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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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3820. IDEAS, Erroneous.—

It is always
better to have no ideas than false ones; to
believe nothing than to believe what is wrong.—
To Rev. James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 430.
(P. 1788)

— IDEAS, Property in.—

See Inventions

3821. IDLENESS, Evils of.—

can contribute more to your future happiness
(moral rectitude always excepted), than the
contracting a habit of industry and activity.
Of all the cankers of human happiness none
corrodes with so silent, yet so baneful an influence
as indolence. Body and mind both
unemployed, our being becomes a burden, and
every object about us loathsome, even the
dearest. Idleness begets ennui, ennui the
hypochondriac, and that a diseased body.—
To Martha Jefferson. Ford ed., iv, 372.

3822. IDLENESS, Needless.—

In a world
which furnishes so many employments which
are so useful, so many which are amusing,
it is our own fault if we ever know what


Page 413
ennui is, or if we are driven to the miserable
resources of gaming, which corrupts our dispositions,
and teaches us a habit of hostility
against all mankind.—
To Martha Jefferson. Ford ed., iv, 389.

3823. IDLENESS, Time-destroyer.—

Determine never to be idle. No person will
have occasion to complain of the want of time
who never loses any. It is wonderful how
much may be done if we are always doing.—
To Martha Jefferson. Ford ed., iv, 387.
(M. 1787)

3824. IDLENESS, Wretchedness and.—

A mind always employed is always happy.
This is the true secret, the grand recipe for
felicity. The idle are * * * the wretched.—
To Martha Jefferson. Ford ed., iv, 389.
(March. 1787)

3825. IGNORANCE, Barrier against.—

We are destined to be a barrier against the
return of ignorance and barbarism.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 27.
(M. 1816)

3826. IGNORANCE, Bigotry and.—

and bigotry, like other insanities, are
incapable of self-government.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 67. Ford ed., x, 84.
(M. 1817)

3827. IGNORANCE, Honest.—

If science
produces no better fruits than tyranny, murder,
rapine and destitution of national morality,
I would rather wish our country to be
ignorant, honest and estimable, as our neighboring
savages are.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 37. Ford ed., ix, 334.
(M. 1812)

3828. IGNORANCE, Misgovernment and.—

Preach a crusade against ignorance.
Establish and improve the law for educating
the common people. Let our countrymen
know that the people alone can protect us
against these evils, and that the tax which
will be paid for this purpose, is not more than
the thousandth part of what will be paid to
kings, priests and nobles, who will rise up
among us, if we leave the people in ignorance.—
To George Wythe. Washington ed. ii, 8. Ford ed., iv, 269.
(P. 1786)

— ILLINOIA, Proposed State.—

See Western Territory.

3829. ILLUMINATI, Order of.—

I have
lately by accident got a sight of a single volume
(the 3d) of the Abbé Barruel's Antisocial
”, which gives me the first idea I
have ever had of what is meant by the Illuminatism
against which “Illuminate Morse”,
as he is now called, and his ecclesiastical and
monarchical associates have been making such
a hue and cry. Barruel's own parts of the
book are perfectly the ravings of a Bedlamite.
But he quotes largely from Wishaupt whom he
considers as the founder of what he calls the
order. As you may not have had an opportunity
of forming a judgment of this cry of “mad
dog”, which has been raised against his doctrines,
I will give you the idea I have formed
from only an hour's reading of Barruel's quotations
from him, which, you may be sure, are
not the most favorable. Wishaupt seems to be
an enthusiastic philanthropist. He is among
those (as you know the excellent Price and
Priestley also are) who believe in the infinite
perfectability of man. He thinks he may in
time be rendered so perfect that he will be able
to govern himself in every circumstance, so as
to injure none, to do all the good he can, to
leave government no occasion to exercise their
powers over him, and, of course, to render political
government useless. This, you know, is
Godwin's doctrine, and this is what Robinson,
Barruel, and Morse had called a conspiracy
against all government. Wishaupt believes that
to promote this perfection of the human character
was the object of Jesus Christ. That his
intention was simply to reinstate natural religion,
and by diffusing the light of his morality,
to teach us to govern ourselves. His precepts
are the love of God, and love of our neighbor.
And by teaching innocence of conduct, he expected
to place men in their natural state of
liberty and equality. He says, no one ever
laid a surer foundation for liberty than our
grand master, Jesus of Nazareth. He believes
the Free Masons were originally possessed of
the true principles and objects of Christianity,
and have still preserved some of them by tradition,
but much disfigured. The means he
proposes to effect this improvement of human
nature are “to enlighten men, to correct their
morals and inspire them with benevolence”.
As Wishaupt lived under the tyranny of a
despot and priests, he knew that caution was
necessary even in spreading information, and
the principles of pure morality. He proposed,
therefore, to lead the Free Masons to adopt this
object, and to make the objects of their institution
the diffusion of science and virtue. He
proposed to initiate new members into his body
by gradations proportioned to his fears of the
thunderbolts of tyranny. This has given an air
of mystery to his views, was the foundation of
his banishment, the subversion of the Masonic
Order, and is the color for the ravings against
him of Robinson, Barruel, and Morse, whose
real fears are that the craft would be endangered
by the spreading of information, reason,
and natural morality among men. This subject
being new to me, I imagine that if it be so to
you also, you may receive the same satisfaction
in seeing, which I have had in forming the
analysis of it; and I believe you will think with
me that if Wishaupt had written here, where
no secrecy is necessary in our endeavours to
render men wise and virtuous, he would not
have thought of any secret machinery for that
purpose; as Godwin, if he had written in Germany,
might probably also have thought secrecy
and mysticism prudent.—
To Bishop James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 419.
(Pa., Jan. 1800)

3830. IMBECILITY, Insensibility to.—

Nothing betrays imbecility so much as the
being insensible of it.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. vi, 4. Ford ed., ix, 328.

3831. IMMIGRANTS, Aged.—

That it
may be for the benefit of your children and
their descendants to remove to a country
where, for enterprise and talents, so many
avenues are open to fortune and fame, I
have little doubt. But I should be afraid to
affirm that, at your time of life, and with
habits formed on the state of society in
France, a change for one so entirely different
would be for your personal happiness.—
To Jean Baptiste Say. Washington ed. vi, 436.
(M. 1815)

3832. IMMIGRANTS, Assisted.—

respect to the German redemptioners, I can do


Page 414
nothing unless authorized by law. It would
be made a question in Congress, whether any
of the enumerated objects to which the Constitution
authorizes the money of the Union to
be applied, would cover an expenditure for
importing settlers to Orleans.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. iv, 582. Ford ed., viii, 360.
(W. 1805)

3833. IMMIGRANTS, Colonized.—

As to
other[than English] foreigners, it is thought
better to discourage their settling together in
large masses, wherein, as in our German settlements,
they preserve for a long time their
own languages, habits and principles of government,
and that they should distribute themselves
sparsely among the natives for quicker
amalgamation. English emigrants are without
this inconvenience. They differ from us
little but in their principles of government,
and most of those (merchants excepted) who
come here, are sufficiently disposed to adopt
To George Flower. Washington ed. vii, 84.

3834. IMMIGRANTS, Indentured.—

servants formed a considerable supply.
These were poor Europeans, who went to
America to settle themselves. If they could pay
their passage, it was well. If not, they must
find means of paying it. They were at liberty,
therefore, to make an agreement with any person
they chose, to serve him such a length of
time as they agreed on, upon condition that he
would repay to the master of the vessel the
expenses of their passage. If, being foreigners,
unable to speak the language, they did not know
how to make a bargain for themselves, the
captain of the vessel contracted for them with
such persons as he could. This contract was
by deed indented, which occasioned them to be
called indented servants. * * * with the
master of the vessel, they could redeem themselves
from his power by paying their passage,
which they frequently effected by hiring themselves
on their arrival. In some States I know
that these people had a right of marrying
themselves without their masters' leave, and I
did suppose they had that right everywhere.
I did not know that in any of the
States they demanded so much as a week for
every day's absence without leave. I suspect
this must have been at a very early period,
while the governments were in the hands of the
first emigrants, who, being mostly laborers,
were narrow-minded and severe. I know that
in Virginia the laws allowed their servitude to
be protracted only two days for every one they
were absent without leave. So mild was this
kind of servitude, that it was very frequent for
foreigners, who carried to America money
enough, not only to pay their passage, but to buy
themselves a farm, it was common I say for
them to indent themselves to a master for three
years, for a certain sum of money with a view
to learn the husbandry of the country. I will
here make a general observation. So desirous
are the poor of Europe to get to America, where
they may better their condition, that being unable
to pay their passage, they will agree to
serve two or three years on their arrival there,
rather than not go.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 254. Ford ed., iv, 159.
(P. 1786)

3835. IMMIGRANTS, Irish and German.—

By the close of 1785, there had probably
passed over 50,000 emigrants. Most of
these were Irish. The greatest number of the
residue were Germans. Philadelphia received
most of them, and next to that Baltimore and
New York.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 284. Ford ed., iv, 140.
(P. 1786)

3836. IMMIGRANTS, Irish and German.—[continued].

The best tenants are foreigners,
who do not speak the language. Unable
to communicate with the people of the country,
they confine themselves to their farms and families,
compare their present state to what it was
in Europe, and find great reason to be contented.
Of all foreigners, I should prefer Germans.
They are the easiest got, the best for their landlords,
and do best for themselves.—
To Colonel R. Claiborne. Washington ed. ii, 235.
(P. 1787)

3837. IMMIGRANTS, Protection of.—

has been the wise policy of these States to
extend the protection of their laws to all
those who should settle among them of whatsoever
nation or religion, they might be, and
to admit them to a participation of the benefits
of civil and religious freedom; and the
benevolence of this practice, as well as its
salutary effects renders it worthy of being
continued in future times.—
Proclamation Concerning Foreigners. Ford ed., ii, 445.
(R. 1781)

3838. IMMIGRATION, Free.—

Our country
is open to all men, to come and go peaceably,
when they choose.—
To E. C. Genet. Washington ed. iv, 87. Ford ed., vi, 459.
(Pa., Nov. 1793)

3839. IMMIGRATION, Free.—[continued].

The session of the first
Congress, convened since republicanism has
recovered its ascendency, * * * are opening
the doors of hospitality to fugitives from
the oppressions of other countries.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 430.
(W. April. 1802)

3840. IMMIGRATION, Negro.—

The papers
from the free people of color in Grenada * * * I apprehend it will be best to take
no notice of. They are parties in a domestic
quarrel, which, I think, we should leave to
be settled among themselves. Nor should I
think it desirable, were it justifiable, to draw
a body of sixty thousand free blacks and
mulattoes into our country.—
To President Washington. Ford ed., v, 342.
(Pa., 1791)

3841. IMMIGRATION, Obstructions to.—

He has endeavored to prevent the population
of these States; for that purpose obstructing
the laws for naturalization of foreigners,
refusing to pass others to encourage
their migrations hither; and raising the conditions
of new appropriations of lands.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

3842. IMMIGRATION, Regulation of.—

The American governments are censured
for permitting this species of servitude[Indenture],
which lays the foundation of the
happiness of these people. But what should
these governments do? Pay the passage of
all who choose to go into their country?
They are not able; nor, were they able. do
they think the purchase worth the price?
Should they exclude these people from their
shores? Those who know their situations in
Europe and America would not say that this
is the alternative which humanity dictates. It


Page 415
is said that these people are deceived by those
who carry them over. But this is done in
Europe. How can the American governments
prevent it? * * * The individuals are generally
satisfied in America with their adventure,
and very few of them wish not to
have made it. I must add that the Congress
have nothing to do with this matter. It belongs
to the legislatures of the several States.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 255. Ford ed., iv, 160.
(P. 1786)

3843. IMMIGRATION, Regulation of.—[continued].

I had often thought on
the subject you propose as to the mode of
procuring German emigrants to take the place
of our blacks. To this, however, the State
Legislatures are alone competent, the General
Government possessing no powers but those
enumerated in the Constitution, and that of
obtaining emigrants at the general expense not
being one of the enumerated powers. With
respect to the State governments, I not only
doubt, but despair, of their taking up this
operation, till some strong pressure of circumstance
shall force it on them.—
To J. P. Reibelt. Ford ed., viii, 402.
(W. Dec. 1805)

3844. IMMIGRATION, Revolution and.—

My means of being useful to you[in
founding a colony of English farmers] are
small,[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 opposition 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. If additional motives could
be wanting with us to the maintenance of
this right, they would be found in the animating
consideration that a single good government
becomes thus a blessing to the whole
earth, its welcome to the oppressed restraining
within certain limits the measure of
their oppressions. But should even this be
counteracted by violence on the right of expatriation,
the other branch of our example
then presents itself for imitation, to rise on
their rulers and do as we have done. You
have set to your own country a good example,
by showing them a peaceable mode
of reducing their rulers to the necessity of becoming
more wise, more moderate, and more
honest, and I sincerely pray that the example
may work for the benefit of those who cannot
follow it, as it will for your own.—
To George Flower. Washington ed. vii, 84.

3845. IMMIGRATION, Too rapid.—

The present desire of America is to produce
rapid population by as great importations of
foreigners as possible. But is this founded in
good policy? The advantage proposed is the
multiplication of numbers. Now let us sup
pose (for example only) that, in this State,
[Virginia] we could double our numbers in one
year by the importation of foreigners; and this
is a greater accession than the most sanguine
advocate for immigration has a right to expect.
Then I say, beginning with a double
stock, we shall attain any given degree of population
only twenty-seven years and three
months sooner than if we proceed on our single
stock. If we propose four millions and a half
as a competent population for this State, we
should be fifty-four and a half years attaining
it, could we at once double our numbers; and
eighty-one and three-quarter years, if we rely
on natural propagation, as may be seen by the
following table:

Proceeding  Proceeding 
on our present  on a double 
stock.  stock. 
1781  567,614  1,135,228 
1808¼  1,135,228  2,270,456 
1835½  2,270,456  4,540,912 
1862¾  4,540,912 

In the first column are stated periods of
twenty-seven and a quarter years; in the second
are our numbers at each period, as they will
be if we proceed on our actual stock; and in
the third are what they would be, at the same
periods, were we to set out from the double
of our present stock. I have taken the term
of four million and a half of inhabitants for
example's sake only. Yet I am persuaded it
is a greater number than the country spoken of,
considering how much inarable land it contains,
can clothe and feed without a material change
in the quality of their diet. But are there no
inconveniences to be thrown into the scale
against the advantage expected from a multiplication
of numbers by the importation of foreigners?
It is for the happiness of those united
in society to harmonize as much as possible
in matters which they must of necessity transact
together. Civil government being the sole
object of forming societies, its administration
must be conducted by common consent. Every
species of government has its specific principles.
Ours perhaps are more peculiar than those of
any other in the universe. It is a composition
of the freest principles of the English constitution,
with others derived from natural right
and natural reason. To these nothing can be
more opposed than the maxims of absolute monarchies.
Yet from such we are to expect the
greatest number of emigrants. They will
bring with them the principles of the governments
they leave, imbibed in their early youth;
or, if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange
for an unbounded licentiousness, passing,
as is usual, from one extreme to another.
It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely
at the point of temperate liberty. These
principles, with their language, they will transmit
to their children. In proportion to their
numbers, they will share with us the legislation.
They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and
bias its directions, and render it a heterogeneous,
incoherent, distracted mass. I may appeal
to experience, during the present contest,
for a verification of these conjectures. But, if
they be not certain in event, are they not
possible, are they not probable? Is it not safer
to wait with patience twenty-seven years and three months longer, for the attainment of any
degree of population desired or expected? May
not our government be more homogeneous, more
peaceable, more durable? Suppose twenty millions
of republican Americans thrown all of a
sudden into France, what would be the condition
of that kingdom? If it would be more
turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may be


Page 416
lieve that the addition of half a million of foreigners
to our present numbers would produce
a similar effect here. If they come of themselves
they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship;
but I doubt the expediency of inviting
them by extraordinary encouragements. I
mean not that these doubts should be extended
to the importation of useful artificers. The
policy of that measure depends on very different
considerations. Spare no expense in obtaining
them. They will after a while go to the
plough and the hoe; but, in the meantime, they
will teach us something we do not know. It is
not so in agriculture. The indifferent state of
that among us does not proceed from a want
of knowledge merely; it is from our having
such quantities of land 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, 330. Ford ed., iii, 188.

3846. IMMORTALITY, Belief in.—

term is not very distant, at which we are to
deposit in the same cerement, our sorrows
and suffering bodies, and to ascend in essence
to an ecstatic meeting with the friends
we have loved and lost, and whom we shall
still love and never lose again.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 108. Ford ed., x, 114.
(M. 1818)

3847. IMPEACHMENT, Abuse of.—

History shows that in England impeachment
has been an engine more of passion than justice.
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 212. Ford ed., vii, 203.
(Pa., 1798)


A sketch of some of the principles and practices
of England with respect to impeachments is given in
the Parliamentary Manual, ix, 82.—Editor.

3848. IMPEACHMENT, Contempt for.

Impeachment is scarcely a scarecrow.—
To C. Hammond. Washington ed. vii, 216.
(M. 1821)

3849. IMPEACHMENT, Contempt for. [continued].

Impeachment is a bugbear
which they[Judiciary] fear not at all.—
To James Pleasants. Ford ed., x, 199.
(M. 1821)

3850. IMPEACHMENT, Contempt for. [further continued].

Experience has already
shown that the impeachment the Constitution
has provided is not even a scarecrow.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 134. Ford ed., x, 141.

3851. IMPEACHMENT, Courts of.—

For misbehavior, the grand inquest of the
Colony, the House of Representatives, should
impeach them before the Governor and Council,
when they should have time and opportunity
to make their defence; and if convicted,
should be removed from their offices,
and subjected to such other punishment as
shall be thought proper.—
To George Wythe. Ford ed., ii, 60.

3852. IMPEACHMENT, Courts of.—[continued].

There shall be a Court of
to consist of three members of
the Council of State, one of each of the
superior courts of Chancery, Common Law,
and Admiralty, two members of the House
of Delegates and one of the Senate, to be
chosen by the body respectively of which they
are. Before this Court any member of the
three branches of government, that is to say,
the governor, any member of the Council, of
the two houses of legislature, or of the
superior courts, may be impeached by the
governor, the Council, or either of the said
houses or courts, and by no other, for such
misbehavior in office as would be sufficient to
remove him therefrom; and the only sentence
they shall have authority to pass shall be that
of deprivation and future incapacity of office.
Seven members shall be requisite to
make a court, and two-thirds of those present
must concur in the sentence. The offences
cognizable by this court shall be cognizable
by no other, and they shall be triers of the
fact as well as judges of the law.—
Proposed Constitution for Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 449. Ford ed., iii, 329.

3853. IMPEACHMENT, Faction and.—

I see nothing in the mode of proceeding by
impeachment but the most formidable weapon
for the purposes of dominant faction that
ever was contrived. It would be the most effectual
one for getting rid of any man whom
they consider as dangerous to their views.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 211. Ford ed., vii, 202.
(Pa., Feb. 1798)

3854. IMPEACHMENT, A farce.—

is a farce which will not be tried
To W. B. Giles. Washington ed. v, 68. Ford ed., ix, 46.
(M. 1807)

3855. IMPEACHMENT, Inefficient.—

Experience has proved that impeachment in
our forms is completely inefficient.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 404.
(M. 1825)

3856. IMPEACHMENT, The judiciary and.—

Having found from experience that impeachment
is an impracticable thing, a mere scarecrow, they[the Judiciary] consider themselves
secure for life.—
To Thomas Ritchie. Washington ed. vii, 192. Ford ed., x, 170.
(M. 1820)

3857. IMPEACHMENT, The judiciary and.—[continued].

In the General Government
in this instance, we have gone even beyond
the English caution, by requiring a vote
of two-thirds, in one of the Houses, for removing
a Judge; a vote so impossible, where
any defence is made, before men of ordinary
prejudices and passions, that our Judges are
effectually independent of the nation. But
this ought not to be.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 81. Ford ed., i, 112.

3858. IMPEACHMENT, The judiciary and.—[further continued].

Our different States have
differently modified their several judiciaries
as to the tenure of office. Some appoint
their judges for a given term of
time; some continue them during good
behavior, and that to be determined on
by the concurring vote of two-thirds of
each legislative house. In England they are
removable by a majority only of each house.
The last is a practicable remedy; the second
is not. The combination of the friends and
associates of the accused, the action of personal
and party passions, and the sympathies
of the human heart, will forever find means
of influencing one-third of either the one or
the other house, will thus secure their impunity,
and establish them in fact for life.
The first remedy is the better, that of appointing


Page 417
for a term of years only, with a capacity of reappointment if their conduct has been
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 321.
(M. 1823)

3859. IMPEACHMENT, Juries and.—

The Senate have before them a bill for regulating
proceedings in impeachment. This will
be made the occasion of offering a clause for
the introduction of juries into these trials.
(Compare the paragraph in the Constitution
which says, that all crimes, except in cases
of impeachment,
shall be by jury, with the
eighth amendment, which says, that in all criminal prosecutions the trial shall be by
jury.) There is no expectation of carrying this;
because the division in the Senate is of two to
one, but it will draw forth the principles of
the parties, and concur in accumulating proofs
on which side all the sound principles are to
be found.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 208. Ford ed., vii, 192.
(Pa., Jan. 1798)

3860. IMPEACHMENT, Juries and.—[continued].

You mentioned that some
of your Committee admitted that the introduction
of juries into trials by impeachment under
the VIIIth amendment depended on the question
whether an impeachment for a misdemeanor
be a criminal prosecution? I devoted
yesterday evening to the extracting passages
from the law authors, showing that in lawlanguage,
the term crime is in common use
applied to misdemeanors, and that impeachments,
even when for misdemeanors only are
criminal prosecutions. Those proofs were so
numerous that my patience could go no further
than two authors, Blackstone and Wooddeson.
They show that you may meet that
question without the danger of being contradicted.
The Constitution closes the proofs by
explaining its own meaning when speaking of
impeachments, crimes, and misdemeanors.
To Henry Tazewell. Ford ed., vii, 194.
(Pa., Jan. 1798)

3861. IMPEACHMENT, Juries and.—[further continued].

The object in supporting
this engraftment into impeachments is to
lessen the dangers of the court of impeachment
under its present form, and to induce
dispositions in all parties in favor of a better
constituted court of impeachment, which I
own I consider as an useful thing, if so com-posed
as to be clear of the spirit of faction.—
To Henry Tazewell. Ford ed., vii, 195.
(Pa., 1798)

3862. IMPEACHMENT, Law Courts vs.—

I know of no solid purpose of punishment
which the courts of law are not equal
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 212. Ford ed., vii, 203.
(Pa., 1798)

3863. IMPEACHMENT, Power of.—

opinion[has been] declared, that not only
officers of the State governments, but every
private citizen of the United States, are impeachable.
Whether they think this the time
to make the declaration, I know not; but if
they bring it on, I think there will not be
more than two votes north of the Potomac
against the universality of the impeaching
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 215. Ford ed., vii, 207.
(Pa., Feb. 1798)

3864. IMPEACHMENT, The Senate and.—

The articles of impeachment against
Blount have been received by the Senate.
Some great questions will immediately arise.
1. Can they prescribe their own oath, the
forms of pleadings, issue process against person
or goods by their own orders, without
the formality of a law authorizing it? Has
not the 8th amendment of the Constitution
rendered a trial by jury necessary? Is a
Senator impeachable?—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 198.
(Pa., Feb. 1798)


See Excise.

3865. IMPRESSMENT, Certificates and.—

From the debates on the subject of our
seamen, I am afraid as much harm as good
will be done by our endeavors to arm our
seamen against impressments. It is proposed
to register them and give them certificates
of citizenship to protect them. But these
certificates will be lost in a thousand ways;
a sailor will neglect to take his certificate;
he is wet twenty times in a voyage; if he
goes ashore without it, he is impressed; if
with it, he gets drunk; it is lost, stolen from
him, taken from him, and then the want of it
gives authority to impress, which does not
exist now.—
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 133. Ford ed., vii, 65.
(M. March. 1796)

3866. IMPRESSMENT, Embargo and.—

The stand which has been made on behalf
of our seamen enslaved and incarcerated in
foreign ships, and against the prostration of
our rights on the ocean under laws of nature
acknowledged by all civilized nations, was
an effort due to the protection of our commerce,
and to that portion of our fellow
citizens engaged in the pursuits of navigation.
The opposition of the same portion to the
vindication of their peculiar rights, has been
as wonderful as the loyalty of their agricultural
brethren in the assertion of them has
been disinterested and meritorious.—
R. to A. Massachusetts Citizens. Washington ed. viii, 160.

3867. IMPRESSMENT, Embargo and.—[continued].

Enough of the non-importation
law should be reserved to pinch the
English into a relinquishment of impressments.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 442. Ford ed., ix, 251.
(M. April. 1809)

3868. IMPRESSMENT, George III. and.—

He has constrained our fellow citizens,
taken captive on the high seas, to bear arms
against their country, to become the executioners
of their friends and brethren, or to
fall themselves by their hands.—
Declaration. of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

3869. IMPRESSMENT, Pretexts for.—

You are desired to persevere till you obtain a regulation to guard our vessels from having
their hands impressed, and to inhibit the
British navy-officers from taking them under
the pretext of their being British subjects.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 552. Ford ed., vi, 243.
(Pa., May. 1793)

3870. IMPRESSMENT, Protection against.—

We entirely reject the mode[of


Page 418
protecting our seamen from impressment] which was the subject of conversation between
Mr.[Gouverneur] Morris and the
British minister, which was, that our seamen
should always carry about them certificates of
their citizenship. This is a condition never
yet submitted to by any nation, one with
which seamen would never have the precaution
to comply. The casualties of their calling
would expose them to the constant
destruction or loss of this paper evidence,
and thus, the British government would be
armed with legal authority to impress the
whole of our seamen. The simplest rule will
be, that the vessel being American, shall be
evidence that the seamen on board her are
such. If they apprehend that our vessels
might thus become asylums for the fugitives
of their own nation from impress-gangs, the
number of men to be protected by a vessel
may be limited by her tonnage, and one or
two officers only be permitted to enter the
vessel in order to examine the numbers on
board; but no press-gang should be allowed
ever to go on board an American vessel, till
after it shall be found that there are more than
their stipulated number on board, nor till
after the master shall have refused to deliver
the supernumeraries (to be named by himself )
to the press-officer who has come on
board for that purpose; and even then, the
American consul should be called in.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 443. Ford ed., vi, 76.
(Pa., June. 1792)

3871. IMPRESSMENT, Remonstrances against.—

On the impressment of our seamen,
our remonstrances have never been intermitted.
A hope existed at one moment of
an arrangement which might have been submitted
to, but it soon passed away, and the
practice, though relaxed at times in the distant
seas, has been constantly pursued in
those in our neighborhood.—
Special Mes-sage. Washington ed. viii, 58. Ford ed., viii, 417.
(Jan. 1806)

3872. IMPRESSMENT, Renunciation of.—

Nothing will be deemed security but a
renunciation of the practice of taking persons
out of our vessels, under the pretence of
their being English.—
To John Armstrong. Washington ed. v, 134. Ford ed., ix, 116.
(W. 1807)

3873. IMPRESSMENT, Resistance to.—

Our particular and separate grievance is
only the impressment of our citizens. We
must sacrifice the last dollar and drop of
blood to rid us of that badge of slavery.—
To W. H. Crawford. Washington ed. vi, 418. Ford ed., ix, 502.
(M. Feb. 1815)

3874. IMPRESSMENT, Treaty of Peace and.—

No provision being made[in the treaty
of peace] against the impressment of our seamen,
it is in fact but an armistice, to be
terminated by the first act of impressment
committed on an American citizen.—
To W. H. Crawford. Washington ed. vi, 420. Ford ed., ix, 504.
(M. 1815)

3875. IMPRESSMENT, Treaty of Peace and.—[continued].

I presume that, having
spared to the pride of England her formal
acknowledgment of the atrocity of impress
ment in an article of the treaty, she will concur
in a convention for relinquishing it.
Without this, she must understand that the
present is but a truce, determinable on the
first act of impressment of an American
citizen, committed by an officer of hers.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 453. Ford ed., ix, 512.
(M. March. 1815)

3876. IMPRESSMENT, War against.—

Continued impressments of our seamen by
her naval commanders, whose interest it was
to mistake them for theirs, her innovations
on the law of nations to cover real piracies,
could illy be borne; and perhaps would not
have been borne, had not contraventions of
the same law by France, fewer in number but
equally illegal, rendered it difficult to single
the object of war. England, at length, singled
herself, and took up the gauntlet, when the
unlawful decrees of France being revoked as
to us, she, by the proclamation of her Prince
Regent, protested to the world that she would
never revoke hers until those of France
should be removed as to all nations. Her minister,
too, about the same time, in an official
conversation with our Chargé, rejected our
substitute for her practice of impressment;
proposed no other; and declared explicitly
that no admissible one for this abuse could
be proposed. Negotiation being thus cut
short, no alternative remained but war, or
the abandonment of the persons and property
of our citizens on the ocean. The last one,
I presume, no American would have preferred.
War was therefore declared, and
justly declared; but accompanied with immediate
offers of peace on simply doing us
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. vi, 215. Ford ed., ix, 422.
(M. Oct. 1813)

3877. IMPRESSMENT, War against.—[continued].

On that point[impressment] we have thrown away the scabbard,
and the moment an European war brings
England back to this practice, adds us again
to her enemies.—
To Mr. Maury. Washington ed. vi, 467.
(M. 1815)


See Appendix.


See Taxation.

3878. INCORPORATION, Enumerated powers and.—

[It has been] proposed to Congress
to incorporate an Agricultural 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.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Ford ed., vii, 493.
(W. Feb. 1801)

3879. INCORPORATION, Executive and.—

The Administrator shall not possess
the prerogative * * * of erecting corporations.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 19.
(June. 1776)

3880. INCORPORATION, Federal Convention and.—

Baldwin of Kentucky, mentions


Page 419
at table the following fact: When the Bank bill was under discussion in the House
of Representatives, Judge Wilson came in,
and was standing by Baldwin. Baldwin reminded
him of the following fact which
passed in the grand Convention. Among the
enumerated powers given to Congress was one
to erect corporations. It was on debate struck
out. Several particular powers were then proposed.
Among others, Robert Morris proposed
to give Congress a power to establish
a National Bank. Gouverneur Morris opposed
it, observing that it was extremely
doubtful whether the Constitution they were
framing could ever be passed at all by the
people of America; that to give it its best
chance, however, they should make it as
palatable as possible, and put nothing into it
not very essential which might raise up
enemies; that his colleague, Robert Morris,
well knew that “a bank” was in their
State (Pennsylvania) the very watchword of
party; that a bank had been the great bone of
contention between the two parties of the
State from the establishment of their constitution,
having been erected, put down and
erected again as either party preponderated;
that, therefore, to insert this power would instantly
enlist against the whole instrument the
whole of the anti-bank party in Pennsylvania;
whereupon, it was rejected, as was every
other special power except that of giving
copyrights to authors and patents to inventors,
the general power of incorporation being
whittled down to this shred. Wilson agreed
to the fact.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 191. Ford ed., i, 278.

3881. INCORPORATION, Federal Convention and.—[continued].

A proposition was made
to the Convention which formed the[Federal] Constitution to open canals, and an amendatory
one to empower them to incorporate.
But the whole was rejected, and one of the
reasons for rejection urged in debate was,
that then they would have power to erect
a bank, which would render the great cities,
where there were prejudices and jealousies on
the subject, adverse to the reception of the
National Bank Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 558. Ford ed., v, 287.

3882. INCORPORATION, General welfare clause and.—

We are here[Philadelphia] engaged in improving our Constitution
by construction, so as to make it what the
[federal] majority think it should have been.
The Senate received yesterday a bill from
the Representatives incorporating a company
for Roosevelt's copper mines in Jersey. This
is under the sweeping clause of the Constitution,
and supported by the following pedigree
of necessities: Congress are authorized to defend
the country; ships are necessary for that
defence; copper is necessary for ships; mines
are necessary to produce copper; companies
are necessary to work mines; and “this is
the house that Jack built”.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Ford ed., vii, 445.
(Pa., April. 1800)

3883. INCORPORATION, General welfare clause and.—[continued].

The House of Representatives
sent[to the Senate] yesterday a bill
for incorporating a company to work Roosevelt's
copper mines in New Jersey. I do not
know whether it is understood that the Legislature
of Jersey was incompetent to this, or
merely that we have concurrent legislation
under the sweeping clause. Congress are
authorized to defend the nation. Ships are
necessary for defence; copper is necessary for
ships; mines necessary for copper; a company
necessary to work mines; and who can doubt
this reasoning who has ever played at “This
is the House that Jack built”. Under such
a process of filiation of necessities the sweeping
clause makes clea work.—
To E. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 329. Ford ed., vii, 444.
(Pa., April. 1800)

3884. INCORPORATION, Republican party and.—

It has always been denied by the
republican party in this country, that the Constitution
had given the power of incorporation
to Congress. On the establishment of the
Bank of the United States, this was the great
ground on which that establishment was combatted;
and the party prevailing supported it
only on the argument of its being an incident
to the power given them for raising money.
On this ground it has been acquiesced in, and
will probably be acquiesced in, as subsequently
confirmed by public opinion. But in no other
instance have they ever exercised this power
of incorporation out of this District, of which
they are the ordinary Legislature.—
To Dr. Maese. Washington ed. v, 412.
(W. Jan. 1809)

See Bank (U. S.), Constitutionality of, General Welfare and Monopoly.

3885. INDEMNIFICATION, Adequate.—

To demand satisfaction beyond what is adequate
is a wrong.—
Official Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 628. Ford ed., vi, 258.

3886. INDEMNIFICATION, Effectual.—

One thousand ships taken, six thousand
seamen impressed, savage butcheries of our
citizens, and incendiary machinations against
our Union, declare that they and their allies,
the Spaniards, must retire from the Atlantic
side of our continent as the only security or
indemnification which will be effectual.—
To Thomas Letre. Washington ed. vi, 79.
(M. Aug. 1812)

3887. INDEMNIFICATION, Frigate Chesapeake and.—

We now send a vessel to
call upon the British government for reparation
for the past outrage[attack on the
Chesapeake] and security for the future.—
To John Armstrong. Washington ed. v, 134. Ford ed., ix, 116.
(W. 1807)

3888. INDEMNIFICATION, Frigate Chesapeake and.—[continued].

Reparation for the past
and security for the future is our motto.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 127. Ford ed., ix, III.
(W. July. 1807)

3889. INDEMNIFICATION, Frigate Chesapeake and.—[further continued].

An armed vessel of the
United States was dispatched with instructions
to our ministers at London to call on
that government for the satisfaction and security
required by the outrage.[Attack on
the Chesapeake.]—
Seventh Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 84. Ford ed., ix, 153.


Page 420

3890. INDEMNIFICATION, National retribution.—

That retribution which the laws of every country mean to extend to
those who suffer unjustly.—
To Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 486.
(P. 1785)

3891. INDEMNIFICATION, National usage.—

The usage of nations requires that we
shall give the offender an opportunity of
making reparation and avoiding war.—
To Vice-President Clinton. Washington ed. v, 116. Ford ed., ix, 100.
(W. 1807)

3892. INDEMNIFICATION, Principle of.—

I take the true principle to be, that “for
violations of jurisdiction, with the consent of
the sovereign, or his voluntary sufferance, indemnification
is due; but that for others he is
bound only to use all reasonable means to obtain
indemnification from the aggressor,
which must be calculated on his circumstances,
and these endeavors bonâ fide made;
and failing, he is no further responsible”. It
would be extraordinary, indeed, if we were
to be answerable for the conduct of belligerents
through our whole coasts, whether inhabited
or not.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 69. Ford ed., ix, 47.
(M. April. 1807)

3893. INDEMNIFICATION, Security and.—

The sword once drawn, full justice
must be done. “Indemnification for the past
and security for the future” should be
painted on our banners.—
To Mr. Wright. Washington ed. vi, 78.
(M. Aug. 1812)

3894. INDEMNIFICATION, For slaves.—

The President * * * authorized
Mr. Gouverneur Morris to enter into conference
with the British ministers in order to discover
their sentiments on the * * * indemnification
for the negroes carried off against the
stipulations of the treaty of peace. The letters
of Mr. Morris * * *[to the President] state
the communications, oral and written, which
have passed between him and the ministers;
and from these the Secretary of State draws the
following inference: That as to indemnification
for the negroes, their measures for concealing
them were in the first instance so efficacious, as
to reduce our demand for them, so far as we
can support it by direct proof, to be very small
indeed. Its smallness seems to have kept it out
of discussion. Were other difficulties removed,
they would probably make none of this article.
* * * The Secretary of State is of opinion
* * * that the demands * * * of indemnification
should not be again made till we are in
readiness to do ourselves the justice which May
be refused.—
Report on British Negotiations. Washington ed. vii, 517. Ford ed., v, 261.

3895. INDEPENDENCE, First idea of American.—

In July 1775, a separation from
Great Britain and establishment of republican
government had never yet entered into any
person's mind. * * * Independence, and
the establishment of a new form of government,
were not even the objects of the people
at large. One extract from the pamphlet
called “Common Sense” had appeared in the
Virginia papers in February, and copies of the
pamphlet itself had got in a few hands. But
the idea had not been opened to the mass of
the people in April, much less can it be said
that they had made up their minds in its
favor. [246]
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 363. Ford ed., iii, 225.

See Colonies, Declaration of Independence, Parliament and Revolution (American).


In the Ford edition (iii, 226) attention is called to
a letter written by Jefferson from Philadelphia, May,
16, 1776, to Thomas Nelson, in which he said: “I wish
much to see you here, yet hope you will contrive
to bring on as early as you can in convention the
great questions of the session. I suppose they will
tell us what to say on the subject of Independence,
but hope respect will be expressed to the right opinion
in other Colonies who may happen to differ from
them. When at home I took great pains to enquire
into the sentiments of the people on that head, in the
upper counties I think I may safely say nine out of
ten are for it.”—Editor.

3896. INDIANS, Agriculture and.—

decrease of game rendering their subsistence by
hunting insufficient, we wish to draw them to
agriculture, to spinning and weaving. The latter
branches they take up with great readiness,
because they fall to the women, who gain by
quitting the labors of the field for those which
are exercised within doors.—
To Governor Harrison. Washington ed. iv, 472.
(W. 1803)

3897. INDIANS, Agriculture and.—[continued].

I consider the business of hunting as already become insufficient to furnish
clothing and subsistence to the Indians.
The promotion of agriculture, therefore, and
household manufacture, are essential in their
preservation, and I am disposed to aid and encourage
it liberally.—
To Benjamin Hawkins. Washington ed. iv, 467. Ford ed., viii, 213.


They are
a useless, expensive, ungovernable ally.—
To John Page. Ford ed., ii, 88.
(Pa., 1776)

3899. INDIANS, Amalgamation.—

ultimate point of rest and happiness for them
is to let our settlements and theirs meet and
blend together, to intermix, and become one
people. Incorporating themselves with us as
citizens of the United States, this is what the
natural progress of things will of course bring
on, and it will be better to promote than to
retard it.—
To Benjamin Hawkins. Washington ed. iv, 467. Ford ed., viii, 214.

3900. INDIANS, Amalgamation.—[continued].

Our settlements will
gradually circumscribe and approach the Indians,
and they will in time either incorporate
with us as citizens of the United States, or
remove beyond the Mississippi. The former is
certainly the determination of their history most
happy for themselves; but, in the whole course
of this it is essential to cultivate their love.—
To Governor Harrison. Washington ed. iv, 472.
(W. 1803)

3901. INDIANS, Amalgamation.—[further continued].

I shall rejoice to see the
day when the red men, our neighbors, become
truly one people with us, enjoying all the
rights and privileges we do, and living in peace
and plenty as we do, without any one to make
them afraid, to injure their persons, or to take
their property without being punished for it
according to fixed laws.—
To the Cherokee Chiefs. Washington ed. viii, 214.

3902. INDIANS, American Nations and.—

[It is] an established principle of public
law among the white nations of America, that
while the Indians included within their limits
retain all other natural rights, no other white
nations can become their patrons, protectors or
mediators, nor in any shape intermeddle between
them and those within whose limits they
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 433. Ford ed., i, 210.

3903. INDIANS, American Nations and.—[continued].

We consider it as established
by the usage of different nations into a


Page 421
kind of Jus gentium for America, that a white
nation settling down and declaring that such
and such are their limits, makes an invasion of
those limits by any other white nation an act of
war, but gives no right of soil against the native
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 429. Ford ed., i, 197.

3904. INDIANS, Brotherhood of.—

by the same Great Spirit, and living in the same
land with our brothers, the red men, we consider
ourselves as of the same family; we wish to live
with them as one people, and to cherish their
interests as our own.—
Address to Indians. Washington ed. viii, 184.

3905. INDIANS, Catherine of Russia and.—

What Professor Adelung mentions of
the Empress Catherine's having procured many
vocabularies of our Indians, is correct. She
applied to M. de Lafayette, who, through the
aid of General Washington, obtained several;
but I never learnt of what particular tribes.—
To Mr. Duponceau. Washington ed. vii, 96.
(M. 1817)

3906. INDIANS, Citizenship and.—

We have already had an application from a settlement
of Indians to become citizens of the
United States. It is possible, perhaps probable,
that this idea may be so novel as that it might
shock the Indians, were it even hinted to them.
Of course, you will keep it for your own reflection;
but, convinced of its soundness, I feel
it consistent with pure morality to lead them
towards it, to familiarize them to the idea that
it is for their interest to cede lands at times to
the United States, and for us to procure gratifications
to our citizens, from time to time, by
new acquisitions of land.—
To Benjamin Hawkins. Washington ed. iv, 468. Ford ed., viii, 215,
(W. 1803)

3907. INDIANS, Civilizing.—

It is evident
that your society has begun at the right end for civilizing the Indians. Habits of industry,
easy subsistence, attachment to property,
are necessary to prepare their minds for
the first elements of science, and afterwards for
moral and religious instruction. To begin with
the last has ever ended either in effecting nothing,
or ingrafting bigotry on ignorance, and
setting them to tomahawking and burning old
women and others as witches, of which we
have seen a commencement among them.—
To James Pemberton. Washington ed. v, 212.
(W. 1807)

3908. INDIANS, Civilizing.—[continued].

They are our brethren,
our neighbors; they may be valuable friends,
and troublesome enemies. Both duty and interest
enjoin, that we should extend to them the
blessings of civilized life, and prepare their
minds for becoming useful members of the
American family.—
R. to A. Washington ed. viii, 118.

3909. INDIANS, Civilizing.—[further continued].

The plan of civilizing the Indians is undoubtedly a great improvement
on the ancient and totally ineffectual one of beginning
with religious missionaries. Our experience
has shown that this must be the last
step of the process. The following is what
has been successful: 1st, to raise cattle, &c., and
thereby acquire a knowledge of the value of
property; 2d, arithmetic, to calculate that
value; 3d, writing, to keep accounts, and here
they begin to enclose farms, and the men to
labor, the women to spin and weave; 4th, to
read “Aesop's Fables” and “Robinson Crusoe”
are their first delight. The Creeks and Cherokees
are advanced thus far, and the Cherokees
are now instituting a regular government.—
To James Jay. Washington ed. v, 440.
(M. April. 1809)

3910. INDIANS, Civilizing.—[further continued] .

The civilization and improvement
of the Indian tribes * * * I have
ever had much at heart, and never omitted an
occasion of promoting while I have been in situations
to do it with effect; and nothing, even
now, in the calm of age and retirement, would
excite in me a more lively interest than an approvable
plan of raising that respectable and
unfortunate people from the state of physical
and moral abjection, to which they have been
reduced by circumstances foreign to them.—
To Jedediah Morse. Washington ed. vii, 233. Ford ed., x, 203.
(M. 1822)

See Civilization.

3911. INDIANS, Coercing.—

ought more to be avoided than the embarking
ourselves in a system of military coercion on the
Indians. If we do this, we shall have general
and perpetual war.—
To Meriwethar Lewis. Washington ed. v, 350.
(M. 1808)

3912. INDIANS, Commiseration.—

the early part of my life, I was very familiar
with the Indians, and acquired impressions of
attachment and commiseration for them which
have never been obliterated.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 61. Ford ed., ix, 358.
(M. 1812)

3913. INDIANS, Controlling.—

The Indians
can be kept in order only by commerce or
war. The former is the cheaper.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 227.
(W. 1808)

3914. INDIANS, Descent of.—

deduction of the origin of our Indians from
the fugitive Trojans, * * * and his manner
of accounting for the sprinkling of their Latin
with Greek, is really amusing. Adair makes
them talk Hebrew. Reinold Foster derives them
from the soldiers sent by Kouli Khan to conquer
Japan. Brerewood, from the Tartars, as well
as our bears, wolves, foxes, &c., which, he says,
“must of necessity fetch their beginning from
Noah's ark, which rested, after the deluge in
Asia, seeing they could not proceed by the
course of nature, as the imperfect sort of living
creatures do, from putrefaction”. Bernard
Romans is of opinion that God created an
original man and woman in this part of the
globe. Doctor Barton thinks they are not
specifically different from the Persians; but,
taking afterwards a broader range, he thinks,
“that in all the vast countries of America, there
is but one language, nay, that it may be proven,
or rendered highly probable, that all the languages
of the earth bear some affinity together”.
This reduces it to a question of definition, in
which every one is free to use his own: to wit,
what constitutes identity, or difference in two
things, in the common acceptation of sameness. All languages may be called the same, as being
all made up of the same primitive sounds,
expressed by the letters of the different alphabets.
But, in this sense, all things on earth are
the same as consisting of matter. This gives
up the useful distribution into genera and
species, which we form, arbitrarily indeed, for
the relief of our imperfect memories. To aid
the question, from whence our Indian tribes
are descended, some have gone into their religion,
their morals, their manners, customs, habits, and physical forms. By such helps it
may be learnedly proved, that our trees and
plants of every kind are descended from those
of Europe; because, like them, they have no
locomotion, they draw nourishment from the
earth, they clothe themselves with leaves in
spring, of which they divest themselves in autumn
for the sleep of winter, &c. Our animals,
too, must be descended from those of Europe,
because our wolves eat lambs, our deer are
gregarious, our ants hoard, &c. But, when for
convenience we distribute languages, according
to common understanding, into classes originally


Page 422
different, as we choose to consider them, as the Hebrew, the Greek, the Celtic, the
Gothic; and these again into genera, or families,
as the Icelandic, German, Swedish, Danish,
English; and these last into species, or dialects,
as English, Scotch, Irish, we then ascribe other
meanings to the terms “same” and “ different
”. In some of these senses, Barton, and
Adair, and Foster, and Brerewood, and Morton,
may be right, every one according to his
own definition of what constitutes “identity”.
Romans, indeed, takes a higher stand, and supposes
a separate creation. On the same unscriptural
ground, he had but to mount one
step higher, to suppose no creation at all, but
that all things have existed without beginning
in time, as they now exist, and may forever exist,
producing and reproducing in a circle,
without end. This would very summarily dispose
of Mr. Moreton's learning, and show that
the question of Indian origin, like many others,
pushed to a certain height, must receive the
same answer, “Ignoro”.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 121.
(M. May. 1813)

See Aborigines.

3915. INDIANS, Driven westward.—

am sorry to hear that the Indians have commenced
war, but greatly pleased you have been
so decisive on that head. Nothing will reduce
those wretches so soon as pushing the
war into the heart of their country. But I
would not stop there. I would never cease pursuing
them while one of them remained on this
side the Mississippi.—
To John Page. Ford ed., ii, 73.
(Pa., 1776)

3916. INDIANS, Driven westward.—[continued].

The Indians backward
[in civilization] will yield, and be thrown
further back. They will relapse into barbarism
and misery, lose numbers by war and want, and
we shall be obliged to drive them with the
beasts of the forest into the stony mountains.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 62. Ford ed., ix, 358.
(M. 1812)

3917. INDIANS, Fire-hunting by.—

You ask if the usage of hunting in circles has
ever been known among any of our tribes of
Indians? It has been practiced by them all;
and is to this day, by those still remote from
the settlements of the whites. But their numbers
and enabling them like Genghis Khan's
seven hundred thousand, to form themselves
into circles of one hundred miles diameter,
they make their circle by firing the leaves fallen
on the ground, which gradually forcing the
animals to a centre, they there slaughter them
with arrows, darts and other missiles.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 122.
(M. 1813)

3918. INDIANS, Fortifications.—

I believe
entirely with you that the remains of fortifications,
found in the western country, have
been the works of the natives.—
To Harry Innes. Washington ed. iii, 217. Ford ed., v, 294.
(Pa., 1791)

3919. INDIANS, Friendship.—

It is on their interests we must rely for their friendship,
and not on their fears.—
To Henry Dearborn, Washington ed. v, 349.
(M. 1808)

3920. INDIANS, Genius.—

It is in North
America we are to seek their[the Indians'] original character. And I am safe in affirming,
that the proofs of genius given by the Indians
of North America place them on a level with
whites in the same uncultivated state. The
North of Europe furnishes subjects enough for
comparison with them, and for a proof of their
equality, I have seen some thousands myself,
and conversed much with them, and have found
in them a masculine, sound understanding.
* * * I believe the Indian to be in body and
mind equal to the white man.—
To General Chastellux. Washington ed. i, 341. Ford ed., iii, 137.
(P. 1785)

3921. INDIANS, Government.—

practice[of dividing themselves into small societies] results from the circumstance of their
having never submitted themselves to any laws,
any coercive power, any shadow of government.
Their only controls are their manners, and that
moral sense of right and wrong, which, like
the sense of tasting and feeling in every man,
makes a part of his nature. An offence against
these is punished by contempt, by exclusion
from society, or, where the case is serious, as
that of murder, by the individuals whom it concerns.
Imperfect as this species of coercion May
seem, crimes are very rare among them; insomuch
that were it made a question, whether
no law, as among the savage Americans, or too
much law, as among the civilized Europeans,
submits man to the greatest evil, one who has
seen both conditions of existence would pronounce
it to be the last; and that the sheep
are happier of themselves, than under the care
of the wolves. It will be said that great societies
cannot exist without government. The
savages, therefore, break them into small ones.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 338. Ford ed., iii, 195.

3922. INDIANS, Great Britain and.—

You know the benevolent plan we were pursuing
here for the happiness of the aboriginal
inhabitants in our vicinities. We spared nothing
to keep them at peace with one another.
To teach them agriculture and the rudiments
of the most necessary arts, and to encourage
industry by establishing among them separate
property. In this way they would have been
enabled to subsist and multiply on a moderate
scale of landed possession. They would have
mixed their blood with ours, and been amalgamated
and indentified with us within no distant
period of time. On the commencement of the
present war[with Great Britain], we pressed
on them the observance of peace and neutrality,
but the interested and unprincipled policy of
England has defeated all our labors for the
salvation of these unfortunate people. They
have seduced the greater part of the tribes
within our neighborhood, to take up the hatchet
against us, and the cruel massacres they have
committed on the women and children of our
frontiers taken by surprise will oblige us now
to pursue them to extermination, or drive
them to new seats beyond our reach. * * * The confirmed brutalization, if not the extermination
of this race in our America, is therefore
to form an additional chapter in the English
history of the same colored man in Asia,
and of the brethren of their own color in Ireland
and wherever else Anglo-mercantile cupidity
can find a two-penny interest in deluging
the earth with human blood.—
To Baron de Humboldt. Washington ed. vi, 269. Ford ed., ix, 431.
(Dec. 1813)

3923. INDIANS, Justice to.—

The two
principles on which our conduct towards the
Indians should be founded are justice and fear.
After the injuries we have done them, they
cannot love us, which leaves us no alternative
but that of fear to keep them from attacking
us. But justice is what we should never lose
sight of and, in time, it may recover their
To Mr. Hawkins. Washington ed. ii, 3.
(P. 1786)

3924. INDIANS, Justice to.—[continued].

Nothing must be spared to convince the Indians of the justice and liberality
we are determined to use towards them,
and to attach them to us indissolubly.—
To Dr. Sibley. Washington ed. iv, 581.
(W. 1805)


Page 423

3925. INDIANS, Lands of.—

It may be
regarded as certain, that not a foot of land will
ever be taken from the Indians, without their
own consent. The sacredness of their rights is
felt by all thinking persons in America as much
as in Europe.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 260. Ford ed., iv, 166.
(P. 1786)

3926. INDIANS, Lands of.—[continued].

When they withdraw
themselves to the culture of a small piece of
land, they will perceive how useless to them
are their extensive forests, and will be willing
to pare them off from time to time in exchange
for necessaries for their farms and families.—
To Governor Harrison. Washington ed. iv, 472.
(W. 1803)

3927. INDIANS, Lands of.—[further continued].

To promote the disposition
to exchange lands, which they have to
spare and we want, for necessaries, which we
have to spare and they want, we shall push our
trading uses, and be glad to see the good and influential
individuals among them run in debt,
because we observe that when these debts get
beyond what the individuals can pay, they become
willing to lop them off by a cession of
lands. At our trading houses, too, we mean
to sell so low as merely to repay us cost and
charges, so as neither to lessen nor enlarge our
To Governor Harrison. Washington ed. iv, 472.
(W. 1803)

3928. INDIANS, Lands of.—[further continued] .

I am myself alive to the
obtaining lands from the Indians by all honest and peaceable means, and I believe that the
honest and peaceable means adopted by us will
obtain them as fast as the expansion of our
settlements with due regard to compactness, will
To Andrew Jackson. Washington ed. iv, 464.
(W. 1803)

— INDIANS, Languages of.—

See Aborigines.

3929. INDIANS, Outacite.—

Before the
Revolution, the Indians were in the habit of
coming often and in great numbers to the seat
of government[in Virginia], where I was very
much with them. I knew much the great
Outacité, the warrior and orator of the Cherokees;
he was always the guest of my father,
on his journeys to and from Williamsburg. I
was in his camp when he made his great farewell
oration to his people the evening before
his departure for England. The moon was
in full splendor, and to her he seemed to address
himself in his prayers for his own safety
on the voyage, and that of his people during
his absence; his sounding voice, distinct articulation,
animated action, and the solemn silence
of his people at their several fires, filled me
with awe and veneration, although I did not
understand a word he uttered.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 61. Ford ed., ix, 358.
(M. 1812)

3930. INDIANS, Peace with.—

Our system
is to live in perpetual peace with the Indians,
to cultivate an affectionate attachment from them, by everything just and liberal which
we can do for them within the bounds of reason.
and by giving them effectual protection against
wrongs from our own people.—
To Governor Harrison. Washington ed. iv, 472.
(W. 1803)

— INDIANS, Policy respecting.—

See Second Inaugural Address, in

3931. INDIANS, Priesthood.—

You ask
if the Indians have any order of priesthood
among them, like the Druids, Bards or Minstrels
of the Celtic nations? Adair alone, determined
to see what he wished to see in every
object, metamorphoses their conjurers into an
order of priests, and describes their sorceries
as if they were the great religious ceremonies
of the nation. Lafitau called them by their
proper names, Jongleurs, Devins, Sortileges;
De Bry, præstigiatores; Adair himself sometimes
Magi, Archimagi, cunning men, Seers,
rain-makers; and the modern Indian interpreters
call them conjurers and witches. They
are persons pretending to have communications
with the devil and other evil spirits, to foretell
future events, bring down rain, find stolen
goods, raise the dead, destroy some and heal
others by enchantment, lay spells, &c. And
Adair, without departing from his parallel of
the Jews and Indians, might have found their
counterpart much more aptly among the soothsayers,
sorcerers and wizards of the Jews, their
Gannes and Gambres, their Simon Magus, Witch
of Endor, and the young damsel whose sorceries
disturbed Paul so much; instead of
placing them in a line with their high-priest,
their chief-priests, and their magnificent hierarchy
generally. In the solemn ceremonies of
the Indians, the persons who direct or officiate,
are their chiefs, elders and warriors, in civil
ceremonies or in those of war; it is the head of
the cabin in their private or particular feasts
or ceremonies; and sometimes the matrons, as
in their corn feasts. And even here, Adair might
have kept up his parallel, without ennobling his
conjurers. For the ancient patriarchs, the
Noahs, the Abrahams, Isaacs and Jacobs, and
even after the consecration of Aaron, the Samuels
and Elijahs, and we may say further,
every one for himself offered sacrifices on the
altars. The true line of distinction seems to be,
that solemn ceremonies, whether public or private,
addressed to the Great Spirit, are conducted
by the worthies of the nation, men or
matrons, while conjurers are resorted to only
for the invocation of evil spirits. The present
state of the Indian tribes, without any public
order of priests, is proof sufficient that they
never had such an order. Their steady habits
permit no innovations, not even those which
the progress of science offers to increase the
comforts, enlarge the understanding, and improve
the morality of mankind. Indeed, so
little idea have they of a regular order of
priests, that they mistake ours for their conjurers,
and call them by that name.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 60. Ford ed., ix, 357.
(M. 1812)

3932. INDIANS, Protection of.—

It is a
leading object of our present government to
guarantee the Indians in their present possessions,
and to protect their persons with the
same fidelity which is extended to its own citizens.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. iii, 260.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

3933. INDIANS, The Revolution and.—

At the commencement of the war[of the Revolution],
the United States laid it down as a
rule of their conduct, to engage the Indian tribes
within their neighborhood to remain strictly
neutral. They accordingly strongly pressed it
on them, urging that it was a family quarrel
with which they had nothing to do, and in
which we wished them to take no part; and
we strengthened these recommendations by
doing them every act of friendship and good
neighborhood, which circumstances left in our
power. With some, these solicitations prevailed;
but the greater part of them suffered
themselves to be drawn into the war against us.
They waged it in their usual cruel manner,
murdering and scalping men, women and children,
indiscriminately, burning their houses, and
desolating the country. They put us to vast
expense, as well by the constant force we were
obliged to keep up in that quarter, as by the


Page 424
expeditions of considerable magnitude which
we were under the necessity of sending into
their country from time to time.—
To Carmichael and Short. Washington ed. iv, 9. Ford ed., vi, 331.
(Pa., 1793)

3934. INDIANS, The Revolution and.—[continued].

Peace being at length
concluded with England, we had it also to conclude
with them. They had made war on us
without the least provocation or pretence of
injury. They had added greatly to the cost of
that war. They had insulted our feelings by
their savage cruelties. They were by our arms
completely subdued and humbled. Under all
these circumstances, we had a right to demand
substantial satisfaction and indemnification.
We used that right, however, with real moderation.
Their limits with us under the former
government were generally ill defined, questionable,
and the frequent cause of war. Sincerely
desirous of living in their peace, of cultivating
it by every act of justice and friendship,
and of rendering them better neighbors by
introducing among them some of the most
useful arts, it was necessary to begin by a precise
definition of boundary. Accordingly, at
the treaties held with them, our mutual boundaries
were settled: and notwithstanding our just
right to concessions adequate to the circumstances
of the case, we required such only as
were inconsiderable; and for even these, in
order that we might place them in a state of
perfect conciliation, we paid them a valuable
consideration, and granted them annuities in
money which have been regularly paid, and
were equal to the prices for which they have
usually sold their lands.—
To Carmichael and Short. Washington ed. iv, 10. Ford ed., vi, 331.
(Pa., 1793)

3935. INDIANS, Rights of.—

The want
of attention to their rights is a principal source
of dishonor to the American character.—
To Mr. Hawkins. Washington ed. ii, 3.
(P. 1786)

3936. INDIANS, Schools for.—

teaching the Indian boys and girls to read and
write, agriculture and mechanic trades to the
former, spinning and weaving to the latter, May
perhaps be acceded to by us advantageously for
the Indians.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. vii, 278.

3937. INDIANS, Sioux.—

On the Sioux
nation we wish most particularly to make a
friendly impression, because of their immense
power, and because we learn that they are very
desirous of being on the most friendly terms
with us.—
To Captain Meriwether Lewis. Washington ed. iv, 522.
(W. 1804)

3938. INDIANS, Temperance.—

Our endeavors
are to impress on them all profoundly,
temperance, peace and agriculture; and I am
persuaded they begin to feel profoundly the
soundness of the advice.—
To Dr. Logan. Washington ed. v, 404.
(W. 1808)

3939. INDIANS, Trade vs. Armies.—

As soon as our factories on the Missouri and
Mississippi can be in activity, they will have
more powerful effects than so many armies.—
To Meriwether Lewis. Washington ed. v, 351.
(M. 1808)

3940. INDIANS, Trade vs. Armies.—[continued].

Have you thought of the Indian drawback? The Indians can be kept
in order only by commerce or war. The former
is the cheaper. Unless we can induce individuals
to employ their capital in that trade,
it will require an enormous sum of capital from
the public treasury, and it will be badly managed.
A drawback for four or five years is the
cheapest way of getting that business off our
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 227.
(W. 1808)

3941. INDIANS, Traditions.—

scanty accounts of the traditions of the Indians,
but fuller of their customs and characters,
are given us by most of the early travelers
among them, these you know were mostly
French. Lafitau, among them, and Adair an
Englishman, have written on this subject.
* * * But unluckily Lafitau had in his head
a preconceived theory on the mythology, manners,
institutions, and government of the ancient
nations of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and
seems to have entered on those of America
only to fit them into the same frame, and to
draw from them a confirmation of his general
theory. He keeps up a perpetual parallel, in
all those articles, between the Indians of America
and the ancients of the other quarters of
the globe. He selects, therefore, all the facts
and adopts all the falsehoods which favor his
theory, and very gravely retails such absurdities
as zeal for a theory could alone swallow. He
was a man of much classical and scriptural
reading, and has rendered his book not unentertaining.
He resided five years among the
northern Indians as a missionary, but collects
his matter much more from the writings of
others, than from his own observation. Adair,
too, had his kink. He believed all the Indians
of America to be descended from the Jews; the
same laws, usages, rites and ceremonies, the
same sacrifices, priests, prophets, fasts and
festivals, almost the same religion, and that
they all spoke Hebrew. For, although he writes
particularly of the southern Indians only, the
Catawbas, Creeks, Cherokees, Chickasaws and
Choctaws, with whom alone he was personally
acquainted, yet he generalizes whatever he
found among them, and brings himself to believe
that the hundred languages of America,
differing fundamentally every one from every
other, as much as Greek from Gothic, yet have
all one common prototype. He was a trader,
a man of learning, a self-taught Hebraist, a
strong religionist, and of as sound a mind as
Don Quixote in whatever did not touch his
religious chivalry. His book contains a great
deal of real instruction on its subject, only requiring
the reader to be constantly on his guard
against the wonderful obliquities of his theory.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 59. Ford ed., ix, 355.
(M. 1812)

3942. INDUSTRY, Fruits of.—

Our wish
is that * * *[there be] maintained 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.

3943. INDUSTRY, Fruits of.—[continued].

The rights of the people to the exercise and fruits of their own industry,
can never be protected against the
selfishness of rulers not subject to their control
at short periods.—
To Isaac H. Tiffany. Washington ed. vii, 32.
(M. 1816)

3944. INDUSTRY, Fruits of.—[further continued].

To take from one, because
it is thought that his own industry and
that of his father's has acquired too much,
in order to spare to others, who, or whose
fathers have not exercised equal industry and
skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle
of association—the guarantee to every one of
a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits
acquired by it.—
Note in Destutt Tracy's Political Economy. Washington ed. vi, 574.

3945. INDUSTRY, Fruits of.—[further continued] .

The Republican party believed
that men, enjoying in ease and security


Page 425
the full fruits of their own industry, enlisted
by all their interests on the side of law and
order, habituated to think for themselves, and
to follow their reason as their guide, would
be more easily and safely governed, than with
minds nourished in error, and vitiated and
debased, as in Europe, by ignorance, indigence
and oppression.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 292. Ford ed., x, 227.
(M. 1823)

3946. INDUSTRY, Gambling and.—

told the President[Washington] that a system
had there[in the Treasury Department] been contrived for deluging the States with
paper money instead of gold and silver, for
withdrawing our citizens from the pursuits of
commerce, manufactures, buildings, and other
branches of useful industry, to occupy themselves
and their capitals in a species of
gambling, destructive of morality, and which
had introduced its poison into the government
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 104. Ford ed., i, 177.
(Feb. 1792)

3947. INDUSTRY, Goodness and.—

good and be industrious and you will be what
I most love in the world.—
To Martha Jefferson. Ford ed., iv, 389.

3948. INDUSTRY, Improvement and.—

Restrain men from injuring one another, * * *[but] leave them otherwise free to
regulate their own pursuits of industry and
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 3. Ford ed., viii, 4.

3949. INDUSTRY, Shackles on.—

should we wonder at * * *[the] pressure
[for a fixed constitution in 1788-9] when we
consider the monstrous abuses of power under
which * * *[the French] people were
ground to powder; when we pass in review
the * * * shackles on industry by guilds
and corporations.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.

3950. INDUSTRY, Taxing.—

Sound principles
will not justify our taxing the industry
of our fellow citizens to accumulate treasure
for wars to happen we know not when, and
which might not perhaps happen but from the
temptations offered by that treasure.—
First Inaugural Message. Washington ed. viii, 9. Ford ed., viii, 119.


See Banks, and Paper

3951. INFORMATION, Essential to Executive.—

It is essential for the public interest
that I should receive all the information
possible respecting either matters or persons
connected with the public. To induce people
to give this information, they must feel assured
that when deposited with me it is
secret and sacred. Honest men might justifiably
withhold information, if they expected
the communication would be made public, and
commit them to war with their neighbors and
friends. This imposes the duty on me of considering
such information as mere suggestions
for inquiry, and to put me on my guard;
and to injure no man by forming any opinion
until the suggestion be verified. Long ex
perience in this school has by no means
strengthened the disposition to believe too
easily. On the contrary, it has begotten an
incredulity which leaves no one's character
in danger from any hasty conclusion.—
To John Smith. Washington ed. v, 77.
(M. 1807)

See Publicity.

3952. INJURY, Accumulated.—

The Indian
chief said he did not go to war for every
petty injury by itself, but put it into his pouch,
and when that was full, he then made war.
Thank Heaven, we have provided a more
peaceable and rational mode of redress.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 295. Ford ed., x, 230.
(M. 1823)

3953. INJURY, The Colonies and.—

[During] the reigns which preceded his
Majesty's[George III.], the violations of our
rights were less alarming, because repeated at
more distant intervals than that rapid and
bold succession of injuries which is likely
to distinguish the present from all other
periods of American history. Scarcely have
our minds been able to emerge from the astonishment
into which one stroke of parliamentary
thunder had involved us, before another
more heavy, and more alarming, is
fallen on us.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 130. Ford ed., i, 435.

See Colonies.

3954. INJURY, The Colonies and.—[continued].

Our complaints were
either not heard at all, or were answered with
new and accumulated injuries.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 481.
(July. 1775)

3955. INJURY, The Colonies and.—[further continued].

The rapid and bold succession
of injuries, which, during a course of
eleven years, have been aimed at the Colonies.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 481.
(July. 1775)

3956. INJURY, By George III.—

[George III.], has endeavored to pervert the
exercise of the kingly office in Virginia into
a detestable and insupportable tyranny * * * by answering our repeated petitions for redress
with a repetition of injuries.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 12.
(June. 1776)

3957. INJURY, Peaceable Remedy.—

Some of these injuries may perhaps admit a
peaceable remedy. Where that is competent,
it is always the most desirable.—
Fifth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 49. Ford ed., viii, 391.

3958. INJURY, Private.—

An individual,
thinking himself injured, makes more noise
than a state.—
To Georgia Delegates in Congress. Washington ed. i, 501.

3959. INJURY, Redressed by war.—

did not think war the surest means of redressing
the French injuries.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 269. Ford ed., vii, 329.
(Pa., 17991799)gt;

3960. INJURY, Redressed by war.—[continued].

If nations go to war for
every degree of injury, there would never be
peace on earth.—
To Madame de Stael. Washington ed. v, 133.
(W. 1807)


Page 426

3961. INJURY, Unceasing.—

To show
they[Parliament] mean no discontinuance of
injury, they pass acts, at the very time of
holding out this proposition, for restraining
the commerce and fisheries of the province
of New England, and for interdicting the
trade of the other colonies with all
foreign nations.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 480.
(July. 1775)

3962. INJURY, Unceasing.—[continued].

The history of the present
King of Great Britain is a history of
unremitting [247] injuries * * *.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress struck out “unremitting” and inserted

3963. INHERITANCES, Equal.—

If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed
dangerous to the State, the best corrective
is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal
degree; and the better, as this enforces a law
of nature, while extra taxation violates it.—
Note to Tracy's Political Economy. Washington ed. vi, 575.

3964. INHERITANCES, Equal.—[continued].

Equal partition of inheritances [
is] the best of all agrarian laws.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 49. Ford ed., i, 69.

3965. INHERITANCES, Legislation.—

The General Government is incompetent to
legislate on the subject of inheritances.—
To President Washington. Ford ed., vi, 133.

See Entail in Virginia.

3966. INNES (Henry), Ability.—

I wish
you would come forward to the Federal Legislature,
and give your assistance on a larger
scale than that on which you are acting at
present. I am satisfied you could render essential
service, and I have such confidence in
the purity of your republicanism, that I know
your efforts would go in a right direction.
Zeal and talents added to the republican scale
will do no harm in Congress.—
To Henry Innes. Washington ed. iii, 224. Ford ed., v, 300.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

3967. INNOVATION, Forced.—

Great innovations
should not be forced on slender
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. v, 282.

3968. INNOVATION, Opposition to.—

Innovation in England is heresy and treason.—
To John Quincy Adams. Washington ed. vii, 89.
(M. 1817)

3969. INNOVATION, Reasonable.—

I am
not myself apt to be alarmed at innovations
recommended by reason. That dread belongs
to those whose interests or prejudices shrink
from the advance of truth and science.—
To Dr. John Manners. Washington ed. vi, 323.
(M. 1814)

3970. INSTITUTIONS, Flexibility.—

Time indeed changes manners and notions
and so far we must expect institutions to bend
to them.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 211. Ford ed., x, 188.
(M. 1821)

3971. INSTRUCTIONS, Congress and.—

Congress, as a body, if left to themselves,
will in my opinion say nothing on the subject
[Society of the Cincinnati]. They may, however,
be forced into a declaration by instructions
from some of the States.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 335. Ford ed., iii, 467.
(A. 1784)

3972. INSTRUCTIONS, Principles and.—

I am in great pain for the Marquis de
Lafayette. His principles * * * are clearly
with the people; but having been elected for
the Noblesse of Auvergne, they have laid him
under express instructions to vote for the decision
by orders and not persons. This would
ruin him with the Tiers Etat, and it is not
possible he could continue long to give satisfaction
to the noblesse. I have not hesitated
to press on him to burn his instructions, and
follow his conscience as the one sure clew,
which will eternally guide a man clear of
all doubts and inconsistencies.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. iii, 31. Ford ed., v, 96.

3973. INSTRUCTIONS, Representatives and.—

[Your book [248] ] settles unanswerably the
right of instructing representatives, and their
duty to obey.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 605. Ford ed., x, 28.
(M. 1816)


“Enquiry into the Principles of our Government.”—Editor.

3974. INSULT, Acquiescence under.—

It is an eternal truth that acquiescence under
insult is not the way to escape war.—
To H. Tazewell. Washington ed. iv, 121. Ford ed., vii, 31.
(M. 1795)

3975. INSULT, National character and.—

It should ever be held in mind, that insult
and war are the consequences of a want of
respectability in the national character.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 531. Ford ed., iv, 192.
(P. 1786)

3976. INSULT, Pocketing.—

One insult
pocketed soon produces another.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. vii, 510. Ford ed., v, 239.

3977. INSULT, Punishing.—

I think it to
our interest to punish the first insult; because
an insult unpunished is the parent of many
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 405. Ford ed., iv, 89.
(P. 1785)

3978. INSULT, Reparation for.—

reason and the usage of nations required we
should give Great Britain an opportunity of
disavowing and repairing the insult of their
officers. It gives us at the same time an opportunity
of getting home our vessels, our
property and our seamen,—the only means of
carrying on the kind of war we should attempt.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. v, 121. Ford ed., ix, 102.
(W. July. 1807)

3979. INSULT, Resenting.—

It is inconsistent
for a nation which has been patiently
bearing for ten years the grossest insults and
injuries from their late enemies[the British] to rise at a feather against their friends and
benefactors[the French].—
Opinion on Little Sarah. Washington ed. ix, 154. Ford ed., vi, 342.

3980. INSULT, War and.—

Let it be our endeavor to * * * maintain the character


Page 427
of an independent nation, preferring every
consequence to insult and habitual wrong.—
Third Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 28. Ford ed., viii, 272.

3981. INSURRECTION, American people and.—

My long and intimate knowledge of
my countrymen satisfies me, that let there be
occasion to display the banners of the law,
and the world will see how few and pitiful
are those who shall array themselves in opposition.—
To James Brown. Washington ed. v, 379. Ford ed., ix, 211.
(W. 1808)

3982. INSURRECTION, American people and.—[continued].

In no country on earth is
[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)

3983. INSURRECTION, George III. and.—

He[George III.] has endeavored to
pervert the exercise of the Kingly office in
Virginia into a detestable and insupportable
tyranny * * * by inciting insurrections
of our fellow subjects with the allurements
of forfeiture and confiscation.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 11.
(June. 1776)

3984. INSURRECTION, George III. and.—[continued].

He has incited treasonable
insurrections of our fellow citizens, with
the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation
of our property. [249]
Declaration of Independence as drawn by Jefferson.


Struck out by Congress.—Editor.

3985. INSURRECTION, George III. and.—[further continued].

He has [excited domestic insurrection among us and has] endeavoured
to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers the
merciless Indian savages, whose known rule
of warfare is an undistinguished destruction
of all ages, sexes and conditions of existence.
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress inserted the words in brackets and
struck out the words “of existence”.—Editor.

3986. INSURRECTION, Precautions against.—

In a country whose Constitution is
derived from the will of the people, directly
expressed by their free suffrages; where the
principal executive functionaries, and those of
the legislature, are renewed by them at short
periods; where under the character of jurors,
they exercise in person the greatest portion of
the judiciary powers; where the laws are consequently
so framed and administered as to
bear with equal weight and favor on all, restraining
no man in the pursuits of honest
industry, and securing to every one the property
which that acquires, it would not be supposed
that any safeguards could be needed
against insurrection or enterprise on the public
peace or authority. The laws, however,
aware that these should not be trusted to
moral restraints only, have wisely provided
punishments for these crimes when committed.
But would it not be salutary to give
also the means of preventing their commission?
Where an enterprise is meditated by
private individuals against a foreign nation in
amity with the United States, powers of prevention
to a certain extent are given by the
laws; would they not be as reasonable and
useful were the enterprise preparing against
the United States? While adverting to this
branch of the law, it is proper to observe,
that in enterprises meditated against foreign
nations, the ordinary process of binding to
the observance of the peace and good behavior,
could it be extended to acts to be
done out of the jurisdiction of the United
States, would be effectual in some cases
where the offender is able to keep out of
sight every indication of his purpose which
could draw on him the exercise of the powers
now given by law.—
Sixth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 65. Ford ed., viii, 490.
(Dec. 1806)

3987. INSURRECTION, Provoking.—

An exasperated people, who feel that they
possess power, are not easily restrained
within limits strictly regular.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 132. Ford ed., i, 437.

3988. INSURRECTION, Punishing.—

Where to stay the hand of the executioner
is an important question. Those who have
escaped from the immediate danger, must
have feelings which would dispose them to
extend the executions. Even here, where
everything has been perfectly tranquil, but
where a familiarity with slavery, and a possibility
of danger from that quarter prepare
the general mind for some severities, there
is a strong sentiment that there has been
hanging enough. The other States, and the
world at large will forever condemn us if we
indulge a principle of revenge, or go one step
beyond absolute necessity. They cannot lose
sight of the rights of the two parties, and the
object of the unsuccessful one. Our situation
is, indeed, a difficult one; for I doubt whether
these people can ever be permitted to go at
large among us with safety. To reprieve
them and keep them in prison till the meeting
of the Legislature will encourage efforts for
their release. Is there no fort or garrison of
the State or of the Union, where they could
be confined, and where the presence of the
garrison would preclude all ideas of attempting
a rescue? Surely the Legislature would
pass a law for their exportation, the proper
measure on this and all similar occasions.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 457.
(M. Sep. 1800)

3989. INSURRECTION, Suppressing.—

I hope, on the first symptom of an open opposition
to the law[Embargo] by force, you
will fly to the scene and aid in suppressing
any commotion.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 334.
(M. Aug. 1808)

See Rebellion.

3990. INTEMPERANCE, Greatest calamity.—

Of all calamities this is the greatest.—
To Mary Jefferson Eppes. D. L. J.246.
(Pa., 1798)

3991. INTEMPERANCE, Havoc by.—

Spirituous liquors, the small pox, war, and an
abridgment of territory to a people who


Page 428
lived principally on the spontaneous productions
of nature, committed terrible havoc
among the Virginia Indians.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 339. Ford ed., iii, 196.

3992. INTEMPERANCE, Restriction.—

The drunkard, as much as the maniac, requires
restrictive measures to save him from the fatal infatuation under which he is destroying
his health, his morals, his family,
and his usefulness to society. One powerful
obstacle to his ruinous self-indulgence would be
a price beyond his competence.—
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. vii, 285. Ford ed., x, 252.
(M. 1823)

3993. INTEREST, Government and.—

Alexander Hamilton avowed the opinion that
man could be governed by one of two motives
only,—force or interest. Force, he observed,
in this country was out of the question; and
the interests, therefore, of the members must
be laid hold of to keep the Legislature in
unison with the Executive. And with grief
and shame it must be acknowledged that his
machine was not without effect; that even in
this, the birth of our government, some members
were found sordid enough to bend
their duty to their interests, and to look after
personal rather than public good.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 91. Ford ed., i, 160.

3994. INTEREST, Judgment and.—

is not enough that honest men are appointed
judges. All know the influence of interest
on the mind of man, and how unconsciously
his judgment is warped by that influence.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 81. Ford ed., i, 112.

3995. INTEREST, Motives of.—

known bias of the human mind from motives
of interest should lessen the confidence of
each party in the justice of their reasoning.—
To James Ross. Washington ed. i, 562. Ford ed., iv, 218.
(P. 1786)

3996. INTEREST, The passions and.—

Interest is not the strongest passion in the
human breast.—
To James Ross. Washington ed. i, 561. Ford ed., iv, 217.
(P. 1786)

3997. INTEREST, Private.—

In selecting
persons for the management of affairs, I am
influenced by neither personal nor family interests.—
To Dr. Horatio Turpin. Washington ed. v, 90.
(W. 1807)

3998. INTEREST, Private.—[continued].

Bringing into office no
desires of making it subservient to the advancement
of my own private interests, it
has been no sacrifice, by postponing them, to
strengthen the confidence of my fellow citizens.—
To Dr. Horatio Turpin. Washington ed. v, 90.
(W. 1807)

3999. INTEREST, Virtue and.—

and interest are inseparable.—
To George Logan. Ford ed., x, 69.

4000. INTEREST (Money), Forfeited.—

There is one rule of your[the English] and our law, which, while it proves that every
title of debt is liable to a disallowance of interest
under special circumstances, is so ap
plicable to our case, that I shall cite it as a
text, and apply it to the circumstances of
our case. It is laid down in Vin. Abr. Interest.
c. 7, and 2 Abr. Eq. 5293, and elsewhere
in these words: “Where, by a general
and national calamity,
nothing is made out of
lands which are assigned for payment of interest,
it ought not to run on during the time
of such calamity.
” This is exactly the case
in question. Can a more general national
be conceived than that universal devastation
which took place in many of these
States during the war? Was it ever more exactly
the case anywhere, that nothing was
made out of the lands which were to pay
the interest?
The produce of those lands, for
want of the opportunity of exporting it safely,
was down to almost nothing in real money.
For example, tobacco was less than a dollar
the hundred weight. Imported articles of
clothing or consumption were from four to
eight times their usual price. A bushel of
salt was usually sold for 100 lbs. of tobacco.
At the same time, these lands, and other
property, in which the money of the British
creditor was vested, were paying high taxes
for their own protection, and the debtor, as
nominal holder, stood ultimate insurer of
their value to the creditor, who was the real
proprietor, because they were bought with his
money. And who will estimate the value of
this insurance, or say what would have been
the forfeit, in a contrary event of the war?
Who will say that the risk of the property
was not worth the interest of its price? General
then, prevented profit, and, consequently,
stopped interest, which is in lieu
of profit. The creditor says, indeed, he has
laid out of his money; he has, therefore, lost
the use of it. The debtor replies, that, if
the creditor has lost, he has not gained it;
that this may be a question between two parties,
both of whom have lost. In that case,
the courts will not double the loss of the one,
to save all loss from the other. That is a rule
of natural as well as municipal law, that in
questions “de damno evitando melior est conditio
If this maxim be just,
where each party is equally innocent, how
much more so, where the loss has been produced
by the act of the creditor? For, a
nation, as a society, forms a moral person,
and every member of it is personally responsible
for his society. It was the act of
the lender, or of his nation, which annihilated
the profits of the money lent; he cannot then
demand profits which he either prevented
from coming into existence, or burned, or
otherwise destroyed, after they were produced.
If, then, there be no instrument, or
title of debt so formal and sacred as to give
right to interest under all possible circumstances,
and if circumstances of exemption,
stronger than in the present case,
cannot possibly be found, then no instrument
or title of debt, however formal
or sacred, can give right to interest
under the circumstances of our case. Let us
present the question in another point of view.
Your own law forbade the payment of interest,


Page 429
when it forbade the receipt of American
produce into Great Britain, and made
that produce fair prize on its way from the
debtor to the creditor, or to any other, for
his use of reimbursement. All personal access
between creditor and debtor was made
illegal; and the debtor who endeavored to
make a remitment of his debt, or interest,
must have done it three times to ensure its
getting once to hand; for two out of three
vessels were generally taken by the creditor
nation, and, sometimes, by the creditor himself,
as many of them turned their trading
vessels into privateers.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 418. Ford ed., vi, 58.
(Pa., 1792)

4001. INTEREST (Money), Law and custom.—

Nothing is said[in the treaty of peace] of interest on these debts; and the
sole question is, whether, where a debt is
given, interest thereon flows from the general
principles of the law? Interest is not a part
of the debt, but something added to the debt
by way of damage for the detention of it.
This is the definition of the English lawyers
themselves, who say, “Interest is recovered
by way of damages ratione detentionis debiti
2 Salk. 622, 623. Formerly, all interest
was considered as unlawful, in every
country of Europe. It is still so in Roman
Catholic countries, and countries little commercial.
From this, as a general rule, a few
special cases are excepted. In France, particularly,
the exceptions are those of minors,
marriage portions, and money, the price of
lands. So thoroughly do their laws condemn
the allowance of interest, that a party
who has paid it voluntarily may recover it
back again whenever he pleases. Yet this
has never been taken up as a gross and flagrant
denial of justice, authorizing national
complaint against those governments. In
England, also, all interest was against law,
till the stat. 37, H. 8, c. 9. The growing
spirit of commerce, no longer restrained by
the principles of the Roman Church, then
first began to tolerate it. The same causes
produced the same effect in Holland, and,
perhaps, in some other commercial and Catholic
countries. But, even in England, the allowance
of interest is not given by express
but rests on the discretion of judges and
as the arbiters of damages.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 416. Ford ed., vi, 57.
(Pa., 17921792)gt;

4002. INTEREST (Money), Right to.—

There is not a single title to debt so formal
and sacred as to give a right to interest
under all possible circumstances either in
England or America.—
To Mr. Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 426.

4003. INTEREST (Money), Sacred obligation.—

A sacred payment of interest is the
only way to make the most of our resources,
and a sense of that renders your income
from our funds more certain than mine from
To William Short. Washington ed. vi, 402.
(M. 1814)

4004. INTEREST (Money), Tax for.—

The new government should by no means be
left by the old, to the necessity of borrowing
a stiver, before it can tax for its interest.
This will be to destroy the credit of the new
government in its birth.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 378.
(P. 1788)


I experience great satisfaction
at seeing my country proceed to facilitate the
intercommunications of its several parts, by
opening rivers, canals and roads. How much
more rational is this disposal of public money,
than that of waging war.—
To James Ross. Washington ed. i, 560. Ford ed., iv, 216.
(P. 1786)

4006. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, Constitutional Amendment.—

For authority
to apply the surplus[taxes imposed for the
support of the government and the payment
of the Revolutionary debt] to objects of[internal] improvement, an amendment of the
Constitution would have been necessary.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 195. Ford ed., ix, 395.
Sep. 1813)

4007. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, Constitutional Amendment.—[continued].

Supposing that it might
be for the good of the whole, as some of its
co-States seem to think, that this power of
making roads and canals should be added to
those directly given to the Federal branch,
as more likely to be systematically and bene-ficially
directed, than by the independent action
of the several States, this Commonwealth [
Virginia], from respect to these opinions,
and a desire of conciliation with its
co-States, will consent, in concurrence with
them, to make this addition, provided it be
done regularly by an amendment of the compact,
in the way established by that instrument,
and provided, also, it be sufficiently
guarded against abuses, compromises, and
corrupt practices, not only of possible, but of
probable occurrence.—
Virginia Protest. Washington ed. ix, 499. Ford ed., x, 352.


I have for some time considered
the question of internal improvement
as desperate. The torrent of general opinion
sets so strongly in favor of it as to be irresistible.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. vii, 422. Ford ed., x, 348.
(M. 1825)

4009. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, Provision for.—

I am a great friend to the
improvement of roads, canals, and schools.
But I wish I could see some provision for the
former as solid as that of the latter,—something
better than fog.—
To Charles Yancey. Washington ed. vi, 517. Ford ed., x, 4.
(M. 1816)

4010. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, Reserved Powers.—

[The Federal authorties] claim and have commencel the exercise
of the right to construct roads, open canals,
and effect other internal improvements within
the territories and jurisdictions exclusively belonging
to the several States, which this Assembly [
Virginia] does declare has not been
given to that branch by the constitutional
compact, but remains to each State among its


Page 430
domestic and unalienated powers, exercisable
within itself and by its domestic authorities
Virginia Protest. Washington ed. ix, 497. Ford ed., x, 350.

4011. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, State rights and.—

When we consider the
extensive and deep-seated opposition to this
assumption[power of Internal Improvements],
the conviction entertained by so
many, that this deduction of powers by elaborate
construction prostrates the rights reserved
to the States, the difficulties with
which it will rub along in the course of its
exercise; that changes of majorities will be
changing the system backwards and forwards,
so that no undertaking under it will be safe;
that there is not a State in the Union which
would not give the power willingly, by way
of amendment, with some little guard, perhaps,
against abuse; I cannot but think it
would be the wisest course to ask an express
grant of the powers. * * * This
would render its exercise smooth and acceptable
to all and insure to it all the facilities
which the States could contribute, to prevent
that kind of abuse which all will fear, because
all know it is so much practiced in public
bodies, I mean the bartering of votes. It
would reconcile everyone, if limited by the
proviso, that the federal proportion of each
State should be expended within the State.
With this single security against partiality
and corrupt bargaining, I suppose there is not
a State, perhaps not a man in the Union, who
would not consent to add this to the powers
of the General Government.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 343. Ford ed., x, 300.
(M. 1824)

4012. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS Surplus taxes and.—

The fondest wish of
my heart ever was that the surplus portion of
these taxes, destined for the payment of that
[Revolutionary] debt, should, when that object
was accomplished, be continued by annual
or biennial reenactments, and applied,
in time of peace, to the improvement of our
country by canals, roads and useful institutions,
literary or others; and in time of war
to the maintenance of the war.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 195. Ford ed., ix, 395.

4013. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS Surplus taxes and.—[continued].

We consider the employment [
in public improvements] of the contributions
which our citizens can spare, after
feeding, and clothing, and lodging themselves
comfortably, as more useful, more moral, and
even more splendid, than that preferred by
Europe, of destroying human life, labor, and
To Baron Von Humboldt. Washington ed. vii, 75. Ford ed., x, 89.
(M. 1817)

4014. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, Veto of Bill for.—

An act for internal improvement,
after passing both Houses, was
negatived by the President. The act was
founded, avowedly, on the principle that the
phrase in the Constitution which authorizes
Congress “to lay taxes, to pay the debts and
provide for the general welfare”, was an extension
of the powers specifically enumerated
to whatever would promote the general welfare;
and this, you know, was the federal doctrine.
Whereas, our tenet ever was, and, indeed, it
is almost the only landmark which now
divides the federalists from the republicans,
that Congress had not unlimited powers to
provide for the general welfare, but were restrained
to those specifically enumerated; and
that, as it was never meant they should provide
for that welfare but by the exercise of
the enumerated powers, so it could not have
been meant they should raise money for purposes
which the enumeration did not place
under their action; consequently, that the
specification of powers is a limitation of the
purposes for which they may raise money. I
think the passage and rejection of this bill a
fortunate incident. Every State will certainly
concede the power; and this will be a national
confirmation of the grounds of appeal to
them, and will settle forever the meaning of
this phrase, which, by a mere grammatical
quibble, has countenanced the General Government
in a claim of universal power. For
in the phrase, “to lay taxes, to pay the
debts and provide for the general welfare”,
it is a mere question of syntax, whether the
two last infinitives are governed by the first
or are distinct and coordinate powers; a question
unequivocally decided by the exact definition
of powers immediately following. It
is fortunate for another reason, as the States,
in conceding the power, will modify it, either
by requiring the Federal ratio of expense in
each State, or otherwise, so as to secure us
against its partial exercise. Without this
caution, intrigue, negotiation, and the barter
of votes might become as habitual in Congress,
as they are in those Legislatures which
have the appointment of officers, and which,
with us, is called “logging”, the term of
the farmers for their exchanges of aid in rolling
together the logs of their newly-cleared
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. vii, 78. Ford ed., x, 91.
(M. 1817)


Farewell, then[should war with
England take place], all our useful improvements
of canals and roads, reformation of
laws, and other rational employments.—
To James Ross. Washington ed. i, 563. Ford ed., iv, 219.
(P. 1786)

4016. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, War and.—[continued].

Give us peace till our
revenues are liberated from debt, and then,
if war be necessary, it can be carried on without
a new tax or loan, and during peace we
may chequer our whole country with canals,
roads, &c. This is the object to which all
our endeavors should be directed.—
To Mr. Lieper. Washington ed. v, 296.
(M. May. 1808)

4017. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, War and.—[further continued].

The late pacification with
England gives us a hope of eight years of
peaceable and wise administration, within
which time our revenue will be liberated from
debt, and be free to commence that splendid
course of public improvement and wise application
of the public contributions, of which
it remains for us to set the first example.—
To Dr. E. Griffith. Washington ed. v, 451.
(M. May. 1809)


Page 431

4018. INTERNAL IMPROVEMENTS, Western people and.—

A majority of the
people are against us on this question. The
Western States have especially been bribed by
local considerations to abandon their ancient
brethren, and enlist under banners alien to
them in principles and interest.—
To William F. Gordon. Ford ed., x, 338.
(M. Jan. 1826)

4019. INTOLERANCE, Defiance of.—

never will, by any word or act, bow to the
shrine of intolerance, or admit a right of inquiry
into the religious opinions of others.—
To Edward Dowse. Washington ed. iv, 478.

4020. INTOLERANCE, Delusion through.—

Your part of the Union, though as absolutely republican as ours, had drunk
deeper of the delusion, and is, therefore,
slower in recovering from it. The ægis of
government, and the temples of religion and
of justice, have all been prostrated there to
toll us back to the times when we burned
witches. But your people will rise again.
They will awake like Samson from his
sleep, and carry away the gates and posts of
the city.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 390. Ford ed., viii, 41.
(W. March. 1801)

4021. INTOLERANCE, Religious and political.—

Having banished from our land
that religious intolerance under which mankind
so long bled and suffered, we have yet
gained little if we countenance a political intolerance
as despotic, as wicked, and capable
of as bitter and bloody persecutions.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 2. Ford ed., viii, 2.

4022. INTOLERANCE, Victims.—

have seen with great grief yourself and so
many other venerable patriots, retired and
weeping in silence over the rapid subversion
of those principles for the attachment of
which you had sacrificed the ease and comforts
of life; but I rejoice that you have
lived to see us revindicate our rights, and regain
manfully the ground from which fraud,
not force, had for a moment driven us.—
To General Warren. Washington ed. iv, 375.
(W. 1801)

4023. INTRIGUE, Abhorrence of.—

meddled in no intrigues, pursued no concealed
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 65. Ford ed., i, 91.

4024. INTRODUCTION (Letters of), Apology for.—

Solicitations, which cannot be
directly refused, oblige me to trouble you often,
with letters recommending and introducing to
you persons who go hence from America. I
will beg the favor of you to distinguish the letters
wherein I appeal to recommendations from
other persons, from those which I write on my
own knowledge. In the former, it is never my
intention to compromit myself, nor you. In
both instances, I must beg you to ascribe the
trouble I give you to circumstances which do
not leave me at liberty to decline it.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 447. Ford ed., v, 48.
(P. 1788)

4025. INTRODUCTION (Letters of), Refused.—

I have been obliged to make it a
rule to give no letters of introduction while in
my present office.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 286.
(W. 1804)

4026. INTRODUCTION (Letters of), Value of.—

It is rendering mutual service to
men of virtue and understanding to make them
acquainted with one another.—
To Dr. Price. Washington ed. ii, 354.
(P. 1788)

4027. INVASION, Not feared.—

I as little
fear foreign invasion[as domestic insurrection].
I have indeed thought it a duty to
be prepared to meet even the most powerful,
that of a Bonaparte, for instance, by the only
means competent, that of a classification of
the militia, and placing the junior classes at
the public disposal; but the lesson he receives
in Spain extirpates all apprehensions from my
mind. If, in a peninsula, the neck of which is
adjacent to him and at his command, where
he can march any army without the possibility
of interception or obstruction from any foreign
power, he finds it necessary to begin with
an army of three hundred thousand men,
to subdue a nation of five millions, brutalized
by ignorance, and enervated by long peace,
and should find constant reinforcements of
thousands after thousands, necessary to effect
at last a conquest as doubtful as deprecated,
what numbers would be necessary against
eight millions of free Americans, spread over
such an extent of country as would wear him
down by mere marching, by want of food,
autumnal diseases, &c.? How would they be
brought, and how reinforced across an ocean
of three thousand miles, in possession of a
bitter enemy, whose peace, like the repose of
a dog, is never more than momentary? And
for what? For nothing but hard blows. If
the Orleanese Creoles would but contemplate
these truths, they would cling to the
American Union, soul and body, as their
first affection, and we would be as safe there
as we are everywhere else.—
To Dr. James Brown. Washington ed. v, 379. Ford ed., ix, 211.
(W. 1808)

4028. INVENTIONS, Air screw propeller.—

I went some time ago to see a machine
which offers something new. A man
had applied to a light boat a very large screw,
the thread of which was a thin plate, two feet
broad, applied by its edge spirally around a
small axis. It somewhat resembled a bottle
brush, if you will suppose the hairs of the bottle
brush joining together, and forming a spiral
plane. This, turned on its axis in the air, carried
the vessel across the Seine. It is, in fact,
a screw which takes hold of the air and draws
itself along by it; losing, indeed, much of its
effort by the yielding nature of the body it lays
hold of to pull itself on by. I think it May
be applied in the water, with much greater effect
and to very useful purposes. Perhaps it
may be used also for the balloon.—
To Professor James Madison. Washington ed. i, 447.
(P. 1785)

4029. INVENTIONS, Copying press.—

When I was in England, I formed a portable copying press on the principle of the large one
they make here[Paris] for copying letters.
I had a model made there, and it has answered
perfectly. A workman here has made several
from that model. * * * You must do me the
favor to accept of one.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 81. Ford ed., iv, 347.
(P. 1786)

4030. INVENTIONS, Essence d'Orient.—

The manner of curing the Essence d'Orient


Page 432
is, as you are apprised, kept secret here
[Paris]. There is no getting at it, therefore,
openly. A friend has undertaken to try
whether it can be obtained either by proposing
the partnership you mention, or by finding out
the process.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Ford ed., iv, 270.
(P. 1786)

4031. INVENTIONS, Essence d'Orient.—[continued].

Your two phials of Essence
d'Orient * * * got separated from the
letters which accompanied them. * * * The
pearl merchant * * * said you had a very considerable
knowledge in the manner of preparing,
but that there was still one thing wanting
which made the secret of the art; that this is
not only a secret of the art, but of every individual
workman who will not communicate to
his fellows, believing his own method best;
that of ten different workmen, all will practice
different operations, and only one of the ten be
the right one; that the secret consists only in
preparing the fish, all the other parts of the
process in the pearl manufactory being known.
That experience has provide it to be absolutely
impossible for the matter to cross the sea without
being spoiled; but that if you will send
some in the best state you can, he will make
pearls of it, and send to you that you may judge
of them yourself.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 202.
(P. 1787)

4032. INVENTIONS, Felier Hydraulique.—

I am thankful to you for the trouble
you have taken in thinking of the felier hydraulique.
To be put in motion by the same
power which was to continue the motion was
certainly wanting to that machine, as a better
name still is. I would not give you the trouble
of having a model made, as I have workmen
who can execute from the drawing.—
To Robert Fulton. Washington ed. v, 517.
(M. 1810)

4033. INVENTIONS, Government interposition.—

Though the interposition of
government in matters of invention has its use,
yet it is in practice so inseparable from abuse
that the government of my country think it better
not to meddle with it.—
To Hommande. Washington ed. ii, 236.
(P. 1787)

4034. INVENTIONS, Hemp-brake.—

The braking and beating hemp, which has
been always done by hand, is so slow, so laborious,
and so much complained of by our laborers,
that I had given it up and purchased and
manufactured cotton for their shirting. The
advanced price of this, however, makes it a
serious item of expense; and, in the meantime,
a method of removing the difficulty of preparing
hemp occurred to me, so simple and so
cheap, that I return to its culture and manufacture.
To a person having a threshing machine,
the addition of a hemp-brake will not
cost more than twelve or fifteen dollars. You
know that the first mover in that machine is a
horizontal horse-wheel with cogs on its upper
face. On these is placed a wallower and shaft,
which give motion to the threshing apparatus.
On the opposite side of this same wheel I place
another wallower and shaft, through which, and
near its outer end, I pass a cross-arm of sufficient
strength, projecting on each side fifteen
inches in this form:

Nearly under the cross-arm is placed a very
strong hemp-brake, much stronger and heavier
than those for the hand. Its head block particu
larly is massive, and four feet high, and near its
upper end in front, is fixed a strong pin (which
we may call its horn); by this the cross-arm lifts
and lets fall the brake twice in every revolution
of the wallower. * * * Something of this kind
has been so long wanted by the cultivators of
hemp, that as soon as I can speak of its effect
with certainty I shall probably describe it
anonymously in the public papers, in order to
forestall the prevention of its use by some interloping
To George Fleming. Washington ed. vi, 506.
(M. 1815)

— INVENTIONS, Patents for.—

See Patents.

4035. INVENTIONS, Pedometer.—

send your pedometer. To the loop at the bottom
of it, you must sew a tape, and at the other
end of the tape, a small hook. * * * Cut a little
hole in the bottom of your left watch pocket,
pass the hook and tape through it, and down
between the breeches and drawers, and fix the
hook on the edge of your knee band, an inch
from the knee buckle; then hook the instrument
itself by its swivel hook, on the upper edge of
the watch pocket. Your tape being well adjusted
in length. Your double steps will be exactly
counted by the instrument.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 379.
(P. 1788)

4036. INVENTIONS, Polygraph.—

Mr. Hawkins, of Frankford, near Philadelphia,
has invented a machine which he calls a polygraph,
and which carries two, three, or four
pens. That of two pens, is best; and is so perfect
that I have laid aside the copying press,
for a twelve-month past, and write always with
the polygraph. I have directed one to be made,
of which I ask your acceptance.—
To C. F. Volney. Washington ed. iv, 572.
(W. 1805)

4037. INVENTIONS, Polygraph.—[continued].

It is for copying with
one pen while you write with the other, and
without the least additional embarrassment or
exertion to the writer. I think it the finest invention
of the present age. * * * As a secretary
which copies for us what we write without
the power of revealing it, I find it a most
precious possession to a man in public business.—
To James Bowdoin. Washington ed. vi, 17.
(W. 1806)

4038. INVENTIONS, Preserving flour.—

Every discovery which multiplies the subsistence
of man must be a matter of joy to every friend of humanity. As such, I learn with
great satisfaction, that you have found the
means of preserving flour more perfectly than
has been done hitherto. But I am not authorized
to avail my country of it, by making any
offer to its communication. Their policy is to
leave their citizens free, neither restraining
nor aiding them in their pursuits.—
To Monsieur L'Hommande. Washington ed. ii, 236.
(P. 1787)

4039. INVENTIONS, Seed box.—

The seed-box described in the agricultural transactions
of New York, reduces the expense of seeding
from six shillings to two shillings and three
pence the acre, and does the business better
than is possible to be done by the human hand.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 117. Ford ed., vii, 11.
(M. 1795)

4040. INVENTIONS, Stylograph.—

apparatus for stylographic writing * * * is certainly
very ingenious. * * * I had never heard
of the invention till your letter announced it,
for these novelties reach us very late.—
To William Lyman. Washington ed. v, 279.
(W. 1808)

4041. INVENTIONS, Threshing machine.—

My threshing machine has arrived at


Page 433
New York. Mr. Pinckney writes me word that
the original from which this is copied threshes
one hundred and fifty bushels of wheat in eight
hours, with six horses and five men. It may be
moved either by water or horses. Fortunately
the workman who made it (a millwright) is
come in the same vessel to America. I have
written to persuade him to go on immediately
to Richmond, offering him the use of my model
to exhibit, and to give him letters to get him
into immediate employ in making them.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 54. Ford ed., vi, 403.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

4042. INVENTIONS, Useful.—

I am not
afraid of new inventions or improvements, nor
bigoted to the practices of our forefathers.
* * * Where a new invention is supported by
well known principles, and promises to be useful,
it ought to be tried.—
To Robert Fulton. Washington ed. v, 516.
(M. 1810)

See Torpedo.

4043. INVENTIONS, Wooden wheels.—

I was in Philadelphia when the first set of
wheels arrived from London, and were spoken
of by the gentleman (an Englishman) who
brought them as a wonderful discovery. The
idea of its being a new discovery was laughed
at by the Philadelphians, who, in their Sunday
parties across the Delaware, had seen every
farmer's cart mounted on such wheels. The
writer in the paper supposes the English workman
got his idea from Homer. But it is more
likely the Jersey farmer got his idea thence,
because ours are the only farmers who can read
Homer; because, too, the Jersey practice is precisely
that stated by Homer: the English practice
very different. Homer's words are ( comparing
a young hero killed by Ajax to a poplar
felled by a workman) literally thus: “He fell
on the ground, like a poplar, which has grown
smooth, in the west part of a great meadow;
with its branches shooting from its summit.
But the chariot maker, with the sharp axe,
has felled it, that he may bend a wheel for a
beautiful chariot. It lies drying on the banks
of the river.” Observe the circumstances which
coincide with the Jersey practice. 1. It is a
tree growing in a moist place, full of juices and
easily bent. 2. It is cut while green. 3. It is
bent into the circumference of a wheel. 4. It
is left to dry in that form. You should write
a line for the Journal to reclaim the honor of
our farmers.—
To M. de Crevecoeur. Washington ed. ii, 97.
(P. 1787)

4044. INVENTIONS, Wooden wheels.—[continued].

I see by the Journal that
they are robbing us of another of our inventions
to give it to the English. The writer, indeed,
only admits them to have revived what he
thinks was known to the Greeks, that is, the
making the circumference of a wheel of one
single piece. The farmers in New Jersey were
the first who practiced it commonly. Dr. Franklin,
in one of his trips to London, mentioned
this practice to the man now in London, who
has the patent for making those wheels. The
idea struck him. The Doctor promised to go
to his shop, and assist him in trying to make
the wheel of one piece. The Jersey farmers
do it by cutting a young sapling, and bending
it, while green and juicy, into a circle; and
leaving it so until it becomes perfectly seasoned.
But in London there are no saplings.
The difficulty was, then, to give to old wood the
pliancy of young. The Doctor and the workman
labored together some weeks, and succeeded:
and the man obtained a patent for it,
which has made his fortune. I was in his shop
in London; he told me the story himself, and
acknowledged, not only the origin of the idea,
but how much the assistance of Dr. Franklin
had contributed to perform the operation on
dry wood. He spoke of him with love and
To M. de Crevecoeur. Washington ed. ii, 97.
(P. 1787)

4045. INVENTORS, Rights of.—

It has
been pretended by some (and in England
especially) that inventors have a natural and
exclusive right to their inventions, and not
merely for their own lives, but inheritable to
their heirs. But while it is a moot question
whether the origin of any kind of property is
derived from nature at all, it would be singular
to admit a natural and even an hereditary
right to inventors. It is agreed by those who
have seriously considered the subject, that
no individual has, of natural right, a separate
property in an acre of land, for instance. By
an universal law, indeed, whatever, whether
fixed or movable, belongs to all men equally and
in common, is the property for the moment of
him who occupies it; but when the relinquishes
the occupation, the property goes with it. Stable
ownership is the gift of social law, and is
give late in the progress of society. It would
be curious, then, if an idea, the fugitive
fermentation of an individual brain, could, of
natural right, be claimed in exclusive and stable
property. If nature has made any one thing
less susceptible than all others of exclusive
property, it is the action of the thinking power
called an idea, which an individual may exclusively
possess as long as he keeps it to himself;
but the moment it is divulged, it forces
itself into the possession of every one, and the
receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its
peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses
the less, because every other possesses the whole
of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives
instruction himself without lessening
mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives
light without darkening mine. That
ideas should freely spread from one to another
over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction
of man, and improvement of his condition,
seems to have been peculiarly and
benevolently designed by nature. When she
made them like fire, expansible over all space,
without lessening their density in any point,
and like the air in which we breathe, move,
and have our physical being, incapable of confinement
or exclusive appropriation. Inventions
then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
Society may give an exclusive right to the
profits arising from them, as an encouragement
to men to pursue ideas which may produce
utility, but this may or may not be done according
to the will and convenience of the
society, without claim or complaint from anybody.
Accordingly, it is a fact, as far as I am
informed, that England was, until we copied
her the only country on earth which ever, by a
general law, gave a legal right to the exclusive
use of an idea. In some countries it is sometimes
done, in a great case, and by a special
and personal act, but generally speaking, other
nations have thought that these monopolies produce
more embarrassment than advantage to
society; and it may be observed that the nations
which refuse monopolies of invention, are as
fruitful as England in new and useful devices.—
To Isaac McPherson. Washington ed. vi, 180.
(M. 1813)

4046. IRELAND, America and.—

shall find me zealous in whatever may concern
the interests of the two countries.
[United States and Ireland.]—
To W. W. Seward. Washington ed. i, 479.
(P. 1785)

4047. IRELAND, America and.—[continued].

The freedom of commerce
between Ireland and America is un


Page 434
doubtedly very interesting to both countries.
If fair play be given to the natural advantages
of Ireland, she must come in for a
distinguished share of that commerce. She is
entitled to it from the excellence of some of
her manufactures, the cheapness of most of
them, their correspondence with the American
taste, a sameness of language, laws and
manners, a reciprocal affection between the
people, and the singular circumstance of her
being the nearest European land to the
United States. [251]
To W. W. Seward. Washington ed. i, 478.
(P. 1785)


Mr. Seward, by direction of the associated company
of Irish merchants in London, had written to
Jefferson on the subject.—Editor.

4048. IRELAND, America and.—[further continued].

The defeat of the Irish
propositions is also in our favor.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 414.
(P. 1785)

4049. IRELAND, Commerce.—

It is to be
considered how far an exception in favor of
Ireland in our commercial regulations might
embarrass the councils of England on the one
hand, and on the other how far it might give
room to an evasion of the regulations.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 41.
(P. 1785)

4050. IRELAND, Commerce.—[continued].

I am sure the United
States would be glad, if it should be found
practicable, to make that discrimination between
Great Britain and Ireland, which their
commercial principles, and their affection for
the latter, would dictate.—
To W. W. Seward. Washington ed. i, 479.
(P. 1785)

4051. IRELAND, Commerce.—[further continued].

I am not at present so well acquainted with the trammels of Irish commerce,
as to know what they are, particularly,
which obstruct the intercourse between
Ireland and America; nor, therefore, what
can be the object of a fleet stationed in the
western ocean, to intercept that intercourse.
Experience, however, has taught us to infer
that the fact is probable, because it is impolite.—
To W. W. Seward. Washington ed. i, 478.
(P. 1785)

4052. IRELAND, Great Britain and.—

Bonaparte * * * seems to be looking towards the East Indies, where a most formidable
cooperation has been prepared for demolishing
the British power. I wish the affairs
of Ireland were as hopeful.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 280. Ford ed., vii, 341.
(Pa., Jan. 1799)

— IRISH, The.—

See 474 and 480.

4053. IRON, Indians and.—

Nothing I
have ever yet heard of proves the existence of a
nation here who knew the use of iron. I have
never heard even of burnt bricks, though they
might be made without iron. The statue you
* * * send me would, because of the hardness
of the stone, be a better proof of the use of iron
than I ever yet saw; but as it is a solitary
fact, and possible to have been made with implements
of stone, and great patience, for
which the Indians are remarkable, I consider
it to have been so made. It is certainly the best
piece of workmanship I ever saw from their
To Harry Inness. Washington ed. iii, 217. Ford ed., v, 294.
(Pa., 1791)

4054. IRON, Swedish.—

We cannot make
iron in competition with Sweden, or any other
nation of Europe, where labor is so much
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 493.
(P. 1785)

4055. IRON, Swedish.—[continued].

The United States have much occasion for the productions of Sweden,
particularly for its iron.—
To Baron Stahe. Ford ed., iv, 242.
(P. 1786)

4056. IVERNOIS (Francois d'), Patriot.—

M. d'Ivernois is a Genevan of considerable
distinction for science and patriotism, and that,
too, of the republican kind, though he does not
carry it so far as our friends of the National
Assembly of France. While I was in Paris,
I knew him as an exile from his democratic
principles, the aristocracy having then the upper
hand in Geneva. He is now obnoxious to the
democratic party.—
To Wilson Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 109. Ford ed., vi, 513.
(M. 1794)
See Academy, Geneva.