University of Virginia Library

Search this document 
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.;

expand sectionA. 
expand sectionB. 
expand sectionC. 
expand sectionD. 
expand sectionE. 
expand sectionF. 
expand sectionG. 
expand sectionH. 
expand sectionI. 
expand sectionJ. 
expand sectionK. 
expand sectionL. 
expand sectionM. 
expand sectionN. 
expand sectionO. 
expand sectionP. 
expand sectionQ. 
expand sectionR. 
expand sectionS. 
expand sectionT. 
expand sectionU. 
expand sectionV. 
collapse sectionW. 
9024. WASHINGTON (George), Opposition to administration.—
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

9024. WASHINGTON (George), Opposition to administration.—

I told the President
[Washington] that in my opinion there was
only a single source of the discontents [with the
administration]. Though they had indeed appeared
to spread themselves over the War Department
also, yet I considered that as an overflowing
only from their real channel, which
would never have taken place, if they had not
first been generated in another Department, to
wit, that of the Treasury. That a system had
there been contrived, for deluging the States
with paper money instead of gold and silver,
for withdrawing our citizens from the pursuits
of commerce, manufactures, buildings, and other
branches of useful industry, to occupy themselves
and their capitals in a species of gambling
destructive of morality, and which had introduced
its poison into the government itself.
That it was a fact, as certainly known as that
he and I were then conversing, that particular
members of the Legislature, while those laws
were on the carpet, had feathered their nests
with paper, had then voted for the laws, and
constantly since lent all the energy of their
talents, and instrumentality of their offices to
the establishment and enlargement of this system;
that they had chained it about our necks
for a great length of time, and in order to keep
the game in their hands had, from time to time,
aided in making such legislative constructions
of the Constitution, as made it a very different
thing from what the people thought they had
submitted to; that they had now brought forward
a proposition, far beyond every one yet
advanced, and to which the eyes of many were
turned, as the decision which was to let us
know, whether we live under a limited or an
unlimited government. He asked me to what
proposition I alluded? I answered to that in
the Report on Manufactures, which, under color
of giving bounties for the encouragement of
particular manufactures, meant to establish the
doctrine, that the power given by the Constitution
to collect taxes to provide for the general
of the United States, permitted Congress
to take everything under their management
which they should deem for the public
and which is susceptible of the application
of money; consequently, that the subsequent
enumeration of their powers was not the
description to which resort must be had, and
did not at all constitute the limits of their authority;
that this was a very different question
from that of the bank, which was thought an
incident to an enumerated power; that, therefore,
this decision was expected with great
anxiety; that, indeed, I hoped the proposition
would be rejected, believing there was a majority
in both Houses against it, and that if it
should be, it would be considered as a proof that
things were returning into their true channel;
and that, at any rate, I looked forward to the
broad representation which would shortly take
place, for keeping the general Constitution on
its true ground; and that this would remove a
great deal of the discontent which had shown
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 104. Ford ed., i, 176.
(Feb. 29, 1792)