, legislative and
judiciary functions, and the different branches
of the latter, are chosen by the people more or
less directly, for longer terms of years, or for
life, or made hereditary; or where there are
mixtures of authorities, some dependent on,
and others independent of the people. The
further the departure from direct and constant
control by the citizens, the less has the
government the ingredient of republicanism;
evidently none where the authorities are hereditary,
as in France, Venice, &c., or selfchosen,
as in Holland; and little, where for
life, in proportion as the life continues in being
after the act of election.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 606. Ford ed., x, 29.
(M. 1816)

7296. REPUBLIC, Definition of.—[further continued] .

The purest republican
feature in the government of our own State,
is the House of Representatives. The Senate
is equally so the first year, less the second,
and so on. The Executive still less, because
not chosen by the people directly. The judiciary
seriously anti-republican, because for
life; and the national arm wielded * * * by military leaders, irresponsible but to themselves.
Add to this the vicious constitution of
our county courts (to whom the justice, the
executive administration, the taxation, police,
the military appointments of the county, and
nearly all our daily concerns are confided),
self-appointed, self-continued, holding their
authorities for life, and with an impossibility
of breaking in on the perpetual succession of
any faction once possessed of the bench.
They are in truth, the executive, the judiciary,
and the military of their respective counties,
and the sum of the counties makes the State.
And add, also, that one-half of our brethren
who fight and pay taxes, are excluded, like
helots, from the rights of representation, as
if society were instituted for the soil, and not
for the men inhabiting it; or one-half of these


Page 750
could dispose of the rights and the will of the
other half, without their consent. [416]
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 606. Ford ed., x, 29.
(M. 1816)


Jefferson here quotes from Sir William Jones's
ode the lines beginning: “What constitutes a State?”—Editor.

7297. REPUBLIC, Definition of.—[further continued].

If, then, the control of
the people over the organs of their government
be the measure of its republicanism,
and I confess I know no other measure, it
must be agreed that our governments have
much less of republicanism than ought to have
been expected; in other words, that the people
have less regular control over their agents
than their rights and their interests require.
And this I ascribe, not to any want of republican
dispositions in those who formed
these constitutions, but to a submission of
true principle to European authorities, to
speculators on government, whose fears of
the people have been inspired by the populace
of their own great cities, and were unjustly
entertained against the independent, the
happy, and, therefore, orderly citizens of the
United States. Much I apprehend that the
golden moment is past for reforming these
heresies. The functionaries of public power
rarely strengthen in their dispositions to
abridge it, and an unorganized call for timely
amendment is likely to prevail against an
organized opposition to it. We are told that
things are going on well; why change them?
Chi sta bene, non si muova,” said the
Italian, “let him who stands well, stand
still”. This is true; and I verily believe they
would go on well with us under an absolute
monarch, while our present character remains,
of order, industry and love of peace, and restrained,
as he would be, by the proper spirit
of the people. But it is while it remains such,
we should provide against the consequences
of its deterioration. And let us rest in the
hope that it will yet be done, and spare ourselves
the pain of evils which may never
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 607. Ford ed., x, 30.
(M. 1816)

7298. REPUBLIC, Definition of.—[further continued] .

In the General Government,
the House of Representatives is mainly
republican; the Senate scarcely so at all, as
not elected by the people directly, and so long
secured even against those who do elect them;
the Executive more republican than the Senate,
from its shorter term, its election by the
people, in practice (for they vote for A only
on an assurance that he will vote for B)
and because, in practice also, a principle of
rotation seems to be in a course of establishment;
the judiciary independent of the nation,
their coercion by impeachment being found
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 607. Ford ed., x, 30.
(M. 1816)

7299. REPUBLIC, Definition of.—[further continued].

On this view of the import
of the term republic, instead of saying,
as has been said, “that it may mean anything
or nothing”, we may say with truth and
meaning, that governments are more or less
republican, as they have more or less of the
element of popular election and control in
their composition; and believing, as I do, that
the mass of the citizens is the safest depositary
of their own rights, and especially, that
the evils flowing from the duperies of the
people are less injurious than those from the
egoism of their agents, I am a friend to that
composition of government which has in it
the most of this ingredient. And I sincerely
believe * * * that banking establishments
are more dangerous than standing armies;
and that the principle of spending money to
be paid by posterity, under the name of funding,
is but swindling futurity on a large
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 608. Ford ed., x, 31.
(M. 1816)

7300. REPUBLIC, Essence of.—

by the citizens in person, in affairs within
their reach and competence, and in all others
by representatives, chosen immediately, and
removable by themselves, constitutes the essence
of a republic.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. vi, 591. Ford ed., x, 24.

7301. REPUBLIC, First principle of.—

The first principle of republicanism in that
the lex majoris partis is the fundamental law
of every society of individuals of equal right;
to consider the will of the society enounced
by the majority of a single vote, as sacred as
if unanimous, is the first of all lessons of importance,
yet the last which is thoroughly
learnt. This law once disregarded, no other
remains but that of force, which ends necessarily
in military despotism.—
To Baron Humboldt. Washington ed. vii, 75. Ford ed., x, 89.
(M. 1817)

7302. REPUBLIC (American), Establishment of.—

In the great work which has
been effected in America, no individual has
a right to take any great share to himself.
Our people in a body are wise, because they
are under the unrestrained and unperverted
operation of their own understanding. Those
whom they have assigned to the direction of
their affairs, have stood with a pretty even
front. If any one of them was withdrawn,
many others entirely equal, have been ready
to fill his place with as good abilities. A
nation, composed of such materials, and free
in all its members from distressing wants,
furnishes hopeful implements for the interesting
experiment of self-government; and we
feel that we are acting under obligations not
confined to the limits of our own society. It
is impossible not to be sensible that we are
acting for all mankind; that circumstances
denied to others, but indulged to us, have imposed
on us the duty of proving what is the
degree of freedom and self-government in
which a society may venture to leave its individual
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 440. Ford ed., viii, 158.
(W. 1802)

7303. REPUBLIC (American), Maintenance of.—

Whatever may be the fate of
republicanism in France, we are able to preserve
it inviolate here.—
To John Breckenridge. Ford ed., vii, 418.
(Pa., Jan. 1800)


Page 751

7304. REPUBLIC (American), A model.—

The spirit of our citizens * * * will make this government in practice, what it is
in principle, a model for the protection of
man in a state of freedom and order.
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 295.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

7305. REPUBLIC (American), Perils of.—

I had sent to the President yesterday
[May 22] drafts of a letter from him to the
Provisory Executive Council of France, and
one from myself to Mr. Ternant, both on the
occasion of his recall. I called on him to-day
[May 23]. He said there was an expression
in one of them, which he had never before
seen in any of our public communications, to
wit, “our republic”. The letter prepared for
him to the Council, began thus: “The Citizen
Ternant has delivered to me the letter
wherein you inform me, that yielding, &c.,
you had determined to recall him from his
mission, as your Minister Plenipotentiary to
our republic.” He had underscored the
words, our republic. He said that certainly
ours was a republican government, but yet
we had not used that style in this way; that
if anybody wanted to change its form into a
monarchy, he was sure it was only a few
individuals, and that no man in the United
States would set his face against it more than
himself; but that this was not what he was
afraid of; his fears were from another quarter;
that there was more danger of anarchy
being introduced. He adverted to a piece in
Freneau's paper of yesterday, said he despised
all their attacks on him personally, but that
there never had been an act of the government,
not meaning in the Executive line only,
but in any line, which that paper had not
abused. He had also marked the word republic
thus ✓ where it was applied to the
French republic. He was evidently sore and
warm, and I took his intention to be, that I
should interpose in some way with Freneau,
perhaps withdraw his appointment of translating
clerk to my office. But I will not do it.
His paper has saved the Constitution, which
was galloping fast into monarchy, and has
been checked by no means so powerfully as by
that paper. It is well and universally known,
that it has been that paper which has checked
the career of the monocrats; and the President,
not sensible of the designs of the party,
has not with his usual good sense and sang
looked on the efforts and effects of this
free press, and seen that, though some bad
things have passed through it to the public,
yet the good have preponderated immensely.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 144. Ford ed., i, 230.
(May. 1793)

7306. REPUBLIC (American), Salvation of.—

To save the Republic * * * is
the first and supreme law.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 82. Ford ed., i, 114.

7307. REPUBLIC (American), Stability of.—

We can no longer say there is nothing
new under the sun. For this whole chapter
in the history of man is new. The great extent
of our Republic is new. Its sparse habi
tation is new. The mighty wave of public
opinion which has rolled over it is new. But
the most pleasing novelty is, its so quietly subsiding
over such an extent of surface to its
true level again. The order and good sense
displayed in this recovery from delusion, and
in the momentous crisis which lately arose
[election of President], really bespeak a
strength of character in our nation which
augurs well for the duration of our Republic;
and I am much better satisfied now of its
stability than I was before it was tried.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 374. Ford ed., viii, 22.
(W. March. 1801)

7308. REPUBLIC (American), Stability of.—[continued].

We may still believe
with security that the great body of the
American people must for ages yet be substantially
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 297. Ford ed., vii, 369.
(Pa., 17991799)gt;

7309. REPUBLIC (American), Stability of.—[further continued].

The resistance which
our Republic has opposed to a course of
operation, for which it was not destined,
shows a strength of body which affords the
most flattering presage of duration. I hope
we shall now be permitted to steer her in
her natural course, and to show by the
smoothness of her motion the skill with which
she has been formed for it.—
To General Warren. Washington ed. iv, 375.
(W. March. 1801)

7310. REPUBLIC (American), Stability of.—[further continued] .

We are never permitted
to despair of the Commonwealth.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 331.
(P. 1787)

7311. REPUBLIC (American), Stability of.—[further continued].

The good citizen must
never despair of the Commonwealth.—
To Nathaniel Niles. Washington ed. iv, 376. Ford ed., viii, 24.
(W. 1801)

7312. REPUBLIC (American), Triumphant.—

The cause of republicanism, triumphing
in Europe, can never fail to do so
here in the long run.—
To Archibald Stuart. Ford ed., vii, 378.
(M. May. 1799)

7313. REPUBLIC (American), Washington and.—

I was happy to see that Randolph
had, by accident, used the expression
“our republic”, in the [President's] speech.
The President, however, made no objection to
it, and so, as much as it had disconcerted
him on a former occasion with me, it was
now put into his own mouth to be pronounced
to the two Houses of Legislature. [417]
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 183. Ford ed., i, 270.
(Nov. 1793)


Edmund Randolph, Attorney General, had been
selected to write the speech, or message, to Congress.—Editor.

7314. REPUBLIC (English), France and.—

Nothing can establish firmly the republican
principles of our government but an
establishment of them in England. France
will be the apostle for this.—
To E. Randolph. Washington ed. iv, 192. Ford ed., vii, 156.
(Pa., June. 1797)

7315. REPUBLIC (English), Prospective.—

If I could but see the French and Dutch
at peace with the rest of their continent, I
should have little doubt of dining with Piche


Page 752
gru in London, next autumn; for I believe
I should be tempted to leave my clover for
awhile, to go and hail the dawn of liberty and
republicanism in that island.—
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 118. Ford ed., vii, 11.
(M. April. 1795)

7316. REPUBLIC (French), America and.—

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. I consider the establishment
and success of their government
as necessary to stay up our own, and to prevent
it from falling back to that kind of halfway
house, the English constitution.—
To George Mason. Washington ed. iii, 209. Ford ed., v, 274.
(Pa., Feb. 1791)

7317. REPUBLIC (French), Bonaparte and.—

I fear our friends on the other side of
the water, laboring in the same cause, have
a great deal of crime and misery to wade
through. My confidence has been placed in
the head, not in the heart of Bonaparte.
I hoped he would calculate truly the difference
between the fame of a Washington
and a Cromwell. Whatever his views may be,
he has transferred the destinies of the republic
from the civil to the military arm. Some
will use this as a lesson against the practicability
of republican government. I read it as
a lesson against the danger of standing
To Samuel Adams. Washington ed. iv, 321. Ford ed., vii, 425.
(Pa., Feb. 1800)

7318. REPUBLIC (French), Future.—

France will yet attain representative government.
You observe it makes the basis of
every constitution which has been demanded
or offered,—of that demanded by their Senate;
of that offered by Bonaparte; and of that
granted by Louis XVIII. The idea, then, is
rooted, and will be established, although
rivers of blood may yet flow between them
and their object.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 525.
(M. 1816)

7319. REPUBLIC (French), Gratitude to.—

I hope you have been sensible of the general
interest which my countrymen take in all
the successes of your republic. In this no
one joins with more enthusiasm than myself,
an enthusiasm kindled by our love of liberty,
by my gratitude to your nation who helped
us to acquire it, by my wishes to see it extended
to all men, and first to those whom
we love most.—
To M. Odit. Washington ed. iv, 123.
(M. May. 1795)

7320. REPUBLIC (French), Sympathy with.—

Be assured that the government and
the citizens of the United States view with
the most sincere pleasure every advance of
France 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 natural [418] 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 government.—
To Jean Baptiste Ternant. Washington ed. iii, 517. Ford ed., vi, 189.
(Pa., Feb. 1793)


Mutual in Ford edition.—Editor.

7321. REPUBLIC (French), Washington and.—

I have laid before the President of
the United States your notification, * * * 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.—
To Jean Baptiste Ternant. Washington ed. iii, 516. Ford ed., vi, 189.
(Pa., Feb. 1793)

7322. REPUBLIC (French), Washington's cabinet and.—

We met at the President's
to examine by paragraphs the draft of
a letter I had prepared to Gouverneur Morris
on the conduct of Mr. Genet. There was no
difference of opinion on any part of it, except
on this expression, “An attempt to embroil
both, to add still another nation to the
enemies of his country, and to draw on both
a reproach which, it is hoped, will never stain
the history of either, that of liberty warring
on herself
”. Hamilton moved to strike out
these words, “that of liberty warring on herself ”. He urged generally that it would give
offence to the combined powers; that it
amounted to a declaration that they were
warring on liberty; that we were not called
on to declare that the cause of France was
that of liberty; that he had at first been with
them with all his heart, but that he had long
since left them, and was not for encouraging
the idea here, that the cause of France was
the cause of liberty in general, or could have
either connection or influence in our affairs.
Knox, according to custom, jumped plump
into all his opinions. The President, with a
good deal of positiveness, declared in favor
of the expression; that he considered the pursuit
of France to be that of liberty, however
they might sometimes fail of the best means
of obtaining it; that he had never at any time
entertained a doubt of their ultimate success,
if they hung well together; and that as to
their dissensions, there were such contradictory
accounts given, that no one could tell
what to believe. I observed that it had been
supposed among us all along that the present
letter might become public; that we had,
therefore, three parties to attend to,—1st,
France; 2d, her enemies; 3d, the people of


Page 753
the United States; that as to the enemies of
France, it ought not to offend them, because
the passage objected to, only spoke of an attempt
to make the United States, a free nation,
war on France, a free nation, which
would be liberty warring on herself, and,
therefore, a true fact; that as to France, we
were taking so harsh a measure (desiring
her to recall her minister) that a precedent
for it could scarcely be found; that we knew
that minister would represent to his government
that our Executive was hostile to liberty,
leaning to monarchy, and would endeavor
to parry the charges on himself, by
rendering suspicious the source from which
they flowed; that, therefore, it was essential
to satisfy France, not only of our friendship
to her, but our attachment to the general
cause of liberty, and to hers in particular;
that as to the people of the United States,
we knew there were suspicions abroad that
the Executive, in some of its parts, was
tainted with a hankering after monarchy, an
indisposition towards liberty, and towards the
French cause; and that it was important, by
an explicit declaration, to remove these suspicions,
and restore the confidence of the
people in their government. Randolph opposed
the passage on nearly the same ground
with Hamilton. He added, that he thought
it had been agreed that this correspondence
should contain no expressions which could
give offence to either party. I replied that it
had been my opinion in the beginning of the
correspondence, that while we were censuring
the conduct of the French minister, we should
make the most cordial declarations of friendship
to them; that in the first letter or two
of the correspondence, I had inserted expressions
of that kind, but that himself and the
other two gentlemen had struck them out;
that I thereupon conformed to their opinion
in my subsequent letters, and had carefully
avoided the insertion of a single term of
friendship to the French nation, and the
letters were as dry and husky as if written
between the generals of two enemy nations;
that on the present occasion, however, it had
been agreed that such expressions ought to
be inserted in the letter now under consideration,
and I had accordingly charged it
pretty well with them; that I had further
thought it essential to satisfy the French and
our own citizens of the light in which we
viewed their cause, and of our fellow feeling
for the general cause of liberty, and had
ventured only four words on the subject;
that there was not from beginning to end of
the letter one other expression or word in
favor of liberty, and I should think it singular,
at least, if the single passage of that
character should be struck out. The President
again spoke. He came into the idea
that attention was due to the parties who had
been mentioned, France and the United
States; that as to the former, thinking it certain
their affairs would issue in a government
of some sort—of considerable freedom—it
was the only nation with whom our relations
could be counted on; that as to the United
States, there could be no doubt of their universal
attachment to the cause of France, and
of the solidity of their republicanism. He
declared his strong attachment to the expression,
but finally left it to us to accommodate.
It was struck out, of course, and the expressions
of affection in the context were a good
deal taken down.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 169. Ford ed., i, 259.
(Aug. 1793)

7323. REPUBLIC OF LETTERS, Dictatorship.—

No republic is more real than
that of letters, and I am the last in principles,
as I am the least in pretensions to any
dictatorship in it.—
To Noah Webster. Washington ed. iii, 201. Ford ed., v, 254.
(Pa., 1790)

7324. REPUBLIC OF LETTERS, Wars and.—

The republic of letters is unaffected by
the wars of geographical divisions of the
To Dr. Patterson. Washington ed. vi, 11.
(M. 1811)

7325. REPUBLICANISM ( Governmental ), American.—

The light from our
West seems to have spread and illuminated
the very engines employed to extinguish it.
It has given them a glimmering of their rights
and their power. The idea of representative
government has taken root and growth among
them. Their masters feel it, and are saying
themselves by timely offers of this modification
of their powers. Belgium, Prussia, Poland,
Lombardy, &c., are now offered a representative
organization; illusive, probably, at
first, but it will grow into power in the end.
Opinion is power, and that opinion will come.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 525.
(M. 1816)

7326. REPUBLICANISM ( Governmental ) Apostasy from.—

An apostasy from republicanism to royalism is unprecedented
and impossible.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 5. Ford ed., v, 83.
(P. 1789)

7327. REPUBLICANISM ( Governmental ), Catholic principle of.—

The catholic
principle of republicanism is that every
people may establish what form of government
they please, and change it as they
please, the will of the nation being the only
thing essential. [419]
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 129. Ford ed., i, 214.


“I took the occasion,” says Jefferson, “furnished
by Pinckney's letter of Sep. 19, asking instructions
how to conduct himself with respect to the French
Revolution to lay down this principle.”—Editor.

7328. REPUBLICANISM ( Governmental ), Extension of.—

It is hoped that by
a due poise and partition of powers between
the General and particular governments, we
have found the secret of extending the
benign blessings of republicanism over still
greater tracts of country than we possess,
and that a subdivision may be avoided for
ages, if not for ever.—
To James Sullivan. Ford ed., v, 369.
(Pa., 1791)

7329. REPUBLICANISM ( Governmental ), Happiness and.—

I conscientiously
believe that governments founded in republican
principles are more friendly to the happiness
of the people at large, and especially


Page 754
of a people so capable of self-government as
To David Howell. Washington ed. v, 554.
(M. 1810)

7330. REPUBLICANISM ( Governmental ), Majority rule.—

A nation ceases to
be republican * * * when the will of the
majority ceases to be the law.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. v, 262.
(W. 1808)

7331. REPUBLICANISM ( Governmental ), Rights of man and.—

The republican
is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with
the rights of mankind.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. iii, 128. Ford ed., v, 147.

7332. REPUBLICANISM ( Governmental ), Schools of.—

The best schools for
republicanism are London, Versailles, Madrid,
Vienna, Berlin, &c.—
To Governor Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 234.
(P. 1787)

7333. REPUBLICANISM ( Governmental ), Union and.—

It is, indeed, of little consequence who govern us, if they sincerely
and zealously cherish the principles of Union
and republicanism.—
To General Dearborn. Washington ed. vii, 215. Ford ed., x, 192.
(M. 1821)

7334. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Ardent and moderate.—

I had always expected
that when the republicans should have
put down all things under their feet, they
would schismatize among themselves. I always
expected, too, that whatever names the
parties might bear, the real division would be
into moderate and ardent republicanism. In
this division there is no great evil,—not even
if the minority obtain the ascendency by the
accession of federal votes to their candidate;
because this gives us one shade only, instead
of another, of republicanism. It is to be considered
as apostasy only when they purchase
the votes of federalists with a participation in
honor and power.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. v, 121. Ford ed., ix, 102.
(W. July. 1807)

7335. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Benefits of.—

If we are left in peace, I have
no doubt the wonderful turn in the public
opinion now manifestly taking place and
rapidly increasing, will * * * become so
universal and so weighty, that friendship
abroad and freedom at home will be firmly
established by the influence and constitutional
powers of the people at large.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 295.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

7336. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Corruption.—

How long we can hold our
ground I do not know. We are not incorruptible;
on the contrary, corruption is making
sensible though silent progress. Offices are
as acceptable in Virginia as elsewhere, and
whenever a man has cast a longing eye on
them, a rottonness begins in his conduct.—
To Tench Coxe. Ford ed., vii, 380.
(M. May. 1799)

7337. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Faith in.—

The tide against our Constitution
is unquestionably strong, but it will turn.
Everything tells me so, and everything verifies
the prediction.—
To William Branch Giles. Ford ed., vi, 516.
(M. Dec. 1797)

7338. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Fidelity to.—

I have taken the liberty of referring
him [Brissot de Warville] to you for
a true state of republicanism here, as for the
characters, objects, numbers and force of our
parties. It is really interesting that these
should be well understood in France, and
particularly by their government. Particular
circumstances have generated suspicions
among them that we are swerving from our
To Dr. Enoch Edwards. Ford ed., vi, 248.
(Pa., 1793)

7339. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Fortifying.—

My great anxiety at present is,
to avail ourselves of our ascendency to establish
good principles and good practices: to
fortify republicanism behind as many barriers
as possible, that the outworks may give
time to rally and save the citadel, should
that be again in danger.—
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 424.
(W. 1801)

7340. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), The Judiciary and.—

The revolution of 1800 was as real a revolution in the principles
of our government as that of 1776 was in its
form; not effected, indeed, by the sword, as
that, but by the rational and peaceable instrument
of reform, the suffrage of the people.
The nation declared its will by dismissing
functionaries of one principle, and electing
those of another, in the two branches,
Executive and Legislative, submitted to their
election. Over the Judiciary department, the
Constitution had deprived them of their control.
That, therefore, has continued the reprobated
system, and although new matter has
been occasionally incorporated into the old,
yet the leaven of the old mass seems to assimilate
to itself the new, and after twenty
years' confirmation of the federal system by
the voice of the nation, declared through the
medium of elections, we find the Judiciary on
every occasion, still driving us into consolidation.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 133. Ford ed., x, 140.

See Centralization, Judiciary and Supreme Court.

7341. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Liberty and.—

Under republicanism, our citizens
generally are enjoying a very great
degree of liberty and security in the most
temperate manner.—
To M. Pictet. Washington ed. iv, 463.
(W. 1803)

7342. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Missouri question and.—

[The Missouri
question] has given resurrection to the Hartford
Convention men. They have had the address,
by playing on the honest feelings of
our former friends, to seduce them from their
kindred spirits, and to borrow their weight
into the federal scale. Desperate of regaining
power under political distinctions, they
have adroitly wriggled into its seat under
the auspices of morality, and are again in the
ascendency from which their sins had hurled
them. It is, indeed, of little consequence who


Page 755
govern us if they sincerely and zealously
cherish the principles of union and republicanism.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. vii, 215. Ford ed., x, 191.
(M. 1821)

See Missouri Question and Parties.

7343. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Outlawed.—

Republicanism had been the
mark on Cain, which had rendered those who
bore it exiles from all portion in the trusts
and authorities of their country.—
To Benjamin Hawkins. Washington ed. iv, 466. Ford ed., viii, 212.
(W. 1803)

See Office and Offices.

7344. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), The people and.—

The people are essentially
republican. They retain unadulterated the
principles of '75, and those who are conscious
of no change in themselves have nothing to
fear in the long run.—
To James Lewis, Jr. Washington ed. iv, 241. Ford ed., vii, 250.
(Pa., May. 1798)

7345. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), The people and.—[continued].

The people through all
the States are for republican forms, republican
principles, simplicity, economy, religious and
civil freedom.—
To E. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 328. Ford ed., vii, 443.
(Pa., 1800)

7346. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Preservation of.—

Whether the surrender of
our opponents, their reception into our camp,
their assumption of our name, and apparent
accession to our objects, may strengthen or
weaken the genuine principles of republicanism,
may be a good or an evil, is yet to be
To William T. Barry. Washington ed. vii, 255.
(M. 1822)

7347. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Safety in.—

So long as the pure principles of
our revolution [of 1800] prevail, we are safe
from everything which can assail us from
without or within.—
To Mr. Lambert. Washington ed. v, 528.
(M. 1810)

7348. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Seceders from.—

My opinion is that two or
three years more will bring back to the fold
of republicanism all our wandering brethren
whom the cry of “wolf” scattered in 1798.
Till that is done, let every man stand to
his post, and hazard nothing by change. And
when that is done, you and I may retire to
that tranquillity which our years begin to call
for, and review with satisfaction the efforts
of the age we happened to be born in,
crowned with complete success. In the hour
of death, we shall have the consolation to see
established in the land of our fathers the
most wonderful work of wisdom and disinterested
patriotism that has ever yet appeared
on the globe.—
To De Witt Clinton. Washington ed. iv, 521.
(W. 1803)

7349. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Ship of State and.—

The time is coming when we shall fetch up the lee-way of our
vessel. The changes in your House [of Representatives] I see, are going on for the better,
and even the Augean herd over your heads
are slowly purging off their impurities. Hold
on, then, that we may not shipwreck in the
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 112. Ford ed., vi, 519.
(M. Dec. 1794)

7350. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Ship of State and.—[continued]

——. The storm through which
we have passed has been tremendous indeed.
The tough sides of our Argosy have been
thoroughly tried. Her strength has stood the
waves into which she was steered, with a
view to sink her. We shall put her on her
republican tack, and she will now show by
the beauty of her motion the skill of her
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 365. Ford ed., viii, 7.
(W. March. 1801)

7351. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Ship of State and.—[further continued].

The storm is over, and
we are in port. The ship was not rigged for
the service she was put on. We will show
the smoothness of her motions on her republican
To Samuel Adams. Washington ed. iv, 389. Ford ed., viii, 39.
(W. March. 1801)

7352. REPUBLICANISM (Partisan), Sincerity in.—

That I have acted through life
on principles of sincere republicanism, I feel
in every fibre of my constitution. And when
men, who feel like myself, bear witness in my
favor, my satisfaction is complete.—
To Rev. Mr. Knox. Washington ed. v, 502.
(M. 1810)

7353. REPUBLICANS, Aims of.—

we had in view to obtain the theory and practice
of good government; and how any, who
seemed so ardent in this pursuit, could as
shamelessly have apostatized, and supposed
we meant only to put our government into
other hands, but not other forms, is indeed
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 424.
(W. 1801)

7354. REPUBLICANS, Aims of.—[continued].

The federalists wished
for everything which would approach our
new government to a monarchy. The republicans
to preserve it essentially republican.
This was the true origin of the division, and
remains still the essential principle of difference
between the two parties.—
Notes on Marshall's Life of Washington. Washington ed. ix, 480. Ford ed., ix, 263.
(M. 1809)

See Federalists and Parties.

7355. REPUBLICANS, Antagonistic to England.—

The war between France and
England has brought forward the republicans
and monocrats in every State so openly, that
their relative numbers are perfectly visible.
It appears that the latter are as nothing.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 9. Ford ed., vi, 326.
(June. 1793)

See Federalists.

7356. REPUBLICANS, Belief of.—

Republicans] believed that men, enjoying in
ease and security the full fruits of their own
industry, enlisted by all their interests on the
side of law and order, habituated to think for
themselves, and to follow their reason as
their guide, would be more easily and safely
governed than with minds nourished in error,
and vitiated and debased, as in Europe, by
ignorance, indigence and oppression.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 292. Ford ed., x, 227.
(M. 1823)

7357. REPUBLICANS, Defeated.—

I had
always hoped, that the popularity of the late
President being once withdrawn from active
effect, the natural feelings of the people towards
liberty would restore the equilibrium


Page 756
between the Executive and Legislative departments,
which had been destroyed by the
superior weight and effect of that popularity;
and that their natural feelings of moral obligation
would discountenance the ungrateful
predilection of the Executive in favor of
Great Britain. But, unfortunately, the preceding
measures had already alienated the nation
which was the object of them, had excited
reaction from them and this reaction
has on the minds of our citizens an effect
which supplies that of the Washington popularity.
This effect was sensible on some of
the late congressional elections, and this it is
which has lessened the republican majority in
Congress. When it will be reinforced, must
depend on events, and these are so incalculable,
that I consider the future character of
our republic as in the air; indeed its future fortune
will be in the air, if war is made on us
by France, and if Louisiana becomes a
Gallo-American colony.—
To Aaron Burr. Washington ed. iv, 185. Ford ed., vii, 147.
(Pa., June. 1797)
See Federalists.

7358. REPUBLICANS, Dividing.—

squibs in certain papers had long ago apprised
me of a design to sow tares between
particular republican characters, but to divide
those by lying tales whom truths cannot
divide, is the hackneyed policy of the gossips
of every society. Our business is to march
straight forward to the object which has occupied
us for eight and twenty years, without
turning either to the right or left.—
To De Witt Clinton. Washington ed. iv, 520.
(W. 1803)

7359. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—

The operations of this session of
Congress, when known among the people at
large, will consolidate them. We shall now be
so strong that we shall certainly split again; for
freemen, thinking differently and speaking and
acting as they think, will form into classes of
sentiment, but it must be under another name.
That of federalism is become so odious that no
party can rise under it.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. iv, 437. Ford ed., viii, 150.
(W. May. 1802)

7360. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[continued].

I have for some time
been satisfied a schism was taking place in
Pennsylvania between the moderates and highflyers.
The same will take place in Congress
whenever a proper head for the latter shall start
up, and we must expect division of the same
kind in other States as soon as the republicans
shall be so strong as to fear no other enemy.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., viii, 222.
(M. March. 1803)

7361. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued].

I think it possibly May
happen that we shall divide among ourselves
whenever federalism is completely eradicated,
yet I think it the duty of every republican to
make great sacrifices of opinion to put off the
evil day.—
To Joseph Scott. Ford ed., viii, 305.
(W. March. 1804)

7362. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued] .

The divisions among
the republicans * * * are distressing, but they
are not unexpected to me. From the moment
I foresaw the entire prostration of federalism,
I knew that at that epoch more distressing
divisions would take its place. The opinions of
men are as various as their faces, and they will
always find some rallying principle or point at
which those nearest to it will unite, reducing
themselves to two stations, under a common
name for each. These stations, or camps, will
be formed of very heterogeneous materials,
combining from very different motives, and
with very different views.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Ford ed., viii, 348.
(M. March. 1805)

7363. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued].

I did believe my station
in March, 1801, as painful as could be undertaken,
having to meet in front all the terrible
passions of federalism in the first moment of its
defeat and mortification, and to grapple with it
until completely subdued. But I consider that
as less painful than to be placed between conflicting
friends. There my way was clear and
my mind made up. I never for a moment had
to balance between two opinions. In the new
divisions which are to arise the case will be
very different. Even those who seem to coalesce
will be like the image of clay and brass.
However, under difficulties of this kind, I have
ever found one, and only one rule, to do what is
and generally we shall disentangle ourselves
without almost perceiving how it happens.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Ford ed., viii, 349.
(M. March. 1805)

7364. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued] .

The duty of an upright
Administration is to pursue its course steadily,
to know nothing of these family dissensions,
and to cherish the good principles of both parties.
The war ad internecionem which we have
waged against federalism, has filled our later
times with strife and unhappiness. We have
met it, with pain indeed, but with firmness,
because we believed it the last convulsive effort
of that hydra, which in earlier times we
had conquered in the field. But if any degeneracy
of principle should ever render it necessary
to give ascendancy to one of the rising
sections over the other, I thank my God it will
fall to some other to perform that operation.
The only cordial I wish to carry into my retirement,
is the undivided good will of all those
with whom I have acted.—
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. iv, 575. Ford ed., viii, 353.
(W. May. 1805)

7365. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued].

I see with infinite pain
the bloody schism which has taken place among
our friends in Pennsylvania and New York,
and will probably take place in other States.
The main body of both sections mean well, but
their good intentions will produce great public
evil. The minority, whichever section shall be
the minority, will end in coalition with the federalists,
and some compromise of principle;
because these will not sell their aid for nothing.
Republicanism will thus lose, and royalism gain,
some portion of that ground which we thought
we had rescued to good government. I do not
express my sense of our misfortunes from any
idea that they are remediable. I know that
the passions of men will take their course, that
they are not to be controlled but by despotism,
and that this melancholy truth is the pretext
for despotism.—
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. iv, 575. Ford ed., viii, 352.
(W. May. 1805)

7366. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued] .

I see with extreme concern
the acrimonious dissensions into which our
friends in Pennsylvania have fallen, but have
long since made up my mind on the propriety of
the General Government's taking no side in
State quarrels. And with respect to myself
particularly, after eight and thirty years of
uniform action in harmony with those now constituting
the republican party, without one
single instant of alienation from them, it cannot
be but my most earnest desire to carry into
retirement with me their undivided approbation


Page 757
and esteem. I retain, therefore, a cordial friendship
for both the sections now so unhappily
dividing your State.—
To Thomas Leib. Ford ed., viii, 353.
(M. Aug. 1805)

7367. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued]..

Of the unhappy effects
of the schisms in Pennsylvania and New York,
you see the fruit in the State lying between
them, where the federalists have recovered a
majority in one branch of the legislature, are
very near it in the other, and as soon as they
shall reach it, they place the executive and
every office under it in federal hands. If the
two sections of republicans were irreconcilable,
still the minor one should not have coalesced
with, and voted for federalists. If, on the contrary,
they would keep themselves independent,
and set up their own ticket, their whole body
would come forward and vote, which would
give them the benefit of that part of their force
which kept back because it could not support
federalists, and the federalists themselves, having
no hope of bringing in men of their own,
would have to choose between the two republican
tickets that least disagreeable to themselves.
This would only bring into the public
councils the different shades of republicans so
that the whole body should be represented.—
To Andrew Elliott. Ford ed., viii, 479.
(W. Nov. 1806)

7368. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued] .

I determined from the
first dawn of the first schism, never to take
part in any schism of republicans, nor in distributing
the public trusts ever to ask of which
section a party was.—
To Andrew Ellicott. Ford ed., viii, 480.
(W. Nov. 1806)

7369. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued]..

I have long seen, and
with very great regret, the schisms which have
taken place among the republicans, and principally
those of Pennsylvania and New York.
As far as I have been able to judge, they have
not been produced by any difference of political
principle,—at least, any important difference,
but by a difference of opinion as to persons. I
determined from the first moment to take no
part in them, and that the Government should
know nothing of any such differences. Accordingly,
it has never been attended to in any
appointment, or refusal of appointment.—
To James Gamble. Washington ed. v, 204. Ford ed., ix, 129.
(W. 1807)

7370. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued]

If we schismatize on
either men or measures, if we do not act in
phalanx, as when we rescued the country from
the satellites of monarchism, I will not say
our party (the term is false and degrading),
but our nation will be undone. For the republicans
are the nation. Their opponents are but
a faction, weak in numbers, but powerful and
profuse in the command of money, and backed
by a nation [England], powerful also and profuse
in the use of the same means; and the
more profuse, in both cases, as the money they
thus employ is not their own but their creditors,
to be paid off by a bankruptcy, which whether
it pays a dollar or a shilling in the pound, is of
little concern with them. The last hope of human
liberty in this world rests on us. We
ought, for so dear a stake, to sacrifice every
attachment and every enmity. Leave the President
free to choose his own coadjutors, to pursue
his own measures, and support him and
them, even if we think we are wiser than
they, honester than they are, or possessing more
enlarged information of the state of things.
If we move in mass, be it ever so circuitously,
we shall attain our object; but if we break into
squads, every one pursuing the path he thinks
most direct, we become an easy conquest to
those who can now barely hold us in check.
I repeat again, that we ought not to schismatize
on either men or measures. Principles alone
can justify that. If we find our government in
all its branches rushing headlong, like our predecessors,
into the arms of monarchy, if we find
them violating our dearest rights, the trial by
jury, the freedom of the press, the freedom of
opinion, civil or religious, or opening on our
peace of mind or personal safety the sluices of
terrorism; if we see them raising standing
armies, when the absence of all other danger
points to these as the sole objects on which
they are to be employed, then, indeed, let
us withdraw and call the nation to its tents.
But, while our functionaries are wise, and honest,
and vigilant, let us move compactly under
their guidance, and we have nothing to fear.
Things may here and there go a little wrong.
It is not in our power to prevent it. But all
will be right in the end, though not, perhaps,
by the shortest means. You know that this
union of republicans has been the constant
theme of my exhortations, that I have ever
refused to know any sub-divisions among them,
to take part in any personal differences; and,
therefore, you will not give to the present observations
any other than general application.
I may sometimes differ in opinion from some
of my friends, from those whose views are as
pure and sound as my own. I censure none, but
do homage to everyone's right of opinion.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 576. Ford ed., ix, 313.
(M. March. 1811)

7371. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued]

The only contest between
divided [political] friends should be who will
dare farthest into the ranks of the common
To John Hollins. Washington ed. v, 597.
(M. 1811)

7372. REPUBLICANS, Divisions among.—[further continued]

The schism in Massachusetts,
when brought to the crisis of principle,
will be found to be exactly the same as
in the Revolutionary war. The monarchists
will be left alone, and will appear to be exactly
the tories of the last war.—
To Thomas Letre. Washington ed. vi, 79.
(M. Aug. 1812)

7373. REPUBLICANS, Early contests of.—

The inconveniences of an inefficient government,
driving the people as is usual, into
the opposite extreme, the elections to the
first Congress ran very much in favor of those
who were known to favor a very strong government.
Hence the anti-republicans appeared
a considerable majority in both houses
of Congress. They pressed forward the plan,
therefore, of strengthening all the features of
the government which gave it resemblance to
an English constitution, of adopting the English
forms and principles of administration,
and of forming like them a moneyed interest,
by means of a funding system, not calculated
to pay the public debt, but to render it perpetual,
and to make it an engine in the hands
of the executive branch of government which,
added to the great patronage it possessed in
the disposal of public offices, might enable
it to assume by degrees a kingly authority.
The biennial period of Congress being too
short to betray to the people, spread over
this great continent, this train of things during
the first Congress, little change was made
in members to the second. But, in the meantime,
two very distinct parties had formed in
Congress; and before the third election, the


Page 758
people in general became apprised of the
game which was playing for drawing over
them a kind of government which they never
had in contemplation. At the third election,
therefore, a decided majority of republicans
were sent to the lower House of Congress;
and, as information spread still farther
among the people, after the fourth election
the anti-republican members have become a
weak minority.—
To C. D. Ebeling. Ford ed., vii, 46.

7374. REPUBLICANS, Early contests of.—[continued].

When Congress first met,
the assemblage of facts presented in the President's
[Adams's] speech [message], with the
multiplied accounts of spoliations by the
French West Indians, appeared by sundry
votes on the address, to incline a majority to
put themselves in a posture of war. Under
this influence the address was formed, and
its spirit would probably have been pursued
by corresponding measures, had the events of
Europe been of an ordinary train. But this
has been so extraordinary, that numbers have
gone over to those, who, from the first, feeling
with sensibility the French insults, as they
had felt those of England before, thought
now as they thought then, that war measures
should be avoided, and those of peace pursued.
Their favorite engine, on the former
occasion, was commercial regulations in preference
to negotiations, to war preparations,
and increase of debt. On the latter, as we
have no commerce with France, the restriction
of which could press on them, they
wished for negotiation. Those of the opposite
sentiment had, on the former occasion,
preferred negotiation, but at the same time
voted for great war preparations, and increase
of debt; now also they were for negotiation,
war preparations and debt. The
parties have in debate mutually charged each
other with inconsistency, and with being governed
by an attachment to this or that of the
belligerent nations, rather than the dictates
of reason and pure Americanism. But, in
truth, both have been consistent; the same
men having voted for war measures who did
before, and the same against them now who
did before.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 190. Ford ed., vii, 152.
(Pa., June. 1797)

7375. REPUBLICANS, Early contests of.—[further continued].

The spirit of both the
speech [message of the President] and the address
[of Congress] has been so whittled down
by Bonaparte's victories, victories on the Rhine,
the Austrian peace, Irish insurgency, English
bankruptcy, insubordination of the [British] fleet, &c., that Congress is rejecting, one by
one, the measures brought in on the principles
of their own address. But nothing less
than such miraculous events, as have been
pouring in on us from the first of our convening,
could have assuaged the fermentation
produced in men's minds. In consequence of
these events, what was the majority at first,
is by degrees become the minority, so that we
may say that, in the Representatives, moderation
will govern.—
To E. Randolph. Washington ed. iv, 192. Ford ed., vii, 155.
(Pa., June. 1797)
See Federalists.

7376. REPUBLICANS, Federalists vs.—

Two parties * * * exist within
the United States. They embrace respectively
the following descriptions of persons.
The anti-republicans consist of: 1. The old
refugees and tories. 2. British merchants residing
among us, and composing the main body
of our merchants. 3. American merchants
trading on British capital, another great
portion. 4. Speculators and holders in the
banks and public funds. 5. Officers of the
Federal Government with some exceptions.
6. Office-hunters, willing to give up principles
for places,—a numerous and noisy tribe.
7. Nervous persons, whose languid fibres have
more analogy with a passive than active state
of things. The republican part of our Union
comprehends: 1. The entire body of landholders
throughout the United States. 2.
The body of laborers, not being landholders,
whether in husbanding or the arts. The latter
is to the aggregate of the former party probably
as 500 to 1; but their wealth is not as
disproportionate, though it is also greatly
superior, and is in truth the foundation of
that of their antagonists. Trifling as are the
numbers of the anti-republican party, there
are circumstances which give them an appearance
of strength and numbers. They all
live in cities, together, and can act in a body
and readily at all times; they give chief employment
to the newspapers, and, therefore,
have most of them under their command.
The agricultural interest is dispersed over a
great extent of country, have little means of
intercommunication with each other, and feeling
their own strength and will, are conscious
that a single exertion of these will, at any time,
crush the machinations against their government.—
To C. D. Ebeling. Ford ed., vii, 47.

7377. REPUBLICANS, Federalists vs.—[continued].

I trust that no section of
republicans will countenance the suggestions
of the federalists that there has ever been any
difference at all in our political principles, or
any sensible one in our views of the public
To James Madison. Ford ed., ix, 242.
(M. 1809)

7378. REPUBLICANS, Federalists vs.—[further continued].

[It was] a contest [420] which
was to change the condition of man over the
civilized globe.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 156.

See Monarchy.


The contest between the Republicans and Federalists.—Editor.

7379. REPUBLICANS, Federalist coalition with.—

The gross [Chesapeake] insult
lately received from the English has
forced the federalists into a momentary coalition
with the mass of republicans; but the
moment we begin to act in the very line they
have joined in approving, all will be wrong,
and every act the reverse of what it should
have been. Still, it is better to admit their
coalescence, and leave to themselves their
short-lived existence.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. v, 121. Ford ed., ix, 102.
(W. July. 1807)
See Chesapeake and Federalists.

7380. REPUBLICANS, French victories and.—

I think we may safely rely that the


Page 759
Duke of Brunswick has retreated; and it is
certainly possible enough that between famine,
disease, and a country abounding with
defiles, he may suffer some considerable catastrophe.
The monocrats here [Philadelphia] still affect to disbelieve all this, while
the republicans are rejoicing and taking to
themselves the name of Jacobins, which two
months ago was fixed on them by way of
To John Francis Mercer. Washington ed. iii, 495. Ford ed., vi, 147.
(Pa., Dec. 1792)

7381. REPUBLICANS, Historical misrepresentation of.—

Were a reader of this
period [immediately following the establishment
of the Constitution] to form his idea of
it from this history alone [Marshall's Life
of Washington
] he would suppose the republican
party (who were in truth endeavoring
to keep the government within the line of
the Constitution, and prevent its being monarchised
in practice) were a mere set of
grumblers, and disorganizers, satisfied with
no government, without fixed principles of
any, and, like a British parliamentary opposition,
gaping after loaves and fishes, and
ready to change principles, as well as position,
at any time, with their adversaries. But
* * * the contests of that day were contests
of principle, between the advocates of
republican and those of kingly government,
and had not the former made the efforts they
did, our government would have been, even
at this early day [1818], a very different
thing from what the successful issue of those
efforts have made it.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 156.

7382. REPUBLICANS, Historical misrepresentation of.—[continued].

We [the republicans] have been too careless of our own future
reputation, while our tories will omit nothing
to place us in the wrong.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 277. Ford ed., x, 247.
(M. 1823)

7383. REPUBLICANS, Leadership of.—

The monocrats [in Pennsylvania] have kept
up the ball with respect to myself till they
begin to be tired of it themselves. Their
chief object was to influence the election of
this State, by persuading [the people] there
was a league against the government, and as
it was necessary to designate a head to the
league, they did me that honor.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., vi, 128.
(Pa., 1792)

7384. REPUBLICANS, Loyalty of.—

Without knowing the views of what is called
the republican party here [Philadelphia], or
having any communication with them, I
could undertake to assure him [President
Washington] from my intimacy with that
party in the late Congress, that there was not
a view in the republican party as spread over
the United States, which went to the frame
of the government; that I believed the next
Congress would attempt nothing material,
but to render their own body independent;
that that party were firm in their dispositions
to support the government; that the maneuvers
of Mr. Genet might produce some little
embarrassment, but that he would be abandoned
by the republicans the moment they
knew the nature of his conduct.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 166. Ford ed., i, 257.
(Aug. 1793)

7385. REPUBLICANS, Loyalty of.—[continued].

He [President Washington] said he believed the views of the republican
party were perfectly pure, but when
men put a machine into motion, it is impossible
for them to stop it exactly where they
would choose, or to say where it will stop.
That the Constitution we have is an excellent
one, if we can keep it where it is; that it was,
indeed, supposed there was a party disposed
to change it into a monarchical form, but
that he could conscientiously declare there
was not a man in the United States who
would set his face more decidedly against it
than himself. Here, I interrupted him, by
saying: “No rational man in the United
States suspects you of any other disposition;
but there does not pass a week, in which we
cannot prove declarations dropping from the
monarchical party that our government is
good for nothing, is a milk and water thing
which cannot support itself, we must knock
it down, and set up something of more energy.
” He said if that was the case, he
thought it a proof of their insanity, for that
the republican spirit of the Union was so
manifest and so solid, that it was astonishing
how any one could expect to move it.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 166. Ford ed., i, 257.
(Aug. 1793)

7386. REPUBLICANS, New England and.—

If a prospect could be once opened upon
us of the penetration of truth into the Eastern
States; if the people there, who are unquestionably
republicans, could discover that
they have been duped into the support of
measures calculated to sap the very foundations
of republicanism, we might still hope
for salvation, and that it would come, as of
old, from the East. But will that region
ever awake to the true state of things? Can
the Middle, Southern and Western States
hold on till they awake? These are painful
and doubtful questions; and if, * * * you can give me a comfortable solution of
them, it will relieve a mind devoted to the
preservation of our republican government in
the true form and spirit in which it was established,
but almost oppressed with apprehension
that fraud will at length effect what
force could not, and that what with currents
and counter-currents, we shall, in the end, be
driven back to the land from which we
launched twenty years ago. Indeed, we have
been but a sturdy fish on the hook of a dexterous
angler, who, letting us flounce till we
have spent our force, brings us up at last.—
To Aaron Burr. Washington ed. iv, 186. Ford ed., vii, 147.
(Pa., June. 1797)

7387. REPUBLICANS, New England and.—[continued].

The Eastern States will
be the last to come over, on account of the
dominion of the clergy, who had got a smell
of union between Church and State, and began
to indulge reveries which can never be
realized in the present state of science. If,
indeed, they could have prevailed on us, to
view all advances in science as dangerous innovations,
and to look back to the opinions


Page 760
and practices of our forefathers, instead of
looking forward for improvement, a promising
groundwork would have been laid. But
I am in hopes their good sense will dictate to
them, that since the mountain will not come
to them, they had better go to the mountain;
that they will find their interest in acquiescing
in the liberty and science of their country,
and that the Christian religion, when divested
of the rags in which they have enveloped
it, and brought to the original purity
and simplicity of its benevolent institutor is
a religion of all others the most friendly to
liberty, science, and the freest expansion of
the human mind.—
To Moses Robinson. Washington ed. iv, 379.
(March. 1801)

7388. REPUBLICANS, Patronage and.—

We do not mean to leave arms in the hands
of active enemies.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 544. Ford ed., viii, 304.
(May. 1804)

7389. REPUBLICANS, Patronage and.—[continued].

That I have denounced
republicans by the epithet of Jacobins, and
declared I would appoint none but those
called moderates of both parties, and that I
have avowed or entertain any predilection for
those called the third party, or “Quids”, is
in every tittle of it false.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. iv, 592. Ford ed., viii, 433.
(W. 1806)

See Office, Offices and Parties.

7390. REPUBLICANS, Platform of.—

Divide the Treasury Department. Abolish
the Bank. Repeal the Excise Law and let
States raise the money. Lower impost.
Treasurer to pay and receive cash not bills.
Repeal irredeemable quality and borrow at 4
per cent. Exclude paper holders. Condemn
report of. [421]
Jefferson MSS. Ford ed., vi, 171.
(Feb.? 1793)


Paul Leicester Ford, in his edition of Jefferson's
makes the following note: “This paper
is undated, but is apparently an outline of the reforms
in the government desired by Jefferson. In
the absence of a definite platform of the newly
formed democratic party, it is therefore of considerable
importance, and is of especial interest as
showing Jefferson's plans to break up the `Treasury
Junto', by dividing the treasury, and by excluding
from Congress all holders of Bank Stock. The report
referred to is probably `Hamilton's Report on the
Foreign Loans of Jan. 3, 1793', which was an especially
obnoxious one to Jefferson.”—Editor.

7391. REPUBLICANS, Relations to Genet.—

We [the Administration] have decided
unanimously to require the recall of
Genet. He will sink the republican interest
if they do not abandon him.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vi, 361.
(Aug. 1793)
See Genet.

7392. REPUBLICANS, Rights of man and.—

Whether the principles of the majority
of our fellow citizens, or of the little
minority still opposing them, be most friendly
to the rights of man, posterity will judge;
and to that arbiter I submit my own conduct
with cheerfulness.—
To C. F. Welles. Washington ed. v, 484.
(M. 1809)

See Rights of Man.

7393. REPUBLICANS, Slandered.—

They endeavored [in the elections] to conjure
up the ghost of anti-federalism, and to
have it believed that this and republicanism
were the same, and that both were Jacobinism.
But those who felt themselves republicans
and federalists, too, were little moved
by this artifice.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 494. Ford ed., vi, 143.
(Pa., Dec. 1792)

7394. REPUBLICANS, States rights and.—

On the eclipse of federalism, although
not its extinction, its leaders got up the
Missouri question, under the false front of
lessening the measure of slavery, but with the
real view of producing a geographical division
of parties, which might ensure them the
next President. The people of the north
went blindfolded into the snare, followed
their leaders for awhile with a zeal truly
moral and laudable, until they became sensible
that they were injuring instead of aiding
the real interests of the slaves, that they had
been used merely as tools for electioneering
purposes; and that trick of hypocrisy then fell
as quickly as it had been got up. To that
is now succeeded a distinction, which, like
that of republican and federal, or whig and
tory, being equally intermixed through every
State, threatens none of those geographical
schisms which go immediately to a separation.
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
government. The tories are for strengthening
the Executive and General Government;
the whigs cherish the representative branch,
and the rights reserved by the States, as the
bulwark against consolidation, which must
immediately generate monarchy. And although
this division excites, as yet, no warmth,
yet it exists, is well understood, and will be a
principle of voting at the ensuing election,
with the reflecting men of both parties.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 326. Ford ed., x, 281.
(M. Nov. 1823)

See Centralization, Judiciary, Missouri Question and Supreme Court.

7395. REPUBLICANS, Sympathy with France.—

Parties seem to have taken a very
well defined form in this quarter. The old
tories, joined by our merchants who trade on
British capital, paper dealers, and the idle
rich of the great commercial towns, are with
the kings. All other descriptions with the
French. The war has kindled and brought
forward the two parties with an ardor which
our interests merely, could never excite.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vi, 281.
(Pa., June. 1793)

See Federalists and Monarchy.

7396. REPUBLICANS, Unfaltering.—

As long as we pursue without deviation the
principles we have always professed, I have
no fear of deviation from them in the main
body of republicans.—
To Cæsar A. Rodney. Ford ed., viii, 436.
(W. March. 1806)

7397. REPUBLICANS, The Union and.—

Our lot has been cast by the favor of heaven
in a country and under circumstances highly
auspicious to our peace and prosperity, and
where no pretence can arise for the degrading


Page 761
and oppressive establishments of Europe. It
is our happiness that honorable distinctions
flow only from public approbation; and that
finds no object in titled dignitaries and
pageants. Let us then endeavor carefully to
guard this happy state of things, by keeping
a watchful eye over the disaffection of wealth
and ambition to the republican principles of
our Constitution, and by sacrificing all our
local and personal interests to the cultivation
of the Union, and maintenance of the
authority of the laws.—
R. to A. Penna. Democratic Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 163.
See Union.

7398. REPUBLICANS, Washington's administration and.—

The object of the opposition
which was made to the course of
administration was to preserve the Legislature
pure and independent of the Executive,
to restrain the administration to republican
forms and principles, and not permit the Constitution
to be construed into a monarchy,
and to be warped in practice into all the principles
and pollutions of their favorite English
model. Nor was this an opposition to
General Washington. He was true to the
republican charge confided to him; and has
solemnly and repeatedly protested to me, in
our private conversations, that he would lose
the last drop of his blood in support of it,
and he did this the oftener, and with the
more earnestness, because he knew my suspicions
of [Alexander] Hamilton's designs
against it; and wished to quiet them.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 95. Ford ed., i, 165.
See Federalists, Monarchy and Washington.

7399. REPUBLICS, Contending.—

would not gratify the combination of kings
with the spectacle of the only two republics
on earth destroying each other for two cannon;
nor would I, for infinitely greater cause,
add this country to that combination, turn the
scale of contest, and let it be from our hands
that the hopes of man receive their last stab.—
Opinion on “The Little Sarah”. Washington ed. ix, 155. Ford ed., vi, 343.
(July. 1793)

7400. REPUBLICS, Irresistible.—

A republican
government is slow to move, yet
when once in motion, its momentum becomes
To F. C. Gray. Washington ed. vi, 438.
(M. 1815)

7401. REPUBLICS, Size of.—

I suspect
that the doctrine, that small States alone
are fitted to be republics, will be exploded by
experience, with some other brilliant fallacies
accredited by Montesquieu and other political
writers. Perhaps it will be found, that to
obtain a just republic (and it is to secure our
just rights that we resort to government at
all) it must be so extensive as that local
egoisms may never reach its greater part; that
on every particular question, a majority May
be found in its councils free from particular
interests, and giving, therefore, an uniform
prevalence to the principles of justice. The
smaller the societies, the more violent and
convulsive their schisms.—
To M. D'Ivernois. Washington ed. iv, 114. Ford ed., vii, 4.
(M. Feb. 1795)

7402. REPUBLICS, Size of.—[continued]

——. The extent [of the Republic] has saved us. While some parts were
laboring under the paroxysm of delusion,
others retained their senses, and time was
thus given to the affected parts to recover
their health. Your part of the Union [New
England] is longest recovering, because the
deceivers there wear a more imposing form;
but a little more time and they too will recover.—
To General Warren. Washington ed. iv, 376.
(W. 1801)

7403. REPUBLICS, Size of.—[further continued].

The late chapter of our
history furnishes * * * a new proof of the
falsehood of Montesquieu's doctrine, that a
republic can be preserved only in a small territory.
The reverse is the truth. Had our
territory been even a third only of what it is,
we were gone.—
To Nathaniel Niles. Washington ed. iv, 376. Ford ed., viii, 24.
(W. March. 1801)

7404. REPUTATION, Regard for.—

regard for reputation and the judgment of
the world may sometimes be felt where conscience
is dormant, or indolence inexcitable.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 404.
(M. 1825)

7405. RESIGNATION, To Divine will.—

The most fortunate of us, in our journey
through life, frequently meet with calamities
and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us;
and, to fortify our minds against the attacks
of these calamities and misfortunes, should
be one of the principal studies and endeavors
of our lives. The only method of doing this
is to assume a perfect resignation to the Divine
will, to consider that whatever does happen,
must happen; and that, by our uneasiness, we
cannot prevent the blow before it does fall, but
we may add to its force after it has fallen.
These considerations, and others such as these,
may enable us in some measure to surmount
the difficulties thrown in our way; to bear up
with a tolerable degree of patience under this
burden of life; and to proceed with a pious
and unshaken resignation, till we arrive at our
journey's end, when we may deliver up our
trust into the hands of Him who gave it, and
receive such reward as to Him shall seem proportioned
to our merit. Such will be the language
of the man who considers his situation
in this life, and such should be the language of
every man who would wish to render that situation
as easy as the nature of it will admit. Few
things will disturb him at all: nothing will
disturb him much.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 187. Ford ed., i, 349.

7406. RESISTANCE, Morality and.—

When wrongs are pressed because it is believed
they will be borne, resistance becomes
To Madame De Stael. Washington ed. v, 133.
(W. 1807)

7407. RESISTANCE, Spirit of.—

country can preserve its liberties if its rulers
are not warned from time to time that its
people preserve the spirit of resistance?—
To W. S. Smith. Washington ed. ii, 318. Ford ed., iv, 467.
(P. 1787)

7408. RESOLUTION, Power of.—

I do
not like your saying that you are unable to read
the ancient print of your Livy but with the aid
of your master. We are always equal to what
we undertake with resolution. A little degree
of this will enable you to decipher your


Page 762
Livy. If you always lean on your master,
you will never be able to proceed without
him. It is part of the American character
to consider nothing as desperate, to
surmount every difficulty by resolution and
contrivance. In Europe there are shops for
every want; its inhabitants, therefore, have no
idea that their wants can be supplied otherwise.
Remote from all other aid, we are obliged to
invent and to execute; to find means within
ourselves, and not to lean on others. Consider,
therefore, the conquering your Livy as an exercise
in the habit of surmounting difficulties;
a habit which will be necessary to you in the
country where you are to live, and without
which you will be thought a very helpless animal,
and less esteemed.—
To Martha Jefferson. Ford ed., iv, 373.

7409. RESPECT, A safeguard.—

Respect is a safeguard to interest.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 592.
(P. 1786)

7410. RESPECT, Strengthening.—

national respect certainly needs strengthening
in Europe.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 223.
(P. 1786)

7411. RESPECTABILITY, National.—

It should ever be held in mind, that insult
and war are the consequences of a want of
respectability in the national character.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 531. Ford ed., iv, 192.
(P. 1786)

7412. RESPECTABILITY, National.—[continued].

An alliance [422] with the
Emperor of Austria will give us respectability
in Europe, which we have occasion for.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. i, 557.
(P. 1786)
See Joseph II.


By alliance Jefferson meant a commercial treaty.—Editor.

7413. RESPONSIBILITY, Essential principle.—

In truth, man is not made to be
trusted for life, if secured against all liability
to account.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 322.
(M. 1823)

7414. RESPONSIBILITY, Free Government and.—

Responsibility is a tremendous
engine in a free government.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. iii, 315. Ford ed., v, 410.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

7415. RESPONSIBILITY, Individual.—

Responsibility weighs with its heaviest force
on a single head.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 12. Ford ed., x, 40.
(M. 1816)

7416. RESPONSIBILITY, Official.—

am for responsibilities at short periods, seeing
neither reason nor safety in making public
functionaries independent of the nation for
life, or even for long terms of years.—
To James Martin. Washington ed. vi, 213. Ford ed., ix, 420.
(M. Sep. 1813)

7417. RESPONSIBILITY, Official.—[continued].

That there should be
public functionaries independent of the nation,
whatever may be their demerit, is a
solecism in a republic, of the first order of
absurdity and inconsistency.—
To William T. Barry. Washington ed. vii, 256.
(M. 1822)

7418. RESPONSIBILITY, People and.—

It should be remembered, as an axiom of
eternal truth in politics, that whatever power
in any government is independent, is absolute
also; in theory only, at first, while the spirit
of the people is up, but in practice, as fast
as that relaxes. Independence can be trusted
nowhere but with the people in mass. They
are inherently independent of all but moral
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 134. Ford ed., x, 141.

7419. RESPONSIBILITY, Shirking.—

Leave no screen of a Council behind which
to skulk from responsibility.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 12. Ford ed., x, 39.
(M. 1816)

7420. RETALIATION, Barbarous.—

English have burned our Capitol and President's
House by means of their force. We can burn
their St. James's and St. Paul's by means of our
money, offered to their own incendiaries, of
whom there are thousands in London who
would do it rather than starve. But it is
against the laws of civilized warfare to employ
secret incendiaries. Is it not equally so to
destroy the works of art by armed incendiaries?
Bonaparte, possessed at times of almost every
capital of Europe, with all his despotism and
power, injured no monument of art. If a nation,
breaking through all the restraints of civilized
character, uses its means of destruction
(power, for example) without distinction of objects,
may we not use our means (our money
and their pauperism) to retaliate their barbarous
ravages? Are we obliged to use for
resistance exactly the weapons chosen by them
for aggression? When they destroyed Copenhagen
by superior force, against all the laws
of God and man, would it have been unjustifiable
for the Danes to have destroyed their ships
by torpedoes? Clearly not; and they and we
should now be justifiable in the conflagration of
St. James's and St. Paul's. And if we do not
carry it into execution, it is because we think
it more moral and more honorable to set a good
example, than follow a bad one.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 380.
(M. 1814)

7421. RETALIATION, Burning cities.—

Perhaps the British fleet will burn New
York or Boston. If they do, we must burn the
city of London, not by expensive fleets or
Congreve rockets, but by employing an hundred
or two Jack-the-painters, whom nakedness,
famine, desperation, and hardened vice, will
abundantly furnish from among themselves.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. vi, 76. Ford ed., ix, 366.
(M. Aug. 1812)

7422. RETALIATION, Deplorable.—

deplore the event which shall oblige us to shed
blood for blood, and shall resort to retaliation
but as the means of stopping the progress of
Report to Congress. Ford ed., i, 495.

7423. RETALIATION, Destructive.—

Humane conduct on our part was found to produce
no effect; the contrary therefore was to be
tried. If it produces a proper lenity to our
prisoners in captivity, it will have the effect
we meant; if it does not, we shall return a
severity as terrible as universal. * * * If,
declining the tribunal of truth and reason,
they choose to pervert this into a contest of
cruelty and destruction, we will contend with
them in that line, and measure out misery to
those in our power in that multiplied proportion
which the advantage of superior numbers enables
us to do. * * * Iron will be retaliated


Page 763
by iron * * *; prison ships by prison
ships, and like for like in general. [423]
To Col. Mathews. Washington ed. i, 234. Ford ed., ii, 262.


The practical inculcation of such a lesson produced
a sensible humiliation in the conduct of the
enemy, through the subsequent stages of the war.
The door of British magnanimity, which was barred
to the dictates of reason, justice, and national honor,
was compelled, reluctantly, to yield to the cries of
their own countrymen, and the fatal admonitions of
experience.—Rayner's Life of Jefferson, New York
edition, p. 194.

7424. RETALIATION, A duty.—

is a duty we owe to those engaged in
the cause of their country, to assure them that
if any unlucky circumstance, baffling the efforts
of their bravery, shall put them in the
power of their enemies, we will use the pledges
in our hands to warrant their lives from sacrifice.—
Report to Congress. Ford ed., i, 495.

7425. RETALIATION, Effective.—

numbers of our countrymen betrayed into the
hands of the enemy by the treachery, cowardice
or incompetence of our high officers, reduce us
to the humiliating necessity of acquiescing in
the brutal conduct observed towards them.
When, during the last war, I put Governor
Hamilton and Major Hay into a dungeon and
in irons for having themselves personally done
the same to the American prisoners who had
fallen into their hands, and was threatened
with retaliation by Phillips, then returned to
New York, I declared to him I would load ten
of their Saratoga prisoners (then under my care
and within half a dozen miles of my house) with
double irons for every American they should
misuse under pretence of retaliation, and it
put an end to the practice. But the ten for
one are now with them.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. vi, 211.
(M. Sep. 1813)

7426. RETALIATION, France and.—

recent fact, proving the anxiety of France for
a reconciliation with us is the following. You
know that one of the armed vessels which we
took from her was refitted by us, sent to cruise
on them, recaptured, and carried into Guadaloupe
under the name of the Retaliation. On
the arrival there of Desfourneaux, the new commissioner,
he sent Victor Hughes home in
irons; called up our captain; told him that he
found he had a regular commission as an
officer of the United States; that his vessel
was then lying in harbor; that he should enquire
into no fact preceding his own arrival
(by this he avoided noticing that the vessel
was really French property) and that therefore,
himself and crew were free to depart with their
vessel; that as to the differences between
France and the United States, commissioners
were coming to settle them, and in the meantime,
no injury should be done on their part.
The captain insisted on being a prisoner; the
other disclaimed; and so he arrived here
[Philadelphia] the day before yesterday.
Within an hour after this was known to the
Senate, they passed a retaliation bill. This
was the more remarkable, as the bill was
founded expressly on the Arret of Oct. 29,
which had been communicated by the President
as soon as received, and he remarked, “that
it could not be too soon communicated to the
two Houses and the public”. Yet he almost
in the same instant received, through the same
channel, Mr. King, information that the Arret was suspended, and though he knew we were
making it the foundation of a retaliation bill,
he has never yet communicated it. But the
Senate knew the fact informally from the Sec
retary of State, and knowing it, passed the bill.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 288. Ford ed., vii, 357.
(Pa., Feb. 14, 1799)

7427. RETALIATION, France and.—[continued].

Our government contemplate
restoring the Frenchmen taken originally
in the same vessel, and kept at Lancaster
[Penna.] as prisoners. This has furnished the
idea of calling her a cartel vessel, and pretending
that she came as such for an exchange of
prisoners, which is false. She was delivered
free and without condition, but it does not suit
to let any new evidence appear of the desire of
conciliation in France.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 290. Ford ed., vii, 360.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

7428. RETALIATION, France and.—[further continued].

Leblanc, an agent from
Desfourneaux of Guadaloupe, came in the Retaliation.
You will see in the papers Desfourneaux's
letter to the President. * * * The
vessel and crew were liberated without condition.
Nothwithstanding this, they have
obliged Leblanc to receive the French prisoners,
and to admit, in the papers, the terms,
“in exchange for prisoners taken from us”, he
denying at the same time that they consider
them as prisoners, or had any idea of exchange. The object of his mission was not at all relative
to that; but they choose to keep up the idea of
a cartel, to prevent the transaction from being
used as evidence of the sincerity of the French
towards a reconciliation. He came to assure
us of a discontinuance of all irregularities in
French privateers from Guadaloupe. He has
been received very cavalierly.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 291. Ford ed., vii, 361.
(Pa., Feb. 19, 1799)

7429. RETALIATION, Governor Hamilton's case.—

I hope you will ascribe the
advice of the [Governor's] Council [confining
Governor Hamilton], not to want of attention
to the sacred nature of public conventions, of
which I hope we shall never, in any circumstances,
lose sight, but to a desire of stopping
the effusion of the unoffending blood of women
and children, and the unjustifiable severities
exercised on our captive officers and soldiers
in general, by proper severities on our part.—
To Sir Guy Carleton. Ford ed., ii, 256.

See War, Prisoners of.

7430. RETALIATION, Governor Hamilton's case.—[continued].

On receipt of your letter
of August 6th, during my absence, the Council
had the irons taken off the prisoners of war.
When your advice was asked, we meant it
should decide with us; and upon my return
to Williamsburg, the matter was taken up and
the enclosed advice [424] given.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 230. Ford ed., ii, 258.


Page 764

The advice was in the form of an Order of Council
which was written by Governor Jefferson as follows:
“The Board having been at no time unmindful
of the circumstances attending the confinement
of Lieutenant Governor Hamilton, Captain Lamothe
and Philip Dejean, which the personal cruelties of
those men, as well as the general conduct of the
enemy had constrained them to advise; wishing,
and willing to expect, that their sufferings may lead
them to the practice of humanity, should any future
turn of fortune, in their favor, submit to their discretion
the fate of their fellow-creatures; that it
may prove an admonition to others, meditating like
cruelties, not to rely for impunity in any circumstances
of distance or present security; and that it
may induce the enemy to reflect what must be the
painful consequences should a continuation of the
same conduct on their part impel us again to severities,
while such multiplied subjects of retaliation
are within our power; sensible that no impression
can be made on the event of the war by wreaking
vengeance on miserable captives; that the great
cause which has animated the two nations against
each other is not to be decided by unmanly cruelties
on wretches, who have bowed their necks to the
power of the victor, but by the exercise of honorable
valor in the field; earnestly hoping that the enemy,
viewing the subject in the same light, will be content
to abide the event of that mode of decision, and
spare us the pain of a second departure from kindness
to our captives; confident that commiseration to
our prisoners is the only possible motive to which
can be candidly ascribed, in the present actual circumstances
of the war, the advice we are now about
to give; the Board does advise the Governor to send
Lieutenant Governor Hamilton, Captain Lamothe
and Philip Dejean, to Hanover Court House, there
to remain at large, within reasonable limits, taking
the parole in the usual manner. The Governor
orders accordingly.”—Editor.

7431. RETALIATION, Governor Hamilton's case.—[further continued].

Governor Hamilton and
his companions were imprisoned and ironed,
1st. In retaliation for cruel treatment of our
captive citizens by the enemy in general. 2d.
For the barbarous species of warfare which
himself and his savage allies carried on in our
western frontier. 3d. For particular acts of
barbarity, of which he himself was personally
guilty, to some of our citizens in his power.
Any one of these charges was sufficient to justify
the measures we took.—
To Colonel Mathews. Washington ed. i, 233. Ford ed., ii, 262.
(Wg. 1779)

7432. RETALIATION, Humanity and.—

A uniform exercise of kindness to prisoners
on our part has been returned by as uniform
severity on the part of our enemies. * * * It is high time * * * to teach
respect to the dictates of humanity; in such a
case retaliation becomes an act of humanity.—
To Sir Guy Carleton. Ford ed., ii, 251.

7433. RETALIATION, Legislative.—

Legislative warfare was begun by the British
parliament. * * * The stat. 12 G. 3, c. 24
for carrying our citizens charged with the offences
it describes, to be tried in a foreign
country; by foreign judges instead of a jury of
their vicinage, by laws not their own, without
witnesses, without friends, or the means of making
them; that of the 14 G. 3, c. 39, for protecting
from punishment those who should
murder an American in the execution of a
British law, were previous to our acts of exile,
and even to the commencement of the war.
Their act of 14 G. 3, c. 19, for shutting up the
harbor of Boston, and thereby annihilating,
with the commerce of that city, the value of its
property; that of 15 G. 3, c. 10, forbidding us
to export to foreign markets the produce we
have hitherto raised and sold at those markets,
and thereby leaving that produce useless on our
hands; that of 10 G. 3, c. 5, prohibiting all
exports even to British markets, and making
them legal prize when taken on the high seas,
was dealing out confiscation, by wholesale, on
the property of entire nations, which our acts,
cited by you, retaliated but on the small scale
of individual confiscation. But we never retaliated
the 4th section of the last mentioned act,
under which multitudes of our citizens taken on
board our vessels were forced by starving, by
periodical whippings, and by constant chains to
become the murderers of their countrymen,
perhaps of their fathers and brothers. If from
this legislative warfare we turn to those scenes
of active hostility which wrapped our houses in
flame, our families in slaughter, our property
in universal devastation, is the wonder that our
Legislature did so much, or so little? Compare
their situation with that of the British Parliament
enjoying in ease and safety all the comforts
and blessings of the earth, and hearing
of these distant events as of the wars of
Benaris, or the extermination of the Rohillas,
and say with candor whether the difference of
scene and situation would not have justified
a contrary difference of conduct towards each
other? [425]
To George Hammond. Ford ed., vi, 12.
(Pa., 1792)


From Jefferson's letter to George Hammond,
British Minister, on the infractions of the peace
treaty. The extract was in reply to a charge made
by Hammond. Alexander Hamilton thought “it
may involve irritating discussion”, and Jefferson
struck it out.—Editor.

7434. RETALIATION, Life for life.—

If the [British] enemy shall put to death,
torture, or otherwise ill-treat any of the hostages
in their hands, or of the Canadian, or
other prisoners captivated by them in the service
of the United Colonies, [426] recourse must be
had to retaliation as the sole means of stopping
the progress of human butchery, and for that
purpose punishments of the same kind and degree
shall be inflicted on an equal number of
their subjects taken by us, till they shall be
taught due respect to the violated rights of nations.—
Report to Congress. Ford ed., ii, 34.
(June. 1776)


Here Jefferson had written “States of America”
which has been stricken out by another hand and
“Colonies” written in its place.—Note in Ford edition.

7435. RETALIATION, Necessary.—

shall give immediate orders for having in readiness
every engine which the enemy have contrived
for the destruction of our unhappy citizens,
captured by them. The presentiment of
these operations is shocking beyond expression.
I pray heaven to avert them; but nothing in
this world will do it, but a proper conduct in the
enemy. In every event, I shall resign myself
to the hard necessity under which I shall act.—
To Gen. Washington. Washington ed. i, 232. Ford ed., ii, 261.
(Wg. 1779)

7436. RETALIATION, Opportunity for.—

It is impossible [that the British] can be
serious in attempting to bully us * * *.
We have too many of their subjects in our
power and too much iron to clothe them with
and, I will add, too much resolution to avail
ourselves of both, to fear their pretended retaliation.
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 231. Ford ed., ii, 259.
(Wg. 1779)


Jefferson was then Governor of Virginia, and a
controversy had arisen respecting the treatment of
prisoners of war.—Editor.

7437. RETALIATION, On prisoners of war.—

This question [contest with Great
Britain] will not be decided by wreaking vengeance
on a few helpless captives but by achieving
success in the fields of war, and gathering there
those laurels which grow for the warrior brave.
In this light we view the object between us, in
this line we have hitherto conducted ourselves
for its attainment. [428]
Report to Congress. Ford ed., i, 494.


Ethan Allen and others were at that time prisoners
in the hands of the British army. The report
was not accepted by Congress.—Editor.

7438. RETALIATION, On prisoners of war.—[continued].

Should you think proper
in these days to revive ancient barbarism and
again disgrace our nature with the sacrifice,
the fortune of war has put into our power subjects
for multiplied retaliation. To them, to
you, and to the world we declare they shall not
be wretched unless their imprudence or your
example shall oblige us to make them so; but we
declare that their lives shall teach our enemies
to respect the rights of nations.
Report to Congress. Ford ed., i, 494.
(Dec. 1775)


Page 765

7439. RETALIATION, On prisoners of war.—[further continued].

It is my duty, as well as
it was my promise to the Virginia captives, to
take measures for discovering any change which
may be made in their situation. For this purpose,
I must apply for your Excellency's interposition.
I doubt not but you have an established
mode of knowing at all times, through
your commissary of prisoners, the precise state
of those in the power of the enemy. I must,
therefore, pray you to put into motion, any
such means you have, for obtaining knowledge
of the situation of the Virginia officers in captivity.
If you should think proper, as I could
wish, to take upon yourself to retaliate any
new sufferings which may be imposed on them,
it will be more likely to have due weight, and
to restore the unhappy on both sides, to that
benevolent treatment for which all should wish.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 237. Ford ed., ii, 280.
(Wg. Nov. 1779)

7440. RETALLATION, On Savages.—

To do wrong is a melancholy resource, even
where retaliation renders it indispensably necessary.
It is better to suffer much from the
scalpings, the conflagrations, the rapes and rapine
of savages, than to countenance and
strengthen such barbarisms by retortion. I
have ever deemed it more honorable and more
profitable, too, to set a good example than to
follow a bad one.—
To M. Correa. Washington ed. vi, 405.
(M. 1814)

7441. RETIREMENT, Called from.—

had folded myself in the arms of retirement,
and rested all prospects of future happiness on
domestic and literary objects. A single event
[Mrs. Jefferson's death] wiped away all my
plans, and left me a blank which I had not the
spirits to fill up. In this state of mind an appointment
[Minister to France] from Congress
found me, requiring me to cross the Atlantic.—
To M. de Chastellux. Washington ed. i, 322. Ford ed., iii, 65.
(Am. 1782)

7442. RETIREMENT, Called from.—[continued].

I had retired after five
and twenty years of constant occupation in
public affairs, and total abandonment of my
own. I retired much poorer than when I entered
the public service, and desired nothing but
rest and oblivion. My name, however, was
again brought forward [for the Presidency],
without concert or expectation on my part.
On my salvation I declare it.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 151. Ford ed., vii, 93.
(M. Dec. 1796)

7443. RETIREMENT, Desire for.—

However ardently my retirement to my own
home and my own affairs, may be wished for by
others, * * * there is no one of them who
feels the wish once where I do a thousand
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., v, 507.
(Pa., April. 1792)

7444. RETIREMENT, Happiness in.—

If I can carry into retirement the good will of
my fellow citizens, nothing else will be wanting
to my happiness.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. v, 252.

7445. RETIREMENT, Longing for.—

Oh for the day when I shall be withdrawn from
[office]; when I shall have leisure to enjoy my
family, my friends, my farm and books!—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 225.
(W. Jan. 1808)

7446. RETIREMENT, Longing for.—[continued].

It is now among my
most fervent longings to be on my farm, which,
with a garden and fruitery, will constitute my
principal occupation in retirement.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. v, 224.
(W. 1808)

7447. RETIREMENT, Longing for.—[further continued]

——. My longings for retirement
are so strong, that I with difficulty encounter
the daily drudgeries of my duty.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 248. Ford ed., ix, 178.
(W. Feb. 1808)

7448. RETIREMENT, Longing for.—[further continued].

As the moment of my
retirement approaches, I become more anxious
for its arrival, and to begin at length to pass
what yet remains to me of life and health in
the bosom of my family and neighbors, and
in communication with my friends, undisturbed
by political concerns or passions.—
To Dr. Logan. Washington ed. v, 405.
(W. Dec. 1808)

7449. RETIREMENT, Longing for.—[further continued] .

Five weeks more will
relieve me from a drudgery to which I am no
longer equal, and restore me to a scene of tranquillity,
amidst my family and friends, more
congenial to my age and natural inclinations.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 420. Ford ed., ix, 244.
(W. Jan. 1809)

7450. RETIREMENT, Newspaper attacks and.—

I have for some time past been
under an agitation of mind which I scarcely
ever experienced before, produced by a check
on my purpose of returning home at the close
of this session of Congress. My operations
at Monticello had been all made to bear upon
that point of time, my mind was fixed on it with
a fondness which was extreme, the purpose
firmly declared to the President, when I became
assailed from all quarters with a variety of objections.
Among these it was urged that my
return just when I had been attacked in the
public papers, would injure me in the eyes of
the public, who would suppose I either withdrew
from investigation, or because I had not tone
of mind sufficient to meet slander. The only
reward I ever wished on my retirement was to
carry with me nothing like a disapprobation of
the public. These representations have, for
some weeks past, shaken a determination
which I had thought the whole world could
not have shaken. I have not yet finally made
up my mind on the subject, nor changed my
declaration to the President. But having perfect
reliance in the disinterested friendship of
some of those who have counselled and urged
it strongly; believing that they can see and
judge better a question between the public and
myself than I can, I feel a possibility that I
may be detained here [Philadelphia] into the
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 506. Ford ed., vi, 163.
(Pa., Jan. 1793)

7451. RETIREMENT, Newspaper attacks and.—[continued].

It happened unfortunately
that the attack made on me in the newspapers
came out soon after I began to speak
freely and publicly of my purpose to retire this
Spring. * * * I find that as well those who
are my friends as those who are not, putting the
two things together as cause and effect, conceived
I was driven from office either from
want of firmness or perhaps fear of investigation.
Desirous that my retirement may be
clouded by no imputations of this kind, I see not
only a possibility, but rather a probability, that
I shall postpone it for some time.—
To T. M. Randolph. D. L. J., 215.
(Pa., Feb. 1793)

7452. RETIREMENT, Occupations in.—

In [retirement] I shall devote myself to
occupations much more congenial with my inclinations,
than those to which I have been
called by the character of the times into which
my lot was cast. About to be relieved from
this corvée by age and the fulfillment of the
quadragena stipendia, what remains to me of
physical activity will chiefly be employed in the


Page 766
amusements of agriculture. Having little practical
skill, I count more on the pleasures than
the profits of that occupation.—
To M. Lasteyrie. Washington ed. v, 315.
(W. 1808)

7453. RETIREMENT, Occupations in.—[continued].

Within a few days I retire
to my family, my books and farms; and having gained the harbor myself, I shall look on
my friends still buffeting the storm with anxiety
indeed, but not with envy.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 432.
(W. March. 1809)

7454. RETIREMENT, Occupations in.—[further continued].

I retire from scenes of
difficulty, anxiety, and of contending passions,
to the elysium of domestic affections, and the
irresponsible direction of my own affairs. Safe
in port myself, I shall look anxiously at my
friends still buffeting the storm, and wish you
all safe in port also.—
To General Armstrong. Washington ed. v, 434.
(W. 1809)

7455. RETIREMENT, Occupations in.—[further continued] .

I shall now bury myself
in the groves of Monticello, and become a
mere spectator of the passing events.—
To Baron Humboldt. Washington ed. v, 435.
(W. 1809)

7456. RETIREMENT, Occupations in.—[further continued].

I am now retired: I
resign myself, as a passenger, with confidence
to those at present at the helm, and ask but for
rest, peace and good will.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 9. Ford ed., x, 37.
(M. 1816)

7457. RETIREMENT, Old age.—

I am too desirous of quiet to place myself in the way
of contention. Against this I am admonished
by bodily decay, which cannot be unaccompanied
by corresponding wane of the mind.
Of this I am as yet sensible, sufficiently to be
unwilling to trust myself before the public, and
when I cease to be so, I hope that my friends
will be too careful of me to draw me forth and
present me, like a Priam in armor, as a spectacle
for public compassion. I hope our political
bark will ride through all its dangers;
but I can in future be but an inert passenger.—
To Thomas Ritchie. Washington ed. vii, 193. Ford ed., x, 171.
(M. 1820)

7458. RETIREMENT, Power and.—

Never did a prisoner, released from his chains,
feel such relief as I shall on shaking off the
shackles of power. Nature intended me for
the tranquil pursuits of science, by rendering
them my supreme delight. But the enormities
of the times in which I have lived, have forced
me to take a part in resisting them, and to
commit myself on the boisterous ocean of political
passions. I thank God for the opportunity
of retiring from them without censure, and
carrying with me the most consoling proofs of
public approbation.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 432.
(W. March 2, 1809)

7459. RETIREMENT, Principle and.—

At the end of the next four years I shall certainly
retire. Age, inclination and principle all
dictate this.—
To Philip Mazzei. Washington ed. iv, 554.
(W. July. 1804)

7460. RETIREMENT, Reasons for.—

The President [Washington] said, in an affectionate
tone, that he had felt much concern
at an expression which dropped from me yesterday
[Feb. 28, 1792], and which marked my
intention of retiring [from the Secretaryship of
State] when he should; that as to himself,
many motives obliged him to it, * * * yet
he should consider it as unfortunate, if that
should bring on the retirement of the great
officers of the government, and that this might
produce a shock on the public mind of dangerous
consequence. I told him that no man had
ever had less desire of entering into public of
fices than myself; that the circumstance of a
perilous war, which had brought everything
into danger, and called for all the services
which every citizen could render, had induced
me to undertake the administration of the government
of Virginia; that I had both before and
after refused repeated appointments of Congress
to go abroad in that sort of office, which, if I
had consulted my own gratification, would almost
have been the most agreeable to me; that
at the end of two years, I resigned the government
of Virginia, and retired with a firm resolution
never more to appear in public life; that
a domestic loss, however, happened, and made
me fancy that absence and a change of scene
for a time might be expedient for me; that i,
therefore, accepted a foreign appointment, limited
to two years; that at the close of that, Dr.
Franklin having left France, I was appointed to
supply his place, which I had occupied, and
though I continued in it three or four years,
it was under the constant idea of remaining
only a year or two longer; that the Revolution
in France coming on, I had so interested myself
in the event of that, that when obliged to
bring my family home, I had still an idea of
returning and awaiting the close of that, to fix
the era of my final retirement; that on my arrival
here I found he had appointed me to my
present office [Secretary of State]; that he
knew I had not come into it without some reluctance;
that it was, on my part, a sacrifice of
inclination to the opinion that I might be more
serviceable here than in France, and with a firm
resolution in my mind, to indulge my constant
wish for retirement at no very distant day; that
when, therefore, I had received his letter, written
from Mount Vernon, on his way to Carolina
and Georgia (April 1, 1791), and discovered
from an expression in that, that he meant to
retire from the government ere long, and as to
the precise epoch there could be no doubt, my
mind was immediately made up, to make that
the epoch of my own retirement from those labors
of which I was heartily tired. That, however,
I did not believe there was any idea in
any of my brethren in the administration of
retiring; that, on the contrary, I had perceived
at a late meeting of the trustees of the sinking
fund, that the Secretary of the Treasury had developed
the plan he intended to pursue, and
that it embraced years in its view. He said
that he considered the Treasury Department
as a much more limited one, going only to the
single object of revenue, while that of the Secretary
of State, embracing nearly all the objects
of administration, was much more important,
and the retirement of the officer, therefore,
would be more noticed; that though the government
had set out with a pretty general good will
of the public, yet that symptoms of dissatisfaction
had lately shown themselves far beyond
what he could have expected, and to what
height these might arise in case of too great a
change in the administration, could not be foreseen.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 102. Ford ed., i, 175.
(Feb. 29, 1792)

7461. RETIREMENT, Reasons for.—[continued].

I expressed to him
[Washington] my excessive repugnance to public
life, the particular uneasiness of my situation
in this place [Philadelphia], where the laws of
society oblige me always to move exactly in the
circle which I know to bear me peculiar hatred;
that is to say, the wealthy aristocrats, the merchants
connected closely with England, the
new created paper fortunes; that thus surrounded,
my words were caught, multiplied,
misconstrued, and even fabricated and spread
abroad to my injury; that he saw also, that
there was such an opposition of views between


Page 767
myself and another part of the Administration,
as to render it peculiarly unpleasing, and to
destroy the necessary harmony.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 166. Ford ed., i, 256.
(Aug. 1793)

7462. RETIREMENT, Washington opposed to Jefferson's.—

The President calls
on me [to-day, August 6], at my house in the
country, and introduces my letter of July 31,
announcing that I should resign at the close of
the next month. He again expressed his repentance
at not having resigned himself, and
how much it was increased by seeing that he
was to be deserted by those on whose aid he
had counted; that he did not know where he
should look to find characters to fill up the offices;
that mere talents did not suffice for the
Department of State, but it required a person
conversant in foreign affairs, perhaps acquainted
with foreign courts; that without this,
the best talents would be awkward and at a loss.
He told me that Colonel Hamilton had three or
four weeks ago written to him, informing him
that private as well as public reasons had
brought him to the determination to retire, and
that he should do it towards the close of the
next session. He said he had often before intimated
dispositions to resign, but never as decisively
before; that he supposed he had fixed
on the latter part of next session, to give an opportunity
to Congress to examine into his conduct;
that our going out at times so different
increased his difficulty; for if he had both places
to fill at once, he might consult both the particular
talents and geographical situation of our
successors. He expressed great apprehension
at the fermentation which seemed to be working
in the mind of the public; that many descriptions
of persons, actuated by different
causes, appeared to be uniting; what it would
end in he knew not; a new Congress was to
assemble, more numerous, perhaps of a different
spirit; the first expressions of their sentiments
would be important; if I would only stay to the
end of that, it would relieve him considerably.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 165. Ford ed., i, 256.
(Aug. 1793)

7463. RETIREMENT, Welcome.—

moment of my retiring [from the Secretaryship
of State] is now approaching, and is to me as
land was to Columbus in his first American
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 490.
(Nov. 1792)

7464. RETIREMENT, Welcome.—[continued].

I now contemplate the
approach of the moment of my retirement with
the fondness of a sailor who has land in view.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Ford ed., vi, 132.
(Pa., Nov. 1792)

7465. RETIREMENT, Welcome.—[further continued].

When I came into office,
it was with a resolution to retire from it as soon
as I could with decency. It pretty early appeared
to me that the proper moment would be
the first of those epochs at which the Constitution
seems to have contemplated a periodical
change or renewal of the public servants.
* * * I look to that period with the longing
of a wave-worn mariner, who has at length the
land in view, and shall count the days and hours
which still lie between me and it.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 467. Ford ed., vi, 108.
(M. Sep. 1792)

See Approbation.

7466. RETRENCHMENT, Salutary.—

These views of reducing our burdens are formed
on the expectation that a sensible, and at the
same time a salutary reduction may take place
in our habitual expenditures. For this purpose,
those of the civil government, the army and
navy, will need revisal.—
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 9. Ford ed., viii, 119.
(Dec. 1801)

7467. REVENGE, For abuse.—

I shall
take no other revenge [for the slanders heaped
upon me] than, by a steady pursuit of economy
and peace, and by the establishment
of republican principles in substance and in
form, to sink federalism into an abyss from
which there shall be no resurrection for it.—
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. iv, 451. Ford ed., viii, 175.
(W. Oct. 1802)

7468. REVENUE, Imports and.—

revenue will be less than it would be were we
to continue to import instead of manufacturing
our coarse goods. But the increase of population
and production will keep pace with that of
manufactures, and maintain the quantum of exports
at the present level at least; and the imports
need be equivalent to them, and consequently
the revenue on them be undiminished.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 583. Ford ed., ix, 319.
(M. 1811)

See Debt (United States), Internal Improvements, Surplus and Taxation.

7469. REVOLUTION, Completion of.—

The generation which commences a revolution
rarely completes it. Habituated from their infancy
to passive submission of body and mind
to their kings and priests, they are not qualified
when called on to think and provide for
themselves; and their inexperience, their ignorance
and bigotry make them instruments
often, in the hands of the Bonapartes and
Iturbides, to defeat their own rights and purposes.
This is the present situation of Europe
and Spanish America.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 307. Ford ed., x, 269.
(M. 1823)

7470. REVOLUTION, Right of.—

indeed, will dictate that governments
long established should not be changed for light
and transient causes; and accordingly all experience
hath shown that mankind are more
disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable,
than to right themselves by abolishing the
forms to which they are accustomed. But,
when a long train of abuses and usurpations
[begun at a distinguished period and], pursuing
invariably the same object, evinces a design
to reduce them under absolute despotism,
it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off
such government, and to provide new guards
for their future security. Such has been the
patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such
is now the necessity which constrains them to
expunge [429] their former systems of government.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress struck out the words in brackets and
substituted “alter” for “expunge”.—Editor.

7471. REVOLUTION (American), Appeal to British people.—

In defence of our
persons and properties under actual violation,
we took up arms. When that violence shall
be removed, when hostilities shall cease on the
part of the aggressors, hostilities shall cease
on our part also. For the achievement of
this happy event, we call for and confide in
the good offices of our fellow-subjects beyond
the Atlantic. Of their friendly dispositions
we do not cease to hope; aware, as they must
be, that they have nothing more to expect
from the same common enemy, than the


Page 768
humble favor of being last devoured.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 475.
(July. 1775)

7472. REVOLUTION (American), Battle of Lexington.—

Within this week we
have received the unhappy news of an action
of considerable magnitude, between the King's
troops and our brethren of Boston, in which it
is said five hundred of the former, with the
Earl of Percy, are slain. * * * This accident [430] has cut off our last hope of reconciliation, and
a frenzy of revenge seems to have seized all
ranks of people.—
To Dr. William Small. Washington ed. i, 198. Ford ed., i, 453.
(May. 1775)


Commenting on this passage, Parton, in his
Life of Jefferson, says: “We may judge of the
strength of the tie between the mother country and
the Colonies, by the fact that so un-English a mind
as Jefferson's clung with sentimental fondness to
the union long after there was any reasonable hope
of their preserving it.” Dr. Small, Jefferson's professor
and friend at William and Mary College, was
then living in England.—Editor.

7473. REVOLUTION (American), Beginning of.—

The question who commenced
the Revolution? is as difficult as that of the
first inventors of a thousand good things. For
example, who first discovered the principle of
gravity? Not Newton; for Galileo, who died
the year that Newton was born, had measured
its force in the descent of gravid bodies. Who
invented the Lavoiserian chemistry? The English
say Dr. Black, by the preparatory discovery
of latent heat. Who invented the steamboat?
Was it Gerbert, the Marquis of Worcester,
Newcommen, Savary, Papin, Fitch, Fulton? The
fact is, that one new idea leads to another,
that to a third, and so on through a course
of time until some one, with whom no one of
these ideas was original, combines all together,
and produces what is justly called a new invention.
I suppose it would be as difficult to
trace our Revolution to its first embryo. We
do not know how long it was hatching in the
British cabinet before they ventured to make
the first of the experiments which were to develop
it in the end and to produce complete
parlimentary supremacy. Those you mention
in Massachusetts as preceding the Stamp Act,
might be the first visible symptoms of that
design. The proposition of that Act in 1764,
was the first here. Your opposition, therefore,
preceded ours, as occasion was sooner given
there than here, and the truth, I suppose, is,
that the opposition in every colony began
whenever the encroachment was presented to it.
This question of priority is as the inquiry
would be who first, of the three hundred Spartans,
offered his name to Leonidas?—
To Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse. Washington ed. vii, 99. Ford ed., x, 102.
(M. 1818)

7474. REVOLUTION (American), Beginning of.—[continued].

It would * * * be as
difficult to say at what moment the Revolution
began, and what incident set it in motion, as to
fix the moment that the embryo becomes an
animal, or the act which gives him a beginning.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 104. Ford ed., x, 107.
(M. 1818)

7475. REVOLUTION (American), Beginning of.—[further continued].

A * * * misapprehension
of * * * a passage in Mr. [William] Wirt's book, for which I am quoted, has produced
a * * * reclamation of the part of Massachusetts,
by some of her most distinguished
and estimable citizens. I had been applied to
by Mr. Wirt for such facts respecting Mr.
[Patrick] Henry, as my intimacy with him and
participation in the transactions of the day,
might have placed within my knowledge. I accordingly
committed them to paper; and Virginia
being the theatre of his action, was the
only subject within my contemplation, while
speaking of him. Of the resolutions and
measures here, in which he had the acknowledged
lead, I used the expression that “Mr.
Henry certainly gave the first impulse to the
ball of revolution”. (Wirt, page 41.) The expression
is, indeed, general, and in all its extension,
would comprehend all the sister States;
but indulgent construction would restrain it,
as was really meant, to the subject matter under
contemplation, which was Virginia alone; according
to the rule of the lawyers and a fair
canon of general criticism, that every expression
should be construed secundum subjectam
Where the first attack was made,
there must have been, of course, the first act
of resistance, and that was in Massachusetts.
Our [Virginia's] first overt act of war was Mr.
Henry's embodying a force of militia from
several counties, regularly armed and organized,
marching them in military array and
making reprisal on the King's treasury at the
seat of government, for the public powder taken
away by his Governor. This was in the last
days of April, 1775. Your formal battle of
Lexington was ten or twelve days before that,
which greatly overshadowed in importance, as
it preceded in time, our little affray, which
merely amounted to a levying of arms against
the King; and, very possibly, you had had
military affrays before the regular battle of
To Samuel A. Wells. i, 116. vii, 120. Ford ed., x, 128.
(M. 1819)

— REVOLUTION (American), British cruelty in.—

See Cruelty.

7476. REVOLUTION (American), Canada and.—

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

7477. REVOLUTION (American), Change of government.—

With respect to
the State of Virginia in particular, the people
seem to have laid aside the monarchical, and
taken up the republican government, with as
much ease as would have attended their throwing
off an old, and putting on a new suit of
clothes. Not a single throe has attended this
important transformation. A half-dozen aristocratical
gentlemen, agonizing under the loss
of preeminence, have sometimes ventured their
sarcasms on our political metamorphosis. They
have been thought fitter objects of pity, than
of punishment.—
To Benjamin Franklin. Washington ed. i, 204. Ford ed., ii, 131.

7478. REVOLUTION (American), Confident of victory.—

We have long been out
of all fear for the event of the war.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 207. Ford ed., ii, 157.
(Wg. June. 1778)

7479. REVOLUTION (American), Consequences of.—

The enquiry which has been
excited among the mass of mankind by our
Revolution and its consequences, will ameliorate
the condition of men over a great portion of the
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 366. Ford ed., viii, 8.
(W. March. 1801)

7480. REVOLUTION (American), French alliance and.—

If there could have
been a doubt before as to the event of the war,


Page 769
it is now totally removed by the interposition of
France, and the generous alliance she has entered
into with us.—
To—. Washington ed. i, 208. Ford ed., ii, 157.
(Wg. 1778)

7481. REVOLUTION (American), Gage's perfidy.—

Hostilities thus commenced
[at Lexington, &c.], on the part of the
ministerial army have been since by them pursued
without regard to faith or fame. The inhabitants
of the town of Boston, in order to
procure their enlargement, having entered into
treaty with General Gage, their Governor, it
was stipulated that the said inhabitants, having
first deposited their arms with their own magistrates,
should have liberty to depart from out
of the said town taking with them their other
effects. Their arms they accordingly delivered
in, and claimed the stipulated license of departing
with their effects. But in open violation
of plighted faith and honor, in defiance of
the sacred obligation of treaty which even
savage nations observe, their arms, deposited
with their own magistrates to be preserved as
their property, were immediately seized by a
body of armed men under orders from the said
General; the greater part of the inhabitants
were detained in the town, and the few permitted
to depart were compelled to leave their
most valuable effects behind. We leave the
world to its own reflections on this atrocious
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 471.
(July. 1775)

7482. REVOLUTION (American), Hopes of reconciliation.—

When I saw Lord
Chatham's bill, I entertained high hope that
a reconciliation could have been brought about.
The difference between his terms and those offered
by our Congress might have been accommodated,
if entered by both parties with a disposition
to accommodate. But the dignity of
Parliament, it seems, can brook no opposition
to its power.—
To Dr. William Small. Washington ed. i, 199. Ford ed., i, 454.
(May. 1775)

7483. REVOLUTION (American), Hopes of reconciliation. ‐ [continued].

Looking with fondness
towards a reconciliation with Great Britain, I
cannot help hoping that you [431] may be able to
contribute towards expediting this good work.
I think it must be evident to youself, that the
Ministry have been deceived by their officers
on this side of the water, who (for what purpose
I cannot tell) have constantly represented
the American opposition as that of a small faction,
in which the body of the people took little
part. This, you can inform them, of your own
knowledge, is untrue. They have taken it into
their heads, too, that we are cowards, and shall
surrender at discretion to an armed force.
* * * I wish they were thoroughly and minutely
acquainted with every circumstance relative
to America, as it exists in truth. I am
persuaded, this would go far towards disposing
them to reconciliation.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 200. Ford ed., i, 482.
(M. Aug. 1775)


This John Randolph was the King's Attorney
General, and a son of Sir John Randolph. He sided
with the Crown and went to England. Peyton Randolph
was his brother.—Editor.

7484. REVOLUTION (American), Hopes of reconciliation. ‐ [further continued].

If undeceiving the Minister,
as to matters of fact, may change his
disposition, it will, perhaps, be in your power,
by assisting to do this, to render service to the
whole empire, at the most critical time, certainly,
that it has ever seen. Whether Britain
shall continue the head of the greatest empire
on earth, or shall return to her original station
in the political scale of Europe, depends, perhaps,
on the resolutions of the succeeding win
ter. God send they may be wise and salutary
for us all.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 201. Ford ed., i, 484.
(M. Aug. 1775)

7485. REVOLUTION (American), Hopes of reconciliation. ‐ [further continued] .

One bloody campaign
will probably decide, everlastingly, our future
course; and I am sorry to find a bloody campaign
is decided on. If our winds and waters
should not combine to rescue their shores from
slavery, and General Howe's reinforcements
should arrive in safety, we have hopes he will
be inspirited to come out of Boston and take
another drubbing; and we must drub him
soundly, before the sceptred tyrant will know
we are not mere brutes, to crouch under his
hand, and kiss the rod with which he designs
to scourge us.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 203. Ford ed., i, 493.
(M. Nov. 1775)

7486. REVOLUTION (American), Influence on France.—

The American Revolution
seems first to have awakened the thinking
part of the French nation in general from the
sleep of despotism in which they were sunk.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 69. Ford ed., i, 96.
See Revolution, French.

7487. REVOLUTION (American), Losses in.—

I think that upon the whole [our
loss [432] in the war] has been about one-half the
number lost by the British. * * * This difference
is ascribed to our superiority in taking aim
when we fire; every soldier in our army having
been intimate with his gun from his infancy.—
To—. Washington ed. i, 208. Ford ed., ii, 157.
(Wg. 1778)


From Lexington to the end of 1777.—Editor.

7488. REVOLUTION (American), Memory of.—

The memory of the American Revolution
will be immortal, and will immortalize
those who record it. The reward is encouraging,
and will justify all those pains which a rigorous
investigation of facts will render necessary.—
To Hilliard D'Auberteuil. Washington ed. i, 535.
(P. 1786)

7489. REVOLUTION (American), Mythical British victories.—

From the kind
anxiety expressed in your letter, as well as from
other sources of information, we discover that
our enemies have filled Europe with Thrasonic
accounts of victories they had never won and
conquests they were fated never to make.
While these accounts alarmed our friends in
Europe, they afforded us diversion.—
To—. Washington ed. i, 207. Ford ed., ii, 156.
(Wg. 1778)

7490. REVOLUTION (American), New England and Virginia.—

Throughout the
whole of the Revolution, Virginia and the four
New England States acted together; indeed they
made the Revolution. Their five votes were
always to be counted on; but they had to pick
up the remaining two for a majority, when
and where they could.—
Daniel Webster's Conversation with Jefferson. Ford ed., x, 329.

7491. REVOLUTION (American), Peace propositions.—

Though this Congress,
during the dependence of these States on the
British crown with unwearied supplications
sued for peace and just redress, and though they
still retain a sincere disposition to peace; yet
as his Britannic majesty by an obstinate perseverance
in injury and a callous indifference to
the sufferings and the complaints of these
States, has driven them to the necessity of
declaring themselves independent, this Congress
bound by the voice of their constituents, which
coincides with their own sentiments, have no
power to enter into conference or to receive any


Page 770
propositions on the subject of peace which do
not, as a preliminary, acknowledge these States
to be sovereign and independent: and that
whenever this shall have been authoritatively
admitted on the part of Great Britain, they
shall at all times and with that earnestness
which the love of peace and justice inspires, be
ready to enter into conference or treaty for the
purpose of stopping the effusion of so much kindred
Resolutions on Peace Propositions. Ford ed., ii, 90.
(Aug. 1776)

7492. REVOLUTION (American), Resources of.—

The main confidence of the Colonies
was in their own resources. They considered
foreign aid as probable and desirable, but not essential. I believe myself, from the
whole of what I have seen of our resources and
perseverance, 1, that had we never received any
foreign aid, we should not have obtained our
independence; but that we should have made a
peace with Great Britain on any terms we
pleased, short of that, which would have been
a subjection to the same king, a union of force
in war, &c. 2. That had France supplied us
plentifully with money, suppose about four millions
of guineas a year, without entering into
the war herself at all, we should have established
our Independence; but it would have
cost more time, and blood, but less money.
3. That France, aiding us as she did, with
money and forces, shortened much the time,
lessened the expense of blood, but at a greater
expense of money to her than would have otherwise
been requisite.—
Notes on M. Soules's Work. Washington ed. ix, 297. Ford ed., iv, 305.
(P. 1786)

7493. REVOLUTION (American), Resources of.—[continued].

The submission of the
States would not have been effected but by a
long course of disasters, and such, too, as were
irreparable in their nature. Their resources
were great, and their determination so rooted,
that they would have tried the last of them.—
Notes on M. Soules's Work. Washington ed. ix, 297. Ford ed., iv, 305.
(P. 1786)

7494. REVOLUTION (American), Royal incendiarism.—

It is a lamentable circumstance,
that the only mediatory power, acknowledged
by both parties, instead of leading to a
reconciliation his divided people, should pursue
the incendiary purpose of still blowing up the
flames, as we find him constantly doing, in every
speech and public declaration.—
To Dr. William Small. Washington ed. i, 199. Ford ed., i, 454.
(May. 1775)

See George III.

7495. REVOLUTION (American), Separation.—

There is not in the British empire
a man who more cordially loves a union with
Great Britain, than I do. But by the God that
made me, I will cease to exist before I yield
to a connection on such terms as the British
Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak
the sentiments of America. We want neither
inducement nor power, to declare and assert a
separation. It is will, alone, which is wanting,
and that is growing apace under the fostering
hand of our King.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 203. Ford ed., i, 493.
(Pa., Nov. 1775)

7496. REVOLUTION (American), Spirit of.—

Even those in Parliament who are called
friends to America seem to know nothing of
our real determinations. I observe, they pronounced
in the last Parliament that the Congress
of 1774 did not mean to insist rigorously
on the terms they held out, but kept something
in reserve to give up; and, in fact, that they
would give up everything but the article of
taxation. Now, the truth is far from this, as I
can affirm, and put my honor to the assertion.
Their continuance in this error may, perhaps,
produce very ill consequences. The Congress
stated the lowest terms they thought possible
to be accepted, in order to convince the world
they were not unreasonable. They gave up the
monopoly and regulation of trade and all acts
of Parliament prior to 1764, leaving to British
generosity to render these, at some time, as
easy to America as the interest of Britain
would admit. But this was before blood was
spilt. I cannot affirm, but have reason to think
these terms would not now be accepted.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 200. Ford ed., i, 483.
(M. 1775)

7497. REVOLUTION (American), Treaty of peace.—

The terms obtained for us
are indeed great, and are so deemed by your
country, a few ill-designing debtors excepted.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 332. Ford ed., iii, 316.
(Pa., 17831783)gt;

— REVOLUTION (American), Underlying causes of.—

See Colonies (American).

7498. REVOLUTION (American), Unnatural contest.—

I hope the returning wisdom
of Great Britain will, ere long, put an end
to this unnatural contest.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 200. Ford ed., i, 482.
(M. Aug. 1775)

7499. REVOLUTION (American), Washington and.—

The moderation and virtue
of a single character have probably prevented
this Revolution from being closed, as
most others have been, by a subversion of that
liberty it was intended to establish.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 335. Ford ed., iii, 467.
(A. 1784)

See Colonies, Cornwallis, Declaration of Independence, George IIII., Parliament,
Rights of British America, War

7500. REVOLUTION (French), American revolution and.—

Celebrated writers of
France and England had already sketched good
principles on the subject of government; yet
the American Revolution seems first to have
awakened the thinking part of the French nation
in general from the sleep of despotism in
which they were sunk. The officers, too, who
had been to America, were mostly young men,
less shackled by habit and prejudice, and more
ready to assent to the suggestions of common
sense, and feeling of common rights, than
others. They came back with new ideas and
impressions. The press, notwithstanding its
shackles, began to disseminate them; conversation
assumed new freedoms. Politics became
the theme of all societies, male and female,
and a very extensive and zealous party was
formed, which acquired the appellation of the
Patriotic Party, who, sensible of the abusive
government under which they lived, sighed for
occasions of reforming it. This party comprehended
all the honesty of the kingdom, sufficiently
at leisure to think, the men of letters,
the easy Bourgeois, the young nobility, partly
from reflection, partly from mode; for these
sentiments became matter of mode, and as such,
united most of the young women to the party.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 69. Ford ed., i, 96.

7501. REVOLUTION (French), American revolution and.—[continued].

The French nation has been awakened by our Revolution, they feel
their strength, they are enlightened, their lights
are spreading, and they will not retrograde.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 535.
(P. Dec. 1788)


Page 771

— REVOLUTION (French), Bill of rights.—

See Bill of Rights.

7502. REVOLUTION (French), Clergy and nobles.—

It was imagined the ecclesiastical
elections would have been generally in favor
of the higher clergy; on the contrary, the
lower clergy have obtained five-sixths of these
deputations. These are the sons of peasants,
who have done all the drudgery of the service
for ten, twenty, and thirty guineas a year, and
whose oppressions and penury, contrasted with
the pride and luxury of the higher clergy, have
rendered them perfectly disposed to humble
the latter. They have done it, in many instances,
with a boldness they were thought insusceptible
of. Great hopes have been formed
that these would concur with the Tiers Etat in voting by persons. In fact, about half of
them seem as yet so disposed; but the bishops
are intriguing, and drawing them over with
the address which has ever marked ecclesiastical
To John Jay. Washington ed. iii, 27.
(P. May. 1789)

7503. REVOLUTION (French), Clergy and nobles.—[continued].

The clergy and the nobles,
by their privileges and their influence,
have hitherto screened their property in a
great degree, from public contribution. That
half of the orange, then, remains yet to be
squeezed, and for this operation there is no
agent powerful enough but the people. They
are, therefore, brought forward as the favorites
of the Court, and will be supported by them.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 561.
(P. 1789)

7504. REVOLUTION (French), Clergy and nobles.—[further continued].

The Clergy will leave
nothing unattempted to secure [the voting by
orders in the States General]; for they see that
the spirit of reformation will not confine itself
to the political, but will extend to the ecclesiastical
establishment also.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 561.
(P. 1789)

— REVOLUTION (French), Constitutional reforms.—

See Constitution, French.

— REVOLUTION (French), Execution of Louis XVI.—

See Louis XVI.

— REVOLUTION (French), Fall of Bastile.—

See Bastile.

7505. REVOLUTION (French), Famine and.—

We have had such a winter here as is
not on record. The mercury was 18½° below
freezing on Reaumur's scale, and I think it was
nearly two months varying between that and
zero. It gave occasion for a display of the
benevolent character of this nation, which, great
as I had thought it, went beyond my expectations.
There seems to be a very general apprehension
of the want of bread this spring.
Supplies are hoped from our country, and indeed
they have already reduced the price of
flour at Bordeaux from 36l. to 33l. the barrel.—
To Count de Moustier. Washington ed. ii, 590.
(P. March. 1789)

7506. REVOLUTION (French), Famine and.—[continued].

We have had such a
winter as makes me shiver yet whenever I think
of it. All communications, almost, were cut
off. Dinners and suppers were suppressed, and
the money laid out in feeding and warming the
poor, whose labors were suspended by the rigor
of the season.—
To Madame de Brehan. Washington ed. ii, 591. Ford ed., v, 79.
(P. 1789)

7507. REVOLUTION (French), Famine and.—[further continued].

The want of bread is
very seriously dreaded through the whole kingdom.
Between twenty and thirty shiploads of
wheat and flour have already arrived from the
United States, and there will be about the same
quantity of rice sent from Charleston to this
country directly. * * * Paris consumes
about a shipload a day (say two hundred and
fifty tons).—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. iii, 22.
(P. May. 1789)

7508. REVOLUTION (French), Famine and.—[further continued] .

There have been some
mobs, occasioned by the want of bread, in
different parts of the kingdom, in which there
may have been some lives lost, perhaps a dozen
or twenty. These had no professed connection,
generally, with the constitutional revolution.
A more serious riot happened lately in Paris,
in which about one hundred of the mob were
killed. This execution has been universally approved,
as they seemed to have no view but
mischief and plunder.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 34.
(P. May. 1789)

7509. REVOLUTION (French), Famine and.—[further continued].

The want of bread had
been foreseen for some time past, and M. de
Montmorin had desired me to notify it in
America, and that, in addition to the market
price, a premium should be given on what
should be brought from the United States. Notice was accordingly given, and produced considerable
supplies. Subsequent information
made the importations from America, during the
months of March, April and May, into the
Atlantic ports of France, amount to about
twenty-one thousand barrels of flour, besides
what went to other ports, and in other months;
while our supplies to their West Indian islands
relieved them also from that drain. This distress
for bread continued till July.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 89. Ford ed., i, 123.

7510. REVOLUTION (French), Financial abuses.—

The discovery of the abominable
abuses of public money by the late Comptroller
General, some new expenses of the Court, not of a piece with the projects of reformation,
and the imposition of new taxes,
have, in the course of a few weeks, raised a
spirit of discontent in the nation, so great and
so general, as to threaten serious consequences.
The parliaments in general, and particularly
that of Paris, put themselves at the head of this
effervescence, and direct its object to the
calling of the States General, who have not
been assembled since 1614. The object is to
fix a constitution, and to limit expenses. The
King has been obliged to hold a bed of justice,
to enforce the registering the new taxes; the
parliament on their side, propose to issue a
prohibition against their execution. Very possibly
this may bring on their exile.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 251.
(P. 1787)

7511. REVOLUTION (French), Flight of the King.—

We are now under the first impression of the news of the King's flight from
Paris, and his recapture. It would be unfortunate
were it in the power of any one man to
defeat the issue of so beautiful a revolution.
I hope and trust it is not, and that, for the good
of suffering humanity all over the earth, that
revolution will be established and spread
through the whole world.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. iii, 284.
(Pa., 1791)

7512. REVOLUTION (French), Flight of the King.—[continued].

You have heard of the peril into which the French Revolution is
brought by the flight of their King. Such are
the fruits of that form of government which
heaps importance on idiots, and of which the
tories of the present day are trying to preach
into our favor.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iii, 285. Ford ed., v, 376.
(Pa., 1791)


Page 772

7513. REVOLUTION (French), History of.—

As yet, we are but in the first chapter of
its history.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 106. Ford ed., i, 147.

7514. REVOLUTION (French), Imperial imbecility.—

The government has
published an Arret, suspending all reimbursements
of capital, and reducing the payments of
the principal mass of demands for interest to
twelve sous in the livre; the remaining eight
sous to be paid with certificates. * * * The consternation is as yet too great to let us
judge of the issue. It will probably ripen the
public mind to the necessity of a change in
their constitution, and to the substituting the
collected wisdom of the whole in place of a
single will, by which they have been hitherto
governed. It is a remarkable proof of the total
incompetency of a single head to govern a nation
well, when, with a revenue of six hundred
millions, they are led to a declared bankruptcy,
and to stop the wheels of government, even in
its most essential movements, for want of
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 468.
(P. Aug. 1788)

7515. REVOLUTION (French), Influence of women.—

In my opinion, a kind of
influence which none of their plans of reform
take into account, will elude them all; I mean
the influence of women in the government.
The manners of the nation allow them to visit,
alone, all persons in office, to solicit the affairs
of the husband, family, or friends, and their
solicitations bid defiance to laws and regulations.
This obstacle may seem less to those
who, like our countrymen, are in the precious
habit of considering right as a barrier against
all solicitation. Nor can such an one, without
the evidence of his own eyes, believe in the
desperate state to which things are reduced in
this country from the omnipotence of an influence
which, fortunately for the happiness of
the sex itself, does not endeavor to extend itself
in our country beyond the domestic line.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 536.
(P. Dec. 1788)

7516. REVOLUTION (French), Jefferson's relations to.—

I considered a successful
reformation of government in France, as
insuring a general reformation through Europe,
and the resurrection, to a new life, of their people,
now ground to dust by the abuses of the
governing powers. I was much acquainted
with the leading patriots of the Assembleé.
Being from a country which had successfully
passed through a similar reformation, they were
disposed to my acquaintance, and had some
confidence in me. I urged, most strenuously,
an immediate compromise; to secure what the
government was now ready to yield, and trust
to future occasions for what might still be
wanting. It was well understood that the King
would grant, at this time, 1. Freedom of the
person by habeas corpus; 2. Freedom of conscience:
3. Freedom of the press: 4. Trial by
jury: 5. A representative legislature: 6. Annual
meetings: 7. The origination of laws: 8. The exclusive
right of taxation and appropriation: and
9. The responsibility of ministers; and with the
exercise of these powers they could obtain, in
future, whatever might be further necessary to
improve and preserve their constitution. They
thought otherwise, however, and events have
proved their lamentable error. For, after thirty
years of war, foreign and domestic, the loss of
millions of lives, the prostration of private happiness,
and foreign subjugation of their own
country for a time, they have obtained no more,
nor even that securely. They were unconscious
of (for who could foresee?) the melancholy
sequel of their well-meant perseverance; that
their physical force would be usurped by a first
tyrant to trample on the independence, and even
the existence, of other nations; that this would
afford a fatal example for the atrocious conspiracy
of kings against their people: would
generate their unholy and homicide alliance to
make common cause among themselves, and
to crush, by the power of the whole, the efforts
of any part, to moderate their abuses and oppressions.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 93. Ford ed., i, 129.

See Holy Alliance.

7517. REVOLUTION (French), Jefferson's relations to.—[continued].

Possibly you may remember,
at the date of the jeu de paume, how
earnestly I urged yourself and the patriots of
my acquaintance, to enter then into a compact
with the King, securing freedom of religion,
freedom of the press, trial by jury, habeas
and a national legislature, all of which
it was known he would then yield, to go home,
and let these work on the amelioration of the
condition of the people, until they should have
rendered them capable of more, when occasions
would not fail to arise for communicating to
them more. This was as much as I then
thought them able to bear soberly and usefully
for themselves. You thought otherwise, and
that the dose might still be larger. And I
found you were right; for subsequent events
proved they were equal to the constitution of
1791. Unfortunately, some of the most honest
and enlightened of our patriotic friends (but
closet politicians merely, unpracticed in the
knowledge of man), thought more could still
be obtained and borne. They did not weigh
the hazards of a transition from one form of
government to another, the value of what they
had already rescued from those hazards, and
might hold in security if they pleased, nor the
imprudence of giving up the certainty of such
a degree of liberty, under a limited monarchy,
for the uncertainty of a little more under the
form of a republic. You differed from them.
You were for stopping there and for securing
the constitution which the National Assembly
had obtained. Here, too, you were right; and
from this fatal error of the republicans, from
their separation from yourself and the constitutionalists,
in their councils, flowed all the
subsequent sufferings and crimes of the French
nation. The hazards of a second change fell
upon them by the way. The foreigner gained
time to anarchise by gold the government he
could not overthrow by arms, to crush in their
own councils the genuine republicans, by the
fraternal embraces of exaggerated and hired
pretenders, and to turn the machine of Jacobinism
from the change to the destruction of
order; and, in the end, the limited monarchy
they had secured was exchanged for the unprincipled
and bloody tyranny of Robespierre,
and the equally unprincipled and maniac tyranny
of Bonaparte. You are now rid of him,
and I sincerely wish you may continue so.
But this may depend on the wisdom and moderation
of the restored dynasty. It is for them
now to read a lesson in the fatal errors of the
republicans; to be contented with a certain portion
of power, secured by a formal compact with
the nation, rather than, grasping at more,
hazard all upon uncertainty, and risk meeting
the fate of their predecessor, or a renewal of
their own exile.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vi, 421. Ford ed., ix, 505.
(M. Feb. 1815)

7518. REVOLUTION (French), Jefferson's relations to.—[further continued].

I had no apprehension
that the tempest, of which I saw the beginning,
was to spread over such an extent of space and
To Comte Diodati. Washington ed. v, 62.
(W. 1807)


Page 773

7519. REVOLUTION (French), Leaders in.—

I was intimate with the leading characters
of the year 1789. So I was with those of the Brissotine party who succeeded them; and
have always been persuaded that their views
were upright. Those who have followed them
have been less known to me.—
To M. de Meunier. Ford ed., vii, 13.
(M. 1795)

7520. REVOLUTION (French), Leaders in.—[continued].

When I left France at the close of '89, your revolution was, as I
thought, under the direction of able and honest
men. But the madness of some of their successors,
the vices of others, the malicious intrigues
of an envious and corrupting neighbor,
the tracasserie of the Directory, the usurpations,
the havoc, and devastations of your
Attila, and the equal usurpations, depredations
and oppressions of your hypocritical deliverers,
will form a mournful period in the history of
man, a period of which the last chapter
will not be seen in your day or mine,
and one which I still fear is to be written
in characters of blood. Had Bonaparte
reflected that such is the moral construction
of the world, that no national crime passes
unpunished in the long run, he would not now
be in the cage of St. Helena; and were your
oppressors to reflect on the same truth, they
would spare to their own countries the penalties
on their present wrongs which will be inflicted
on them in future times. The seeds of
hatred and revenge which they are now sowing
with a large hand, will not fail to produce their
fruits in time. Like their brother robbers on
the highway, they suppose the escape of the moment
a final escape, and deem infamy and
future risk countervailed by present gain.—
To M. de Marbois. Washington ed. vii, 76.
(M. 1817)

7521. REVOLUTION (French), Lettres de cachet.—

Though they see the evil of lettres
de cachet,
they believe they do more good on the whole. They will think better in time.—
To Dr. Currie. Washington ed. ii, 544.
(P. 1788)

7522. REVOLUTION (French), Liberty and.—

The liberty of the whole earth was depending
on the issue of the contest, and was ever such a prize won with so little innocent
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 502. Ford ed., vi, 154.
(Pa., 1793)

— REVOLUTION (French), Marie Antoinette.—

See Marie Antoinette.

7523. REVOLUTION (French), Ministerial reforms.—

I hope the internal affairs
of this country will be finally arranged without
having cost a drop of blood. Looking on as a
bystander, no otherwise interested, than as
entertaining a sincere love for the nation in
general, and a wish to see their happiness promoted,
keeping myself clear of the particular
views and passions of individuals, I applaud
extremely the patriotic proceedings of the present
ministry. Provincial Assemblies established,
the States General called, the right of
taxing the nation without their consent abandoned,
corvées abolished, torture abolished, the
criminal code reformed, are facts which will
do eternal honor to their administration, in
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 466.
(P. Aug. 1788)

7524. REVOLUTION (French), Ministerial reforms.—[continued].

The internal good they
are doing to their country makes me completely
their friend.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 467.
(P. 1788)

7525. REVOLUTION (French), Monarchy and parliaments.—

The struggle in
France is as yet * * * between the monarchy
and the parliaments. The nation is no
otherwise concerned, but as both parties may be
induced to let go some of its abuses, to court
the public favor. The danger is that the people,
deceived by a false cry of liberty, may be led
to take side with one party, and thus give the
other a pretext for crushing them still more.—
To E. Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 435. Ford ed., v, 42.
(P. July. 1788)

7526. REVOLUTION (French), Monarchy and parliaments.—[continued].

This nation is * * * under great internal agitation. The authority
of the crown on one part, and that of the parliaments
on the other, are fairly at issue.
Good men take part with neither, but have
raised an opposition, the object of which is to
obtain a fixed and temperate constitution.
There was a moment when this opposition ran
so high as to endanger an appeal to arms, in
which case, perhaps, it would have been
crushed. The moderation of government has
avoided this, and they are yielding daily one
right after another. They have given them
Provincial Assemblies, which will be very perfect
representatives of the nation, and stand
somewhat in the place of our State Assemblies.
They have reformed the criminal laws; acknowledged
the King cannot lay a new tax,
without the consent of the States General; and
they will call the States General the next year.—
To Colonel Monroe. Washington ed. ii, 457.
(P. 1788)

7527. REVOLUTION (French), Monarchy and parliaments.—[further continued].

The contest here is exactly
what it was in Holland: a contest between the monarchical and aristocratical parts of the
government, for a monopoly of despotism over
the people. The aristocracy in Holland, seeing
that their common prey was likely to escape out
of their clutches, chose rather to retain its
former portion, and therefore coalesced with the
single head. The people remained victims.
Here, I think, it will take a happier turn. The
parliamentary part of the aristocracy is alone
firmly united. The Noblesse and Clergy, but
especially the former, are divided partly between
the parliamentary and the despotic party,
and partly united with the real patriots, who
are endeavoring to gain for the nation what
they can, both from the parliamentary and the
single despotism. I think I am not mistaken
in believing that the King and some of his
ministers are well affected to this band; and
surely, that they make great concessions to
the people, rather than small ones to the parliament.
They are, accordingly, yielding daily
to the national reclamations, and will probably
end in according a well-tempered constitution.—
To M. de Crevecoeur. Washington ed. ii, 457.
(P. 1788)

7528. REVOLUTION (French), Monarchy waning.—

In the course of three months, the royal authority has lost, and the
rights of the nation gained as much ground by
a revolution of public opinion only, as England
gained in all her civil wars under the Stuarts.
I rather believe, too, they will retain the
ground gained because it is defended by the
young and the middle aged in opposition to the
old only. The first party increases, and the
latter diminishes daily from the course of nature.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 259.
(P. 1787)

7529. REVOLUTION (French), National Assembly.—

The National Assembly (for that is the name they take), having shown
through every stage of these transactions a
coolness, wisdom, and resolution to set fire to
the four corners of the kingdom and to perish
with it themselves, rather than to relinquish
an iota from their plan of a total change of government,
are now in complete and undisputed


Page 774
possession of the sovereignty. The executive
and aristocracy are at their feet; the mass of
the nation, the mass of the clergy, and the army
are with them. They have prostrated the old
government, and are now beginning to build
one from the foundation.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. iii, 69.
(P. July. 1789)

7530. REVOLUTION (French), National Assembly.—[continued].

It is impossible to desire
better dispositions towards us than prevail
in the National Assembly. Our proceedings
have been viewed as a model for them on every
occasion; and though in the heat of debate
men are generally disposed to contradict every
authority urged by their opponents, ours has
been treated like that of the Bible, open to explanation
but not to question. I am sorry that
in the moment of such a disposition, anything
should come from us to check it. The placing
them on a mere footing with the English will
have this effect.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 99. Ford ed., v, 110.
(P. Aug. 1789)

7531. REVOLUTION (French), National Assembly.—[further continued].

The difficulties which now
appear threatening to my mind are those which
will result from the size of the Assembly.
Twelve hundred persons of any rank and of
any nation assembled together would with difficulty
be prevented from tumult and confusion.
But when they are to compose an assembly for
which no rules of debate or proceeding have
been yet formed, in whom no habits of order
have been yet established, and to consist moreover
of Frenchmen, among whom there are always
more speakers than listeners, I confess to
you I apprehend some danger.—
To Mr. Shippen. Washington ed. ii, 580.
(P. March. 1789)

7532. REVOLUTION (French), National debt.—

Calonné stated to * * * [the Assembly of Notables] that the annual
excess of expenses beyond the revenue, when
Louis XVI. came to the throne, was thirtyseven
millions of livres; that four hundred and
forty millions had been borrowed to reestablish
the navy; that the American war had cost
them fourteen hundred and forty millions (two
hundred and fifty-six millions of dollars), and
that the interest of these sums, with other increased
expenses had added forty millions more
to the annual deficit. (But a subsequent and
more candid estimate made it fifty-six millions .)—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 70. Ford ed., i, 97.

7533. REVOLUTION (French), Necker recalled.—

The Archbishop [of Toulouse] has been removed * * * and M. Necker called
in as Director General of finance. To soften
the Archbishop's dismission, a cardinal's hat is
asked for him from Rome, and his nephew
promised the succession to the archbishopric of
Sens. The public joy, on this change of administration,
was very great indeed. The people
of Paris were amusing themselves with trying
and burning the Archbishop in effigy, and
rejoicing on the appointment of M. Necker.
The commanding officer of the city guards
undertook to forbid this, and not being obeyed,
he charged the mob with fixed bayonets, killed
two or three, and wounded many. This stopped
their rejoicings for that day; but enraged at
being thus obstructed in amusements wherein
they had committed no disorder whatever, they
collected in great numbers the next day, attacked
the guards in various places, burned ten
or twelve guard houses, killed two or three of
the guards, and had about six or eight of their
own number killed. The city was, hereupon,
put under martial law, and after a while, the
tumult subsided, and peace was restored.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 471.
(P. Sep. 1788)

7534. REVOLUTION (French), Nobles and people.—

With respect to the nobles, the
younger members are generally for the people,
and the middle-aged are daily coming over to
the same side.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 561.
(P. Jan. 1789)

7535. REVOLUTION (French), Notables called.—

The King has called an
Assemblée des Notables. This has not been done
for one hundred and sixty years past. Of
course it calls up all the attention of the people.
The objects of this Assembly are not named.
Several are conjectured. The tolerating the
Protestant religion; removing all the internal
custom houses to the frontier; equalizing the
gabelles on salt through the kingdom; the sale
of the King's domains to raise money; or,
finally, the effecting this necessary end by some
other means are talked of. But in truth, nothing
is known about it. This government practices
secrecy so systematically, that it never
publishes its purposes or its proceedings sooner
or more extensively than is necessary.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 91.
(P. 1787)

7536. REVOLUTION (French), Notables called.—[continued].

The Assemblée des Notables met yesterday [Feb. 22]. The King, in
a short but affectionate speech, informed them
of his wish to consult with them on the plans
he had digested, and on the general good of
his people, and his desire to imitate the head
of his family, Henry IV., whose memory is so
dear to the nation. The Gardé des Sceaux then spoke about twenty minutes, chiefly in
compliment to the orders present. The Comptroller
General, in a speech of about an hour
opened the budget, and enlarged on the several
subjects which will be under their deliberation,
* * * and the institution of Provincial Assemblies.
The Assemblée was then divided into
committees, with a prince of the blood at the
head of each.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 129.
(P. 1787)

7537. REVOLUTION (French), Notables called.—[further continued].

The first step of the deputies
to the Assemblée des Notables should be
to get themselves divided into two chambers
instead of seven; the noblesse and the commons
separately. The second, to persuade the King,
instead of choosing the deputies of the Commons
himself, to summon those chosen by the
people for the Provincial administrations. The
third, as the noblesse is too numerous to be of
the Assemblée, to obtain permission for that
body to choose its own deputies. Two houses,
so elected, would contain a mass of wisdom
which would make the people happy, and the
King great; would place him in history where
no other act can possibly place him. They
would thus put themselves in the track of the
best guide they can follow; they would soon
overtake it, become its guide in turn and lead
to the wholesome modifications wanting in that
model and necessary to constitute a rational
government. Should they attempt more than
the established habits of the people are ripe for,
they may lose all, and retard indefinitely the
ultimate object of their aim.—
To Madame la Comtesse de Tesse. Washington ed. ii, 133.
(N., 1787)

7538. REVOLUTION (French), Notables called.—[further continued] .

The Assemblée des Notables has been productive of much good. The
reformation of some of the most oppressive
laws has taken place, and is taking place. The
allotment of the State into subordinate governments,
the administration of which is committed
to persons chosen by the people, will
work in time a very beneficial change in
their constitution. The expense of the trappings
of monarchy, too, is lightening. Many


Page 775
of the useless officers, high and low, of the
King, Queen, and Princes, are struck off.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 251.
(P. 1787)

7539. REVOLUTION (French), Principles of.—

I continue eternally attached to the
principles of your [the French] Revolution.
I hope it will end in the establishment of
some firm government, friendly to liberty, and
capable of maintaining it. If it does, the world
will become inevitably free. If it does not, I
feel that the zealous apostles of English despotism
here, will increase the number of its disciples.
However, we shall still remain free.
Though they may harass our spirits, they cannot
make impression on our centre.—
To J. P. Brissot de Warville. Ford ed., vi, 249.
(Pa., May. 1793)

7540. REVOLUTION (French), Provincial Assemblies.—

The establishment of the
Provincial Assemblies was, in itself, a fundamental
improvement. They would be of the
choice of the people, one-third renewed every
year, in those provinces where there are no
States, that is to say, over about three-fourths
of the kingdom. They would be partly an Executive
themselves, and partly an executive
council to the Intendant, to whom the executive
power, in his province, had been, heretofore,
entirely delegated. Chosen by the people, they
would soften the execution of hard laws and,
having a right of representation to the King,
they would censure bad laws, suggest good ones,
expose abuses, and their representations, when
united, would command respect. To the other
advantages might be added the precedent itself
of calling the Assemblée des Notables, which
would perhaps grow into habit. The hope was
that the improvements thus promised would be
carried into effect; that they would be maintained
during the present [Louis XVI.] reign,
and that that would be long enough for them
to take some root in the constitution, so that
they might come to be considered as a part of
that, and be protected by time, and the attachment
of the nation.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 71. Ford ed., i, 98.

7541. REVOLUTION (French), Reform and.—

If the people do not obtain now so
much as they have a right to, they will in the
long run. The misfortune is that they are not
yet ripe for receiving the blessings to which
they are entitled. I doubt, for instance,
whether the body of the nation, if they could be
consulted, would accept of a habeas corpus law, if offered them by the King.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 506. Ford ed., v, 53.
(P. Nov. 1788)

7542. REVOLUTION (French), Riots.—

We have had in Paris a very considerable riot,
in which about one hundred people have been
probably killed. It was the most unprovoked,
and is therefore, justly, the most unpitied catastrophe
of that kind I ever knew. Nor did the
wretches know what they wanted, except to do
mischief. It seems to have had no particular
connection with the great national question now
in agitation.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. iii, 22.
(P. May. 1789)

7543. REVOLUTION (French), Riots.—[continued].

Hitherto no acts of
popular violence had been produced by the
struggle for political reformation. Little riots,
on ordinary incidents, had taken place, as at
other times, in different parts of the kingdom,
in which some lives, perhaps a dozen or twenty,
had been lost; but in the month of April, 1788,
a more serious one occurred in Paris, unconnected,
indeed, with the revolutionary principle,
but making part of the history of the day. The
Faubourg St. Antoiné is a quarter of the city
inhabited entirely by the class of day laborers
and journeymen in every line. A rumor was
spread among them, that a great paper manufacturer,
of the name of Reveillon, had proposed,
on some occasion, that their wages should
be lowered to fifteen sous a day. Inflamed at
once into rage, and without inquiring into its
truth, they flew to his house in vast numbers,
destroyed everything in it, and in his magazines
and workshops, without secreting, however,
a pin's worth to themselves, and were continuing
this work of devastation, when the
regular troops were called in. Admonitions being
disregarded, they were of necessity fired on,
and a regular action ensued, in which about
one hundred and twenty of them were killed,
before the rest would disperse. There had
rarely passed a year without such a riot, in
some part or other of the Kingdom; and this is
distinguished only as contemporary with the
Revolution, although not produced by it.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 89. Ford ed., i, 124.

7544. REVOLUTION (French), Riots.—[further continued].

They were the most abandoned banditti of Paris, and never was a
riot more unprovoked and unpitied. They began,
under a pretence that a paper manufacturer
had proposed in an assembly to reduce
their wages to fifteen sous a day. They rifled
his house, destroyed everything in his magazines
and shops, and were only stopped in their
career of mischief by the troops engaging in
regular action with them and killing probably
one hundred of them. Neither this nor any
of the other riots has had a professed connection
with the great national reformation now
going on. They are such as have happened
every year since I have been here, and as will
continue to be produced by common incidents.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. iii, 26.
(P. May. 1789)

7545. REVOLUTION (French), States General.—

The States General were opened on the 5th of May, 1789, by speeches from the
King, the Gardé des Sceaux, Lamoignon, and
M. Necker. The last was thought to trip too
lightly over the constitutional reformations
which were expected. His notices of them in
this speech were not as full as in his previous
“Rapport au Roi”. This was observed to his
disadvantage; but much allowance should have
been made for the situation in which he was
placed, between his own counsels, and those of
the ministers and party of the Court. Overruled
in his own opinions, compelled to deliver,
and to gloss over those of his opponents, and
even to keep their secrets, he could not come
forward in his own attitude. The composition
of the Assemblée, although equivalent on the
whole to what had been expected, was something
different in its elements. It had been
supposed, that a superior education would carry
into the scale of the Commons a respectable
portion of the Noblesse. It did so as to those
of Paris, of its vicinity and of the other considerable
cities, whose greater intercourse with
enlightened society had liberalized their minds,
and prepared them to advance up to the measure
of the times. But the Noblesse of the country,
which constituted two-thirds of that body, were
far in their rear. Residing constantly on their
patrimonial feuds, and familiarized, by daily
habit, with seigneurial powers and practices, they
had not yet learned to suspect their inconsistence
with reason and right. They were willing
to submit to equality of taxation, but not to
descend from their rank and prerogatives to be
incorporated in session with the Tiers Etat. Among the Clergy, on the other hand, it had


Page 776
been apprehended that the higher orders of the
hierarchy, by their wealth and connections,
would have carried the elections generally; but
it proved that in most cases the lower clergy
had obtained the popular majorities. These
consisted of the curés, sons of the peasantry,
who had been employed to do all the drudgery
of parochial services for ten, twenty, or thirty
Louis a year; while their superiors were consuming
their princely revenues in palaces of
luxury and indolence. The objects for which
this body was convened, being of the first order
of importance, I felt it very interesting to understand
the views of the parties of which it
was composed, and especially the ideas prevalent
as to the organization contemplated for
their government. I went, therefore, daily
from Paris to Versailles, and attended their
debates, generally till the hour of adjournment.
Those of the Noblesse were impassioned and
tempestuous. They had some able men on
both sides, and actuated by equal zeal. The
debates of The Commons were temperate, rational,
and inflexibly firm. As preliminary to
all other business, the awful questions came
on, Shall the States sit in one, or in distinct
apartments? And shall they vote by heads or
houses? The opposition was soon found to
consist of the Episcopal order among the clergy,
and two-thirds of the Noblesse; while the Tiers
were to a man united and determined.
After various propositions of compromise had
failed, the Commons undertook to cut the
Gordian Knot. The Abbé Sieyés, the most
logical head of the nation (author of the pamphlet
“Qu'est ce que le Tiers Etat”? which had
electrified that country, as Paine's “Common
Sense” did us), after an impressive speech on
the 10th of June, moved that a last invitation
should be sent to the Noblesse and Clergy, to
attend in the hall of the States, collectively or
individually, for the verification of powers, to
which the Commons would proceed immediately,
either in their presence or absence. This verification
being finished, a motion was made, on
the 15th, that they should constitute themselves
a National Assembly; which was decided on the
17th, by a majority of four-fifths. During the
debates on this question, about twenty of the
curés had joined them, and a proposition was
made in the chamber of the Clergy that their
whole body should join them. This was rejected
at first by a small majority only; but,
being afterwards somewhat modified, it was decided
affirmatively, by a majority of eleven.
While this was under debate and unknown to
the court, to wit, on the 19th, a council was held
in the afternoon at Marly, wherein it was proposed
that the King should interpose by a
declaration of his sentiments, in a seance royale. A form of declaration was proposed by Necker,
which, while it censured in general the proceedings
both of the Nobles and Commons,
announced the King's views, such as substantially
to coincide with the Commons. It was
agreed to in Council, the seance was fixed for
the 22d, the meetings of the States were till
then to be suspended, and everything, in the
meantime, kept secret. The members, the next
morning (20th), repairing to their house, as
usual, found the doors shut and guarded, a
proclamation posted up for a seance royale on
the 22d, and a suspension of their meetings in
the meantime. Concluding that their dissolution
was now to take place, they repaired to a
building called the “Jeu de paume” (or Tennis,
court) and there bound themselves by oath to
each other, never to separate of their own accord,
till they had settled a constitution for the
nation, on a solid basis, and, if separated by
force, that they would reassemble in some other
place. The next day they met in the church of
St. Louis, and were joined by a majority of the
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 90. Ford ed., i, 125.

7546. REVOLUTION (French), States General.—[continued].

Viewing it as an opera,
it was imposing.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. iii, 22.
(P. May. 1789)

7547. REVOLUTION (French), States General.—[further continued].

I was present at that
august ceremony. Had it been enlightened with
lamps and chandeliers, it would have been almost
as brilliant as the opera.—
To M. de Crevecoeur. Washington ed. iii, 43.
(P. 1789)

7548. REVOLUTION (French), States General.—[further continued] .

The States General are too numerous. I see great difficulty in preventing
twelve hundred people from becoming
a mob.—
To William Carmichael. Ford ed., v, 73.
(P. March. 1789)

7549. REVOLUTION (French), States General.—[further continued].

Should confusion * * * be prevented, I suppose the States General,
with the consent of the King, will establish
some of the leading features of a good constitution.—
To William Carmichael. Ford ed., v, 73.
(P. March. 1789)

7550. REVOLUTION (French), Sympathy with.—

I still hope the French Revolution
will issue happily. I feel that the permanence
of our own leans in some degree on that,
and that a failure there would be a powerful
argument to prove that there must be a failure
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iii, 285. Ford ed., v, 377.
(Pa., 1791)

7551. REVOLUTION (French), Sympathy with.—[continued].

The success of the French
Revolution will ensure the progress of liberty
in Europe, and its preservation here. The failure
of that would have been a powerful argument
with those who wish to introduce a king,
lords, and commons here, a sect which is all
head and no body.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Ford ed., v, 358.
(Pa., 1791)

7552. REVOLUTION (French), Sympathy with.—[further continued].

I am looking ardently to
the completion of the glorious work in which
France is engaged. I view the general condition
of Europe as hanging on the success or
failure of France. Having set such an example
of philosophical arrangement within, I
hope it will be extended without your limits
also, to your dependents and to your friends
in every part of the earth.—
To Marquis de Condorcet. Ford ed., v, 379.
(Pa., 1791)

7553. REVOLUTION (French), Sympathy with.—[further continued] .

I was a sincere well-wisher
to the success of the French Revolution,
and still wish it may end in the establishment
of a free and well-ordered republic.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 269. Ford ed., vii, 329.
(Pa., 1799)

7554. REVOLUTION (French), Sympathy with.—[further continued].

I have expressed to you
my sentiments, because they are really those of
ninety-nine in an hundred of our citizens. The
universal feasts and rejoicings, which have
lately been had on account of the successes of
the French, showed the genuine effusions of
their hearts.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 502. Ford ed., vi, 154.
(Pa., Jan. 1793)

7555. REVOLUTION (French), Sympathy with.—[further continued] .

The event of the French
Revolution is now little doubted of, even by its
enemies. The sensations it has produced here,
and the indications of them in the public papers,
have shown that the form our own government
was to take depended much more on the events
of France than anybody had before imagined.
The tide which, after our former relaxed government,
took a violent course towards the
opposite extreme, and seemed ready to hang
everything round with the tassels and baubles


Page 777
of monarchy, is now getting back as we hope
to a just mean, a government of laws addressed
to the reason of the people, and not
to their weaknesses.—
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 504. Ford ed., vi, 157.
(Pa., Jan. 1793)

7556. RHODE ISLAND, Adoption of Constitution.—

What do you propose to do
with Rhode Island [on the question of the
new Federal Constitution]? As long as there
is hope, we should give her time. I cannot
conceive but that she will come to rights in the
long run. Force, in whatever form, would be a
dangerous precedent.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 405. Ford ed., v, 21.
(P. 1788)

7557. RHODE ISLAND, Adoption of Constitution.—[continued].

The little vautrien, Rhode Island, will come over [to the new Constitution] with a little time.—
To M. de Lafayette. Washington ed. iii, 132. Ford ed., v, 152.
(N.Y., 17901790)gt;

7558. RHODE ISLAND, Adoption of Constitution.—[further continued].

Rhode Island has at
length acceded to the Union by a majority of
two voices only in their convention.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 178.
(N.Y., June. 1790)

7559. RHODE ISLAND, Characteristics of.—

How happens it that Rhode Island
is opposed to every useful proposition? Her
geography accounts for it, with the aid of one
or two observations. The cultivators of the
earth are the most virtuous citizens, and possess
most of the amor patriæ. Merchants are the
least virtuous, and possess the least of the
amor patriæ. The latter reside principally in
the seaboard towns, the former in the interior
country. Now, it happened that of the territory
constituting Rhode Island and Connecticut,
the part containing the seaports was
erected into a State by itself, called Rhode
Island, and that containing the interior country
was erected into another State called Connecticut.
For though it has a little seacoast, there
are no good ports in it. Hence it happens that
there is scarcely one merchant in the whole
State of Connecticut, while there is not a single
man in Rhode Island who is not a merchant
of some sort. Their whole territory is but a
thousand square miles, and what of that is in
use is laid out in grass farms almost entirely.
Hence they have scarcely anybody employed in
agriculture. All exercise some species of commerce.
This circumstance has decided the
character of these two States. The remedies
to this evil are hazardous. One would be to
consolidate the two States into one. Another
would be to banish Rhode Island from the
Union. A third, to compel her submission to
the will of the other twelve. A fourth, for the
other twelve to govern themselves according
to the new propositions, and to let Rhode Island
go on by herself according to the ancient
articles. But the dangers and difficulties attending
all these remedies are obvious.—
Answers to M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 288. Ford ed., iv, 143.
(P. 1786)

7560. RHODE ISLAND, College of.—

was honored in the month of January last
with a letter * * * from the corporation of
Rhode Island College to his most Christian
Majesty [Louis XVI.] * * *. I turned my attention
to that object which was the establishment
of a professorship of the French language
in the college, and the obtaining a collection
of the best French authors with the aid of the
king. That neither the college nor myself
might be compromitted uselessly, I thought it
necessary to sound previously those who were
able to inform me what would be the success
of the application. I was assured so as to leave
no doubt, that it would not be complied with;
that there had never been an instance of the
king's granting such a demand in a foreign
country, and that they would be cautious of
setting the precedent; that in this moment, too,
they were embarrassed with the difficult operation
of putting down all establishments of their
own, which could possibly be dispensed with, in
order to bring their expenditures down to the
level of their receipts. Upon such information
I was satisfied that it was most prudent not to
deliver the letter. * * * The king did give two
colleges in America copies of the works printed
in the public press, * * * of no consequence.
* * * No endeavors of mine should have been
spared, could they have effected their wish.—
To Rhode Island Delegates. Washington ed. ii, 184.
(P. 1787)

7561. RHODE ISLAND, Regeneration of.—

A new subject of congratulation has
arisen. I mean the regeneration of Rhode
Island. I hope it is the beginning of that resurrection
of the genuine spirit of New England
which arises for life eternal. According to
natural order, Vermont will emerge next, because
least, after Rhode Island, under the yoke
of hierocracy.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 395. Ford ed., viii, 48.
(W. 1801)

7562. RICE, African.—

I was fortunate
in receiving from the coast of Africa last fall
a cask of mountain rice. This I have dispersed
into many hands, having sent the mass of it to
South Carolina.—
To Benjamin Vaughan. Ford ed., v, 332.
(Pa., 1791)

7563. RICE, African.—[continued].

In 1790, I got a cask of
heavy upland rice, from the river Denbigh, in
Africa, about lat. 9° 30′ North, which I sent
to Charleston, in hopes it might supersede the
culture of the wet rice, which renders South
Carolina and Georgia so pestilential through
the summer.—
Jefferson's MSS. Washington ed. i, 176.
(M. 1821)

7564. RICE, Chinese.—

In Asia they have
several distinct species of this grain. Monsieur
Poivre, a former governor of the Isle of France,
in travelling through several countries of Asia,
observed with particular attention the objects
of their agriculture, and tells us that in Cochin-China
they cultivate six several kinds of rice,
which he describes, three of them requiring
water, and three growing on highlands. The
rice of Carolina is said to come from Madagascar,
and De Poivre tells us, it is the white rice
which is cultivated there. This favors the
probability of its being of a different species
originally, from that of Piedmont; and time,
culture, and climate may have made it still more
different. Under this idea I thought it would
be well to furnish you with some of the Piedmont
rice, unhusked, but was told it was contrary
to the laws to export it in that form. I
took such measures as I could, however, to have
a quantity brought out, and lest these should
fail, I brought myself a few pounds. A part
of this I have addressed to you by way of London;
a part comes with this letter; and I shall
send another parcel by some other conveyance
to prevent the danger of miscarriage. Any one
of them arriving safe may serve to put in seed,
should the society think it an object.—
To William Drayton. Washington ed. ii, 196.
(P. 1787)

7565. RICE, Chinese.—[continued].

The dry rice of Cochin-China
has the reputation of being the whitest to the eye, best flavored to the taste, and most
productive. It seems, then, to unite the good
qualities of both the others known to us. Could
it supplant them, it would be a great happiness,


Page 778
as it would enable us to get rid of those ponds
of stagnant water, so fatal to human health
and life. But such is the force of habit, and
caprice of taste, that we could not be sure beforehand
it would produce this effect. The experiment,
however, is worth trying, should it
only end in producing a third quality, and increasing
the demand. I will endeavor to procure
some to be brought from Cochin-China.—
To William Drayton. Washington ed. ii, 197.
(P. 1787)

7566. RICE, Chinese.—[further continued].

I have considerable hopes of receiving some dry rice from Cochin-China,
the young prince of that country lately gone
hence [Paris], having undertaken that it shall
come to me. * * * These are all but experiments.
The precept, however, is wise which
directs us to try all things, and hold fast that
which is good.—
To William Drayton. Washington ed. ii, 347.
(P. 1788)

7567. RICE, Egyptian.—

I have forwarded
to you two couffes of rough rice, which
I had brought from Egypt. I wish both May
arrive in time for the approaching seed time,
and that the trials with this and the Piedmont
rice may furnish new advantages to your agriculture.—
To William Drayton. Washington ed. ii, 347.
(P. 1788)

7568. RICE, Italian.—

I wished particularly
to know whether it was the use of a
different machine for cleaning, which brought
European rice to market less broken than ours,
as had been represented to me by those who
deal in that article in Paris. I found several
persons who had passed through the rice country
of Italy, but not one who could explain
to me the nature of the machine. But I was
given to believe that I might see it myself immediately
on entering Piedmont. I determined
to go and ascertain this point, as the chance
only of placing our rice above all rivalship in
quality, as it is in color, by the introduction of
a better machine, if a better existed * * *. I
found the rice country to be in truth Lombardy,
* * * and that though called Piedmont rice, not
a grain is made in the country of Piedmont. I
passed through the rice fields of the Venellese
and Milanese, about sixty miles, * * * and
found that the machine is absolutely the same
as ours. * * * It is a difference in the species
of grain, of which the government of Turin is
so sensible, that, as I was informed, they prohibit
the exportation of rough rice on pain of
death. I have taken measures, however, which
I think will not fail for obtaining a quantity of
it, and I bought on the spot a small parcel.
* * * I propose * * * to send the rice to the
society at Charleston for promoting agriculture,
supposing that they will be best able to try the
experiment of cultivating the rice of this quality,
and to communicate the species to South
Carolina and Georgia, if they find it answer.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 138. Ford ed., iv, 377.
(March. 1787)

7569. RICE, Italian.—[continued].

I had expected to satisfy
myself at Marseilles, of the cause of the differences
of quality between the rice of Carolina,
and that of Piedmont, which is brought in
quantities to Marseilles. Not being able to do
it, I made an excursion of three weeks into the
rice country beyond the Alps, going through it
from Vercelli to Pavia about sixty miles. I
found the difference to be not in the management,
as had been supposed both here and in
Carolina, but in the species of rice; and I hope
to enable them in Carolina to begin the cultivation
of the Piedmont rice, and carry it on, hand
in hand, with their own, that they may supply
both qualities; which is absolutely necessary at
this market.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 162. Ford ed., iv, 396.
(P. 1787)

7570. RICE, Italian.—[further continued].

At Marseilles I hoped
to know what the Piedmont machine was, but I
could find nobody who knew anything of it. I
determined, therefore, to sift the matter to the
bottom, by crossing the Alps into the rice
country. I found their machine exactly such
a one as you had described to me in Congress
in the year 1775. There was but one conclusion,
then, to be drawn, to wit, that the rice
was of a different species, and I determined
to take enough to put you in seed. They informed
me, however, that its exportation in the
husk was prohibited, so I could only bring off
as much as my coat and surtout pockets would
hold. I took measures with a muleteer to run
a couple of sacks across the Apennines to
Genoa, but have not great dependence on its
success. The little, therefore, which I brought
myself, must be relied on for fear we should
get no more; and because, also, it is genuine
from Vercelli, where the best is made of all
the Sardinian Lombardy, the whole of which is
considered as producing a better rice than the
Milanese. This is assigned as the reason for
the strict prohibition.—
To E. Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 178. Ford ed., iv, 407.
(P. 1787)

7571. RICE, Italian.—[further continued] .

Having observed that
the consumption of rice in this country
[France], and particularly in this capital
[Paris], was very great, I thought it my duty
to inform myself from what markets they draw
their supplies. * * * [I found] that the
dealers in Paris were in the habit of selling
two qualities of rice, that of Carolina, with
which they were supplied chiefly from England,
and that of Piedmont; that the Carolina rice
was long, slender, white and transparent, answers
well when prepared with milk, sugar, &c.,
but not so well when prepared au gras; that
that of Piedmont was shorter, thicker, and less
white; but that it presented its form better
when dressed au gras, was better tasted, and,
therefore, preferred by good judges for those
purposes. * * * [The dealers] supposed
this difference of quality to proceed from a difference
of management; that the Carolina rice
was husked with an instrument that broke it
more, and that less pains were taken to separate
the broken from the unbroken grains, imagining
that it was the broken grains which dissolved
in oily preparations. * * * The objection
to the Carolina rice, then, being that it
crumbles in certain forms of preparation, and
this supposed to be the effect of a less perfect
machine for husking, I flattered myself I should
be able to learn what might be the machine of
Piedmont, when I should arrive at Marseilles.
* * * At Marseilles, however, they differed
as much in account of the machines, as at Paris
they had differed about other circumstances.
Some said it was husked between mill-stones,
others between rubbers of wood in the form of
mill-stones, others of cork. They concurred
in one fact, however, that the machine might
be seen by me immediately on crossing the
Alps. This would be an affair of three weeks.
I crossed them and went through the rice
country from Vercelli to Pavia, about sixty
miles. I found the machine to be absolutely the
same with that used in Carolina. * * * In
some of them, indeed, they arm each pestle with
an iron tooth, consisting of nine spikes hooked
together, which I do not remember in the description
[of the machine] of Mr. Rutledge. i,
therefore, had a tooth made, which I forward
you; observing, at the same time, that as many
of their machines are without teeth as with


Page 779
them, and of course, that the advantage is not
very palpable. It seems to follow, then, that
the rice of Lombardy (for though called Piedmont
rice, it does not grow in that country, but
in Lombardy) is of a different species from that
of Carolina; different in form, in color and in
To William Drayton. Washington ed. ii, 194.
(P. 1787)

7572. RICE, Smuggling.—

Poggio, a
muleteer who passes every week between Vercelli
and Genoa, will smuggle a sack of rough
rice for me to Genoa; it being death to export
it in that form.—
Travels in Italy. Washington ed. ix, 338.

7573. RICE, Southern cultivation.—

The upland rice which I procured fresh from
Africa and sent them [the South], has been
preserved and spread in the upper parts of
Georgia, and I believe in Kentucky.—
To James Ronaldson. Washington ed. vi, 92. Ford ed., ix, 371.
(M. Jan. 1813)

7574. RICE, Upland vs. Swamp.—

first became informed of the existence of a
rice which would grow in uplands without any
more water than the common rains, by reading
a book of M. de Poivre, who had been Governor
of the Isle of France, who mentions it as
growing there and all along the coast of Africa
successfully, and as having been introduced
from Cochin-China. I was at that time ( 1784-89 )
in France, and there happening to be there
a Prince of Cochin-China, on his travels, and
then returning home, I obtained his promise
to send me some. I never received it, however,
and mention it only as it may have been sent,
and furnished the ground for the inquiries of
Dr. De Carro, respecting my receiving it from
China. When at Havre on my return from
France, I found there Captain Nathaniel Cutting,
who was the ensuing spring to go on a
voyage along the coast of Africa. I engaged
him to enquire for this. * * * He procured
and sent me a thirty gallon cask of it. * * * I divided it between the Agricultural Society of
Charleston and some private gentlemen of
Georgia, recommending it to their care, in the
hope which had induced me to endeavor to
obtain it, that if it answered as well as the
swamp rice, it might rid them of that source
of their summer diseases. Nothing came of the
trials in South Carolina, but being carried into
the upper hilly parts of Georgia, it succeeded
there perfectly, has spread over the country,
and is now commonly cultivated; still, however,
for family use chiefly, as they cannot made it
for sale in competition with the rice of the
To Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse. Washington ed. v, 393.
(W. 1808)

7575. RICHMOND (Va.), Capture of.—

Is the surprise of an open and unarmed place,
although called a city, and even a capital, so
unprecedented as to be a matter of indelible
reproach? Which of our own capitals, during
the same war, was not in possession of the
same enemy, not merely by surprise and for a
day only, but permanently? That of Georgia?
Of South Carolina? North Carolina? Pennsylvania?
New York? Connecticut? Rhode
Island? Massachusetts? And if others were
not, it was because the enemy saw no object in
taking possession of them. Add to the list in
the late war (1812) Washington, the metropolis
of the Union, covered by a fort, with troops and
a dense population. And what capital on the
continent of Europe (St. Petersburg and its
regions of ice excented), did not Bonaparte take
and hold at his pleasure? Is it then just that
Richmond and its authorities alone should be
placed under the reproach of history, because,
in a moment of peculiar denudation of resources,
by the coup de main of an enemy, led
on by the hand of fortune directing the winds
and weather to their wishes, it was surprised
and held for twenty-four hours? Or strange
that that enemy with such advantages, should
be enabled, then, to get off, without risking the
honors he had achieved by burnings and destructions
of property peculiar to his principles
of warfare? We, at least, may leave these
glories to their own trumpet.—
To Henry. Lee. Washington ed. vii, 447. Ford ed., x, 388.
(M. 1826)

7576. RICHMOND (Va.), Street architecture.—

There is one street in Richmond
(from the bridge straight on towards Curries)
which would be considered as handsomely built
in any city of Europe.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 137.

7577. RIDICULE, Reason and.—

is had to ridicule only when reason is against
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 112. Ford ed., ix, 382.
(M. 1813)

7578. RIDICULE, Reformation and.—

The most remarkable effect as yet of the convention
of the Notables is the number of puns
and bon mots it has generated. I think, were
they all collected, it would make a more voluminous
work than the Encyclopédie. This
occasion, more than anything I have seen, convinces
me that this nation is incapable of any
serious effort but under the word of command.
The people at large view every object only as
it may furnish puns and bon mots; and I pronounce
that a good punster would disarm the
whole nation were they ever so seriously disposed
to revolt. Indeed, they are gone, when
a measure so capable of doing good, as the
calling the Notables, is treated with so much
ridicule; we may conclude the nation desperate,
and in charity pray that heaven may send them
good kings.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Ford ed., iv, 370.
(P. 1787)

7579. RIEDESEL (Baron), Jefferson and.—

I thank you for your kind congratulations;
though condolations would be better
suited to the occasion, not only on account of
the labors of the office [Governorship] to which
I am called, and its withdrawing me from retirement,
but also the loss of the agreeable
society I have left of which Madame Riedesel
and yourself were an important part. [433]
To Baron de Riedesel. Ford ed., ii, 245.


Baron Riedesel was then a prisoner near Charlottesville.
He commanded the Hessian troops in
Burgoyne's army.—Editor.

7580. RIENZI (Nicolo Gabrini) Estimate of.—

This poor counterfeit of the
Gracchi seems to have had enthusiasm and eloquence,
without either wisdom or firmness.—
To F. Van der Kemp. Ford ed., x, 78.
(M. 1817)

7581. RIGHT, Administer.—

Deal out to
all equal and impartial right.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 141. Ford ed., i, 446.

7582. RIGHT, Doing.—

I shall pursue in
silence the path of right.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 337.
(A. 1784)

7583. RIGHT, Doing.—[continued].

My principle is to do
whatever is right, and leave the consequences
to Him who has the disposal of them.—
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. vi, 217. Ford ed., ix, 423.
(M. 1813)


Page 780

7584. RIGHT, Moral.—

It has a great effect
on the opinion of our people and the
world to have the moral right on our side.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 442. Ford ed., ix, 251.
(M. April. 1809)


The great
principles of right and wrong are legible to
every reader; to preserve them, requires not
the aid of many counsellors.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 141. Ford ed., i, 446.


See Asylum.


Nature has given to all men the right of departing
from the country in which chance
* * * has placed them.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 125. Ford ed., i, 429.

See Expatriation.


He has refused to pass * * * laws for
the accommodation of large districts of people,
unless those people would relinquish the right
of representation in the legislature, a right
inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


every man who fights and pays exercise his
just and equal right in the election of the
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 11. Ford ed., x, 39.
(M. 1816)

See Suffrage.

7589. RIGHTS, Advancing.—

sometimes require, that rights the
most unquestionable should be advanced with
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 275. Ford ed., v, 364.
(Pa., 1791)

7590. RIGHTS, Aggression on.—

man has a natural right to commit aggression
on the equal rights of another; and this is
all from which the laws ought to restrain
To F. W. Gilmer. Washington ed. vii, 3. Ford ed., x, 32.
(M. 1816)

7591. RIGHTS, Aristocratic encroachments on.—

Hereditary bodies * * * always
existing, always on the watch for their
own aggrandizement, profit of every opportunity
of advancing the privileges of their
order, and encroaching on the rights of the
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 319.
(M. 1823)

7592. RIGHTS, Attainment of.—

If we cannot secure all our rights, let us secure
what we can.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 4. Ford ed., v, 82.
(P. March. 1789)

7593. RIGHTS, Availability of.—

It is a
principle that the right to a thing gives a
right to the means without which it could not
be used, that is to say, that the means follow
their end.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 579.

— RIGHTS, Bill of.—

See Bill of

7594. RIGHTS, Defence of.—

We will
ever be ready to join with our fellow-subjects
in every part of the British empire, in
executing all those rightful powers which
God has given us, for the reestablishment and
guaranteeing their constitutional rights,
when, where, and by whomsoever invaded. [434]
Resolutions of Albemarle County. Ford ed., i, 419.
(July 26, 1774)


Jefferson's own county.—Editor.

7595. RIGHTS, Deprivation of.—

proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public
confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity
of being called to offices of trust or
emolument, unless he profess or renounce
this or that religious opinion, is depriving
him injudiciously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow
citizens, he has a natural right.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Ford ed., ii, 238.

7596. RIGHTS, Education and.—

promoting the public happiness, those persons,
whom nature has endowed with genius
and virtue, should be rendered by liberal
education worthy to receive, and able to
guard the sacred deposit of the rights and
liberties of their fellow citizens; and they
should be called to that charge without regard
to wealth, birth or other accidental
condition or circumstance.—
Diffusion of Knowledge Bill. Ford ed., ii, 221.

— RIGHTS, Equal.—

See Equality and Equal Rights.

7597. RIGHTS, Establishing.—

It can
never be too often repeated, that the time
for fixing every essential right on a legal
basis is while our rulers are honest, and ourselves
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 402. Ford ed., iii, 266.

7598. RIGHTS, Fortifying popular.—

am particularly happy to perceive that you
still manfully maintain our good old principle
of cherishing and fortifying the rights and authorities
of the people in opposition to those
who fear them, who wish to take all power
from them, and to transfer all to Washington.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Ford ed., x, 378.
(M. 1826)

7599. RIGHTS, Inalienable.—

We hold
these truths to be self-evident that all men
are created equal; that they are endowed by
their Creator with inherent [435] and inalienable
rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and
the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure
these rights, governments are instituted
among men, deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed; that, whenever
any form of government becomes destructive
of these ends, it is the right of the people to
alter or to abolish it, and to institute new
government, laying its foundation on such
principles, and organizing its powers in such
form, as to them shall seem most likely to
effect their safety and happiness.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress struck out “inherent and” and inserted

7600. RIGHTS, Infringements on.—

Let no act be passed by any one legislature


Page 781
[Parliament] which may infringe on the
rights and liberties of another.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 141. Ford ed., i, 446.

7601. RIGHTS, Invasions of.—

He has
dissolved Representative houses repeatedly
[and continually] [436] for opposing, with manly
firmness, his invasions on the rights of the
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress struck out the words in brackets.——Editor.

7602. RIGHTS, Invasions of.—[continued].

There are rights which
it is useless to surrender to the government,
and which governments have yet always
been found to invade. [Among] these
* * * is the right of free commerce.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 13. Ford ed., v, 89.
(P. 1789)

7603. RIGHTS, Money and.—

had rather give up power than pleasure.
They will barter, therefore, the usurped prerogatives
of the King for the money of the
people. This is the agent by which modern
nations will recover their rights.—
To Comte de Moustier. Washington ed. ii, 389. Ford ed., v, 12.
(P. 1788)

— RIGHTS, Natural.—

See Natural

7604. RIGHTS, The people and.—

people, especially when moderately instructed,
are the only safe, because the only honest,
depositaries of the public rights, and should
therefore, be introduced into the administration
of them in every function to which they
are sufficient; they will err sometimes and
accidentally, but never designedly, and with
a systematic and persevering purpose of overthrowing
the free principles of the government.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 319.
(M. 1823)

7605. RIGHTS, Personal.—

It were contrary
to feeling, and indeed, ridiculous to suppose that a man had less right in himself
than one of his neighbors, or indeed, than all
of them put together. This would be slavery,
and not that liberty which the bill of rights
has made inviolable, and for the preservation
of which our government has been charged.
Nothing could so completely divest us of that
liberty as the establishment of the opinion,
that the State has a perpetual right to the
services of all its members. This, to men of
certain ways of thinking, would be to annihilate
the blessing of existence, and to contradict
the Giver of life, who gave it for happiness
and not for wretchedness.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 319. Ford ed., iii, 58.
(M. 1782)

7606. RIGHTS, Personal.—[continued].

Every man should be
protected in his lawful acts.—
To Isaac McPherson. Washington ed. vi, 175.
(M. 1813)

7607. RIGHTS, Persons and.—

and powers can only belong to persons, not
to things, not to mere matter, unendowed
with will.—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 359.
(M. 1824)

7608. RIGHTS, Religion and civil.—

Our civil rights have no dependence upon our
religious opinions, more than our opinions in
physics or geometry.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 455. Ford ed., ii, 238.

7609. RIGHTS, Reserved.—

It had become
an universal and almost uncontroverted
position in the several States, that the purposes
of society do not require a surrender of
all our rights to our ordinary governors; that
there are certain portions of right not necessary
to enable them to carry on an effective
government, and which experience has nevertheless
proved they will be constantly encroaching
on, if submitted to them; that there
are also certain fences which experience has
proved peculiarly efficacious against wrong,
and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the
governing powers have ever shown a disposition
to weaken and remove. Of the first
kind, for instance, is freedom of religion; of
the second, trial by jury, habeas corpus laws,
free presses. These were the settled opinions
of all the States,—of that of Virginia, of
which I was writing [in the Notes on Virginia],
as well as of the others. The others
had, in consequence, delineated these unceded
portions of right, and these fences against
wrong, which they meant to exempt from the
power of their governors, in instruments
called declarations, of rights and constitutions;
and as they did this by conventions,
which they appointed for the express purpose
of reserving those rights, and of delegating
others to their ordinary legislative, executive
and judiciary bodies, none of the reserved
rights can be touched without resorting to
the people to appoint another convention for
the express purpose of permitting it. Where
the constitutions, then, have been so formed
by conventions, named for this express purpose,
they are fixed and unalterable but by a
convention or other body to be specially authorized;
and they have been so formed by,
I believe, all the States, except Virginia.
That State concurs in all these opinions, but
has run into the wonderful error that her
constitution, though made by the ordinary
legislature, cannot yet be altered by the ordinary
To Noah Webster. Washington ed. iii, 201. Ford ed., v, 254.
(Pa., 1790)

7610. RIGHTS, Safest depositary of.—

The mass of the citizens is the safest depositary
of their own rights.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 608. Ford ed., x, 31.
(M. 1816)

7611. RIGHTS, Safety of.—

It would be
a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the
men of our choice to silence our fears for the
safety of our rights.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 470. Ford ed., vii, 303.

7612. RIGHTS, Securing.—

It is to secure
our rights that we resort to government at all.—
To M. D'Ivernois. Washington ed. iv, 114. Ford ed., vii, 4.
(M. Feb. 1795)

— RIGHTS, State.—

See State Rights.

7613. RIGHTS, Suppression of.—

It is
impossible the world should continue long insensible


Page 782
to so evident a truth as that the right to have commerce and intercourse with our
neighbors is a natural right. To suppress
this neighborly intercourse is an exercise of
force, which we shall have a just right to remove
when the superior force.—
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 146. Ford ed., v, 174.
(N.Y., 17901790)gt;

7614. RIGHTS, Surrendering.—

The justifiable
rights of our country ought not to be
given up by those * * * appointed and
trusted to defend them where they may be
justly defended.—
To Alexander Hamilton. Ford ed., vi, 9.

7615. RIGHTS, Swallowing up.—

his Majesty possess such a right as this
[sending troops], it might swallow up all our
other rights, whenever he should think
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 140. Ford ed., i, 445.

7616. RIGHTS, Unmerited praise and.—

To give praise where it is not due might
be well from the venal, but it would ill become
those who are asserting the rights of
human nature.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 141. Ford ed., i, 446.

7617. RIGHTS, Usurpation of.—

royal claim to wrecks, waifs, strays, treasuretrove,
royal mines, royal fish, royal birds, are
declared to have been usurpations on common
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 28.
(June. 1776)

— RIGHTS OF BRITISH AMERICA, A summary view of the.—

See Appendix.


See Conscience.

7618. RIGHTS OF MAN, Appeal to.—

The appeal to the rights of man, which had
been made in the United States, was taken
up by France, first of the European nations.
From her, the spirit has spread over those of
the South. The tyrants of the North have
allied indeed against it; but it is irresistible.
Their opposition will only multiply its
millions of human victims; their own satellites
will catch it, and the condition of man
through the civilized world will be finally
and greatly ameliorated. This is a wonderful
instance of great events from small causes.
So inscrutable is the arrangement of causes
and consequences in this world, that a twopenny
duty on tea, unjustly imposed in a
sequestered part of it, changes the condition
of all its inhabitants.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 106. Ford ed., i, 147.

7619. RIGHTS OF MAN, Assertion of.—

I hope and firmly believe that the whole
world will, sooner or later, feel benefit from
the issue of our assertion of the rights of
To Benjamin Galloway. Washington ed. vi, 41.
(M. 1812)

7620. RIGHTS OF MAN, Charter of.—

The Declaration of Independence, the Declaratory
Charter of our rights, and of the
rights of man.—
To Samuel A. Wells. Washington ed. i, 121. Ford ed., x, 131.
(M. 1819)

7621. RIGHTS OF MAN, Equal.—

equal rights of man, and the happiness of
every individual, are now acknowledged to
be the only legitimate objects of government.
Modern times * * * have discovered the
only device by which these rights can be
secured, to wit: government by the people,
acting not in person, but by representatives
chosen by themselves, that is to say, by every
man of ripe years and sound mind, who contributes
either by his purse or person to the
support of his country.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 319.
(M. 1823)

7622. RIGHTS OF MAN, Government and.—

No interests are dearer to men than
those which ought to be secured to them by
their form of government, and none deserve
better of them than those who contribute to
the amelioration of that form.—
To M. Ruelle. Washington ed. v, 430.
(W. 1809)

7623. RIGHTS OF MAN, Immortal.—

Although the horrors of the French Revolution
have damped for awhile the ardor of the
patriots in every country, yet it is not extinguished—it will never die. The sense of
right has been excited in every breast, and the
spark will be rekindled by the very oppressions
of that detestable tyranny employed to
quench it. The errors of the honest patriots
of France, and the crimes of her Dantons and
Robespierres, will be forgotten in the more
encouraging contemplation of our sober example,
and steady march to our object.—
To Benjamin Galloway. Washington ed. vi, 41.
(M. 1812)

7624. RIGHTS OF MAN, Immutable.—

Nothing is unchangeable but the inherent and
inalienable rights of man.—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 359.
(M. 1824)

7625. RIGHTS OF MAN, Legal.—

The laws of the land are the inheritance and the
right of every man before whatever tribunal
he is brought.—
Notes on Stevens Case. Washington ed. ix, 475.

7626. RIGHTS OF MAN, Legislators and.—

Our legislators are not sufficiently apprized
of the rightful limits of their power;
that their true office is to declare and enforce
only our natural rights and duties, and to
take none of them from us.—
To F. W. Gilmer. Washington ed. vii, 3. Ford ed., x, 32.
(M. 1816)

7627. RIGHTS OF MAN, Moral and political.—

That man may at length find favor
with Heaven, and his present struggles issue in the recovery and establishment of his
moral and political rights will be the prayer
of my latest breath.—
To Harry Innes. Ford ed., vii, 383.
(M. 1799)

7628. RIGHTS OF MAN, Recognition of.—

All eyes are opened, or opening, to the
rights of man. The general spread of the
light of science has already laid open to every
view the palpable truth, that the mass of
mankind has not been born with saddles on
their backs, nor a favored few booted and
spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by


Page 783
the grace of God. [437]
To Roger C. Weightman. Washington ed. vii, 450. Ford ed., x, 391.
(M. June 24, 1826)


From the last letter written by Jefferson. Mr.
Weightman was Mayor of Washington City, and the
letter was in reply to an invitation to be present at
a Fourth of July celebration at the capital. Jefferson
and Adams both died on that day.—Editor.

7629. RIGHTS OF MAN, Securing.—

Modern times * * * have discovered the
only device by which the rights of man can
be secured, to wit, government by the people,
acting not in person, but by representatives
chosen by themselves; that is to say, by every
man of ripe years and sane mind, who contributes
either by his purse or person to the
support of his country.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 319.
(M. 1823)

See Paine.

7630. RITTENHOUSE (David), Astronomer.—

That this Commonwealth [of
Virginia] may not be without so great an ornament,
nor its youth such an help towards
attaining astronomical science, as the mechanical
representation, or model of the solar system,
conceived and executed by that greatest
of astronomers, David Rittenhouse, * * * the visitors [of William and Mary College] * * * shall be authorized [to purchase] one
of the models.—
William and Mary College Bill. Ford ed., ii, 235.

7631. RITTENHOUSE (David), Astronomer.—[continued].

We have supposed Mr.
Rittenhouse second to no astronomer living;
that in genius he must be first, because he is
self-taught. As an artist, he has exhibited as
great a proof of mechanical genius as the world
has ever produced. He has not indeed made
a world; but he has by imitation approached
nearer its Maker, than has any man who has
lived from the creation to this day.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 313. Ford ed., iii, 169.

7632. RITTENHOUSE (David), Genius of.—

The amazing mechanical representation
of the solar system, which you conceived and
executed, has never been surpassed by any but
the work of which it is a copy. Are these powers,
then, which being intended for the condition
of the world are like air and light, the
world's common property, to be taken from
their proper pursuit to do the commonplace
drudgery of governing a single State, a work
which may be executed by men of an ordinary
stature, such as are always and everywhere to
be found?—
To David Rittenhouse. Ford ed., ii, 163.
(M. 1778)

7633. RITTENHOUSE (David), Genius of.—[continued].

I doubt not there are in
your country many persons equal to the task
of conducting government; but you should consider
that the world has but one Rittenhouse,
and that it never had one before.—
To David Rittenhouse. Ford ed., ii, 163.

7634. RITTENHOUSE (David), Genius of.—[further continued].

I have been much pleased
to hear you had it in contemplation to endeavor
to establish Rittenhouse in our College. This
would be an immense acquisition, and would
draw youth to it from every part of the continent.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 400.
(P. 1785)

7635. RITTENHOUSE (David), Invaluable friend.—

Our late invaluable friend, Rittenhouse.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 165. Ford ed., vii, 113.
(M. 1797)

7636. RITTENHOUSE (David), Mechanician.—

Rittenhouse, as an astronomer,
would stand on a line with any of his time;
and as a mechanician, he certainly has not
been equaled. In this view he was truly great;
but, placed alongside of Newton, every human
character must appear diminutive, and none
would have shrunk more feelingly from the
painful parallel than the modest and amiable
Rittenhouse, whose genius and merit are not
the less for this exaggerated comparison of his
over zealous biographer.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 307.
(M. 1814)

7637. RIVER, Illinois.—

The Illinois is a
fine river, clear, gentle, and without rapids; insomuch
that it is navigable for bateaux to its
source. From thence is a portage of two miles
only to the Chicago, which affords a bateau
navigation of sixteen miles to its entrance into
Lake Michigan.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 255. Ford ed., iii, 93.

7638. RIVER, James.—

James River itself
affords a harbor for vessels of any size in
Hampton Road, but not in safety through the
whole winter. * * * In some future state
of population, I think it possible, that its navigation
may also be made to interlock with that
of the Potomac, and through that to communicate
by a short portage with the Ohio.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 251. Ford ed., iii, 89.

7639. RIVER, Kanawha.—

The Great
Kanawha is a river of considerable note for
the fertility of its lands, and still more, as leading
towards the head waters of James river.
Nevertheless it is doubtful whether its great and
numerous rapids will admit a navigation, but
at an expense to which it will require ages to
render its inhabitants equal. The great obstacles
begin at what are called the great falls,
ninety miles above the mouth, below which are
only five or six rapids, and these passable, with
some difficulty, even at low water. * * * It is said, however, that at a very moderate expense
the whole current of the upper part of the
Kanawha may be turned into the South Fork of
Roanoke, the Alleghany there subsiding, and
the two rivers approaching so near, that a canal
nine miles long, and thirty feet deep, at the
deepest part would draw the water of the
Kanawha into this branch of the Roanoke; this
canal would be in Montgomery County, the
court-house of which is on the top of the Alleghanies.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 259. Ford ed., iii, 96.

7640. RIVER, Kanawha.—[continued].

The Little Kanawha
* * * yields a navigation of ten miles only.
Perhaps its northern branch, called Junius's
Creek, which interlocks with the western of
Monongahela, may one day admit a shorter
passage from the latter into the Ohio.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 259. Ford ed., iii, 97.

7641. RIVER, Mississippi.—

The Mississippi
will be one of the principal channels of
future commerce for the country westward of
the Alleghany.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 253. Ford ed., iii, 91.

7642. RIVER, Mississippi.—[continued].

The country watered by
the Mississippi and its eastern branches constitutes
five-eighths of the United States, two
of which five-eights are occupied by the Ohio
and its waters; the residuary streams which run
into the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and the
St. Lawrence, water the remaining three-eights.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 261. Ford ed., iii, 98.

7643. RIVER, Missouri.—

The Missouri
is, in fact, the principal river, contributing


Page 784
more to the common stream than does the Mississippi,
even after its junction with the Illinois.
It is remarkably cold, muddy and rapid.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 254. Ford ed., iii, 92.

7644. RIVER, Ohio.—

The Ohio is the
most beautiful river on earth. Its current gentle,
waters clear, and bosom smooth and unbroken
by rocks and rapids, a single instance
only excepted.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 256. Ford ed., iii, 93.

7645. RIVER, Potomac.—

The passage of
the Potomac through the Blue Ridge is, perhaps,
one of the most stupendous scenes in
nature. You stand on a very high point of
land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah,
having ranged along the foot of the mountain
an hundred miles to seek a vent. On your left
approaches the Potomac, in quest of a passage
also. In the moment of their junction, they
rush together against the mountain, rend it
asunder, and pass off to the sea. The first
glance of this scene hurries our senses into the
opinion, that this earth has been created in
time, that the mountains were formed first, that
the rivers began to flow afterwards, that in
this place, particularly, they have been dammed
up by the Blue Ridge of mountains, and have
formed an ocean which filled the whole valley;
that continuing to rise they have at length
broken over at this spot, and have torn the
mountain down from its summit to its base.
The piles of rock on each hand, but particularly
on the Shenandoah, the evident marks of their
disrupture and avulsion from their beds by the
most powerful agents of nature, corroborate the
impression. But the distant finishing which
nature has given to the picture, is of a very
different character. It is a true contrast to the
foreground. It is as placid and delightful as
that is wild and tremendous. For the mountain
being cloven asunder, she presents to your
eye, through the cleft, a small catch of smooth
blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the plain
country, inviting you, as it were, from the riot
and tumult roaring around, to pass through the
breach and participate of the calm below. Here
the eye ultimately composes itself; and that
way, too, the road happens actually to lead.
You cross the Potomac above the junction, pass
along its side through the base of the mountain
for three miles, its terrible precipices hanging
in fragments over you, and within about twenty
miles reach Fredericktown, and the fine country
round that. This scene is worth a voyage
across the Atlantic. Yet here, as in the neighborhood
of the Natural Bridge, are people who
have passed their lives within half a dozen
miles, and have never been to survey these
monuments of a war between rivers and
mountains, which must have shaken the earth
itself to its centre.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 264. Ford ed., iii, 102.

7646. RIVER, Red.—

Your observations
* * * have determined me to confine the
ensuing mission to the ascent of the Red river
to its source, and to descend the same river
again, which will give an opportunity of better
ascertaining that which, in truth, next to the
Missouri, is the most interesting water of the
Mississippi. You will accordingly receive instructions
to this effect from the Secretary of
To Mr. Dunbar. Washington ed. iv, 577.
(W. May. 1805)

7647. RIVER, Red.—[continued].

The work we are now
doing is, I trust, done for posterity, in such a
way that they need not repeat it. For this we
are much indebted to you, not only for the
labor and time you have devoted to it, but for
the excellent method of which you have set the
example, and which I hope will be the model
to be followed by others. We shall delineate
with correctness the great arteries of this great
country. Those who come after us will extend
the ramifications as they become acquainted
with them, and fill up the canvas
we begin.—
To Mr. Dunbar. Washington ed. iv, 580.
(W. 1805)

7648. RIVER, Rhone.—

Nature never
formed a country of more savage aspect, than
that on both sides the Rhone. A huge torrent
rushes like an arrow between high precipices,
often of massive rock, at other times of loose
stone, with but little earth. Yet has the hand
of man subdued this savage scene, by planting
corn where there is little fertility, trees where
there is still less, and vines where there is none.
On the whole, it assumes a romantic, picturesque,
and pleasing air.—
Travels in France. Washington ed. ix, 320.

7649. RIVER, St. Croix.—

A difference
of opinion having arisen as to the river intended
by the Plenipotentiaries [in the treaty
of peace] to be the boundary between us and
the dominions of Great Britain, and by them
called the St. Croix, which name, it seems, is
given to two different rivers, the ascertaining
of this point becomes a matter of present urgency.
It has heretofore been the subject of
application from us to the Government of
Great Britain.—
To George Hammond. Ford ed., vi, 469.
(Pa., Dec. 1793)

7650. RIVER, Wabash.—

The Wabash is
a very beautiful river.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 258. Ford ed., iii, 95.

7651. RIVERS, Exploration of.—

should be glad of a copy of any sketch or account
you may have made of the river Platte,
of the passage from its head across the mountains,
and of the river Cashecatungo, which you
suppose to run into the Pacific. This would
probably be among the first exploring journeys
we undertake after a settlement with Spain, as
we wish to become acquainted with all the advantageous
water connections across our continent.—
To Anthony G. Bettay. Washington ed. v, 246.
(W. 1808)

7652. RIVERS, Highways of commerce.—

The principal connections of the
western waters with the Atlantic are three:
the Hudson River, the Potomac, and the Mississippi
itself. Down the last will pass all
heavy commodities. But the navigation
through the Gulf of Mexico is so dangerous,
and that up the Mississippi so difficult and
tedious, that it is thought probable that European
merchandise will not return through that
channel. It is most likely that flour, timber,
and other heavy articles will be floated on rafts,
which will themselves be an article for sale as
well as their loading, the navigators returning
by land, or in light bateaux. There will, therefore,
be a competition between the Hudson
and Potomac rivers for the residue of the commerce
of all the country westward of Lake
Erie, on the waters of the Lakes, of the Ohio,
and upper parts of the Mississippi.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 261. Ford ed., iii, 98.

7653. RIVERS, Increments of.—

granting appropriations [of lands], some sovereigns
have given away the increments of rivers
to a greater, some to a lesser extent, and
some not at all. Rome, which was not feudal,
and Spain and England which were, have
granted them largely; France, a feudal country,


Page 785
has not granted them at all on navigable rivers.
Louis XIV., therefore, was strictly correct when
in his edict of 1693, he declared that the increments
of rivers were incontestably his, as a
necessary consequence of the sovereignty.
That is to say, that where no special grant of
them to an individual could be produced, they
remained in him, as a portion of the original
lands of the nation, or as new created lands,
never yet granted to any individual. They are
unquestionably a regalian, or national right,
paramount, and pre-existent to the establishment
of the feudal system. That system has
no fixed principle on the subject, as is evident
from the opposite practices of different feudal
nations. The position, therefore, is entirely
unfounded, that the right to them is derived
from the feudal law.—
Batture Case. Washington ed. viii, 541.

7654. RIVERS, Obstructions in.—

I think
the State should reserve a right to the use of
the [river] waters for navigation, and that
where an individual landholder impedes that
use, he shall remove that impediment, and leave
the subject in as good a state as nature formed
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vi, 541.
(M. 1816)

7655. RIVERS, Obstructions in.—[continued].

I think the power of
permitting dams to be erected across our river
[Fluviana], ought to be taken from the courts,
so far as the stream has water enough for navigation.—
To Charles Yancey. Washington ed. vi, 514. Ford ed., x, 1.
(M. 1816)

7656. RIVERS, Right of navigation.—

The movements of the King of Prussia to
emancipate the navigation of the Vistula, and
of the Emperor [of Germany] to free that of
the Scheld do not, I believe, threaten the
peace of Europe. * * * This assertion, then,
of the natural right of the inhabitants of the
upper part of a river to an innocent passage
through the country below is pleasing to us.
It tends to establish a principle favorable to
our right of navigating the Mississippi.—
To Governor Benj. Harrison. Ford ed., iii, 414.
(A. March. 1784)

7657. RIVERS, Velocity of.—

I shall
forward your ingenious paper on the subject of
the Mississippi to the Philosophical Society.
To prove the value I set on it, and my wish
that it may go to the public without any imperfection
about it, I will take the liberty of
submitting to your consideration the only passage
which I think may require it. You say,
“the velocity of rivers is greatest at the surface,
and generally diminishes downwards”.
And this principle enters into some subsequent
parts of the paper, and has too much effect
on the phenomena of that river not to merit
mature consideration. I can but suppose it at
variance with the law of motion in rivers. In
strict theory, the velocity of water at any given
depth in a river is (in addition to its velocity at
its surface) whatever a body would have acquired
by falling through a space equal to that
To William Dunbar. Washington ed. iv, 537.
(W. 1804)

7658. ROANE (Spencer), Courage of.—

Against this [consolidation] I know no one
who, equally with Judge Roane himself, possesses
the power and the courage to make resistance;
and to him I look, and have long
looked, as our strongest bulwark.—
To Archibald Thweat. Washington ed. vii, 199. Ford ed., x, 184.
(M. 1821)

7659. ROANE (Spencer), Judge Marshall and.—

On the decision of the case of
Cohens vs. the State of Virginia, in the Supreme
Court of the United States, in March,
1821, Judge Roane, under the signature of
“Algernon Sidney”, wrote for the Enquirer
[Richmond] a series of papers on the law of
that case. I considered these papers maturely
as they came out, and confess that they appeared
to me to pulverize every word which
had been delivered by Judge Marshall, of the
extra-judicial part of his opinion.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 294. Ford ed., x, 229.
(M. 1823)

7660. ROBESPIERRE, Atrocities of.—

What a tremendous obstacle to the future attempts
at liberty will be the atrocities of
To Tench Coxe. Ford ed., vii, 22.
(M. 1795)

7661. ROBESPIERRE, Condemned.—

Robespierre met the fate, and his memory the
execration, he so justly merited. The rich were
his victims, and perished by thousands.—
To Madame de Stael. Washington ed. vi, 114.
(M. May. 1813)

7662. ROCHAMBEAU (Count), Proposed bust.—

Count Rochambeau has really
deserved more attention than he has received.
Why not set up his bust, that of Gates, Greene,
Franklin, in your new capitol?—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 534. Ford ed., iv, 196.
(P. 1786)

7663. RODNEY (Cæsar A.), Affection for.—

I avail myself of this occasion * * * to express all the depth of my affection for
you; the sense I entertain of your faithful cooperation
in my late labors, and the debt I owe
for the valuable aid I received from you [in
the cabinet].—
To Caesar A. Rodney. Washington ed. v, 502. Ford ed., ix, 272.
(M. 1810)

7664. RODNEY (Cæsar A.), Appeal to.—

I am told you are the only person who can
unite the greatest portion of the republican
votes [in Delaware], and the only one, perhaps,
who can procure the dismission of your
present representative [in Congress] to that
obscurity of situation where his temper and
principles may be disarmed of all effect. You
are, then, bound to do this good office to the
rest of America. You owe to your State to
make her useful to her friends, instead of being
an embarrassment and a burden. Her long
speeches and wicked workings at this session
have added at least thirty days to its length,
cost us $30,000, and filled the Union with falsehoods
and misrepresentations.—
To Caesar A. Rodney. Ford ed., viii, 148.
(W. 1802)

7665. RODNEY (Cæsar A.), Retirement.—

I lament the necessity which calls for your
retirement, if that necessity really exists. I
had looked to you as one of those calculated to
give cohesion to our rope of sand.—
To Caesar A. Rodney. Ford ed., viii, 296.
(W. Feb. 1804)

7666. ROGUES, Diplomacy and.—

part of the country [Virginia] is in considerable
fermentation on what they suspect to be a
recent roguery of this kind. They say that
while all hands were below deck mending sails,
splicing ropes, and every one at his own business,
and the captain in his cabin attending to
his log-book and chart, a rogue of a pilot has
run them into an enemy's port. But metaphor
apart, there is much dissatisfaction with Mr.
Jay and his treaty.—
To Mann Page. Washington ed. iv, 120. Ford ed., vii, 25.
(M. Aug. 1795)

See Jay Treaty.

7667. ROGUES, Proportion of.—

I do not
believe with the Rochefoucaulds and Mon


Page 786
taignes, that fourteen out of fifteen men are
rogues; I believe a great abatement from that
proportion may be made in favor of general
honesty. But I have always found that rogues
would be uppermost, and I do not know that
the proportion is too strong for the higher
orders, and for those who, rising above the
swinish multitude, always contrive to nestle
themselves into the places of power and profit.
These rogues set out with stealing the people's
good opinion, and then steal from them
the right of withdrawing it, by contriving laws
and associations against the power of the people
To Mann Page. Washington ed. iv, 119. Ford ed., vii, 24.
(M. 1795)

7668. ROGUES, Railing.—

The rogues
may rail without intermission.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 426. Ford ed., viii, 128.
(W. 1801)

7669. ROHAN (Cardinal de), Imprisonment.—

The Cardinal de Rohan and Cagliostro
remain * * * in the Bastile; nor do their
affairs seem as yet to draw towards a conclusion.
It has been a curious matter, in which
the circumstances of intrigue and detail have
busied all the tongues, the public liberty none.—
To Mr. Otto. Washington ed. i, 558.
(P. 1786)

7670. ROTATION IN OFFICE, Abandonment of.—

I dislike, and greatly dislike [in the new Federal Constitution] the abandonment
in every instance of the principle [438] of
rotation in office, and most particularly in the
case of the President.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 330. Ford ed., iv, 477.
(P. Dec. 1787)
See President.


“Necessity” of rotation in Ford edition.—Editor.

7671. ROTATION IN OFFICE, Abandonment of.—[continued].

I apprehend that the
total abandonment of the principle of rotation
in the offices of President and Senator [in the
Federal Constitution] will end in abuse.—
To E. Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 435. Ford ed., v, 42.
(P. 1788)

7672. ROTATION IN OFFICE, Abandonment of.—[further continued].

The abandoning the
principle of necessary rotation in the Senate
has, I see, been disapproved by many; in the
case of the President, by none. I readily,
therefore, suppose my opinion wrong, when
opposed by the majority, as in the former instance,
and the totality, as in the latter. In
this, however, I should have done it with
more complete satisfaction, had we all judged
from the same position.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 447. Ford ed., v, 48.
(P. July. 1788)

7673. ROTATION IN OFFICE, Approval of.—

I am for responsibilities at short
periods, seeing neither reason nor safety in
making the public functionaries independent
of the nation for life, or even for a long term
of years. On this principle I prefer the Presidential
term of four years to that of seven
years which I myself had at first suggested,
annexing to it, however, ineligibility to it
forever after; and I wish it were now annexed
to the second quadrennial election of
To James Martin. Washington ed. vi, 213. Ford ed., ix, 420.
(M. 1813)

See Third Term.

7674. ROTATION IN OFFICE, Definition of.—

Rotation is the change of officers
required by the laws at certain epochs, and
in a certain order. Thus, in Virginia, our
justices of the peace are made sheriffs, one
after the other, each remaining in office two
years, and then yielding it to his next brother
in order of seniority. This is the just and
classical meaning of the word. But in America,
we have extended it (for want of a
proper word), to all cases of officers who
must be necessarily changed at a fixed epoch,
though the successor be not pointed out in
any particular order, but comes in by free
election. By the term rotation in office, then,
we mean an obligation on the holder of that
office to go out at a certain period. In our
first confederation, the principle of rotation
was established in the office of President of
Congress, who could serve but one year in
three; and in that of a member of Congress,
who could serve but three years in six.—
To J. Sarsfield. Washington ed. iii, 17.
(P. 1789)

7675. ROTATION IN OFFICE, Restoration of.—

The second amendment [to the new
Federal Constitution], which appears to me to
be essential, is the restoring the principle of
necessary rotation, particularly to the Senate
and Presidency, but most of all to the last.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 404. Ford ed., v, 20.
(P. 1788)

7676. ROWAN (A. H.), Asylum for.—

Should you choose Virginia for your asylum,
the laws of the land, administered by upright
judges, would protect you from an exercise of
power unauthorized by the Constitution of the
United States. The Habeas Corpus secures
every man here, alien or citizen, against everything
which is not law, whatever shape it May
assume. Should this, or any other circumstance,
draw your footsteps this way, I shall
be happy to be among those who may have an
opportunity of testifying, by every attention
in our power, the sentiments of esteem and
respect which the circumstances of your history
have inspired. [439]
To A. H. Rowan. Washington ed. iv, 257. Ford ed., vii, 281.


Archibald Hamilton Rowan was one of the
leaders in the rebellion in Ireland in 1798. He was
a refugee in Wilmington, Delaware, when Jefferson
wrote to him.—Editor.

7677. RULES, Forming.—

The forming a
general rule requires great caution.—
To President Washington. Ford ed., vi, 408.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

— RULES, Jefferson's ten.—

See Advice.

7678. RUSH (Benjamin), Tribute to.—

better man than Rush could not have left us;
more benevolent, more learned, of finer genius,
or more honest.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 120.
(M. 1813)

7679. RUSH (Benjamin), Virtues.—

virtues rendered him dear to all who knew
him, and his benevolence led him to do all men
every good in his power. Much he was able
to do, and much, therefore, will be missed.—
To Richard Rush. Ford ed., ix, 385.
(M. 1813)

7680. RUSSIA, Empress Catherine.—

The Empress endeavored to bully the Turk,
who laughed at her, and she is going back.—
To J. Bannister, Jr. Washington ed. ii, 150.
(P. 1787)
See Alexander of Russia and Dashkoff.


Page 787

7681. RUSSIA, United States and.—

Russia and the United States being in character
and practice essentially pacific, a common
interest in the rights of peaceable nations
gives us a common cause in their maintenance.—
To M. Dashkoff. Washington ed. v, 463.
(M. 1809)

7682. RUTLEDGE (Edward), Appeal to,—

Would to God yourself, General Pinckney
and Major Pinckney, would come forward and aid us with your efforts. You are all known,
respected, wished for; but you refuse yourselves
to everything. What is to become of us
if the vine and the fig tree withdraw, and leave
us to the bramble and the thorn?—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iii, 285. Ford ed., v, 376.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

7683. RUTLEDGE (Edward), Politics.—

I have often doubted whether most to praise
or to blame your line of conduct. If you had
lent to your country the excellent talents you
possess, on you would have fallen those torrents
of abuse which have lately been poured
forth on me. So far, I praise the wisdom
which has descried and steered clear of a
waterspout ahead. But now for the blame.
There is a debt of service due from every man
to his country, proportioned to the bounties
which nature and fortune have measured to
him. Counters will pay this from the poor of
spirit; but from you coin was due. There is
no bankrupt law in heaven, by which you May
get off with shillings in the pound; with rendering
to a single State what you owed to the
whole confederacy. I think it was by the
Roman law that a father was denied sepulture,
unless his son would pay his debts. Happy for
you and us, that you have a son whom genius
and education have qualified to pay yours. But
as you have been a good father in everything
else, be so in this also. Come forward and pay
your own debts. Your friends, the Pinckneys,
have at length undertaken their tour. My joy
at this would be complete if you were in gear
with them.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 152. Ford ed., vii, 94.
(M. 1796)

7684. RUTLEDGE (John), Chief Justice.—

The rejection of Mr. Rutledge [to be
Chief Justice] by the Senate is a bold thing;
because they cannot pretend any objection to
him but his disapprobation of the [Jay] treaty.
It is, of course, a declaration that they will receive
none but tories hereafter into any department
of the government.—
To W. B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 127. Ford ed., vii, 44.
(M. Dec. 1795)

7685. RUTLEDGE (John), Chief Justice.—[continued].

The appointment of J.
Rutledge to be Chief Justice seems to have
been intended merely to establish a precedent
against the descent of that office by seniority,
and to keep five mouths always gaping for
one sugar plum; for it was immediately negatived
by the very votes which so implicitly concur
with the will of the Executive.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 59.
(M. 1796)