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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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9018. WASHINGTON (George), Marshall's life of.—
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9018. WASHINGTON (George), Marshall's life of.—

The party feelings of General
Washington's biographer [Marshall] to
whom after his death the collection of [Washington's
papers] was confided, have culled from
it a composition as different from what General
Washington would have offered, as was the
candor of the two characters during the period
of the war. The partiality of this pen is displayed
in lavishments of praise on certain
military characters, who had done nothing military,
but who afterwards, and before he wrote,
had become heroes in party, although not in
war; and in his reserve on the merits of others,
who rendered signal services indeed, but did not
earn his praise by apostatizing in peace from the
republican principles for which they had fought
in war. It shows itself too in the cold indifference
with which a struggle for the most animating
of human objects is narrated. No act of
heroism ever kindles in the mind of this writer
a single aspiration in favor of the holy cause
which inspired the bosom, and nerved the arm
of the patriot warrior. No gloom of events, no
lowering of prospects ever excites a fear for the
issue of a contest which was to change the condition
of man over the civilized globe. The
sufferings inflicted on endeavors to vindicate
the rights of humanity are related with all the
frigid insensibility with which a monk would
have contemplated the victims of an auto da fé.
Let no man believe that General Washington
ever intended that his papers should be used for
the suicide of the cause for which he had lived,
and for which there never was a moment in
which he would not have died. The abuse of
these materials is chiefly, however, manifested
in the history of the period immediately following
the establishment of the present Constitution.
* * * Were a reader of this period
to form his idea of it from this history alone,
he would suppose the republican party (who
were, in truth, endeavoring to keep the government
within the line of the Constitution, and
prevent its being monarchized in practice) were
a mere set of grumblers, and disorganizers,
satisfied with no government, without fixed principles
of any, and, like a British parliamentary
opposition, gaping after loaves and fishes, and
ready to change principles, as well as position,
at any time, with their adversaries. But a
short review of facts omitted, or uncandidly
stated in this history will show that the contests
of that day were contests of principle between
the advocates of republican and those of kingly
government, and that had not the former made
the efforts they did, our government would
have been, even at this early day, a very different
thing from what the successful issue of
those efforts have made it. [514]
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 155.


In the Congressional edition this extract is
omitted except the last sentence.—Editor.