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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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8973. WASHINGTON (City), British capture of.—
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8973. WASHINGTON (City), British capture of.—

In the late events at Washington
I have felt so much for you that I cannot withhold the expression of my sympathies.
For although every reasonable man must be
sensible that all you can do is to order, that
execution must depend on others, and failures
be imputed to them alone; yet I know that
when such failures happen they afflict even
those who have done everything they could to
prevent them. Had General Washington himself
been now at the head of our affairs, the
same event would probably have happened.
We all remember the disgraces which befell us
in his time in a trifling war with one or two
petty tribes of Indians, in which two armies


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were cut off by not half their numbers. Every
one knew, and I personally knew, because I was
then of his council, that no blame was imputable
to him, and that his officers alone were
the cause of the disasters. They must now do
the same justice.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 385.
(M. Sep. 1814)