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.;

collapse 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. 
expand sectionW. 
expand sectionX. 
expand sectionY. 
expand sectionZ. 

expand section 
expand section 

No Page Number

The Jeffersonian Cyclopedia


1. ABILITIES, Appreciate.—

I cannot help hoping that every friend of genius, when
the other qualities of the competitor are
equal, will give a preference to superior abilities.—
To William Preston. Ford ed.,
i, 368.

2. ABILITIES, Attract.—

Render the [State] executive a more desirable post to
men of abilities by making it more independent
of the legislature.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. iii, 315. Ford ed., v, 410.
(Pa., 1791)

3. ABILITIES, Education and.—

It is
often said there have been shining examples
of men of great abilities, in all businesses of
life, without any other science than what they
had gathered from conversation and intercourse
with the world. But, who can say
what these men would not have been, had
they started in the science on the shoulders of
a Demosthenes or Cicero, of a Locke, or
Bacon, or a Newton?—
To John Brazier. Washington ed. vii, 133.

4. ABILITIES, Few Men of.—

Men of
high learning and abilities are few in every
country: and by taking in [the judiciary] those who are not so, the able part of the body
have their hands tied by the unable.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. iii, 315. Ford ed., v, 410.
(Pa., 1791)

See Aristocracy, Talents.


See Languages.


See Slavery.


Whence came those aboriginals of
America? Discoveries, long ago made, were
sufficient to show that the passage from Europe
to America was always practicable, even to the
imperfect navigation of ancient times. In going
from Norway to Iceland, from Iceland to
Greenland, from Greenland to Labrador, the
first traject is the widest; and this having been
practised from the earliest times of which we
have any account of that part of the earth, it is
not difficult to suppose that the subsequent trajects
may have been sometimes passed. Again,
the late discoveries of Captain Cook, coasting
from Kamchatka to California, have proved that
if the two continents of Asia and America be
separated at all, it is only by a narrow strait.
So that from this side also, inhabitants May
have passed into America; and the resemblance
between the Indians of America and the eastern
inhabitants of Asia, would induce us to conjecture,
that the former are the descendants of the
latter, or the latter of the former; excepting
indeed the Esquimaux, who, from the same circumstance
of resemblance, and from identity of
language, must be derived from the Greenlanders,
and these probably from some of the northern
parts of the old continent.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 344. Ford ed., iii, 205.


A knowledge of their several languages
would be the most certain evidence of
their derivation which could be produced. In
fact, it is the best proof of the affinity of nations
which ever can be referred to. How many ages
have elapsed since the English, the Dutch, the
Germans, the Swiss, the Norwegians, Danes and
Swedes have separated from their common
stock? Yet how many more must elapse before
the proofs of their common origin, which exist
in their several languages will disappear? It is
to be lamented, then, very much to be lamented,
that we have suffered so many of the Indian
tribes already to extinguish without our having
previously collected and deposited in the records
of literature, the general rudiments at most of
the languages they spoke. Were vocabularies
formed of all the languages spoken in North
and South America, preserving their appellations
of the most common objects in nature, of
those which must be present to every nation
barbarous or civilized, with the inflections of
their nouns and verbs, their principles of regimen
and concord, and these deposited in all the
public libraries, it would furnish opportunities
to those skilled in the languages of the old
world to compare them with those, now, or at
any future time, and hence to construct the best
evidence of the derivation of their part of the
human race.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 344. Ford ed., iii, 206.

7. ABORIGINES OF AMERICA, Languages.—[continued]

The question whether the
Indians of America have emigrated from another
continent is still undecided. Their vague
and imperfect traditions can satisfy no mind on
that subject. I have long considered their languages
as the only remaining monument of
connection with other nations, or the want of it,
to which we can now have access. They will likewise
show their connection with one another.


Page 2
Very early in life, therefore, I formed a vocabulary
of such objects as, being present everywhere,
would probably have a name in every
language; and my course of life having given
me opportunities of obtaining vocabularies of
many Indian tribes, I have done so on my
original plan, which, though far from being
perfect, has the valuable advantage of identity,
of thus bringing the languages to the same
points of comparison. * * * The Indians
west of the Mississippi and south of the Arkansas,
present a much longer list of tribes than
I had expected; and the relations in which you
stand with them * * * induce me to hope
you will avail us of your means of collecting
their languages for this purpose.—
To Dr. Sibley. Washington ed. iv, 580.
(W. 1805)

8. ABORIGINES OF AMERICA, Languages. [further continued]

I suppose the settlement of our continent is of the most remote antiquity.
The similitude between its inhabitants and
those of eastern parts of Asia renders it probable
that ours are descended from them, or they
from ours. The latter is my opinion, founded
on this single fact: Among the red inhabitants
of Asia, there are but a few languages radically
different, but among our Indians, the number of
languages is infinite, and they are so radically
different as to exhibit at present no appearance
of their having been derived from a common
source. The time necessary for the generation
of so many languages must be immense.—
To Ezra Stiles. Ford ed., iv, 298.
(P. 1786)
See Indians.


See Vacation.


See Intemperance.

9. ABUSE, Newspaper.—

It is hardly
necessary to caution you to let nothing of
mine get before the public: a single sentence
got hold of by the “Porcupines,” [1] will suffice
to abuse and persecute me in their papers
for months.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 248. Ford ed., vii, 266.
(Pa., 1798)

See Libels, Ministers, Newspapers and Slander.


“Peter Porcupine” was the pen-name of William

10. ABUSE, Personal.—

You have seen
my name lately tacked to so much of
eulogy and of abuse that I dare say you hardly
thought that it meant your old acquaintance
of '76. In truth, I did not know myself under
the pens either of my friends or foes. It is
unfortunate for our peace that unmerited
abuse wounds, while unmerited praise has
not the power to heal. These are hard wages
for the services of all the active and healthy
years of one's life.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 151. Ford ed., vii, 93.
(M. Dec. 1796)
See Calumny,
Newspapers and Slander.

11. ABUSE, Personal.—[continued]

If you had lent to your
country the excellent talents you possess, on
you would have fallen those torrents of abuse
which have lately been poured forth on
me. So far I praise the wisdom which has
deseried and steered clear of a waterspout
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 152. Ford ed., vii, 94.
(M. 1796)


See Power.


See Calumny,
Libels, Newspapers, and Slander.

12. ABUSES, Arraignment of.—

The arraignment
of all abuses at the bar of public
reason, I deem [one of the] essential principles
of our government and consequently,
[one] which ought to shape its administration.
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 5.

13. ABUSES, Barriers against.—

We are
to guard against ourselves; not against ourselves
as we are, but as we may be; for who
can now imagine what we may become under
circumstances not now
To Jedediah Morse. Washington ed. vii, 236. Ford ed., x, 206.
(M. 1822)

14. ABUSES, The Constitution and.—

In questions of power * * * let no more
be heard of confidence in man, but bind him
down from mischief by the chains of the
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 471. Ford ed., vii, 305.

See Confidence.

15. ABUSES, The Constitution and.—[continued]

Aware of the tendency of
power to degenerate into abuse, the worthies
of our own country have secured its independence
by the establishment of a Constitution
and form of government for our nation,
calculated to prevent as well as to correct
R to A Washington Tammany Society. Washington ed. viii, 156.

16. ABUSES, Correction of.—

My confidence
is that there will for a long time be
virtue and good sense enough in our countrymen
to correct abuses.—
To E. Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 435. Ford ed., v, 42.
(P. 1788)

17. ABUSES, Economy and.—

The new
government has now, for some time, been
under way. Abuses under the old forms have
led us to lay the basis of the new in a rigorous
economy of the public contributions.—
To M. de Pinto. Washington ed. iii, 174.
(N.Y., 1790)

18. ABUSES, Education and.—

is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional
To William C. Jarvis. Washington ed. vii, 179. Ford ed., x, 161.
(M. 1820)

19. ABUSES, Elections and.—

A jealous
care of the right of election by the people,—
a mild and safe corrective of abuses which are
lopped by the sword of revolution where
peaceable remedies are unprovided, I deem
[one of the] essential principles of our government
and, consequently, [one] which
ought to shape its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 4.

20. ABUSES, Liability to.—

What institution
is insusceptible of abuse in wicked
To L. H. Girardin. Washington ed. vi, 440. Ford ed., ii, 151.
(M. 1815)

21. ABUSES, Monarchical.—

Nor should
we wonder at the pressure [for a fixed Constitution
in France in 1788-9], when we consider
the monstrous abuses of power under
which this people were ground to powder,
when we pass in review the weight of their
taxes, and inequality of their distribution:
the oppressions of the tithes, of the tailles,


Page 3
the corvées, the gabelles, the farms and barriers:
the shackles on commerce by monopolies:
on industry by guilds and corporations:
on the freedom of conscience, of thought, and
of speech: on the press by the Censors and
of person by lettres de cachet; the cruelty of
the criminal code generally, the atrocities of
the Rack, the venality of judges, and their
partialities to the rich; the monopoly of military
honors by the noblesse; the enormous
expenses of the Queen, the princes and the
court; the prodigalities of pensions; and the
riches, luxury, indolence, and immorality of
the clergy. Surely under such a mass of misrule
and oppression, a people might justly
press for a thorough reformation, and might
even dismount their rough-shod riders, and
leave them to walk on their own legs.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.

22. ABUSES, Patrimonies in.—

Happy for us that abuses have not yet become patrimonies;
and that every description of interest
is in favor of rational and moderate government.—
To Ralph Izard. Washington ed. ii, 429.
(P. 1788)


See Power.

23. ABUSES, Revolution and.—

When a long train of abuses and usurpations begun at
a distinguished period and [2] pursuing invariably
the same object, evinces a design to reduce
them under absolute despotism, it is their
right, it is their duty, to throw off such government,
and to provide new guards for their
future security—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress struck out the words in italics.——Editor.

24. ABUSES, Temptations to.—

Nor should our Assembly be deluded by the integrity
of their own purposes, and conclude
that these unlimited powers will never be
abused, because themselves are not disposed
to abuse them. They should look forward to
a time, and that not a distant one, when
corruption in this as in the country from
which we derive our origin, will have seized
the heads of government, and be spread by
them through the body of the people; when
they will purchase the voices of the people
and make them pay the price. Human
nature is the same on each side of the
Atlantic, and will be alike influenced by the
same causes. The time to guard against corruption
and tyranny is before they shall have
gotten hold of us. It is better keep the wolf
out of the fold, than to trust to drawing his
teeth and talons after he shall have entered.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 362. Ford ed., iii, 224.

25. ABUSES, Tendency to.—

Mankind soon learns to make interested uses of every
right and power which they possess, or May
assume. The public money and public liberty
* * * will soon be discovered to be sources
of wealth and dominion to those who hold
them; distinguished, too, by this tempting
circumstance, that they are the instrument,
as well as the object of acquisition. With
money we will get men, said Cæsar, and with
men we will get money.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 362. Ford ed., iii, 224.

26. ACADEMY (The Military), Beginning.—

It was proposed [at a meeting of the cabinet] to recommend [in the President's
speech to Congress] the establishment of a
Military Academy. I objected that none of
the specified powers given by the Constitution
to Congress would authorize this. * * * The President [said], though it would be a
good thing, he did not wish to bring on anything
which might generate heat and ill
humor. It was, therefore, referred for further
consideration and inquiry. [At the next
meeting] I opposed it as unauthorized by the
Constitution. Hamilton and Knox approved
it without discussion. Edmund Randolph
was for it, saying that the words of the Constitution
authorizing Congress to lay taxes
&c., for the common defence, might comprehend
it. The President said he would not
choose to recommend anything against the
Constitution; but if it was doubtful, he was
so impressed with the necessity of this measure,
that he would refer it to Congress, and
let them decide for themselves whether the
Constitution authorized it or not.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 182. Ford ed., i, 270.
(Nov. 1793)

27. ACADEMY (The Military), Enlargement.—

The scale on which the Military
Academy at West Point was originally established,
is become too limited to furnish the
number of well-instructed subjects in the
different branches of artillery and engineering
which the public service calls for. The want
of such characters is already sensibly felt,
and will be increased with the enlargement
of our plans of military preparation. The
chief engineer having been instructed to consider
the subject, and to propose an augmentation
which might render the establishment
commensurate with the present circumstances
of our country, has made the report I now
transmit for the consideration of Congress.
Special Message. Washington ed. viii, 101.
(March. 1808)

28. ACADEMY (The Military), Importance of.—

I have ever considered that establishment
as of major importance to our country, and in whatever I could do for it,
I viewed myself as performing a duty only.
* * * The real debt of the institution is
to its able and zealous professors.—
To Jared Mansfield. Washington ed. vii, 203.
(M. 1821)

29. ACADEMY (The Military), Removal.—

The idea suggested by the chief engineer
of removing the institution to this place [Washington], is worthy of attention.
Beside the advantage of placing it under
the immediate eye of the Government, it
may render its benefits common to the naval
department, and will furnish opportunities of
selecting on better information, the characters
most qualified to fulfil the duties which the
public service may call for.—
Special Message. Washington ed. viii, 101.
(March. 1808)

30. ACADEMY A National.—

I have often wished we could have a Philosophical
Society, or Academy, so organized as that


Page 4
while the central academy should be at the
seat of government, its members dispersed
over the States, should constitute filiated
academies in each State, publish their communications,
from which the Central Academy
should select unpublished what should
be most choice. In this way all the members,
wheresoever dispersed, might be brought into
action, and an useful emulation might arise
between the filiated societies. Perhaps the
great societies, now existing, might incorporate
themselves in this way with the National
To Joel Barlow. Ford ed., viii, 424.
(Feb. 1806)

31. ACADEMY, Need of a Naval.—

I think * * * that there should be a school
of instruction for our Navy as well as artillery;
and I do not see why the same establishment
might not suffice for both. Both require
the same basis of general mathematics,
adding projectiles and fortifications for the
artillery exclusively, and astronomy and theory
of navigation exclusively for the naval
students. Berout conducted both schools
in France, and has left us the best book extant
for their joint and separate instruction.
It ought not to require a separate professor. [3]
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 218.
(M. 1821)


The Naval Academy at Annapolis was opened in
1845. The credit of its foundation is due to George
Bancroft, who was then Secretary of the Navy.——Editor.

32. ACADEMY, Transfer of Geneva.—

I. * * * enclose for your perusal and consideration * * * the proposition of M. D'Ivernois,
a Genevan of considerable distinction, to translate the Academy of Geneva in a body
to this country. You know well that the colleges
of Edinburgh and Geneva as seminaries
of science, are considered as the two eyes of
Europe. While Great Britain and America give
the preference to the former, all other countries
give it to the latter. I am fully sensible
that two powerful obstacles are in the way of
this proposition. First, the expense; secondly,
the communication of science in foreign languages;
that is to say, in French and Latin;
but I have been so long absent from my own
country as to be an incompetent judge either of
the force of the objections, or of the disposition
of those who are to decide on them. * *
What I have to request of you is, that you will
* * * consider his proposition, consult on
its expediency and practicability with such gentlemen
of the Assembly [of Virginia], as you
think best, and take such other measures as you
shall think best to ascertain what would be the
sense of that body, were the proposition to be
hazarded to them. If yourself and friends approve
of it, and there is hope that the Assembly
will do so, your zeal for the good of our country
in general, and the promotion of science, as
an instrument towards that, will, of course, induce
you and them to bring it forward in such a
way as you shall judge best. If, on the contrary,
you disapprove of it yourselves, or think
it would be desperate with the Assembly, be so
good as to return it to me with such information
as I may hand forward to M. D'Ivernois, to
put him out of suspense. Keep the matter by
all means out of the public papers, and particularly,
* * * do not couple my name with the proposition
if brought forward, because it
is much my wish to be in nowise implicated in
public affairs.—
To Wilson Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 109. Ford ed., vi, 513.
(M. Nov. 1794)

33. ACADEMY, Transfer of Geneva.—[continued]

I have returned, with infinite
appetite, to the enjoyment of my farm my family
and my books, and had determined to meddle
in nothing beyond their limits. Your proposition,
however, for transplanting the college of
Geneva to my own country, was too analogous
to all my attachments to science, and freedom,
the first-born daughter of science, not to excite a
lively interest in my mind, and the essays which
were necessary to try its practicability. This
depended altogether on the opinions and dispositions
of our State Legislature, which was
then in session. I immediately communicated
your papers to a member of the Legislature,
whose abilities and zeal pointed him out as
proper for it, urging him to sound as many of
the leading members of the Legislature as he
could, and if he found their opinions favorable,
to bring forward the proposition; but if he
should find it desperate, not to hazard it; because
I thought it best not to commit the honor
either of our State or of your college, by an
useless act of eclat. * * * The members
were generally well-disposed to the proposition,
and some of them warmly; however, there was
no difference in the conclusion, that it could not
be effected. The reasons which they thought
would with certainty prevail against it, were i,
that our youth, not familiarized but with their
mother tongue, were not prepared to receive instructions
in any other; 2, that the expense of
the institution would excite uneasiness in their
constituents, and endanger its permanence; and
3, that its extent was disproportioned to the
narrow state of the population with us. Whatever
might be urged on these several subject,
yet as the decision rests with others, there remained
to us only to regret that circumstances
were such, or were thought to be such, as to
disappoint your and our wishes.—
To M. D'Ivernois. Washington ed. iv, 113. Ford ed., vii, 2.
(M. Feb. 1795)

34. ACADEMY, Wish for Geneva.—

should have seen with peculiar satisfaction the
establishment of such a mass of science in my
country, and should probably have been tempted
to approach myself to it, by procuring a residence
in its neighborhood, at those seasons of
the year at least when the operations of agriculture
are less active and interesting.—
To M. D'Ivernois. Washington ed. iv, 114. Ford ed., vii, 4.
(M. Feb. 1795)

35. ACADEMIES, Architectural Reform.—

I consider the common plan followed
in this country, but not in others, of making one
large and expensive building, as unfortunately
erroneous. It is infinitely better to erect a
small and separate lodge for each separate professorship,
with only a hall below for his class,
and two chambers above for himself; joining
these lodges by barracks for a certain portion
of the students, opening into a covered way to
give a dry communication between all the
schools. The whole of these arranged around
an open square of grass and trees, would make
it, what it should be in fact, an academical village,
instead of a large and common den of
noise, of filth and of fetid air. It would afford
that quiet retirement so friendly to study, and
lessen the dangers of fire, infection and tumult.
Every professor would be the police officer of
the students adjacent to his own lodge, which
should include those of his own class of
preference, and might be at the head of their
table, if, as I suppose, it can be reconciled with
the necessary economy to dine them in smaller
and separate parties, rather than in a large and
common mess. These separate buildings, too,
might be erected successively and occasionally,


Page 5
as the number of professors and students should
be increased, as the funds become competent.—
To Hugh L. White. Washington ed. v, 521.
(M. 1810)

— ACCENT, The Greek.—

See Languages.

36. ACCOUNTS, Complicated.—

Hamilton * * * in order that he
might have the entire government of his
[Treasury] machine, determined so to complicate
it as that neither the President nor
Congress should be able to understand it, or
to control him. He succeeded in doing this,
not only beyond their reach, but so that he at
length could not unravel it himself. He
gave to the debt, in the first instance, in funding
it, the most artificial and mysterious form
he could devise. He then moulded up
his appropriations of a number of scraps
and remnants, many of which were nothing
at all, and applied them to different
objects in reversion and remainder,
until the whole system was involved in impenetrable
fog; and while he was giving himself
the airs of providing for the payment of
the debt, he left himself free to add to it continually,
as he did in fact, instead of paying
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 428. Ford ed., viii, 140.
(W. 1801)

37. ACCOUNTS, Keeping.—

All these articles are very foreign to my talents, and
foreign also, as I conceive, to the nature of
my duties. * * * I suppose it practicable
for your board to direct the administration of
your moneys here [Paris] in every circumstance.—
To Samuel Osgood. Washington ed. i, 451.
(P. 1785)

38. ACCOUNTS, Neglected.—

It is a fact, which we [Virginia] are to lament, that, in the
earlier part of our struggles, we were so wholly
occupied by the great object of establishing our
rights, that we attended not at all to those little
circumstances of taking receipts and vouchers,
keeping regular accounts, and preparing subjects
for future disputes with our friends. If
we could have supported the whole Continent,
I believe we should have done it, and never
dishonored our nation by producing accounts;
sincerely assured that, in no circumstances of
future necessity or distress, a like free application
of anything therein would have been
thought hardly of, or would have rendered necessary
an appeal to accounts. Hence, it has
happened that, in the present case, the collection
of vouchers of the arms furnished by this
State has become tedious and difficult.—
To the President of Congress. Ford ed., ii, 283,
(W. 1779)

39. ACCOUNTS, Simple.—

The accounts of the United States ought to be, and may be
made, as simple as those of a common
farmer, and capable of being understood by
common farmers.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 131. Ford ed., vii, 61.
(M. 1706)

40. ACCOUNTS, Simple.—[continued].

If * * * [there] can be added a simplification of the form of accounts
in the Treasury department, and in the organization
of its officers, so as to bring everything
to a single centre, we might hope to
see the finances of the Union as clear and
intelligible as a merchant's books, so that
every member of Congress, and every man
of any mind in the Union, should be able to
comprehend them, to investigate abuses, and
consequently to control them. Our predecessors
have endeavored by intricacies
of system, and shuffling the investigation
over from one officer to another, to
cover everything from detection. I hope we
shall go in the contrary direction, and that,
by our honest and judicious reformations, we
may be able in the limits of our time, to bring
things back to that simple and intelligible
system, on which they should have been organized
at first.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 429. Ford ed., viii, 141.
(W. 1802)


:See Territory.

41. ACTIONS, Approved.—

The very actions
[on] which Mr. Pickering arraigns [me] have been such as the great majority
of my fellow citizens have approved. The
approbation of Mr. Pickering, and of those
who thought with him [the Federalists], I
had no right to expect.—
To Martin VanBuren. Washington ed. vii, 363. Ford ed., x, 306.
(M. 1824)

42. ACTIONS, Disinterested.—

I am conscious
of having always intended to do what was best for my fellow citizens; and never,
for a single moment, to have listened to any
personal interest of my own.—
To Richard M. Johnston. Washington ed. v, 256.
(W. 1808)

43. ACTIONS, Disinterested.—[continued]

My public proceedings were always directed by a single view to the best
interests of our country.—
To Dr. E. Griffith. Washington ed. v, 450.
(M. 1809)

44. ACTIONS, Disinterested.—[further continued]

In the transaction of the [public] affairs I never felt one interested
To W. Lambert. Washington ed. v, 450.
(M. May. 1809)

45. ACTIONS, Government and.—

legislative powers of government reach
actions only and not opinions.—
R to A. Danbury Baptist Address. Washington ed. viii, 113.

46. ACTIONS, Honest Principles and.—

Every honest man will suppose honest acts
to flow from honest principles, and the rogues
may rail without intermission.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 426. Ford ed., viii, 128.
(W. 1801)

47. ACTIONS, Indulgent to.—

I owe infinite
acknowledgments to the republican portion of my fellow citizens for the indulgence
with which they have viewed my proceedings
To W. Lambert. Washington ed. v, 450.
(M. May. 1809)

See Disinterestedness.

48. ACTIONS, Judgment and.—

of thirty years passed on the stage of
public life and under the public eye, May
surely enable them to judge whether my
future course is likely to be marked with
those departures from reason and moderation,
which the passions of men have been willing
to foresee.—
To William Jackson. Washington ed. iv, 358.
(M. 1801)


Page 6

49. ACTIONS, Lawful.—

Every man
should be protected in his lawful acts.—
To Isaac McPherson. Washington ed. vi, 175.
(M. 1813)

50. ACTIONS, Present and future.—

Our duty is to act upon things as they are,
and to make a reasonable provision for whatever
they may be.—
Sixth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 69. Ford ed., viii, 405.
(Dec. 1806)

51. ACTIONS, Publicity and.—

I fear no
injury which any man can do me. I have
never done a single act, or been concerned in
any transaction, which I fear to have fully
laid open, or which could do me any hurt if
truly stated. I have never done a single
thing with a view to my personal interest, or
that of any friend, or with any other view
than that of the greatest public good; therefore,
no threat or fear on that head will ever
be a motive of action with me. [4]
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 209. Ford ed., i, 312.


Aaron Burr, in asking Jefferson for office, intimated
that he could do Jefferson “much harm.”
This was Jefferson's defiance.—Editor.

52. ACTIONS, Purity of.—

I can conscientiously
declare that as to myself, I wish that not only no act but no thought of mine
should be unknown.—
To James Main. Washington ed. v, 373.
(W. 1808)

53. ACTIONS, Right.—

The precept of
Providence is, to do always what is right, and
leave the issue to Him.—
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 41. Ford ed., iv, 320.
(P. 1786)

54. ACTIONS, Rule for.—

Whenever you
are to do a thing, though it can never be
known but to yourself, ask yourself how you
would act were all the world looking at you,
and act accordingly. [5]
To Peter Carr. Washington ed. i, 396.
(Ps., 1785)


Peter Carr was the young nephew of Jefferson.——Editor.

55. ACTIONS, Rule for.—[continued]

When tempted to do anything
in secret, ask yourself if you would
do it in public; if you would not, be sure it
is wrong. [6]
To Francis Eppes. D. L. J.365.


Francis Eppes was a grandson, then at school.——Editor.

56. ACTIONS, Virtuous.—

If no action is to be deemed virtuous for which malice can
imagine a sinister motive, then there never
was a virtuous action; no, not even in the
life of our Saviour Himself. But He has
taught us to judge the tree by its fruit, and
to leave motives to Him who can alone see
into them.—
To Martin Van Buren. Washington ed. vii, 363. Ford ed., x, 307
(M. 1824)

— ADAIR (James), Views on Indians.—

See Indians.

57. ADAMS (John), Administration of.

—If the understanding of the people could be
rallied to the truth on the subject [of the
French negotiations and the X. Y. Z. plot,] [7] by exposing the deception practiced on them,
there are so many other things about to bear
on them favorably for the resurrection of
their republican spirit, that a reduction of the
administration to constitutional principles
cannot fail to be the effect. There are the
Alien and Sedition laws, the vexations of the
stamp act, the disgusting particularities of the
direct tax, the additional army without an
enemy, and recruiting officers lounging at
every court house, a navy of fifty ships, five
millions to be raised to build it, on the
ruinous interest of eight per cent, the perseverance
in war on our part, when the French
government shows such an anxious desire to
keep at peace with us, taxes of ten millions
now paid by four millions of people, and yet
a necessity, in a year or two, of raising five
millions more for annual expenses. Those
things will immediately be bearing on the
public mind, and if it remain not still blinded
by a supposed necessity, for the purpose of
maintaining our independence and defending
our country, they will set things to rights. I
hope you will undertake this statement.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 275. Ford ed., vii, 337.
(Pa., Jan. 1799)

See 1056.


See X. Y. Z. plot post.—Editor.

58. ADAMS (John), Administration of. [continued]

We were far from considering
you as the author of all the measures we
blamed. They were placed under the protection
of your name, but we were satisfied
they wanted much of your approbation. We
ascribed them to their real authors, the Pickerings,
Wolcotts, the Tracys, the Sedgwicks,
et id genus omne, with whom we supposed you
in a state of duresse. I well remember a
conversation with you in the morning of the
day on which you nominated to the Senate
a substitute for Pickering, in which you expressed
a just impatience under “the legacy
of secretaries which General Washington had
left you,” and whom you seemed, therefore,
to consider as under public protection.
Many other incidents showed how differently
you would have acted with less impassioned
advisers; and subsequent events have proved
that your minds were not together. You
would do me great injustice, therefore, by
taking to yourself what was intended for men
who were then your secret, as they are now
your open enemies.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 126. Ford ed., ix, 387.
(M. June. 1813)

— ADAMS (John), Aristocracy and.

—See Aristocracy.

59. ADAMS (John), Attacks on.—

With respect to the calumnies and falsehoods
which writers and printers at large published
against Mr. Adams, I was as far from
stooping to any concern or approbation of
them, as Mr. Adams was respecting those of
“Porcupine,” Fenno, or Russell, who published
volumes against me for every sentence
vended by their opponents against Mr.
Adams. But I never supposed Mr. Adams
had any participation in the atrocities of these
editors, or their writers. I knew myself incapable
of that base warfare, and believed
him to be so. On the contrary, whatever I
may have thought of the acts of the administration
of that day, I have ever borne testimony
to Mr. Adams's personal worth; nor
was it ever impeached in my presence,
without a just vindication of it on my part.
I never supposed that any person who knew
either of us, could believe that either of us


Page 7
meddled in that dirty work.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 555. Ford ed., viii, 309.
(W. July. 1804)

60. ADAMS (John), Attacks on.—[continued]

Mr. Adams has been alienated
from me, by belief in the lying suggestions
contrived for electioneering purposes,
that I perhaps mixed in the activity and intrigues
of the occasion. My most intimate
friends can testify that I was perfectly
passive. They would sometimes, indeed, tell
me what was going on; but no man ever
heard me take part in such conversations;
and none ever misrepresented Mr. Adams
in my presence, without my asserting his just
character. With very confidential persons I
have doubtless disapproved of the principles
and practices of his administration. This was
unavoidable. But never with those with whom
it could do him any injury. Decency would
have required this conduct from me, if disposition
had not, and I am satisfied Mr.
Adams's conduct was equally honorable towards
me. But I think it part of his character
to suspect foul play in those of whom he is
jealous, and not easily to relinquish his suspicions.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 563. Ford ed., ix, 299.
(M. Jan. 1811)

61. ADAMS (John), Character.—

He is
vain, irritable, and a bad calculator of the
force and probable effect of the motives
which govern men. This is all the ill
which can possibly be said of him. He is
as disinterested as the Being who made him.
He is profound in his views and accurate
in his judgment, except where knowledge of
the world is necessary to form a judgment.
He is so amiable that I pronounce you will
love him, if ever you become acquainted with
him. He would be, as he was, a great man in
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 107.
(P. 1787)

62. ADAMS (John), Character.—[continued]

His vanity is a lineament in
his character which had entirely escaped me.
His want of taste I had observed. Notwithstanding
all this he has a sound head on substantial
points, and I think he has integrity.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 309.
(B. Feb. 1783)

63. ADAMS (John), Character.—[further continued]

The President's title, as
proposed by the Senate, was the most superlatively
ridiculous thing I ever heard of. It
is a proof the more of the justice of the
character given by Dr. Franklin of my friend.
Always an honest man, often a great one,
but sometimes absolutely mad.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., v, 104.
(P. July. 1789)

64. ADAMS (John), Declaration of Independence and.—

John Adams was the pillar
of its [Declaration of Independence] support
on the floor of Congress; its ablest advocate
and defender against the multifarious
assaults it encountered. For many excellent
persons opposed it on doubts whether we
were provided sufficiently with the means of
supporting it, whether the minds of our constituents
were yet prepared to receive it &c.,
who, after it was decided, united zealously
in the measures it called for.—
To William P. Gardner. Ford ed., ix, 377.
(M. 1813)

65. ADAMS (John), Declaration of Independence and.—[continued]

He supported the Declaration
with zeal and ability, fighting fearlessly
for every word of it. No man's confident
and fervent addresses, more than Mr.
Adams's encouraged and supported us
through the difficulties surrounding us, which,
like the ceaseless action of gravity, weighed
on us by night and by day. [8]
To James Madison. Washington ed. vii, 305. Ford ed., x, 268.
(M. 1823)


Daniel Webster visited Jefferson at Monticello
toward the close of 1824. He quoted Jefferson as
having then said in conversation: “John Adams
was our Colossus on the floor. He was not graceful,
nor elegant, nor remarkably fluent; but he came
out, occasionally, with a power of thought and expression
that moved us from our seats.” Webster
introduced the quotation in his speech on “Adams
and Jefferson,” August 2, 1826. The conversation
entire is printed in the Private Correspondence of
(i, 364), and in the Ford ed. of Jefferson's
Writings, x, 327.—Editor.

66. ADAMS (John), Declaration of Independence and.
—[further continued].

His deep conceptions, nervous
style, and undaunted firmness, made him truly our bulwark in debate.—
To Samuel A. Wells. Washington ed. i, 121. Ford ed., x, 131.
(M. 1819)

See Declaration of Independence.

67. ADAMS (John), Departure from Europe.—

I learn with real pain the resolution
you have taken of quitting Europe. Your presence
on this side the Atlantic gave me a confidence
that, if any difficulties should arise
within my department, I should always have one
to advise with on whose counsels I could rely.
I shall now feel bewidowed. I do not wonder
at your being tired out by the conduct of the
court you are at.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 127.
(P. 1787)

— ADAMS (John), France and.—

See France.

68. ADAMS (John), Friendship of Jefferson for.—

Mr. Adams's friendship and
mine began at an early date. It accompanied
us through long and important scenes. The different
conclusions we had drawn from our
political reading and reflections, were not permitted
to lessen personal esteem; each party
being conscious they were the result of an
honest conviction in the other. Like differences
of opinion existing among our fellow citizens,
attached them to one or the other of us, and
produced a rivalship in their minds which did
not exist in ours. We never stood in one another's
way; for if either had been withdrawn
at any time, his favorers would not have gone
over to the other, but would have sought for
some one of homogeneous opinions. This consideration
was sufficient to keep down all jealousy
between us, and to guard our friendship
from any disturbance by sentiments of rivalship.
To Mrs. John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 545. Ford ed., viii, 306.
(W. June. 1804)


A reference to the “Midnight Appointments” of
Mr. Adams in this letter led Mrs. Adams to make a
spirited attack on Jefferson's administration. Jefferson's
reply, and also his correspondence with Dr.
Rush, which led to a reconciliation with Mr. Adams
will be found in the Appendix to this volume.——Editor.

69. ADAMS (John), Friendship of Jefferson for.—[continued].

I write you this letter as due to a friendship coeval with our government,
and now attempted to be poisoned, when too late
in life to be replaced by new affections. I had
for some time observed in the public papers,
dark hints and mysterious innuendoes of a correspondence
of yours with a friend, to whom
you had opened your bosom without reserve, and
which was to be made public by that friend or


Page 8
his representative. And now it is said to be
actually published. It has not yet reached us,
but extracts have been given, and such as
seemed most likely to draw a curtain of separation
between you and myself. Were there no
other motive than that of indignation against
the author of this outrage on private confidence,
whose shaft seems to have been aimed at
yourself more particularly, this would make it
the duty of every honorable mind to disappoint
that aim, by opposing to its impression a sevenfold
shield of apathy and insensibility. With
me, however, no such armor is needed. The circumstances
of the times in which we have happened
to live, and the partiality of our friends
at a particular period, placed us in a state of
apparent opposition, which some might suppose
to be personal also; and there might not be
wanting those who wished to make it so, by
filling our ears with malignant falsehoods, by
dressing up hideous phantoms of their own
creation, presenting them to you under my
name, to me under yours, and endeavoring to
instil into our minds things concerning each
other the most destitute of truth. And if there
had been, at any time, a moment when we were
off our guard, and in a temper to let the whispers
of these people make us forget what we
had known of each other for so many years, and
years of so much trial, yet all men who have
attended to the workings of the human mind,
who have seen the false colors under which
passion sometimes dresses the actions and motives
of others, have seen also those passions
subsiding with time and reflection, dissipating
like mists before the rising sun, and restoring
to us the sight of all things in their true shape
and colors. It would be strange, indeed, if,
at our years, we were to go back an age to
hunt up imaginary or forgotten facts, to disturb
the repose of affections so sweetening to
the evening of our lives. Be assured, my
dear sir, that I am incapable of receiving the
slightest impression from the effort now made
to plant thorns on the pillow of age, worth and
wisdom, and to sow tares between friends who
have been such for near half a century. Beseeching
you, then, not to suffer your mind to
be disquieted by this wicked attempt to poison
its peace, and praying you to throw it by
among the things which have never happened,
I add sincere assurances of my unabated and
constant attachment, friendship and respect.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 314. Ford ed., x, 273.
(M. 1823)

70. ADAMS (John), Friendship of Jefferson for.—[further continued].

Fortune had disjointed our
first affections, and placed us in opposition in
every point. This separated us for awhile.
But on the first intimation through a friend,
we re-embraced with cordiality, recalled our
ancient feelings and dispositions, and everything
was forgotten but our first sympathies.—
I bear ill-will to no human being.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., x, 298.
(M. 1824)

71. ADAMS (John), George III. and.—

The sentiments you expressed [in your address
on presentation to the King] were such
as were entertained in America till the commercial
proclamation, and such as
again return were a rational conduct to be
adopted by Great Britain. I think, therefore,
you by no means compromised yourself, or
our country, nor expressed more than it
would be our interest to encourage, if they
were disposed to meet us.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 436.
(P. Sep. 1785)

72. ADAMS (John), Honesty.—

I have the same good opinion of Mr. Adams which I
ever had. I know him to be an honest man,
an able one with his pen, and he was a powerful
advocate on the floor of Congress.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 562. Ford ed., ix, 298.
(M. 1811)

73. ADAMS (John), Integrity.—

Though I saw that our ancient friendship was affected
by a little leaven, produced partly by his constitution,
partly by the contrivance of others,
yet I never felt a diminution of confidence
in his integrity, and retained a solid affection
for him. His principles of government I knew
to be changed, but conscientiously changed.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 161. Ford ed., vii, 108.
(M. Jan. 1797)

74. ADAMS (John), Jefferson and Election of.—

The public and the papers have
been much occupied lately in placing us in
a point of opposition to each other. I trust
with confidence that less of it has been felt
by ourselves personally. In the retired canton
where I am, I learn little of what is passing;
pamphlets I never see; papers but a few,
and the fewer the happier. Our latest intelligence
from Philadelphia at present is of
the 16th inst., but though at that date your
election to the first magistracy seems not
to have been known as a fact, yet with me
it has never been doubted. I knew it impossible
you should lose a vote North of the
Delaware, and even if that of Pennsylvania
should be against you in the mass, yet that
you would get enough South of that to place
your succession out of danger. I have never
one single moment expected a different issue;
and though I know I shall not be believed, yet
it is not the less true that I have never wished
it. My neighbors as my compurgators could
aver that fact, because they see my occupations
and my attachment to them. Indeed
it is impossible that you may be cheated of
your succession by a trick worthy the subtlety
of your arch-friend of New York [Alexander
Hamilton] who has been able to make
of your real friends tools to defeat their and
your just wishes. Most probably he will be
disappointed as to you; and my inclinations
place me out of his reach. I leave to others
the sublime delights of riding in the storm,
better pleased with sound sleep and a warm
berth below, with the society of neighbors,
friends and fellow-laborers of the earth,
than of spies and sycophants. No one
then will congratulate you with purer disinterestedness
than myself. The share, indeed,
which I may have had in the late vote, I
shall value highly as an evidence of the share
I have in the esteem of my fellow citizens.
But while in this point of view, a few votes
less would be little sensible, the difference in
the effect of a few more would be very sensible
and oppressive to me. I have no ambition
to govern men. It is a painful and thankless
office. Since the day, too, on which you
signed the treaty of Paris our horizon was
never so overcast. I devoutly wish you May
be able to shun for us this war by which our
agriculture, commerce and credit will be destroyed.
If you are, the glory will be all your
own; and that your administration may be
filled with glory, and happiness to yourself
and advantage to us is the sincere wish of one


Page 9
who, though in the course of our own voyage
through life various little incidents have happened
or been contrived to separate us, retains
still for you the solid esteem of the moments
when we were working for our independence,
and sentiments of respect and affectionate
attachment. [10]
To John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 153. Ford ed., vii, 95.
(Dec. 28, 1796)


Jefferson sent this letter to Madison who decided
that it would be inexpedient to forward it to Adams.
“I am very thankful,” Jefferson wrote to Madison
in January, 1797 (iv, 166, Ford ed., vii, 115), “for
the discretion you have exercised over the letter.
That has happened to be the case, which I knew to
be possible, that the honest expression of my feelings
towards Mr. Adams might be rendered malapropos from circumstances existing, and known at the seat
of government, but not known by me in my retired

75. ADAMS (John), Jefferson and Election of.—[continued].

Mr. Adams and myself
were cordial friends from the beginning of the
Revolution. Since our return from Europe,
some little incidents have happened, which
were capable of affecting a jealous mind like
his. His deviation from that line of politics
on which we had been united, has not made
me less sensible of the rectitude of his heart;
and I wished him to know this, and also another
truth, that I am sincerely pleased at
having escaped the late draft for the helm,
and have not a wish which he stands
in the way of. That he should be convinced
of these truths, is important to our mutual
satisfaction, and perhaps to the harmony and
good of the public service. But there was a
difficulty in conveying them to him, and a
possibility that the attempt might do mischief
there or somewhere else; and I would not
have hazarded the attempt, if you had not
been in place to decide upon its expediency.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 166. Ford ed., vii, 115.
(M. Jan. 1797)

76. ADAMS (John), Jefferson and Election of.—[further continued].

You express apprehensions that stratagems will be used to produce a
misunderstanding between the President and
myself. Though not a word having this
tendency has ever been hazarded to me by
anyone, yet I consider as a certainty that
nothing will be left untried to alienate
him from me. These machinations will proceed
from the Hamiltonians by whom he is
surrounded, and who are only a little less hostile
to him than to me. It cannot but damp
the pleasure of cordiality when we suspect
that it is suspected. I cannot help thinking
that it is impossible for Mr. Adams to believe
that the state of my mind is what it really is;
that he may think I view him as an obstacle
in my way. I have no supernatural
power to impress truth on the mind of
another, nor he any to discover that the estimate
he may form, on a just view of the
human mind as generally constituted, May
not be just in its application to a special constitution.
This may be a source of private uneasiness
to us; I honestly confess that it is
so to me at this time. But neither of us is
capable of letting it have effect on our public
duties. Those who may endeavor to separate
us, are probably excited by the fear that I
might have influence on the Executive councils;
but when they shall know that I con
sider my office as constitutionally confined
to legislative functions, and that I could not
take any part whatever in executive consultations,
even were it proposed, their fears
may perhaps subside, and their object be
found not worth a machination.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 171. Ford ed., vii, 120.
(May. 1797)

77. ADAMS (John), Jefferson's Election and.—

The nation passed condemnation
on the political principles of the federalists,
by refusing to continue Mr. Adams in the
Presidency. On the day on which we learned
in Philadelphia the vote of the city of New
York, which it was well known would decide
the vote of the State, and that, again, the vote
of the Union, I called on Mr. Adams on some
official business. He was very seriously
affected, and accosted me with these words:
“Well, I understand that you are to beat me
in this contest, and I will only say that I
will be as faithful a subject as any you will
have.” “Mr. Adams,” said I, “this is no
personal contest between you and me. Two
systems of principles on the subject of government
divide our citizens into two parties.
With one of these you concur, and I with
the other. As we have been longer on the
public stage than most of those now living,
our names happen to be more generally
known. One of these parties, therefore, has
put your name at its head, the other mine.
Were we both to die to-day, to-morrow two
other names would be in the place of ours,
without any change in the motion of the
machinery. Its motion is from its principle,
and not from you or myself.” “I believe
you are right,” said he, “that we are but
passive instruments, and should not suffer
this matter to affect our personal dispositions.
” But he did long retain this just view
of the subject. I have always believed that the
thousand calumnies which the federalists, in
bitterness of heart, and mortification at their
ejection, daily invented against me, were carried
to him by their busy intriguers, and
made some impression.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 560. Ford ed., ix, 296.
(M. Jan. 1811)

78. ADAMS (John), Jefferson's Election and.—[continued].

When the election between
Burr and myself was kept in suspense by the
federalists, and they were meditating to place
the President of the Senate at the head of the
government, 'I called on Mr. Adams with a
view to have this desperate measure prevented
by his negative. He grew warm in an instant,
and said with a vehemence he had not
used towards me before: “Sir, the event of
the election is within your own power. You
have only to say you will do justice to the
public creditors, maintain the navy, and not
disturb those holding offices, and the government
will instantly be put into your hands.
We know it is the wish of the people it should
be so.” “Mr. Adams,” said I, “I know not
what part of my conduct, in either public or
private life, can have authorized a doubt of
my fidelity to the public engagements. I say,
however, I will not come into the government
by capitulation. I will not enter on it, but in


Page 10
perfect freedom to follow the dictates of my
own judgment.” I had before given the same
answer to the same intimation from Gouverneur
Morris. “Then,” said he, “things
must take their course.” I turned the conversation
to something else, and soon took
my leave. It was the first time in our lives
we had ever parted with anything like dissatisfaction.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 561. Ford ed., ix, 297.
(M. Jan. 1811)

79. ADAMS (John), Jefferson, Paine and.—

I am afraid the indiscretion of a printer has committed me with my friend Mr. Adams,
for whom, as one of the most honest and disinterested
men alive, I have a cordial esteem,
increased by long habits of concurrence in
opinion in the days of his republicanism: and
even since his apostasy to hereditary monarchy
and nobility, though we differ, we differ as
friends should do. Beckley had the only copy
of Paine's pamphlet [Rights of Man], and lent
it to me, desiring when I should read it, that
I would send it to a Mr. J. B. Smith, who had
asked it for his brother to reprint it. Being
an utter stranger to J. B. Smith, both by
sight and character, I wrote a note to explain
to him why I (a stranger to him) sent him
a pamphlet, to wit, that Mr. Beckley had desired
it; and to take off a little of the dryness
of the note, I added that I was glad to find it
was to be reprinted, that something would,
at length, be publicly said against the political
heresies which had lately sprung up among
us, and that I did not doubt our citizens would
rally again round the standard of “Common
Sense.” That I had in my view the “ Discourses
on Davila,” which have filled Fenno's
papers for a twelvemonth, without contradiction,
is certain, but nothing was ever
further from my thoughts than to become myself
the contradictor before the public. To my
great astonishment, however, when the pamphlet
came out, the printer had prefixed my note
to it, without having given me the most distant
hint of it. Mr. Adams will unquestionably
take to himself the charge of political heresy,
as conscious of his own views of drawing the
present government to the form of the English
constitution, and, I fear, will consider me as
meaning to injure him in the public eye. I
learn that some Anglo-men have censured it
in another point of view, as a sanction of
Paine's principles tends to give offence to the
British government. Their real fear, however,
is that this popular and republican pamphlet,
taking wonderfully, is likely at a single stroke,
to wipe out all the unconstitutional doctrines
which their bell-weather, “Davila,” has been
preaching for a twelvemonth. I certainly never
made a secret of my being anti-monarchical,
and anti-aristocratical; but I am sincerely mortified
to be thus brought forward on the public stage, where to remain, to advance or to retire,
will be equally against my love of silence
and quiet, and my abhorrence of dispute.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 257. Ford ed., v, 329.
(Pa., 1791)

80. ADAMS (John), Jefferson, Paine and.—[continued].

I have a dozen times taken
up my pen to write to you, and as often laid
it down again, suspended between opposing
considerations. I determine, however, to write
from a conviction that truth, between candid
minds, can never do harm. The first of Paine's
pamphlets on the “Rights of Man,” which
come to hand here, belonged to Mr. Beckley.
He lent it to Mr. Madison, who lent it to
me; and while I was reading it. Mr. Beckley
called on me for it, and, as I had not finished it,
he desired me, as soon as I should have done so,
to send it to Mr. Jonathan B. Smith, whose
brother meant to reprint it. I finished reading
it, and, as I had no acquaintance with Mr.
Jonathan B. Smith, propriety required that
I should explain to him why I, a stranger
to him, sent him the pamphlet. I accordingly
wrote a note of compliment, informing
him that I did it at the desire of
Mr. Beckley, and, to take off a little of the
dryness of the note, I added that I was glad it
was to be reprinted here, and that something
was to be publicly said against the political
heresies which had sprung up among us, &c. I
thought so little of this note, that I did not
even keep a copy of it; nor ever heard a tittle
more of it, till, the week following, I was
thunderstruck with seeing it come out at the
head of the pamphlet. [11] I hoped, however, it
would not attract notice. But I found, on my
return from a journey of a month, that a writer
came forward, under the signature of “ Publicola,
” attacking not only the author and principles
of the pamphlet, but myself as its sponsor,
by name. Soon after came hosts of other
writers, defending the pamphlet, and attacking
you, by name, as the writer of “Publicola.”
Thus were our names thrown on the public
stage as public antagonists. That you and I differ
in our ideas of the best forms of government,
is well known to us both; but we have
differed as friends should do, respecting the
purity of each other's motives, and confining our
difference of opinion to private conversation.
And I can declare with truth, in the presence of
the Almighty, that nothing was further from my
intention or expectation than to have either
my own or your name brought before the public
on this occasion. The friendship and confidence
which have so long existed between
us, required this explanation from me, and I
know you too well to fear any misconstruction
of the motives of it. Some people here who
would wish me to be, or to be thought, guilty
of improprieties, have suggested that I was
“Agricola,” that I was “Brutus,” &c., &c. I
never did in my life, either by myself or by
any other, have a sentence of mine inserted
in a newspaper without putting my name to
it; and I believe I never shall.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. iii, 270. Ford ed., v, 353.
(Pa., 1791)


The note was as follows: “After some prefatory
remarks, the Secretary of State, Mr. Jefferson, in a
note to a Printer in Philadelphia, accompanying a
copy of this Pamphlet for republication observes:
`I am extremely pleased to find it will be reprinted
here, and that something is at length to be publicly
said against the political heresies which have
sprung up among us. I have no doubt our citizens
will rally a second time round the standard of
Common Sense.' ”—Editor.

81. ADAMS (John), Jefferson, Paine and.—[further continued].

I was happy to find that
you saw in its true point of view the way in
which I had been drawn into the scene, which
must have been so disagreeable to you. The
importance which you still seem to allow to
my note, and the effect you suppose it to have
had, though unintentional in me, induce me to
show you that it really had no effect. Paine's
pamphlet, with my note, was published here about
the second week in May. Not a word ever
appeared in the public papers here [Philadelphia] on the subject for more than a month;
and I am certain not a word on the subject
would ever have been said, had not a writer,
under the name “Publicola” [John Quincy
Adams] at length undertaken to attack Mr.
Paine's principles, which were the principles of
the citizens of the United States. Instantly a
host of writers attacked “Publicola” in support


Page 11
of those principles. He had thought proper to
misconstrue a figurative expression in my note;
and these writers so far noticed me as to place
the expression in its true light. But this was
only an incidental skirmish preliminary to the
general engagement, and they would not have
thought me worth naming, had he not thought
proper to have brought me on the scene. His
antagonists, very criminally, in my opinion,
presumed you to be “Publicola,” and on that
presumption hazarded a personal attack on
you. No person saw with more uneasiness
than I did, this unjustifiable assault; and the
more so, when I saw it continued after the
printer had declared you were not the author.
But you will perceive from all this, my dear
sir, that my note contributed nothing to the
production of these disagreeable pieces. As
long as Paine's pamphlet stood on its own
feet and on my note, it was unnoticed. As
soon as “Publicola” attacked Paine, swarms
appeared in his defence. To “Publicola,” then,
and not in the least degree to my note, this
whole contest is to be ascribed and all its
consequences. You speak of the execrable
paragraph in the Connecticut papers. This, it
is true, appeared before “Publicola”; but it
has no more relation to Paine's pamphlet and
my note than to the Alcoran. I am satisfied
the writer of it had never seen either; for
when I passed through Connecticut about the
middle of June, not a copy had ever been
seen by anybody, either in Hartford or New
Haven, nor probably in that whole State: and
that paragraph was so notoriously the reverse
of the disinterestedness of character
which you are known to possess by everybody
who knows your name, that I never heard a
person speak of the paragraph, but with an
indignation in your behalf, which did you entire
justice. This paragraph, then, certainly did
not flow from my note, any more than the
publications which “Publicola” produced. Indeed
it was impossible that my note should
occasion your name to be brought into question;
for so far from meaning you, I had not even in
view any writing which I might suppose to be
yours, and the opinions I alluded to were
principally those I had heard in common conversation
from a sect aiming at the subversion
of the present government to bring in their favorite form of a king, lords and commons.
Thus I hope, my dear sir, that you will see
me to have been as innocent in effect as I was
in intention. I was brought before the public
without my own consent, and from the first
moment of seeing the effort of the real aggressors,
in this business to keep me before the
public, I determined that nothing should induce
me to put pen to paper in the controversy.
The business is now over, and I hope its effects
are over, and that our friendship will never
be suffered to be committed, whatever use
others may think proper to make of our names.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. iii, 291. Ford ed., v, 380.
(Pa., Aug. 1791)

82. ADAMS (John), Midnight Appointments of.—

One act of Mr. Adams's life, and
one only, ever gave me a moment's personal
displeasure. I did consider his last appointments
to office as personally unkind. They
were from among my most ardent political
enemies, from whom no faithful cooperation
could ever be expected; and laid me under
the embarrassment of acting through men
whose views were to defeat mine, or to encounter
the odium of putting others in their
places. It seemed but common justice to
leave a successor free to act by instruments
of his own choice. If my respect for him
did not permit me to ascribe the whole blame
to the influence of others, it left something for
friendship to forgive, and after brooding over
it for some little time, and not always resisting
the expression of it, I forgave it cordially,
and returned to the same state of esteem and
respect for him which had so long existed.
* * * I maintain for him, and shall carry into
private life, an uniform and high measure of
respect and good will, and for yourself a sincere
To Mrs. John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 546. Ford ed., viii, 307.
(W. June. 1804)

See Commissions.

83. ADAMS (John), Midnight Appointments of.—[continued].

Those scenes of midnight
appointment, * * * have been condemned by
all men. The last day of his political power,
the last hours, and even beyond the midnight,
were employed in filling all offices, and especially
permanent ones, with the bitterest
federalists, and providing for me the alternative,
either to execute the government by my
enemies, whose study it would be to thwart
and defeat all my measures, or to incur the
odium of such numerous removals from office,
as might bear me down.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 561. Ford ed., ix, 297.
(M. Jan. 1811)

— ADAMS (John), Opinions on U. S. Senate.—

See Senate.

84. ADAMS (John), Peace Commission.

—I am glad that he is of the [Peace] Commission,
and expect he will be useful in it. His
dislike of all parties and all men, by balancing
his prejudices, may give them some fair play
to his reason as would a general benevolence of
temper. At any rate honesty may be extracted
even from poisonous weeds.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 309.
(B. Feb. 1783)

— ADAMS (John), Political Addresses of.—

See 103, 105.

85. ADAMS (John), Political Principles of.—

Mr Adams had originally been a republican. The glare of royalty and nobility,
during his mission to England, had made
him believe their fascination a necessary ingredient
in government; and Shays's rebellion,
not sufficiently understood where he then
was, seemed to prove that the absence of
want and oppression, was not a sufficient
guarantee of order. His book on the “ American
Constitutions” having made known his
political bias, he was taken up by monarchical
Federalists, in his absence, and on his return
to the United States, he was by them made to
believe that the general disposition of our
citizens was favorable to monarchy. He then
wrote his “Davila,” as a supplement to the
former work, and his election to the Presidency
confirmed him in his errors. Innumerable
addresses, too, artfully and industriously
poured in upon him, deceived him into a confidence
that he was on the pinnacle of popularity,
when a gulf was yawning at his feet,
which was to swallow up him and his deceivers.
For, when General Washington was
withdrawn, these energumeni of royalism.
kept in check hitherto by the dread of his


Page 12
honesty, his firmness, his patriotism, and the
authority of his name, now mounted on the
car of state and free from control, like
Phäeton on that of the sun, drove headlong
and wild, looking neither to right nor left,
nor regarding anything but the objects they
were driving at; until, displaying these fully,
the eyes of the nation were opened, and a
general disbandment of them from the public
councils took place. Mr. Adams, I am sure,
has been long since convinced of the treacheries
with which he was surrounded during
his administration. He has since thoroughly
seen that his constituents were devoted to republican
government, and whether his judgment
is resettled on its ancient basis, or not,
he is conformed as a good citizen to the will
of the majority, and would now, I am persuaded,
maintain its republican structure with
the zeal and fidelity belonging to his character.
For even an enemy has said, “he is always
an honest man, and often a great one.”
But in the fervor of the fever and follies of
those who made him their stalking horse, no
man who did not witness it, can form an idea
of their unbridled madness, and the terrorism
with which they surrounded themselves.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 97. Ford ed., i, 166.

86. ADAMS (John), Political Principles of.—[continued].

Adams was for two hereditary
[legislative] branches and an honest
elective one.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 96. Ford ed., i, 166.

87. ADAMS (John), Political Principles of.—[further continued].

Can anyone read Mr. Adams's “Defence of the American Constitutions,
” without seeing that he was a
monarchist? And J. Q. Adams, the son, was
more explicit than the father in his answer to
Paine's “Rights of Man.”—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 390. Ford ed., x, 332.
(M. 1825)

88. ADAMS (John), Proposed office for.—

A little time and reflection effaced in
my mind this temporary dissatisfaction [because
of the midnight appointments, &c.] with
Mr. Adams, and restored me to that just estimate
of his virtues and passions, which a
long acquaintance had enabled me to fix. And
my first wish became that of making his retirement
easy by any means in my power; for
it was understood he was not rich. I suggested
to some republican members of the delegation
from his State, the giving him, either directly
or indirectly, an office, the most lucrative
in that State, and then offered to be resigned,
if they thought he would not deem it affrontive.
They were of opinion he would take great
offence at the offer; and moreover, that the
body of republicans would consider such a
step in the outset as arguing very ill of the
course I meant to pursue. I dropped the idea,
therefore, but did not cease to wish for some
opportunity of renewing our friendly understanding.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 562. Ford ed., ix, 298.
(M. Jan. 1811)

— ADAMS (John), Saves Fisheries.—

See Fisheries.

89. ADAMS (John), Views on English Constitution.—

While Mr. Adams was VicePresident,
and I Secretary of State, I received
a letter from President Washington,
then at Mount Vernon, desiring me to call to
gether the Heads of Departments, and to invite
Mr. Adams to join us (which, by-the-bye,
was the only instance of that being done) in
order to determine on some measure which
required despatch; and he desired me to act
on it, as decided, without again recurring to
him. I invited them to dine with me, and
after dinner, sitting at our wine, having settled
our question, other conversation came on,
in which a collision of opinion arose between
Mr. Adams and Colonel Hamilton, on the
merits of the British Constitution, Mr. Adams
giving it as his opinion, that, if some of
its defects and abuses were corrected, it
would be the most perfect constitution of
government ever devised by man. Hamilton,
on the contrary, asserted, that with its existing
vices, it was the most perfect model of
government that could be formed; and that
the correction of its vices would render it an
impracticable government. And this you May
be assured was the real line of difference between
the political principles of these two
gentlemen. Another incident took place on
the same occasion, which will further delineate
Mr. Hamilton's political principles. The
room being hung around with a collection of
the portraits of remarkable men, among them
were those of Bacon, Newton and Locke.
Hamilton asked me who they were. I told
him they were my trinity of the three greatest
men the world had ever produced, naming
them. He paused for some time: “The
greatest man,” said he, “that ever lived, was
Julius Csesar.” Mr. Adams was honest as a
politician as well as a man; Hamilton honest
as a man, but, as a politician, believing in the
necessity of either force or corruption to
govern men.
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 559. Ford ed., ix, 295.
(M. Jan. 1811)

90. ADAMS (John), Washington and.

—General Washington certainly did not love
Mr. Adams.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 508. Ford ed., viii, 265.
(W. 1803)

91. ADAMS (John), Writings of.—

have read your book with infinite satisfaction
and improvement. It will do great good in
America. Its learning and its good sense will.
I hope, make it an institute for our politicians,
old as well as young.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 128.
(P. 1787)

92. ADAMS (John), Writings of.—[continued].

I enclose you a Boston
paper * * *. You will recognize Mr. A.—
under the signature of “Camillus.” He writes
in every week's paper now and generally under
different signatures This is the first in which
he has omitted some furious incartade against
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 53. Ford ed., vi, 402.
(Pa., Sep. 1793)

— ADAMS (Mrs. John), Correspondence with.—

See Appendix.

93. ADAMS (John Quincy), Early Promise.—

This young gentleman is I think
very promising. To a vast thirst after useful
knowledge he adds a facility in acquiring it.
What his judgment may be I am not well
enough acquainted with him to decide; but I
expect it is good, and much hope it, as he
may become a valuable and useful citizen.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 42.
(P. 1785)


Page 13

94. ADAMS (John Quincy), Foreign Minister.—

The nomination of John Quincy
Adams to Berlin, had been objected to as extending
our diplomatic establishment. It was
approved by eighteen to fourteen.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 179. Ford ed., vii, 132.
(Pa., June. 1797)

95. ADAMS (John Quincy), Respect for.—

I have never entertained for Mr. Adams
any but sentiments of esteem and respect; and
if we have not thought alike on political subjects,
I yet never doubted the honesty of his
To——. Washington ed. vii, 432.
(M. 1826)

See Embargo.

96. ADAMS (John Quincy), Secretary of State.—

I have barely left myself room to express my satisfaction at your call to the important
office [12] you hold, and to tender you the
assurance of my great esteem and respect.—
To John Quincy Adams. Washington ed. vii, 90.


Secretary of State.—Editor.

97. ADAMS (John Quincy), Secretary of State.—[continued].

I congratulate Mrs. Adams and yourself on the return of your excellent
and distinguished son, and our country still
more on such a minister of their foreign
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 83. Ford ed.

98. ADAMS (Samuel), Ability.—

He was truly a great man, wise in council, fertile in
resources, immovable in his purposes, and
had, I think, a greater share than any other
member, in advising and directing our measures
in the northern war especially. * * * Although not of fluent elocution, he was
so rigorously logical, so clear in his views,
abundant in good sense, and master always
of his subject, that he commanded the most
profound attention whenever he rose in an
assembly by which the froth of declamation
was heard with the most sovereign contempt.—
To S. A. Wells. Washington ed. vii, 126. Ford ed., x, 131.
(M. 1819)

99. ADAMS (Samuel), Patriarch of Liberty.—

I addressed a letter to you, my very dear and ancient friend, on the 4th of
March; not indeed to you by name, but
through the medium of some of my fellow
citizens, whom occasion called on me to address.
In meditating the matter of that address,
I often asked myself, is this exactly in
the spirit of the patriarch of liberty, Samuel
Adams? Is it as he would express it? Will
he approve of it? I have felt a great deal
for our country in the times we have seen.
But, individually, for no one so much as
yourself. When I have been told that you
were avoided, insulted, frowned on, I could
not but ejaculate, “Father, forgive them, for
they know what they do.” I confess I felt
an indignation for you, which for myself I
have been able, under every trial, to keep entirely
passive. * * * How much I lament
that time has deprived me of your aid. It
would have been a day of glory which should
have called you to the first office of the Administration.
But give us your counsel and
give us your blessing, and be assured that
there exists not in the heart of man a more
faithful esteem than mine to you.—
To Samuel Adams. Washington ed. iv, 389. Ford ed., viii, 38
(W. 1801)

100. ADAMS (Samuel), Principles of.—

His principles, founded on the immovable basis of equal right and reason, have continued
pure and unchanged. Permit me to place
here my sincere veneration for him.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. iv, 169. Ford ed., vii, 118.
(M. 1797)

101. ADAMS (Samuel), Principles of.—[continued].

Your principles have been
tested in the crucible of time, and have come
out pure. You have proved that it was monarchy,
and not merely British monarchy, you
To Samuel Adams. Washington ed. iv, 321. Ford ed., vii, 425.
(Pa., 1800)

102. ADAMS (Samuel), Services of.—

I always considered him as more than any
other member [in Congress] the fountain of
our important measures. And although he
was neither an eloquent nor easy speaker,
whatever he said was sound, and commanded
the profound attention of the House. In the
discussions on the floor of Congress he reposed
himself on our main pillar in debate,
Mr. John Adams. These two gentlemen were
verily a host in our councils.—
To Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse. Ford ed., x, 124.
(M. 1819)

— ADDRESS, History of Washington's Farewell.—

See Washington.

— ADDRESS, Jefferson to Inhabitants of Albemarle Co., Va.—

See Appendix.

103. ADDRESSES, Indiscreet Political.

—Indiscreet declarations and expressions of
passion may be pardoned to a multitude acting
from the impulse of the moment. But
we cannot expect a foreign nation to show
that apathy to the answers of the President
[Adams] which are more thrasonic than the
addresses. Whatever choice for peace might
have been left us * * * is completely lost by
these answers.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 238. Ford ed., vii, 247.
(Pa., May. 1798)

104. ADDRESSES, Self Respect and.—

Though the expressions of good will from
my fellow citizens cannot but be grateful to
me, yet I would rather relinquish the gratification,
and see republican self-respect prevail
over movements of the heart too capable
of misleading the person to whom they are
addressed. However, their will not mine, be
To Samuel Smith. Ford ed., viii, 28.
(W. March. 1801)

— ADDRESSES, Text of Jefferson's Inaugural Addresses.—

See Appendix. [13]


The principles in the Inaugural Addresses are
classified in this work.—Editor.

105. ADDRESSES, Threatening Replies to.—

Nor is it France alone, but his own
fellow citizens, against whom President
[Adams's] threats are uttered. In Fenno['s
paper] * * * you will see one, wherein he
says to the address from Newark, “the delusions
and misrepresentations which have
misled so many citizens, must be discountenanced
by authority as well as by the citizens
at large,” evidently alluding to those letters
from the Representatives to their constituents,
which they have been so in the habit of seeking


Page 14
after and publishing; while those sent by
the tory part of the House to their constituents,
are ten times more numerous, and replete
with the most atrocious falsehoods and
calumnies. What new law they will propose
on this subject has not yet leaked out. [14]
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 239. Ford ed., vii, 247.
(Pa., May. 1798)


Jefferson added a P. S. suggesting that Adams
may have been looking to the sedition bill that had
been spoken of.—Editor.

106. ADDRESSES, Utilizing.—

Averse to
receive addresses, yet unable to prevent them,
I have generally endeavored to turn them to
some account, by making them the occasion,
of sowing useful truths and principles among
the people, which might germinate and become
rooted among their political tenets.—
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. iv, 427. Ford ed., viii, 129.

107. ADJOURNMENT, Congress and.

—A bill having passed both houses of Congress,
and being now before the President,
declaring that the seat of the Federal Government
shall be transferred to the Potomac in
the year 1790, that the sessions of Congress
next ensuing the present shall be held in Philadelphia,
to which place the offices shall be
transferred before the 1st of December next,
a writer in a public paper of July 13, has urged
on the consideration of the President, that
the Constitution has given to the two houses
of Congress the exclusive right to adjourn
themselves; that the will of the President
mixed with theirs in a decision of this kind,
would be an inoperative ingredient, repugnant
to the Constitution, and that he ought
not to permit them to part, in a single instance,
with their constitutional rights; consequently,
that he ought to negative the bill.
That is now to be considered.

Every man, and every body of men on
earth, possesses the right of self-government.
They receive it with their being from
the hand of nature. Individuals exercise it
by their single will; collections of men by
that of their majority; for the law of the
majority is the natural law of every society
of men. When a certain description of men
are to transact together a particular business,
the times and places of their meeting and
separating, depend on their own will; they
make a part of the natural right of self-government.
This, like all other natural rights,
may be abridged or modified in its exercise
by their own consent, or by the law of those
who depute them, if they meet in the right of
others; but as far as it is not abridged or
modified, they retain it as a natural right, and
may exercise it in what form they please,
either exclusively by themselves, or in association
with others, or by others altogether,
as they shall agree.

Each house of Congress possesses this natural
right of governing itself, and consequently,
of fixing its own times and places of
meeting, so far as it has not been abridged
by the law of those who employ them, that is
to say, by the Constitution. This act manifestly
considers them as possessing this right
of course, and, therefore, has nowhere given
it to them. In the several different passages
where it touches this right, it treats it as an
existing thing, not as one called into existence
by them. To evince this, every passage
of the Constitution shall be quoted, where
the right of adjournment is touched; and it
will be seen that no one of them pretends to
give that right; that, on the contrary, every
one is evidently introduced either to enlarge
the right where it would be too narrow, to restrain
it where, in its natural and full exercise,
it might be too large, and lead to inconvenience,
to defend it from the latitude of its own
phrases, where these were not meant to comprehend
it, or to provide for its exercise by
others, when they cannot exercise it themselves.

“A majority of each house shall constitute
a quorum to do business; but a smaller number
may adjourn from day to day, and May
be authorized to compel the attendance of
absent members.” Art. 1. Sec. 5. A majority
of every collection of men being naturally
necessary to constitute its will, and it being
frequently to happen that a majority is not
assembled, it was necessary to enlarge the
natural right by giving to “a smaller number
than a majority” a right to compel the
attendance of the absent members, and, in
the meantime, to adjourn from day to day.
This clause, then, does not pretend to give
to a majority a right which it knew that
majority would have of themselves, but to a
number less than a majority, a right to which
it knew that lesser number could not have of

“Neither house, during the session of Congress,
shall, without the consent of the other,
adjourn for more than three days, nor to any
other place than that in which the two houses
shall be sitting.” Ibid. Each house exercising
separately its natural right to meet when and
where it should think best, it might happen
that the two houses would separate either in
time or place, which would be inconvenient.
It was necessary, therefore, to keep them together
by restraining their natural right of
deciding on separate times and places, and
by requiring a concurrence of will.

But, as it might happen that obstinacy, or
a difference of object, might prevent this concurrence,
it goes on to take from them, in that
instance, the right of adjournment altogether,
and to transfer it to another, by declaring,
Art. 2. Sec. 3, that “in case of disagreement
between the two houses, with respect to the
time of adjournment, the President may adjourn
them to such time as he shall think

These clauses, then, do not import, a gift,
to the two houses, of a general right of adjournment,
which it was known they would
have without that gift, but to restrain or abrogate
the right it was known they would
have, in an instance where, exercised in its
full extent, it might lead to inconvenience,
and to give that right to another, who would
not naturally have had it. It also gives to
the President a right, which he otherwise
would not have had, “to convene both houses,


Page 15
or either of them, on extraordinary occasions.
” Thus substituting the will of another,
where they are not in a situation to exercise
their own.

“Every order, resolution, or vote, to which
the concurrence of the Senate and House of
Representatives may be necessary (except on
a question of adjournment), shall be presented
to the President for his approbation,
&c., Art. I. Sec. 7. The latitude of the general
words here used would have subjected
the natural right of adjournment of the two
houses to the will of the President, which was
not intended. They, therefore, expressly
“except questions of adjournment” out of
their operation. They do not here give a
right of adjournment, which it was known
would exist without their gift, but they defend
the existing right against the latitude
of their own phrases, in a case where there
was no good reason to abridge it. The exception
admits they will have the right of
adjournment, without pointing out the source
from which they will derive it.

These are all the passages of the Constitution
(one only excepted, which shall be presently
cited,) where the right of adjournment
is touched; and it is evident that none of
these are introduced to give that right; but
every one supposes it to be existing, and provides
some specific modification for cases
where either defeat in the natural right, or a
too full use of it, would occasion inconvenience.

The right of adjournment, then, is not
given by the Constitution, and consequently
it may be modified by law without interfering
with that instrument. It is a natural
right, and, like all other natural rights, May
be abridged or regulated in its exercise by
law and the concurrence of the third branch
in any law regulating its exercise is so efficient
an ingredient in that law, that the
right cannot be otherwise exercised but after
a repeal by a new law. The express terms of
the Constitution itself show that this right
may be modified by law, when, in Art. I.
Sec. 4. (the only remaining passage on the
subject not yet quoted) it says, “The Congress
shall assemble at least once in every
year, and such meeting shall be the first Monday
in December, unless they shall, by law, appoint a different day.” Then another day
may be appointed by law; and the President's
assent is an efficient ingredient in that law.
Nay, further, they cannot adjourn over the
first Monday of December but by a law. This
is another constitutional abridgment of their
natural right of adjournment; and completing
our review of all the clauses in the Constitution
which touch that right, authorizes
us to say no part of that instrument gives it;
and that the houses hold it, not from the Constitution,
but from nature.

A consequence of this is, that the houses
may, by a joint resolution, remove themselves
from place to place, because it is a part of
their right of self-government; but that as
the right of self-government does not comprehend
the government of others, the two
houses cannot, by a joint resolution of their
majorities only, remove the Executive and
Judiciary from place to place. These branches
possessing, also, the rights of self-government
from nature, cannot be controlled in the exercise
of them but by a law, passed in the
forms of the Constitution The clause of the
bill in question, therefore, was necessary to be
put into the form of a law, and to be submitted
to the President, so far as it proposes
to effect the removal of the Executive and
Judiciary to Philadelphia. So far as respects
the removal of the present houses of legislation
thither, it was not necessary to be submitted
to the President; but such a submission
is not repugnant to the Constitution.
On the contrary, if he concurs, it will so far
fix the next session of Congress at Philadelphia
that it cannot be changed but by a regular

The sense of Congress itself is always respectable
authority. It has been given very
remarkably on the present subject. The address
to the President in the paper of the
13th, is a complete digest of all the arguments
urged on the floor of the Representatives
against the constitutionality of the bill now
before the President; and they were overruled
by a majority of that house, comprehending
the delegation of all the States south
of the Hudson, except South Carolina. At
the last session of Congress, when the bill
for remaining a certain term at New York,
and then removing to Susquehanna, or Germantown,
was objected to on the same
ground, the objection was overruled by a majority
comprehending the delegations of the
northern half of the Union with that of
South Carolina. So that the sense of every
State in the Union has been expressed, by
its delegation, against this objection, South
Carolina excepted, and excepting also Rhode
Island, which has never yet had a delegation
in place to vote on the question. In both
these instances, the Senate concurred with the
majority of the Representatives. The sense
of the two houses is stronger authority in this
case, as it is given against their own supposed

It would be as tedious, as it is unnecessary,
to take up and discuss one by one, the objects
proposed in the paper of July 13. Every
one of them is founded on the supposition
that the two houses hold their right of adjournment
from the Constitution. This error
being corrected, the objections founded
on it fall of themselves.

It would also be work of mere supererogation
to show that, granting what this writer
takes for granted, (that the President's assent
would be an inoperative ingredient, because
excluded by the Constitution, as he
says.) yet the particular views of the writer
would be frustrated, for on every hypothesis
of what the President may do, Congress must
go to Philadelphia. I. If he assents to the
bill, that assent makes good law of the part
relative to the Potomac; and the part for
holding the next session at Philadelphia is
good, either as an ordinance, or a vote of the
two houses, containing a complete declaration
of their will in a case where it is competent to


Page 16
the object; so that they must go to Philadelphia
in that case. 2. If he dissents from the
bill, it annuls the part relative to the Potomac;
but as to the clause for adjourning to
Philadelphia, his dissent being as inneficient
as his assent, it remains a good ordinance, or
vote, of the two houses for going thither,
and consequently they must go in this case
also. 3. If the President withholds his will
out of the bill altogether, by a ten day's silence,
then the part relative to the Potomac
becomes a good law without his will, and that
relative to Philadelphia is good also, either
as a law, or an ordinance, or a vote of the
two houses; and consequently in this case
also they go to Philadelphia.—
Opinion on Residence Bill. Washington ed. vii, 495. Ford ed., v, 205.
(July. 1790)

108. ADJOURNMENT, Executives and.

—The Administrator shall not posses the
prerogative * * * of dissolving, proroguing,
or adjourning either House of Assembly.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 18.
(June. 1776)

109. ADMINISTRATION, Acceptable.

—The House of Representatives having concluded
their choice of a person for the chair
of the United States, and willed me that office,
it now becomes necessary to provide an
administration composed of persons whose
qualifications and standing have possessed
them of the public confidence, and whose
wisdom may ensure to our fellow citizens the
advantage they sanguinely expect.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. iv, 356. Ford ed., vii, 495.
(W. Feb. 1801)

See Cabinet.


—See 57,, 58, 142.

110. ADMINISTRATION, Antagonism to.—

I have received many letters stating to
me in the spirit of prophecy, caricatures which
the writers, it seems, know are to be the principles
of my administration. To these no answer
has been given, because the prejudiced
spirit in which they have been written proved
the writers not in a state of mind to yield
to truth or reason.—
To William Jackson. Washington ed. iv, 357.
(W. 1801)

111. ADMINISTRATION, Arduous.—

The helm of a free government is always
arduous, and never was ours more so, than
at a moment when two friendly peoples are
likely to be committed in war by the ill temper
of their administrations.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. iv, 168. Ford ed., vii, 117.
(M. Feb. 1797)

112. ADMINISTRATION, Confidence in.—

In a government like ours it is necessary
to embrace in its administration as great a
mass of confidence as possible, by employing
those who have a character with the public,
of their own, and not merely a secondary one
through the Executive. [15]
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 208. Ford ed.,
i, 312.
(April. 1806)


Answer to Aaron Burr's solicitations for an office.—Editor.

113. ADMINISTRATION, Confidence in.—[continued].

On the whole, I hope we
shall make up an administration which will
unite a great mass of confidence, and bid defiance
to the plans of opposition meditated
by leaders who are now almost destitute of
To Horatio Gates. Ford ed., viii, 11.
(W. March. 1801)

114. ADMINISTRATION, Confident.—

The important subjects of the government I
meet with some degree of courage and confidence,
because I do believe the talents to be
associated with me, the honest line of conduct
we will religiously pursue at home and
abroad, and the confidence of my fellow citizens
dawning on us, will be equal to these
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 380. Ford ed., viii, 25.
(W. March. 1801)

115. ADMINISTRATION, Devoted.—

ever the earth has beheld a system of administration
conducted with a single and steadfast
eye to the general interest and happiness
of those committed to it, one which, protected
by truth, can never know reproach, it
is that to which our lives have been devoted.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. vii, 435. Ford ed., x, 378.
(M. 1826)

116. ADMINISTRATION, Difficult.—

Our situation is difficult; and whatever we do
is liable to the criticism of those who wish
to represent it awry. If we recommend
measures in a public message, it may be said
that members are not sent here to obey the
mandates of the President, or to register the
edicts of a sovereign. If we express opinions
in conversation, we have then our Charles
Jenkinsons, and back-door counsellors. If
we say nothing, “we have no opinions, no
plans, no cabinet.” In truth, it is the fable
of the old man, his son and ass, over again.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. iv, 592. Ford ed., viii, 433.
(W. 1806)

117. ADMINISTRATION, Disapproved.

—There was but a single act of my whole administration of which the federal party approved.
That was the proclamation on the
attack of the Chesapeake. And when I found
they approved of it, I confess I began strongly
to apprehend I had done wrong, and to exclaim
with the Psalmist, “Lord, what have I
done that the wicked should praise me.”—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. vi, 63. Ford ed., ix, 359.
(M. 1812)

118. ADMINISTRATION, Disinterested.—

A disinterestedness administration of the
public trusts is essential to perfect tranquillity
of mind.—
To Samuel Hawkins. Washington ed. v, 392.
(W. 18081808)gt;

119. ADMINISTRATION, England and the.—

All the troubles and difficulties in the
government during our time proceeded from
England; at least all others were trifling in
comparison with them.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 455.
(M. 1809)

120. ADMINISTRATION, Errors in.—

It is our consolation and encouragement that we are serving a just public, who will be indulgent
to any error committed honestly, and
relating merely to the means of carrying into
effect what they have manifestly willed to be a


Page 17
To W. H. Cabell. Washington ed. v, 162. Ford ed., ix, 96.
(M. 1807)

See Error.

121. ADMINISTRATION, Foreign Policy.—

In the transaction of your foreign affairs,
we have endeavored to cultivate the
friendship of all nations, and especially of
those with which we have the most important
relations. We have done them justice on all
occasions, favored where favor was lawful,
and cherished mutual interests and intercourse
on fair and equal terms. We are
firmly convinced, and we act on that conviction,
that with nations, as with individuals,
our interests soundly calculated, will ever be
found inseparable from our moral duties;
and history bears witness to the fact, that a
just nation is taken on its word, when recourse
is had to armaments and wars to
bridle others.—
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 40. Ford ed., viii, 343.

122. ADMINISTRATION, Formalities and.—

The necessity of these abridgments of
formalities in our present distant situations
requires that I should particularly suggest to
you the expediency of desiring General Knox
to communicate to the foreign ministers himself
any matters relative to the interpositions
of his department through the governors.
For him to send these to me from
Boston to this place [Monticello] merely that
I may send them back to the ministers at
Philadelphia or New York, might be might be an injurious
delay of business.—
To President Washington. Ford ed., vi, 435.
(M. Oct. 1793)

See Formalities.

123. ADMINISTRATION, Fundamental Principles.—

To cultivate peace and maintain
commerce and navigation in all their
lawful enterprises; to foster our fisheries and
nurseries of navigation and for the nurture of
man, and protect the manufactures adapted to
our circumstances; to preserve the faith of
the nation by an exact discharge of its debts
and contracts, expending the public money
with the same care and economy we would
practice with our own, and impose on our
citizens no unnecessary burden; to keep in all
things within the pale of our constitutional
powers, and cherish the Federal Union as the
only rock of our safety—these are the landmarks
by which we are to guide ourselves in
all our proceedings. By continuing to make
these our rule of action, we shall endear to
our countrymen the true principles of their
Constitution, and promote a union of sentiment
and of action equally auspicious to their
happiness and safety.—
Second Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 21. Ford ed., viii, 186.
See Inaugural Addresses, Appendix.

124. ADMINISTRATION, Fundamental Principles.—[continued].

Our wish is * * * that the
public efforts may be directed honestly to the
public good, that peace be cultivated, civil
and religious liberty unassailed, law and order
preserved, equality of rights maintained,
and that state of property, equal or unequal,
which results to every man from his own industry
or that of his fathers.—
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 44. Ford ed., viii, 347.

125. ADMINISTRATION, Fundamental Principles.—[further continued].

That all should be satisfied
with any one order of things is not to be
expected, but I indulge the pleasing persuasion
that the great body of our citizens will
concur in honest and disinterested efforts,
which have for their object to preserve the
General and State governments in their constitutional
form and equilibrium; to maintain
peace abroad and order and obedience to the
laws at home; to establish principles and practices
of administration favorable to the security
of liberty and prosperity, and to reduce
expenses to what is necessary for the
useful purposes of government.—
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 15. Ford ed., viii, 125.
(Dec. 1801)

126. ADMINISTRATION, Fundamental Principles.
—[further continued] .

Believing that (excepting
the ardent monarchists) all our citizens
agreed in ancient whig principles, I thought
it advisable to define and declare them, and
let them see the ground on which we could
rally. And the fact proving to be so, that
they agree in these principles, I shall pursue
them with more encouragement.—
To General Henry Knox. Washington ed. iv, 386. Ford ed., viii, 36.
(W. March. 1801)

127. ADMINISTRATION, Good Republican.—

A good administration in a republican
government, securing to us our dearest
rights, and the practical enjoyment of all our
liberties, can never fail to give consolation to
the friends of free government, and mortification
to its enemies.—
R. to A. Rhode Island Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 162.

128. ADMINISTRATION, Harmonious.—

That there is only one minister who is
not opposed to me, is totally unfounded.
There never was a more harmonious, a more
cordial administration, nor ever a moment
when it has been otherwise. And while differences
of opinion have been always rare
among us, I can affirm, that as to present
matters, there was not a single paragraph in
my message to Congress, or those supplementary
to it, in which there was not a unanimity
of concurrence in the members of the administration.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. iv, 591. Ford ed., viii, 432.
(W. March. 1806)

129. ADMINISTRATION, Hesitancy and.—

On every question the lawyers are
about equally divided, and were we to act but
in cases where no contrary opinion of a lawyer
can be had, we should never act.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 369.
(M. 1898)


The measures of my administration * * * have been pursued with honest intentions, unbiased
by any personal or interested views.—
R. To A. Wilmington Citizens. Washington ed. viii, 149.

131. ADMINISTRATION, Indebted.—

do not mean, fellow citizens, to arrogate to
myself the merit of the measures [of the administration];
that is due, in the first place, to
the reflecting character of our citizens at
large, who, by the weight of public opinion,
influence and strengthen the public measures;
it is due to the sound discretion with which


Page 18
they select from among themselves those to
whom they confide the legislative duties; it
is due to the zeal and wisdom of the characters
selected, who lay the foundations of
public happine s in wholesome laws, the execution
of which alone remains for others;
and it is due to the able and faithful auxiliaries,
whose patriotism has associated with
me in the executive functions.—
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 43. Ford ed., viii, 345.

132. ADMINISTRATION, Indulgence to.—

There are no mysteries in the public administration.
Difficulties indeed sometimes
arise; but common sense and honest intentions
will generally steer through them, and,
where they cannot be surmounted, I have ever
seen the well-intentioned part of our fellow
citizens sufficiently disposed not to look for
To Dr. J. B. Stuart. Washington ed. vii, 64.
(M. 1817)

133. ADMINISTRATION, Indulgence to.—[continued].

A consciousness that I
feel no desire but to do what is best, without
passion or predilection, encourages me to
hope for an indulgent construction of what I
To John Page. Washington ed. iv, 377.
(W. 1801)


See Madison.

134. ADMINISTRATION, Meritorious.

—I wish support from no quarter longer than my object, candidly scanned shall merit it;
and especially, not longer than I shall vigorously
adhere to the Constitution.—
To Benjamin Stoddert. Washington ed. iv, 360. Ford ed., vii, 499.
(W. Feb. 1801)

135. ADMINISTRATION, Moderate.—

I am very much in hopes we shall be able to
restore union to our country. Not, indeed,
that the federal leaders can be brought over.
They are invincibles; but I really hope their
followers may. The bulk of these last were
real republicans, carried over from us by
French excesses. This induced me to offer
a political creed [in the inauguration address],
and to invite to conciliation first; and I am
pleased to hear, that these principles are recognized
by them, and considered as no bar
of separation. A moderate conduct throughout
which may not revolt our new friends,
and which may give them tenets with us,
must be observed.—
To John Page. Washington ed. iv, 378.
(W. March. 1801)

136. ADMINISTRATION, Public Opinion and.—

It will always be interesting to me
to know the impression made by any particular
thing on the public mind. My idea is
that where two measures are equally right, it
is a duty to the people to adopt that one
which is most agreeable to them; and where
a measure not agreeable to them has been
adopted, it is desirable to know it, because it
is an admonition to a review of that measure
to see if it has been really right, and to correct
it if mistaken.—
To William Findley. Ford ed., viii, 27.
(W. March. 1801)

137. ADMINISTRATION, Reasonable.

—Unequivocal in principle, reasonable in
manner, we shall be able, I hope, to do a great
deal of good to the cause of freedom and liarmony.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 392. Ford ed., viii, 43.
(W. March. 1801)

138. ADMINISTRATION, Responsibility and.—

We can only be answerable for
the orders we give and not for the execution.
If they are disobeyed from obstinacy of spirit,
or want of coercion in the laws, it is not our
To General Steuben. Ford ed., ii, 492.
(R. 1781)

139. ADMINISTRATION, Routine.—

The ordinary affairs of a nation offer little
difficulty to a person of any experience.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. v, 252.
(W. 1808)

140. ADMINISTRATION, Salutary.—

I am sure the measures I mean to pursue
are such as would in their nature be approved
by every American who can emerge from preconceived
prejudices; as for those who cannot,
we must take care of them as of the sick
in our hospitals. The medicine of time and
fact may cure some of them.—
To Theodore Foster. Ford ed., viii. 50.
(W. May. 1801)

141. ADMINISTRATION, Secrecy in.—

The same secrecy and mystery are affected to be observed by the present, which marked the
former administration.—
To Aaron Burr. Washington ed. iv, 185. Ford ed., vii, 147.
(Pa., June. 1797)

142. ADMINISTRATION, Slip-shod.—

The administration [of Mr. Adams] had no
rule for anything.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iv, 413. Ford ed., viii, 96.
(W. 1801)

143. ADMINISTRATION, Successors in.—

I have thought it right to take no part
myself in proposing measures, the execution
of which will devolve on my successor.—
To Dr. Logan. Washington ed. v, 404.
(W. Dec. 1808)

144. ADMINISTRATION, Successors in.—[continued].

I should not feel justified
in directing measures which those who are to
execute them would disapprove.—
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. v, 387. Ford ed., ix, 227.
(W. Nov. 1808 )

145. ADMINISTRATION, Successors in.—[further continued].

I am now so near the
moment of retiring, that I take no part in affairs
beyond the expression of an opinion. I
think it fair that my successor should now
originate those measures of which he will be
charged with the execution and responsibility,
and that it is my duty to clothe them with the
forms of authority.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 420. Ford ed., ix, 243.
(W. Jan. 1809)

146. ADMINISTRATION, Successors in.—[further continued] .

I hope that my successor
will enter on a calmer sea than I did. He
will at least find the vessel of State in the
hands of his friends, and not of his foes.—
To Richard M. Johnson. Washington ed. v, 257.
(W. 1808)

147. ADMINISTRATION, Summary of Jefferson's first.—

To do without a land
tax, excise, stamp tax and the other internal
taxes, to supply their place by economies,
so as still to support the government properly,
and to apply $7,300,000 a year steadily
to the payment of the public debt; to discontinue
a great portion of the expenses on


Page 19
armies and navies, yet protect our country
and its commerce with what remains; to
purchase a country as large and more fertile
than the one we possessed before, yet ask
neither a new tax, nor another soldier to be
added, but to provide that that country shall
by its own income, pay for itself before the
purchase money is due; to preserve peace
with all nations, and particularly an equal
friendship to the two great rival powers,
France and England, and to maintain the
credit and character of the nation in as high
a degree as it has ever enjoyed, are measures
which I think must reconcile the great body
of those who thought themselves our enemies;
but were in truth only the enemies
of certain Jacobinical, atheistical, anarchical,
imaginary caricatures, which existed only in
the land of the raw head and bloody bones,
beings created to frighten the credulous. By
this time they see enough of us to judge our
characters by what we do, and not by what
we never did, nor thought of doing, but in
the lying chronicles of the newspapers.—
To Timothy Bloodworth. Washington ed. iv, 523.
(W. Jan. 1804)

148. ADMINISTRATION, Temporizing.—

Mild laws, a people not used to prompt
obedience, a want of provisions of war, and
means of procuring them render our orders
often ineffectual, oblige us to temporize, and
when we cannot accomplish an object in one
way to attempt it in another. Your knowledge
of these circumstances, with a temper
to accommodate them, ensure me your cooperation
in the best way we can, when we
shall not be able to pursue the way we would
To Major General de Lafayette. Ford ed., ii, 493.
(R. March. 1781)

149. ADMINISTRATION, Tranquil.—

The path we have to pursue is so quiet that we have nothing scarcely to propose to our
Legislature. A noiseless course, not meddling
with the affairs of others, unattractive
of notice, is a mark that society is going
on in happiness.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. iv, 453. Ford ed., viii, 178.
(W. Nov. 1802)

150. ADMINISTRATION, Unmeddling.—

The quiet track into which we are
endeavoring to get, neither meddling with
the affairs of other nations, nor with those
of our fellow citizens, but letting them go
on in their own way, will show itself in the
statement of our affairs to Congress.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Ford ed., viii, 180.
(W. Dec. 1802)

151. ADMINISTRATION, Unsuccessful.—

Two measures have not been adopted,
which I pressed on Congress repeatedly at
their meetings. The one, to settle the whole
ungranted territory of Orleans, by donations
of land to able-bodied young men, to be engaged
and carried there at the public expense,
who would constitute a force always ready
on the spot to defend New Orleans. The
other was to class the militia according to the
years of their birth, and make all those from
twenty to twenty-five liable to be trained and
called into service at a moment's warn
ing. This would have given us a force of
three hundred thousand young men, prepared
by proper training, for service in any part
of the United States; while those who had
passed through that period would remain at
home, liable to be used in their own or adjacent
States. Those two measures would
have completed what I deemed necessary
for the entire security of our country. They
would have given me, on my retirement from
the government of the nation, the consolatory
reflection, that having found, when I
was called to it, not a single seaport town
in a condition to repel a levy of contribution
by a single privateer or pirate, I had left
every harbor so prepared by works and gunboats,
as to be in a reasonable state of security
against any probable attack; the territory
of Orleans acquired, and planted with an
internal force sufficient for its protection; and
the whole territory of the United States organized
by such a classification of its male
force, as would give it the benefit of all its
young population for active service, and that
of a middle and advanced age for stationary
defence. But these measures will, I hope,
be completed by my successor.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. v, 507.
(M. Feb. 1810)

— ADMINISTRATION, Washington's.

—See Washington.


general the [British] administrations are so
changeable, and they are obliged to descend
to such tricks to keep themselves in place,
that nothing like honor or morality can ever
be counted on in transactions with them.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 465.
(M. Aug. 1809)

153. ADMINISTRATIONS, Ill-tempered.—

We have received a report that the
French Directory has proposed a declaration
of war against the United States to the Council
of Ancients, who have rejected it. Thus
we see two nations, who love one another
affectionately, brought by the ill temper of
their executive administrations, to the very
brink of necessity to imbrue their hands in
the blood of each other.—
To Aaron Burr. Washington ed. iv, 187. Ford ed., vii, 148.
(Pa., June. 1797)

154. ADMIRALTY COURTS, Decisions of British.—

I thank you for the case of
Demsey vs. the Insurers, which I have read
with great pleasure, and entire conviction.
Indeed it is high time to withdraw all respect
from courts acting under the arbitrary orders
of governments who avow a total disregard of
those moral rules which have hitherto been
acknowledged by nations, and have served
to regulate and govern their intercourse. I
should respect just as much the rules of
conduct which governed Cartouche or Blackbeard,
as those now acted on by France or
England. If your argument is defective in
anything, it is in having paid to the antecedent
decisions of the British Courts of Admiralty
the respect of examining them on grounds of
reason; and not having rested the decision
at once on the profligacy of those tribunals,


Page 20
and openly declared against permitting their
sentences to be ever more quoted or listened
to until those nations return to the practice
of justice, to an acknowledgment that there
is a moral law which ought to govern mankind,
and by sufficient evidences of contrition
for their present flagitiousness, make it safe
to receive them, again into the society of civilized
nations. I hope this will be done on a
proper occasion. Yet knowing that religion
does not furnish grosser bigots than law, I
expect little from old judges. Those now at
the bar may be bold enough to follow reason
rather than precedent, and may bring that
principle on the bench when promoted to
it; but I fear this effort is not for my day.
It has been said that when Harvey discovered
the circulation of the blood, there was not
a physician of Europe of forty years of age,
who assented to it. I fear you will experience
Harvey's fate; but it will become law
when the present judges are dead.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. v, 531.
(M. 1810)

155. ADMIRALTY COURTS, Jurisdiction.—

They [Parliament] have extended the
jurisdiction of courts of admiralty beyond
their ancient limits.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 468.
(July. 1775)


See States.

156. ADVERTISEMENTS, Appreciated.—

I read but one newspaper and that * * * more for its advertisements than its news.—
To Charles Pinckney. Washington ed. vii, 180. Ford ed., x, 162.
(M. 1820)

157. ADVERTISEMENTS, Principle and.—

I think it might be well to advertise my
lands at Elkhill for sale, and therefore enclose
you the form of an advertisement, in which,
you will observe, I have omitted the name
of the proprietor, which, as long as I am in
public, I would wish to keep out of view in
everything of a private nature.—
To Nicholas Lewis. Ford ed., v, 281.
(Pa., 1791)

158. ADVERTISEMENTS, Truth and.—

Advertisements contain the only truths to
be relied on in a newspaper.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. vii, 111. Ford ed., x, 120.
(M. 1819)

159. ADVICE, A Duty.—

Duty tells me
that the public interest is so deeply concerned
in your perfect knowledge of the characters
employed in its high stations, that nothing
should be withheld which can give you useful
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 101.
(M. 1813)

160. ADVICE, Friendship in.—

No apologies
for writing or speaking to me freely
are necessary. On the contrary, nothing my
friends can do is so dear to me, and proves
to me their friendship so clearly, as the information
they give me of their sentiments
and those of others on interesting points
where I am to act, and where information
and warning are so essential to excite in me
that due reflection which ought to precede
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 507. Ford ed., viii, 248.
(M. 1803)

161. ADVICE, Friendship in.—[continued].

I always consider it as
the most friendly service which can be rendered
me, to be informed of anything which
is going amiss, and which I can remedy.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. v, 400.
(W. 1808)

162. ADVICE, A Legacy of.—

Your affectionate
mother requests that I would address
to you, as a namesake, something which
might have a favorable influence on the
course of life you have to run. Few words
are necessary, with good dispositions on your
part. Adore God; reverence and cherish
your parents; love your neighbor as yourself,
and your country more than life. Be
just; be true; murmur not at the ways of
Providence—and the life into which you
may have entered will be one of eternal and
ineffable bliss. And if to the dead it is permitted
to care for the things of this world,
every action of your life will be under my
regard. Farewell.—
To Thomas Jefferson Grotjan. Ford ed., x, 287.
(M. 1824)

163. ADVICE, Proffering.—

How easily
we prescribe for others a cure for their difficulties,
while we cannot cure our own.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 201. Ford ed., x, 187.
(M. 1821)

164. ADVICE, Ten Precepts of.—

Decalogue of Canons for Observation in
Practical Life:—

1. Never put off till to-morrow what you
can do to-day.

2. Never trouble another for what you can
do yourself.

3. Never spend your money before you
have it.

4. Never buy what you do not want, because
it is cheap; it will be dear to you.

5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst
and cold.

6. We never repent of having eaten too

7. Nothing is troublesome that we do

8. How much pain have cost us the evils
which have never happened.

9. Take things always by their smooth handle.

10. When angry, count ten, before you
speak: if very angry, an hundred.—
To Thomas Jefferson Smith. Washington ed. vii, 401. Ford ed., x, 341.
(M. 1825)

165. ADVICE, Thankful for.—

I am ever
thankful for communications which May
guide me in the duties which I wish to perform
as well as I am able.—
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. v, 29. Ford ed., ix, 8.
(W. 1807)

166. ADVICE, Thankful for.—[continued].

I have always received with thankfulness the ideas of judicious persons
on subjects interesting to the public.—
To Benjamin Stoddert. Washington ed. v, 426. Ford ed., ix, 246.
(W. 1809)

167. ADVICE, Thankful for.—[further continued].

In all cases I invite and
shall receive with great thankfulness your
opinion and that of others on the course of
things, and particularly in the suggestion of


Page 21
character who may worthily be appointed.—
To Pierrepont Edwards. Ford ed., viii, 45.
(W. March. 1801)

168. ADVICE, Thankful for.—[further continued] .

Far from arrogating the
office of advice, no one will more passively
acquiesce in it than myself.—
To John H. Pleasants. Washington ed. vii, 346. Ford ed., x, 304.
(M. 1824)

169. ADVICE, Valued.—

I value no act
of friendship so highly as the communicating
facts to me, which I am not in the way of
knowing otherwise, and could not therefore
otherwise guard against.—
To W. C. Nicholas. Washington ed. v, 260.
(W. 1808)

170. ADVICE, Valued.—[continued].

It is impossible for my friends ever to render me so acceptable a
favor, as by communicating to me, without
reserve, facts and opinions. I have none
of that sort of self-love which winces at
it; indeed, both self-love and the desire to
do what is best strongly invite unreserved
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. v, 48. Ford ed., ix, 32.
(W. 1807)

171. ADVICE, Unbiased.—

The greatest favor which can be done me is the communication
of the opinions of judicious men, of
men who do not suffer their judgments to
be biased by either interests or passions.—
To Chandler Price. Washington ed. v, 46.
(W. 1807)


See Balloons.

172. AFFECTION, Early.—

I find as I grow older, that I love those most whom I
loved first.—
To Mrs. John Bolling. Ford ed., iv, 412.
(P. 1787)

173. AFFECTION, Of friendship.—

happiest moments my heart knows are those
in which it is pouring forth its affections to
a few esteemed characters.—
To Mrs. Trist. Ford ed., iv, 331.
(P. 1786)

See Friendship.

174. AFFECTION, Parental.—

Is not
parental love the strongest affection known?
Is it not greater than that of self-preservation?—
Note. Washington ed. i, 149. Ford ed., ii, 206.

175. AFFECTION, Parental.—[continued].

Although parental be yet stronger than filial affection. * * *.
Note. Washington ed. i, 150. Ford ed., ii, 207.

176. AFFECTION, Patriotic.—

My affections
are first for my own country, and then, generally, for all mankind.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. v, 556. Ford ed., ix, 293.
(M. 1811)

177. AFFECTION, Rewarded by.—

affection of my countrymen * * * was
the only reward I ever asked or could have
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 318. Ford ed., iii, 57.
(M. 1782)

See Family, Home.

178. AFFLICTION, Consolation in.—

Tried myself in the school of affliction, by the
loss of every form of connection which can
rive the human heart, I know well, and feel
what you have lost, what you have suffered,
are suffering, and have yet to endure. The
same trials have taught me that for ills so
immeasurable, time and silence are the only
medicine. I will not, therefore, by useless
condolences, open afresh the sluices of your
grief, nor, although mingling sincerely my tears
with yours, will I say a word more where words
are vain.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 107. Ford ed., x, 114.
(M. 1818)

179. AFFLICTION, Schooled in.—

is no degree of affliction, produced by the loss
of those dear to us, which experience has not
taught me to estimate. I have ever found
time and silence the only medicine, and these
but assuage, they never can suppress, the deep
drawn sigh which recollection forever brings
up, until recollection and life are extinguished
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 221.
(M. 1813)

180. AFFLICTION, Sympathy in.—

tried in the same school of affliction, no loss
which can rend the human heart is unknown to
mine; and a like one particularly, at about the
same period in life, had taught me to feel the
sympathies of yours. The same experience has
proved that time, silence and occupation are
its only medicines.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. v, 520.
(M. 1810)


See Slavery.

181. AGE, Advancing.—

Being very sensible
of bodily decays from advancing years,
I ought not to doubt their effect on the
mental faculties. To do so would evince
either great self-love or little observation of
what passes under our eyes; and I shall be
fortunate if I am the first to perceive and
to obey this admonition of nature.—
To Mr. Weaver. Washington ed. v, 88.
(W. June. 1807)

182. AGE, Change and.—

I am now of an
age which does not easily accommodate itself
to new manners and new modes of living.—
To Baron Geismer. Washington ed. i, 427.
(P. 1785)

183. AGE, Deformity in.—

Man, like the fruit he eats, has his period of ripeness. Like
that, too, if he continues longer hanging to
the stem, it is but an useless and unsightly
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. vii, 214. Ford ed., x, 191.
(M. 1821)

184. AGE, Desire in.—

Tranquillity is the
summum bonum of old age.—
To Mark L. Hill. Washington ed. vii, 154.
(M. 1820)

185. AGE, Dread of old.—

I have ever
dreaded a doting old age; and my health
has been generally so good, and is now so
good, that I dread it still. The rapid decline
of my strength during the last winter has
made me hope sometimes that I see land.
During the summer I enjoy its temperature,
but I shudder at the approach of winter, and
wish I could sleep through it with the dormouse,
and only wake with him in the spring,
if ever.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 244. Ford ed., x, 216.
(M. 1822)

186. AGE, Duty in old.—

Nothing is more
incumbent on the old, than to know when
they should get out of the way, and relinquish
to younger successors the honors they
can no longer earn, and the duties they can
no longer perform.—
To John Vaughan. Washington ed. vi, 417.
(M. 1815)

187. AGE, Duty in old.—[continued].

I resign myself cheerfully
to the managers of the ship, and the more


Page 22
contentedly, as I am near the end of my voyage.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 342. Ford ed., x, 300.
(M. 1824)

188. AGE, Evils of protracted.—

solitude in which we are left by the death of
our friends is one of the great evils of protracted
life. When I look back to the days of
my youth, it is like looking over a field of
battle. All, all dead! and ourselves left alone
midst a new generation whom we know not,
and who know not us.—
To Francis A. Van Der Kemp. Ford ed., x, 337.
(M. 1825)

189. AGE, Fear of old.—

My only fear is
that I may live too long. This would be
a subject of dread to me.—
To Philip Mazzei. Ford ed., viii, 15.
(M. March. 1801)

190. AGE, Insensible to.—

It is wonderful
to me that old men should not be sensible
that their minds keep pace with their bodies
in the progress of decay. Our old revolutionary
friend Clinton, for example, who
was a hero, but never a man of mind,
is wonderfully jealous on this head. He
tells eternally the stories of his younger days
to prove his memory, as if memory and
reason were the same faculty. Nothing betrays
imbecility so much as the being insensible
of it. Had not a conviction of the
danger to which an unlimited occupation,
of the Executive chair would expose the republican
constitution of our government,
made it conscientiously a duty to refuse when
I did, the fear of becoming a dotard, and of
being insensible of it, would of itself have
resisted all solicitations to remain.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. vi, 3. Ford ed., ix, 328.

191. AGE, Offerings of.—

Good wishes
are all an old man has to offer to his country
or friends.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. v, 557. Ford ed., ix, 293.
(M. 1811)

192. AGE, Oppressed by.—

The hand of
age is upon me. All my old friends are
nearly gone. Of those in my neighborhood,
Mr. Divers and Mr. Lindsay alone remain.
If you could make it a partie quarree, it
would be a comfort indeed. We would beguile
our lingering hours with talking over
our youthful exploits, our hunts on Peter's
mountain, with a long train of et cetera, in
addition, and feel, by recollection at least,
a momentary flash of youth. Reviewing the
course of a long and sufficiently successful
life, I find in no portion of it happier moments
than those were.—
To James Maury. Washington ed. vi, 54. Ford ed., ix, 351.
(M. 1812)

193. AGE, Oppressed by.—[continued].

The hand of age is upon
me. The decay of bodily faculties apprizes me
that those of the mind cannot be unimpaired,
had I not still better proofs. Every
year counts my increased debility, and departing
faculties keep the score. The last year
it was the sight, this it is the hearing, the
next something else will be going, until all
is gone. Of all this I was sensible before I
left Washington, and probably my fellow
laborers saw it before I did. The decay of
memory was obvious; it is now become distressing.
But the mind, too, is weakened.
When I was young, mathematics was the
passion of my life. The same passion has
returned upon me, but with unequal powers.
Processes which I then read off with the
facility of common discourse, now cost me
labor, and time, and slow investigation.
When I offered this, therefore, as one of the
reasons deciding my retirement from office,
it was offered in sincerity and a consciousness
of truth. And I think it a great blessing
that I retain understanding enough to be
sensible how much of it I have lost, and to
avoid exposing myself as a spectacle for the
pity of my friends; that I have surmounted
the difficult point of knowing when to retire.
As a compensation for faculties departed,
nature gives me good health, and a perfect
resignation to the laws of decay which she
has prescribed to all the forms and combinations
of matter.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. vi, 80. Ford ed., ix, 367.
(M. Oct. 1812)

194. AGE, Oppressed by.—[further continued].

The epistolary industry
* * * is gone from me. The aversion
has been growing on me for a considerable
time, and now, near the close of seventyfive,
is become almost insuperable. I am
much debilitated in body, and my memory
sensibly on the wane. Still, however, I enjoy
good health and spirits, and am as industrious
a reader as when a student at
college. Not of newspapers. These I have
discarded. I relinquish, as I ought to do,
all intermeddling with public affairs, committing
myself cheerfully to the watch and
care of those for whom, in my turn, I have
watched and cared.—
To Benjamin Waterhouse. Washington ed. vii, 100. Ford ed., x, 103.
(M. 1818)

195. AGE, Vigor in.—

It is objected * * * that Mr. Goodrich is seventy-seven years of
age; but at a much more advanced age, our
Franklin was the ornament of human nature.—
To The New Haven Committee. Washington ed. iv, 403. Ford ed., viii, 68.
(W. 1801)

196. AGE, Warned by.—

Time, which
wears all things, does not spare the energies
of body and mind of a presque octogenaire. While I could, I did what I could, and now
acquiesce cheerfully in the law of nature
which, by unfitting us for action, warns us to retire and leave to the generation of the
day the direction of its own affairs. The
prayers of an old man are the only contributions
left in his power.
To Mrs. K. D. Morgan. Ford ed., viii, 473.
(M. 1822)

197. AGE, Warned by.—[continued].

A decline of health at the
age of 76, was naturally to be expected, and
is a warning of an event which cannot be distant,
and whose approach I contemplate with
little concern; for indeed, in no circumstance
has nature been kinder to us, than in the
soft gradations by which she prepares us
to part willingly with what we are not destined
always to retain. First one faculty
is withdrawn and then another, sight, hearing,
memory, affection and friends, filched


Page 23
one by one, till we are left among strangers,
the mere monuments of times, facts, and
specimens of antiquity for the observation of
the curious.—
To Mr. Spafford. Washington ed. vii, 118.
(M. 1819)

198. AGE, Yielding to.—

I am not the
champion called for by our present dangers.
“Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis,
tempus eget.”
A waning body, a waning
mind, and waning memory, with habitual
ill health warn me to withdraw and relinquish
the arena to younger and abler athletes. I
am sensible myself, if others are not, that
this is my duty. If my distant friends know
it not, those around me can inform them that
they should not, in friendship, wish to call
me into conflicts, exposing only the decays
which nature has inscribed among her unalterable
laws, and injuring the common
cause by a senile and puny defence.—
To C. W. Glooch. Washington ed. vii, 430.
(M. 1826)

See Life.


See Foreign Agents.

199. AGGRESSION, Condemned.—

We did not invade their [the British peoples'] island,
carrying death or slavery to its inhabitants.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 475.
(July. 1775)

200. AGGRESSION, Encouraging.—

is to be lamented that any of our citizens, not
thinking with the mass of the nation as to the
principles of our government, or of its administration,
and seeing all its proceedings
with a prejudiced eye, should so misconceive
and misrepresent our situation as to encourage
aggressions from foreign nations. Our expectation
is, that their distempered views
will be understood by others as they are by
ourselves; but should wars be the consequence
of these delusions, and the errors of
our dissatisfied citizens find atonement only
in the blood of their sounder brethren, we
must meet it as an evil necessarily flowing
from that liberty of speaking and writing
which guards our other liberties.—
R. to Philadelphia Democratic Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 128.
(May. 1808)

— AGGRESSION, Equal Rights and.—

See Rights.

201. AGGRESSION, Maritime.—

ocean, which, like the air, is the common
birthright of mankind, is arbitrarily wrested
from us, and maxims, consecrated by time,
by usage, and by an universal sense of right,
are trampled on by superior force.—
R. to A. N. Y. Tammany Society. Washington ed. viii, 127.

See Ocean.

202. AGGRESSION, Military.—

We did
not embody a solidery to commit aggression
on them [the British people].—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 475.
(July. 1775)

203. AGGRESSION, Prohibited.—

will not permit aggressions to be committed
on our part, against which we remonstrated to
Spain on her part.—
To Robert Smith. Washington ed. v, 368.
(M. Sep. 1808)

204. AGGRESSION, Punishment for.—

The interests of a nation, when well understood,
will be found to coincide with
their moral duties. Among these it is an important
one to cultivate habits of peace and
friendship with our neighbors. To do this
we should make provisions for rendering
the justice we must sometimes require from
them. I recommend, therefore, to your consideration
whether the laws of the Union
should not be extended to restrain our citizens
from committing acts of violence within
the territories of other nations, which would
be punished were they committed within our
own. [16]
Paragraphs for President's Message. Ford ed., vi, 119.

See Filibusters.


Jefferson subsequently recast these paragraphs
as follows: “All observations are unnecessary on
the value of peace with other nations. It would be
wise however, by timely provisions, to guard against
those acts of our own citizens, which might tend to
disturb it, and to put ourselves in a condition to give
satisfaction to foreign nations, which we may sometimes
have occasion to require from them. I particularly
recommend to your consideration the means of
preventing those aggressions by our citizens on the
territory of other nations, and other infractions of
the law of nations, which, furnishing just subject of
complaint, might endanger our peace with them.”

205. AGITATION, Necessity for.—

In peace as well as in war, the mind must be
kept in motion.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 325. Ford ed., x, 280.
(M. 1823)

206. AGITATION, Submission.—

force of public opinion cannot be resisted,
when permitted freely to be expressed. The
agitation it produces must be submitted to.
It is necessary to keep the waters pure.—
To Marquis Layfayette Washington ed. vii, 325. Ford ed., x, 280.
(M. 1823)

207. AGRARIANISM, Laws of.—

tax on importations * * * falls exclusively
on the rich, and with the equal partition
of intestates' estates constitutes the best
agrarian law.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 584. Ford ed., ix, 321.
(M. 1811)
See Entails, Primogeniture, Monopoly.

208. AGRICULTURE, Art of.—

The first
and most precious of all the arts.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Ford ed., vii, 445.
(Pa., 1800)

209. AGRICULTURE, Atmosphere and.

—The atmosphere is certainly the great workshop
of nature for elaborating the fertilizing
principles and insinuating them into the soil.
It has been relied on as the sole means of regenerating
our soil by most of the land-holders
in the canton I inhabit, and where rest
has been resorted to before a total exhaustion,
the soil has never failed to recover.
If, indeed, it be so run down as to be incapable
of throwing weeds or herbage of any
kind, to shade the soil from the sun, it either
goes off in gullies, and is entirely lost, or
remains exhausted till a growth springs up of
such trees as will rise in the poorest soils.
Under the shade of these and the cover soon
formed of their deciduous leaves, and a
commencing herbage, such fields sometimes
recover in a long course of years; but this
is too long to be taken into a course of husbandry.


Page 24
Not so, however, is the term within
which the atmosphere alone will reintegrate
a soil rested in due season. A year of wheat
will be balanced by one, two, or three years
of rest and atmospheric influence, according
to the quality of the soil.—
To— Washington ed. iv, 224.
(Pa., 1798)

210. AGRICULTURE, Commerce and.

—With honesty and self-government for her
portion, agriculture may abandon contentedly
to others the fruits of commerce and
To Henry Middleton. Washington ed. vi, 91.
(M. Jan. 1813)

211. AGRICULTURE, Corn vs. pasturage.—

In every country as fully peopled as
France, it would seem good policy to encourage
the employment of its lands in the cultivation
of corn rather than in pasturage,
and consequently to encourage the use of all
kinds of salted provisions, because they can
be imported from other countries.—
To M. Neckar. Washington ed. iii, 120.
(P. 1789)

212. AGRICULTURE, Devastated.—

very considerable portion of this country
[France] has been desolated by a hail [storm] * * * Great contributions, public and
private, are making for the sufferers. But
they will be like the drop of water from the
finger of Lazarus. There is no remedy for
the present evil, but to bring the people to
such a state of ease, as not to be ruined
by the loss of a single crop. This hail May
be considered as the coup de grace to an expiring
To M. de Crevecoeur. Washington ed. ii, 458.
(P. Aug. 1788)

213. AGRICULTURE, Discrimination against.—

Shall we permit the greatest part
of the produce of our fields to rot on our
hands, or lose half its value by subjecting
it to high insurance, [in the event of war,] merely that our shipbuilders may have
brisker employ? Shall the whole mass of
our farmers be sacrificed to the class of shipwrights?—
Official Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 625.

214. AGRICULTURE, Encouragement of.—

[The] encouragement of agriculture, and
of commerce as its handmaid, I deem
[one of the] essential principles of our government
and, consequently [one] which ought
to shape its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 5.

215. AGRICULTURE, Equilibrium of.

—An equilibrium of agriculture, manufactures
and commerce is certainly become essential to
our independence.—
To James Jay. Washington ed. v, 440.
(M. 1809)

216. AGRICULTURE, Freedom of.—

Agriculture, manufactures, commerce and
navigation, the four pillars of our prosperity,
are the most thriving when left most free to
individual enterprise. Protection from casual
embarrassments, however, may sometimes be
seasonably interposed.—
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 13. Ford ed., viii, 123.
(Dec. 1801)

217. AGRICULTURE, French and English.—

I traversed England much, and own
both town and country fell short of my expectations.
Comparing it with France, I
found a much greater proportion of barrens,
a soil, in other parts, not naturally so good
as this, not better cultivated, but better manured,
and therefore more productive. This
proceeds from the practice of long leases
there, and short ones here.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 549. Ford ed., iv, 213.
(P. 1786)

218. AGRICULTURE, Grasses.—

I send
some seeds of a grass, found very useful
in the southern part of Europe, and particularly,
and almost solely cultivated in
Malta. It is called by the names of Sulla,
and Spanish St. Foin, and is the Hedysarum
coronarium of Linnaeus. It is usually sown
early in autumn.—
To William Drayton. Washington ed. i, 554.
(P. 1786)

219. AGRICULTURE, Grasses.—[continued].

I send a little Spanish
San Foin, represented to me as a very
precious grass in a hot country. I would
have it sowed in one of the vacant lots of my
grass ground.—
To Nicholas Lewis. Ford ed., iv, 344.
(P. 1786)

220. AGRICULTURE, Grasses.—[further continued].

I am much obliged to you
for your attention to my trees and grass. The
latter is one of the principal pillars on which
I shall rely for subsistence when I shall be at
liberty to try projects without injury to anybody.—
To Nicholas Lewis. Ford ed., iv, 343.
(P. 1786)

221. AGRICULTURE, Happiness and.

—The United States * * * will be more
virtuous, more free and more happy, employed
in agriculture, than as carriers or manufacturers.
It is a truth, and a precious one
for them, if they could be persuaded of it.—
To M. de Warville. Washington ed. ii, 11. Ford ed., iv, 281.
(P. 1786)

222. AGRICULTURE, Happiness and. [continued].

How far it may lessen our happiness to be rendered merely agricultural;
how far that state is more friendly to principles of virtue and liberty, are questions
yet to be solved.—
To Horatio Gates. Washington ed. iv, 213. Ford ed., vii, 205.
(Pa., 1798)

223. AGRICULTURE, Happiness and. [further continued].

In general, it is a truth that if every nation will employ itself. in
what it is fittest to produce, a greater quantity
will be raised of the things contributing
to human happiness, than if every nation attempts
to raise everything it wants within itself.—
To Mr. Lasteyrie. Washington ed. v, 315.
(W. 1808)

224. AGRICULTURE, Hunting and.—

A little labor in the earth will produce more food than the best hunts you can now make,
and the women will spin and weave more
clothing than the men can procure by hunting.
We shall very willingly assist you in
this course by furnishing you with the necessary
tools and implements, and with persons
to instruct you in the use of them.—
Address to Chickasaws. Washington ed. viii, 199.

225. AGRICULTURE, Income from.—

The moderate and sure income of husbandry


Page 25
begets permanent improvement, quiet, life,
and orderly conduct, both public and private.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 252.
(P. 1787)

226. AGRICULTURE, Land, labor and.—

The indifferent state of agriculture
among us does not proceed from a want of
knowledge merely; it is from our having such
quantities of to waste as we please. In
Europe the object is to make the most of
their land, labor being abundant; here it is
to make the most of our labor, land being
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 332. Ford ed., iii, 190.

227. AGRICULTURE, Manufactures, commerce and.—

I trust the good sense of
our country will see that its greatest prosperity
depends on a due balance between agriculture,
manufactures and commerce.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. v, 417. Ford ed., ix, 239.
(W. 1809)

228. AGRICULTURE, Model plow.—

shall with great pleasure attend to the construction
and transmission to the Society
[Agricultural Society of Paris] of a plow
with my mould board. This is the only part
of that useful instrument to which I have
paid any particular attention. But knowing
how much the perfection of the plough must
depend, 1st, on the line of traction; 2nd, on
the direction of the share; 3rd, on the angle
of the wing; 4th, on the form of the mould
board; and persuaded that I shall find the
three first advantages, eminently exemplified
in that which the Society sends me, I am anxious
to see combined with these a mould-board
of my form, in the hope it will still advance
the perfection of that machine.—
To M. Sylvestre. Washington ed. v, 313.
(W. 1808)

229. AGRICULTURE, Model plow.—[continued].

I have received the medal
of gold by which the Society of Agriculture
at Paris have been pleased to mark their approbation
of a form of the mould-board which
I had proposed; also * * * the information
that they had honored me with the title of foreign
associate to their society. I receive with
great thankfulness these testimonies of their
favor, and should be happy to merit them by
greater services.—
To M. Sylvestre. Washington ed. v, 83.
(W. 1807)

230. AGRICULTURE, Morals and.—

The pursuits of agriculture * * * are the
best preservative of morals.—
To J. Blair. Washington ed. ii, 248.
(Pa., 1787)

231. AGRICULTURE, New cultures.—

The greatest service which can be rendered
any country is to add an useful plant to its
culture; especially a bread grain; next in
value to bread is oil.—
Services of Jefferson. Washington ed. i, 176. Ford ed., vii, 477.

232. AGRICULTURE, New cultures.—[continued].

Perhaps I may render
some service by forwarding to the [Agricultural] Society [17] [of South Carolina] such new
objects of culture, as may be likely to succeed
in the soil and climate of South Carolina.
In an infant country, as ours is, these
experiments are important. We are probably
far from possessing, as yet, all the articles of
culture for which nature has fitted our country.
To find out these, will require abundance
of unsuccessful experiments. But if, in a
multitude of these, we make one useful acquisition,
it repays our trouble. Perhaps it is
the peculiar duty of associated bodies to undertake
these experiments. Under this sense
of the views of the society, * * * I shall be
attentive to procure for them the seeds of
such plants as they will be so good as to
point out to me, or as shall occur to myself as
worthy their notice.—
To William Drayton. Washington ed. i, 554.
(P. 1786)


The Society had elected Jefferson a member.——Editor.

233. AGRICULTURE, New cultures.—[further continued].

I received the seeds of the bread-tree. * * * One service of this kind
rendered to a nation, is worth more to them
than all the victories of the most splendid
pages of their history, and becomes a source
of exalted pleasure to those who have been instrumental
in it.—
To M. Giraud. Washington ed. iv, 175.

234. AGRICULTURE, New cultures.—[further continued] .

The introduction of new
cultures, and especially of objects of leading
importance to our comfort, is certainly worthy
the attention of every government, and nothing
short of the actual experiment should discourage
an essay of which any hope can be
To M. Lasteyrie. Washington ed. v, 315.
(W. 1808 )

235. AGRICULTURE, Prosperity and.

—A prosperity built on the basis of agriculture
is that which is most desirable to us,
because to the efforts of labor it adds the efforts
of a greater proportion of soil.—
Circular to Consuls. Washington ed. iii, 431.
(Pa., 17921792)gt;
See 216.

236. AGRICULTURE, Prostration of.—

The long succession of years of stunted crops,
of reduced prices, the general prostration of
the farming business, under levies for the
support of manufacturers, &c., with the calamitous
fluctuations of value in our paper
medium, have kept agriculture in a state of
abject depression, which has peopled the
western States by silently breaking up those
on the Atlantic, and glutted the land market,
while it drew off its bidders. In such a state
of things, property has lost its character of
being a resource for debts. Highland in Belford,
which, in the days of our plethory,
sold readily for from fifty to one hundred
dollars the acre, (and such sales were many
then,) would not now sell for more than
from ten to twenty dollars, or one-quarter or
one-fifth of its former price.—
To James Madison. vii, 434.
Ford ed., x, 377.
(M. Feb. 1826)


See Rice.

237. AGRICULTURE, Riches and.—

The pursuits of agriculture are the surest road to affluence.—
To J. Blair. ii, 248.
(P. 1787)

238. AGRICULTURE, Rotation of crops.—

By varying the articles of culture, we
multiply the chances for making something


Page 26
and disarm the seasons in a proportionable
degree, of their calamitous effect.—
To William Drayton. Washington ed. ii, 199.
(P. 1787)

239. AGRICULTURE, Rotation of crops.—[continued].

I find * * * that a ten years abandonment of my lands to the ravages
of overseers, has brought on them a degree
of degradation far beyond what I had
expected. As this obliges me to adopt a
milder course of cropping, * * * I have determined
on a division of my farm into six
fields, to be put under this rotation: first year,
wheat; second, corn, potatoes, peas; third,
rye or wheat, according to circumstances;
fourth and fifth, clover where the fields will
bring it, and buckwheat dressings where they
will not; sixth, folding, and buckwheat dressings.
But it will take me from three to six
years to get this plan under way.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iv, 106. Ford ed., vi, 509.
(M. May. 1794)

240. AGRICULTURE, Rotation of crops.—[further continued].

I find the degradation of
my lands by ill usage much beyond what I had
expected, and at the same time much more
open land than I had calculated on. One of
these circumstances forces a milder course of
cropping on me, and the other enables me to
adopt it. I drop, therefore, two crops in my
rotation, and instead of five crops in eight
years, take three in six years, in the following
order. 1. Wheat. 2. Corn and potatoes
in the strongest moiety, potatoes alone or
pease alone in the other moiety, according to
its strength. 3. Wheat or rye. 4. Clover. 6.
Folding and buckwheat dressing. In such of
my fields as are too much worn for clover, I
propose to try St. Foin, which I know will
grow in the poorest land, bring plentiful
crops, and is a great ameliator.—
To John Taylor. Ford ed., vi, 506.
(M. 1794)

241. AGRICULTURE, Rotation of crops.—[further continued] .

It has been said that no
rotation of crops will keep the earth in the
same degree of fertility without the aid of
manure. But it is well known here that a
space of rest greater or less in spontaneous
herbage, will restore the exhaustion of a
single crop. This then is a rotation; and as
it is not to be believed that spontaneous herbage
is the only or best covering during rest,
so may we expect that a substitute for it May
be found which will yield profitable crops.
Such perhaps are clover, peas, vetches, &c.
A rotation then may be found, which by giving
time for the slow influence of the atmosphere,
will keep the soil in a constant and
equal state of fertility. But the advantage of
manuring is that it will do more in one than
the atmosphere would require several years
to do, and consequently enables you so much
the oftener to take exhausting crops from the
soil, a circumstance of importance where
there is much more labor than land.—
To—. Washington ed. iv, 225.
(Pa., 1798)

242. AGRICULTURE, Rotation of crops.—[further continued].

I have lately received the proceedings of the Agricultural Society of
Paris. * * * I have been surprised to find
that the rotation of crops and substitution of
some profitable growth preparatory for grain,
instead of the useless and expensive fallow,
is yet only dawning among them.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. v, 224.
(W. 1808)

243. AGRICULTURE, Societies—

I have
on several occasions been led to think on some
means of uniting the State agricultural societies
into a central society; and lately it has
been pressed from England with a view to
a cooperation with their Board of Agriculture.
You know some have proposed to Congress
to incorporate such a society. I am
against that, because I think Congress cannot
find in all the enumerated powers any one
which authorizes the act, much less the giving
the public money to that use. I believe, too,
if they had the power, it would soon be used
for no other purpose than to buy with sinecures
useful partisans. I believe it will thrive
best if left to itself, as the Philosophical Societies
are. There is certainly a much greater
abundance of material for Agricultural Societies
than Philosophical. But what should
be the plan of union? Would it do for the
State societies to agree to meet in a central
society by a deputation of members? If this
should present difficulties, might they not be
lessened by their adopting into their society
some one or more of their delegates in Congress,
or of the members of the Executive
residing here, who assembling necessarily for
other purposes, could occasionally meet on
the business of their societies? Your [New
York] Agricultural Society, standing undoubtedly
on the highest ground, might set
the thing agoing by writing to such State societies
as already exist, and these once meeting
centrally might induce the other States to
establish societies, and thus complete the institution.
This is a mere idea of mine, not
sufficiently considered or digested, and hazarded
merely to set you to thinking on the
subject, and propose something better or to
improve this. Will you be so good as to consider
it at your leisure, and give me your
thoughts on the subject?—
To Robert R. Livingston. Ford ed., vii, 492.
(W. Feb. 1801)

244. AGRICULTURE, Societies—[continued].

Our Agricultural Society
has at length formed itself. Like our American
Philosophical Society, it is voluntary, and
unconnected with the public, and is precisely
an execution of the plan I formerly sketched
to you. Some State societies have been
formed heretofore; the other States will do
the same. Each State society names two of
its members of Congress to be their members
in the Central Society, which is of course together
during the sessions of Congress. They
are to select matter from the proceedings of
the State societies, and to publish it. * * * Mr. Madison, the Secretary of State, is their
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. iv, 491.
(W. 1803)

245. AGRICULTURE, Societies—[further continued].

Were practical and observing
husbandmen in each county to form themselves
into a society, commit to writing themselves,
or state in conversations at their meetings
to be written down by others, their practices,
and observations, their experiences and
ideas, selections from these might be made


Page 27
from time to time by every one for his own
use, or by the society or a committee of it,
for more general purposes. By an interchange
of these selections among the societies of the
different counties, each might thus become
possessed of the useful ideas and processes of
the whole; and every one adopt such of them
as he should deem suitable to his own situation.
Or to abridge the labor of such multiplied
correspondences, a central society
might be agreed on to which, as a common
deposit, all the others should send their communications.
The society thus honored by
the general confidence would doubtless feel
and fulfil the duty of selecting such papers as
should be worthy of entire communication, of
extracting and digesting from others whatever
might be useful, and of condensing their
matter within such compass as might reconcile
it to the reading, as well as to the purchase
of the great mass of practical men.
Many circumstances would recommend, for
the central society, that which should be established
in the county of the seat of government.—
Plan for Agricultural Societies. Washington ed. ix, 480.

246. AGRICULTURE, Strawberry.—

There are two or three objects which you
should endeavor to enrich our country with.
One is the Alpine strawberry.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 21.
(M. 1795)

247. AGRICULTURE, Support from.—

Agriculture is the basis of the subsistence,
the comforts and the happiness of man.—
To Baron de Moll. Washington ed. vi, 363.
(M. 1814)

248. AGRICULTURE, Threshing machine.—

I shall thank you most sincerely for
the model of the threshing machine, besides
replacing the expense of it. The threshing
out our wheat immediately after harvest being
the only preservative against the weavil in
Virginia, the service you will thereby render
that State will make you to them a second
To Thomas Pinckney. Ford ed., vi, 214.
(Pa., 1793)

249. AGRICULTURE, Tobacco.—

is a culture productive of infinite
wretchedness. Those employed in it are in a
continual state of exertion beyond the power
of nature to support. Little food of any kind
is raised by them; so that the men and animals
on these farms are badly fed, and the
earth is rapidly impoverished. The cultivation
of wheat is the reverse in every circumstance.
Besides clothing the earth with herbage,
and preserving its fertility, it feeds the
laborers plentifully, requires from them only
a moderate toil, except in the season of harvest,
raises great numbers of animals for food
and service, and diffuses plenty and happiness
among the whole. We find it easier to make
an hundred bushels of wheat than a thousand
weight of tobacco, and they are worth more
when made—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 407. Ford ed., iii, 271.

250. AGRICULTURE, Utility.—

is the most useful of the occupations
of man.—
To M. Silvestre. Washington ed. v, 83.
(W. 1807)

251. AGRICULTURE, Virginia.—

Good husbandry with us consists in abandoning Indian
corn and tobacco; tending small grain, some
red clover, fallowing, and endeavoring to have,
while the lands are at rest, a spontaneous
cover of white clover. I do not present this
as a culture judicious in itself, but as good,
in comparison with what most people there
pursue. Mr. [Arthur] Young has never had
an opportunity of seeing how slowly the fertility
of the soil is exhausted, with moderate
management of it. I can affirm that the James
River low-grounds, with the cultivation of small
grain, will never be exhausted; because we
know, that, under that condition, we must now
and then take them down with Indian corn, or
they become, as they were originally, too rich
to bring wheat. The highlands where I
live, have been cultivated about sixty years.
The culture was tobacco and Indian corn, as
long as they would bring enough to pay the
labor; then they were turned out. After four
or five years rest, they would bring good corn
again, and in double that time, perhaps, good
tobacco. Then they would be exhausted by a
second series of tobacco and corn.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iv, 4. Ford ed., vi, 83.


See 249, and Wheat.

252. AGRICULTURE, Wisest of pursuits.—

Agriculture is the wisest pursuit of
To R. Izard. Washington ed. i, 442.
(P. 1785)

253. AGRICULTURE, Wisest of pursuits.—[continued].

Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute
most to real wealth, good morals and happiness.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 252.
(P. 1787)

254. AGRICULTURE, Writings on.—

Writings on agriculture are peculiarly pleasing
to me, for, as they tell us, we are sprung
from the earth, so to that we naturally return.
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. v, 224.
(W. 1808)

See Farmers and Farming.


Jefferson was always an enthusiast in agriculture.
He was never too busy to find time to note the dates
of the planting and the ripening of his vegetables
and fruits. He left behind him a table enumerating
thirty-seven esculents, and showing the earliest date
of the appearance of each one of them in the Washington
market in each of eight successive years. He
had ever a quick observation and a keen intelligence
ready for every fragment of new knowledge or hint
of a useful invention in the way of field work. All
through his busy official life, abroad and at home, he
appears ceaselessly to have an eye on the soil and
one ear open to its cultivators; he is always comparing
varying methods and results, sending new seeds
hither and thither, making suggestions, trying experiments,
till, in the presence of his enterprise and
activity, one begins to think that the stagnating
character so commonly attributed to the Virginia
planters must be fabulous.—John T. Morse, Jr., Life
of Jefferson.

— AIR.—

See 209.


See Appendix.

255. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Character of.—

A more virtuous man. I believe,
does not exist, nor one who is more enthusiastically
devoted to better the condition of
mankind. He will probably, one day, fall a
victim to it, as a monarch of that principle
does not suit a Russian noblesse. He is not
of the very first order of understanding, but


Page 28
he is of a high one. He has taken a peculiar
affection to this country and its government,
of which he has given me public as well as
personal proofs. Our nation being, like his,
habitually neutral, our interests as to neutral
rights, and our sentiments agree. And whenever
conferences for peace shall take place, we
are assured of a friend in him. In fact, although
in questions of restitution he will be
with England, in those of neutral rights he
will be with Bonaparte, and with every other
power in the world except England; and I do
presume that England will never have peace
until she subscribes to a just code of marine
law. I am confident that Russia (while her
present monarch lives) is the most cordially
friendly to us of any power on earth, will go
furthest to serve us, and is most worthy of
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 140. Ford ed., ix, 120.
(W. June. 1807)

256. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Character of.—[continued].

I owe an acknowledgment
to your Imperial Majesty for the great
satisfaction I have received from your letter
of Aug. 20th, 1895, and embrace the opportunity
it affords of giving expression to the sincere
respect and veneration I entertain for your
character. It will be among the latest and most
soothing comforts of my life, to have seen advanced
to the government of so extensive a
portion of the earth, and at so early a period
of his life, a sovereign whose ruling passion
is the advancement of the happiness and
prosperity of his people; and not of his own
people only, but who can extend his eye and
his good will to a distant and infant nation,
unoffending in its course, unambitious in its
To the Emperor of Russia. Washington ed. v, 7. Ford ed., viii, 430.
(W. April. 1806)

257. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, France and.—

I have no doubt that the firmness
of Alexander in favor of France, after
the disposition of Bonaparte, has saved that
country from evils still more severe than she
is suffering, and perhaps even from partition.—
To George Logan. Washington ed. vii, 20.
(M. 1816)

258. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Friendliness to U. S.—

Of Alexander's sense
of the merits of our form of government, of its
wholesome operation on the condition of the
people, and of the interest he takes in the
success of our experiment, we possess the most
unquestionable proofs; and to him we shall be
indebted if the rights of neutrals, to be settled
whenever peace is made, shall be extended
beyond the present belligerents; that is to say,
European neutrals, as George and Napoleon, of
mutual consent and common hatred against
us, would concur in excluding us. I thought
it a salutary measure to engage the powerful patronage
of Alexander at conferences for peace,
at a time when Bonaparte was courting him;
and although circumstances have lessened its
weight, yet it is prudent for us to cherish his
good dispositions, as those alone which will
be exerted in our favor when that occasion
shall occur. He, like ourselves, sees and feels
the atrociousness of both the belligerents.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 553. Ford ed., ix, 287.
(M. Nov. 1810)

259. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Friendliness to U. S.—[continued].

He is the only sovereign
who cordially loves us.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 553. Ford ed., ix, 287.
(M. 1810)

260. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Gift of Books to.—

A little before Dr. Priestley's
death, he informed me that he had received
intimations, through a channel he confided in,
that the Emperor entertained a wish to know
something of our Constitution. I have, therefore,
selected the two best works we have on
that subject, for which I pray you to ask a
place in his library.—
To Mr. Harris. Washington ed. v, 6.
(W. 1806)

261. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Mission to.—

Desirous of promoting useful intercourse
and good understanding between
your Majesty's subjects and the citizens of the
United States and especially to cultivate the
friendship of your Majesty, I have appointed
William Short, [19] one of our distinguished citizens,
to be in quality of Minister Plenipotentiary
of the United States, the bearer to
you of assurances of their sincere friendship,
and of their desire to maintain with your
Majesty and your subjects the strictest relations
of amity and commerce; he will explain to your
Majesty the peculiar position of these States,
separated by a wide ocean from the powers
of Europe, with interests and pursuits distinct
from theirs, and consequently without the
motives or the appetites for taking part in the
associations or oppositions which a different
system of interests produces among them: he
is charged to assure your Majesty more particularly
of our purpose to observe a faithful
neutrality towards the contending powers, in
the war to which your Majesty is a party,
rendering to all the services and courtesies of
friendship, and praying for the reestablishment
of peace and right among them; and we entertain
an entire confidence that this just and
faithful conduct on the part of the United
States will strengthen the friendly dispositions
you have manifested towards them, and be a
fresh motive with so just and magnanimous
a sovereign to enforce, by the high influence of
your example, the respect due to the character
and the rights of a peaceable nation.—
To the Emperor of Russia. Washington ed. v, 358. Ford ed., ix, 206.
(W. Aug. 1808)


Mr. Short's appointment was negatived by the
senate partly on personal grounds, but more especially
because of an unwillingness to increase the
diplomatic establishment.—Editor.

262. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Neutral Rights and.—

The northern nations of
Europe, at the head of which your Majesty
is distinguished, are habitually peaceable. The
United States of America, like them, are
attached to peace. We have then with them
a common interest in the neutral rights. Every
nation indeed, on the continent of Europe.
belligerent as well as neutral, is interested
in maintaining these rights, liberalizing them
progressively with the progress of science and
refinement of morality, and in relieving them
from restrictions which the extension of the
arts has long since rendered unreasonable and
To the Emperor of Russia. Washington ed. v, 8. Ford ed., viii, 440.
(W. April. 1806)

263. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Neutral Rights and.—[continued].

The events of Europe
come to us so late, and so suspiciously, that
observations on them would certainly be stale,
and possibly wide of their actual state. From
their general aspect, however, I collect that
your Majesty's interposition in them has been
disinterested and generous, and having in view
only the general good of the great European
family. When you shall proceed to the pacification
which is to reestablish peace and commerce,
the same dispositions of mind will lead
you to think of the general intercourse of
nations, and to make that provision for its


Page 29
future maintenance which, in times past, it has
so much needed.—
To The Emperor of Russia. Washington ed. v, 8. Ford ed., viii, 439.
(W. April. 1806)

264. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Neutral Rights and.—[further continued].

Having taken no part in
the past or existing troubles of Europe, we have
no part to act in its pacification. But as
principles may then be settled in which we have
a deep interest, it is a great happiness for us
that we are placed under the protection of
an umpire, who, looking beyond the narrow
bounds of an individual nation, will take under
the cover of his equity the rights of the absent
and unrepresented. It is only by a happy
concurrence of good characters and good
occasions, that a step can now and then be
taken to advance the well-being of nations.
If the present occasion be good, I am sure your
Majesty's character will not be wanting to
avail the world of it. By monuments of such
good offices, may your life become an epoch
in the history of the condition of man; and May
He who called it into being, for the good of
the human family, give it length of days and
success, and have it always in His holy keeping.—
To the Emperor of Russia. Washington ed. v, 8. Ford ed., viii, 440.
(W. April. 1806)

265. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Neutral Rights and.—[further continued] .

Two personages in Europe,
of which your Majesty is one, have it
in their power, at the approaching pacification,
to render eminent service to nations in general,
by incorporating into the act of pacification a
correct definition of the rights of neutrals on
the high seas. Such a definition declared by all
the powers lately or still belligerent, would give
to those rights a precision and notoriety, and
cover them with an authority, which would protect
them in an important degree against future
violation; and should any further sanction
be necessary, that of an exclusion of the violating
nation from commercial intercourse with
all the others, would be preferred to war, as
more analogous to the offence, more easily and
likely to be executed with good faith. The
essential articles of these rights, too, are so
few and simple as to be easily defined.—
To the Emperor of Russia. Washington ed. v, 8. Ford ed., viii, 440.
(W. April. 1806)

266. [continued].

That the Emperor May
be able, whenever a pacification takes place,
to show himself the father and friend of the
human race, to restore to nations the moral
laws which have governed their intercourse,
and to prevent, forever, a repetition of those
ravages by sea and land, which will distinguish
the present as an age of Vandalism, I
sincerely pray.—
To Count Pahlen. Washington ed. v, 527.
(M. 1810)

267. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Reform and.—

The apparition of such a man
[as Alexander] on a throne is one of the phenomena
which will distinguish the present epoch
so remarkable in the history of man. But he
must have an herculean task to devise and
establish the means of securing freedom and
happiness to those who are not capable of
taking care of themselves. Some preparation
seems necessary to qualify the body of a nation
for self-government. Who could have thought
the French nation incapable of it? Alexander
will doubtless begin at the right end, by taking
means for diffusing instruction and a sense of
their natural rights through the mass of his
people, and for relieving them in the meantime
from actual oppression.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Ford ed., viii, 179.
(W. Nov. 1802)

268. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Reform and.—[continued].

The information * * * as
to Alexander kindles a great deal of interest
in his existence, and strong spasms of the
heart in his favor. Though his means of doing
good are great, yet the materials on which he is
to work are refractory. Whether he engages
in private correspondences abroad, as the King
of Prussia did much, his grandfather sometimes,
I know not; but certainly such a correspondence
would be very interesting to those
who are sincerely anxious to see mankind
raised from their present abject condition.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. iv, 452. Ford ed., viii, 177.
(W. Nov. 1802)

269. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Tribute to.—

I am much flattered by the kind notice
of the Emperor, which you have been
so obliging as to communicate to me. The
approbation of the good is always consoling;
but that of a sovereign whose station and endowments
are so pre-eminent, is received with
a sensibility which the veneration for his character
inspires. Among other motives of commiseration
which the calamities of Europe cannot
fail to excite in every virtuous mind, the
interruption which these have given to the
benevolent views of the Emperor, is prominent.
The accession of a sovereign, with the dispositions
and qualifications to improve the condition
of a great nation, and to place its happiness
on a permanent basis, is a phenomenon
so rare in the annals of mankind that when the
blessing occurs, it is lamentable that any
portion of it should be usurped by occurrences
of the character we have seen. If separated
from these scenes by an ocean of a thousand
leagues breadth, they have required all our cares
to keep aloof from their desolating effects,
I can readily conceive how much more they
must occupy those to whose territories they are
To Count Pahlen. Washington ed. v, 526.
(M. 1810)

270. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Triumphs of.—

To the wonders of Bonaparte's
rise and fall, we may add that of a Czar of
Muscovy, dictating, in Paris, laws and limits
to all the successors of the Caesars, and holding
even the balance in which the fortunes of this
new world are suspended.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 353. Ford ed., ix, 461.
(M. 1814)

271. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Vienna Congress and.—

The magnanimity of
Alexander's conduct on the first capture of
Paris still magnified everything we had believed
of him; but how he will come out of his
present trial remains to be seen. That the
sufferings which France had inflicted on other
countries justified severe reprisals, cannot be
questioned; but I have not yet learned what
crimes of Poland, Saxony, Belgium, Venice,
Lombardy and Genoa, had merited for them,
not merely a temporary punishment, but that
of permanent subjugation and a destitution
of independence and self-government. The
fable of AEsop of the lion dividing the spoils,
is, I fear, becoming true history, and the moral
code of Napoleon and the English government
a substitute for that of Grotius, of Puffendorf,
and even of the pure doctrine of the great author
of our holy religion.—
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. vi, 497.
(M. Oct. 1815)

272. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Vienna Congress and.—[continued].

His character is undoubtedly
good, and the world, I think, may expect
good effects from it. * * * I sincerely wish that the history of the secret proceedings
at Vienna may become known, and may reconcile
to our good opinion of him his participation
in the demolition of ancient and independent
States, transferring them and their


Page 30
inhabitants as farms and stocks of cattle at a
market to other owners, and even taking a
part of the spoil himself. It is possible to suppose
a case excusing this, and my partiality for
his character encourages me to expect it, and to
impute to others, known to have no moral
scruples, the crimes, of that conclave, who
under pretence of punishing the atrocities of
Bonaparte, reached them themselves, and
proved that with equal power they were equally
To Dr. Logan. Washington ed. vii, 20.
(M. 1816)

273. ALEXANDER OF RUSSIA, Virtues of.—

I had * * * formed the most
favorable opinion of the virtues of Alexander,
and considered his partiality to this country as
a prominent proof of them.—
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. vi, 497.
(M. 1815)

274. ALEXANDRIA, Baltimore and.—

It is not amiss to encourage Alexandria, because
it is a rival in the very bosom of Baltimore.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 19.
(P. 1784)

275. ALEXANDRIA, Future of.—

Alexandria on the Potomac will undoubtedly
become a very great place, but Norfolk would
be best for cotton manufactures.—
To M. De La Valee. Washington ed. i, 430.
(P. 1785)


See Barbary Powers and 1137.

276. ALIENAGE, Law of Violated.—

The bill for establishing a National Bank undertakes
* * * to form the subscribers into a corporation, [and] to enable them, in their
corporate capacities, to make alien subscribers
capable of holding lands; and so far is
against the laws of Alienage.
Opinion on the Bank Bill. Washington ed. vii, 555. Ford ed., v, 284.
(Feb. 1791)


—See Territory.


One of the war party, in a fit of
unguarded passion, declared some time ago
they would pass a citizen bill, an alien bill,
and a sedition bill; accordingly, some days
ago, Coit laid a motion on the table of the
House of Representatives for modifying the
citizen law. Their threats point at Gallatin,
and it is believed they will endeavor to reach
him by this bill. Yesterday Mr. Hillhouse
laid on the table of the Senate a motion for
giving power to send away suspected aliens.
This understood to be meant for Volney and
Collot. But it will not stop there when it
gets into a course of execution. There is now
only wanting, to accomplish the whole declaration
before mentioned, a sedition bill,
which we shall certainly soon see proposed.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 237. Ford ed., vii, 244.
(Pa., April 26 1798 )

278. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Introduction of.—

They have brought into
the lower House a sedition bill, which, among
other enormities, undertakes to make printing
certain matters criminal, though one of the
amendments to the Constitution has so expressly
taken religion, printing presses, &c.
out of their coercion. Indeed this bill, and the
alien bill are both so palpably in the teeth of
the Constitution as to show they mean to
pay no respect to it.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 266.
(Pa., June. 1798)

279. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Petitions against.—

Petitions and remonstrances
against the Alien and Sedition laws
are coming from various parts of New York,
Jersey and Pennsylvania. * * * I am in hopes
Virginia will stand so countenanced by those
States as to repress the wishes of the Government
to coerce her, which they might venture
on if they supposed she would be left
alone. Firmness on our part, but a passive
firmness, is the true course. Anything rash or
threatening might check the favorable dispositions
of these middle States, and rally them
again around the measures which are ruining
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 279. Ford ed., vii, 341.
(Pa., Jan. 1799)

280. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Planning Insurrection against.—

In Pennsylvania,
we fear that the ill-designing May
produce insurrection [against the Alien and
Sedition laws]. Nothing could be so fatal.
Anything like force would check the progress
of the public opinion, and rally them around
the government. This is not the kind of opposition
the American people will permit.
But keep away all show of force, and they
will bear down the evil propensities of the
government, by the constitutional means of
election and petition.—
To Edward Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 287. Ford ed., vii, 356.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

281. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Planning Insurrection against.—[continued].

Several parts of this
State [Pennsylvania] are so violent that we
fear an insurrection. This will be brought
about by some if they can. It is the only
thing we have to fear. The appearance of an
attack of force against the government would
check the present current of the middle
states, and rally them around the government;
whereas if suffered to go on, it will
pass on to a reformation of abuses.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. iv, 286. Ford ed., vii, 354.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)


Yesterday witnessed a scandalous
scene in the House of Representatives.
It was the day for taking up the report of
their committee against the Alien and Sedition
laws, &c. They [the Federalists] held a
caucus and determined that not a word should
be spoken on their side, in answer to anything
which should be said on the other. Gallatin
took up the Alien, and Nicholas the Sedition
law; but after a little while of common silence,
they began to enter into loud conversations,
laugh, cough, &c., so that for the last
hour of these gentlemen's speaking, they must
have had the lungs of a vendue master to
have been heard. Livingston, however, attempted
to speak. But after a few sentences,
the Speaker called him to order, and told him
what he was saying was not to the question.
It was impossible to proceed. The question
was carried in favor of the report, 52 to 48;


Page 31
the real strength of the two parties is 56 to 50.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 298. Ford ed., vii, 371.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)


I consider these laws as merely
an experiment on the American mind, to see
how far it will bear an avowed violation of
the Constitution. If this goes down, we shall
immediately see attempted another act of
Congress, declaring that the President shall
continue in office during life, reserving to another
occasion the transfer of the succession
to the heirs, and the establishment of the
Senate for life. At least, this may be the
aim of the Oliverians, while Monk and the
Cavaliers, (who are perhaps the strongest,)
may be playing their game for the restoration
of his most gracious Majesty, George III.
That these things are in contemplation, I
have no doubt; nor can I be confident of
their failure, after the dupery of which our
countrymen have shown themselves susceptible.—
To S. T. Mason. Washington ed. iv, 258. Ford ed., vii, 283.
(M. 1798)

284. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Suits under.—

I discharged every person
under punishment or prosecution under the
Sedition law, because I considered, and now
consider, that law to be a nullity, as absolute
and as palpable as if Congress had ordered us
to fall down and worship a golden image;
and that it was as much my duty to arrest
its execution in every stage, as it would have
been to have rescued from the fiery furnace
those who should have been cast into it for
refusing to worship the image. It was accordingly
done in every instance, without
asking what the offenders had done, or
against whom they had offended, but whether
the pains they were suffering were inflicted
under the pretended Sedition law.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 536. Ford ed., viii, 309.
(W. July. 1804)

285. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Suits under.—[continued].

With respect to the dismission
of the prosecutions for sedition in
Connecticut, it is well known to have been
a tenet of the republican portion of our fellow
citizens, that the Sedition law was contrary
to the Constitution and, therefore, void. On
this ground I considered it as a nullity whenever
I met it in the course of my duties; and
on this ground I directed nolle prosequis in
all the prosecutions which had been instituted
under it; and, as far as the public sentiment
can be inferred from the occurrences of
the day, we must say that this opinion had
the sanction of the nation. The prosecutions,
therefore, which were afterwards instituted
in Connecticut, of which two were against
printers, two against preachers, and one
against a judge, were too inconsistent with
this principle to be permitted to go on. We
were bound to administer to others the same
measure of law, not which they had meted
to us, but we to ourselves, and to extend to
all equally the protection of the same constitutional
principles. These prosecutions, too,
were chiefly for charges against myself, and
I had from the beginning laid it down as a
rule to notice nothing of the kind. I believed
that the long course of services in which I
had acted on the public stage, and under the
eye of my fellow citizens, furnished better
evidence to them of my character and principles,
than the angry invectives of adverse
partisans in whose eyes the very acts most
approved by the majority were subjects of
the greatest demerit and censure. These
prosecutions against them, therefore, were to
be dismissed as a matter of duty—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. vi, 332. Ford ed., ix, 456.
(M. 1814)

286. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Tyrannical.—

If the Alien and Sedition Acts
should stand, these conclusions would flow
from them: that the General Government
may place any act they think proper on the
list of crimes, and punish it themselves
whether enumerated or not enumerated by
the Constitution as cognizable by them: that
they may transfer its cognizance to the President,
or any other person, who may himself
be the accuser, counsel, judge and jury,
whose suspicion may be the evidence, his
order the sentence, his officer the executioner,
and his breast the sole record of the transaction:
that a very numerous and valuable description
of the inhabitants of these states
being, by this precedent, reduced, as outlaws,
to the absolute dominion of one man, and
the barrier of the Constitution thus swept
away from us all, no rampart now remains
against the passions and the powers of a majority
in Congress to protect from a like exportation,
or other more grievous punishment,
the minority of the same body, the
legislatures, judges, governors, and counsellors
of the States, nor their other peaceable
inhabitants, who may venture to reclaim the
constitutional rights and liberties of the
States and people, or who for other causes,
good or bad, may be obnoxious to the views,
or marked by the suspicions of the President,
or be thought dangerous to his or their
election, or other interests, public or personal:
that the friendless alien has indeed
been selected as the safest subject of a
first experiment; but the citizen will soon
follow, or rather, has already followed,
for already has a Sedition Act marked
him as its prey: that these and successive
acts of the same character, unless arrested
at the threshold, necessarily drive these
States into revolution and blood, and
will furnish new calumnies against republican
government, and new pretexts for those
who wish it to be believed that man cannot
be governed but by a rod of iron.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 469. Ford ed., vii, 302.

287. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Unconstitutional.—

For the present, I should
be for resolving the Alien and Sedition laws
to be against the Constitution and merely
void, and for addressing the other States to
obtain similar declarations; and I would not
do anything at this moment which should
commit us further, but reserve ourselves to


Page 32
shape our future measures, or no measures,
by the events which may happen.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 260. Ford ed., vii, 311.
(M. Nov. 1798)

288. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Unconstitutional.—[continued].

Alien friends are under
the jurisdiction and protection of the laws of
the State wherein they are: no power over
them has been delegated to the United States,
nor prohibited to the individual States, distinct
from their power over citizens. And it
being true as a general principle, and one of
the amendments to the Constitution having
also declared that “the powers not delegated
to the United States by the Constitution, nor
prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to
the States respectively, or to the people,” the
act of the Congress of the United States,
passed on the—day of July, 1798, intituled
“An Act concerning Aliens,” which assumes
powers over alien friends, not delegated by
the Constitution, is not law, but is altogether
void, and of no force.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 466. Ford ed., vii, 296.

289. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Viciousness of.—

The Alien bill * * * is a most detestable thing.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 244. Ford ed., vii, 260.
(Pa., May. 1798)

290. ALIEN AND SEDITION LAWS, Viciousness of.—[continued].

That libel on legislation.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 374. Ford ed., viii, 22.
(W. March. 1801)

See Sedition Law.

291. ALIENS, Forcible Removal of.—

addition to the general principle, as well as
the express declaration, that powers not
delegated are reserved, another and more
special provision, inserted in the Constitution
from abundant caution, has declared that
“the migration or importation of such persons
as any of the States now existing shall
think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited
by the Congress prior to the year 1808.” * * * This Commonwealth [Kentucky] does admit
the migration of alien friends, described as
the subject of the said act concerning aliens.
* * * A provision against prohibiting
their migration is a provision against all
acts equivalent thereto, or it would be
nugatory. * * * To remove them
when migrated, is equivalent to a prohibition
of their migration, and is, therefore,
contrary to the said provision of the Constitution,
and void.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 466. Ford ed., vii, 296.

292. ALIENS, The Revolution and.—

do not know that there has been any American
determination on the question whether
American citizens and Britsh subjects, born
before the Revolution, can be aliens to one another?
I know there is an opinion of Lord
Coke's, in Colvin's case, that if England and
Scotland should, in the course of descent,
pass to separate kings, those born under the
same sovereign during the union, would remain
natural subjects and not aliens. Common
sense urges some considerations against
this. Natural subjects owe allegiance; but
we owe none. Aliens are the subjects of a
foreign power; we are not subjects of a for
eign power. The King, by the treaty, acknowledges
our independence; how, then, can
we remain natural subjects? The King's
power is, by the Constitution, competent to
the making peace, war and treaties. He had,
therefore, authority to relinquish our allegiance
by treaty. But if an act of parliament
had been necessary, the parliament passed an
act to confirm the treaty. So that it appears
to me that, in this question, fictions of law
alone are opposed to sound sense.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 530.
(P. 1786)

293. ALLEGIANCE, Renounced.—

therefore, the representatives of the United
States of America in General Congress assembled,
do in the name and by the authority
of the good people of these States reject and
renounce all allegiance and subjection to the
kings of Great Britain and all others who
may hereafter claim by, through, or under
them; we utterly dissolve all political connection
which may heretofore have subsisted
between us and the people or parliament of
Great Britain.
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress struck out the italicized words and
inserted: “Colonies, solemnly publish and declare,
that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to
be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved
from all allegiance to the British crown, and
that all political connection between them and the
State of Great Britain, is, and ought to be, totally
dissolved.” Congress also inserted after the word
“assembled,” the words, “appealing to the Supreme
Judge of the World for the rectitude of our

294. ALLEGIANCE, Repudiated.—

He has abdicated government here, withdrawing
his governors, and declaring us out of his allegiance and protection.
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress struck out the words in italics and inserted
“by declaring us out of, his protection, and
waging war against us.”—Editor.

295. ALLEN, Protection of Ethan.—

It is with pain we fear that Mr. [Ethan] Allen
and others, taken with him while fighting
bravely in their country's cause, are sent to
Britain in irons, to be punished for pretended
treason; treason, too, created by one of
those very laws whose obligation we deny,
and mean to contest by the sword. This question
will not be decided by seeking vengeance
on a few helpless captives but by achieving
success in the fields of war, and gathering
there those laurels which grow for the warrior
brave. * * * We have ordered Brigadier
General Prescot to be bound in irons,
and to be confined in close jail, there to experience
corresponding miseries to those
which shall be inflicted on Mr. Allen. His
life shall answer for that of Mr. Allen. His
life shall answer for that of Mr. Allen. [22]
Congress Resolution. Ford ed., i, 494.
(Dec. 1775)


Not adopted by Congress.—Editor.

296. ALLIANCE, Abjure.—

I sincerely
join you in abjuring all political connection
with every foreign power; and though I cordially
wish well to the progress of liberty in
all nations, and would forever give it the
weight of our countenance, yet they are not


Page 33
to be touched without contamination from
their other bad principles.—
To T. Lomax. Washington ed. iv, 301. Ford ed., vii, 374.
(M. March. 1799)

297. ALLIANCE, Coercion and.—

British ministers equivocate on every proposal
of a treaty of commerce * * * unless, indeed,
we would agree to make it a treaty of
alliance as well as commerce, so as to undermine
our obligations with France. This
method of stripping that rival nation of its alliances,
they tried successfully with Holland,
endeavored at it with Spain, and have plainly
and repeatedly suggested to us. For this they
would probably relax some of the rigors they
exercise against our commerce.—
Official Report. Washington ed. vii, 518.
(Dec. 1790)

298. ALLIANCE, Dangerous.—

An alliance
[with Great Britain] with a view to
partition of the Floridas and Louisiana, is not
what we would wish, because it may eventually
lead us into embarrassing situations with
our best friend, and put the power of two
neighbors into the hands of one. Lord Lansdowne
has declared he gave the Floridas to
Spain rather than the United States as a
bone of discord with the House of Bourbon,
and of reunion with Great Britain.—
Instructions to William Carmichael. Washington ed. ix, 413. Ford ed., v, 227.

299. ALLIANCE, Deprecated.—

I sincerely
deplore the situation of our affairs with
France. War with them, and consequent alliance
with Great Britain, will completely
compass the object of the Executive council,
from the commencement of the war between
France and England; taken up by some of
them from that moment, by others, more latterly.
I still, however, hope it will be avoided.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 162. Ford ed., vii, 108.
(M. Jan. 1797)

300. ALLIANCE, Destructive.—

To take
part in European conflicts would be to divert
our energies from creation to destruction.—
To George Logan. Ford ed., viii, 23.
(W. March. 1801)

301. ALLIANCE, Divorce from all.—

to everything except commerce, we ought to
divorce ourselves from them all. But this
system would require time, temper, wisdom,
and occasional sacrifice of interest; and how
far all of these will be ours, our children May
see, but we shall not. The passions are too
high at present, to be cooled in our day.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 191. Ford ed., vii, 154.
(Pa., 1797)

302. ALLIANCE, Divorce from all.—[continued].

Better keep together as
we are, haul off from Europe as soon as we
can and from all attachments to any portions
of it.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 247. Ford ed., vii, 265.
(Pa., 1798)

303. ALLIANCE, Divorce from all.—[further continued].

Commerce with all nations,
alliance with none, should be our motto.—
To T. Lomax. Washington ed. iv, 301. Ford ed., vii, 374.
(M. March. 1799)

304. ALLIANCE, Divorce from all.—[further continued] .

It ought to be the very
first object of our pursuits to have nothing to
do with the European interests and politics.
Let them be free or slaves, at will, navigators
or agriculturists, swallowed into one government
or divided into a thousand, we have
nothing to fear from them in any form.
—To George Logan. Ford ed., viii, 23.
(W. March. 1801)

305. ALLIANCES, Entangling.—

I know
that it is a maxim with us, and I think it a
wise one, not to entangle ourselves with the
affairs of Europe.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 334. Ford ed., iv, 483.
(P. 1787)

306. ALLIANCES, Entangling.—[continued].

I am for free commerce
with all nations; political connection with
none; and little or no diplomatic establishment.
And I am not for linking ourselves by
new treaties with the quarrels of Europe; entering
that field of slaughter to preserve their
balance, or joining in the confederacy of
Kings to war against the principles of liberty.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 328.
(Pa., 1799)

307. ALLIANCES, Entangling.—[further continued].

Let our affairs be disentangled
from those of all other nations, except
as to commerce.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 331. Ford ed., vii, 452.
(M. 1800)

308. ALLIANCES, Entangling.—[further continued] .

The Constitution thought
it wise to restrain the Executive and Senate
from entangling and embroiling our affairs
with those of Europe.—
Parliamentary Manual. Washington ed. ix, 81.

309. ALLIANCES, Entangling.—[further continued].

Honest friendship with
all nations, entangling alliances with none, I
deem [one of the] essential principles of our
government and, consequently, [one] which
ought to shape its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 4.

310. ALLIANCES, Entangling.—[further continued] .

Determined as we are to
avoid, if possible, wasting the energies of our
people in war and destruction, we shall avoid
implicating ourselves with the powers of
Europe, even in support of principles which
we mean to pursue. They have so many other
interests different from ours, that we must
avoid being entangled in them. We believe
we can enforce these principles, as to ourselves,
by peaceable means, now that we are
likely to have our public councils detached
from foreign views.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. iv, 370. Ford ed., viii, 18.
(W. March. 1801)

311. ALLIANCES, Entangling.—[further continued].

Peace, and abstinence
from European interferences, are our objects.—
To M. Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. iv, 436.
(W. April. 1802)

312. ALLIANCES, Entangling.—[further continued] .

It is against our system
* * * to entangle ourselves at all with the affairs
of Europe.—
To Philip Mazzei. Washington ed. iv, 553.
(W. July. 1864)

313. ALLIANCES, Entangling.—[further continued]..

Our nation has wisely
avoided entangling itself in the system of
European interests, has taken no side between
its rival powers, attached itself to
none of its ever-changing confederacies.—
R. to A. of Baltimore Baptists. Washington ed. viii, 137.


Page 34

314. [further continued].

The less we have to do
with the amities or enmities of Europe the
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. vi, 465. Ford ed., ix, 520.
(M. 1815)

315. [further continued] .

All entanglements with
that quarter of the globe [Europe] should be
avoided if we mean that peace and justice
shall be the polar stars of the American Societies.—
To J. Correa. Washington ed. vii, 184. Ford ed., x, 164.
(M. 1820)

316. [further continued].

The fundamental principle
of our government,—never to entangle us
with the broils of Europe.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 318.
(M. 1823)

317. [further continued] .

I have ever deemed it
fundamental for the United States never to
take active part in the quarrels of Europe.
Their political interests are entirely distinct
from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their
balance of power, their complicated alliances,
their forms and principles of government, are
all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal
To President Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 288. Ford ed., x, 257.
(M. 1823)

318. ALLIANCE, A generous.—

If there
could have been a doubt before as to the event
of the war, it is now totally removed by the
interposition of France, and the generous alliance
she has entered into with us.—
To—. Washington ed. i, 208. Ford ed., ii, 157.
(W. 1778)

— ALLIANCE. The Holy.—

See Holy Alliance.

319. ALLIANCE, Horror of.—

We have
a perfect horror at everything like connecting
ourselves with the politics of Europe.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iv, 414. Ford ed., viii, 98.
(W. 1801)

320. ALLIANCE, Inadmissible.—

British talk of * * * a treaty of commerce
and alliance. If the object of the latter be
honorable, it is useless; if dishonorable, inadmissible.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 182. Ford ed., v, 224.
(N.Y., 1790)

321. ALLIANCE, Inevitable.—

The day
that France takes possession of New Orleans
* * * seals the union of two nations, who,
in conjunction, can maintain exclusive possession
of the ocean. From that moment, we
must marry ourselves to the British fleet and
nation. We must turn all our attention to a
maritime force * * *.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 432. Ford ed., viii, 145.
(W. April. 1802)

322. ALLIANCE, A lost.—

Were the
British court to return to their senses in time
to seize the little advantage which still remains
within their reach, from this quarter, I
judge, that, on acknowledging our absolute
independence and sovereignty, a commercial
treaty beneficial to them, and perhaps even
a league of mutual offence and defence might,
not seeing the expense or consequences of
such a measure, be approved by our people, if
nothing, in the meantime, done on your part
should prevent it. But they will continue to
grasp at their desperate sovereignty, till every
benefit short of that is forever out of their
To Benjamin Franklin. Washington ed. i, 205. Ford ed., ii, 132.
(Aug. 1777)

323. ALLIANCE, Suggested French.—

If we can obtain from Great Britain reasonable
conditions of commerce, (which, in my
idea, must forever include an admission into
her [West India] islands,) the first ground
between these two nations would seem to be
the best. But if we can obtain no equal terms
from her, perhaps Congress might think it
prudent, as Holland has done, to connect us
unequivocally with France. Holland has purchased
the protection of France. The price
she pays is aid in time of war. It is interesting
for us to purchase a free commerce with
the French islands. But whether it is best to
pay for it, by aids in war, or by privileges in
commerce, or not to purchase it at all,
is the
Report to Congress. Washington ed. ix, 244. Ford ed., iv, 130.
(P. 1785)

324. ALLIANCE, Unwise.—

I join you
* * * in a sense of the necessity of restoring
freedom to the ocean. But I doubt, with you,
whether the United States ought to join in
an armed confederacy for that purpose; or
rather I am satisfied they ought not.—
To George Logan. Ford ed., viii, 23.
(W. March. 1801)

325. ALLIANCES, Insufficiency of.—

Treaties of alliance are generally insufficient
to enforce compliance with their mutual stipulations.
—The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 88. Ford ed., i, 157.

326. ALLIANCES, International Marriage.—

What a crowd of lessons do the present
miseries of Holland teach us! * * * Never to let a citizen ally himself with Kings
* * *.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 283. Ford ed., iv, 455.
(P. 1787)


See Land.


See Dollar.

327. ALLSTON, Burr and Washington.

—I send you Allston's letter for perusal. He
thinks to get over this matter by putting a
bold face on it. I have the names of three
persons whose evidence, taken together, can
fix on him the actual endeavor to engage men
in Burr's enterprise.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., ix, 13.
(W. 1807)

328. ALLSTON, Burr and Washington. [continued].

The enclosed copy of an affidavit from General Wilkinson authenticates
the copy of a letter from Colonel Burr to
the General, affirming that Mr. Allston his
son-in-law, is engaged in the unlawful enterprises
he is carrying on, and is to be an
actor in them. * * * It is further well known
in Washington that Mr. Allston is an endorser
to a considerable amount, of the bills
which have enabled Colonel Burr to prepare
his treasons. Nobody is a better judge than
yourself whether any and what measures can
be taken on this information.—
To Charles Pinckney. Washington ed. v, 34. Ford ed., ix, 13.
(W. Jan. 1807)


See Batture.


Page 35

329. ALMANACS, Improvements in.—

received your letter on the publication of an
Ephemeris. I have long thought it desirable
that something of that kind should be published
in the United States, holding a middle station
between the nautical and the common popular
almanacs. * * * What you propose to insert
is very well so far; but I think you might
give it more of the character desired by the
addition of some other articles which would not
enlarge it more than a leaf or two. For instance,
the equation of time is essential to the
regulation of our clocks and watches, and would
only add a narrow column to your second page.
The sun's declination is often desirable and
would only add another narrow column. This
last would be the more useful as an element
for obtaining the rising and setting of the sun
in every part of the United States * * * if
you would add a formula for that calculation.—
To Melatiah Nash. Washington ed. vi, 29.
(M. 1811)

330. ALMANACS, Value of Old.—

why, you will ask, do I send you old almanacs,
which are proverbially useless? Because, in
these publications have appeared from time to
time, some of the most precious things in astronomy.
I have searched out those particular
volumes which might be valuable to you on
this account. That of 1781, contains De la
Caille's catalogue of fixed stars reduced to the
commencement of that year, and a table of the
aberrations and mutations of the principal
stars. 1784 contains the same catalogue with
the nebuleuses of Messier. 1785 contains the
famous catalogue of Hamsteed, with the positions
of the stars reduced to the beginning of
the year 1784, and which supersedes the use of
that immense book. 1786 gives von Euler's
lunar tables corrected; and 1787 the tables for
the planet Herschel. The two last needed not
an apology, as not being within the description
of old almanacs. * * * The volume of 1787
gives you Mayer's catalogue of the zodiacal stars.
To Dr. Stiles. Washington ed. i, 363.
(P. 1785)


See Deity.

— ALMS.—

See Charity.

331. ALTERCATIONS, Injurious.—

An instance of acquiescence on our part under a
wrong, rather than distrub our friendship by
altercations, may have its value in some future
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 603.
(P. 1786)

332. ALTERCATIONS, Nursing.—

If the British troops should pass [through our territory] without having asked leave, I should
be for expressing our dissatisfaction to the
British Court, and keeping alive an altercation
on the subject, till events should decide
whether it is most expedient to accept their
apologies, or profit of the aggression as a
cause of war.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. vii, 510. Ford ed., v, 239.


See Parties.


See Ministers.

333. AMBITION, Defeating.—

The minds of the people at large should be illuminated,
as far as practicable, * * * that they may be
enabled to know ambition under all its shapes,
and prompt to exert their natural powers to
defeat its purposes.—
Diffusion of Knowledge Bill. Ford ed., ii, 221.

334. AMBITION, Eradicated.—

Before I ventured to declare to my countrymen my determination
to retire from public employment,
I examined well my heart to know whether it
were thoroughly cured of every principle of
political ambition, whether no lurking particle
remained which might leave me uneasy,
when reduced within the limits of mere private
life. I became satisfied that every fibre
of that passion was thoroughly eradicated.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 317. Ford ed., iii, 56.
(M. 1782)

335. AMBITION, Family.—

I feel no
impulse from personal ambition to the office
now proposed to me, but on account of yourself
and your sister and those dear to you.—
To Mary Jefferson Eppes. D. L. J.274.
(W. Feb. 1801)

336. AMBITION, Government and.—

have no ambition to govern men; no passion
which would lead me to delight to ride in a
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 152. Ford ed., vii, 94.
(M. 1796)

337. AMBITION, Government and.—[continued].

I have no ambition to
govern men. It is a painful and thankless office.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 154. Ford ed., vii, 98.
(M. 1796)

338. AMBITION, Government and.—[further continued].

I have no inclination to
govern men. I should have no views of my
own in doing it; and as to those of the governed,
I had rather that their disappointment
(which must always happen) should be
pointed to any other cause, real or supposed,
than to myself.—
To Mr. Volney. Washington ed. iv, 158.
(M. 1797)

339. AMBITION, Lost.—

The little spice
of ambition which I had in my younger days
has long since evaporated, and I set still less
store by a posthumous than present name.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 117. Ford ed., vii, 10.
(M. April. 1795)


Congress were to proceed
about the 1st of June to propose amendments
to the new Constitution. The principal would
be, the annexing a declaration of rights to
satisfy the mind of all on the subject of their
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. iii, 89.
(P. Aug. 1789)

See Constitution (Federal).

341. AMERICA, Europe and.—

The European
nations constitute a separate division
of the globe; their treaties make them part of
a distinct system; they have a set of interests
of their own in which it is our business never
to engage ourselves. America has a hemisphere
to itself. It must have its separate
system of interests, which must not be subordinated
to those of Europe. The insulated
state in which nature has placed the American
continent, should so far avail it that no spark
of war kil dled in the other quarters of the
globe should be wafted across the wide oceans
which separate us from them. And it will be
To Baron Von Humboldt. Washington ed. vi, 268. Ford ed., ix, 431.
(Dec. 1813)

See Canada, Colonies, South America, United States.


Page 36

342. AMERICA, Europe and.—[continued].

Nothing is so important
as that America shall separate herself from
the systems of Europe, and establish one of
her own. Our circumstances, our pursuits,
our interests, are distinct; the principles of
our policy should be so also. All entanglements
with that quarter of the globe should
be avoided if we mean that peace and justice
shall be the polar stars of the American societies.
* * * It would be a leading principle
with me had I longer to live.—
To J. Correa De Serra. Washington ed. vii, 184. Ford ed., x, 164.
(M. Oct. 1820)

See Policy.

343. AMERICA, No Kings nor Emperors for.—

I rejoice to learn that Iturbide is a
mere usurper, and slenderly supported. Although
we have no right to intermeddle with
the form of government of other nations, yet
it is lawful to wish to see no emperors nor
kings in our hemisphere, and that Brazil as
well as Mexico will homologize with us.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., x, 244.

— AMERICA, South.—

See South America.

— AMERICA, A Summary View of the Rights of British America.—

See Appendix.


See Revolution.

344. AMERICUS VESPUCCIUS. Picture of.—

I have sent to Florence for pictures
of Columbus (if it exists), of Americus Vespuccius,
Magellan, &c.—
To William S. Smith. Ford ed., v, 2.
(P. 1788)

345. ANARCHY, Averted.—

Much has
been gained by the new [Federal] Constitution,
for the former was terminating in anarchy,
as necessarily consequent to inefficiency.—
To George Mason. Washington ed. iii, 148. Ford ed., v, 183.
(N.Y., 1790)

346. ANARCHY, Fatal.—

Our falling
into anarchy would decide forever the destinies
of mankind, and seal the political heresy
that man is incapable of self-government.—
To John Hollins. Washington ed. v, 597.
(M. 1811)

347. ANARCHY, Imputed.—

From the
London gazettes and the papers copying
them, you are led to suppose that all in
America is anarchy, discontent and civil war.
Nothing, however, is less true. There are not
on the face of the earth more tranquil governments
than ours, nor a happier and more
contented people.—
To Baron Geismer. Washington ed. i, 427.
(P. 1785)

348. ANARCHY, Imputed.—[continued].

Wonderful is the effect of
impudent and persevering lying. The British
ministry have so long hired their gazetteers
to repeat, and model into every form,
lies about our being in anarchy, that the
world has at length believed them, * * * and what is more wonderful, we have believed
them ourselves. Yet where does this
anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except
in the single instance of Massachusetts?
And can history produce one instance of
rebellion so honorably conducted?—
To W. S. Smith. Washington ed. ii, 318. Ford ed., iv, 466.
(P. 1787)

349. ANARCHY, Suppress.—

Let this be
the distinctive mark of an American that, in
cases of commotion, he enlists himself under
no man's banner, inquires for no man's name,
but repairs to the standard of the laws. Do
this and you need never fear anarchy or
tyranny. Your government will be perpetual.

From Jefferson's Mss. Ford ed., viii, 1.

350. ANATOMY, Knowledge of.—

knowledge can be more satisfactory to a man
than that of his own frame, its parts, their
functions and actions.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 390.
(M. 1814)

351. ANATOMY, Knowledge of.—[continued].

I have just received * * * two volumes of Comparative Anatomy by
Cuvier, probably the greatest work in that line
that has ever appeared. His comparisons embrace
every organ of the animal carcass; and
from man to the rotifer.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 385. Ford ed., viii, 33.
(W. 1801)

352. ANCESTORS, Practices of.—

I am
not bigotted to the practices of our forefathers.
It is that bigotry which keeps the
Indians in a state of barbarism in the midst
of the arts, would have kept us in the same
state even now, and still keeps Connecticut
where their ancestors were when they landed
on these shores.—
To Robert Fulton. Washington ed. v, 516.
(M. 1810)

353. ANCESTORS, Regimen of.—

might as well require a man to wear still the
coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized
society to remain ever under the regimen
of their barbarous ancestors.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 15. Ford ed., x, 43.
(M. 1816)

354. ANCESTRY, Equality vs.—

foundation on which all [our constitutions] are built, is the natural equality of man, the
denial of every pre-eminence but that annexed
to legal office and, particularly, the denial
of a pre-eminence by birth.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 334. Ford ed., iii, 466.
(A. 1784)

355. ANCESTRY, Thomas Jefferson's.—

The tradition in my father's family was that
their ancestor came to this country from Wales,
and from near the mountain of Snowdon, the
highest in Great Britain. I noted once a case
from Wales, in the law reports, where a person
of our name was either plaintiff or defendant;
and one of the same name was secretary to the
Virginia Company. [23] These are the only instances
in which I have met with the name in
that country. I have found it in our early
records; but the first particular information I
have of any ancestor was of my grandfather,
who lived at the place in Chesterfield called
Ozborne's, and owned the lands afterwards the
glebe of the parish. He had three sons:
Thomas who died young, Field who settled on
the waters of Roanoke and left numerous descendants,
and Peter, my father, who settled on
the lands I still own, called Shadwell, adjoining
my present residence. He was born February


Page 37
29, 1707-8, and intermarried 1739, with Jane
Randolph, of the age of 19, daughter of Isham
Randolph, one of the seven sons of that name
and family, settled at Dungeoness in Goochland.
They trace their pedigree far back in
England and Scotland, to which let every one
ascribe the faith and merit he chooses.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 1. Ford ed., i, 1.


No Jefferson was ever Secretary of the Virginia
Company, but John Jefferson was a member of the
Company. He came to Virginia in the Bona Nova, in 1619.—Note in Ford's edition of Jefferson's

356. ANGELS, Kings as.—

Have we found angels in the form of kings to govern
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 3. Ford ed., viii, 3.

357. ANGER, Control over.—

When angry,
count ten before you speak; if very angry,
an hundred.—
To Thomas Jefferson Smith. Washington ed. vii, 402. Ford ed., x, 341.
(M. 1825)

358. ANGLOMANIA, Danger in.—

fear nothing for our liberty from the assaults
of force; but I have seen and felt much, and
fear more from English books, English prejudices,
English manners, and the apes, the
dupes, and designs among our professional
crafts. When I look around me for security
against these seductions, I find it in the wide
spread of our agricultural citizens, in their
unsophisticated minds, their independence
and their power, if called on, to crush the
Humists [Tories] of our cities, and to maintain
the principles which severed us from
To Horatio G. Spafford. Washington ed. vi, 335.
(M. 1814)

359. ANGLOMANIA, Eradicate.—

eradication of English partialities is one of
the most consoling expectations from the war.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. vi, 76. Ford ed., ix, 366.
(M. Aug. 1812)

360. ANGLOMANIA, Politics and.—

The Anglicism of 1808, against which we are
now struggling, is but the same thing [as the
Toryism of 1777 and the Federalism of 1799] in still another form. It is a longing for a
king, and an English King rather than any
To John Langdon. Washington ed. v, 512.
(M. 1810 )

361. ANGLOMANIA, Politics and.—[continued].

Anglomany, monarchy,
and separation are the principles of the Essex
federalists. Anglomany and monarchy,
those of the Hamiltonians, and Anglomany
alone, that of the portion of the people who
call themselves federalists.—
To John Melish. Washington ed. vi, 96. Ford ed., ix, 375.
(M. 1813)

362. ANGLOMANIA, Servile.—

I wish any events could induce us to cease to copy
such a model, [the British government,] and
to assume the dignity of being original. They
had their paper system, stockjobbing, speculations,
public debt, moneyed interest, &c.,
and all this was contrived for us. They
raised their cry against jacobinism and revolutionists,
we against democratic societies and
anti-federalists; their alarmists sounded insurrection,
ours marched an army to look for
one, but they could not find it. I wish the parallel
may stop here, and that we may avoid,
instead of imitating, a general bankruptcy
and disastrous war.—
To Horatio Gates. Washington ed. iv, 178. Ford ed., vii, 130.
(Pa., 1797)

363. ANGLOPHOBIA, Washington's Cabinet and.—

The Anglophobia has seized
violently on three members of our council.
This sets almost every day on questions of
neutrality. * * * Everything hangs upon
the opinion of a single person [Edmund
Randolph], and that the most indecisive one
I ever had to do business with. He always
contrives to agree in principle with one but
in conclusion with the other. Anglophobia,
secret Anti-Gallomany, a federalisme outrée and a present ease in his circumstances not
usual, have decided the complexion of our
dispositions, and our proceedings towards the
conspirators against human liberty, and the
asserters of it, which is unjustifiable in principle,
in interest, and in respect to the wishes
of our constituents.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 556. Ford ed., vi, 250.
(May. 1793)


See Languages.

— ANIMALS, Do they degenerate in America?—

See Buffon.

364. ANIMOSITIES, Individual.—

great cause which divides our countries is
not to be decided by individual animosities.
The harmony of private societies cannot
weaken national efforts. To contribute by
neighborly intercourse and attention to make
others happy, is the shortest and surest way
of being happy ourselves. As these sentiments
seem to have directed your conduct,
we should be as unwise as illiberal, were we
not to preserve the same temper of mind.—
To Gen. William Phillips. D. L. J., 53.

365. ANIMOSITIES, National.—

animosities of sovereigns are temporary, and
may be allayed; but those which seize the
whole body of a people, and of a people, too,
who dictate their own measures, produce calamities
of long duration. [24]
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. i, 553.
(P. 1786)


Jefferson was describing the “hatred” of America
by the English people.—Editor.

366. ANIMOSITIES, Political.—

animosities here have raised a wall of separation
between those who differ in political sentiments.
They must love misery indeed who
would rather, at the sight of an honest man,
feel the torment of hatred and aversion than
the benign spasms of benevolence and esteem.—
To Mrs. Church. Ford ed., vi, 116.
(Pa., Oct. 1792)

367. ANIMOSITIES, Political.—[continued].

While I cherish with feeling
the recollections of my friends, I banish
from my mind all political animosities which
might disturb its tranquillity, or the happiness
I derive from my present pursuits.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 532.
(M. 1810)

368. ANIMOSITIES, Rekindling.—

Peace with all the world, and a quiet descent
through the remainder of my time, are now
so necessary to my happiness that I am unwilling,
by the expression of any opinion before
the public, to rekindle ancient animosities,


Page 38
covered under their ashes indeed, but not extinguished.—
To George Hay. Ford ed., x, 265.
(M. 1823)


See Convention.


See Territory.

369. ANNUITIES, Government Loans and.—

Annuities for single lives are also beyond
our powers, because the single life May
pass the term of a generation. This last practice
is objectionable too, as encouraging celibacy,
and the disinherison of heirs.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 198. Ford ed., ix, 397.

See Generations.

370. ANONYMOUS WRITING, Newspaper.—

I never did in my life, either by myself
or by any other, have a sentence of mine inserted in a newspaper without putting my name to it; and I believe I never shall.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. iii, 272. Ford ed., v, 355.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

371. ANTI-FEDERALISTS, Jefferson and.—

You say that I have been dished up to
you as an anti-federalist, and ask me if it be
just. My opinion was never worthy enough
of notice to merit citing; but since you ask
it, I will tell it to you. I am not a federalist,
because I never submitted the whole system
of my opinions to the creed of any party of
men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in
politics, or in anything else, where I was capable
of thinking for myself. Such an addiction
is the last degradation of a free and
moral agent. If I could not go to heaven but
with a party, I would not go there at all.
Therefore, I am not of the party of federalists.
But I am much farther from that of the
anti-federalists. I approved from the first
moment of the great mass of what is in the
new Constitution; the consolidation of the
government; the organization into executive,
legislative and judiciary; the subdivision of
the legislative; the happy compromise of interests
between the great and little States, by
the different manner of voting in the different
Houses; the voting by persons instead of
States; the qualified negative on laws given to
the Executive, which, however, I should have
liked better if associated with the judiciary
also, as in New York; and the power of taxation.
I thought at first that the latter might
have been limited. A little reflection soon convinced
me it ought not to be. What I disapproved
from the first moment also, was the
want of a bill of rights, to guard liberty
against the legislative as well as the executive
branches of the government; that is to
say, to secure freedom in religion, freedom of
the press, freedom from monopolies, freedom
from unlawful imprisonment, freedom from
a permanent military, and a trial by jury in
all cases determinable by the laws of the land.
I disapproved also the perpetual re-eligibility
of the President. To these points of disapprobation
I adhere. My first wish was that
the nine first conventions might accept the
Constitution, as the means of securing to us
the great mass of good it contained, and that
the four last might reject it, as the means of
obtaining amendments. But I was corrected
in this wish the moment I saw the much better
plan of Massachusetts, and which had
never occurred to me. With respect to the
declaration of rights, I suppose the majority
of the United States are of my opinion; for
I apprehend all the anti-federalists and a very
respectable proportion of the federalists think
that such a declaration should now be
annexed. The enlightened part of Europe
have given us the greatest credit for inventing
this instrument of security for
the rights of the people, and have been
not a little surprised to see us so soon
give it up. With respect to the re-eligibility
of the President, I find myself differing
from the majority of my countrymen;
for I think there are but three States out of
the eleven which have desired an alteration of
this. And, indeed, since the thing is established,
I would wish it not to be altered during
the life of our great leader, whose executive
talents are superior to those, I believe,
of any man in the world, and who, alone, by
the authority of his name and the confidence
reposed in his perfect integrity, is fully qualified
to put the new government so under way,
as to secure it against the efforts of opposition.
But, having derived from our error all
the good there was in it, I hope we shall correct
it, the moment we can no longer have
the same name at the helm. These are my
sentiments, by which you will see I was right
in saying I am neither federalist nor anti-federalist;
that I am of neither party, nor
yet a trimmer between parties. These, my
opinions, I wrote within a few hours after I
had read the Constitution, to one or two
friends in America. I had not then read one
single word printed on the subject. I never
had an opinion in politics or religion which I
was afraid to own. A costive reserve on these
subjects might have procured me more esteem
from some people, but less from myself. My
great wish is to go on in a strict but silent
performance of my duty; to avoid attracting
notice, and to keep my name out of newspapers,
because I find the pain of a little censure,
even when it is unfounded, is more
acute than the pleasure of much praise. The
attaching circumstance of my present office
[Minister] is that I can do its duties unseen
by those for whom they are done.—
To F. Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 585. Ford ed., v, 75.
(P. March 13, 1789 )

372. ANTI-FEDERALISTS, Malevolence of.—

Anti-federalism is not yet dead in
this country. The gentlemen who opposed
the new Constitution retain a good deal of
malevolence towards the new government.
Henry is its avowed foe.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 136.
(Ep., Dec. 1789)

373. ANTI-FEDERALISTS, Overthrown.—

The opposition to our new Constitution
has almost totally disappeared.
Some few indeed had gone such lengths in
their declarations of hostility that they feel it


Page 39
awkward perhaps to come over; but the
amendments proposed by Congress have
brought over almost all their followers. * * * The little vautrien, Rhode Island, will come
over with a little more time.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. iii, 132. Ford ed., v, 152.
(N.Y., April. 1790)

374. ANTIQUITIES, American.—

I thank
you for the extract of the letter * * * on
the antiquities found in the western country.
I wish that the persons who go thither would
make very exact descriptions of what they see
of that kind, without forming any theories. The
moment a person forms a theory, his imagination
sees, in every object, only the traits which
favor that theory. But it is too early to form
theories on those antiquities. We must wait
with patience till more facts are collected. I
wish your Philosophical Society would collect
exact descriptions of the several monuments as
yet known, and insert them naked in their
Transactions. Patience and observation May
enable us in time, to solve the problem, whether
those who formed the scattering monuments in
our western country, were colonies sent off
from Mexico, or the founders of Mexico itself?
Whether both were the descendants or the
progenitors of the Asiatic red men.—
To Charles Thomson. Washington ed. ii, 276.
(Pa., 1787)

375. ANTIQUITIES, Roman.—

Lyons to Nismes I have been nourished with
the remains of Roman grandeur. * * * At
Vienne, the Prætorian Palace, as it is called,
comparable, for its fine proportions, to the
Maison quarrée, defaced by the barbarians who
have converted it to its present purpose, its
beautiful fluted Corinthian columns cut out, in
part, to make space for Gothic windows, and
hewed down, in the residue, to the plane of the
building, was enough * * * to disturb my
composure. At Orange, I thought of you. I was
sure you had seen with pleasure the sublime
triumphal arch of Marius at the entrance of the
city. I went then to the Arenae. Would you believe
that in this eighteenth century, in France,
under the reign of Louis XVI., they are at
this moment pulling down the circular wall of
this superb remain, to pave a road? And that,
too, from a hill which is itself an entire mass of
stone, just as fit, and more accessible. * * * I thought of you again * * * at the Pont
du Gard, a sublime antiquity. and well-preserved;
but most of all here [Nismes], whose
Roman taste, genius and magnificence excite
ideas analogous to yours at every step. * * * You will not expect news. Were I to attempt
to give it, I should tell you stories one thousand
years old. I should detail to you the intrigues
of the courts of the Cæsars, how they affect us
here, the oppressions of their prætors, prefects,
&c. I am immersed in antiquities from morning
to night. For me, the city of Rome is
actually existing in all the splendor of its empire.
I am filled with alarms for the event of
the irruptions daily making on us, by the Goths,
the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and Vandals, lest
they should reconquer us to our original barbarism.—
To La Comtesse De Tesse. Washington ed. ii, 132.
(N., 1787 )


See Marie Antoinette.

376. APOSTASY, Defined.—

It is to be
considered as apostasy only when they
[schismatizing republicans] purchase the
votes of federalists with a participation in
honor and power.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. v, 121. Ford ed., ix, 102.
(W. 1807)

377. APOSTASY, Punished.—

As to the
effect of Mr. [Patrick] Henry's name among
the people, I have found it crumble like a
dried leaf, the moment they became satisfied
of his apostasy.—
To Tench Coxe. Ford ed., vii, 381.
(M. 1799)

378. APPLAUSE, Courting.—

I am not
reconciled to the idea of a Chief Magistrate
parading himself through the several States,
as an object of public gaze, and in quest of
applause which, to be valuable, should be
purely voluntary. I had rather acquire silent
good will by a faithful discharge of my duties,
than owe expressions of it to my putting
myself in the way of receiving them.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. v, 102. Ford ed., ix, 77.
(W. 1807)

379. APPLAUSE, Deserve.—

Go on deserving
applause, and you will be sure to
meet with it: and the way to deserve it is to
be good, and to be industrious.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. ii, 192.
(P. 1787)

380. APPOINTMENT, The Power of.—

The Constitution, having declared that the
President shall nominate and, by and with
the advice and consent of the Senate, shall
appoint ambassadors, other public ministers,
and consuls * * * has taken care to circumscribe
this [power] within very strict
limits: for it gives the nomination of the foreign
agents to the President, the appointments
to him and the Senate jointly, and the
commissioning to the President. This analysis
calls our attention to the strict import of
each term. To nominate must be to propose.
seems that act of the will which
constitutes or makes the agent, and the commission
is the public evidence of it.—
Opinion on Powers of Senate. Washington ed. vii, 465. Ford ed., v, 161.


See Office.

381. APPORTIONMENT, Basis of.—

The number of Representatives for each
county, or borough, shall be so proportioned
to the number of its qualified electors, that
the whole number of representatives shall not
exceed 300, nor be less than 125. For the
present there shall be one representative for
every—qualified electors in each county or
borough; but whenever this, or any future
proportion, shall be likely to exceed or fall
short of the limits before mentioned, it shall
be again adjusted by the House of Representatives.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 15.
(June. 1776)


If the [ratio of] representation [is] obtained by any process not prescribed in the
Constitution, it becomes arbitrary and inadmissible.—
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed. vii, 595. Ford ed., v, 494.


The Constitution has declared that
representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned
among the several States according
to their respective numbers. * * * That


Page 40
is to say, they shall be apportioned by some
common ratio—for proportion and ratio are
equivalent words; and in the definition of
proportion among numbers, that they have a
ratio common to all, or in other words, a
common divisor.—
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed. vii, 594. Ford ed., v, 493.
(April. 1792)

384. APPORTIONMENT RATIO, Fractions and.—

It will be said that, though, for
taxes there may always be found a divisor
which will apportion them among the States
according to numbers exactly, without leaving
any remainder, yet, for representatives, there can be no such common ratio, or divisor,
which, applied to the several numbers,
will divide them exactly, without a remainder
or fraction. I answer, then, that taxes must
be divided exactly, and representatives as
as the nearest ratio will admit; and
the fractions must be neglected, because the
Constitution calls absolutely that there be an
apportionment or common ratio, and if any
fractions result from the operation, it has left
them unprovided for. In fact it could not but
foresee that such fractions would result, and
it meant to submit to them. It knew they
would be in favor of one part of the Union at
one time, and of another at another, so as,
in the end, to balance occasional irregularities.—
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed. vii, 596. Ford ed., v, 495.

385. APPORTIONMENT RATIO, Nearest Common.—

The phrase [of the Constitution] that “the number of representatives
shall not exceed one for every 30,000,”
is violated by this bill which has given
to eight States a number exceeding one
for every 30,000, to wit, one for every
27,770. In answer to this, it is said
that this phrase may mean either the
30,000 in each State, or the 30,000 in the
whole Union,
and that in the latter case it
serves only to find the amount of the whole
representation; which, in the present state of
population, is 120 members. Suppose the
phrase might bear both meanings, which will
common sense apply to it? Which did the
universal understanding of our country apply
to it? Which did the Senate and Representatives
apply to it during the pendency of the
first bill, and even till an advanced stage of
this second bill, when an ingenious gentleman
found out the doctrine of fractions, a doctrine
so difficult and inobvious, as to be rejected at
first sight by the very persons who afterwards
became its most zealous advocates? The
phrase stands in the midst of a number of
others, every one of which relates to States in
their separate capacity. Will not plain common
sense, then, understand it, like the rest
of its context, to relate to States in their separate
capacities? But if the phrase of one for
30,000 is only meant to give the aggregate of
representatives, and not at all to influence
their apportionment among the States, then
the 120 being once found, in order to apportion
them, we must recur to the former rule
which does it according to the numbers of
the respective States; and we must take the
nearest common divisor, as the ratio of distribution,
that is to say, that divisor which,
applied to every State, gives to them such
numbers as, added together, come nearest to
120. This nearest common ratio will be found
to be 28,058, and will distribute 119 of the 120
members leaving only a single residuary one.
It will be found, too, to place 96,648 fractional
numbers in the eight northernmost
States, and 105,582 in the seven southernmost.
* * * Whatever may have been
the intention, the effect of neglecting the
nearest divisor (which leaves but one residuary
member), and adopting a distant one
(which leaves eight), is merely to take a
member from New York and Pennsylvania,
each, and give them to Vermont and New
Hampshire. But, it will be said, this is giving
more than one for 30,000. True, but has it
not been just said that the one for 30,000 is
prescribed only to fix the aggregate number,
and that we are not to mind it when we come
to apportion them among the States? That
for this we must recur to the former rule
which distributes them according to the numbers
in each State? Besides does not the bill
itself apportion among seven of the States
by the ratio of 27,770? which is much more
than one for 30,000.—
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed.
597. Ford ed.,
v, 496.

386. APPORTIONMENT RATIO, Two Divisors.—

Instead of such a single common ratio, or uniform divisor, as prescribed by the
Constitution, the bill has applied two ratios, at least, to the different States, to wit, that
of 30,026 to the seven following: Rhode
Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland,
Virginia, Kentucky, and Georgia; and that of
27,770 to the eight others, namely: Vermont,
New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, and
South Carolina. * * * And if two ratios
be applied, then fifteen may, and the distribution
become arbitrary, instead of being
apportioned to numbers. Another member of
the clause of the Constitution * * * says
“The number of representatives shall not exceed
one for every 30,000, but each State shall
have at least one representative.” This last
phrase proves that it had no contemplation
that all fractions, or numbers below the common
were to be unrepresented; and it
provides especially that in the case of a State
whose whole number shall be below the common
ratio, one representative shall be given
to it. This is the single instance where it allows
representation to any smaller number
than the common ratio, and by providing especially
for it in this, shows it was understood
that, without special provision, the
smaller number would in this case, be involved
in the general principle.—
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed. vii, 596. Ford ed., v, 495.

387. APPORTIONMENT RATIO, Surplus Members.—

Where a phrase is susceptible
of two meanings, we ought certainly to
adopt that which will bring upon us the fewest
inconveniences. Let us weigh those resulting
from both constructions. From that


Page 41
giving to each State a member for every
30,000 in that State results the single inconvenience
that there may be large portions unrepresented,
but it being a mere hazard on
which State this will fall, hazard will equalize
it in the long run. From the others result exactly
the same inconvenience. A thousand
cases may be imagined to prove it. Take
one. Suppose eight of the States had 45,000
inhabitants each, and the other seven 44,999
each, that is to say, each one less than each of
the others. The aggregate would be 674,993,
and the number of representatives at one for
30,000 of the aggregate, would be 22. Then,
after giving one member to each State, distribute
the seven residuary members among
the seven highest fractions, and though the
difference of population be only an unit, the
representation would be double. * * * Here a single inhabitant the more would
count as 30,000. Nor is this case imaginable
only, it will resemble the real one whenever
the fractions happen to be pretty equal
through the whole States. The numbers of
our census happen by accident to give the
fractions all very small, or very great, so as
to produce the strongest case of inequality
that could possibly have occurred, and which
may never occur again. The probability is
that the fractions will descend gradually
from 29,999 to 1. The inconvenience, then,
of large unrepresented fractions attends both
constructions; and while the most obvious
construction is liable to no other, that of the
bill incurs many and grievous ones. 1. If
you permit the large fraction in one State to
choose a representative for one of the small
fractions in another State, you take from the
latter its election, which constitutes real representation,
and substitute a virtual representation
of the disfranchised fractions. * * * 2. The bill does not say that it has given the
residuary representatives to the greatest fraction:
though in fact it has done so. It seems
to have avoided establishing that into a rule,
lest it might not suit on another occasion.
Perhaps it may be found the next time more
convenient to distribute them among the
smaller States;
at another time among the
larger States;
at other times according to any
other crotchet which ingenuity may invent and the combinations of the day give strength
to carry; or they may do it arbitrarily by open
bargains and cabal. In short, this construction
introduces into Congress a scramble, or a
vendue for the surplus members. It generates
waste of time, hot blood, and may at
some time, when the passions are high, extend
a disagreement between the two Houses,
to the perpetual loss of the thing, as happens
now in the Pennsylvania Assembly; whereas
the other construction reduces the apportionment
always to an arithmetical operation,
about which no two men can ever possibly
differ. 3. It leaves in full force the violation
of the precept which declares that representatives
shall be apportioned among the States
according to their numbers i. e., by some common
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed. vii, 599. Ford ed., v, 498.


No invasions of the Constitution
are fundamentally so dangerous as the tricks
played on their own numbers, apportionment,
and other circumstances respecting themselves,
and affecting their legal qualifications
to legislate for the Union.—
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed. vii, 601. Ford ed., v, 500.

389. APPORTIONMENT BILL, Opposition to.—

The ground of the opposition to
the apportionment bill has been founded on
the discovery that the ratio of 30,000 gave
smaller fractions to the southern than to the
eastern States, and to prevent this a variety
of propositions have been made, among which
is the following: To apply the ratio of 30,000
to the aggregate population of the Union (not
that of the individual States) which will give
120 members, and then apportion those members
among the several States by as many
different ratios as there are States; or to the
population of each State, giving them one for
every 30,000 as far as it will go, making 112,
and then distribute the remaining eight members
among those States having the highest fractions
of which 5 will be given to the States east
of this [Pennsylvania]. * * * The effect of
this principle must be deemed a very pernicious
one, and in my opinion [is a] subversion
of that contained in the Constitution, which
in the 3d paragraph of the 2d Section, first
Article, founds the representation on the
population of each State, in terms as explicit
as it could well have been done. Besides it
takes the fractions of some States to supply
the deficiency of others, and thus makes the
people of Georgia the instrument of giving
a member to New Hampshire. * * * On our
part, the principle will never be yielded, for
when such obvious encroachments are made on
the plain meaning of the Constitution, the bond
of Union ceases to be the equal measure of
justice to all its parts. On theirs, a very persevering
firmness is likewise observed. They
appear to me to play a hazardous game. The
government secures them many important blessings,
all those which it gives to us and many
more, and yet with these they seem not to be
To Archibald Stuart. Ford ed., v, 453.
(Pa., March. 1792)

390. APPORTIONMENT BILL, Veto of Advised.—

Viewing this bill either as a
violation of the Constitution, or as giving an
inconvenient exposition of its words, is it a
case wherein the President ought to interpose
his negative? I think it is. * * * The
majorities by which this bill has been carried
(to wit: of one in the Senate and two in the
Representatives) show how divided the opinions
were there. The whole of both Houses
admit the Constitution will bear the other exposition,
whereas the minorities in both deny
it will bear that of the bill. The application
of any one ratio is intelligible to the people
and will, therefore, be approved, whereas the
complex operations of this bill will never be
comprehended by them, and though they May
acquiesce, they cannot approve what they do
not understand.—
Opinion on Apportionment Bill. Washington ed. vii, 601. Ford ed., v, 500.

391. APPORTIONMENT BILL, Veto Message.—

The Constitution has prescribed that representatives shall be apportioned


Page 42
among the several States according to their
respective numbers; and there is no one proportion
or division which, applied to the respective
numbers of the States, will yield the
number and allotment of representatives proposed
by the bill. The Constitution has also
provided that the number of representatives
shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand,
which restriction is by the contract, and
by fair and obvious construction, to be applied
to the separate and respective numbers
of the States; and the bill has allotted to
eight of the States more than one for thirty
Draft for Veto Message. Ford ed., v, 501.
(April. 1792)

392. APPORTIONMENT BILL, History of Veto.—

The President [Washington] * * * [referred] to the representation bill,
which he had now in his possession for the
tenth day. I had before given him my opinion
in writing, that the method of apportionment
was contrary to the Constitution. He agreed
that it was contrary to the common understanding
of that instrument, and to what was understood
at the time by the makers of it; that yet
it would bear the construction which the bill
put, and he observed that the vote for and
against the bill was perfectly geographical, a
northern against a southern vote, and he feared
he should be thought to be taking side with
a southern party. I admitted this motive of
delicacy, but that it should not induce him to do
wrong; urged the dangers to which the
scramble for the fractionary members would
always lead. He here expressed his fear that
there would, ere long, be a separation of the
Union; that the public mind seemed dissatisfied
and tending to this. He went home, sent
for Randolph, the Attorney General, desired
him to get Mr. Madison immediately and come
to me, and if we three concurred in opinion
that he should negative the bill, he desired to
hear nothing more about it, but that we would
draw the instrument for him to sign. They
came. Our minds had been before made up.
We drew the instrument. Randolph carried
it to him, and told him we all concurred in
it. He walked with him to the door, and
as if he still wished to get off, he said, “and
you say you approve of this yourself.” “Yes,
Sir,” says Randolph, “I do upon my honor.”
He sent it to the House of Representatives
instantly. A few of the hottest friends of the
bill expressed passion, but the majority were
satisfied, and both in and out of doors, it gave
pleasure to have, at length, an instance of the
negative being exercised.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 115. Ford ed., i, 192.
(April. 1792)

393. APPROBATION, Consolation in.—

Though I have made up my mind not to
suffer calumny to disturb my tranquillity, yet
I retain all my sensibilities for the approbation
of the good and just. That is, indeed,
the chief consolation for the hatred of so
many, who, without the least personal knowledge,
and on the sacred evidence of “ Porcupine
” and Fenno alone, cover me with their
implacable hatred. The only return I will
ever make to them will be to do them all the
good I can, in spite of their teeth.—
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. iv, 256. Ford ed., vii, 279.
(M. 1798)

394. APPROBATION, Consolation in.—[continued].

I thank God for an opportunity
of retiring without censure, and
carrying with me the most consoling proofs of
public approbation.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 432.
(W. 1809)


With those who wish to think amiss of me, I have learned to be perfectly
indifferent; but where I know a mind to
be ingenuous, and to need only truth to set it
to rights, I cannot be as passive.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 560. Ford ed., viii, 311.
(M. 1804)


To be praised by those who themselves
deserve all praise, is a gratification of high order.
Their approbation who, having been high
in office themselves, have information and talents
to guide their judgment, is a consolation
deeply felt. A conscientious devotion to republican
government, like charity in religion,
has obtained for me much indulgence from
my fellow citizens, and the aid of able counsellors
has guided me through many difficulties.—
To Larkin Smith. Washington ed. v, 441.
(M. April 1809 )

397. APPROBATION, Intelligent.—

has been a great happiness to me, to have received
the approbation of so great a portion
of my fellow citizens, and particularly of
those who have opportunities of inquiring,
reading and deciding for themselves.—
To C. F. Welles. Washington ed. v, 484.
(M. 1809)

398. APPROBATION, Legislative.—

learn with pleasure the approbation, by the
General Assembly of Rhode Island, of the
principles declared by me [in the inaugural address];
principles which flowed sincerely from
the heart and judgment, and which, with sincerity,
will be pursued. While acting on them,
I ask only to be judged with truth and candor.—
To the Rhode Island Assembly. Washington ed. iv, 397.
(W. May. 1801)

399. APPROBATION, Legislative.—[continued].

For the approbation which
the Legislature of Vermont has been pleased
to express of the principles and measures pursued
in the management of their affairs, I am
sincerely thankful; and should I be so fortunate
as to carry into retirement the equal
approbation and good will of my fellow citizens
generally, it will be the comfort of my
future days, and will close a service of forty
years with the only reward it ever wished. [25]
R. To A. Vermont Legislature. Washington ed. viii, 121.


To addresses from Georgia, New York, Maryland,
Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, received
about the same time, similar replies were sent.——Editor.

400. APPROBATION, Legislative.—[further continued].

The assurances of your
approbation, and that my conduct has given
satisfaction to my fellow citizens generally,
will be an important ingredient in my future
R. To A. Virginia Assembly. Washington ed. viii, 148.


It is a sufficient happiness to me to know
that my fellow citizens of the country generally
entertain for me the kind sentiments
which have prompted this proposition [to


Page 43
meet him on his way home] without giving
to so many the trouble of leaving their homes
to meet a single individual. I shall have opportunities
of taking them individually by the
hand at our court house and other public
places, and of exchanging assurances of mutual
esteem. Certainly it is the greatest consolation
to me to know, that in returning to
the bosom of my native country, I shall be
again in the midst of their kind affections:
and I can say with truth that my return to
them will make me happier than I have been
since I left them.—
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. v, 431. Ford ed., ix, 247.
(W. Feb. 1809)

402. APPROBATION, Old friends and.—

The approbation of my ancient friends is,
above all things, the most grateful to my
heart. They know for what objects we relinquished
the delights of domestic society,
tranquillity and science, and committed ourselves
to the ocean of revolution, to wear out
the only life God has given us here in scenes
the benefits of which will accrue only to
those who follow us.—
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 424.
(W. 1801)

403. APPROBATION, Popular.—

approbation of my constituents is truly the
most valued reward for any services it has
fallen to my lot to render them—their confidence
and esteem the greatest consolation of
my life.—
R. To A. Massachusetts Legislature. Washington ed. viii, 116.
(Feb. 1807)

404. APPROBATION, Popular.—[continued].

In a virtuous and free State, no rewards can be so pleasing to sensible
minds, as those which include the approbation
of our fellow citizens.—
Inauguration Speech as Governor. Ford ed., ii, 187.

405. APPROBATION, Principle and.—

Our part is to pursue with steadiness what is
right, turning neither to right nor left for the
intrigues or popular delusions of the day, assured
that the public approbation will in the
end be with us.—
To General Breckenridge. Washington ed. vii, 238.
(M. 1822)

406. APPROBATION, Rewarded by.—

The approbation of my fellow citizens is the
richest reward I can receive.—
To Richard M. Johnson. Washington ed. v, 256.
(W. 1808)

407. APPROBATION, Rewarded by.—[continued].

The approving voice of
our fellow citizens, for endeavors to be useful,
is the greatest of all earthly rewards. [26]
R. To A. New London Methodists. Washington ed. viii, 147.


Jefferson retired with a reputation and popularity
hardly inferior to that of Washington.—John
T. Morse, Jr., Life of Jefferson. 318.

408. APPROBATION, Rewarded by.—[further continued].

If, in my retirement to
the humble station of a private citizen, I am
accompanied with the esteem and approbation
of my fellow citizens, trophies obtained by
the blood-stained steel, or the tattered flags
of the tented field, will never be envied.—
R. To A. Maryland Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 165.

409. APPROBATION, Right and.—

have ever found in my progress through life,
that, acting for the public, if we do always
what is right, the approbation denied in the
beginning will surely follow us in the end.
It is from posterity we are to expect remuneration
for the sacrifices we are making for
their service, of time, quiet and good will.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vii, 394.
(M. 1825)

410. APPROBATION, Undeserved.—

have never claimed any other merit than
of good intentions, sensible that in the choice
of measures, error of judgment has too often
had its influence; and that with whatever indulgence
my countrymen * * * have been so
kind as to view my course, yet they would
certainly not know me in the picture here
drawn, and would, I fear, say in the words of
the poet, “praise undeserved is satire in disguise.
” Were, therefore, the piece to be prepared
for the press, I should certainly entreat
you to revise that part with a severe eye.—
To Amelot De La Croix. Washington ed. v, 422.
(W. 1809)


Sentiments of esteem from men of
worth, of reflection, and of pure attachment
to republican government, are my consolation
against the calumnies of which it has suited
certain writers to make me the object. Under
these I hope I shall never bend.—
To Harry Innes. Ford ed., vii, 383.
(M. 1799)

412. APPROPRIATIONS, Borrowing from.—

There are funds sufficient and regularly
appropriated to the fitting out [ships],
but for manning the proper funds are exhausted,
consequently we must borrow from
other funds, and state the matter to Congress.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 308.

413. APPROPRIATIONS, The Constitution and.—

In the answer to Turreau, I think it would be better to lay more stress on
the constitutional bar to our furnishing the
money, because it would apply in an occasion
of peace as well as war. I submit to you,
therefore, * * * the inserting, “but, in indulging
these dispositions, the President is
bound to stop at the limits prescribed by our
Constitution and law to the authorities in his
hands. One of the limits is that `no money
shall be drawn from the Treasury but in
consequence of appropriations made by law,'
and no law having made any appropriation of
money for any purpose similar to that expressed
in your letter, it lies, of course, beyond
his constitutional powers.”—
To James Madison. Ford ed., viii, 474.
(M. Sep. 1806)

414. APPROPRIATIONS, Discretion over.—

The question whether the Berceau
was to be delivered up under the treaty was of
Executive cognizance entirely, and without
appeal. So was the question as to the condition
in which she should be delivered. And
it is as much an invasion of its independence
for a coordinate branch to call for the reasons
of the decision, as it would be to call on the
Supreme Court for its reasons on any judiciary
decision. If an appropriation were asked,
the Legislature would have a right to ask
reasons. But in this case they had confided


Page 44
an appropriation (for naval contingencies) to
the discretion of the Executive. Under this
appropriation our predecessors bought the
vessel (for there was no order of Congress
authorizing them to buy) and began her repairs;
we completed them. I will not say
that a very gross abuse of discretion in a past
appropriation would not furnish ground to the
Legislature to take notice of it. In what form
is not now necessary to decide. But so far
from a gross abuse, the decision in this case
was correct, honorable and advantageous to
the nation. I cannot see to what legitimate objects
any resolution of the House on the subject
can lead; and if one is passed on ground
not legitimate, our duty will be to resist it.—
To William B. Giles. Ford ed., viii, 142.
(April. 1802)

415. APPROPRIATIONS, Diverting.—

The diversion of the [French] money from
its legal appropriation offers a flaw against
the Executive which may place them in the
To President Washington. Ford ed., vi, 179.

416. APPROPRIATIONS, Diverting.—[continued].

If it should appear that
the Legislature has done their part in furnishing
the money for the French nation, and
that the Executive departments have applied
it to other purposes, then it will certainly be
desirable that we get back on legal ground as
soon as possible, by pressing on the domestic
funds and availing ourselves of any proper
opportunity which may be furnished of replacing
the money to the foreign creditors.—
To President Washington. Ford ed., vi, 177.

417. APPROPRIATIONS, Estimates and.—

I like your idea of kneading all Hamilton's
little scraps and fragments into one
batch, and adding to it a complementary sum,
which, while it forms it into a single mass
from which everything is to be paid, will enable
us, should a breach of appropriation ever
be charged on us, to prove that the sum appropriated,
and more, has been applied to its
specific object.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 428. Ford ed., viii, 140.
(W. 1802)

418. APPROPRIATIONS, Estimates and.—[continued].

Congress, aware that too
minute a specification has its evil as well as a
too general one, does not make the estimate
a part of their law, but gives a sum in gross,
trusting the Executive discretion for that
year, and that sum only; so in other departments,
as of War, for instance, the estimate
of the Secretary specifies all the items of
clothing, subsistence, pay, &c., of the army.
And Congress throws this into such masses
as they think best, to wit, a sum in gross for
clothing, another for subsistence, a third for
pay, &c., binding up the Executive discretion
only by the sum, and the object generalized to
a certain degree. The minute details of the
estimate are thus dispensed with in point of
obligation, and the discretion of the officer is
enlarged to the limits of the classification
which Congress thinks it best for the public
interest to make.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 529.

419. APPROPRIATIONS, Executive power over.—

The Executive * * * has the
power, though not the right, to apply money contrary to its legal appropriations. Cases May
be imagined, however, where it would be their duty to do this. But they must be cases of
extreme necessity. The payment of interest
to the domestic creditors
has been mentioned
as one of the causes of diverting the foreign
fund. But this is not an object of greater necessity
than that to which it was legally appropriated.
It is taking the money from our
foreign creditors to pay it to the domestic
a preference which neither justice,
gratitude, nor the estimation in which these
two descriptions of creditors are held in this
country will justify. The payment of the
Army and the daily expenses of the government
have been also mentioned as objects of
withdrawing this money. These indeed are
pressing objects, and might produce that degree
of distressing necessity which would be
a justification.—
To President Washington. Ford ed., vi, 176.
(Pa., 1793)

420. APPROPRIATIONS, Expenditures and.—

A violation of a law making appropriations
of money, is a violation of that
section of the Constitution of the United States which requires that no money shall be
drawn from the Treasury but in consequences
of appropriations made by law.—
Giles Treasury Resolutions. Ford ed., vi, 168.

421. APPROPRIATIONS, Specific.—

is essential to the due administration of the
government of the United States, that laws
making specific appropriations of money
should be strictly observed by the Secretary of
the Treasury thereof.—
Giles Treasury Resolutions. Ford ed., vi, 168.

422. APPROPRIATIONS, Specific.—[continued].

In our care of the public contributions intrusted to our direction, it
would be prudent to multiply barriers against
their dissipation, by appropriating specific
sums to every specific purpose susceptible of
definition; by disallowing applications of
money varying from the appropriation in object,
or transcending it in amount; by reducing
the undefined field of contingencies, and
thereby circumscribing discretionary powers
over money and by bringing back to a single
department all accountabilities for money
where the examination may be prompt, efficacious,
and uniform.—
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 10. Ford ed., viii, 120.
(Dec. 1801)

See Money Bills.

423. ARBITRATION, Offer of.—

As to
our dispute with Schweighauser and Dobrée,
in the conversation I had with Dobrée at
Nantes, he appeared to think so rationally on
the subject, that I thought there would be no
difficulty in accommodating it with him, and
I wished rather to settle it by accommodation,
than to apply to the minister. I afterwards
had it intimated to him * * *, that I had it
in idea to propose a reference to arbitrators.
He expressed a cheerful concurrence in it. I
thereupon made the proposition to him formally,


Page 45
by letter, mentioning particularly, that we would choose our arbitrators of some neutral
nation, and, of preference, from among
the Dutch refugees in Paris. I was surprised
to receive an answer from him, wherein, after
expressing his own readiness to accede to this
proposition, he added, that on consulting with
Mr. Puchilberg, he had declined it.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 496.
(P. 1788)

424. ARBITRATION, Offer of.—[continued].

I began by offering to
Schweighauser and Dobree an arbitration before
honest and judicious men of a neutral nation.
They declined this, and had the modesty
to propose an arbitration before merchants of
their own town.
I gave them warning then,
that as the offer on the part of a sovereign nation
to submit to a private arbitration was
an unusual condescendence, if they did not
accept them, it would not be repeated, and
that the United States would judge the case
for themselves hereafter. They continued to
decline it.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 365.
(Pa., 1791)

425. ARBORICULTURE, Coffee tree.—

Bartram is extremely anxious to get a large
supply of seeds of the Kentucky coffee tree.
I told him I would use all my interest with you
to obtain it, as I think I heard you say that
some neighbors of yours had a large number of
trees. Be so good as to take measures for
bringing a good quantity, if possible, to Bartram
when you come to Congress.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 569. Ford ed., vi, 279.

426. ARBORICULTURE, Cork Oak.—

expect from the South of France some acorns
of the cork oak, which I propose for your society
[Agricultural], as I am persuaded they
will succeed with you. I observed it to grow
in England without shelter, not well, indeed,
but so as to give hopes that it would do well
with you.—
To William Drayton. Washington ed. i, 555.
(P. 1786)

427. ARBORICULTURE, Cork Oak.—[continued].

I sent you a parcel of
acorns of the cork oak by Colonel Franks.
To William Drayton. Washington ed. ii, 202.
(Pa., 1787)

428. ARBORICULTURE, Cork Oak.—[further continued].

I have been long endeavoring
to procure the cork tree from Europe,
but without success. A plant which I brought
with me from Paris died after languishing some
time, and of several parcels of acorns received
from a correspondent at Marseilles, not one
has ever vegetated. I shall continue my endeavors,
although disheartened by the nonchalance
of our southern fellow citizens, with
whom alone they can thrive.—
To James Ronaldson. Washington ed. vi, 92. Ford ed., ix, 370.
(M. Jan. 1813)

429. ARBORICULTURE, Fruit trees.—

Should you be able to send me any plants of
good fruit, and especially of peaches and eating
grapes, they will be thankfully received.—
To Phillip Mazzei. Ford ed., viii, 16.
(W. March. 1801)

— ARBORICULTURE, the Olive.—

See Olive.


pecan nut is, as you conjecture, the Illinois
nut. The former is the vulgar name south
of the Potomac, as also with the Indians and
Spaniards, and enters also into the botanical
name which is Juglano Pacon.
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 74.
(P. 1786)

431. ARBORICULTURE, Pecan.—[continued].

Procure me two or three
hundred pecan nuts from the western country.—
To F. Hopkinson. Washington ed. i, 506.
(P. 1786)

432. ARBORICULTURE, Pecan.—[further continued].

I thank you for the pecan nuts.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 156. Ford ed., iv, 396.
(P. 1787)

433. ARBORICULTURE, Sensitive Plant.—

Your attention to one burthen I laid
on you, encourages me to remind you of
another, which is the sending me some of the
seeds of the Dionaea Muscipula, or Venus flytrap,
called also with you, I believe, the Sensitive
To Mr. Hawkins. Washington ed. ii, 3.
(P. 1786)


I send
a packet of the seeds of trees which I would
wish Anthony to sow in a large nursery, noting
well their names.—
To Nicholas Lewis. Ford ed., iv, 344.
(P. 1786)


I am
making a collection of vines for wine and for
the table.—
To A. Carey. Washington ed. i, 508.
(P. 1786)


The genius
of architecture seems to have shed its maledictions over this land [Virginia].—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 394. Ford ed., iii, 258.

437. ARCHITECTURE, Beauty in.—

How is a taste in this beautiful art to be
formed in our countrymen unless we avail
ourselves of every occasion when public buildings
are to be erected, of presenting to them
models for their study and imitation?—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 433.
(P. 1785)

438. ARCHITECTURE, Brick, Stone, Wood.—

All we shall do in the way of reformation
will produce no permanent improvement
to our country, while the unhappy prejudice
prevails that houses of brick or stone
are less wholesome than those of wood. A
dew is often observed on the walls of the former
in rainy weather, and the most obvious
solution is, that the rain has penetrated
through these walls. The following facts,
however, are sufficient to prove the error of
this solution: 1. This dew on the walls appears
when there is no rain, if the state of the
atmosphere be moist. 2. It appears on the
partition as well as the exterior walls. 3.
So, also on pavements of brick or stone. 4.
It is more copious in proportion as the walls
are thicker; the reverse of which ought to be
the case, if this hypothesis were just. If cold
water be poured into a vessel of stone, or
glass, a dew forms instantly on the outside;
but if it be poured into a vessel of wood, there
is no such appearance. It is not supposed, in
the first case, that the water has exuded
through the glass, but that it is precipitated
from the circumambient air; as the humid
particles of vapor, passing from the boiler of
an alembic through its refrigerant, are precipitated
from the air, in which they are suspended,
on the internal surface of the refrigerant.
Walls of brick or stone act as the refrigerant
in this instance. They are sufficiently
cold to condense and precipitate the
moisture suspended in the air of the room,
when it is heavily charged therewith. But


Page 46
walls of wood are not so. The question then
is, whether the air in which this moisture is
left floating, or that which is deprived of it,
be most wholesome? In both cases, the remedy
is easy. A little fire kindled in the room,
whenever the air is damp, prevents the precipitation
on the walls; and this practice,
found healthy in the warmest as well as
coldest seasons, is as necessary in a wooden
as in a stone or brick house. I do not mean
to say, that the rain never penetrates through
walls of brick. On the contrary, I have seen
instances of it. But with us it is only through
the northern and eastern walls of the house,
after a north-easterly, storm, these being the
only ones which continue long enough to
force through the walls. This, however, happens
too rarely to give a just character of
unwholesomeness to such houses. In a house,
the walls of which are of well-burnt brick and
good mortar, I have seen the rain penetrate
through but twice in a dozen or fifteen years.
The inhabitants of Europe, who dwell chiefly
in houses of stone or brick, are surely as
healthy as those of Virginia. These houses
have the advantage, too, of being warmer in
winter and cooler in summer than those of
wood; of being cheaper in their first construction,
where lime is convenient, and infinitely
more durable. The latter consideration renders
it of great importance to eradicate this
prejudice from the minds of our countrymen.
A country whose buildings are of wood, can
never increase in its improvements to any
considerable degree. Their duration is highly
estimated at fifty years. Every half century
then our country becomes a tabula rasa, whereon we have to set out anew, as in the
first moment of seating it. Whereas when
buildings are of durable materials, every new
edifice is an actual and permanent acquisition
to the State, adding to its value as well as
to its ornament.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 395. Ford ed., iii, 258.

439. ARCHITECTURE, Delight in.—

Architecture is my delight, and putting up
and pulling down, one of my favorite amusements.—
Rayner's Life of Jefferson.524.

440. ARCHITECTURE, Economy in.—

I have scribbled some general notes on the plan of a house you enclosed. I have done
more. I have endeavored to throw the same
area, the same extent of walls, the same number
of rooms, and of the same sizes, into another
form so as to offer a choice to the
builder. Indeed, I varied my plan by showing
what it would be with alcove bed rooms, to
which I am so much attached.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vi, 259.
(Pa., 1793)

441. ARCHITECTURE, English.—

architecture is in the most wretched style
I ever saw, not meaning to except America,
where it is bad, nor even Virginia, where it is
worse than in any other part of America,
which I have seen.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 550. Ford ed., iv, 214.
(P. 1786)

442. ARCHITECTURE, Fascination of.—

Here I am gazing whole hours at the
Maison quarrée, like a lover at his mistress.
The stocking weavers and silk spinners
around it consider me a hypochondriac Englishman,
about to write with a pistol the last
chapter of his history. This is the second
time I have been in love since I left Paris.
The first was with a Diana at the Chateau de
Laye-Epinaye in Beaujolois, a delicious morsel
of sculpture, by M. A. Slodtz. This, you
will say, was in rule, to fall in love with a
female beauty; but with a house! it is out of
all precedent. No, madame, it is not without
a precedent in my own history. While in
Paris I was violently smitten with the Hotel
de Salm, and used to go to the Tuileries almost
daily, to look at it.—
To Madame La Comtesse De Tesse. Washington ed. ii, 131.
(N., 1787 )

443. ARCHITECTURE, Faulty.—

are often erected, by individuals, of
considerable expense. To give these symmetry
and taste, would not increase their cost.
It would only change the arrangement of the
materials, the form and combination of the
members. This would often cost less than the
burden of barbarous ornaments with which
these buildings are sometimes charged. But
the first principles of the art are unknown,
and there exists scarcely a model among us
sufficiently chaste to give an idea of them.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 394. Ford ed., iii, 258.

444. ARCHITECTURE, French.—

I to proceed to tell you how much I enjoy
French architecture * * * I should want
To Mr. Bellini. Washington ed. i, 445.
(P. 1785)

445. ARCHITECTURE, Importance of.—

Architecture is worth great attention. As we double our number every twenty years we
must double our houses. * * * It is, then,
among the most important arts; and it is desirable
to introduce taste into an art which
shows so much.—
Travelling Hints. Washington ed. ix, 404.

446. ARCHITECTURE, Plan of Prison.—

With respect to the plan of a Prison, requested
[by the Virginia authorities] in 1785,
(being then in Paris), I had heard of a benevolent
society, in England, which had been indulged
by the government, in an experiment
of the effect of labor, in solitary confinement, on some of their criminals: which experiment
had succeeded beyond expectation. The same
idea had been suggested in France, and an
architect of Lyons had proposed a plan of a
well-contrived edifice, on the principle of solitary
confinement. I procured a copy, and as
it was too large for our purposes, I drew one
on a scale less extensive, but susceptible of
additions as they should be wanting. This I
sent to the directors, instead of a plan of a
common prison, in the hope that it would
suggest the idea of labor in solitary confinement,
instead of that on the public works,
which we had adopted in our Revised Code.
Its principle, accordingly, but not its exact
form, was adopted by Latrobe in carrying the
plan into execution, by the erection of what
is now called the Penitentiary, built under his
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 46. Ford ed., 64.

447. ARCHITECTURE, Porticos.—

portico may be from five to ten diameters


Page 47
of the column deep, or projected from the
building. If of more than five diameters,
there must be a column in the middle of each
flank, since it must never be more than five
diameters from center to center of column.
The portico of the Maison quarrée is three
intercolonnations deep. I never saw as much
to a private house.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vi, 327.


See Antiquities.


private buildings [in Virginia] are very rarely
constructed of stone or brick, much the
greater portion being of scantling and boards,
plastered with lime. It is impossible to devise
things more úgly, uncomfortable, and happily
more perishable.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 393. Ford ed., iii, 257.

449. ARCHITECTURE, Virginia Capitol.—

I was written to in 1785 (being then in
Paris) by directors appointed to superintend
the building of a Capitol in Richmond, to advise
them as to a plan, and to add to it one
of a Prison. Thinking it a favorable opportunity
of introducing into the State an example
of architecture, in the classic style of antiquity,
and the Maison quarrée of Nismes, an ancient
Roman temple, being considered as the most
perfect model existing of what may be called
Cubic architecture, I applied to M. Clerissault,
who had published drawings of the Antiquities
of Nismes, to have me a model of the building
made in stucco, only changing the order from
Corinthinan to Ionic, on account of the difficulty
of the Corinthian capitals. I yielded,
with reluctance, to the taste of Clerissault, in
his preference of the modern capital of
Scamozzi to the more noble capital of antiquity.
This was executed by the artist whom Choiseul
Gouffier had carried with him to Constantinople,
and employed, while ambassador there, in making
those beautiful models of the remains of
Grecian architecture which are to be seen at
Paris. To adapt the exterior to our use, I drew
a plan for the interior, with the apartments
necessary for legislative, executive, and judiciary
purposes; and accommodated in their size
and distribution to the form and dimensions of
the building. These were forwarded to the
directors, in 1786, and were carried into execution,
with some variations, not for the better,
the most important of which, however, admit
of future correction.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 45. Ford ed., i, 63.

450. ARCHITECTURE, Virginia Capitol.—[continued].

We took for our model
what is called the Maison quarrée of Nismes,
one of the most beautiful, if not the most
beautiful and precious morsel of architecture
left us by antiquity. It was built by Caius and
Lucius Cæsar, and repaired by Louis XIV., and
has the suffrage of all the judges of architecture
who have seen it, as yielding to no one of the
beautiful monuments of Greece, Rome, Palmyra
and Balbec, which late travellers have communicated
to us. It is very simple, but it is noble
beyond expression, and would have done honor
to our country, as presenting to travellers a
specimen of taste in our infancy, promising
much for our maturer age.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 432.
(P. 1785)

451. ARCHITECTURE, Virginia Capitol.—[further continued].

I shall send them a plan
taken from the best morsel of ancient architecture
now remaining. It has obtained the
approbation of fifteen or sixteen centuries, and
is, therefore, preferable to any design which
might be newly contrived. It will give more
room, be more convenient and cost less than
the plan they sent me. Pray encourage them
to wait for it, and to execute it. It will be
superior in beauty to anything in America, and
not inferior to anything in the world. It is
very simple.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 415.
(P. 1785)

452. ARCHITECTURE, Virginia Capitol.—[further continued] .

The designs for the Capitol
are simple and sublime. More cannot be
said. They are not the brat of a whimsical
conception never before brought to light, but
copied from the most precious, the most perfect
model, of ancient architecture remaining on
earth; one which has received the approbation
of near 2000 years, and which is sufficiently
remarkable to have been visited by all travellers.—
To Dr. James Currie. Ford ed., iv, 133.
(P. 1786)

453. ARCHITECTURE, Virginia Capitol.—[further continued].

I have been much mortified
with information I received * * * from
Virginia, that the first brick of the Capitol
would be laid within a few days. But surely,
the delay of this piece of a summer would
have been repaired by the savings in the plan
preparing here, were we to value its other
superiorities as nothing.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 432.
(P. 1785)

454. ARCHITECTURE, Virginia Capitol.—[further continued] .

Do * * * exert yourself
to get the plan [of the Capitol] begun on,
set aside and that adopted which was drawn
here. It was taken from a model which has
been the admiration of sixteen centuries; which
has been the object of as many pilgrimages
as the tomb of Mahomet; which will give
unrivalled honor to our State, and furnish a
model whereon to form the taste of our young
men. It will cost much less, too, than the
one begun because it does not cover one-half
the area.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 534. Ford ed., iv, 196.
(P. 1785)

455. ARCHITECTURE, Virginia Capitol.—[further continued].

Pray try if you can effect
the stopping of this work. * * * The loss will
be only of the laying the bricks already laid,
or a part of them. The bricks themselves
will do again for the interior walls, and one
side wall and one end wall may remain,
as they will answer equally well for our plan.
This loss is not to be weighed against the saving
of money which will arise, against the comfort
of laying out the public money for something
honorable, the satisfaction of seeing an object
and proof of national good taste, and the regret
and mortification of erecting a monument of
our barbarism, which will be loaded with execrations
as long as it shall endure.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 433.
(P. 1785)

456. ARCHITECTURE, Virginia Capitol.—[further continued] .

Our new Capitol, when
the corrections are made, of which it is susceptible,
will be an edifice of first rate dignity.
Whenever it shall be finished with the proper
ornaments belonging to it (which will not be
in this age), it will be worthy of being exhibited
alongside the most celebrated remains
of antiquity. Its extreme convenience has
acquired it universal approbation.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 136.

457. ARCHITECTURE, Virginia Capitol.—[further continued]..

The capitol in the city of
Richmond, in Virginia, is the model of the
Temples of Erectheus at Athens, of Balbec,
and of the Maison quarrée of Nismes. All of
which are nearly of the same form and proportions,
and are considered as the most perfect
examples of cubic architecture, as the


Page 48
Pantheon of Rome is of the spherical. Their
dimensions not being sufficient for the purposes
of the Capitol, they were enlarged, but their
proportions rigorously observed. The Capitol
is of brick, one hundred and thirty four feet
long, seventy feet wide, and forty-five feet high,
exclusive of the basement. Twenty-eight feet
of its length is occupied by a portico of the
whole breadth of the house, showing six
columns in front, and two intercolonnations in
flank. It is of a single order, which is Ionic;
its columns four feet two inches diameter, and
their entablature running round the whole
building. The portico is crowned by a pediment,
the height of which is two-ninths of its
Jefferson Manuscripts. Washington ed. ix, 446.

458. ARCHITECTURE, Washington Capitol.—

I have had under consideration Mr. Hallet's plans for the Capitol, which undoubtedly
have a great deal of merit. Dr.
Thornton has also given me a view of his. *
* * The grandeur, simplicity and beauty of
the exterior, the propriety with which the apartments
are distributed, and economy in the mass
of the whole structure, will, I doubt not, give
it a preference in your eyes, as it has done in
mine and those of several others whom I have
consulted. * * * Some difficulty arises with respect
to Mr. Hallet, who you know was in
some degree led into his plan by ideas we all
expressed to him. This ought not to induce
us to prefer it to a better; but while he is
liberally rewarded for the time and labor he
has expended on it, his feelings should be saved
and soothed as much as possible.—
To the Washington Commissioners. Washington ed. iii, 507.

459. ARCHITECTURE, Washington Capitol.—[continued].

Dr. Thornton's plan of a
Capitol has * * * so captivated the eyes and
judgment of all as to leave no doubt you will
prefer it. * * * Among its admirers none is
more decided than he [Washington] whose decision
is most important. It is simple, noble,
beautiful, excellently distributed, and moderate
in size. * * * A just respect for the right
of approbation in the commissioners will prevent
any formal decision in the President till
the plan shall be laid before you and be approved
by you.—
To Mr. Carroll. Washington ed. iii, 508.
(Pa., 1793)

460. ARCHITECTURE, Washington Capitol.—[further continued].

The Representative's chamber
will remain a durable monument of
your talents as an architect. * * * The Senate
room I have never seen.—
To Mr. Latrobe. Washington ed. vi, 75.
(M. 1812)

461. ARCHITECTURE, Washington Capitol.—[further continued] .

I shall live in the hope
that the day will come when an opportunity
will be given you of finishing the middle building
in a style worthy of the two wings, and
worthy of the first temple dedicated to the sovereignty
of the people, embellishing with
Athenian taste the course of a nation looking
far beyond the range of Athenian destinies.—
To Mr. Latrobe. Washington ed. vi, 75.
(M. 1812)
See Capitol (U. S.) and Washington City.

462. ARCHITECTURE, Williamsburg Capitol.—

The only public buildings worthy
mention [in Virginia] are the Capitol, the
Palace, the College, and the Hospital for Lunatics,
all of them in Williamsburg, heretofore
the seat of our government. The Capitol is a
light and airy structure, with a portico in front
of two orders, the lower of which, being Doric,
is tolerably just in its proportions and ornaments,
save only that the intercolonnations are
too large. The upper is Ionic, much too small
for that on which it is mounted, its ornaments
not proper to the order, nor proportioned within
themselves. It is crowned with a pediment,
which is too large for its span. Yet, on the
whole, it is the most pleasing piece of architecture
we have. The Palace is not handsome without,
but it is spacious and commodious within,
is prettily situated, and with the grounds annexed
to it, is capable of being made an elegant
seat. The College and Hospital are rude,
misshapen piles, which, but that they have
roofs, would be taken for brick-kilns. There
are no other public buildings but churches and
court-houses, in which no attempts are made
at elegance. Indeed, it would not be easy to
execute such an attempt, as a workman could
scarcely be found here capable of drawing an
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 394. Ford ed., iii, 257.

463. ARISTOCRACY, Artificial vs. Natural.—

There is a natural aristocracy
among men. The grounds of this are virtue
and talents. Formerly, bodily powers gave
place among the aristoi. But since the invention
of gunpowder has armed the weak as
well as the strong with missile death, bodily
strength, like beauty, good humor, politeness
and other accomplishments, has become but
an auxiliary ground of distinction. There is,
also, an artificial aristocracy, founded on
wealth and birth, without either virtue or talents:
for with these it would belong to the
first class. The natural aristocracy I consider
as the most precious gift of nature for the instruction,
the trusts, and government of society.
And indeed, it would have been inconsistent
in creation to have formed man for
the social state, and not to have provided virtue
and wisdom enough to manage the concerns
of the society. May we not even say,
that that form of government is the best,
which provides the most effectually for a pure
selection of these natural aristoi into the offices
of government? The artificial aristocracy
is a mischievous ingredient in government,
and provision should be made to prevent
its ascendency. On the question, what
is the best provision, you and I differ; but we
differ as rational friends, using the free exercise
of our own reason, and mutually indulging
its errors. You think it best to put the
pseudo-aristoi into a separate chamber of legislation,
where they may be hindered from
doing mischief by their coordinate branches
and where, also, they may be a protection to
wealth against the agrarian and plundering enterprises
of the majority of the people. I think
that to give them power in order to prevent
them from doing mischief, is arming them for
it, and increasing instead of remedying the
evil. For, if the coordinate branches can
arrest their action, so may they that of the
coordinates. Mischief may be done negatively
as well as positively. Of this, a cabal in
the Senate of the United States has furnished
many proofs. Nor do I believe them necessary
to protect the wealthy; because enough
of these will find their way into every branch
of the legislature to protect themselves. From
fifteen to twenty legislatures of our own, in
action for thirty years past, have proved that
no fears of an equalization of property are to
be apprehended from them. I think the best
remedy is exactly that provided by all our


Page 49
constitutions, to leave to the citizens the free
election and separation of the aristoi from the
pseudo-aristoi, of the wheat from the chaff.
In general they will elect the really good and
wise. In some instances, wealth may corrupt,
and birth blind them, but not in sufficient
degree to endanger the society.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 223. Ford ed., ix, 425.
(M. 1813)

464. ARISTOCRACY, Banking.—

hope we shall * * * crush in its birth the
aristocracy of our moneyed corporations,
which dare already to challenge our government
to a trial of strength and bid defiance to
the laws of our country.—
To George Logan. Ford ed., x, 69.
Nov. 1816)

— ARISTOCRACY, Cincinnati Society and.—

See Cincinnati.

465. ARISTOCRACY, Despised.—

An industrious
farmer occupies a more dignified
place in the scale of beings, whether moral
or political, than a lazy lounger, valuing himself
on his family, too proud to work, and
drawing out a miserable existence by eating
on that surplus of other men's labor, which
is the sacred fund of the helpless poor.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 271. Ford ed., iv, 176.
(P. 1786)

466. ARISTOCRACY, Education and.—

The bill [of the Revised Code of Virginia] for the more general diffusion of learning
proposed to divide every county into wards
of five or six miles square, like the [New
England] townships; to establish in each
ward a free school for reading, writing and
common arithmetic; to provide for the annual
selection of the best subjects from these
schools, who might receive, at the public expense,
a higher degree of education at a district
school; and from these district schools
to select a certain number of the most promising
subjects, to be completed at an University,
where all the useful sciences should be
taught. Worth and genius would thus have
been sought out from every condition of life,
and completely prepared by education for defeating
the competition of wealth and birth
for public trusts.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 225. Ford ed., ix, 427.
(P. 1813)

467. ARISTOCRACY, Education and.—[continued].

This bill on education
would have raised the mass of the people to
the high ground of moral respectability necessary
to their own safety, and to orderly
government; and would have completed the
great object of qualifying them to secure the
veritable aristoi for the trusts of government
to the exclusion of the pseudalists. * * * Although this law has not yet been acted on
but in a small and inefficient degree, it is still
considered as before the Legislature, * * * and I have great hope that some patriotic
spirit will, at a favorable moment, call it up,
and make it the key stone of the arch of our
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 226. Ford ed., ix, 428.
(M. 1813)

468. ARISTOCRACY, Evils of.—

To detail
the real evils of aristocracy, they must
be seen in Europe.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 267. Ford ed., iv, 172.
(P. 1786)

469. ARISTOCRACY, Evils of.—[continued].

A due horror of the evils
which flow from these distinctions could be
excited in Europe only, where the dignity of
man is lost in arbitrary distinctions, where
the human species is classed into several
stages of degradation, where the many are
crushed under the weight of the few, and
where the order established can present to the
contemplation of a thinking being no other
picture than that of God Almighty and his
angels trampling under foot the host of the
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 270. Ford ed., iv, 175.
(P. 1786)

470. ARISTOCRACY, Evils of.—[further continued].

To know the mass of evil which flows from this fatal source, a person
must be in France. He must see the finest
soil, the finest climate, the most compact
state, the most benevolent character of people,
and every earthly advantage combined, insufficient
to prevent this scourge from rendering
existence a curse to twenty-four out
of twenty-five parts of the inhabitants of this
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 62. Ford ed., iv, 329.
(P. 1786)

471. ARISTOCRACY, Insurrection against.—

But even in Europe a change has
sensibly taken place in the mind of man.
Science has liberated the ideas of those who
read and reflect, and the American example
has kindled feelings of right in the people.
An insurrection has consequently begun of
science, talents, and courage, against rank and
birth, which have fallen into contempt. It
has failed in its first effort, because the mobs
of the cities, the instrument used for its accomplishment,
debased by ignorance, poverty
and vice, could not be restrained to rational
action. But the world will soon recover from
the panic of this first catastrophe. Science is
progressive, and talents and enterprise are
on the alert. Resort may be had to the people
of the country, a more governable power from
their principles and subordination; and rank,
and birth, and tinsel-aristocracy will finally
shrink into insignificance, even there. This,
however, we have no right to meddle with. It
suffices for us, if the moral and physical condition
of our own citizens qualifies them to
select the able and good for the direction of
their government, with a recurrence of elections
at such short periods as will enable them
to displace an unfaithful servant, before the
mischief he meditates may be irremediable.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 227. Ford ed., ix, 429.
(M. 1813)

— ARISTOCRACY, Kings, Priests and.—

See 472.

472. ARISTOCRACY, Liberty and.—

The complicated organization of kings, nobles,
and priests, is not the wisest or best to effect
the happiness of associated man. * * * The
trappings of such a machinery consume by
their expense those earnings of industry they
were meant to protect, and, by the inequalities
they produce, expose liberty to sufferance.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 291. Ford ed., x, 227.
(M. 1823)


Page 50

473. ARISTOCRACY, Religious.—

law for religious freedom, * * * put down
the aristocracy of the clergy [in Virginia] and restored to the citizen the freedom
of the mind.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 226. Ford ed., ix, 428.
(M. 1813)

474. ARISTOCRACY, Repressed by.—

heavy aristocracy and corruption are two
bridles in the mouths of the Irish which will
prevent them from making any effectual efforts
against their masters.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iv, 38.
(P. 1785)

475. ARISTOCRACY, Reverence for.—

From what I have seen of Massachusetts and Connecticut myself, and still more from what
I have heard, and the character given of the
former by yourself, who know them so
much better, there seems to be in those two
States a traditionary reverence for certain
families, which has rendered the offices of the
government nearly hereditary in those families.
I presume that from an early period of
your history, members of those families happening
to possess virtue and talents, have
honestly exercised them for the good of the
people, and by their services have endeared
their names to them. In coupling Connecticut
with you, I mean it politically only, not
morally. For having made the Bible the common
law of their land, they seem to have
modeled their morality on the story of Jacob
and Laban. But although this hereditary succession
to office with you, may, in some degree,
be founded in real family merit, yet in
a much higher degree, it has proceeded from
your strict alliance of Church and State.
Those families are canonized in the eyes of
the people on common principles, “you tickle
me, and I will tickle you.”—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 224. Ford ed., ix, 426.
(M. 1813)

476. ARISTOCRACY, Royalty and.—

The [French] aristocracy [in 1788-9] was
cemented by a common principle of preserving
the ancient régime, or whatever should be
nearest to it. Making this their Polar star,
they moved in phalanx, gave preponderance
on every question to the minorities of the Patriots,
and always to those who advocated the
least change.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 104. Ford ed., i, 144.

— ARISTOCRACY, Trappings of.—

See 472.

477. ARISTOCRACY, Unpopular.—

Virginia, we have no traditional reverence for
certain families. Our clergy, before the Revolution,
having been secured against rivalship
by fixed salaries, did not give themselves
the trouble of acquiring influence over the
people. Of wealth, there were great accumulations
in particular families, handed down
from generation to generation, under the
English law of entails. But the only object
of ambition for the wealthy was a seat in the
King's council. All their court was paid to
the crown and its creatures; and they Philipised
in all collisions between the King and
the people. Hence they were unpopular; and
that unpopularity continues attached to their
names. A Randolph, a Carter, or a Burwell
must have great personal superiority over a
common competitor to be elected by the
people even at this day.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 224. Ford ed., ix, 426.
(M. 1813)

478. ARISTOCRACY, Uprooting.—

the first session of our Legislature after the
Declaration of Independence, we passed a
law abolishing entails. And this was followed
by one abolishing the privilege of primogeniture,
and dividing the lands of intestates
equally among all the children, or other
representatives. These laws, drawn by myself,
laid the axe to the root of pseudo-aristocracy.
And had another which I had prepared been
adopted by the Legislature, our work would
have been complete. It was a bill for the more
general diffusion of learning.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 225. Ford ed., ix, 427.
(M. 1813)

479. ARISTOCRACY, Uprooting.—[continued].

I considered four of
these bills [of the Revised Code of Virginia] * * * as forming a system by which every
fibre would be eradicated of ancient or future
aristocracy; and a foundation laid for a government
truly republican. The repeal of the
laws of entail would prevent the accumulation
and perpetuation of wealth, in select families,
and preserve the soil of the country from
being daily more and more absorbed in mortmain.
The abolition of primogeniture, and
equal partition of inheritances removed the
feudal and unnatural distinctions which made
one member of every family rich, and all the
rest poor, substituting equal partition, the
best of all Agrarian laws. The restoration of
the rights of conscience relieved the people
from taxation for the support of a religion not
theirs; for the Establishment was truly of
the religion of the rich, the dissenting sects
being entirely composed of the less wealthy
people; and these, by the bill for a general
education, would be qualified to understand
their rights, to maintain them, and to exercise
with intelligence their parts in self-government;
and all this would be effected without
the violation of a single natural right of
any one individual citizen.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 49. Ford ed., i, 68.


To state the difference between the classes of
society and the lines of demarcation which
separated them [in Virginia] would be difficult.
The law admitted none except as to our
twelve counsellors. Yet in a country insulated
from the European world, insulated from
its sister colonies, with whom there was
scarcely any intercourse, little visited by foreigners,
and having little matter to act upon
within itself, certain families had risen to
splendor by wealth and the preservation of it
from generation to generation under the law
of entails; some had produced a series of
men of talents; families in general had remained
stationary on the grounds of their
forefathers, for there was no emigration to the
westward in those days; the wild Irish, who
had gotten possession of the valley between
the Blue Ridge and North Mountain, forming


Page 51
a barrier over which none ventured to leap,
and would still less venture to settle among.
In such a state of things, scarcely admitting
any change of station, society would settle itself
down into several strata, separated by no
marked lines, but shading off imperceptibly
from top to bottom, nothing disturbing the
order of their repose. There were there aristocrats,
half-breeds, pretenders, a solid yeomanry,
looking askance at those above yet
venturing to jostle them, and last and lowest,
a feculum of beings called overseers, the most
abject, degraded and unprincipled race, always
cap in hand to the Dons who employed
them, and furnishing materials for the exercise
of their pride, insolence and spirit of
To William Wirt. Washington ed. vi, 484. Ford ed., ix, 473.
(M. 1815)

481. ARISTOCRACY IN VIRGINIA.—[continued].

You surprise me with the
account you give of the strength of family
distinction still existing in Massachusetts.
With us it is so totally extinguished, that not
a spark of it is to be found but working in the
hearts of some of our old tories; but all bigotries
hang to one another, and this in the Eastern
States hangs, as I suspect, to that of the
priesthood. Here youth, beauty, mind and
manners, are more valued than a pedigree.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 305.
(M. 1814)

482. ARISTOCRACY, Virtuous.—

has wisely provided an aristocracy of
virtue and talent for the direction of the interests
of society, and scattered it with equal
hand through all its conditions.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 36. Ford ed., i, 49.


An aristocracy of wealth [is] of more harm and danger than benefit to society.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 36. Ford ed., i, 49.

484. ARISTOCRATS, Impotent.—

We, too, have our aristocrats and monocrats, and
as they float on the surface, they show much
though they weigh little.—
To J. P. Brissot de Warville. Ford ed., vi, 249.
(Pa., 1793)

485. ARISTOCRATS, The People and.—

Aristocrats fear the people, and wish to transfer
all power to the higher classes of society.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 391. Ford ed., x, 335.
(M. 1825)

486. ARISTOTLE, Writings of.—

different was the style of society then, and
with those people, from what it is now and
with us, that I think little edification can be
obtained from their writings on the subject of
government. They had just ideas of the value
of personal liberty, but none at all of the
structure of government best calculated to
preserve it. They knew no medium between
a democracy (the only pure republic, but impracticable
beyond the limits of a town) and
an abandonment of themselves to an aristocracy,
or a tyranny independent of the people.
It seems not to have occurred that where the
citizens can not meet to transact their business
in person, they alone have the right to choose
the agents who shall transact it; and that in
this way a republican, or popular government,
of the second grade of purity, may be exer
cised over any extent of country. The full
experiment of a government, democratical,
but representative, was and is still reserved
for us. * * * The introduction of this new
principle of representative democracy has rendered
useless almost everything written before
on the structure of government; and, in a
great measure, relieves our regret, if the political
writings of Aristotle, or of any other
ancient, have been lost, or are unfaithfully
rendered or explained to us.—
To Isaac H. Tiffany. Washington ed. vii, 32.
(M. 1816)


See Mathematics.

487. ARMS, Loan of.—

I am in hopes that
your State [New York] will provide by the
loan of arms for your immediate safety.—
To Jacob J. Brown. Washington ed. v, 240.
(W. 1808)

488. ARMS, Loan of.—[continued].

I enclose you * * * an
application from * * * citizens of New York,
residing on the St. Lawrence and Lake Ontario,
setting forth their defenceless situation
for the want of arms, and praying to be
furnished from the magazines of the United
States. Similar applications from other parts
of our frontier in every direction have sufficiently
shown that did the laws permit such a
disposition of the arms of the United States,
their magazines would be completely exhausted,
and nothing would remain for actual war. But
it is only when troops take the field, that the
arms of the United States can be delivered to
them. For the ordinary safety of the citizens
of the several States, whether against dangers
within or without, their reliance must be on
the means to be provided by their respective
States. Under the circumstances I have
thought it my duty to transmit to you the representation
received, not doubting that you will
have done for the safety of our fellow citizens,
on a part of our frontier so interesting and
so much exposed, what their situation requires,
and the means under your control may permit.—
To Governor Tompkins. Washington ed. v, 238.
(W. 1808)

489. ARMS, Right to bear.—

No freeman
shall be debarred the use of arms [within his
own lands].[27]
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 27.
(June, 1776)


Brackets by Jefferson.—Editor.


See Birds.

490. ARMS, Device for the American States.—

A proper device (instead of arms)
for the American states united would be the
Father presenting the bundle of rods to his
sons. The motto “Insuperabiles si Inseparabiles
an answer given in part to the H. of
Lds & Comm. 4. Inst. 35. He cites 4. H. 6.
ru. 12. parl. rolls, which I suppose was the time
it happd. [28]
Ford ed., i, 420.


This is a note written in Jefferson's copy of the
Virginia Almanack for—1774. All his other entries in
this volume are contemporary with the date of the almanac,
and if, as all the internal evidence indicates,
this was also written at that time, it is not merely interesting
as a proposed emblem, but even more so as
the earliest reference to the “American States.” In a
letter of John Adams (Familiar Letters, 211), Aug. 4,
1776, on the subject of the national arms, is the following:
“Mr. Jefferson proposed the children of Israel
in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day and a pillar
of fire by night; and on the other side, Hengist and
Horsa, the Saxon chiefs from whom we claim the
honor of being descended, and whose political principles
and forms of government we have assumed.”—Note in Ford's ed.


Page 52

491. ARMS, Device for Virginia State.—

I like the device of the first side of the seal [for Virginia] much. The second I think, is
too much crowded, nor is the design so striking.
But for God's sake what is the “Deus
nobis hæc otia facit”!
It puzzles everybody
here. If my country really enjoys that otium
it is singular, as every other Colony seems
to be hard struggling. I think it was agreed
on before Dunmore's flight from Gwyn's
Island, so that it can hardly be referred to the
temporary holiday that was given you. This
device is too enigmatical. Since it puzzles
now, it will be absolutely insoluble fifty years
To John Page. Ford ed., ii, 70.
(Pa., 17761776)gt;


Search the Herald's office for the arms of
my family. I have what I have been told were
the family arms, but on what authority I know
not. It is possible there may be none. If so,
I would with your assistance become a purchaser,
having Sterne's word for it that a coat
of arms may be purchased as cheap as any other
To Thomas Adams. Ford ed., i, 388.
(M. 1771)

493. ARMSTRONG (John), Hostility against.—

An unjust hostility against General
Armstrong will, I am afraid, show itself
whenever any treaty [with Spain] made by
him shall be offered for ratification.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. v, 4. Ford ed., viii, 435.
(W. April. 1806)

494. ARMSTRONG (John), Secretary of War.—

I have long ago in my heart congratulated
my country on your call to the
place you now occupy. * * * Whatever you
do in office, I know will be honestly and ably
done, and although we who do not see the
whole ground may sometimes impute error,
it will be because we, not you, are in the
wrong; or because your views are defeated by
the wickedness or incompetence of those you
are obliged to trust with their execution.—
To General John Armstrong. Washington ed. vi, 103.
(M. Feb. 1813)

495. ARMSTRONG (John), Secretary of War.—[continued].

Armstrong is presumptuous,
obstinate and injudicious.—
To J. W. Eppes. Ford ed., ix, 484.
(M. 1814)

496. ARMY, Adverse to large.—

spirit of this country is totally adverse to a
large military force.—
To Chandler Price. Washington ed. v, 47.
(W. 1807)

497. ARMY, Control over.—

I like the
declaration of rights as far as it goes, but I
should have been for going further. For instance,
the following alterations and additions
would have pleased me: * * * Article 10.
All troops of the United States shall stand
ipso facto disbanded, at the expiration of the
term for which their pay and subsistence shall
have been last voted by Congress, and all officers
and soldiers, not natives of the United
States, shall be incapable of serving in their
armies by land except during a foreign war.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 101. Ford ed., v, 113.
(P. Aug. 1789)

498. ARMY, Deserters.—

Deserters [British] ought never to be enlisted [by us.]—
To James Madison. Ford ed., ix, 128.
(M. 1807)

499. ARMY, Deserters from Enemy's.—

American citizens, * * * whether im
pressed or enlisted into the British service,
* * * [are] equally right in returning to
the duties they owe their own country.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 173. Ford ed., ix, 128.
(M. Aug. 1807)

500. ARMY, Deserters from Enemy's.—[continued].

Resolved, that [Congress] will give all such of the * * * foreign
[Hessian] officers as shall leave the armies of
his Britannic Majesty in America, and choose
to become citizens of these States, unappropriated
lands in the following quantities and
proportions to them and their heirs in absolute
dominion. [29]
Congress Resolution. Ford ed., ii, 89.
(Aug. 1776)


Jefferson, Franklin and Adams reported this resolution
which was adopted.—Editor.

501. ARMY, Discipline of.—

The British
consider our army * * * a rude, undisciplined
rabble. I hope they will find it a
Bunker's Hill rabble.—
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., ii, 77.
(Pa., Aug. 1776)

502. ARMY, Enlistments in.—

enlistments proceed from the happiness of our
people at home.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 130.
(M. June. 1813)

503. ARMY, Enlistments in.—[continued].

Our men are so happy at
home that they will not hire themselves to
be shot at for a shilling a day. Hence we can
have no standing armies for defence, because
we have no paupers to furnish the materials.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 379.
(M. 1814)

504. ARMY, Fear of.—

How happy that our army had been disbanded [before the
Presidential crisis of 1801]! What might
have happened otherwise seems rather a subject
of reflection than explantation.—
To Nathaniel Niles. Washington ed. iv, 377. Ford ed., viii, 24.
(W. March. 1801)

505. ARMY, Increase of.—

An act has
passed for raising upon the regular establishment
for the war 3000 additional troops and a
corps of 300 more, making in the whole about
5000 men. To this I was opposed from a conviction
they were useless and that 1200 or
1500 woodsmen would soon end the [Indian] war, and at a trifling expense.—
To Archibald Stuart. Ford ed., v, 454.
(Pa., March. 1792)

506. ARMY, Increase of.—[continued].

It is agreed [in cabinet] that about 15000 regular troops will be requisite
for garrisons, and about as many more
as a disposable force, making in the whole
30,000 regulars.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 329.
(July. 1807)

507. ARMY, Increase of.—[further continued].

We are raising some
regulars in addition to our present force, for
garrisoning our seaports, and forming a nucleus
for the militia to gather to.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. v, 282.
(W. May. 1808)

508. ARMY, Inefficiency in.—

I thank you for the military manuals. * * * This is
the sort of book most needed in our country,
where even the elements of tactics are unknown.
The young have never seen service,
the old are past it, and of those among them
who are not superannuated themselves, their


Page 53
science is become so.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. vi, 75. Ford ed., ix, 365.
(M. 1812)

509. ARMY, A mercenary.—

He [George
III.] has endeavored to pervert the exercise
of the kingly office in Virginia into a detestable
and insupportable tyranny * * * by
transporting at this time a large army of foreign
mercenaries [to complete] the works of
death, desolation,a nd tyranny, already begun
with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy so
unworthy the head of a civilized nation.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, II.
(June. 1776)

510. ARMY, A mercenary.—[continued].

He is at this time, transporting
large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation,
and tyranny, already begun, with circumstances
of cruelty and perfidy [30] unworthy the
head of a civilized nation.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress inserted after “perfidy” the words
“scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages and

511. ARMY, A mercenary.—[further continued].

At this very time, too,
they [British people] are permitting their
chief magistrate to send over not only soldiers
of our common blood, but Scotch and
foreign mercenaries to invade and destroy us.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

512. ARMY, Morality in.—

It is more a
subject of joy [than of regret] that we have so
few of the desperate characters which compose
modern regular armies. But it proves
more forcibly the necessity of obliging every
citizen to be a soldier; this was the case with
the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of
every free State. Where there is no oppression
there can be no pauper hirelings.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 130.
(M. June. 1813)

513. ARMY, An obedient.—

Some think
the [French] army could not be depended on
by the government; but the breaking men to
military discipline, is breaking their spirits to
principles of passive obedience.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 392.
(P. 1788)

514. ARMY, Obligations to the.—

feel with you our obligations to the army
in general, and will particularly charge ourselves
with the interests of those confidential
officers, who have attended your person to
this affecting moment.—
Congress to Washington Surrendering his Commission.
(Dec. 1783)

515. ARMY, Overpowering.—

There is
neither head nor body in the [French] nation
to promise a successful opposition to two
hundred thousand regular troops.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 392.
(P. 1788)

516. ARMY, The People as an.—

I am
satisfied the good sense of the people is the
strongest army our government can ever
have, and that it will not fail them.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 81. Ford ed., iv, 346.
(P. 1786) [31]


Congress struck out this passage.—Editor.

517. ARMY, The People as an.—[continued].

I am persuaded myself
that the good sense of the people will always
be found to be the best Army.—
To Edward Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 99. Ford ed., iv, 359.
(P. 1787)

518. ARMY, Reduction of.—

A statement
has been formed by the Secretary of War
* * * of all the posts and stations where garrisons
will be expedient, and of the number
of men requisite for each garrison. The
whole amount is considerably short of the
present military establishment. For the surplus
no particular use can be pointed out. For defence
against invasion, their number is as
nothing; nor is it conceived needful or safe
that a standing army should be kept up in
time of peace for that purpose.—
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 11. Ford ed., viii, 121.
(Dec. 1801)

519. ARMY, Reduction of.—[continued].

The army is undergoing a
chaste reformation.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. iv, 397.
(W. May. 1801)

520. ARMY, Reduction of.—[further continued].

The session of the first
Congress convened since republicanism has
recovered its ascendency * * * will pretty
completely fulfil all the desires of the people.
They have reduced the army * * * to what
is barely necessary.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 430.
(W. April. 1802)

521. ARMY, Reduction of.—[further continued] .

We are now actually engaged
in reducing our military establishment
one-third, and discharging one-third of our
officers. We keep in service no more than
men enough to garrison the small posts dispersed
at great distances on our frontiers,
which garrisons will generally consist of a
captain's company only, and in no cases of
more than two or three, in not one, of a sufficient
number to require a field officer. [32]
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 430.
(W. April. 1802)


Kosciusko had written to Jefferson, recommending
Polish officers for employment.—Editor.

522. ARMY, Regulation of.—

The wise
proposition of the Secretary of War for filling
our ranks with regulars, and putting our
militia into an effective form, seems to be
laid aside.—
To M. Correa. Washington ed. vi, 406.
(M. Dec. 1814 )

523. ARMY, Regulation of.—[continued].

To supply the want of
men, nothing more wise or efficient could
have been imagined than what you proposed.
It would have filled our ranks with regulars,
and that, too, by throwing a just share of the
burthen on the purses of those whose persons
are exempt either by age or office; and
it would have rendered our militia, like those
of the Greeks and Romans, a nation of warriors.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 408. Ford ed., ix, 497.
(M. Jan. 1815)

524. ARMY, Regulation of.—[further continued].

Nothing wiser can be devised
than what the Secretary of War ( Monroe )
proposed in his report at the commencement
of Congress. It would have kept our
regular army always of necessity full, and
by classing our militia according to ages,
would have put them into a form ready for


Page 54
whatever service, distant or at home, should
require them.—
To W. H. Crawford. Washington ed. vi, 418. Ford ed., ix, 502.
(M. Feb. 1815)

525. ARMY, Seniority in.—

We received
from Colonel R. H. Lee a resolution of Convention,
recommending us to endeavor that
the promotions of the officers be according to
seniority without regard to regiments or companies.
In one instance, indeed, the Congress
reserved to themselves a right of departing
from seniority; that is where a person either
out of the line of command, or in an inferior
part of it, has displayed eminent talents. Most
of the general officers have been promoted in
this way. Without this reservation, the whole
continent must have been supplied with general
officers from the Eastern Colonies, where
a large army was formed and officered before
any other colony had occasion to raise troops
at all, and a number of experienced, able and
valuable officers must have been lost to the
public merely from the locality of their situation.—
To Governor Patrick Henry. Ford ed., ii, 67.
(Pa., 1776)

526. ARMY, Seniority in.—[continued].

We [Congress] wait your recommendation for the two vacant majorities.
Pray regard militaryment alone.—
To John Page. Ford ed., ii, 88.
(Pa., 1776)

527. ARMY, Seniority in.—[further continued].

Several vacancies having
happened in our battalions, we [Congress] are unable to have them filled for want of a
list of the officers, stating their seniority. We
must beg the favor of you to furnish us
with one.—
To Governor Henry. Ford ed., ii, 67.
(Pa., 1776)

528. ARMY, Seniority in.—[further continued] .

The unfortunate obstinacy
of the Senate in preferring the greatest blockhead
to the greatest military genius, if one
day longer in commission, renders it doubly
important to sift well the candidates for command
in new corps, and to marshal them at
first, towards the head, in proportion to their
To General Armstrong. Ford ed., ix, 380.
(M. Feb. 1813)

529. ARMY, Seniority in.—[further continued].

There is not, I believe,
a service on earth where seniority is permitted
to give a right to advance beyond the
grade of captain.—
To General Armstrong. Ford ed., ix, 380.
(M. Feb. 1813)

530. ARMY, Seniority in.—[further continued] .

We are doomed. * * * to
sacrifice the lives of our citizens by thousands
to this blind principle, for fear the peculiar interest
and responsibility of our Executive
should not be sufficient to guard his selection
of officers against favoritism.—
To General Armstrong. Ford ed., ix, 380.
(M. 1813)

531. ARMY, Seniority in.—[further continued].

When you have new corps
to raise you are free to prefer merit: and our
mechanical law of promotion, when once
men have been set in their places, makes it
most interesting indeed to place them originally
according to their capacities. It is not
for me even to ask whether in the raw regiments
now to be raised, it would not be advisable
to draw from the former the few
officers who may already have discovered
military talent, and to bring them forward
in the new corps to those higher grades, to
which, in the old, the blocks in their way do
not permit you to advance them?—
To General Armstrong. Ford ed., ix, 380.
(M. Feb. 1813)

See Generals.

532. ARMY, A standing.—

[are] inconsistent with the freedom [of
the Colonies], and subversive of their quiet.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 477.
(July. 1775)

533. ARMY, A standing.—[continued].

There shall be no standing
army but in time of actual war.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 27.
(June. 1776)

534. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued].

He [George III.] has endeavored
to pervert the exercise of the kingly
office in Virginia into a detestable and insupportable
tyranny * * * by [keeping
among us], in time of peace, standing armies
and ships of war.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 10.
(June. 1776)

535. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued] .

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies and ships of
war [33] without the consent of our legislatures.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress struck out “and ships of war.”—Editor.

536. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued].

I do not like [in the new
Federal Constitution] the omission of a bill of
rights, providing clearly and without the aid
of sophisms for * * * protection
against standing armies.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 329. Ford ed., iv, 476.
(P. Dec. 1787)

537. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued] .

I sincerely rejoice at the
acceptance of our new Constitution by nine
States. It is a good canvas, on which some
strokes only want retouching. What these
are, I think are sufficiently manifested by the
general voice from north to south, which
calls for a bill of rights. It seems pretty
generally understood that this should go to
* * * standing armies. * * * If no
check can be found to keep the number of
standing troops within safe bounds, while
they are tolerated as far as necessary, abandon
them altogether, discipline well the militia,
and guard the magazines with them.
More than magazine guards will be useless if
few, and dangerous if many. No European
nation can ever send against us such a regular
army as we need fear, and it is hard if
our militia are not equal to those of Canada,
or Florida.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 445. Ford ed., v, 45.
(P. July. 1788)

538. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued].

By declaration of rights, I
mean one which shall stipulate * * * no
standing armies.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 355.
(P. 1788)

539. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued] .

There are instruments so
dangerous to the rights of the nation, and
which place them so totally at the mercy of
their governors, that those governors,
whether legislative or executive, should be
restrained from keeping such instruments on
foot, but in well-defined cases. Such an instrument


Page 55
is a standing army.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 13. Ford ed., v, 90.
(P. 1789)

540. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued]..

I hope a militia bill will
be passed. Anything is preferable to nothing,
as it takes away one of the arguments for a
standing army.—
To Archibald Stuart. Ford ed., v, 454.
(Pa., 1792)

541. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued] .

I am not for a standing
army in time of peace, which may overawe
the public sentiment.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 328.
(Pa., 1799)

542. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued]..

Bonaparte has transferred
the destinies of the republic from the civil
to the military arm. Some will use this as a
lesson against the practicability of republican
government. I read it as a lesson against the
danger of standing armies.—
To Samuel Adams. Washington ed. iv, 322. Ford ed., vii, 425.
(Pa., Feb. 1800)

543. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued]

It is not conceived needful
or safe that a standing army should be
kept up in time of peace for defence against
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 11. Ford ed., 121.

544. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued]

I hope Kentucky will
* * * finish the matter [Burr's enterprise] for the honor of popular government, and the
discouragement of all arguments for standing
To Rev. Charles Clay. Washington ed. v, 28. Ford ed., ix, 7.
(W. 1807)

545. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued]

We propose to raise
seven regiments only for the present year, depending
always on our militia for the operations
of the first year of war. On any other
plan, we should be obliged always to keep a
large standing army.—
To Charles Pinckney. Washington ed. v, 266.
(W. March. 1808)

546. ARMY, A standing.—[further continued]

The Greeks and Romans had no standing armies, yet they defended
themselves. The Greeks by their laws, and
the Romans by the spirit of their people, took
care to put into the hands of their rulers no
such engine of oppression as a standing army.
Their system was to make every man a soldier,
and oblige him to repair to the standard
of his country whenever that was reared.
This made them invincible; and the same
remedy will make us so.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 379.
(M. 1814)

547. ARMY, Threatened by an.—

cannot, my lord, close with the terms of that
Resolution, [Lord North's conciliatory propositions] * * * because at the very time
of requiring from us grants, they are making
disposition to invade us with large armaments
by sea and land, which is a style of asking
gifts not reconcilable to our freedom.—
Address to Lord Dunmore. Ford ed., i, 457.

548. ARMY, An unnecessary.—

One of
my favorite ideas is, never to keep an unnecessary
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 431. Ford ed., i, 198.

549. ARMY, An unnecessary.—[continued].

Were armies to be raised
whenever a speck of war is visible in our
horizon, we never should have been without
them. Our resources would have been exhausted
on dangers which have never happened,
instead of being reserved for what is
really to take place.—
Sixth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 69. Ford ed., viii, 495.
(Dec. 1806)

550. ARMY, An unauthorized.—

in the course of the late war, it became expedient
that a body of Hanoverian troops
should be brought over for the defence of
Great Britain, his Majesty's grandfather, our
late sovereign, did not pretend to introduce
them under any authority he possessed. Such
a measure would have given just alarm to
his subjects in Great Britain, whose liberties
would not be safe if armed men of another
country, and of another spirit, might be
brought into the realm at any time without
the consent of their legislature. He, therefore,
applied to Parliament, who passed an
act for that purpose, limiting the number to
be brought in, and the time they were to continue.
In like manner is his Majesty restrained
in every part of the empire.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 140. Ford ed., i, 445.

551. ARMY, An unauthorized.—[continued].

He has combined with
others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign
to our constitutions, and unacknowledged by
our laws; giving his assent to their acts of
pretended legislation for quartering large
bodies of armed troops among us; for protecting
them by a mock trial from punishment
for any murders which they should
commit on the inhabitants of these States.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

552. ARMY, An unauthorized.—[further continued].

He [George III.] has
endeavored to pervert the exercise of the
kingly office in Virginia into a detestable and
insupportable tyranny * * * by combining
with others to subject us to a foreign
jurisdiction, giving his assent to their pretended
acts of legislation for quartering large
bodies of armed troops among us.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 10.
(June. 1776)

553. ARMY, An unauthorized.—[further continued] .

In order to enforce [his] arbitrary measures * * * his Majesty
has, from time to time, sent among us large
bodies of armed forces, not made up of the
people here, nor raised by authority of our
laws. Did his Majesty possess such a right
as this, it might swallow up all our other
rights whenever he should think proper. But
his Majesty has no right to land a single
armed man on our shores, and those whom he
sends here are liable to our laws made for
the suppression and punishment of riots, and
unlawful assemblies; or are hostile bodies,
invading us in defiance of the law.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 140. Ford ed., i, 445.

554. ARMY, An unauthorized.—[further continued].

The proposition [of Lord
North] is altogether unsatisfactory * * * because it does not propose to repeal the acts
of Parliament * * * for quartering soldiers


Page 56
on us in times of profound peace.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 480.
(July. 1775)

555. ARMY, A volunteer.—

[With respect
to] the proposition for substituting
32,000 twelve-month volunteers instead of
15,000 regulars as a disposable force, I like
the idea much. It will, of course, be a subject
of consideration when we all meet again, but
I repeat that I like it greatly.—
To General Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 155. Ford ed., ix, 123.
(M. Aug. 1807)

556. ARMY, A volunteer.—[continued].

General Dearborn has
sent me a plan of a war establishment
for 15,000 regulars for garrisons, and instead
of 15,000 others, as a disposable
force, to substitute 32,000 twelve-month
volunteers, to be exercised and paid three
months in the year, and consequently costing
no more than 8,000 permanent, giving
us the benefit of 32,000 for any expedition,
who would be themselves nearly equal to
regulars, but could on occasion be put into
the garrisons, and the regulars employed in
the expedition prima facie. I like it well.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v,
154. Ford ed., ix, 123.
(M. Aug. 1807)

See War.

557. ARMY, (French), Dangerous standing.—

The French flatter themselves
they shall form a better Constitution than the
English one. I think it will be better in some
points—worse in others. * * * It will
be worse, as their situation obliges them to
keep up the dangerous machine of a standing
To Dr. Price. Washington ed. ii, 557.
(P. Jan. 1789)

558. ARMY (French), Decision by the.—

If the appeal to arms is made [in France] it will depend entirely on the disposition of
the army whether it issue in liberty or despotism.—
To E. Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 435. Ford ed., v, 42.
(P. 1788)

559. ARMY OFFICERS, Accountability of.—

Whereas it is apprehended that
sufficient care and attention hath not been
always had by officers to the cleanliness, to
the health and to the comfort of the soldiers
entrusted to their command, Be it therefore
enacted, that so long as any troops from this
Commonwealth [Virginia] shall be in any service
to the northward thereof, it shall and May
be lawful for our delegates in Congress, and
they are hereby required from time to time
to enquire into the state and condition of the
troops, and the conduct of the officers commanding;
and where any troops, raised in this
Commonwealth, are upon duty within the same,
or anywhere to the southward, there the
Governor and Council are required to make
similar enquiry by such ways or means as shall
be in their power: and whensoever it shall be
found that any officer, appointed by this Commonwealth,
shall have been guilty of negligence,
or want of fatherly care, of the soldiers
under his command, they are hereby respectively
required to report to this Assembly
the whole truth of the case, who hereby reserve
to themselves a power of removing such
officer; and whenever they shall find that such
troops shall have suffered through the negligence
or inattention of any officer of Conti
nental appointment, they are, in like manner,
to make report thereof to this Assembly, whose
duty it will be to represent the same to Congress:
and they are further respectively required,
from time to time, to procure and lay
before this Assembly exact returns of the
numbers and conditions of such of their troops.—
Army Bill. Ford ed., ii, 115.

560. ARMY OFFICERS, Foreign.—

I believe I mentioned to you, on a former occasion,
that the last act of Congress for raising additional troops required that the officers,
should all be citizens of the United States.
Should there be war, however, I am persuaded
this policy must be abandoned, and that we
must avail ourselves of the experience of other
nations, in certain lines of service at least.—
To Amelot de La Croix. Washington ed. v, 422.
(W. Feb. 1809)

561. ARMY OFFICERS, Prosecutions of.—

Many officers of the army being involved
in the offence of intending a military
enterprise [Burr's] against a nation at peace
with the United States, to remove the whole
without trial, by the paramount authority of the
executive, would be a proceeding of unusual
gravity. Some line must, therefore, be drawn
to separate the more from the less guilty. The
only sound one which occurs to me is between
those who believed the enterprise was with the
approbation of the government, open or secret,
and those who meant to proceed in defiance of
the government. Concealment would be no line
at all, because all concealed it. Applying the
line of defiance to the case of Lieutenant Mead,
it does not appear by any testimony I have seen,
that he meant to proceed in defiance of the government,
but, on the contrary, that he was made
to believe the government approved of the expedition.
If it be objected that he concealed a
part of what had taken place in his communications
to the Secretary of War, yet if a concealment
of the whole would not furnish a proper
line of distinction, still less would the concealment
of a part. This too would be a removal
for prevarication, not for unauthorized enterprise,
and could not be a proper ground for exercising
the extraordinary power of removal
by the President.—
To General Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 60. Ford ed., ix, 38.
(W. March. 1807)

562. ARMY OFFICERS, Undesirable French.—

I would not advise that the French
gentlemen should come here. [Philadelphia.] We have so many of that country, and have
been so much imposed on that the Congress
begins to be sore on that head. * * * If
you approve of the Chevalier de St. Aubin, why
not appoint him yourselves, as your troops of
horse are colonial, not continental?—
To John Page. Ford ed., ii, 70.
(Pa., 1776)

563. ARNOLD (Benedict), Expedition to Quebec.—

The march of Arnold [to Quebec] is equal to Xenophon's retreat.—
To John Page. Ford ed., i, 496.

564. ARNOLD (Benedict), Expedition to Quebec.—[continued].

I never understood that
Arnold formed this enterprise, nor do I believe
he did. I heard and saw all General Washington's
letters on this subject. I do not think
he mentioned Arnold as author of the proposition;
yet he was always just in ascribing to
every officer the merit of his own works; and
he was disposed particularly in favor of
Arnold. This officer is entitled to great merit
in the execution, but to ascribe to him that of
having formed the enterprise, is probably to
ascribe to him what belongs to General Wash


Page 57
ington or some other person.—
Answers to M. Soules. Washington ed. ix, 301. Ford ed., iv, 300.
(P. 1786)

565. ARNOLD (Benedict), Expedition to Quebec.—[further continued].

General Arnold, (a fine
sailor) has undertaken to command our fleet on
the Lakes.—
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., ii, 77.
(Pa., 1776)

566. ARNOLD (Benedict), Reward for capture of.—

It is above all things desirable
to drag Arnold from those under whose wing
he is now sheltered. On his march to and from
this place [Richmond], I am certain it might
have been done with facility by men of enterprise
and firmness. I think it may still be
done. * * * Having peculiar confidence in
the men from the western side of the mountains,
I meant, as soon as they should come
down, to get the enterprise proposed to a
chosen number of them; such whose courage
and whose fidelity would be above all doubt.
Your perfect knowledge of those men personally,
and my confidence in your discretion, induce
me to ask you to pick from among them
proper characters, in such number as you think
best, to reveal to them our desire, and engage
them to undertake to seize and bring off this
greatest of all traitors. Whether this may be
best effected by their going in (within the British
lines) as friends and awaiting their opportunity,
or otherwise, is left to themselves. The
smaller the number the better, so that they be
sufficient to manage him. Every necessary caution
must be used on their part, to prevent a
discovery of their design by the enemy; as,
should they be taken, the laws of war will justify
against them the most rigorous sentence.
I will undertake, if they are successful in bringing
him off alive, that they shall receive five
thousand guineas reward among them. And to
men, formed for such an enterprise, it must be
a great incitement to know that their names will
be recorded with glory in history, with those of
Van Wart, Paulding and Williams. [34]
To—. Washington ed. i, 289. Ford ed., ii, 441.
(R. 1781)


This letter is without an address, but, it is thought
was written to General George Rogers Clark or to
General Muhlenberg. Jefferson was Governor of

567. ARNOLD (Benedict), Treason of.—

The parricide Arnold.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 284. Ford ed., ii, 408.
(R. 1781)

568. ART, Selecting works of.—

respect to the figures, I could only find three of
those you named, matched in size. Those were
Minerva, Diana and Apollo. I was obliged to
add a fourth, unguided by your choice. They
offered me a fine Venus; but I thought it out
of taste to have two at table at the same time.
Paris and Helen were represented. I conceived
it would be cruel to remove them from their
peculiar shrine. When they shall pass the Atlantic,
it will be to sing a requiem over our
freedom and happiness. At length a fine Mars
was offered, calm, bold, his falchion not drawn
but ready to be drawn. This will do, thinks
I, for the table of the American Minister in
London, where those whom it may concern May
look and learn that though Wisdom is our
guide, and the Song and Chase our supreme
delight, yet we offer adoration to that tutelar
God also who rocked the cradle of our birth,
who has accepted our infant offerings, and has
shown himself the patron of our rights and
avenger of our wrongs. The group then was
closed and your party formed. Envy and malice
will never be quiet. I hear it already whis
pered to you that in admitting Minerva to your
table, I have departed from the principle which
made me reject Venus; in plain English that
I have paid a just respect to the daughter but
failed to the mother. No, Madam, my respect
to both is sincere. Wisdom, I know, is social.
She seeks her fellows, but Beauty is jealous,
and illy bears the presence of a rival.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Ford ed., iv, 99.
(P. 1785)

569. ARTISANS, Americans as.—

we have land to labor, let us never wish to
see our citizens occupied at a work-bench, or
twirling a distaff. Carpenters, masons, and
smiths, are wanting in husbandry; but for
the general operations of manufacture, let
our workshops remain in Europe.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 405. Ford ed., iii, 269.

570. ARTISANS, Condemnation of.—

consider the class of artificers as the panders of
vice, and the instruments by which the liberties
of a country are generally overturned.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 404. Ford ed., iv, 88.
(P. 1785)

571. ARTISANS, Explanation of views on.—

Mr. Duane informed me that he meant
to publish a new edition of the Notes on Virginia,
and I had in contemplation some particular
alterations which would require little time to
make. My occupations by no means permit me
at this time to revise the text, and make those
changes in it which I should now do. I should
in that case certainly qualify several expressions
* * * which have been construed differently
from what they were intended. I had
under my eye, when writing, the manufacturers
of the great cities in the old countries, at the
time present, with whom the want of food and
clothing necessary to sustain life, has begotten
a depravity of morals, a dependence and corruption,
which render them an undesirable accession
to a country whose morals are sound. My
expressions looked forward to the time when
our great cities would get into the same state.
But they have been quoted as if meant for the
present time here. As yet our manufacturers
are as much at their ease, as independent and
moral as our agricultural inhabitants, and they
will continue so as long as there are vacant
lands for them to resort to; because whenever
it shall be attempted by the other classes to reduce
them to the minimum of subsistence, they
will quit their trades and go to laboring the
earth. A first question is, whether it is desirable
for us to receive at present the dissolute and
demoralized handicraftsmen of the old cities of
Europe? A second and more difficult one is,
when even good handicraftsmen arrive here, is
it better for them to set up their trade, or go to
the culture of the earth? Whether their labor
in their trade is worth more than their labor on
the soil, increased by the creative energies of
the earth? Had I time to revise that chapter,
this question should be discussed, and other
views of the subject taken, which are presented
by the wonderful changes which have taken
place here since 1781, when the Notes on Virginia
were written.—
To Mr. Lithgow. Washington ed. iv, 563. Ford ed., iii, 269.
(W. Jan. 1805)

572. ARTISANS, French and English.—

The English mechanics certainly exceed all
others in some lines. But be just to your own
nation. They have not patience, it is true, to
sit rubbing a piece of steel from morning to
night, as a lethargic Englishman will do, full
charged with porter. But do not their benevolence,
their cheerfulness, their amiability,


Page 58
when compared with the growling temper and
manners of the people among whom you are,
compensate their want of patience?—
To Madame de Carny. Washington ed. ii, 161.
(P. 1787)

573. ARTISANS, Science and.—

The mechanic
needs ethics, mathematics, chemistry and natural philosophy. To them the languages are
but ornament and comfort.—
To John Brazier. Washington ed. vii, 133.

574. ARTISTS, Member of Society of.—

I am very justly sensible of the honor the
Society of Artists of the United States has done
me in making me an honorary member of their
Society. * * * I fear that I can be but a
very useless associate. Time which withers the
fancy, as the other faculties of the mind
and body presses on me with a heavy hand, and
distance intercepts all personal intercourse.
I can offer, therefore, but my zealous good
wishes for the success of the institution, and
that, embellishing with taste a country already
overflowing with the useful productions, it May
be able to give an innocent and pleasing direction
to accumulations of wealth, which would
otherwise be employed in the nourishment of
coarse and vicious habits.—
To Thomas Sully. Washington ed. vi, 34.
(M. Jan. 1812)

575. ARTS, Enthusiasm for the.—

I am
an enthusiast on the subject of the arts. But
it is an enthusiasm of which I am not
ashamed, as its object is to improve the taste
of my countrymen, to increase their reputation,
to reconcile to them the respect of the
world, and procure them its praise.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 433.
(P. 1785)

576. ARTS, French Excellence in.—

Were I to proceed to tell you how much I
enjoy the architecture, sculpture, painting, music
[of the French], I should want words. It
is in these arts they shine.—
To Mr. Bellini. Washington ed. i, 445.
(P. 1785)

577. ARTS, Mechanical.—

The mechanical
arts in London are carried to a wonderful
perfection. But of these I need not speak, because
of them my countrymen have unfortunately
[35] too many samples before their eyes.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 550. Ford ed., iv, 214.
(P. 1786)


The allusion is to the extravagance of the period.—Editor.

578. ASSASSINATION, Government and.—

Assassination, poison, perjury * * * were legitimate principles [of government] in
the dark ages which intervened between ancient
and modern civilization, but exploded
and held in just horror in the eighteenth
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 99. Ford ed., v, 111.
(P. 1789)


See Legislatures.

— ASSENISIPIA, Proposed State of.—

See Western Territory.

579. ASSIGNATS, Payments in.—

have communicated to the President what
passed between us * * * on the subject
of the payments made to France by the
United States in the assignats of that country,
since they have lost their par with gold
and silver; and after conferences, by his instruction,
with the Secretary of the Treasury,
I am authorized to assure you, that the
government of the United States have no idea
of paying their debt in a depreciated medium,
and that in the final liquidation of the
payments * * * due regard will be had
to an equitable allowance for the circumstance
of depreciation. [36]
To Jean Baptiste Ternant. Ford ed., v, 383.
(Pa., Nov. 1791)


Jefferson's first draft of this letter ended as follows:
“And that they will take measures for making
these payments in their just value, avoiding all benefit
from depreciation, and desiring on their part to
be guarded against any unjust loss from the circumstances
of mere exchange.” It was changed to meet
Hamilton's views.—Editor.

580. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Acrimony over.—

The assumption
of State debts has appeared as revolting to
several States as their non-assumption to others.
It is proposed to strip the proposition of the injustice
it would have done by leaving the States
who have redeemed much of their debts on no
better footing than those who have redeemed
none; on the contrary, it is recommended to assume
a fixed sum, allotting a portion of it to
every State in proportion to its census. Consequently,
every State will receive exactly what
they will have to pay, or they will be exonerated
so far by the General Government's taking their
creditors off their hands. There will be no injustice
then. But there will be the objection
still, that Congress must then lay taxes for
those debts which would have been much better
laid and collected by the State governments.
And this is the objection on which the accommodation
now hangs with the non-assumptioners,
many of whom committed themselves in their
advocation of the new Constitution by arguments
drawn from the improbability that Congress
would ever lay taxes where the States
could do it separately. These gentlemen feel the
reproaches which will be levelled at them personally.
I have been, and still am of their opinion
that Congress should always prefer letting
the States raise money in their own way, where
it can be done. But, in the present instance, I
see the necessity of yielding for this time to the
cries of the creditors in certain parts of the
Union; for the sake of Union, and to save us
from the greatest of all calamities, the total extinction
of our credit in Europe.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iii, 153. Ford ed., v, 188.
(N.Y., June. 1790)

581. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Compromise plans.—

The question
for assuming the State debts has created greater
animosities than I ever yet saw take place on
any occasion. There are three ways in which
it may yet terminate. 1. A rejection of the
measure, which will prevent their funding any
part of the public debt, and will be something
very like a dissolution of the government. 2.
A bargain between the Eastern members, who
have had it so much at heart, and the middle
members, who are indifferent about it, to adopt
those debts without any modification on condition
of removing the seat of government to
Philadelphia or Baltimore. 3. An adoption of
them with this modification, that the whole
sum to be assumed shall be divided among the
States in proportion to their census; so that
each shall receive as much as they are to pay;
and perhaps this might bring about so much
good humor as to induce them to give the temporary
seat of government to Philadelphia, and
then to Georgetown permanently. It is evident
that this last is the least bad of all the turns the
thing can take. The only objection to it will be


Page 59
that Congress will then have to lay and collect
taxes to pay these debts, which could much better
have been laid and collected by the State
governments. This, though an evil, is a less one
than any of the others in which it may issue,
and will probably give us the seat of government
at a day not very distant, which will vivify our
agriculture and commerce by circulating through
our State an additional sum every year of half a
million of dollars.—
To Dr. George Gilmer. Washington ed. iii, 150. Ford ed., v, 192.
(N.Y., June. 1790)

582. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Credit, Union and.—

Congress has
been long embarrassed by two of the most irritating
questions that can ever be raised among
them: 1. The funding of the public debt; and
2, the fixing on a more central residence. After
exhausting their arguments and patience on
these subjects, they have for some time been
resting on their oars, unable to get along as to
these businesses, and indisposed to attend to
anything else till they are settled. And, in fine,
it has become probable that unless they can be
reconciled by some plan of compromise, there
will be no funding bill agreed to; our credit
(raised by late prospects to be the first on the
exchange at Amsterdam, where our money is
above par), will burst and vanish, and the States
separate, to take care every one of itself. This
prospect appears probable to some well-informed
and well-disposed minds. Endeavors are, therefore,
using to bring about a disposition to some
mutual sacrifices.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iii, 153. Ford ed., v, 187.
(N.Y., June. 1790)

583. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Federal capital and.—

It is proposed
to pass an act fixing the temporary residence of
twelve or fifteen years at Philadelphia, and that
at the end of that time, it shall stand ipso facto, and without further declaration transferred to
Georgetown. In this way, there will be something
to displease and something to soothe
every part of the Union but New York, which
must be contented with what she has had. If
this plan of compromise does not take place, I
fear one infinitely worse, an unqualified assumption,
and the perpetual residence on the
Delaware. The Pennsylvania and Virginia delegates
have conducted themselves honorably and
unexceptionably on the question of residence.
Without descending to talk about bargains, they
have seen that their true interests lay in not
listening to insidious propositions, made to divide
and defect them, and we have seen them at
times voting against their respective wishes
rather than separate.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iii, 153. Ford ed., v, 189.
(N.Y., June. 1790)


The assumption
must be admitted, but in so qualified a form as
to divest it of its injustice. This may be done
by assuring to the creditors of every State, a
sum exactly proportioned to the contribution of
the State; so that the State will on the whole
neither gain nor lose. There will remain against
the measure only the objection that Congress
must lay taxes for these debts which might be
better laid and collected by the States.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 185.
(N.Y., 17901790)gt;

585. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Justice and.—[continued].

I am in hopes the assumption
will be put into a just form, by assuming to the creditors of each State in proportion
to the census of each State, so that the State
will be exonerated towards its creditors just as
much as it will have to contribute to the as
sumption, and consequently no injustice done.—
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., v, 194.
(N.Y., July 1790 )

586. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Mutual sacrifices.—

The impossibility
that certain States could ever pay the
debts they had contracted, the acknowledgment
that nine-tenths of these debts were contracted
for the general defence as much as those contracted
by Congress directly, the clamors of the
creditors within those States, and the possibility
that they might defeat the funding of any
part of the public debt, if theirs also were not
assumed, were motives not to be neglected. I
saw the first proposition for their assumption
with as much aversion as any man, but the development
of circumstances have convinced me
that if it is obdurately rejected, something
much worse will happen. Considering it, therefore,
as one of the cases in which mutual sacrifice
and accommodation are necessary, I shall
see it pass with acquiescence.—
To John Harvie. Ford ed., v, 214.
(N.Y., July. 1790)

587. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Opposition engendered.—

It is not to be expected that our system of finance has
met your approbation in all its parts. It has
excited even here great opposition; and more
especially that part of it which transferred the
State debts to the General Government. The
States of Virginia and North Carolina are peculiarly
dissatisfied with this measure. I believe,
however, that it is harped on by many to mask
their disaffection to the government on other
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 198. Ford ed., v, 250.
(Pa., Nov. 1790)

588. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Payment by States.—

With respect
to the increase of the debt by the Assumption, I
observed to him [Washington] that what was
meant and objected to was, that it increased the
debt of the General Government, and carried it
beyond the possibility of payment; that if the
balances had been settled, and the debtor States
directed to pay their deficiencies to the creditor
States, they would have done it easily, and by
resources of taxation in their power, and acceptable
to the people; by a direct tax in the
South, and an excise in the North.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 118. Ford ed., i, 200.
(July. 1792)


The game [Funding
the debt] was over, and another was on the carpet
at the moment of my arrival [37] [in New
York in 1790], and to this I was most ignorantly
and innocently made to hold the candle.
This fiscal maneuvre is well known by the name
of the Assumption. Independently of the debts
of Congress, the States had, during the war,
contracted separate and heavy debts; and Massachusetts
particularly in an absurd attempt,
absurdly conducted, on the British post of
Penobscott; and the more debt Hamilton could
rake up the more plunder for his mercenaries.
This money, whether wisely or foolishly spent,
was pretended to have been spent for general
purposes, and ought, therefore, to be paid from


Page 60
the general purse. But it was objected that nobody
knew what these debts were, what their
amount, or what their proofs. No matter; we
will guess them to be twenty millions. But of
these twenty millions, we do not know how
much should be reimbursed to one State, nor
how much to another. No matter; we will
guess. And so another scramble was set on
foot among the several States, and some got
much, some little, some nothing. But the main
object was attained, the phalanx of the treasury
was reinforced by additional recruits. This
measure produced the most bitter and angry
contests ever known in Congress, before or
since the Union of the States. I arrived in the
midst of it. But a stranger to the ground, a
stranger to the actors on it, so long absent [in
France] as to have lost all familiarity with the
subject, and as yet unaware of its object, I
took no concern in it. The great and trying
question, however, was lost in the House of
Representatives. So high were the feuds excited
by this subject, that on its rejection business
was suspended. Congress met and adjourned
from day to day without doing anything,
the parties being too much out of temper
to do business together. The Eastern members
particularly, who, with Smith from South Carolina,
were the principal gamblers in these
scenes, threatened a secession and dissolution.
Hamilton was in despair. As I was going to
the President's one day, I met him in the
street. He walked me backwards and forwards
before the President's door for half an hour.
He painted pathetically the temper into which
the Legislature had been wrought; the disgust
of those who were called the creditor States;
the danger of the secession of their members,
and the separation of the States. He observed
that the members of the administration ought
to act in concert; that though this question
was not one of my department, yet a common
duty should make it a common concern; that
the President was the centre on which all administrative
questions ultimately rested, and
that all of us should rally around him, and support,
with joint efforts, measures approved by
him; and that the question having been lost by
a small majority only, it was probable that an
appeal from me to the judgment and discretion
of some of my friends might effect a change in
the vote, and the machine of government, now
suspended, might be again set into motion. I
told him that I was really a stranger to the
whole subject; that not having yet informed
myself of the system of finance adopted, I knew
not how far this was a necessary sequence; that
undoubtedly, if its rejection endangered a dissolution
of our Union at this incipient stage, I
should deem that the most unfortunate of all
consequences, to avert which all partial and
temporary evils should be yielded. I proposed
to him, however, to dine with me the next day,
and I would invite another friend or two, to
bring them into conference together, and I
thought it impossible that reasonable men, consulting
together coolly, could fail, by some mutual
sacrifices of opinion, to form a compromise
which was to save the Union. The discussion
took place. I could take no part in it, but an
exhortatory one, because I was a stranger to the
circumstances which should govern it. But it
was finally agreed that, whatever importance
had been attached to the rejection of this proposition,
the preservation of the Union, and of
concord among the States was more important,
and that therefore, it would be better that the
vote of rejection should be rescinded, to effect
which some members should change their votes.
But it was observed that this bill would be
peculiarly bitter to the Southern States, and
that some concomitant measure should be
adopted, to sweeten it a little to them. There
had before been proposals to fix the seat of
government either at Philadelphia, or at Georgetown
on the Potomac; and it was thought that
by giving it to Philadelphia for ten years, and
to Georgetown permanently afterwards, this
might, as an anodyne, calm in some degree the
ferment which might be excited by the other
measure alone. So two of the Potomac members
([Alexander] White and [Richard Bland] Lee but White with a revulsion of stomach
almost convulsive), agreed to change their
votes, and Hamilton undertook to carry the
other point. In doing this the influence he
had established over the Eastern members,
with the agency of Robert Morris with those
of the middle States effected his side of the
engagement, and so the Assumption was
passed, and twenty millions of stock divided
among the favored States, and thrown in as
pabulum to the stock-jobbing herd. This added
to the number of votaries to the Treasury,
and made its Chief the master of every vote in
the Legislature which might give to the government
the directions suited to his political
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 92. Ford ed., i, 161.


Jefferson has here made the curious errors of
separating the funding and assumption act, and of
supposing the latter “was over” before he reached
New York. Hamilton's report was debated in the
House of Representatives from February to April,
and it was not till May 6th that the funding bill was
presented, the section relating to assumption having
been negatived in committee. This bill passed the
House on June 2d, and in the Senate had the assumption
section restored. Not till August 4th did the
bill so altered become a law.—Note in Ford's ed.

590. ASSUMPTION OF STATE DEBTS, Jefferson's agency in.—

The Assumption
of the State debts in 1790, was a supplementary measure in Hamilton's fiscal system.
When attempted in the House of Representatives
it failed. This threw Hamilton himself,
and a number of members into deep
dismay. Going to the President's one day I
met Hamilton, as I approached the door. His
look was sombre, haggard, and dejected beyond
description; even his dress uncouth and neglected.
He asked to speak with me. He stood
in the street near the door; he opened the
subject of the Assumption of the State debts,
the necessity of it in the general fiscal arrangement,
and its indispensable necessity towards
a preservation of the Union; and particularly
of the New England States, who had made
great expenditures during the war on expeditions
which, though of their own undertaking,
were for the common cause: that they considered
the Assumption of these by the Union so
just, and its denial so probably injurious that
they would make it a sine qua non of a continuance
of the Union. That as to his own part,
if he had not credit enough to carry such a
measure as that, he could be of no use and was
determined to resign. He observed at the same
time, that though our particular business lay
in separate departments, yet the administration
and its success was a common concern, and that
we should make common cause in supporting
one another. He added his wish that I would
interest my friends from the South, who were
those most opposed to it. I answered that I
had been so long absent from my country [in
France] that I had lost a familiarity with its
affairs, and being but lately returned had not
yet got into the train of them; that the fiscal
system being out of my department I had not
yet undertaken to consider and understand it;
that the Assumption had struck me in an unfavorable
light, but still, not having considered
it sufficiently, I had not concerned [myself] in
it, but that I would revolve what he had urged
in my mind. It was a real fact that the Eastern
and Southern members (South Carolina however
was with the former) had got into the most
extreme ill humor with one another. This
broke out on every question with the most


Page 61
alarming heat; the bitterest animosity seemed
to be engendered, and though they met every
day, little or nothing could be done from mutual
distrust and antipathy. On considering the
situation of things, I thought the first step towards
some conciliation of views would be to
bring Mr. Madison and Colonel Hamilton to
a friendly discussion of the subject. I immediately
wrote to each to come and dine with
me the next day, mentioning that we should
be alone, that the object was to find some
temperament for the present fever, and that
I was persuaded that men of sound heads and
honest views needed nothing more than explanation
and mutual understanding to enable
them to unite in some measures which might
enable us to get along. They came; I opened
the subject to them, acknowledged that my
situation had not permitted me to understand it
sufficiently but encouraged them to consider
the thing together. They did so. It ended in
Mr. Madison's acquiescence in a proposition
that the question should be again brought before
the House by way of amendment from the
Senate: that though he would not vote for it,
nor entirely withdraw his opposition, yet he
should not be strenuous but leave it to its fate.
It was observed, I forget by which of them,
that as the pill would be a bitter one to the
Southern States, something should be done to
soothe them; that the removal of the seat of
government to the Potomac was a just measure,
and would probably be a popular one with
them, and would be a proper one to follow
the Assumption. It was agreed to speak to
Mr. [Hugh] White and Mr. [Richard Bland] Lee whose districts lay on the Potomac, and to
refer to them to consider how far the interests
of their particular districts might be a sufficient
inducement in them to yield to the Assumption.
This was done. Lee came into it without
hesitation: Mr. White had some qualms but
finally agreed. The measure came down by
way of amendment from the Senate and was
finally carried by the change of White and
Lee's votes. But the removal to the Potomac
could not be carried unless Pennsylvania could
be engaged in it. This Hamilton took on himself,
and chiefly, as I understood, through the
agency of Robert Morris, obtained a vote of
that State, on agreeing to an intermediate residence
at Philadelphia. This is the real history
of the Assumption, about which many erroneous
conjectures have been published. It was
unjust in itself, oppressive to the States, and
was acquiesced in merely from a fear of discussion.
While our government was still in its
most infant state, it enabled Hamilton so to
strengthen himself by corrupt services to many
that he could afterwards carry his bank scheme
and every measure he proposed in defiance of
all opposition. In fact, it was a principal
ground whereon was reared up that speculating
phalanx, in and out of Congress, which has since been able to give laws to change the political
complexion of the government of the United
To——. Ford ed., vi, 172.

591. ASTOR'S SETTLEMENT, Protection of.—

I learn with great pleasure the
progress you have made towards an establishment
on Columbia river. I view it as the germ
of a great, free, and independent empire on that
side of our continent, and that liberty and self-government
spreading from that as well as from
this side, will insure their complete establishment
over the whole. It must be still more
gratifying to yourself to foresee that your name
will be handed down with that of Columbus and
Raleigh, as the father of the establishment and
founder of such an empire. It would be an
afflicting thing, indeed, should the English be
able to break up the settlement. Their bigotry
to the bastard liberty of their own country, and
habitual hostility to every degree of freedom
in any other, will induce the attempt; they
would not lose the sale of a bale of furs for the
empire of the whole world. But I hope your
party will be able to maintain themselves * * * and have no doubt our government will do for
its success whatever they have power to do
and especially that at the negotiations for
peace, they will provide, by convention with
the English, for the safety and independence
of that country, and an acknowledgment of
our right of patronizing the Indians in all
cases of injury from foreign nations.—
To John Jacob Astor. Washington ed. vi, 247.
(M. 1813)
See Fur Trade.

592. ASTOR'S SETTLEMENT, Territory and.—

On the waters of the Pacific, we
can found no claim in right of Louisiana. If
we claim that country at all, it must be on
Astor's settlement near the mouth of the Columbia,
and the principle of the jus gentium of
America, that when a civilized nation takes
possession of the mouth of a river in a new
country, that possession is considered as including
all its waters.—
To John Melish. Washington ed. vii, 51.
(M. 1816)

593. ASTRONOMY, Apparatus for.—

This letter [is] to remind you of your kind
promise of making me an accurate clock;
which, being intended for astronomical purposes
only, I would have divested of all apparatus
for striking, or for any other purpose, which,
by increasing its complication, might disturb
its accuracy. A companion to it, for keeping
seconds, and which might be moved easily,
would greatly add to its value.—
To David Rittenhouse. Washington ed. i, 210. Ford ed., ii, 162.
(M. 1778)

594. ASTRONOMY, Bowditch's papers.—

I am indebted to you for Mr. Bowditch's
very learned mathematical papers, the calculations
of which are not for every reader, although
their results are readily enough understood.
One of these impairs the confidence I
had reposed in Laplace's demonstration, that
the eccentricities of the planets of our system
could oscillate only within narrow limits, and
therefore could authorize no inference that the
system must, by its own laws, come one day to
an end. This would have left the question one
of infinitude, at both ends of the line of time,
clear of physical authority.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 112.
(M. 1819)

595. ASTRONOMY, Discoveries in.—

Herschel has pushed his discoveries of double
stars, now, to upwards of nine hundred, being
twice the number of those communicated in the
Philosophical Transactions. You have probably
seen, that a Mr. Pigott had discovered
periodical variations of light in the star Algol.
He has observed the same in the η of Antinous,
and makes the period of variation seven days,
four hours, and thirty minutes, the duration of
the increase sixty-three hours, and of the decrease
thirty-six hours. What are we to conclude
from this? That there are suns which
have their orbits of revolution too? But this
would suppose a wonderful harmony in their
planets, and present a new scene, where the
attracting powers should be without, and not
within the orbit. The motion of our sun would
be a miniature of this. But this must be left
to you astronomers.—
To Professor James Madison. Washington ed. i, 447.
(P. 1785)


Page 62

596. ASTRONOMY, Planet Herschel.—

shall send you * * * the “Connoissance
de Tems” for the years 1786 and 1787, being
all as yet published. You will find in these the
tables for the planet Herschel, as far as the
observations hitherto made, admit them to be
calculated. You will see, also, that Herschel
was only the first astronomer who discovered it
to be a planet, and not the first who saw it.
Meyer saw it in the year 1756, and placed it in
the catalogue of his zodiacal stars, supposing it
to be such. A Prussian astronomer, in the
year 1781, observed that the 964th star of
Meyer's catalogue was missing; and the calculations
now prove that at the time Meyer
saw his 964th star, the planet Herschel should
have been precisely in the place where he noted
that star.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 402.
(P. 1785)

597. ASTRONOMY, Planet Herschel.—[continued].

It is fixed on grounds which scarcely admit a doubt that the planet
Herschel was seen by Meyer in the year 1756,
and was considered by him as one of the zodiacal
stars, and, as such, arranged in his catalogue,
being the 964th which he describes.
This 964th of Meyer has been since missing,
and the calculations for the planet Herschel
show that it should have been, at the time of
Meyer's observation, where he places his 964th
To Dr. Stiles. Washington ed. i, 363.
(P. 1785)

598. ASTRONOMY, Solar eclipse.—

We were much disappointed in Virginia generally
on the day of the great eclipse, which proved to
be cloudy. In Williamsburg, where it was total,
I understand only the beginning was seen. At
this place, (Monticello,) which is latitude 38°
8′ and longitude west from Williamsburg, about
1° 45′, as is conjectured, 11 digits only were
supposed to be covered. It was not seen at all
until the moon had advanced nearly one-third
over the sun's disc. Afterwards it was seen at
intervals through the whole. The egress particularly
was visible. It proved, however, of
little use to me, for want of a time piece that
could be depended on.—
To David Rittenhouse. Washington ed. i, 210. Ford ed., ii, 162.
(M. July. 1778)

599. ASTRONOMY, Variations of light.—

I think your conjecture that the periodical
variation of light in certain fixed stars proceeds
from maculæ, is more probable than that
of Maupertius, who supposes those bodies May
be flat, and more probable also than that which
supposes the star to have an orbit of revolution
so large as to vary sensibly its degree of light.
The latter is rendered more difficult of belief
from the shortness of the period of variation.—
To Professor J. Madison. Washington ed. ii, 247.
(P. 1787)

600. ASYLUM, America as an.—

is now, I think, the only country of tranquillity,
and should be the asylum of all those who wish to avoid the scenes which have
crushed our friends in Paris.—
To Mrs. Church. Ford ed., vi, 289.
(Pa., 1793)

601. ASYLUM, America as an.—[continued].

I think it fortunate for
the United States to have become the asylum
for so many virtuous patriots of different denominations;
but their circumstances, with
which you were so well acquainted before, enabled
them to be but a bare asylum, and to
offer nothing for them but an entire freedom
to use their own means and faculties as they
To M. de Meunier. Ford ed., vii, 13,
(M. 1795)

602. ASYLUM, America as an.—[further continued].

Small means of being
useful to you are left to me, but they shall be
freely exercised for your advantage, and that,
not on the selfish principle of increasing our
own population at the expense of other nations,
* * * but to consecrate a sanctuary for
those whom the misrule of Europe may compel
to seek happiness in other climes. This
refuge, once known, will produce reaction on
the happiness even of those who remain there,
by warning their task-masters that when the
evils of Egyptian oppression become heavier
than those of the abandonment of country,
another Canaan is open where their subjects
will be received as brothers, and secured
against like oppressions by a participation in
the right of self government.—
To George Flower. Washington ed. vii, 84.

603. ASYLUM, Consuls and.—

clause in the Consular convention with
France of 1784 giving the right of sanctuary
to consuls' houses, was reduced to a protection
of their chancery room and its papers.—
Notes on Consular Convention. Washington ed. ix, 463.

604. ASYLUM, Public vessels and.—

Article 12 [of the French treaty], giving
asylum in the ports of either to the armed
vessels of the other, with the prizes taken
from the enemies of that other, must be
qualified as it is in the 19th article of the
Prussian treaty; as the stipulation in the
latter part of the article, “that no shelter or
refuge shall be given in the ports of the one,
to such as shall have made prize on the subjects
of the other of the parties,” would forbid
us in case of a war between France and
Spain, to give shelter in our ports to prizes
made by the latter on the former, while the
first part of the article would oblige us to
shelter those made by the former on the latter—a very dangerous covenant, and which
ought never to be repeated in any other instance.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 588. Ford ed., v, 478.
(March. 1792)

605. ASYLUM, Public vessels and.—[continued].

The Executive has never
denied the right of asylum in our ports to
the public armed vessels of [the British] nation.
They, as well as the French, are free
to come to them, in all cases of weather, piracies,
enemies, or other urgent necessity, and
to refresh, victual and repair, &c.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iv, 65. Ford ed., vi, 423.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

See Expatriation, Fugitives, Impressment.

606. ATHEISM, Calumnious charges of.—

As to the calumny of Atheism, I am so
broken to calumnies of every kind, from
every department of government, Executive,
Legislative, and Judiciary, and from every
minion of theirs holding office or seeking it,
that I entirely disregard it, and from Chace it
will have less effect than from any other man
in the United States.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 447.
(Ep., May. 1800)

607. ATHEIST, Not an.—

An atheist
* * * I can never be.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 281.
(M. 1823)

608. ATHENS, Government of.—

government of Athens was that of the people


Page 63
of one city making laws for the whole country
subjected to them. That of Lacedæmon was
the rule of military monks over the laboring
class of the people, reduced to abject slavery.
These are not the doctrines of the present age.
The equal rights of man, and the happiness of
every individual, are now acknowledged to be
the only legitimate objects of government.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 319.
(M. 1823)


See 209.

— ATTACHMENTS, Foreign.—

See Foreign Influence.

609. ATTAINDER, Bills of.—

The occasion
and proper office of a bill of attainder
is this: When a person charged with a
crime withdraws from justice, or resists it by
force, either in his own or a foreign country,
no other recourse of bringing him to trial or
punishment being practicable, a special act
is passed by the legislature adapted to the
particular case. This prescribes to him a
sufficient time to appear and submit to a
trial by his peers; declares that his refusal to
appear shall be taken as a confession of guilt,
as in the ordinary case of an offender at the
bar refusing to plead, and pronounces the
sentence which would have been rendered on
his confession or conviction in a court of
law. No doubt that these acts of attainder
have been abused in England as instruments
of vengeance by a successful over a defeated
party. But what institution is insusceptible
of abuse in wicked hands?—
To L. H. Girardin. Washington ed. vi, 440. Ford ed., ii, 151.
(M. 1815)


See Dress.

610. ATTORNEY GENERAL, Appointment of.—

An Attorney General shall be appointed by the House of Representatives.
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 20.
(June. 1776)

611. ATTORNEYS, Federal District.—

The only shield for our republican citizens
against the federalism of the courts is to
have the attorneys and marshals republicans.—
To A. Stuart. Washington ed. iv, 394. Ford ed., viii, 47.
(M. April. 1801)

612. ATTORNEYS, Federal District.—[continued].

Republican attorneys and
marshals, being the doors of entrance into
the courts, are indispensably necessary as a
shield to the republican part of our fellow
citizens, which, I believe, is the main body of
the people.—
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 381. Ford ed., viii, 25.
(W. 1801)

613. AUBAINE, Droit d'.—

The expression
in the eleventh article of our treaty of
commerce and amity with France, “that the
subjects of the United States shall not be reputed
Aubaines in France, and consequently
shall be exempted from the Droit d'Aubaine,
or other similar duty, under what name soever,
” has been construed so rigorously to
the letter, as to consider us as Aubaines in
the colonies of France. Our intercourse with
those colonies is so great, that frequent and
important losses will accrue to individuals, if
this construction be continued. * * * I presume
that the enlightened Assembly now engaged
in reforming the remains of feudal
abuse among them, will not leave so inhospitable
an one as the Droit d'Aubaine existing
in France, or any of its dominions. If this
may be hoped it will be better that you should
not trouble the minister with any application
for its abolition in the colonies as to us. This
would be creating into a special favor to us
the extinction of a general abuse, which will,
I presume, extinguish of itself. Only be so
good as to see, that in abolishing this odious
law in France, its abolition in the colonies,
also, be not omitted by mere oversight; but
if, contrary to expectation, this fragment of
barbarism be suffered to remain, then it will
become necessary to bring forward the enclosed
case, and press a liberal and just exposition
of our treaty, so as to relieve our
citizens from this species of risk and ruin
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 189. Ford ed., v, 234.
(N.Y., 1790)


See Duane.

— AUSTRIA, Emperor of.—

See Joseph II.

614. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—

Instead of subjecting the military to the
civil power, his Majesty has expressly made
the civil subordinate to the military. But
can his Majesty thus put down all law under
his feet? Can he erect a power superior to
that which erected himself? He has done it
indeed by force, but let him remember that
force cannot give right.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 140. Ford ed., i, 445.

615. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[continued].

He [George III.], has
endeavored to pervert the exercises of the
Kingly office in Virginia into a detestable and
insupportable tyranny, * * * by [affecting] to
render the military independent of and superior
to the civil power.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 19.
(June. 1776)

616. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued].

He has affected to render
the military independent of, and superior to,
the civil power.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

617. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued] .

The military shall be subordinate to the civil power.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Washington ed. viii, 452. Ford ed., iii, 332.

618. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued].

A distinction is kept up
between the civil and military which it is
for the happiness of both to obliterate.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 335. Ford ed., iii, 467.
(A. 1784)

619. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued] .

A distinction [will be
continued] between the civil and military
which it would be for the good of the whole
to obliterate as soon as possible.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 270. Ford ed., iv, 175.
(P. 1786)

620. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued].

I do not see how they [the
framers of the French constitution] can prohibit
altogether the aid of the military in
cases of riot, and yet I doubt whether they
can descend from the sublimity of ancient
military pride, to let a Marechal of France


Page 64
with his troops, be commanded by a magistrate.
They cannot conceive that General
Washington, at the head of his army, during
the late war, could have been commanded by
a common constable to go as his posse comitatus
to suppress a mob, and that Count
Rochambeau, when he was arrested at the
head of his army by a sheriff, must have gone
to jail if he had not given bail to appear in
court. Though they have gone astonishing
lengths, they are not yet thus far. It is
probable, therefore, that not knowing how to
use the military as a civil weapon, they will
do too much or too little with it.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. iii, 90.
(P. Aug. 1789)

621. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued] .

The military shall be subordinate to the civil authority.—
French Charter of Rights. Washington ed. iii, 47. Ford ed., v, 102.
(P. 1789)

622. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued]..

Bonaparte has transferred
the destinies of the republic from the civil
to the military arm. Some will use this as a
lesson against the practicability of republican
government. I read it as a lesson against the
danger of standing armies.—
To Samuel Adams. Washington ed. iv, 322. Ford ed., vii, 425.
(Pa., Feb. 1800)

623. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued] .

The supremacy of the
civil over the military authority, I deem [one
of the] essential principles of our government
and, consequently [one] which ought to
shape its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 5.

624. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued]..

I sincerely wish General
Wilkinson could be appointed as you propose.
But besides the objection from principle,
that no military commander should be
so placed as to have no civil superior, his
residence at Natchez is entirely inconsistent
with his superintendence of the military posts.—
To Samuel Smith. Ford ed., viii, 29.
(W. March. 1801)

625. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military.—[further continued]

Not a single fact has appeared,
which occasions me to doubt that I
could have made a fitter appointment than
General Wilkinson. One qualm of principle
I acknowledge I do feel, I mean the union
of the civil and military authority. You remember
that when I went into office * * * he
was pressed on me to be made Governor of
the Mississippi Territory, and that I refused
it on that very principle. When, therefore,
the House of Representatives took that
ground, I was not insensible to its having
some weight. But in the appointment to
Louisiana, I did not think myself departing
from my own principle, because I consider
it not as a civil government, but merely a
military station. The Legislature had sanctioned
that idea by the establishment of the
office of the Commandant, in which were
completely blended the civil and military
powers. It seemed therefore, that the Governor
should be in suit with them. I observed,
too, that the House of Representatives,
on the very day they passed the stricture
on this union of authorities, passed a bill
making the Governor of Michigan com
mander of the regular troops which should
at any time be within his government.—
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. v, 13. Ford ed., viii, 450.
(W. May. 1806)

626. AUTHORITY, Civil and Military united.—

From a belief that, under the pressure
of the [British] invasion under which
we [Virginia] were then [1781] laboring, the
public would have more confidence in a military
chief, and that the military commander,
being invested with the civil power also,
both might be wielded with more energy,
promptitude and effect for the defence of the
State, I resigned the administration [the
Governorship] at the end of my second year,
[1781] and General Nelson was appointed to
succeed me.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 50. Ford ed., i, 70.

627. AUTHORITY, Conflict of.—

having * * * directed that they [British
prisoners in Virginia] should not be removed,
and our Assembly that they should, the Executive
[of Virginia] are placed in a very disagreeable
situation. We can order them to
the banks of the Potomac, but our authority
will not land them on the opposite shore.—
To Benjamin Harrison. Ford ed., ii, 439.
(R. 1781)

628. AUTHORITY, Constitution and.—

The authority of the people is a necessary
foundation for a constitution.—
To John H. Pleasants. Washington ed. vii, 345. Ford ed., x, 302.
(M. 1824)

629. AUTHORITY, Custom as.—

example is weighty authority.—
Notes on Coinage. Washington ed. vii, 164.

630. AUTHORITY, Enforcing.—

would do anything in our power to support
and manifest your authority, were anything
wanting. But nothing can be added to the
provision which the military institutions have
made to enforce obedience, and it would be
presumption in us to say what is that provision
to you.—
To Major-General Steuben. Ford ed., ii, 491.
(R. 1781)

631. AUTHORITY, Enforcing.—[continued].

We cannot be respected by
France as a neutral nation, nor by the world
ourselves as an independent one, if we do
not take effectual measures to support, at
every risk, our authority in our own harbors.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 558. Ford ed., viii, 315.
(M. Aug. 1804)

632. AUTHORITY, Habits of.—

If the
President can be preserved a few years till
habits of authority and obedience [to the new
government] can be established generally, we
have nothing to fear.—
To M. De Lafayette. Washington ed. iii, 132. Ford ed., v, 152.
(N.Y., April. 1790)

633. AUTHORITY, Obligation and.—

is not the name, but the authority that renders
an act obligatory.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 365. Ford ed., iii, 228.

634. AUTHORITY, Opposition to.—

long and intimate knowledge of my countrymen
satisfies me, that let there ever be occasion
to display the banners of the law, and


Page 65
the world will see how few and pitiful are
those who will array themselves in opposition.—
To Dr. James Brown. Washington ed. v, 379. Ford ed., ix, 211.
(W. 1808)

635. AUTHORITY, The People and.—

Leave no authority not responsible to the
To Isaac H. Tiffany. Washington ed. vii, 32.
(M. 1816)

636. AUTHORITY, The People and.—[continued].

All authority belongs to
the people.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 213. Ford ed., x, 190.
(M. 1821)

637. AUTHORITY, Religion and Federal.—

Civil powers alone have been given to
the President of the United States, and no
authority to direct the religious exercises of
his constituents.—
To Rev. Samuel Miller. Washington ed. v, 237. Ford ed., ix, 175.
(W. 1808)

638. AUTHORITY, Religion and Federal.—[continued].

No power to prescribe any
religious exercise, or to assume authority in
religious discipline, has been delegated to the
General Government. It must then rest with
States, so far as it can be in any human authority.—
To Rev. Samuel Miller. Washington ed. v, 237. Ford ed., ix, 174.
(W. 1808)

639. AUTHORITY, Repudiated.—

British, Parliament has no right to exercise
authority over us.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 130. Ford ed., i, 434.

640. AUTHORITY, Resistance to usurped.—

It is a dangerous lesson to say to the people “whenever your functionaries exercise
unlawful authority over you, if you do
not go into actual resistance, it will be
deemed acquiescence and confirmation.” How
long had we acquiesced under usurpations of
the British parliament? Had that confirmed
them in right, and made our Revolution a
wrong? Besides no authority has yet decided
whether this resistance must be instantaneous:
when the right to resist ceases,
or whether it has yet ceased?—
To John Hambden Pleasants. Washington ed. vii, 345. Ford ed., x, 302.
(M. 1824)

641. AUTHORITY, Self-constituted.—

I deem no government safe which is under
the vassalage of any self-constituted authorities,
or any other authority than that of the
nation, or its regular functionaries.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 519. Ford ed., viii, 285.
(W. Dec. 1803)

642. AUTHORITY, Source of.—

I consider
the source of authority with us to be
the Nation. Their will, declared through its
proper organ, is valid, till revoked by their
will declared through its proper organ again
also. Between 1776 and 1789, the proper organ
for pronouncing their will, whether legislative
or executive, was a Congress formed
in a particular manner. Since 1789, it is a
Congress formed in a different manner, for
laws, and a President, elected in a particular
way, for making appointments and doing
other executive acts. The laws and appointments
of the ancient Congress were as valid
and permanent in their nature, as the laws
of the new Congress, or appointments of the
new Executive; these laws and appointments,
in both cases, deriving equally their source
from the will of the Nation.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 332. Ford ed., v, 437.
(Pa., 1792)

643. AUTHORITY, Source of.—[continued].

I consider the people who
constitute a society or nation as the source
of all authority in that nation; as free to
transact their common concerns by any
agents they think proper; to change these
agents individually, or the organization of
them in form or function whenever they
please; that all the acts done by these agents
under the authority of the nation are the acts
of the nation, are obligatory to them and inure
to their use, and can in no wise be annulled
or affected by any change in the form
of the government, or of the persons administering
Opinion on French Treaties. Washington ed. vii, 612. Ford ed., vi, 220.

644. AUTHORITY, Upholding.—

In no
country on earth is it [forcible opposition to the
law] so impracticable as in one where every
man feels a vital interest in maintaining the
authority of the laws, and instantly engages
in it as in his own personal cause.—
To Benjamin Smith. Washington ed. v, 293. Ford ed., ix, 195.
(M. 1808)

645. AUTHORITY, Upholding.—[continued].

Forcible opposition [to
the embargo] will rally the whole body of
republicans of every shade to a single point.—
that of supporting the public authority.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 347.
(M. Aug. 1808)

646. AUTHORITY, Usurpation of.—

Necessities which dissolve a government do
not convey its authority to an oligarchy or a
monarchy. They throw back into the hands
of the people the powers they had delegated,
and leave them as individuals to shift for
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 369. Ford ed., iii, 233.

647. AUTHORITY, Washington and Civil.—

You [General Washington] have
conducted the great military contest with
wisdom and fortitude, invariably regarding
the rights of the civil power through all disasters
and changes. [38]
Congress to Gen. Washington.
(Dec. 23, 1783)


Jefferson wrote the address to Washington on
surrendering his commission. It is not included in
either of the two leading editions of Jefferson's


See Literature.

648. AVARICE, Commercial.—

It seems
to me that in proportion as commercial avarice
and corruption advance on us from the
North and East, the principles of free government
are to retire to the agricultural
States of the South and West, as their last
asylum and bulwark.—
To Henry Middleton. Washington ed. vi, 91.
(M. 1813)