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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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8933. WAR, Unfeared.—
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8933. WAR, Unfeared.—

We love and we
value peace; we know its blessings from experience.
We abhor the follies of war, and
are not untried in its distresses and calamities.
Unmeddling with the affairs of other nations,
we had hoped that our distance and our dispositions
would have left us free, in the example
and indulgence of peace with all the
world. We had, with sincere and particular
dispositions, courted and cultivated the
friendship of Spain. We have made to it
great sacrifices of time and interest, and were
disposed to believe she would see her interests
also in a perfect coalition and good understanding
with us. Cherishing still the same
sentiments, we have chosen, in the present
instance, to ascribe the intimations in this
letter [of the Spanish Commissioners] to the
particular character of the writers, displayed
in the peculiarity of the style of their communications,
and therefore, we have removed
the cause from them to their sovereign, in
whose justice and love of peace we have confidence.
If we are disappointed in this appeal,
if we are to be forced into a contrary order of
things, our mind is made up. We shall meet
it with firmness. The necessity of our position
will supersede all appeal to calculation
now, as it has done heretofore. We confide
in our strength, without boasting of it;
we respect that of others without fearing it.
If we cannot otherwise prevail on the Creeks
to discontinue their depredations, we will
attack them in force. If Spain chooses to
consider our defence against savage butchery
as a cause of war to her, we must meet her
also in war, with regret, but without fear; and
we shall be happier to the last moment, to
repair with her to the tribunal of peace and
reason. The President charges you to communicate
the contents of this letter to the
Court at Madrid, with all the temperance and
delicacy which the dignity and character of
that Court render proper; but with all the
firmness and self-respect which befit a nation
conscious of its rectitude, and settled in its
To Carmichael and Short. Washington ed. iv, 16. Ford ed., vi, 337.
(Pa., June. 1793)