University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
collapse sectionM. 
5136. MASSACHUSETTS, The Union and.—
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 
3 occurrences of jefferson cyclopedia
[Clear Hits]

5136. MASSACHUSETTS, The Union and.—

The conduct of Massachusetts, which
is the subject of your address to Mr. Quincy
is serious, as embarrassing the operations of the
war, and jeopardizing its issue; and is still more
so, as an example of contumacy against the
Constitution. One method of proving their purpose
would be to call a convention of their
State, and to require them to declare themselves
members of the Union, and obedient to its determinations,
or not members, and let them go.
Put this question solemnly to their people, and
their answer cannot be doubtful. One half of
them are republicans, and would cling to the
Union from principle. Of the other half, the
dispassionate part would consider, first, that
they do not raise bread sufficient for their own
subsistence, and must look to Europe for the
deficiency if excluded from our ports, which
vital interests would force us to do. Secondly,
that they are navigating people without a stick
of timber for the hull of a ship, nor a pound
of anything to export in it, which would be admitted
at any market. Thirdly, that they are
also a manufacturing people, and left by the
exclusive system of Europe without a market
but ours. Fourthly, that as rivals of England
in manufactures, in commerce, in navigation,
and fisheries, they would meet her competition
in everp point. Fifthly, that England would
feel no scruples in making the abandonment
and ruin of such a rival the price of a treaty
with the producing States; whose interest too
it would be to nourish a navigation beyond the
Atlantic, rather than a hostile one at our own
door. And sixthly, that in case of war with
the Union, which occurrences between coterminous
nations frequently produce, it would
be a contest of one against fifteen. The remaining
portion of the federal moiety of the
State would, I believe, brave all these obstacles,
because they are monarchists in principle, bear
ing deadly hatred to their republican fellow
citizens, impatient under the ascendency of
republican principles, devoted in their attachment
to England, and preferring to be placed
under her despotism, if they cannot hold the
helm of government here. I see, in their separation,
no evil but the example, and I believe
that the effect of that would be corrected by an
early and humiliating return to the Union, after
losing much of the population of their country,
insufficient in its own resources to feed her
numerous inhabitants, and inferior in all its
allurements to the more inviting soils, climates,
and governments of the other States. Whether
a dispassionate discussion before the public, of
the advantages and disadvantages of separation
to both parties, would be the best medicine of
this dialytic fever, or to consider it as a sacrilege
ever to touch the question, may be
doubted. I am, myself, generally disposed to
indulge, and to follow reason; and believe that
in no case would it be safer than in the present.
Their refractory course, however, will not be
unpunished by the indignation of their co-States,
their loss of influence with them, the
censures of history, and the stain on the character
of their State.—
To James Martin. Washington ed. vi, 213. Ford ed., ix, 420.
(M. Sep. 1813)
See Federalists, Hartford Convention, and Parties.