University of Virginia Library

4027. INVASION, Not feared.—

I as little
fear foreign invasion[as domestic insurrection].
I have indeed thought it a duty to
be prepared to meet even the most powerful,
that of a Bonaparte, for instance, by the only
means competent, that of a classification of
the militia, and placing the junior classes at
the public disposal; but the lesson he receives
in Spain extirpates all apprehensions from my
mind. If, in a peninsula, the neck of which is
adjacent to him and at his command, where
he can march any army without the possibility
of interception or obstruction from any foreign
power, he finds it necessary to begin with
an army of three hundred thousand men,
to subdue a nation of five millions, brutalized
by ignorance, and enervated by long peace,
and should find constant reinforcements of
thousands after thousands, necessary to effect
at last a conquest as doubtful as deprecated,
what numbers would be necessary against
eight millions of free Americans, spread over
such an extent of country as would wear him
down by mere marching, by want of food,
autumnal diseases, &c.? How would they be
brought, and how reinforced across an ocean
of three thousand miles, in possession of a
bitter enemy, whose peace, like the repose of
a dog, is never more than momentary? And
for what? For nothing but hard blows. If
the Orleanese Creoles would but contemplate
these truths, they would cling to the
American Union, soul and body, as their
first affection, and we would be as safe there
as we are everywhere else.—
To Dr. James Brown. Washington ed. v, 379. Ford ed., ix, 211.
(W. 1808)