University of Virginia Library

Search this document 

8994. WASHINGTON (City), Residence in.—

On the subject of your location for the
winter, it is impossible in my view of it, to
doubt on the preference which should be given
to this place. Under any circumstances it
could not but be satisfactory to you to acquire
an intimate knowledge of our political machine,
not merely of its organization, but the individuals
and characters composing it, their general
mode of thinking, and of acting openly and secretly.
Of all this you can learn no more at
Philadelphia than of a diet of the empire.
None but an eyewitness can really understand
it, and it is quite as important to be known to
them, and to obtain a certain degree of their
confidence in your own right. In a government
like ours, the standing of a man well with
this portion of the public must weigh against a
considerable difference of other qualifications.—
To William Short. Washington ed. v, 210.
(W. Nov. 1807)