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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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2973. FEDERALISTS, Proposed coalition.—
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2973. FEDERALISTS, Proposed coalition.—

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


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