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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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9195. X. Y. Z. PLOT, Artful misrepresentation of.—
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9195. X. Y. Z. PLOT, Artful misrepresentation of.—

The most artful misrepresentations
of the contents of these papers have
been published, and have produced such a shock
in the republican mind, as has never been seen
since our independence. We are to dread the
effects of this dismay till their fuller information.
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 233. Ford ed., vii, 236.
(Pa., April. 1798)


In 1797, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Elbridge
Gerry and John Marshall were sent on an extraordinary
mission to the French Republic, the Directory
being then in power. Shortly after their arrival in
Paris, they received letters from unofficial persons
signed X. Y. and Z, intimating that, as a preliminary
to the negotiation, it would be necessary to expend a
large sum of money in the way of bribes to the members
of the Government. These demands were not
acceded to, and the federalists made skilful political
use of the incident in their warfare against the republicans.—Editor.