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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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7575. RICHMOND (Va.), Capture of.—
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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)