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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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2587. EMBARGO, The Union and.—
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2587. EMBARGO, The Union and.—

John Quincy Adams called on me pending the
Embargo, and while endeavors were making to
obtain its repeal. He made some apologies for
the call, on the ground of our not being then in
the habit of confidential communications, but
that that which he had then to make, involved
too seriously the interest of our country not to
overrule all other considerations with him, and
make it his duty to reveal it to myself particularly.
I assured him there was no occasion for
any apology for his visit; that, on the contrary,
his communications would be thankfully received,
and would add a confirmation the more
to my entire confidence in the rectitude and
patriotism of his conduct and principles. He
spoke then of the dissatisfaction of the Eastern
portion of our confederacy with the restraints
of the Embargo then existing, and their restlessness
under it; that there was nothing which
might not be attempted, to rid themselves of it.
That he had information of the most unquestionable
certainty, that certain citizens of the
Eastern States (I think he named Massachusetts
particularly) were in negotiation with agents of
the British government, the object of which was
an agreement that the New England States
should take no further part in the war then
going on; that, without formally declaring their
separation from the Union of the States, they
should withdraw from all aid and obedience to
them; that their navigation and commerce should
be free from restraint and interruption by the
British; that they should be considered and
treated by them as neutrals, and as such might
conduct themselves towards both parties; and,


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at the close of the war, be at liberty to rejoin
the confederacy. He assured me that there was
imminent danger that the convention would take
place; that the temptations were such as might
debauch many from their fidelity to the Union;
and that, to enable its friends to make head
against it, the repeal of the Embargo was absolutely
necessary. I expressed a just sense of
the merit of this information, and of the importance
of the disclosure to the safety and even
the salvation of our country; and however reluctant
I was to abandon the measure (a measure
which persevered in a little longer, we
had subsequent and satisfactory assurance
would have effected its object completely),
from that moment, and influenced by that information,
I saw the necessity of abandoning
it, and instead of effecting our purpose by
this peaceable weapon, we must fight it out,
or break the Union. I then recommended to
yield to the necessity of a repeal of the Embargo,
and to endeavor to supply its place by
the best substitute, in which they could procure
a general concurrence.—
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. vii, 424. Ford ed., x, 353.
(M. Dec. 1825)