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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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4895. MACDONOUGH (Commodore), Victory of.—

The success of Macdonough [in the battle of Lake Champlain] has been happily
timed to dispel the gloom of your present meeting,
and to open the present session of Congress
with hope and good humor.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., ix, 488.
(M. 1814)

4896. MACDONOUGH (Commodore), Victory of.—[continued].

I congratulate you on
the destruction of a second hostile fleet on the
Lakes by Macdonough. * * * While our enemies
cannot but feel shame for their barbarous
achievements at Washington, they will be stung
to the soul by these repeated victories over them
on that element on which they wish the world
to think them invincible. We have dissipated
that error. They must now feel a conviction
themselves that we can beat them gun to gun,
ship to ship, and fleet to fleet, and that their
early successes on the land have been either
purchased from traitors, or obtained from raw
men entrusted of necessity with commands for
which no experience had qualified them, and
that every day is adding that experience to unquestioned
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 386.
(M. 1814)

4897. MACE, Design for.—

I send you a
design for a Mace by Dr. Thornton, whose taste
and inspiration are both good. But I am not
satisfied with the introduction of the rattlesnake
into the design. There is in man as well as
brutes, an antipathy to the snake, which renders
it a disgusting object wherever it is presented.
I would myself rather adopt the Roman
staves and axe, trite as it is; or perhaps a
sword, sheathed in a roll of parchment (that
is to say an imitation in metal of a roll of
parchment), written over, in the raised Gothic
letters of the law, with that part of the Constitution
which establishes the House of
Representatives, for that house, or the Senate.
For the Senate, however, if you have that same
disgust for the snake, I am sure you will yourself
imagine some better substitute, or perhaps
you will find that disgust overbalanced by
stronger considerations in favor of the emblem.—
To Governor Henry Lee. Ford ed., vi, 320.
(Pa., 1793)

4898. MACON (Nathaniel) Confidence in.—

Some enemy whom we know not, is sowing
tares among us. Between you and myself
nothing but opportunities of explanation can
be necessary to defeat those endeavors. At
least on my part my confidence in you is so
unqualified that nothing further is necessary for
my satisfaction. I must, therefore, ask a conversation
with you.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Ford ed., viii, 439.
(W. 1806)

4899. MACON (Nathaniel) Confidence in.—[continued].

While such men as yourself
and your worthy colleagues of the legislature,
and such characters as compose the executive
administration, are watching for us all,
I slumber without fear, and review in my
dreams the visions of antiquity. [317]
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. vii, 111. Ford ed., x, 120.
(M. 1819)


Nathaniel Macon was Speaker of the House of
Representatives from 1801 to 1806, and subsequently
United States Senator from North Carolina. John
Randolph of Roanoke made him one of the legatees
of his estate, and said of him in his will, “he is the
best, the purest, and wisest man I ever knew”.——Editor.

— MADEIRA, Climate of.—

See Climate.

4900. MADISON (James), Ability of.—

Mr. Madison came into the House [Legislature
of Virginia] in 1776, a new member and young;
which circumstances, concurring with his extreme
modesty, prevented his venturing himself
in debate before his removal to the Council
of State, in November, '77. From thence he
went to Congress, then consisting of few members.
Trained in these successive schools, he
acquired a habit of self-possession, which placed
at ready command the rich resources of his
luminous and discriminating mind, and of his
extensive information, and rendered him the
first of every assembly afterwards, of which
he became a member. Never wandering from
his subject into vain declamation, but pursuing
it closely, in language pure, classical and
copious, soothing always the feelings of his
adversaries by civilities and softness of expression,
he rose to the eminent station which he
held in the great National Convention of 1787;
and in that of Virginia which followed, he
sustained the new Constitution in all its parts,
bearing off the palm against the logic of George
Mason, and the fervid declamation of Mr.
[Patrick] Henry. With these consummate
powers, were united a pure and spotless virtue,
which no calumny has ever attempted to sully.
Of the powers and polish of his pen, and of
the wisdom of his administration in the highest
office of the nation, I need say nothing. They
have spoken, and will forever speak for themselves.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 41. Ford ed., i, 56.

4901. MADISON (James), Administration of.—

I leave everything in the hands of
men so able to take care of them, that if we
are destined to meet misfortunes, it will be because
no human wisdom could avert them.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 433.
(W. 1809)

4902. MADISON (James), Administration of.—[continued].

If peace can be preserved,
I hope and trust you will have a smooth
administration. I know no government which
would be so embarrassing in war as ours. This
would proceed very much from the lying and
licentious character of our papers; but much,
also, from the wonderful credulity of the members
of Congress in the floating lies of the day.
And in this no experience seems to correct
them. I have never seen a Congress during
the last eight years, a majority of which I
would not implicitly have relied on in any
question, could their minds have been purged of
all errors of fact. The evil, too, increases
greatly with the protraction of the session, and
I apprehend, in case of war, their session would
have a tendency to become permanent.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 437.
(W. March. 1809)

4903. MADISON (James), Administration of.—[further continued].

Any services which I
could have rendered will be more than supplied
by the wisdom and virtues of my successor.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. v, 473.
(M. 1809)


Page 523

4904. MADISON (James), Administration of.—[further continued] .

Mr. Madison is my successor.
This ensures to us a wise and honest administration.—
To Baron Humboldt. Washington ed. v, 435.
(W. 1809)

4905. MADISON (James), Administration of.—[further continued].

I do not take the trouble
of forming opinions on what is passing among
[my successors], because I have such entire
confidence in their integrity and wisdom as to
be satisfied all is going right, and that every one
is best in the station confided to him.—
To David Howell. Washington ed. v, 555.
(M. 1810)

4906. MADISON (James), Administration of.—[further continued] .

Anxious, in my retirement,
to enjoy undisturbed repose, my knowledge
of my successor and late coadjutors, and my entire confidence in their wisdom and integrity,
were assurances to me that I might
sleep in security with such watchmen at the
helm, and that whatever difficulties and dangers
should assail our course, they would do
what could be done to avoid or surmount them.
In this confidence I envelop myself, and hope to
slumber on to my last sleep. And should difficulties
occur which they cannot avert, if we
follow them in phalanx, we shall surmount them
without danger.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 533.
(M. 1810)

4907. MADISON (James), Administration of.—[further continued].

If you will except the
bringing into power and importance those who
were enemies to himself as well as to the
principles of republican government, I do not
recollect a single measure of the President
which I have not approved. Of those under
him, and of some very near him, there have
been many acts of which we have all disapproved,
and he more than we.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. vi, 465. Ford ed., ix, 521.
(M. 1815)

4908. MADISON (James), Confidence in.—

In all cases I am satisfied you are doing
what is for the best, as far as the means put
into your hands will enable you, and this
thought quiets me under every occurrence.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 114. Ford ed., ix, 384.
(M. May. 1813)

— MADISON (James), Election contest.—

See Henry (Patrick).

4909. MADISON (James), Federal Convention debates.—

In a society of members,
between whom and yourself are great mutual
esteem and respect, a most anxious desire is
expressed that you would publish your debates
of the [Federal] Convention. That these measures
of the army, navy and direct tax will
bring about a revolution of public sentiment
is thought certain, and that the Constitution
will then receive a different explanation. Could
those debates be ready to appear critically, their
effect would be decisive. I beg of you to turn
this subject in your mind. The arguments
against it will be personal; those in favor of it
moral; and something is required from you as
a set off against the sin of your retirement.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 263. Ford ed., vii, 318.
(Pa., Jan. 1799)

4910. MADISON (James), Hamilton and.—

Hamilton is really a Colossus to the
anti-republican party. * * * When he comes
forward, there is nobody but yourself who can
meet him.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 121. Ford ed., vii, 32.
(M. 1795)

4911. MADISON (James), Hamilton and.—[continued].

You will see in Fenno
two numbers of a paper signed “Marcellus”.
They promise much mischief, and are ascribed,
without any difference of opinion, to [Alexan
der] Hamilton. You must take your pen against
this champion. You know the ingenuity of his
talents; and there is not a person but yourself
who can foil him. For heaven's sake, then, take
up your pen, and do not desert the public cause
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 231. Ford ed., vii, 231.
(Pa., April. 1798)

4912. MADISON (James), Hamilton and.—[further continued].

Let me pray and beseech
you to set apart a certain portion of every post
day to write what may be proper for the public.
Send it to me while here [Philadelphia], and
when I go away I will let you know to whom
you may send, so that your name will be sacredly
secret. You can render such incalculable
services in this way, as to lessen the effect of
our loss of your presence here.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 281. Ford ed., vii, 344.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

4913. MADISON (James), Jefferson and administration of.—

The unwarrantable
ideas often expressed in the newspapers, and
by persons who ought to know better, that I
intermeddle in the Executive councils, and the
indecent expressions, sometimes, of a hope that
Mr. Madison will pursue the principles of my
administration, expressions so disrespectful to
his known abilities and dispositions, have rendered
it improper in me to hazard suggestions
to him, on occasions even where ideas might
occur to me, that might accidentally escape him.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 123.
(M. 1813)

— MADISON (James), Jefferson, Presidency and.—

See President.

4914. MADISON (James), Jefferson's bequest to.—

I give to my friend, James Madison, of Montpelier, my gold-mounted walking-staff
of animal horn, as a token of the
cordial and affectionate friendship, which, for
nearly now an half-century, has united us
in the same principles and pursuits of what
we have deemed for the greatest good of our
Jefferson's Will. Washington ed. ix, 514. Ford ed., x, 395.
(March. 1826)

4915. MADISON (James), Jefferson's friendship for.—

My friendship for Mr.
Madison, my confidence in his wisdom and
virtue, and my approbation of all his measures,
and especially of his taking up at length the
gauntlet against England, is known to all with
whom I have ever conversed or corresponded
on these measures.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. vi, 465. Ford ed., ix, 521.
(M. 1815)

4916. MADISON (James), Jefferson's friendship for.—[continued].

The friendship which
has subsisted between us, now half a century,
and the harmony of our political principles and
pursuits, have been sources of constant happiness
to me through that long period. And if
I remove beyond the reach of attentions to the
University, or beyond the bourne of life itself,
as I soon must, it is a comfort to leave that
institution under your care, and an assurance
that it will not be wanting. It has also been
a great solace to me, to believe that you are engaged
in vindicating to posterity the course we
have pursued for preserving to them, in all their
purity, the blessings of self-government, which
we had assisted, too, in acquiring for them.
If ever the earth has beheld a system of administration
conducted with a single and steadfast
eye to the general interest and happiness
of those committed to it, one which, protected
by truth, can never know reproach, it is that to
which our lives have been devoted. To myself
you have been a pillar of support through
life. Take care of me when dead, and be


Page 524
assured that I shall leave with you my last
affections. [318]
To James Madison. Washington ed. vii, 434. Ford ed., x, 377.
(M. Feb. 1826)


The quotation is from the last letter written by Jefferson to Madison.—Editor.

4917. MADISON (James), John Adams and.—

Charles Lee consulted a member from
Virginia to know whether [John] Marshall
would be agreeable [as Minister to France]. He
named you, as more likely to give satisfaction.
The answer was, “nobody of Mr. Madison's
way of thinking will be appointed”.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 179. Ford ed., vii, 132.
(Pa., June. 1797)

4918. MADISON (James), Judgment of.—

There is no sounder judgment than his.
To J. W. Eppes. Ford ed., ix, 484.
(M. 1814)

— MADISON (James), Marbury vs.—

See Marbury vs. Madison.

— MADISON (James), Monroe and.—

See Menroe.

4919. MADISON (James), Opinions of.—

No man weighs more maturely than Mr.
Madison before he takes a side on any question.—
To Peregrine Fitzhugh. Washington ed. iv, 170.
(M. 1797)

4920. MADISON (James), Opposition to.—

With respect to the opposition threatened,
although it may give some pain, no injury
of consequence is to be apprehended. Duane
flying off from the government, may, for a
little while, throw confusion into our ranks as
John Randolph did. But, after a moment of
time to reflect and rally, and to see where he
is, we shall stand our ground with firmness. A
few malcontents will follow him, as they did
John Randolph, and perhaps he may carry off
some well-meaning Anti-Snyderites of Pennsylvania.
The federalists will sing hosannas, and
the world will thus know of a truth what they
are. This new minority will perhaps bring
forward their new favorite, who seems already
to have betrayed symptoms of consent. They
will blast him in the bud, which will be no misfortune.
They will sound the tocsin against the
ancient dominion, and anti-dominionism May
become their rallying point. And it is better
that all this should happen two than six years
To President Madison. Ford ed., ix, 321.
(M. April. 1811)

4921. MADISON (James), Pure principles of.—

I know them both [Mr. Madison
and Mr. Monroe] to be of principles as truly
republican as any men living.—
To Thomas Ritchie. Washington ed. vii, 191. Ford ed., x, 170.
(M. 1820)

4922. MADISON (James), Reelection as President.—

I have known Mr. Madison from
1779, when he first came into the public councils,
and from three and thirty years' trial, I can
say conscientiously that I do not know in the
world a man of purer integrity, more dispassionate,
disinterested, and devoted to genuine republicanism;
nor could I, in the whole scope
of America and Europe, point out an abler head.
He may be illy seconded by others, betrayed by
the Hulls and Arnolds of our country, for such
there are in every country, and with sorrow
and suffering we know it. But what man can
do will be done by Mr. Madison. I hope, therefore,
there will be no difference among republicans
as to his reelection; we shall know his
value when we have to give him up, and to
look at large for his successor.—
To Thomas C. Flourney. Washington ed. vi, 82.
(M. Oct. 1812)

4923. MADISON (James), Removal of Armstrong.—

If our operations have suffered
or languished from any want of injury in the
present head [of the War Department] which
directs them, I have so much confidence in
the wisdom and conscientious integrity of Mr.
Madison, as to be satisfied, that however torturing
to his feelings, he will fulfil his duty to the
public and to his own reputation, by making the
necessary change.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. vi, 81. Ford ed., ix, 369.
(M. Oct. 1812)

4924. MADISON (James), Republicanism of.—

Our enemies may try their cajoleries
with my successor. They will find him as immovable
in his republican principles as him
whom they have honored with their peculiar
To Dr. E. Griffith. Washington ed. v, 451.
(M. 1809)

4925. MADISON (James), Services to Jefferson.—

Mr. Madison is entitled to his
full share of all the measures of my administration.
Our principles were the same, and we
never differed sensibly in the application of
To W. C. Nicholas. Ford ed., ix, 252.
(M. 1809)

4926. MADISON (James), Statesmanship.—

Our ship is sound, the crew alert at
their posts, and our ablest steersman at its
To John Melish. Washington ed. v, 573.
(M. 1811)

4927. MADISON (James), University of Virginia and.—

I do not entertain your apprehensions for the happiness of our brother
Madison in a state of retirement. Such a mind
as his, fraught with information and with matter
for reflection, can never know ennui. Besides,
there will always be work enough cut out for
him to continue his active usefulness to his
country. For example, he and Monroe (the
President) are now here (Monticello) on the
work of a collegiate institution to be established
in our neighborhood, of which they and myself
are three of six visitors. This, if it succeeds,
will raise up children for Mr. Madison
to employ his attention through life.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 62.
(M. 1817)

4928. MADISON (James), Wisdom of.—

My successor, to the purest principles of republican
patriotism, adds a wisdom and foresight
second to no man on earth.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. v, 508.
(M. 1810)


See Latitude
and Longitude.

4929. MAILS, Expediting.—

The President
has desired me to confer with you on
the proposition I made the other day, of endeavoring
to move the posts at the rate of one
hundred miles a day. It is believed to be
practicable here, because it is practiced in
every other country. * * * I am anxious
that the thing should be begun by way of experiment,
for a short distance, because I
believe it will so increase the income of the
post-office as to show we may go through
with it.—
To Colonel Pickering. Washington ed. iii, 344.
(Pa., 1792)

4930. MAINE, English encroachments.—

The English encroachments on the province


Page 525
of Maine become serious. They have seized
vessels, too, on our coast of Passamaquoddy,
thereby displaying a pretension to the exclusive
jurisdiction to the Bay of Fundy, which separates
Nova Scotia and Maine, and belongs as
much to us as them.—
To Marquis de Lafayette. Washington ed. ii, 21.
(P. 1786)

4931. MAINE, Independence of.—

If I do not contemplate this subject [the Missouri
question] with pleasure, I do sincerely [contemplate] that of the independence of Maine,
and the wise choice they have made of General
King in the agency of their affairs.—
To Mark Langdon Hill. Washington ed. vii, 155.
(M. 1820)

4932. MAJORITY, Abuses by.—

The majority,
oppressing an individual, is guilty of
a crime; abuses its strength, and, by acting
on the law of the strongest, breaks up the
foundations of society.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. vi, 591. Ford ed., x, 24.

4933. MAJORITY, Dissent from.—

It is
true that dissentients have a right to go over
to the minority, and to act with them. But
I do not believe your mind has contemplated
that course; that it has deliberately viewed
the strange company into which it may be
led, step by step, unintended and unperceived
by itself. The example of John Randolph is
a caution to all honest and prudent men, to
sacrifice a little of self-confidence, and to go
with their friends, although they may sometimes
think they are going wrong. * * * As far as my good will may go (for I can no
longer act), I shall adhere to my government,
Executive and Legislative, and, as long as
they are republican, I shall go with their
measures whether I think them right or
wrong; because I know they are honest, and
are wiser and better informed than I am. In
doing this, however, I shall not give up the
friendship of those who differ from me, and
who have equal right with myself to shape
their own course.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 592. Ford ed., ix, 316.
(M. 1811)

4934. MAJORITY, Force vs.—

acquiescence in the decisions of the majority,—the vital principle of republics, from which
is no appeal but to force, the vital principle
and immediate parent of despotism, I deem
[one of the] essential principles of our government
and, consequently, [one] which
ought to shape its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 4.

4935. MAJORITY, Generations and.—

This corporeal globe, and everything upon it,
belong to its present corporeal inhabitants,
during their generation. They alone have a
right to direct what is the concern of themselves
alone, and to declare the law of that
direction; and this declaration can only be
made by their majority.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 16. Ford ed., x, 44.
(M. 1816)

4936. MAJORITY, Generations and.—[continued].

A generation may bind
itself as long as its majority continues in life;
when that has disappeared, another majority
is in place, holds all the rights and powers
their predecessors once held, and may change
their laws and institutions to suit themselves.—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 359.
(M., 1824)

See Generations.

4937. MAJORITY, Law of.—

Where the
law of the majority ceases to be acknowledged,
there government ends; the law of the
strongest takes its place, and life and property
are his who can take them.—
R. to A. Annapolis Citizens. Washington ed. viii, 150.

4938. MAJORITY, Law of.—[continued].

The lex majoris partis [is] founded in common law as well as common
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 367. Ford ed., iii, 229.

4939. MAJORITY, Natural law.—

lex majoris partis is the natural law of every
assembly of men, whose numbers are not
fixed by any other law.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 367. Ford ed., iii, 230.

4940. MAJORITY, Natural law.—[continued].

The law of the majority is the natural law of every society of men.—
Offical Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 496. Ford ed., v, 206.

4941. MAJORITY, Natural law.—[further continued].

The lex majoris partis is a fundamental law of nature, by which alone
self-government can be exercised by a society.—
To John Breckenridge. Ford ed., vii, 417.
(Pa., 1800)

4942. MAJORITY, Oppressive.—

I have
seen with deep concern the afflicting oppression
under which the republican citizens of
Connecticut suffer from an unjust majority.
The truths expressed in your letter have been
long exposed to the nation through the channel
of the public papers, and are the more
readily believed because most of the States
during the momentary ascendancy of kindred
majorities in them, have seen the same spirit
of oppression prevail.—
To Thomas Seymour. Washington ed. v, 43. Ford ed., ix, 29.
(W. 1807)

4943. MAJORITY, Reasonable.—

Bear in
mind this sacred principle, that though the
will of the majority is in all cases to prevail,
that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable;
that the minority possess their equal rights,
which equal laws must protect, and to violate
would be oppression.—
First Inaugural Address. viii. 2.
Ford ed., viii, 2.
(March. 1801)

4944. MAJORITY, Representatives of.—

Our Executive and Legislative authorities
are the choice of the nation, and possess the
nation's confidence. They are chosen because
they possess it, and the recent elections prove
it has not been abated by the attacks which
have for some time been kept up against them.
If the measures which have been pursued are
approved by the majority, it is the duty of
the minority to acquiesce and conform.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 592. Ford ed., ix, 315.
(M. 1811)

4945. MAJORITY, Respect for.—

measures of the fair majority * * * ought
always to be respected.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 461. Ford ed., vi, 103.
(M. 1792)


Page 526

4946. MAJORITY, Slender.—

After another
election our majority will be two to one
in the Senate, and it would not be for the
public good to have it greater.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. iv, 437. Ford ed., viii, 149.
(W. May. 1802)

4947. MAJORITY, Slender.—[continued].

The first principle of republicanism
is that the lex majoris partis is
the fundamental law of every society of individuals
of equal rights; to consider the will
of the society enounced by the majority of a
single vote as sacred as if unanimous, is the
first of all lessons in importance, yet the last
which is thoroughly learnt. This law once
disregarded, no other remains but that of
force, which ends necessarily in military despotism.
This has been the history of the
French Revolution.—
To F. H. Alexander von Humboldt. Washington ed. vii, 75. Ford ed., x, 89.
(M. 1817)

4948. MAJORITY, Submission to.—

we are faithful to our country, if we acquiesce,
with good will, in the decisions of the majority,
and the nation moves in mass in the
same direction, although it may not be that
which every individual thinks best, we have
nothing to fear from any quarter.—
R. to A. Virginia Baptists. Washington ed. viii, 139.

4949. MAJORITY, Submission to.—[continued].

I readily suppose my
opinion wrong, when opposed by the majority.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 447. Ford ed., v, 48.
(P. 1788)

4950. MAJORITY, Submission to.—[further continued].

The fundamental law of
every society is the lex majoris partis, to
which we are bound to submit.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 13. Ford ed., v, 90.
(P. 1789)

4951. MAJORITY, Will of.—

The will of
the majority honestly expressed should give
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 131. Ford ed., i, 215.

4952. MAJORITY, Will of.—[continued].

It is my principle that
the will of the majority should always prevail.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 332. Ford ed., iv, 479.
(P. 1787)

4953. MAJORITY, Will of.—[further continued].

It accords with our principles
to acknowledge any government to be
rightful which is formed by the will of the
nation substantially declared.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 489.

4954. MAJORITY, Will of.—[further continued] .

We are sensible of the duty and expediency of submitting our opinions
to the will of the majority, and can
wait with patience till they get right, if they
happen to be at any time wrong.—
To John Breckenridge. Ford ed., vii, 418.
(Pa., Jan. 1800)

4955. MAJORITY, Will of.—[further continued].

The fundamental principle
of the government is that the will of the
majority is to prevail.—
To Dr. William Eustis. Washington ed. v, 411. Ford ed., ix, 236.
(W. Jan. 1809)

4956. MALESHERBES (C. G. de la M.), Eminence.—

He is unquestionably the first
character in the kingdom for integrity, patriotism,
knowledge and experience in business.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 157.
(P. 1787)

4957. MALESHERBES (C. G. de la M.), Integrity.—

I am particularly happy at the reentry of Malesherbes into the Council. His
knowledge, his integrity, render his value inappreciable,
and the greater to me, because,
while he had no views of office, we had established
together the most unreserved intimacy.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 153. Ford ed., iv, 392.
(P. 1787)

4958. MALESHERBES (C. G. de la M.), Integrity.—[continued].

No man's recommendation
merits more reliance than that of M. de
To——. Washington ed. v, 381.
(W. 1808)

4959. MALICE, Escape from.—

If you meant to escape malice, you should have confined
yourself within the sleepy line of regular
To James Steptoe. Washington ed. i, 324. Ford ed., iii, 63.

4960. MALICE, Political.—

You certainly
acted wisely in taking no notice of what the
malice of Pickering could say of you. Were
such things to be answered, our lives would be
wasted in the filth of fendings and provings,
instead of being employed in promoting the
happiness and prosperity of our fellow citizens.
The tenor of your life is the proper
and sufficient answer.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 62.
(M. 1817)

4961. MALICE, Virtue and.—

There is
no act, however virtuous, for which ingenuity
may not find some bad motive.—
To Edward Dowse. Washington ed. iv, 477.
(W. 1803)

4962. MALICE, Virtue and.—[continued].

Malice will always find
bad motives for good actions. Shall we
therefore never do good?—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 524.
(M. 1810)

4963. MAN, A curious animal.—

is in all his shapes a curious animal.—
To Mr. Volney. Washington ed. iv, 159.
(M. 1797)

4964. MAN, Destructive.—

In the whole
animal kingdom I recollect no family but
man, steadily and systematically employed in
the destruction of itself. Nor does what is
called civilization produce any other effect,
than to teach him to pursue the principle of
the bellum omnium in omnia on a greater
scale, and instead of the little contest between
tribe and tribe, to comprehend all the
quarters of the earth in the same work of
destruction. If to this we add, that as to
other animals, the lions and tigers are mere
lambs compared with man as a destroyer,
we must conclude that nature has been able
to find in man alone a sufficient barrier
against the too great multiplication of other
animals and of man himself, an equilibrating
power against the fecundity of generation.
While in making these observations, my situation
points my attention to the warfare of
man in the physical world, yours may present
him as equally warring in the moral one.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 156. Ford ed., vii, 99.

4965. MAN, Destructive.—[continued].

The greatest honor of a
man is in doing good to his fellow men, not
in destroying them.—
Address to Indians. Washington ed. viii, 208.


Page 527

4966. MAN, Destructive.—[further continued].

The Great Spirit did not
make men that they might destroy one another,
but doing to each other all the good
in their power, and thus filling the land with
happiness instead of misery and murder.—
Indian Address. Washington ed. viii, 228.

4967. MAN, Freedom and happiness of.—

The freedom and happiness of man * * * are the sole objects of all legitimate
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. v, 509.
(M. 1810)

— MAN, Future generations and.—

See Generations.

4968. MAN, Goodness in.—

I am not yet
decided to drop Lownes, on account of his
being a good man, and I like much to be in
the hands of good men. There is great pleasure
in unlimited confidence.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 62.
(M. 1796)

4969. MAN, Honesty of.—

Men are disposed
to live honestly, if the means of doing so are open to them.—
To M. de Marbois. Washington ed. vii, 77.
(M. 1817)

4970. MAN, Honesty of.—[continued].

In truth man is not made
to be trusted for life, if secured against all
liability to account.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 322.
(M. 1823)

4971. MAN, Madness of.—

What a Bedlamite
is man!—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 200. Ford ed., x, 186.
(M. 1821)

4972. MAN, Political equality of.—

men are created equal.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

4973. MAN, A rational animal.—

Man is a rational animal, endowed by nature with
rights, and with an innate sense of justice.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 291. Ford ed., x, 227.
(M. 1823)

— MAN, Rights of.—

See Rights of

4974. MAN, Schoolboy through life.—

The bulk of mankind are schoolboys through
Notes on a Money Unit. Washington ed. i, 163.

4975. MANKIND, Government of.—

Men, enjoying in ease and security, 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, * * * [are] 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)

4976. MANKIND, Improvement of.—

The energies of the nation, as depends on me, shall be reserved for the improvement
of the condition of man, not wasted in his
Reply to Address. Washington ed. iv, 388.
(W. 1801)

4977. MANKIND, Improvement of.—[continued].

Although a soldier yourself,
I am sure you contemplate the peaceable
employment of man in the improvement of his
condition, with more pleasure than his murders,
raperies and devastations.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. vi, 69. Ford ed., ix, 363.
(M. June. 1812)

4978. MANKIND, Improvement of.—[further continued].

That every man shall be
made virtuous, by any process whatever, is,
indeed, no more to be expected, than that
every tree shall be made to bear fruit, and
every plant nourishment. The brier and
bramble can never become the vine and olive;
but their asperities may be softened by culture,
and their properties improved to usefulness
in the order and economy of the
world. And I do hope that, in the present
spirit of extending to the great mass of mankind
the blessings of instruction, I see a prospect
of great advancement in the happiness of
the human race; and that this may proceed
to an indefinite, although not to an infinite
To C. C. Blatchly. Washington ed. vii, 263.
(M. 1822)

4979. MANKIND, Love for.—

mankind in my individual relations with
them, I pray to be permitted to depart in
their peace.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 136. Ford ed., x, 142.

4980. MANKIND, Relations with.—

During a long life, as much devoted to study
as a faithful transaction of the trusts committed
to me would permit, no subject has
occupied more of my consideration than our
relations with all the beings around us, our
duties to them, and our future prospects.
After reading and hearing everything which
probably can be suggested respecting them, I
have formed the best judgment I could as to
the course they prescribe, and in the due observance
of that course, I have no recollections
which give me uneasiness.—
To William Canby. Washington ed. vi, 210.
(M. 1813)

4981. MANKIND, Relations with.—[continued].

We must endeavor to forget our former love for them, and hold
them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies
in War, in Peace friends.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

4982. MANNERS, American vs. French.—

I am much pleased with the people of this
country. The roughness of the human mind is
so thoroughly rubbed off with them that it seems
as if one might glide through a whole life among
them without a jostle. Perhaps, too, their manners
may be the best calculated for happiness to
a people in their situation, but I am convinced
they fall far short of effecting a happiness so
temperate, so uniform and so lasting as is generally
enjoyed with us.—
To Mrs. Trist. Washington ed. i, 394.
(P. 1785)

4983. MANNERS, American vs. French.—[continued].

Nourish peace with their
[the French] persons, but war against their
manners. Every step we take towards the
adoption of their manners is a step to perfect
To Mrs. Trist. Washington ed. i, 395.
(P. 1785)

4984. MANNERS, Institutions and.—

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)


Page 528

4985. MANNERS, National.—

The manners
of every nation are the standard of
orthodoxy within itself. But these standards
being arbitrary, reasonable people in all allow
free toleration for the manners, as for the
religion of others.—
To Jean Baptiste Say. Washington ed. vi, 433.
(M. 1815)

4986. MANSFIELD (Lord), Able and eloquent.—

A man of the clearest head, and
most seducing eloquence.—
To Philip Mazzel. Ford ed., iv, 115.
(P. 1785)

4987. MANSFIELD (Lord), Decisions of.—

I hold it essential, in America, to forbid
that any English decision which has happened
since the accession of Lord Mansfield to the
bench, should ever be cited in a court; because,
though there have come many good
ones from him, yet there is so much poison
instilled into a great part of them, that it is
better to proscribe the whole.—
To Mr. Cutting. Washington ed. ii, 487.
(P. 1788)

4988. MANSFIELD (Lord), Decisions of.—[continued].

The object of former judges has been to render the law more and
more certain; that of this personage to render it
more incertain under pretence of rendering it
more reasonable.—
To Philip Mazzei. Ford ed., iv, 115.
(P. 1785)

4989. MANUFACTURES, Agriculture, commerce and.—

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

4990. MANUFACTURES, Agriculture, commerce and.—[continued].

An equilibrium of agriculture,
manufactures and commerce, is certainly
become essential to our independence.
Manufactures sufficient for our own consumption,
of what we raise the raw material (and
no more). Commerce sufficient to carry the
surplus produce of agriculture, beyond our
own consumption, to a market for exchanging
it for articles we cannot raise (and no more).
These are the true limits of manufactures and
commerce. To go beyond them is to increase
our dependence on foreign nations, and our
liability to war. These three important
branches of human industry will then grow
together, and be really handmaids to each
To James Jay. Washington ed. v, 440.
(M. April. 1809)

See Agriculture and Commerce.

4991. MANUFACTURES, British prohibition of.—

By an act passed in the fifth
year of the reign of his late Majesty, King
George II., an American subject is forbidden
to make a hat for himself, of the fur which
he has taken perhaps on his own soil; an instance
of despotism to which no parallel can
be produced in the most arbitrary ages of
British history.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 129. Ford ed., i, 434.

4992. MANUFACTURES, British prohibition of.—[continued].

By an act passed in the twenty-third year of King George II., the iron
which we make, we are forbidden to manufacture;
and, heavy as that article is, and necessary
in every branch of husbandry, besides
commission and insurance, we are to pay
freight for it to Great Britain, and freight
for it back again, for the purpose of sup
porting, not men, but machines in the island
of Great Britain.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 129. Ford ed., i, 434.
See Trade.

— MANUFACTURES, Centralization and.—

See 1159.

4993. MANUFACTURES, The Colonies and.—

I think nothing can bring the security
of our continent and its cause into danger, if
we can support the credit of our paper. To
do that, I apprehend, one of two steps must
be taken. Either to procure free trade by
alliance with some naval power able to protect
it; or, if we find there is no prospect of
that, to shut our ports totally, to all the
world, and turn our Colonies into manufactories.
The former would be most eligible,
because most conformable to the habits and
wishes of our people.—
To Benjamin Franklin. Washington ed. i, 205. Ford ed., ii, 132.

4994. MANUFACTURES, The Colonies and.—[continued].

During the present contest
we have manufactured within our families
the most necessary articles of clothing. Those of cotton will bear some comparison
with the same kinds of manufacture in Europe;
but those of wool, flax and hemp are
very coarse, unsightly, and unpleasant; and
such is our attachment to agriculture, and
such our preference for foreign manufactures,
that be it wise or unwise, our people will certainly
return as soon as they can, to the raising
raw materials, and exchanging them for
finer manufactures than they are able to execute
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 404. Ford ed., iii, 268.

4995. MANUFACTURES, Cotton.—

Great advances are making in the establishment
of manufactures. Those of cotton will,
I think, be so far proceeded on, that we shall
never again have to recur to the importation
of cotton goods for our own use.—
To William Lyman. Washington ed. v, 280.
(W. 1808)

4996. MANUFACTURES, Cotton.—[continued].

I am much pleased to find our progress in manufactures to be so
great. That of cotton is peculiarly interesting,
because we raise the raw material in such
abundance, and because it may, to a great degree,
supply our deficiencies both in wool and
To J. Dorsey. Washington ed. v, 235.
(W. 1808)

4997. MANUFACTURES, The Embargo and.—

The Embargo * * * promises
lasting good by promoting among ourselves
the establishment of manufactures hitherto sought abroad, at the risk of collisions
no longer regulated by the laws of reason
or morality.—
R. to A. Philadelphia Democratic-Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 128.

4998. MANUFACTURES, The Embargo and.—[continued].

The suspension of our
foreign commerce, produced by the injustice
of the belligerent powers, and the consequent
losses and sacrifices of our citizens, are subjects
of just concern. The situation into
which we have thus been forced, has impelled
us to apply a portion of our industry and
capital to internal manufactures and improvements.
The extent of this conversion is daily
increasing, and little doubt remains that the


Page 529
establishments formed and forming will,
under the auspices of cheaper materials and
subsistence, the freedom of labor from taxation
with us, and of protecting duties and
prohibitions, become permanent.—
Eighth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 109. Ford ed., ix, 223.

4999. MANUFACTURES, The Embargo and.—[further continued].

As a countervail to
our short-lived sacrifices [by the Embargo],
when these shall no longer be felt, we shall
permanently retain the benefit they have
prompted, of fabricating for our own use the
materials of our own growth, heretofore
carried to the work-houses of Europe, to be
wrought and returned to us.—
R. to A. Baltimore Tammany Society. Washington ed. viii, 170.

5000. MANUFACTURES, The Embargo and.—[further continued] .

It is true that the Embargo
laws have not had all the effect in bringing the powers of Europe to a sense of
justice which a more faithful observance of
them might have produced. Yet they have
had the important effects of saving our seamen
and property, of giving time to prepare
for defence; and they will produce the further
inestimable advantage of turning the
attention and enterprise of our fellow citizens,
and the patronage of our State
Legislatures to the establishment of useful
manufactures in our country. They
will have hastened the day when an equilibrium
between the occupations of agriculture,
manufactures, and commerce, shall
simplify our foreign concerns to the exchange
only of that surplus which we cannot consume
for those articles of reasonable comfort
or convenience which we cannot produce.—
R. to A. Penna. Democratic-Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 163.

5001. MANUFACTURES, The Embargo and.—[further continued].

Amidst the pressure of
evils with which the belligerent edicts [Berlin
decrees, Orders of Council, &c.], have afflicted
us, some permanent good will arise;
the spring given to manufactures will have
durable effects. Knowing most of my own
State, I can affirm with confidence that were
free intercourse opened again to-morrow, she
would never again import one-half of the
coarse goods which she has done down to
the date of the edicts. These will be made in
our families. For finer goods we must resort
to the larger manufactories established in the
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. v, 415. Ford ed., ix, 226.
(W. 1809)

5002. MANUFACTURES, The Embargo and.—[further continued] .

The interruption of our
commerce with England, produced by our
Embargo and Non-Intercourse law, and the
general indignation excited by her bare-faced
attempts to make us accessories and tributaries
to her usurpation on the high seas, have
generated in this country an universal spirit
for manufacturing for ourselves, and of reducing
to a minimum the number of articles
for which we are dependent on her. The advantages,
too, of lessening the occasions of
risking our peace on the ocean, and of planting
the consumer in our own soil by the side
of the grower of produce, are so palpable,
that no temporary suspension of injuries on
her part, or agreements founded on that, will
now prevent our continuing in what we have
begun. The spirit of manufacturing has taken
deep root among us, and its foundations are
laid in too great expense to be abandoned.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 456.
(M. June. 1809)

5003. MANUFACTURES, The Embargo and.—[further continued].

Nothing more salutary
for us has ever happened than the British obstructions
to our demands for their manufactures.
Restore free intercourse when they
will, their commerce with us will have totally
changed its form, and the articles we shall
in future want from them will not exceed
their own consumption of our produce.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 36. Ford ed., ix, 333.
(M. Jan. 1812)

5004. MANUFACTURES, Encouragement of.—

The present aspect of our foreign
relations has encouraged here a general spirit
of encouragement to domestic manufactures.
The Merino breed of sheep is well established
with us, and fine samples of cloth are sent to
us from the North. Considerable manufactures
of cotton are also commencing. Philadelphia,
particularly, is becoming more manufacturing
than commercial.—
To Mr. Maury. Washington ed. v, 214.
(W. Nov. 1807)

5005. MANUFACTURES, Encouragement of.—[continued].

My idea is that we
should encourage home manufactures to the
extent of our own consumption of everything
of which we raise the raw material.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. v, 416. Ford ed., ix, 226.
(W. 1809)

5006. MANUFACTURES, Encouragement of.—[further continued].

Every syllable uttered
in my name becomes a text for the federalists
to torment the public mind on by their paraphrases
and perversions. I have lately inculcated
the encouragement of manufactures to
the extent of our own consumption at least,
in all articles of which we raise the raw material.
On this the federal papers and meetings
have sounded the alarm of Chinese policy,
destruction of commerce, &c.; that is to
say, the iron which we make must not be
wrought here into plows, axes, hoes, &c., in
order that the ship-owner may have the
profit of carrying it to Europe, and bringing
it back in a manufactured form, as if
after manufacturing our own raw materials
for our own use, there would not be a surplus
produce sufficient to employ a due proportion
of navigation in carrying it to market
and exchanging it for those articles of which
we have not the raw material. Yet this absurd
hue and cry has contributed much to
federalize New England. Their doctrine goes
to the sacrificing agriculture and manufactures
to commerce; to the calling off our people
from the interior country to the sea shore
to turn merchants, and to convert this great
agricultural country into a city of Amsterdam.
But I trust the good sense of our country
will see that its greatest prosperity depends
on a due balance between agriculture,
manufactures and commerce, and not in this
protuberant navigation which has kept us in
hot water from the commencement of our


Page 530
government, and is now engaging us in war.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. v, 417. Ford ed., ix, 239.
(W. Jan. 1809)

5007. MANUFACTURES, Encouragement of.—[further continued] .

The government of the
United States, at a very early period, when
establishing its tariff on foreign importations,
were very much guided in their selection of
objects by a desire to encourage manufactures
within themselves.—
To——. Washington ed. vii, 220.
(M. 1821)

5008. MANUFACTURES, Fear of British competition.—

I much fear the effect on
our infant establishments of the policy avowed
by Mr. Brougham. Individual British merchants
may lose by their late immense importations;
but British commerce and manufactures,
in the mass, will gain by beating down
the competition of ours, in our own markets.
Against this policy, our protecting duties are
as nothing, our patriotism less.—
To William Sampson. Ford ed., x, 74.
(M. 1817)

5009. MANUFACTURES, Fostering.—

Enough of the non-importation law should be
reserved * * * to support those manufacturing
establishments which the British Orders
[of Council] and our interests forced us to
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 442. Ford ed., ix, 251.
(M. April. 1809)

5010. MANUFACTURES, Great Britian and America.—

Radically hostile to our
navigation and commerce, and fearing its
rivalry, Great Britain will completely crush
it, and force us to resort to agriculture, not
aware that we shall resort to manufactures
also, and render her conquests over our navigation
and commerce useless, at least, if not
injurious, to herself in the end, and perhaps
salutary to us, as removing out of our way
the chief causes and provocations to war.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 530. Ford ed., ix, 278.
(M. 1810)

5011. MANUFACTURES, Home.—

There can be no question, in a mind truly
American, whether it is best to send our citizens
and property into certain captivity, and
then wage war for their recovery or to keep
them at home, and to turn seriously to that
policy which plants the manufacturer and the
husbandman side by side, and establishes at
the door of every one that exchange of
mutual labors and comforts, which we have
hitherto sought in distant regions, and under
perpetual risk of broils with them.—
R. to A. of New York Tammany Society. Washington ed. viii, 127.
(Feb. 1808)

5012. MANUFACTURES, Home.—[continued].

I see with satisfaction
* * * that our citizens * * * are preparing
to provide for themselves those comforts
and conveniences of life, for which it
would be unwise evermore to recur to distant
R. to A. New Hampshire Legislature. Washington ed. viii, 131.

5013. MANUFACTURES, Home.—[further continued].

I have not formerly been an advocate for great manufactories. I
doubted whether our labor, employed in agriculture,
and aided by the spontaneous ener
gies of the earth, would not procure us more
than we could make ourselves of other necessaries.
But other considerations entering into
the question, have settled my doubts.—
To John Melish. Washington ed. vi, 94. Ford ed., ix, 373.
(M. Jan. 1813)

5014. MANUFACTURES, Home.—[further continued] .

If the piracies of France
and England are to be adopted as the law of
nations, or should become their practice, it
will oblige us to manufacture at home all
the material comforts. This may furnish a
reason to check imports until necessary manufactures
are established among us. This offers
the advantage, too, of placing the consumer
of our produce near the producer.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vi, 128.
(M. 1813)

5015. MANUFACTURES, Home.—[further continued].

We are become manufacturers
to a degree incredible to those who
do not see it, and who only consider the
short period of time during which we have
been driven to them by the suicidal policy of
To Jean Baptiste Say. Washington ed. vi, 431.
(M. March. 1815)

5016. MANUFACTURES, Home.—[further continued] .

The prohibiting duties
we lay on all articles of foreign manufacture
which prudence requires us to establish at
home, with the patriotic determination of every
good citizen to use no foreign article which
can be made within ourselves, without regard
to difference of price, secures us against a relapse
into foreign dependency.—
To Jean Baptiste Say. Washington ed. vi, 431.
(M. March. 1815)

5017. MANUFACTURES, Home.—[further continued].

It is our business to
manufacture for ourselves whatever we can,
to keep our markets open for what we can
spare or want.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. vi, 465. Ford ed., ix, 520.
(M. 1815)

See Markets.

5018. MANUFACTURES, Home.—[further continued] .

No one has been more
sensible than myself of the advantages of
placing the consumer by the side of the producer,
nor more disposed to promote it by
To Mrs. K. D. Morgan. Ford ed., viii, 473.
(M. 1822)

See Protection and Tariff.

5019. MANUFACTURES, Homespun.—

Homespun is become the spirit of the times.
I think it an useful one, and, therefore, that
it is a duty to encourage it by example. The
best fine cloth made in the United States is,
I am told, at the manufacture of Colonel
Humphreys in your neighborhood [New Haven].
Could I get the favor of you to procure
me there as much of his best as would
make me a coat? I should prefer a deep blue,
but, if not to be had, then a black.—
To Abraham Bishop. Ford ed., ix, 225.
(W. 1808)

5020. MANUFACTURES, Household.—

There is no manufacture of wire or of cotton
cards, or if any, it is not worth notice. No
manufacture of stocking-weaving, consequently
none for making the machine; none
of cotton cloths of any kind for sale; though
in almost every family some is manufactured
for the use of the family, which is always
good in quality, and often tolerably fine. In
the same way, they make excellent stockings


Page 531
of cotton, weaving it in like manner, carried
on principally in the family way. Among
the poor, the wife weaves generally, and the
rich either have a weaver among their servants,
or employ their poor neighbors.—
To Thomas Digges. Washington ed. ii, 412. Ford ed., v, 28.
(P. 1788)

5021. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[continued].

The checks which the
commercial regulations of Europe have given
to the sale of our produce, has produced a
very considerable degree of domestic manufacture,
which, so far as it is in the household
way, will doubtless continue; and so far
as it is more public, will depend on the continuance
or discontinuance of this policy of
To C. W. F. Dumas. Ford ed., vi, 70.
(Pa., 1792)

5022. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued].

I shall be glad to hear
* * * any improvements in the arts applicable
to * * * household manufacture.—
To Tench Coxe. Washington ed. iv, 105. Ford ed., vi, 509.
(M. May. 1794)

5023. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued] .

The mass of household manufacture, unseen by the public eye, and so
much greater than what is seen, is such at
present, that let our intercourse with England
be opened when it may, not one-half the
amount of what we have heretofore taken
from her will ever again be demanded. The
great call from the country has hitherto been
of coarse goods. These are now made in our
families, and the advantage is too sensible
ever to be relinquished. It is one of those
obvious improvements in our condition which
needed only to be forced on our attention,
never again to be abandoned.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 456.
(M. June. 1809)

5024. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued].

We are going greatly
into manufactures; but the mass of them are
household manufactures of the coarse articles
worn by the laborers and farmers of the family.
These I verily believe we shall succeed
in making to the whole extent of our necessities.
But the attempts at fine goods will
probably be abortive. They are undertaken
by company establishments, and chiefly in the
towns; will have but little success and short
continuance in a country where the charms
of agriculture attract every being who can
engage in it. Our revenue will be less than
it would be were we to continue to import
instead of manufacturing our coarse goods.
But the increase of population and production
will keep pace with that of manufactures, and
maintain the quantum of exports at the
present level at least; and the imports need
be equivalent to them, and consequently the
revenue on them be undiminished.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 583. Ford ed., ix, 317.
(M. 1811)

5025. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued] .

The economy and thriftiness
resulting from our household manufactures
are such that they will never again be
laid aside.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 36. Ford ed., ix, 333.
(M. Jan. 1812)

5026. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued].

Our manufacturers are
now very nearly on a footing with those of
England. She has not a single improvement
which we do not possess, and many of them
better adapted by ourselves to our ordinary
use. We have reduced the large and expensive
machinery for most things to the
compass of a private family, and every family
of any size is now getting machines on a
small scale for their household purposes.
Quoting myself as an example, and I am
much behind many others in this business,
my household manufactures are just getting
into operation on the scale of a carding machine
costing $60 only, which may be worked
by a girl of twelve years old, a spinning machine,
which may be had for $10, carrying six
spindles for wool, to be worked by a girl also,
another which can be made for $25, carrying
twelve spindles for cotton, and a loom, with
a flying shuttle, weaving its twenty yards a
day. I need 2,000 yards of linen, cotton, and
woollen yearly, to clothe my family, which
this machinery, costing $150 only, and worked
by two women and two girls, will more than
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. vi, 68. Ford ed., ix, 362.
(M. June. 1812)

5027. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued] .

I have hitherto myself
depended entirely on foreign manufactures;
but I have now thirty-five spindles agoing, a
hand carding machine, and looms with the
flying shuttle, for the supply of my own
farms, which will never be relinquished in
my time. The continuance of the war will
fix the habit generally, and out of the evils of
impressment and of the Orders of Council, a
great blessing for us will grow.—
To John Melish. Washington ed. vi, 94. Ford ed., ix, 373.
(M. Jan. 1813)

5028. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued]..

Small spinning jennies
of from half a dozen to twenty spindles, will
soon make their way into the humblest cottages,
as well as the richest houses [in the
South]; and nothing is more certain, than
that the coarse and middling clothing for our
families, will forever hereafter continue to be
made within ourselves.—
To John Melish. Washington ed. vi, 94. Ford ed., ix, 373.
(M. Jan. 1813)

5029. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued] .

Household manufacture
is taking deep root with us. I have a carding
machine, two spinning machines, and
looms with the flying shuttle in full operation
for clothing my own family; and I verily believe
that by the next winter this State will
not need a yard of imported coarse or middling
cloth. I think we have already a sheep
for every inhabitant, which will suffice for
clothing; and one-third more, which a single
year will add, will furnish blanketing.—
To James Ronaldson. Washington ed. vi, 92. Ford ed., ix, 371.
(M. Jan. 1813)

5030. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued]..

The specimens of Mrs.
Mason's skill in manufactures excite the admiration
of all. They prove she is really a
more dangerous adversary to our British foes
than all our generals. These attack the hostile
armies only; she the source of their subsistence.
What these do counts nothing, because
they take one day and lose another:
what she does counts double, because what


Page 532
she takes from the enemy is added to us. I
hope, too, she will have more followers than
our generals, but few rivals, I fear. These
specimens exceed anything I saw during the
Revolutionary war; although our ladies of
that day turned their whole efforts to these
objects, and with great praise and success.—
To John T. Mason. Ford ed., ix, 473.
(M. 1814)

5031. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued]

I presume, like the rest
of us in the country, you are in the habit of
household manufacture, and that you will not,
like too many, abandon it on the return of
peace, to enrich our late enemy, and to
nourish foreign agents in our bosom, whose
baneful influence and intrigues cost us so
much embarrassment and dissension.—
To George Fleming. Washington ed. vi, 506.
(M. Dec. 1815)

5032. MANUFACTURES, Household.—[further continued]

The interruption of our
intercourse with England has rendered us one
essential service in planting, radically and
firmly, coarse manufactures among us. I
make in my family two thousand yards of
cloth a year, which I formerly bought from
England, and it only employs a few women,
children and invalids, who could do little on
the farm. The State generally does the same,
and allowing ten yards to a person, this
amounts to ten millions of yards; and if we
are about the medium degree of manufacturers
in the whole Union, as I believe we
are, the whole will amount to one hundred
millions of yards a year, which will soon reimburse
us the expenses of the war.—
To Mr. Maury. Washington ed. vi, 471.
(M. 1815)

5033. MANUFACTURES, Independence, prosperity and.—

The risk of hanging
our prosperity on the fluctuating counsels and
caprices of others renders it wise in us to
turn seriously to manufactures, and if Europe
will not let us carry our provisions to
their manufactures, we must endeavor to
bring their manufactures to our provisions.—
To David Humphreys. Ford ed., v, 344.
(Pa., 1791)

5034. MANUFACTURES, Jefferson's views in 1782.—

The political economists of
Europe have established it as a principle, that
every State should endeavor to manufacture
for itself; and this principle, like many others,
we transfer to America, without calculating
the difference of circumstance which should
often produce a difference of result. In Europe,
the lands are either cultivated, or locked
up against the cultivator. Manufacture must,
therefore, be resorted to of necessity, not of
choice, to support the surplus of their people.
But we have an immensity of land courting
the industry of the husbandman. Is it best
then that all our citizens should be employed
in its improvement, or that one half of them
should be called off from that to exercise
manufactures and handicrafts for the other?
Those who labor in the earth are the chosen
people of God, if ever He had a chosen people,
whose breasts He has made His peculiar
deposit for substantial and genuine virtue.
It is the focus in which He keeps alive that
sacred fire, which otherwise might escape
from the face of the earth. Corruption of
morals in the mass of cultivators is a phenomenon
of which no age nor nation has furnished
an example. It is the mark set on
those, who, not looking up to heaven, to
their own soil and industry, as does the husbandman,
for their subsistence, depend for
it on casualities and caprice of customers. Dependence
begets subservience and venality,
suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares
fit tools for the designs of ambition. This,
the natural progress and consequence of the
arts, has sometimes perhaps been retarded by
accidental circumstances; but, generally
speaking, the proportion which the aggregate
of the other classes of citizens bears in any
State to that of its husbandmen, is the proportion
of its unsound to its healthy parts,
and is a good barometer whereby to measure
its degree of corruption. While we have land
to labor, then, let us never wish to see our
citizens occupied at a work bench, or twirling
a distaff. Carpenters, masons, smiths,
are wanting in husbandry; but, for the general
operations of manufacture, let our workshops
remain in Europe. It is better to carry
provisions and materials to workmen there,
than bring them to the provisions and materials,
and with them their manners and
principles. The loss by the transportation of
commodities across the Atlantic will be made
up in happiness and permanence of government.
The mobs of great cities add just so
much to the support of pure government, as
sores do to the strength of the human body.
It is the manners and spirit of a people which
preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy
in these is a canker which soon eats to the
heart of its laws and constitution.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 405. Ford ed., iii, 268.

5035. MANUFACTURES, Jefferson's views in 1816.—

You tell me I am quoted by
those who wish to continue our dependence
on England for manufactures. There was a
time when I might have been so quoted with
more candor, but within the thirty years
which have since elapsed, how are circumstances
changed! We were then in peace.
Our independent place among nations was
acknowledged. A commerce which offered
the raw material in exchange for the same
material after receiving the last touch of industry,
was worthy of welcome to all nations.
It was expected that those especially to whom
manufacturing industry was important, would
cherish the friendship of such customers by
every favor, by every inducement, and, particularly,
cultivate their peace by every act of
justice and friendship. Under this prospect
the question seemed legitimate, whether, with
such an immensity of unimproved land, courting
the hand of husbandry, the industry of
agriculture, or that of manufactures, would
add most to the national wealth? And the
doubt was entertained on this consideration
chiefly, that to the labor of the husbandman a
vast addition is made by the spontaneous
energies of the earth on which it is employed;
for one grain of wheat committed to the earth,


Page 533
she renders twenty, thirty, and even fiftyfold,
whereas to the labor of the manufacturer
nothing is added. Pounds of flax, in
his hands, yield, on the contrary, but pennyweights
of lace. This exchange, too, laborious
as it might seem, what a field did it
promise for the occupations of the ocean;
what a nursery for that class of citizens who
were to exercise and maintain our equal rights
on that element? This was the state of
things in 1785, when the “Notes on Virginia
” were first printed; when, the ocean
being open to all nations, and their common
right in it acknowledged and exercised under
regulations sanctioned by the assent and
usage of all, it was thought that the doubt
might claim some consideration. But who, in
1785, could foresee the rapid depravity which
was to render the close of that century the
disgrace of the history of man? Who could
have imagined that the two most distinguished
in the rank of nations, for science
and civilization, would have suddenly descended
from that honorable eminence, and
setting at defiance all those moral laws established
by the Author of nature between
nation and nation, as between man and man,
would cover earth and sea with robberies and
piracies, merely because strong enough to do
it with temporal impunity; and that under
this disbandment of nations from social order,
we should have been despoiled of a thousand
ships, and have thousands of our citizens reduced
to Algerine slavery? Yet all this has
taken place. One of these nations [Great
Britain] interdicted to our vessels all harbors
of the globe without having first proceeded
to some one of hers, there paid a tribute proportioned
to the cargo, and obtained her
license to proceed to the port of destination.
The other [France] declared them to be lawful
prize if they had touched at the port, or
been visited by a ship of the enemy nation.
Thus were we completely excluded from the
ocean. Compare this state of things with
that of 1785, and say whether an opinion
founded in the circumstances of that day can
be fairly applied to those of the present? We
have experienced what we did not then believe,
that there exists both profligacy and
power enough to exclude us from the field of
interchange with other nations; that to be independent
for the comforts of life we must
fabricate them ourselves. We must now
place the manufacturer by the side of the
agriculturist. The former question is suppressed,
or rather assumes a new form. Shall
we make our own comforts, or go without
them, at the will of a foreign nation? He,
therefore, who is now against domestic manufacture,
must be for reducing us either to dependence
on that foreign nation, or to be
clothed in skins, and to live, like wild beasts,
in dens and caverns. I am not one of these;
experience has taught me that manufactures
are now as necessary to our independence as
to our comfort; and if those who quote me as
of a different opinion, will keep pace with me
in purchasing nothing foreign where an equivalent
of domestic fabric can be obtained, with
out regard to difference of price, it will not
be our fault if we do not soon have a supply
at home equal to our demand, and wrest that
weapon of distress from the hand which has
wielded it. If it shall be proposed to go beyond
our own supply, the question of 1785
will then recur, Will our surplus labor be then
most beneficially employed in the culture of
the earth, or in the fabrications of art? We
have time yet for consideration, before that
question will press upon us; and the maxim
to be applied will depend on the circumstances
which shall then exist; for in so complicated a
science as political economy, no one axiom
can be laid down as wise and expedient for all
times and circumstances, and for their contraries.
Inattention to this is what has called
for this explanation, which reflection would
have rendered unnecessary with the candid,
while nothing will do with those who use
the former opinion only as a stalking horse
to cover their disloyal propensities to keep us
in eternal vassalage to a foreign and unfriendly
people. [319]
To Benjamin Austin. Washington ed. vi, 521. Ford ed., x, 8.
(M. Jan. 1816)


Mr. Austin asked Jefferson's permission to publish
the letter containing the foregoing extract. Jefferson
wrote in reply: “I am, in general, extremely
unwilling to be carried into the newspapers, no matter
what the subject; the whole pack of the Essex
[Junto] Kennel would open upon me. With respect,
however, to so much of my letter * * * as relates
to manufactures, I have less repugnance, because
there is, perhaps, a degree of duty to avow a change
of opinion called for by a change of circumstance,
and especially on a point now becoming peculiarly

5036. MANUFACTURES, Labor and.—

In general, it is impossible that manufactures
should succeed in America from the high
price of labor. This is occasioned by the
great demand of labor for agriculture. A
manufacturer, going from Europe, will turn
to labor of other kinds if he finds more to
be got by it, and he finds some employment
so profitable that he can soon lay up money
enough to buy fifty acres of land, to the culture
of which he is irresistibly tempted by the
independence in which that places him, and
the desire of having a wife and family around
him. If any manufactures can succeed there,
it will be that of cotton.—
To Thomas Digges. Washington ed. ii, 412. Ford ed., v, 27.
(P. 1788)

5037. MANUFACTURES, Machinery and.—

The endeavors which Dr. Wallace informed
you we were making in the line of
manufactures are very humble indeed. We
have not as yet got beyond the clothing of
our laborers. We hope, indeed, soon to begin
finer fabrics, and for higher uses. But
these will probably be confined to cotton and
wool. * * * I have lately seen the improvement
of the loom by Janes, the most
beautiful machine I have ever seen. * * * I am endeavoring to procure this improvement.
These cares are certainly more pleasant
than those of the state.—
To John T. Mason. Ford ed., ix, 475.
(M. 1814)

5038. MANUFACTURES, National defence and.—

The endeavors of five years,
aided with some internal manufacturers, have


Page 534
not yet found a tolerable supply of arms. To
make these within ourselves, then, as well as
the other implements of war, is as necessary
as to make our bread within ourselves.—
To Speaker House of Delegates. Ford ed., ii, 267.
(Wg. 1779)

5039. MANUFACTURES, National defence and.—[continued].

I suppose that the establishing
a manufacture of arms [in Virginia] to go hand in hand with the purchase
of them from hence [France] is at present
opposed by good reasons. This alone would
make us independent for an article essential
to our preservation, and workmen could probably
be either got here, or drawn from England
to be embarked hence.—
To Governor Henry. Ford ed., iv, 48.
(P. 1785)

5040. MANUFACTURES, Navigation vs.—

Some jealousy of this spirit of manufacture
seems excited among commercial men.
It would have been as just when we first
began to make our own plows and hoes.
They have certainly lost the profit of bringing
these from a foreign country. * * * I do not think it fair in the shipowners to say
we ought not to make our own axes, nails,
&c., here, that they may have the benefit of
carrying the iron to Europe, and bringing
back the axes, nails, &c. Our agriculture
will still afford surplus produce enough to
employ a due proportion of navigation.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. v, 415. Ford ed., ix, 226.
(W. 1809)

5041. MANUFACTURES, Protection of.—

To protect the manufactures adapted to
our circumstances * * * [is one of] the
landmarks by which we are to guide ourselves
in all our proceedings.—
Second Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 21. Ford ed., viii, 187.

See Protection and Tariff.

5042. MANUFACTURES, Rivalry in foreign markets.—

We hope to remove the
British fully and finally from our continent.
And what they will feel more, for they value
their colonies only for the bales of cloth they
take from them, we have established manufactures,
not only sufficient to supersede our
demand from them, but to rivalize them in
foreign markets.—
To Madame de Tesse. Washington ed. vi, 273. Ford ed., ix, 440.
(Dec. 1813)

5043. MANUFACTURES, Rooted.—

domestic manufactures * * * have taken
such deep root * * * [that they] never
again can be shaken.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vi, 427. Ford ed., ix, 511.
(M. 1815)

5044. MANUFACTURES, Rooted.—[continued].

We owe to the past follies
and wrongs of the British the incalculable advantage of being made independent of them
for every material manufacture. These have
taken such root in our private families especially,
that nothing now can ever extirpate
To W. H. Crawford. Washington ed. vi, 420. Ford ed., ix, 504.
(M. Feb. 1815)

5045. MANUFACTURES, State aid to.—

The House of Delegates of Virginia seemed
disposed to adventure £2,500 for the establishing
a woollen manufactory in Virginia, but the
Senate did not concur. By their returning to
the subject, however, at a subsequent session,
and wishing more specific propositions, it is
probable they might be induced to concur, if
they saw a certain provision that their money
would not be paid for nothing. Some unsuccessful
experiments heretofore may have suggested
this caution. Suppose the propositions
brought into some such shape as this: The
undertaker is to contribute £1,000, the State
£2,500, viz.: the undertaker having laid out his
£1,000 in the necessary implements to be
brought from Europe, and these being landed
in Virginia as a security that he will proceed,
let the State pay for the first necessary purpose
then to occur £1,000.

Let it pay him a stipend of £100 a year for the
first three years 
Let it give him a bounty (suppose one-third)
on every yard of woollen cloth equal to good
plains, which he shall weave for five years,
not exceeding £250 a year (20,000 yards) the
four first years, and £200 the fifth 

To every workman whom he shall import, let
them give, after he shall have worked in the
manufactory five years, warrants for—acres
of land, and pay the expenses of survey, patents,
&c. (This last article is to meet the proposition
of the undertaker. I do not like it, because it
tends to draw off the manufacturer from his
trade. I should better like a premium to him
on his continuance in it; as, for instance, that
he should be free from State taxes as long as
he should carry on his trade.)

The President's intervention seems necessary
till the contracts shall be concluded. It is presumed
he would not like to be embarrassed
afterwards with the details of superintendence.
Suppose, in his answer to the Governor of Virginia,
he should say that the undertaker being
in Europe, more specific propositions cannot be
obtained from him in time to be laid before this
assembly; that in order to secure to the State
the benefits of the establishment, and yet guard
them against an unproductive grant of money,
he thinks some plan like the preceding one
might be proposed to the undertaker. That as
it is not known whether he would accept it exactly
in that form, it might disappoint the views
of the State were they to prescribe that or any
other form rigorously, consequently that a discretionary
power must be given to a certain
extent. That he would willingly cooperate with
their Executive in effecting the contract, and
certainly would not conclude it on any terms
worse for the State than those before explained,
and that the contracts being once concluded, his
distance and other occupations would oblige
him to leave the execution open to the Executive
of the State.—
Official Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 460.

5046. MANUFACTURES, Tariff on foreign.—

Where a nation imposes high duties
on our productions, or prohibits them
altogether, it may be proper for us to do
the same by theirs; first burdening or excluding
those productions which they bring here,
in competition with our own of the same
kind; selecting next, such manufactures as
we take from them in greatest quantity, and
which, at the same time, we could the soonest
furnish to ourselves, or obtain from other
countries; imposing on them duties lighter at
first, but heavier and heavier, afterwards, as
other channels of supply open. Such duties,
having the effect of indirect encouragement
to domestic manufactures of the same kind,


Page 535
may induce the manufacturer to come himself
into these States, where cheaper subsistence,
equal laws, and a vent of his wares,
free of duty, may ensure him the highest
profits from his skill and industry. And
here, it would be in the power of the State
governments to cooperate essentially, by
opening the resources of encouragement
which are under their control, extending them
liberally to artists in those particular branches
of manufacture for which their soil, climate,
population and other circumstances have matured
them, and fostering the precious efforts
and progress of household manufacture, by
some patronage suited to the nature of its
objects, guided by the local informations they
possess, and guarded against abuse by their
presence and attentions. The oppressions on
our agriculture, in foreign ports, would thus
be made the occasion of relieving it from a
dependence on the councils and conduct of
others, and of promoting arts, manufactures
and population at home.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 648. Ford ed., vi, 481.
(Dec. 1793)

See Duties, Protection and Tariff.

5047. MANUFACTURES, Virginia.—

In Virginia we do little in the fine way, but
in coarse and middling goods a great deal.
Every family in the country is a manufactory
within itself, and is very generally able
to make within itself all the stouter and middling
stuffs for its own clothing and household
use. We consider a sheep for every
person in the family as sufficient to clothe it,
in addition to the cotton, hemp and flax which
we raise ourselves. For fine stuff we shall
depend on your northern manufactories. Of
these, that is to say, of company establishments
we have none. We use little machinery.
The spinning jenny, and loom with the
flying shuttle, can be managed in a family;
but nothing more complicated.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 36. Ford ed., ix, 332.
(M. Jan. 1812)

5048. MANUFACTURES, Virginia.—[continued].

For fine goods there are
numerous establishments at work in the large
cities, and many more daily growing up; and
of merinos we have some thousands, and
these multiplying fast. We consider a sheep
for every person as sufficient for their woollen
clothing, and this State and all to the north
have fully that, and those to the south and
west will soon be up to it. In other articles,
we are equally advanced, so that nothing is
more certain than that, come peace when it
will, we shall never again go to England for a
shilling where we have gone for a dollar's
worth. Instead of applying to her manufacturers
there, they must starve or come here
to be employed.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. vi, 69. Ford ed., ix, 363.
(M. June. 1812)


See Sugar.

5049. MARBURY vs. MADISON, Case of.—

I observe that the case of Marbury vs.
has been cited [in the trial of Aaron
Burr], and I think it material to stop at the
threshold the citing that case as authority and
to have it denied to be law. 1. Because the
judges in the outset, disclaimed all cognizance
of the case, although they then went on to say
what would have been their opinion, had they
had cognizance of it. This, then, was confessedly
an extra-judicial opinion, and, as such of
no authority. 2. Because, had it been judicially
pronounced, it would have been against
law; for to a commission, a deed, a bond,
delivery is essential to give validity. Until,
therefore, the commission is delivered out of
the hands of the Executive and his agents,
it is not his deed. He may withhold or cancel
it at pleasure, as he might his private
deed in the same situation. The Constitution
intended that the three great branches of the
government should be coordinate, and independent
of each other. As to acts, therefore,
which are to be done by either, it has
given no control to another branch. A
judge, I presume, cannot sit on a bench without
a commission, or a record of a commission;
and the Constitution having given to the
Judiciary branch no means of compelling the
Executive either to deliver a commission, or
to make a record of it, shows that it did not
intend to give the Judiciary that control over
the Executive, but that it should remain in
the power of the latter to do it or not. Where
different branches have to act in their respective
lines, finally and without appeal, under
any law, they may give to it different and
opposite constructions. Thus, in the case of
William Smith, the House of Representatives
determined he was a citizen; and in the case
of William Duane (precisely the same in
every material circumstance), the judges determined
he was no citizen. In the cases of
Callender and some others, the judges determined
the Sedition Act was valid under the
Constitution, and exercised their regular powers
of sentencing them to fine and imprisonment.
But the Executive determined that the
Sedition Act was a nullity under the Constitution,
and exercised his regular power of
prohibiting the execution of the sentence, or
rather of executing the real law, which protected
the acts of the defendants. From these
different constructions of the same act by
different branches, less mischief arises than
from giving to any one of them a control over
the others. The Executive and Senate act on
the construction, that until delivery from the
Executive department, a commission is in
their possession, and within their rightful
power; and in cases of commissions not revocable
at will, where, after the Senate's approbation
and the President's signing and
sealing, new information of the unfitness of
the person has come to hand before the delivery
of the commission, new nominations
have been made and approved, and new commissions
have issued. On this construction
I have hitherto acted; on this I shall ever
act, and maintain it with the powers of the
government, against any control which May
be attempted by the judges, in subversion of
the independence of the Executive and Senate
within their peculiar department. I presume,
therefore, that in a case where our decision
is by the Constitution the supreme one,


Page 536
and that which can be carried into effect, it is
the constitutionally authoritative one, and that
that by the judges was coram non judice, and
unauthoritative, because it cannot be carried
into effect. I have long wished for a proper
occasion to have the gratuitous opinion in
Marbury vs. Madison brought before the public,
and denounced as not law; and I think the
present a fortunate one, because it occupies
such a place in the public attention. I should
be glad, therefore, if, in noticing that case,
you could take occasion to express the determination
of the Executive, that the doctrines
of that case were given extra-judicially
and against law, and that their reverse will be
the rule of action with the Executive.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 84. Ford ed., ix, 53.
(W. June. 1807)

5050. MARIE ANTOINETTE, Character.—

This angel, as gaudily painted in the
rhapsodies of the Rhetor Burke, with some
smartness of fancy, but no good sense, was
proud, disdainful of restraint, indignant at all
obstacles to her will, eager in the pursuit of
pleasure, and firm enough to hold to her desires,
or perish in their wreck.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 101. Ford ed., i, 140.

5051. MARIE ANTOINETTE, Character.—[continued].

She is capricious like her brother, and governed by him; devoted to
pleasure and expense; and not remarkable for
any other vices or virtues.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 154. Ford ed., iv, 393.
(P. 1787)

5052. MARIE ANTOINETTE, Character.—[further continued].

It may be asked what is
the Queen disposed to do in the present situation
of things? Whatever rage, pride and fear
can dictate in a breast which never knew the
presence of one moral restraint.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. iii, 118.
(P. Sep. 1789)

5053. MARIE ANTOINETTE, Extravagance.—

Nor 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 enormous expenses of
the Queen, the princes and the Court.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., 1, 118.

5054. MARIE ANTOINETTE, Gambling.—

Her inordinate gambling and dissipations,
with those of the Count d'Artois and other of her clique, had been a sensible item
in the exhaustion of the treasury.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 101. Ford ed., i, 140.

5055. MARIE ANTOINETTE, Reform.—

The exhaustion of the treasury called into action the reforming hand of the nation; and
her opposition to it, her inflexible perverseness
and dauntless spirit, led herself to the guillotine,
drew the King on with her, and plunged the
world into crimes and calamities which will
forever stain the pages of modern history.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 101. Ford ed., i, 140.

5056. MARIE ANTOINETTE, The Revolution and.—

I have ever believed, that
had there been no Queen, there would have
been no Revolution. No force would have been
provoked, nor exercised. The King would have
gone hand in hand with the wisdom of his
sounder counsellors, who, guided by the increased
lights of the age, wished only, with the
same pace, to advance the principles of their
social constitution.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 101. Ford ed., i, 140.

5057. MARINE HOSPITALS, Establishment of.—

With respect to marine hospitals,
I presume you know that such establishments
have been made by the General Government
in the several States, that a portion of
seamen's wages is drawn for their support, and
the Government furnishes what is deficient.
Mr. Gallatin is attentive to them, and they will
grow with our growth.—
To James Ronaldson. Washington ed. vi, 92. Ford ed., ix, 371.
(M. Jan. 1813)


See 1335.

5058. MARITIME LAW, Violation of.—

A statement of the conduct of Great Britain
towards this country, so far as respects the
violations of the Maritime Law of nations
[must be laid before Congress]. Here it would
be necessary to state each distinct principle
violated, and to quote the cases of violation,
and to conclude with a view of her vice-admiralty
courts, their venality and rascality, in
order to show that however for conveniences
(and not of right) the court of the captor is
admitted to exercise the jurisdiction, yet that
in so palpable an abuse of that trust, some
remedy must be applied.—
To Caesar A. Rodney. Washington ed. v, 200. Ford ed., ix, 144.
(W. Oct. 1807)

5059. MARKETS, Access to.—

It is not
to the moderation and justice of others we are
to trust for fair and equal access to market
with our productions, or for our due share in
the transportation of them; but to our own
means of independence, and the firm will to
use them.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 650. Ford ed., vi, 483.
(Dec. 1793)

5060. MARKETS, British.—

It is but too
true, that Great Britain furnishes markets for
three-fourths of the exports of the eight
northernmost States,—a truth not proper to
be spoken of, but which should influence our
proceedings with them.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 406. Ford ed., iv, 85.
(P. 1785)

5061. MARKETS, Exclusion from.—

them [the British] not think to exclude us
from going to other markets to dispose of
those commodities which they cannot use, nor
to supply those wants which they cannot supply.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 142. Ford ed., i, 446.

5062. MARKETS, Exclusion from.—[continued].

Besides the duties * * * [the acts of Parliament] impose on our
articles of export and import they prohibit
our going to any markets northward of Cape
Finisterre, in the Kingdom of Spain, for the
sale of commodities which great Britain will
not take from us, and for the purchase of
others, with which she cannot supply us; and
that, for no other than the arbitrary purpose
of purchasing for themselves, by a sacrifice of
our rights and interests, certain privileges in
their commerce with an allied State, who, in
confidence, that their exclusive trade with
America will be continued, while the principles
and power of the British Parliament
be the same, have indulged themselves in
every exorbitance which their avarice could
dictate or our necessity extort; have raised


Page 537
their commodities called for in America, to
the double and treble of what they sold for,
before such exclusive privileges were given
them, and of what better commodities of the
same kind would cost us elsewhere; and, at
the same time, give us much less for what
we carry thither, than might be had at more
convenient ports.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 128. Ford ed., i, 433.

5063. MARKETS, Exclusion from.—[further continued].

These acts [of Parliament] prohibit us from carrying, in quest of
other purchasers, the surplus of our tobaccos,
remaining after the consumption of Great
Britain is supplied; so that we must leave them
with the British merchant for whatever he
will please to allow us, to be by him reshipped
to foreign markets, where he will reap
the benefits of making sale of them for full
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 129. Ford ed., i, 433.

5064. MARKETS, Extension of.—

mass of our countrymen being interested in
agriculture, I hope I do not err in supposing
that in a time of profound peace, as the
present, to enable them to adopt their productions
to the market, to point out markets
for them, and endeavor to obtain favorable
terms of reception, is within the line of my
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 139. Ford ed., iv, 378.

5065. MARKETS, Fish oil.—

The duty
on whale oil [in the British markets] amounts
to a prohibition. This duty was originally
laid on all foreign fish oil with a view to
favor the British and American fisheries.
When we became independent, and of course
foreign to Great Britain, we became subject
to the foreign duty. No duty, therefore,
which France may think proper to lay on this
article, can drive it to the English market.
It could only oblige the inhabitants of Nantucket
to abandon their fishery. But the
poverty of their soil, offering them no other
resource, they must quit their country, and
either establish themselves in Nova Scotia,
where, as British fishermen, they may participate
of the British premium in addition
to the ordinary price of their whale oil, or
they must accept the conditions which this
government offers for the establishment they
have proposed at Dunkirk. Your Excellency
will judge what conditions may counterbalance
in their minds the circumstances of the
vicinity of Nova Scotia, sameness of language,
laws, religion, customs and kindred.
Remaining in their native country, to which
they are most singularly attached, excluded
from commerce with England, taught to look
to France as the only country from which they
can derive sustenance, they will in case of
war become useful rovers against its enemies.
Their position, their poverty, their courage,
their address, and their hatred will render
them formidable scourges on the British commerce.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 312.
(P. 1787)

5066. MARKETS, Fish oil.—[continued].

You have heard of the
Arret of September 28th [1788] excluding
foreign whale oils from the ports of this
country [France]. I have obtained the
promise of an explanatory Arret to declare
that that of September 28th was not meant
to extend to us. Orders are accordingly
given in the ports to receive ours, and the
Arret will soon be published. This places
us on a better footing than ever, as it gives us
a monopoly of this market in conjunction
with the French fishermen.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. ii, 549.
(P. 1788)

5067. MARKETS, Fish oil.—[further continued].

You recollect well the
Arret of December 29th, 1787, in favor of our
commerce, and which, among other things,
gave free admission to our whale oil, under
a duty of about two louis a ton. In consequence
of the English treaty, their oilsflowed
in and overstocked the market. The
light duty they were liable to under the treaty,
still lessened by false estimates and aided by
the high premiums of the British government,
enabled them to undersell the French
and American oils. This produced an outcry
of the Dunkirk fishery. It was proposed
to exclude all European oils, which would
not infringe the British treaty. I could not
but encourage this idea, because it would give
to the French and American fisheries a
monopoly of the French market. The Arret was so drawn up; but, in the very moment
of passing it, they struck out the word European,
so that our oils became involved.
* * * As soon as it was known to me I
wrote to Monsieur de Montmorin, and had
conferences with him and the other ministers.
* * * An immediate order was given for the
present admission of our oils. * * * It
was observed that if our States would prohibit
all foreign oils from being imported into
them, it would be a great safeguard, and an
encouragement to them to continue the admission.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 538.
(P. 1788)

5068. MARKETS, Fish oil.—[further continued] .

The Arret of September
28th [1788], to comprehend us with the English,
in the exclusion of whale oil from their
ports * * * would be a sentence of banishment
to the inhabitants of Nantucket, and
there is no doubt they would have removed
to Nova Scotia or England, in preference to
any other part of the world.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 551.
(P. 1788)

5069. MARKETS, Fish oil.—[further continued].

This branch of commerce
[whale oils] * * * will be on a
better footing than ever as enjoying jointly
with the French oil, a monopoly of the
French markets.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 513.
(P. 1788)

5070. MARKETS, Fish oil.—[further continued] .

The English began [in
1787] to deluge the markets of France with
their whale oils; and they were enabled, by
the great premiums given by their government,
to undersell the French fisherman,
aided by feebler premiums, and the American,
aided by his poverty alone. Nor is it certain
that these speculations were not made at the
risk of the British government, to suppress
the French and American fishermen in their


Page 538
only market. Some remedy seemed necessary.
Perhaps it would not have been a bad
one to subject, by a general law, the merchandise
of every nation, and of every nature, to
pay additional duties in the ports of France,
exactly equal to the premiums and drawbacks
given on the same merchandise by their own
government. This might not only counteract
the effect of premiums in the instance of
whale oils, but attack the whole British system
of bounties and drawbacks, five-eighths
of our whale oil, and two-thirds of our salted
fish, they take from us one-fourth of our
tobacco, three-fourths of our live stock, * * * a considerable and growing portion of our
rice, great supplies, occasionally, of other
grain; in 1789, which, indeed, was extraordinary,
four millions of bushels of wheat,
and upwards of a million of bushels of rye
and barley * * * and nearly the whole
carried in our own vessels. They are a free
market now, and will, in time, be a valuable
one for ships and ship timber, potash and
Report on the Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 551.

5071. MARKETS, Fish oil.—[further continued].

France is the only country
which can take our surplus, and they take
principally of the common oil; as the habit
is but commencing with them of a just value
to spermaceti whale. Some of this, however,
finds its vent there. There was, indeed,
a particular interest perpetually soliciting the
exclusion of our oils from their markets.
The late government there saw well that what
we should lose thereby would be gained by
others, not by themselves. And we are to
hope that the present government, as wise
and friendly, will also view us, not as rivals,
but as cooperators against a common rival
(England). Friendly arrangements with
them, and accommodation to mutual interest,
rendered easier by friendly dispositions existing
on both sides, may long secure to us this
important resource for our seamen. Nor is
it the interest of the fisherman alone which
calls for the cultivation of friendly arrangements
with that nation; besides by the aid
of which they make London the centre of
commerce for the earth. A less general
remedy, but an effectual one, was to prohibit
the oils of all European nations; the treaty
with England requiring only that she should
be treated as well as the most favored European
nation. But the remedy adopted was
to prohibit all oils, without exception.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 520.
(P. 1788)

5072. MARKETS, Fish oil.—[further continued] .

England is the market
for the greatest part of our spermaceti oil.
They impose on all our oils a duty of eighteen
pounds five shillings sterling the ton, which,
as to the common kind, is a prohibition,
* * * and as to the spermaceti, gives a
preference of theirs over ours to that amount,
so as to leave, in the end, but a scanty benefit
to the fishermen; and, not long since, by a
change of construction, without any change
of law, it was made to exclude our oils from
their ports, when carried in our vessels. On
some change of circumstance, it was construed
back again to the reception of our oils,
on paying always, however, the same duty
of eighteen pounds five shillings. This serves
to show that the tenure by which we hold the
admission of this commodity in their markets,
is as precarious as it is hard. Nor can it
be announced that there is any disposition on
their part to arrange this or any other commercial
matter to mutual convenience.—
Report on the Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 552.

5073. MARKETS, Fisheries.—

has too many markets to be allowed to take away those of the fisheries.—
Report on the Fisheries. Washington ed. vii, 544.

5074. MARKETS, Foreign.—

We have
hitherto respected the indecision of Spain
[with respect to the navigation of the Mississippi],
* * * because our western citizens
have had vent at home for their productions.
A surplus of production begins
now to demand foreign markets. Whenever
they shall say, “We cannot, we will not, be
longer shut up”, the United States will be
reduced to the following dilemma: 1. To
force them to acquiescence. 2. To separate
from them rather than take part in a war
against Spain. 3. Or to preserve them in
our Union, by joining them in the war.
* * * The third is the alternative we must
Instructions to William Carmichael. Washington ed. ix, 412. Ford ed., v, 226.

5075. MARKETS, Foreign.—[continued].

Our commerce is certainly
of a character to entitle it to favor in most countries. The commodities we offer
are either necessaries of life, or materials for
manufacture, or convenient subjects of revenue;
and we take in exchange, either manufactures,
when they have received the last
finish of art and industry, or mere luxuries.
Such customers may reasonably expect welcome
and friendly treatment at every market.
Customers, too, whose demands, increasing
with their wealth and population, must very
shortly give full employment to the whole
industry of any nation whatever, in any line
of supply they may get into the habit of calling
for from it.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 646. Ford ed., vi, 479.
(Dec. 1793)

5076. MARKETS, Fostering.—

The way to encourage purchasers is to multiply their
means of payment.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 529.
(P. 1788)

5077. MARKETS, French.—

No two countries are better calculated for the exchanges
of commerce. France wants rice,
tobacco, potash, furs, and ship-timber. We
want wines, brandies, oils, and manufactures.—
To Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 390.
(P. 1785)

5078. MARKETS, French.—[continued].

If American produce
can be brought into the ports of France, the
articles of exchange for it will be taken in
those ports; and the only means of drawing
it hither is to let the merchant see that he
can dispose of it on better terms here than
anywhere else. If the market price of this
country does not in itself offer this superiority,
it may be worthy of consideration,


Page 539
whether it should be obtained by such abatements
of duties, and even by such other encouragements
as the importance of the article
may justify. Should some loss attend this
in the beginning, it can be discontinued when
the trade shall be well established in this
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. i, 597. Ford ed., iv, 256.
(P. 1786)

5079. MARKETS, French.—[further continued].

I have laid my shoulder
to the opening the markets of France to our
produce, and rendering its transportation a
nursery for our seamen.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 536. Ford ed., v, 58.
(P. 1788)

5080. MARKETS, French.—[further continued] .

I very much fear that
France will experience a famine this summer.
The effects of this admit of no calculation.
Grain is the thing for us now to cultivate.
The demand will be immense, and the price
high. I think cases were shown us that to sell
it before the spring is an immense sacrifice. I
fear we shall experience a want of vessels
to carry our produce to Europe. In this case
the tobacco will be left, because bread is more
essential to them.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., vi, 241.
(Pa., May. 1793)

5081. MARKETS, French Asiatic.—

13 of the Arret gives us the privileges and
advantages of native subjects in all the
French possessions in Asia, and in the scales
leading thereto.
This expression means at
present the Isles of France and Bourbon, and
will include the Cape of Good Hope, should
any future event put it into the hands of
France. It was with a view to this that I proposed
the expression, because we were then
in hourly expectation of a war, and it was
suspected that France would take possession
of that place. It will, in no case, be considered
as including anything westward of the
Cape of Good Hope. I must observe further,
on this article, that it will only become valuable
on the suppression of their East India
Company; because as long as their monopoly
continues, even native subjects cannot enter
their Asiatic ports for the purposes of commerce.
It is considered, however, as certain
that this company will be immediately suppressed.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 343.
(P. 1787)

5082. MARKETS, Fur.—

The fur trade is an object of desire in this country [France].
London is at present their market for furs.
They pay for them there in ready money.
Could they draw their furs into their own
ports from the United States they would pay
us for them in productions. Nor should we
lose by the change of market, since, though
the French pay the London merchants in
cash, those merchants pay us with manufactures.
A very wealthy and well connected
company is proposing here to associate themselves
with an American company, each to
possess half the interest, and to carry on the
fur trade between the two countries. The
company here expect to make the principal
part of the advances; they also are soliciting
considerable indulgences from this government
from which the part of the company
on our side of the water will reap half the
advantage. As no exclusive idea enters into
this scheme, it appears to me worthy of encouragement.
It is hoped the government
here will interest themselves for its success.
If they do, one of two things may happen:
either the English will be afraid to stop the
vessels of a company consisting partly of
French subjects, and patronized by the
Court; in which case the commerce will be
laid open generally; or if they stop the vessels,
the-French company, which is strongly
connected with men in power, will complain
in form to their government, who may thus
be interested as principals in the rectification
of this abuse. As yet, however, the proposition
has not taken such a form as to assure
us that it will be prosecuted to this length.—
To John Jay. Ford ed., iv, 231.
(P. 1786)

5083. MARKETS, Home.—

There can be no question, in a mind truly American,
whether it is best to send our citizens and
property into certain captivity, and then
wage war for their recovery, or to keep them
at home, and to turn seriously to that policy
which plants the manufacturer and the husbandman
side by side, and establishes at the
door of every one that exchange of mutual
labors and comforts, which we have hitherto
sought in distant regions, and under perpetual
risk of broils with them.
—R. to A. N. Y. Tammany Society. Washington ed. viii, 127.
(Feb. 1808)

5084. MARKETS, Home.—[continued].

The advantages * * * of planting the consumer in our own soil by
the side of the grower of produce, are so palpable,
that no temporary suspension of injuries
on England's part, or agreements
founded on that, will now prevent our continuing
in what we have begun [manufacturing].—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 456.
(M. June. 1809)

5085. MARKETS, Home.—[further continued].

The bringing our countrymen
to a sound comparative estimate of
the vast value of internal commerce, and
the disproportionate importance of what is
foreign, is the most salutary effort which can
be made for the prosperity of these States,
which are entirely misled from their true interests
by the infection of English prejudices,
and illicit attachments to English interests
and connections.—
To Dr. Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 294.
(M. 1814)

5086. MARKETS, Land.—

The long succession
of years of stunted crops, of reduced
prices, the general prostration of the farming
business, under levies for the support of manufacturers,
&c., with the calamitous fluctuations
of value in our proper medium, have
kept agriculture in a state of abject depression,
which has peopled the Western States
by silently breaking up those on the Atlantic,
and glutted the land market, while it drew
off its bidders. In such a state of things,
property has lost its character of being a
resource for debts. Highland in Bedford,
which, in the days of our plethory, sold
readily for from fifty to one hundred dollars


Page 540
the acre (and such sales were many then),
would not now sell for more than from ten
to twenty dollars, or one-quarter or one-fifth
of its former price.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. vii, 434. Ford ed., x, 377.
(M. Feb. 1826)

5087. MARKETS, Monopolized.—

It is contrary to the spirit of trade, and to the
dispositions of merchants, to carry a commodity
to any market where but one person
is allowed to buy it, and where, of course,
that person fixes its price, which the seller
must receive, or reexport his commodity, at
the loss of his voyage thither. Experience
accordingly shows, that they carry it to other
markets, and that they take in exchange
the merchandise of the place where they deliver
To Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 386.
(P. 1785)

5088. MARKETS, Necessity and.—

must accept bread from our enemies if our
friends cannot furnish it.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 523.
(P. 1788)

5089. MARKETS, Neutrality and.—

the new government wears the front which
I hope it will, I see no impossibility in the
availing ourselves of the wars of others to
open up the other parts [West India Islands] of America to our commerce as the
price of our neutrality.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 533. Ford ed., v, 57.
(P. 1788)

5090. MARKETS, Reciprocity and.—

It were to be wished that some positively favorable
stipulations respecting our grain, flour
and fish, could be obtained, even on our giving
reciprocal advantages to some other commodities
of Spain, say her wines and
brandies. But if we quit the ground of the
most favored nation, as to certain articles for
our convenience, Spain may insist on doing
the same for other articles for her convenience.
* * * If we grant favor to the
wines and brandies of Spain, then Portugal
and France will demand the same; and in
order to create an equivalent, Portugal May
lay a duty on our fish and grain, and France,
a prohibition on our whale oils, the removal
of which will be proposed as an equivalent.
This much, however, as to grain and flour,
may be attempted. There has, not long
since, been a considerable duty laid on them
in Spain. This was while a treaty on the
subject of commerce was pending between us
and Spain, as that Court considers the matter.
It is not generally thought right to change
the state of things pending a treaty concerning
them. On this consideration, and on the
motive of cultivating our friendship, perhaps
the Commissioners may induce them
to restore this commodity to the footing
on which it was on opening the conferences
with Mr. Gardoqui, on the 26th
day of July, 1785. If Spain says, “do
the same by your tonnage on our vessels ”,
the answer may be, that our tonnage
affects Spain very little, and other nations
very much; whereas the duty on flour in
Spain affects us very much, and other na
tions very little. Consequently, there would
be no equality in reciprocal relinquishment,
as there had been none in the reciprocal innovation;
and Spain, by insisting on this,
would, in fact, only be aiding the interests
of her rival nations, to whom we should be
forced to extend the same indulgence. At the
time of opening the conferences, too, we had
as yet not erected any system; our government
itself being not yet erected. Innovation
then was unavoidable on our part, if it
be innovation to establish a system. We did
it on fair and general ground, on ground
favorable to Spain. But they had a system
and, therefore, innovation was avoidable on
their part.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 590. Ford ed., v, 479.
(March. 1792)

5091. MARKETS, Salted provisions.—

wish that you could obtain the free introduction
of our salted provisions into France.
Nothing would be so generally pleasing from
the Chesapeake to New Hampshire.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 168.
(N.Y., 17901790)gt;

5092. MARKETS, Salted provisions.—[continued].

It gives great satisfaction
that the Arret du Conseil of December, 1787,
stands a chance of being saved. It is, in
truth, the sheet-anchor of our connection
with France, which will be much loosened
when that is lost. This Arret saved, a free
importation of salted meats into France, and
of provisions of all kinds into her colonies,
will bind our interests to that country more
than to all the world besides.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 225.
(Pa., 1791)

5093. MARKETS, Speculation and.—

think the best rule is, never to sell on a rising
market. Wait till it begins to fall. Then,
indeed, one will lose a penny or two, but
with a rising market you never know what
you are to lose.—
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., vi, 163.
(Pa., 1793)

5094. MARKETS, Steady.—

Sudden vicissitudes
of opening and shutting ports do
little injury to merchants settled on the opposite
[British] coast, watching for the opening,
like the return of a tide, and ready to
enter with it. But they ruin the adventurer
whose distance requires six months' notice.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 525.
(P. 1788)

5095. MARKETS, Steady.—[continued].

A regular course of trade
is not quitted in an instant, nor constant
customers deserted for accidental ones.—
To Marquis de Lafayette. Washington ed. iii, 68.
(P. 1789)

5096. MARKETS, Sugar.—

grows upon us that the United States May
not only supply themselves with sugar for
their own consumption, but be great exporters.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 325.
(Pa., 1791)

5097. MARKETS, Tobacco.—

While the
navigating and provision States, who are the
majority, can keep open all the markets, or at
least sufficient ones for their objects, the
cries of the tobacco makers, who are the
minority, and not at all in favor, will hardly


Page 541
be listened to. It is truly the fable of the
monkey pulling the nuts out of the fire with
the cat's paw; and it shows that George
Mason's proposition in the [Federal] Convention
was wise, that on laws regulating
commerce, two-thirds of the votes should be
required to pass them.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 323. Ford ed., vii, 432.
(Pa., March. 1800)

See Tobacco.

5098. MARKETS, Wheat and flour.—

We can sell them [the Portuguese] the flour
ready manufactured for much less than the
wheat of which it is made. In carrying to
them wheat, we carry also the bran, which
does not pay its own freight. In attempting
to save and transport wheat to them, much
is lost by the weavil, and much spoiled by
heat in the hold of the vessel. This loss must
be laid on the wheat which gets safe to
market, where it is paid for by the consumer.
Now, this is much more than the cost of
manufacturing it with us, which would prevent
that loss. * * * Let them buy of us
as much wheat as will make a hundred
weight of flour. They will find that they
have paid more for the wheat than we should
have asked for the flour, besides having lost
the labor of their mills in grinding it. The
obliging us, therefore, to carry it to them in
the form of wheat, is a useless loss to both
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 492.
(P. 1785)

5099. MARKETS, Wheat and flour.—[continued].

It seems that so far from
giving new liberties to our corn trade, Portugal
contemplates the prohibition of it, by
giving that trade exclusively to Naples. What
would she say should we give her wine trade
exclusive to France and Spain? * * * Can
a wise statesman seriously think of risking
such a prospect as this?—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 488.
(Pa., 1792)

5100. MARKETS, Wheat and flour.—[further continued].

I must forever repeat that, instead of excluding our wheat, Portugal
will open her ports to our flour.—
To David Humphreys. Ford ed., vi, 205.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

5101. MARQUE, Letters of.—

The Administrator
shall not possess the prerogative
* * * of issuing letters of marque, or reprisal.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 19.
(June. 1776)

5102. MARQUE, Letters of.—[continued].

Our delegates [to Congress] inform us that we might now obtain
letters of marque for want of which our people
[in Virginia] have long and exceedingly
suffered. I have taken the liberty of desiring
them to apply for fifty.—
To the President of Congress. Ford ed., ii, 241.

5103. MARQUE, Letters of.—[further continued].

I have to-day consulted
the other gentlemen [of the Cabinet] on the
question whether letters of marque were to
be considered as written within our interdict.
We are unanimously of opinion they are
not. We consider them as essentially merchant
that commerce is their main
object, and arms merely incidental and defensive.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 123. Ford ed., ix, 104.
(W. July. 1807)

5104. MARRIAGE, Congratulations on.—

It is customary in America to “wish joy”
to a new married couple, and this is generally
done by those present in the moment after
the ceremony. A friend of mine, however,
always delayed the wish of joy till one year
after the ceremony, because he observed they
had by that time need of it. I am entitled
fully then to express the wish to you as
you must now have been married at least
three years. I have no doubt, however, that
you have found real joy in the possession of
a good wife, and the endearments of a child.—
To Philip Mazzel. Ford ed., viii, 15.
(W. 1801)

5105. MARRIAGE, Happiness in.—

* * * give you my sincere congratulations
on your marriage. Your own dispositions,
and the inherent comforts of that state, will
insure you a great addition of happiness.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 590. Ford ed., iv, 250.
(P. 1786)

5106. MARRIAGE, Happiness in.—[continued].

The happiness of your
life now depends on the continuing to please
a single person. To this all other objects
must be secondary, even your love for me,
were it possible that could ever be an obstacle.
But this it never can be. Neither of you can
ever have a more faithful friend than myself,
nor one on whom you can count for
more sacrifices. My own is become a secondary
object to the happiness of you both.
Cherish, then, for me, my dear child, the affection
of your husband, and continue to
love me as you have done, and to render my
life a blessing by the prospect it may hold up
to me of seeing you happy.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. D. L. J., 180.
(N.Y., 1790gt;

5107. MARRIAGE, Happiness in.—[further continued].

I have one daughter
married to a man of science, sense, virtue,
and competence; in whom indeed I have
nothing more to wish. * * * If the other
shall be as fortunate, * * * I shall imagine
myself as blessed as the most blessed of the
To Mrs. Church. Ford ed., vi, 455.
(G. 1793)

5108. MARRIAGE, Harmony in.—

in the married state is the very first
object to be aimed at. Nothing can preserve
affections uninterrupted but a firm resolution
never to differ in will, and a determination
in each to consider the love of the other as of
more value than any object whatever on
which a wish had been fixed. How light in
fact is the sacrifice of any other wish when
weighed against the affections of one with
whom we are to pass our whole life! And
though opposition in a single instance will
hardly of itself produce alienation, yet every
one has their pouch into which all these
little oppositions are put; while that is filling
the alienation is insensibly going on, and
when filled it is complete.—
To Mary Jefferson Eppes. D. L. J., 246.
(Pa., 1798)

5109. MARRIAGE, Motherhood and.—

It [motherhood] is undoubtedly the key


Page 542
stone of the arch of matrimonial happiness.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. D. L. J., 192.
(Pa., 1791)

5110. MARRIAGE, Youthful.—

I sincerely
sympathize with you on the step which
your brother has taken without consulting
you, and wonder indeed how it could be done,
with any attention in the agents, to the laws
of the land. I fear he will hardly persevere
in the second plan of life adopted for him,
as matrimony illy agrees with study, especially
in the first stages of both. However,
you will readily perceive that, the thing being
done, there is now but one question, that
is what is to be done to make the best of it,
in respect both to his and your happiness?
A step of this kind indicates no vice, nor
other foible than of following too hastily the
movements of a warm heart. It admits,
therefore, of the continuance of cordial affection,
and calls perhaps more indispensably
for your care and protection. To conciliate
the affection of all parties, and to banish all
suspicion of discontent, will conduce most to
your own happiness also.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., v, 317.
(Pa., 1791)


Our young Republic * * * should prevent
its citizens from becoming so established in wealth and power, as to be thought worthy
of alliance by marriage with the nieces, sisters,
&c., of kings.—
To Colonel Humphreys. Washington ed. ii, 253.
(P. 1787)

5112. MARSHALL (John), Crafty.—

crafty chief judge, who sophisticates the law to
his mind, by the turn of his own reasoning.—
To Thomas Ritchie. Washington ed. vii, 192. Ford ed., x, 171.
(M. 1820)

5113. MARSHALL (John), Hamilton and.—

I learn that [Alexander] Hamilton has
expressed the strongest desire that Marshall
shall come into Congress from Richmond, declaring
that there is no man in Virginia whom
he wishes so much to see there; and I am told
that Marshall has expressed half a mind to
come. Hence I conclude that Hamilton has
plied him well with flattery and solicitation, and
I think nothing better could be done than to
make him a judge.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vi, 95.
(Pa., 1792)

5114. MARSHALL (John), Marbury vs. Madison Case.—

His twistifications in the
case of Marbury, in that of Burr, and the Yazoo
case show how dexterously he can reconcile law
to his personal biases.—
To President Madison. Ford ed., ix, 276.
(M. 1810)

5115. MARSHALL (John), Mischiefmaker.—

Though Marshall will be able to embarrass the republican party in the Assembly
a good deal, yet upon the whole, his having
gone into it will be of service. He has been
hitherto able to do more mischief acting under
the mask of republicanism than he will be able
to do throwing it plainly off. His lax lounging
manners have made him popular with the bulk
of the people of Richmond, and a profound
hypocrisy with many thinking men of our
country. But having come forth in the full
plenitude of his English principles, the latter
will see that it is high time to make him known.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 37.
(Nov. 1795)

5116. MARSHALL (John), Moot cases and.—

The practice of Judge Marshall, of
travelling out of his case to prescribe what the
law would be in a moot case not before the
court, is very irregular and very censurable.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 295. Ford ed., x, 230.
(M. 1823)

5117. MARSHALL (John), Sophistry of.—

The rancorous hatred which Marshall
bears to the government of his country, and
* * * the cunning and sophistry within which
he is able to enshroud himself.—
To President Madison. Ford ed., ix, 275.
(M. 1810)
See History, Judiciary, Mazzei, and Supreme Court.

5118. MARTIAL LAW, Recourse to.—

There are extreme cases where the laws become
inadequate even to their own preservation,
and where the universal resource is a
dictator, or martial law.—
To Dr. James Brown. Washington ed. v, 379. Ford ed., ix, 211.
(W. 1808)

5119. MARTIN (Luther), Burr and.—

Shall we move to commit Luther Martin as
particeps criminis with Burr? Graybell will fix
upon him misprision of treason at least. And
at any rate, his evidence will put down this
unprincipled and impudent federal bull-dog, and
add another proof that the most clamorous defenders
of Burr are all his accomplices. It will
explain why Luther Martin flew so hastily to
the “aid of his honorable friend”, abandoning
his clients and their property during a session of
a principal court in Maryland, now filled, as I
am told, with the clamors and ruin of his
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 99. Ford ed., ix, 58.
(W. June. 1807)

See Logan.

5120. MASON (George), Ability of.—

George Mason [was] a man of the first order
of wisdom among those who acted on the theatre
of the Revolution, of expansive mind, profound
judgment, cogent in argument, learned in
the lore of our former constitution, and earnest
for the republican change on democratic principles.
[320] His elocution was neither flowing or
smooth; but his language was strong, his manner
most impressive, and strengthened by a
dash of biting cynicism when provocation made
it seasonable.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 40. Ford ed., i, 56.


George Mason was one of the signers of the Declaration.
“Mason,” said James Madison, “possessed
the greatest talents for debate of any man I have ever
seen or heard speak.”—Editor.

5121. MASON (George), Virginia Constitution and.—

What are George Mason's
sentiments as to the amendment of our Constitution?
What amendment would he approve?
Is he determined to sleep on, or will he rouse
and be active?—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 347.
(A. Dec. 1783)

5122. MASON (George), Virginia Constitution and.—[continued].

That George Mason was
the author of the Bill of Rights and of the
Constitution founded on it, the evidence of the
day established fully in my mind.—
To Henry Lee. Washington ed. vii, 407. Ford ed., x, 342.
(M. 1825)

5123. MASON (George), Virginia Constitution and.—[further continued].

The fact is unquestionable,
that the Bill of Rights and the Constitution
of Virginia were drawn originally by George
Mason, one of our really great men, and of the
first order of greatness.—
To A. B. Woodward. Washington ed. vii, 405. Ford ed., x, 341.
(M. 1825)

5124. MASON (J. M.), Red-hot Federalist.—

I do not know Dr. [John M.] Mason


Page 543
personally, but by character well. He is the
most red-hot federalist, famous, or rather infamous
for the lying and slandering which he
vomited from the pulpit in the political harangues
with which he polluted the place.
I was honored with much of it. He is a man
who can prove everything if you will take his
word for proof. Such evidence of Hamilton's
being a republican he may bring; but Mr.
Adams, Edmund Randolph, and myself, could
repeat an explicit declaration of Hamilton's
against which Dr. Mason's proofs would weigh
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. v, 495. Ford ed., ix, 269.
(M. 1810)

5125. MASON (J. T.), Meteoric.—

Thompson Mason is a meteor whose path cannot
be calculated. All the powers of his mind seem
at present to be concentrated in one single object,
the producing a convention to new model
the [State] Constitution.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 318.
(T. May. 1783)

5126. MASSACHUSETTS, Apostasy.—

Oh Massachusetts! how have I lamented the
degradation of your apostasy! Massachusetts,
with whom I went in pride in 1776, whose vote
was my vote on every public question, and
whose principles were then the standard of
whatever was free or fearless. But she was
then under the counsels of the two Adamses;
while Strong, her present leader, was promoting
petitions for submission to British power and
British usurpation. While under her present
counsels, she must be contented to be nothing;
as having a vote, indeed, to be counted, but
not respected. But should the State, once more,
buckle on her republican harness, we shall receive
her again as a sister, and recollect her
wanderings among the crimes only of the parricide
party, which would have basely sold what
their fathers so bravely won from the same
enemy. Let us look forward, then, to the act
of repentance, which, by dismissing her venal
traitors, shall be the signal of return to the
bosom, and to the principles of her brethren;
and, if her late humiliation can just give her
modesty enough to suppose that her southern
brethren are somewhat on a par with her in
wisdom, in information, in patriotism, in
bravery, and even in honesty, although not in
psalm-singing, she will more justly estimate her
own relative momentum in the Union. With
her ancient principles, she would really be
great, if she did not think herself the whole.—
To General Dearborn. Washington ed. vi, 451.
(M. March. 1815)

5127. MASSACHUSETTS, Defection of.—

Some apprehend danger from the defection
of Massachusetts. It is a disagreeable circumstance
but not a dangerous one. If they become
neutral, we are sufficient for one enemy
without them, and in fact we get no aid from
them now. If their administration determines
to join the enemy, their force will be annihilated
by equality of division among themselves. Their
federalists will then call in the English army,
the republicans ours, and it will only be a transfer
of the scene of war from Canada to Massachusetts;
and we can get ten men to go to Massachusetts
for one who will go to Canada.
Every one, too, must know that we can at any
moment make peace with England at the expense
of the navigation and fisheries of Massachusetts.
But it will not come to this. Their
own people will put down these factionists as
soon as they see the real object of their opposition;
and of this Vermont, New Hampshire,
and even Connecticut itself, furnish proofs.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vi, 402.
(M. Nov. 1814)

MASSACHUSETTS, Federal Constitution
See Constitution (Federal).

5128. MASSACHUSETTS, Federalism in.—

Massachusetts still lags; because most
deeply involved in the parricide crimes and
treasons of the war. But her gangrene is
contracting, the sound flesh advancing on it,
and all there will be well.—
To Marquis de Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 66. Ford ed., x, 83.
(M. 1817)

5129. MASSACHUSETTS, Justice to.—

So far as either facts or opinions have been
truly quoted from me, they have never been
meant to intercept the just fame of Massachusetts
for the promptitude and perseverance of
her early resistance. We willingly cede to her
the laud of having been (although not exclusively )
“the cradle of sound principles”, and,
if some of us believe she has deflected from
them in her course, we retain full confidence in
her ultimate return to them.—
To Samuel A. Wells. Washington ed. i, 117. Ford ed., x, 129.
(M. 1819)

5130. MASSACHUSETTS, Patriotism of People.—

The progression of sentiment in
the great body of our fellow citizens of Massachusetts,
and the increasing support of their
opinion, I have seen with satisfaction, and was
ever confident I should see; persuaded that an
enlightened people, whenever they should view
impartially the course we have pursued, could
never wish that our measures should have been
reversed; could never desire that the expenses
of the government should have been increased,
taxes multiplied, debt accumulated, wars undertaken,
and the tomahawk and scalping knife
left in the hands of our neighbors, rather than
the hoe and plough. In whatever tended to
strengthen the republican features of our Constitution,
we could not fail to expect from
Massachusetts, the cradle of our Revolutionary
principles, an ultimate concurrence; and cultivating
the peace of nations, with justice and
prudence, we yet were always confident that,
whenever our rights would have to be vindicated
against the aggression of foreign foes, or
the machinations of internal conspirators, the
people of Massachusetts, so prominent in the
military achievements which placed our country
in the right of self-government, would never be
found wanting in their duty to the calls of their
country, or the requisitions of their government.—
R. to A. Massachusetts Legislature, Washington ed. viii, 116.
(Feb. 1807)

5131. MASSACHUSETTS, Republicanism in.—

I sincerely congratulate you on the
triumph of republicanism in Massachusetts.
The hydra of federalism has now lost all its
heads but two [Connecticut and Delaware].—
To Mr. Bidwell. Washington ed. v, 14.
(W. 1806)

5132. MASSACHUSETTS, Republicanism in.—[continued].

I tender to yourself, to Mr. Lincoln, and to your State, my sincere congratulations
on the happy event of the election
of a republican Executive to preside over its
councils. The * * * just respect with which all
the States have ever looked to Massachusetts,
could leave none of them without anxiety, while
she was in a state of alienation from her family
and friends.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. v, 100. Ford ed., ix, 75.
(W. June. 1807)

5133. MASSACHUSETTS, Republicanism in.—[further continued].

Of the return of Massachusetts
to sound principles I never had a
doubt. The body of her citizens has never
been otherwise than republican. Her would-be
dukes and lords, indeed, have been itching for
coronets; her lawyers for robes of ermine, her


Page 544
priests for lawn sleeves, and for a religious
establishment which might give them wealth,
power, and independence of personal merit.
But her citizens, who were to supply with the
sweat of their brow the treasures on which these
drones were to riot, could never have seen anything
to long for in the oppressions and pauperism
of England. After the shackles of aristocracy
of the bar and priesthood have been burst
by Connecticut, we cannot doubt the return of
Massachusetts to the bosom of the republican
To Samuel A. Wells. Ford ed., x, 133.
(M. 1819)

5134. MASSACHUSETTS, Saddled by.—

We are completely under the saddle of
Massachusetts and Connecticut, and they
ride us very hard, cruelly insulting our feelings,
as well as exhausting our strength and subsistence.
Their natural friends, the three other
eastern States, join them from a sort of family
pride, and they have the art to divide certain
other parts of the Union, so as to make use of
them to govern the whole.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 245. Ford ed., vii, 263.
(Pa., June. 1798)

5135. MASSACHUSETTS, Selfishness of.—

Could the people of Massachusetts
emerge from the deceptions under which they
are kept by their clergy, lawyers, and English
presses, our salvation would be sure and easy.
Without that, I believe it will be effected; but
it will be uphill work. Nor can we expect
ever their cordial cooperation, because they will
not be satisfied longer than while we are sacrificing
everything to navigation and a navy.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Ford ed., vii, 376.
(M. 1799)

5136. MASSACHUSETTS, The Union and.—

The conduct of Massachusetts, which
is the subject of your address to Mr. Quincy
is serious, as embarrassing the operations of the
war, and jeopardizing its issue; and is still more
so, as an example of contumacy against the
Constitution. One method of proving their purpose
would be to call a convention of their
State, and to require them to declare themselves
members of the Union, and obedient to its determinations,
or not members, and let them go.
Put this question solemnly to their people, and
their answer cannot be doubtful. One half of
them are republicans, and would cling to the
Union from principle. Of the other half, the
dispassionate part would consider, first, that
they do not raise bread sufficient for their own
subsistence, and must look to Europe for the
deficiency if excluded from our ports, which
vital interests would force us to do. Secondly,
that they are navigating people without a stick
of timber for the hull of a ship, nor a pound
of anything to export in it, which would be admitted
at any market. Thirdly, that they are
also a manufacturing people, and left by the
exclusive system of Europe without a market
but ours. Fourthly, that as rivals of England
in manufactures, in commerce, in navigation,
and fisheries, they would meet her competition
in everp point. Fifthly, that England would
feel no scruples in making the abandonment
and ruin of such a rival the price of a treaty
with the producing States; whose interest too
it would be to nourish a navigation beyond the
Atlantic, rather than a hostile one at our own
door. And sixthly, that in case of war with
the Union, which occurrences between coterminous
nations frequently produce, it would
be a contest of one against fifteen. The remaining
portion of the federal moiety of the
State would, I believe, brave all these obstacles,
because they are monarchists in principle, bear
ing deadly hatred to their republican fellow
citizens, impatient under the ascendency of
republican principles, devoted in their attachment
to England, and preferring to be placed
under her despotism, if they cannot hold the
helm of government here. I see, in their separation,
no evil but the example, and I believe
that the effect of that would be corrected by an
early and humiliating return to the Union, after
losing much of the population of their country,
insufficient in its own resources to feed her
numerous inhabitants, and inferior in all its
allurements to the more inviting soils, climates,
and governments of the other States. Whether
a dispassionate discussion before the public, of
the advantages and disadvantages of separation
to both parties, would be the best medicine of
this dialytic fever, or to consider it as a sacrilege
ever to touch the question, may be
doubted. I am, myself, generally disposed to
indulge, and to follow reason; and believe that
in no case would it be safer than in the present.
Their refractory course, however, will not be
unpunished by the indignation of their co-States,
their loss of influence with them, the
censures of history, and the stain on the character
of their State.—
To James Martin. Washington ed. vi, 213. Ford ed., ix, 420.
(M. Sep. 1813)
See Federalists, Hartford Convention, and Parties.

5137. MASTODON, Bones of.—

Of the
bones you sent me, I reserved a very few for
myself. I got Dr. Wistar to select from the
rest every piece which could be interesting to
the Philosophical Society [of Philadelphia],
and sent the residue to the National Institute
of France. These have enabled them to decide
that the animal was neither a mammoth
nor an elephant, but of a distinct kind, to which
they have given the name of Mastodont, from
the protuberance of its teeth. These, from
their forms, and the immense mass of their
jaws, satisfy me this animal must have been
arboriverous. Nature seems not to have provided
other food sufficient for him, and the
limb of a tree would be no more to him than a
bough of a cotton tree to a horse.—
To General William Clarke. Washington ed. v, 467.
(M. 1809)
See Paleontology.

5138. MATCHES, Phosphoric.—

I should
have sent you a specimen of the phosphoric
matches, but that I am told Mr. Rittenhouse
has had some of them. They are a beautiful
discovery and very useful, especially to heads
which, like yours and mine, cannot at all times
be got to sleep. The convenience of lighting a
candle without getting out of bed, of sealing
letters without calling a servant, of kindling a
fire without flint, steel, punk, &c., is of value.—
To Charles Thomson. Ford ed., iv, 14.

5139. MATERIALISM, Views on.—

consider [Dugald] Stewart and [Destutt] Tracy
as the ablest metaphysicians living; by which
I mean investigators of the thinking faculty
of man. Stewart seems to have given its natural
history from facts and observations;
Tracy its modes of action and deduction, which
he calls Logic, and Ideology; and Cabanis, in
his Physique et Morale de l'Homme, has investigated
anatomically, and most ingeniously, the
particular organs in the human structure which
may most probably exercise that faculty. And
they ask, why may not the mode of action called
thought, have been given to a material organ
of peculiar structure, as that of magnetism is to
the needle, or of elasticity to the spring by a
particular manipulation of the steel. They observe


Page 545
that on ignition of the needle or spring, their magnetism and elasticity cease. So on
dissolution of the material organ by death, its
action of thought may cease also, and that nobody
supposes that the magnetism or elasticity
retires to hold a substantive and distinct existence.
These were qualities only of particular
conformations of matter; change the conformation,
and its qualities change also. Mr. Locke
and other materialists have charged with blasphemy
the spiritualists who have denied the
Creator the power of endowing certain forms
of matter with the faculty of thought. These,
however, are speculations and subtleties in
which, for my own part, I have little indulged
myself. When I meet with a proposition beyond
finite comprehension, I abandon it as
I do a weight which human strength cannot
lift, and I think ignorance in these cases is
truly the softest pillow on which I can lay my
head. Were it necessary, however, to form an
opinion, I confess I should, with Mr. Locke,
prefer swallowing one incomprehensibility
rather than two. It requires one effort only
to admit the single incomprehensibility of matter
endowed with thought, and two to believe,
first that of an existence called spirit, of which
we have neither evidence nor idea, and then,
secondly, how that spirit, which has neither
extension nor solidity, can put material organs
into motion. These are things which you and
I may perhaps know ere long. We have so lived
as to fear neither horn of the dilemma.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 153.
(M. 1820)

5140. MATERIALISM, Views on.—[continued].

The crowd of scepticisms
in your puzzling letter on matter, spirit,
motion, &c., kept me from sleep. I read it and
laid it down; read it, and laid it down, again
and again; and to give rest to my mind, I was
obliged to recur ultimately to my habitual
anodyne, “I feel, therefore I exist”. I feel
bodies which are not myself: there are other
existences then. I call them matter. I feel
them changing place. This gives me motion. Where there is an absence of matter, I call it
void, or nothing, or immaterial space. On the
basis of sensation, of matter, and motion, we
may erect the fabric of all the certainties we
can have or need. I can conceive thought to be
an action of a particular organization of matter,
formed for that purpose by its creator, as
well as that attraction is an action of matter,
or magnetism of loadstone. When he who denies
to the Creator the power of endowing matter
with the mode of action called thinking, shall show how He could endow the sun with
the mode of action called attraction, which
reins the planets in the track of their orbits,
or how an absence of matter can have a will,
and by that will put matter into motion, then
the materialist may be lawfully required to explain
the process by which matter exercises the
faculty of thinking. When once we quit the
basis of sensation, all is in the wind. To talk
of immaterial existences, is to talk of nothings. To say that the human soul, angels, God, are
immaterial, is to say, they are nothings, or that
there is no God, no angels, no soul. I cannot
reason otherwise; but I believe I am supported
in my creed of materialism by the Lockes, the
Tracys, and the Stewarts.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 175.
(M. 1820)

5141. MATHEMATICS, Favorite study.—

Having to conduct my grandson through
his course of mathematics, I have resumed that
study with great avidity. It was ever my favorite
one. We have no theories there, no
uncertainties remain on the mind; all is demonstration
and satisfaction. I have forgotten
much, and recover it with more difficulty than
when in the vigor of my mind I originally acquired
To Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. vi, 3. Ford ed., ix, 328.

5142. MAZZEI (Philip), Book by.—

Mazzei will print soon two or three volumes
8vo., of Recherches Historiques and Politiques
sur les Etats d'Amerique,
which are sensible.—
To M. Otto. Washington ed. ii, 95.
(P. 1787)

5143. MAZZEI (Philip), Consulship and.—

An alarming paragraph in your letter says Mazzei is coming to Annapolis. I tremble
at the idea. I know he will be worse to me
than a return of my double quotidian headache.
There is a resolution, reported to Congress by a
committee, that they will never appoint to the
office of minister, chargé des affaires, consul,
agent, &c., any but natives. To this I think
there will not be a dissenting voice; and it will
be taken up among the first things. Could you
not, by making him acquainted with this, divert
him from coming here? A consulate is his object,
in which he will assuredly fail. But his
coming will be attended with evil. He is the
violent enemy of Franklin, having been some
time at Paris, and, from my knowledge of the
man, I am sure he will have employed himself
in collecting on the spot facts true or false to
impeach him. You know there are people here
who, on the first idea of this, will take him to
their bosom, and turn all Congress topsy-turvy.
For God's sake, then, save us from this confusion
if you can.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 425.
(A. 1784)

5144. MAZZEI (Philip), Jefferson's letter to.—

[Respecting] the letter to Mazzei
imputed to me in the papers, the general substance
is mine, though the diction has been considerably
varied in the course of its translations
from English into. Italian, from Italian into
French, and from French into English. I first
met with it at Bladensburg, and for a moment
conceived I must take the field of the public
papers. I could not disavow it wholly, because
the greatest part of it was mine, in
substance though not in form. I could not
avow it as it stood, because the form was not
mine, and, in one place, the substance very
materially falsified. This, then, would render
explanations necessary; nay, it would render
proofs of the whole necessary, and draw me at
length into a publication of all (even the secret)
transactions of the administration [of Washington] while I was of it; and embroil me personally
with every member of the Executive,
with the Judiciary, and with others still. I
soon decided in my own mind, to be entirely
silent. I consulted with several friends at Philadelphia,
who, every one of them, were clearly
against my avowing or disavowing, and some
of them conjured me most earnestly to let nothing
provoke me to it. I corrected, in conversation
with them, a substantial misrepresentation
in the copy published. The original has a sentiment
like this (for I have it not before me),
“they are endeavoring to submit us to the substance,
as they already have to the forms of the
British government”; meaning by forms, the
birth-days, levees, processions to parliament, inauguration
pomposities, &c. But the copy published
says, “as they have already submitted us
to the form of the British”, &c., making me
express hostility to the form of our government,
that is to say, to the Constitution itself.
For this is really the difference of the word
form, used in the singular or plural, in that
phrase, in the English language. Now, it
would be impossible for me to explain this publicly,


Page 546
without bringing on a personal difference between General Washington and myself, which
nothing before the publication of this letter
has ever done. It would embroil me also with
all those with whom his character is still popular,
that is to say, nine-tenths of the people of
the United States; and what good would be obtained
by avowing the letter with the necessary
explanations? Very little indeed, in my opinion,
to counterbalance a good deal of harm.
From my silence in this instance, it can never
be inferred that I am afraid to own the general
sentiments of the letter. If I am subject
to either imputation, it is to that of avowing
such sentiments too frankly both in private and
public, often when there is no necessity for it,
merely because I disdain everything like duplicity.
Still, however, I am open to conviction.
Think for me, * * * advise me what to
do, and confer with Colonel Monroe.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 193. Ford ed., vii 164.
(M. Aug. 1797)

5145. MAZZEI (Philip), Jefferson's letter to.—[continued].

The letter to Mazzei has
been a precious theme of crimination for federal
malice. It was a long letter of business in
which was inserted a single paragraph only of
political information as to the state of our
country. In this information there was not
one word which would not then have been,
or would not now be approved by every republican
in the United States, looking back to
those times, as you will see by a faithful copy
now enclosed of the whole of what that letter
said on the subject of the United States, or
of its government. This paragraph, extracted
and translated, got into a Paris paper at a
time when the persons in power there were
laboring under very general disfavor, and their
friends were eager to catch even at straws
to buoy them up. To them, therefore, I have
always imputed the interpolation of an entire
paragraph additional to mine, which makes me
charge my own country with ingratitude and
injustice to France. There was not a word in
my letter respecting France, or any of the proceedings
or relations between this country and
that. Yet this interpolated paragraph has been
the burden of federal calumny, has been constantly
quoted by them, made the subject of
unceasing and virulent abuse, and is still
quoted, * * * as if it were genuine, and really
written by me. And even Judge Marshall makes
history descend from its dignity, and the
ermine from its sanctity, to exaggerate, to
record and to sanction this forgery. In the
very last note of his book [Life of Washington
] he says, “a letter from Mr. Jefferson to
Mr. Mazzei, an Italian, was published in Florence,
and republished in the Moniteur, with
very severe strictures on the conduct of the
United States”. And instead of the letter itself,
he copies what he says are the remarks of the
editor, which are an exaggerated commentary
on the fabricated paragraph itself, and silently
leaves to his reader to make the ready inference
that these were the sentiments of the letter.
Proof is the duty of the affirmative side. A
negative cannot be positively proved. But, in
defect of impossible proof of what was not in
the original letter, I have its press-copy still in
my possession. It has been shown to several
and is open to anyone who wishes to see it.
I have presumed only that the interpolation was
done in Paris. But I never saw the letter in
either its Italian or French dress, and it May
have been done here, with the commentary
handed down to posterity by the Judge. The
genuine paragraph, retranslated through Italian
and French into English, as it appeared here
in a federal paper, besides the mutilated hue
which these translations and retranslations of it
produced generally, gave a mistranslation of a
single word, which entirely perverted its meaning,
and made it a pliant and fertile text of
misrepresentation of my political principles.
The original, speaking of an Anglican, monarchical
and aristocratical party, which had
sprung up since he had left us, states their
object to be “to draw over us the substance,
as they had already done the forms of the British
Government”. Now the “forms” here
meant, were the levees, birthdays, the pompous
cavalcade to the State house on the meeting of
Congress, the formal speech from the throne,
the procession of Congress in a body to reecho
the speech in an answer, &c., &c. But the
translator here, by substituting form, in the singular
number, for forms in the plural, made it
mean the frame or organization of our government,
or its form of legislative, executive and
judiciary authorities, coordinate and independent;
to which form it was to be inferred
that I was an enemy. In this sense they always
quoted it, and in this sense Mr. Pickering
still quotes it and countenances the inference.—
To Martin Van Buren. Washington ed. vii, 365. Ford ed., x, 308.

5146. MAZZEI (Philip), King of Poland and.—

The King of Poland sent an
ancient Secretary here [Paris], * * * to look
out for a correspondent, a mere letter writer for
him. A happy hazard threw Mazzei in his
way, * * * and he is appointed. He has no
diplomatic character whatever, but is to receive
eight thousand livres a year, as an intelligencer.
I hope this employment may have some permanence.
The danger is that he will overact
his part.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 444. Ford ed., v, 44.
(P. 1788)

5147. MAZZEI (Philip), Worth of.—

intimacy of forty years had proved to me his
great worth, and a friendship which had begun
in personal acquaintance, was maintained after
separation, without abatement by a constant
interchange of letters. His esteem, too, in this
country was very general; his early and zealous
cooperation in the establishment of our Independence
having acquired for him here a great
degree of favor.—
To Giovanni Carmigiani. Ford ed., x, 49.
(M. 1816)

5148. MAZZEI (Philip), Worth of.—[continued].

Your letter brought me
the first information of the death of my ancient
friend Mazzei, which I learn with sincere
regret. He had some peculiarities (and who
of us has not?), but he was of solid worth;
honest, able, zealous in sound principles, moral
and political, constant in friendship, and
punctual in all his undertakings. He was
greatly esteemed in this country, and some one
has inserted in our papers an account of his
death, with a handsome and just eulogy of
him, and a proposition to publish his life.—
To Thomas Appleton. Ford ed., x, 46.
(M. 1816)

— MEASURES, Standard of.—

See Standard of Measures.


See Declaration of Independence.


I stayed at Aix [France] long enough to
prove the inefficiency of the waters.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 138. Ford ed., iv, 376.

5150. MEDICINAL SPRINGS, Virginian.—

We [in Virginia] have taken too little
pains to ascertain the properties of our different


Page 547
mineral waters, the cases in which they are respectively remedial, the proper process
in their use, and other circumstances necessary
to give us their full value.—
To Miss Wright. Washington ed. vii, 408.
(M. 1825)

5151. MEDICINE, Molière and.—

science was demolished here [France] by
the blows of Molièré, and in a nation so addicted
to ridicule, I question if ever it rises
under the weight while his comedies continue
to be acted. It furnished the most striking
proof I have ever seen in my life of the injury
which ridicule is capable of doing.—
To Dr. James Currie. Ford ed., iv, 132.
(P. 1786)

5152. MEDICINE, Surgery vs.—

surgery is seated in the temple of the exact
sciences, medicine has scarcely entered its
threshold. Her theories have passed in such
rapid succession as to prove the insufficiency
of all, and their fatal errors are recorded in
the necrology of man.—
To Dr. Crawford. Washington ed. vi, 32.
(M. 1812)

5153. MEDICINE, Theories of.—

and systems of medicine have been in perpetual
change from the days of the good Hippocrates
to the days of the good Rush, but
which of them is the true one? The present, to
be sure, as long as it is the present, but to
yield its place in turn to the next novelty, which
is then to, become the true system, and is to
mark the vast advance of medicine since the
days of Hippocrates. Our situation is certainly
benefited by the discovery of some new and
very valuable medicines; and substituting those
for some of his with the treasure of facts,
and of sound observations recorded by him
(mixed to be sure with anilities of his day),
we shall have nearly the present sum of the
healing art.—
To John Brazier. Washington ed. vii, 132.

5154. MEDICINE, Theories of.—[continued].

In his theory of bleeding
and mercury I was ever opposed to my
friend Rush, whom I greatly loved. He did
much harm, in the sincerest persuasion that he
was preserving life and happiness to all around
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 390.
(M. 1814)

5155. MEDICINE, Views on Science of.—

We know from what we see and feel, that the animal body is, in its organs and functions,
subject to derangement, inducing pain,
and tending to its destruction. In this disordered
state, we observe nature providing for
the reestablishment of order, by exciting some
salutary evacuation of the morbific matter, or
by some other operation which escapes our
imperfect senses and researches. She brings on
a crisis, by stools, vomiting, sweat, urine, expectoration,
bleeding, &c., which, for the most
part, ends in the restoration of healthy action.
Experience has taught us, also, that there are
certain substances, by which, applied to the living
body, internally or externally, we can at will
produce these small evacuations, and thus do,
in a short time, what nature would do but
slowly, and do effectually, what perhaps she
would not have strength to accomplish. * * * So far, I bow to the utility of medicine. It
goes to the well-defined forms of disease, and
happily, to those the most frequent. But the
disorders of the animal body, and the symptoms
indicating them, are as various as the
elements of which the body is composed. The
combinations, too, of these symptoms are so
infinitely diversified, that many associations of
them appear too rarely to establish a definite
disease: and to an unknown disease, there
cannot be a known remedy. Here, then, the
judicious, the moral, the humane physician
should stop. Having been so often a witness
to the salutary efforts which nature makes to
reestablish the disordered functions, he should
rather trust to their action, than hazard the interruption
of that, and a greater derangement
of the system, by conjectural experiments on a
machine so complicated and so unknown as the
human body, and a subject so sacred as human
life. Or, if the appearance of doing something
be necessary to keep alive the hope and spirits
of the patient, it should be of the most innocent
character. One of the most successful physicians
I have ever known, has assured me, that
he used more bread pills, drops of colored
water, and powders of hickory ashes, than of all
other medicines put together. It was certainly
a pious fraud. But the adventurous physician
goes on, and substitutes presumption for
knowledge. From the scanty field of what is
known, he launches into the boundless region
of what is unknown. He establishes for his
guide some fanciful theory of corpuscular attraction,
of chemical agency, of mechanical
powers, of stimuli, of irritability accumulated
or exhausted, of depletion by the lancet and
repletion by mercury, or some other ingenious
dream, which lets him into all nature's secrets
at short hand. On the principle which he thus
assumes, he forms his table of nosology, arrays
his diseases into families, and extends his curative
treatment, by analogy, to all the cases he
has thus arbitrarily marshalled together. I
have lived myself to see the disciples of Hoffman,
Boerhaave, Stalh, Cullen, Brown, succeed
one another like the shifting figures of a magic
lantern, and their fancies, like the dresses of
the annual doll-babies from Paris, becoming
from their novelty, the vogue of the day, and
yielding to the next novelty their ephemeral
favor. The patient, treated on the fashionable
theory, sometimes gets well in spite of the
medicine. The medicine, therefore, restored
him, and the young doctor receives new courage
to proceed in his bold experiments on the
lives of his fellow creatures. I believe we May
safely affirm, that the inexperienced and presumptuous
band of medical tyros let loose upon
the world, destroys more of human life in one
year, than all the Robinhoods, Cartouches, and
Macheaths do in a century. It is in this part
of medicine that I wish to see a reform, an
abandonment of hypothesis for sober facts, the
first degree of value set on clinical observation,
and the lowest on visionary theories. I
would wish the young practitioner, especially,
to have deeply impressed on his mind, the real
limits of his art, and that when the state of his
patient gets beyond these, his office is to be
a watchful, but quiet spectator of the operations
of nature, giving them fair play by a well-regulated
regimen, and by all the aid they can
derive from the excitement of good spirits and
hope in the patient. I have no doubt, that
some diseases not yet understood may in time
be transferred to the table of those known.
But, were I a physician, I would rather leave
the transfer to the slow hand of accident, than
hasten it by guilty experiments on those who
put their lives into my hands. The only sure
foundations of medicine are, an intimate knowledge
of the human body, and observation on the
effects of medicinal substances on that. The
anatomical and clinical schools, therefore, are
those in which the young physician should be
formed. If he enters with innocence that of
the theory of medicine, it is scarcely possible
he should come out untainted with error. His
mind must be strong indeed, if, rising above
juvenile credulity, it can maintain a wise infidelity
against the authority of his instructors.


Page 548
and the bewitching delusions of their theories.
You see that I estimate justly that portion of
instruction which our medical students derive
from your labors; and, associating with it one
of the chairs which my old and able friend,
Dr. Rush, so honorably fills, I consider them
as the two fundamental pillars of the edifice.
Indeed, I have such an opinion of the talents
of the professors in the other branches which
constitute the school of medicine with you, as
to hope and believe, that it is from this side of
the Atlantic, that Europe, which has taught us
so many other things, will at length be led into
sound principles in this branch of science, the
most important of all others, being that to
which we commit the care of health and life.

I dare say, that by this time, you are sufficiently
sensible that old heads as well as
young, may sometimes be charged with ignorance
and presumption. The natural course of
the human mind is certainly from credulity to
skepticism; and this is perhaps the most favorable
apology I can make for venturing so far out
of my depth, and to one, too, to whom the strong
as well as the weak points of this science are so
familiar. But having stumbled on the subject
in my way, I wished to give a confession of my
faith to a friend; and the rather, as I had perhaps,
at times, to him as well as others, expressed
my skepticism in medicine, without defining
its extent or foundation. At any rate, it
has permitted me, for a moment, to abstract
myself from the dry and dreary waste of politics,
into which I have been impressed by the
times on which I happened, and to indulge in
the rich fields of nature, where alone I should
have served as a volunteer, if left to my natural
inclinations and partialities.—
To Dr. Caspar Wistar. Washington ed. v, 105. Ford ed., ix, 81.
(W. June. 1807)

5156. MEDITERRANEAN TRADE, Reestablishment of.—

It rests with Congress
to decide between war, tribute, and ransom, as
the means of reestablishing our Mediterranean
commerce. If war, they will consider how
far our own resources shall be called forth,
and how far they will enable the Executive to
engage, in the forms of the Constitution, the cooperation
of other powers. If tribute or ransom,
it will rest with them to limit and provide
the amount; and with the Executive, observing
the same constitutional forms, to take
arrangements for employing it to the best advantage.—
Report on Mediterranean Trade. Washington ed. vii, 526.

— MEDIUM, Circulating.—

See Money.

5157. MEMORY, Decay of.—

Of all the
faculties of the human mind, that of memory is
the first which suffers decay from age. * * * It was my earliest monition to retire from public
To Mr. Latrobe, Washington ed. vi, 74.
(M. 1812)

5158. MERCER (John Francis), Politics of.—

Our old friend, Mercer, broke off
from us some time ago; at first professing to
disdain joining the federalists, yet, from the
habit of voting together, becoming soon identified
with them. Without carrying over with
him one single person, he is now in a state
of as perfect obscurity as if his name had never
been known. Mr. J. Randolph is in the same
track, and will end in the same way.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 9. Ford ed., viii, 447.
(W. May. 1806)

5159. MERCHANTS, Anglomaniac.—

join in your reprobation of our merchants,
priests and lawyers, for their adherence to
England and monarchy, in preference to their
own country and its Constitution. But merchants
have no country. The mere spot
they stand on does not constitute so strong
an attachment as that from which they draw
their gains.—
To Horatio G. Spafford. Washington ed. vi, 334.
(M. 1814)

5160. MERCHANTS, Education of.—

For the merchant I should not say that the
[classical] Languages are a necessary. Ethics,
mathematics, geography, political economy,
history, seem to constitute the immediate
foundations of his calling.—
To John Brazier. Washington ed. vii, 133.

5161. MERCHANTS, Freedom of Commerce and.—

The merchants will manage
commerce the better, the more they are left
free to manage for themselves.—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 331. Ford ed., vii, 452.
(M. 1800)

5162. MERCHANTS, Natural Republicans.—

A merchant is naturally a republican,
and can be otherwise only from a vitiated
state of things.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., viii, 252.

5163. MERCHANTS, Patriotism of.—

Merchants are the least virtuous citizens and
possess the least of the amor patriæ.
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 288. Ford ed., iv, 143.
(P. 1786)

5164. MERCHANTS, Peace and.—

of our merchants have been milking the cow;
yet the great mass of them have become
deranged. They are daily falling down by
bankruptcies, and on the whole, the condition
of our commerce is far less firm and really
prosperous, than it would have been by the
regular operations and steady advances which
a state of peace would have occasioned.
Were a war to take place, and throw our agriculture
into equal convulsions with our
commerce, our business would be done at
both ends.—
To Horatio Gates. Washington ed. iv, 213. Ford ed., vii, 204.
(Pa., 1798)

5165. MERCHANTS, Protection of.—

Where a nation refuses permission to our
merchants and factors to reside within certain
parts of their dominions, we may, if it
should be thought expedient, refuse residence
to theirs in any and every part of ours, or
modify their transactions.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 649. Ford ed., vi, 482.
(Dec. 1793)

5166. MERCHANTS, Selfish.—

and merchants love nobody.—
To John Langdon. Washington ed. i, 429.
(P. 1785)

5167. MERCHANTS, Selfish.—[continued].

The merchants here [France] are endeavoring to exclude us
from their islands. [West Indies].—
To John Langdon. Washington ed. i, 429.
(P. 1785)

5168. MERCIER (James), Rescued from slavery.—

In Mr. Barclay's letter (from
Morocco) is this paragraph: “There is a young
man now under my care who has been a slave
some time with the Arabs in the desert.” His
name is James Mercier, born at the town of


Page 549
Suffolk, Nansemond County, Virginia. The
King sent him after the first audience, and I
shall take him to Spain. On Mr. Barclay's return
to Spain, he shall find there a letter from
me to forward this young man to his own
country, for the expenses of which I will make
myself responsible.—
To Governor Henry. Washington ed. i, 601.
(P. 1786)

5169. MERIT, Relief of distressed.—

do not know that I can proffer you any reward
for this favor [to my friend], other than the
sublime pleasure of relieving distressed merit,
a pleasure which can be properly felt by the
virtuous alone.—
To Thomas Adams. Ford ed., i, 382.

5170. MERRY (A.), Character.—

respect to Merry [British Minister] he appears
so reasonable and good a man, that I should be
sorry to lose him as long as there remains a possibility
of reclaiming him to the exercise of his
own dispositions. If his wife perseveres, she
must eat her soup at home, and we shall endeavor
to draw him into society as if she did not exist.
It is unfortunate that the good understanding
of nations should hang on the caprice of an
individual, who ostensibly has nothing to do
with them.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 292.
(W. Jan. 1804)

5171. MERRY (A.), Social claims of.—

Mr. Merry is with us, and we believe him to
be personally as desirable a character as could
have been sent us. But he is unluckily associated
with one of an opposite in every point.
She has already disturbed our harmony extremely.
He began by claiming the first visit
from the national ministers. He corrected himself
in this. But a pretension to take precedence
at dinners, &c., over all others is persevered in.
We have told him that the principle of society,
as well as of government, with us, is the equality
of the individuals composing it; that no
man here would come to a dinner, where he
was to be marked with inferiority to any other;
that we might as well attempt to force our
principle of equality at St. James's as he his
principle of precedence here. I had been in
the habit, when I invited female company
(having no lady in my family) to ask one of
the ladies of the four Secretaries to come and
take care of my company; and as she was to
do the honors of the table I handed her to
dinner myself. That Mr. Merry might not
construe this as giving them a precedence over
Mrs. Merry, I have discontinued it. And here,
as well as in private houses, the pele-mele practice
is adhered to. They have got Yrujo to
take a zealous part in the claim of precedence.
It has excited generally emotions of great contempt
and indignation (in which the members
of the Legislature participate sensibly), that
the agents of foreign nations should assume to
dictate to us what shall be the laws of our
society. The consequence will be that Mr.
and Mrs. Merry will put themselves into Coventry,
and that he will lose the best half of
his usefulness to his nation, that derived from
a perfectly familiar and private intercourse
with the Secretaries and myself. The latter, be
assured, is a virago, and in the short course of
a few weeks has established a degree of dislike
among all classes which one would have
thought impossible in so short a time. Thornton
has entered into their ideas. At this we
wonder, because he is a plain man, a sensible
one, and too candid to be suspected of wishing
to bring on their recall, and his own substitution.
To counterwork their misrepresentations,
it would be as well their government should un
derstand as much of these things as can be
communicated with decency, that they May
know the spirit in which their letters are written.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 290.
(W. Jan. 1804)


See Franklin (Benjamin).


See Congress.

5172. METAPHYSICS, Views on.—

relations between the physical and moral faculties
of man have ever been a subject of great
interest to the inquisitive mind * * * That thought may be a faculty of our material
organization has been believed in the gross;
and though the modus operandi of nature,
in this, as in most other cases, can never be developed
and demonstrated to beings limited as
we are, yet I feel confident you will have conducted
us as far on the road as we can go, and
have lodged us within reconnoitering distance
of the citadel itself.—
To M. Cabanis. Washington ed. iv, 496.
(W. 1803)

5173. METAPHYSICS, Views on.—[continued].

The science of the human
mind is curious, but is one on which I
have not indulged myself in much speculation.
The times in which I have lived, and the scenes
in which I have been engaged, have required me
to keep the mind too much in action to have
leisure to study minutely its laws of action.—
To Ezra Stiles. Washington ed. vii, 127.
(M. 1819)

5174. METEORIC STONES, Origin.—

[With respect] to the stone in your possession, supposed meteoric, its descent from the atmosphere
presents so much difficulty as to require
careful examination. But I do not know that
the most effectual examination could be made
by the members of the national Legislature, to
whom you have thought of exhibiting it.
* * * I should think that an inquiry by
some of our scientific societies, * * * would be likely to be directed * * * with
such knowledge of the subject, as would inspire
a general confidence. We certainly are not to
deny whatever we cannot account for. A thousand
phenomena present themselves daily which
we cannot explain, but where facts are suggested,
bearing no analogy with the laws of
nature as yet known to us, their verity needs
proofs proportioned to their difficulty. A cautious
mind will weigh well the opposition of
the phenomenon to everything hitherto observed,
the strength of the testimony by which
it is supported, and the errors and misconceptions
to which even our senses are liable. It
may be very difficult to explain how the stone
you possess came into the position in which it
was found, but is it easier to explain how it got
into the clouds from whence it is supposed to
have fallen? The actual fact, however, is the
thing to be established, and this I hope will be
done by those whose situations and qualifications
enable them to do it.—
To Daniel Salmon. Washington ed. v, 245.
(W. 1808)

5175. METEOROLOGY, Slow progress in.—

Of all the departments of science no one seems to have been less advanced for the last
hundred years than that of meteorology. The
new chemistry, indeed, has given us a new
principle of the generation of rain, by proving
water to be a composition of different gases,
and has aided our theory of meteoric lights.
Electricy stands where Dr. Franklin's early
discoveries placed it, except with its new modification
of galvanism. But the phenomena of
snow, hail, halo, aurora borealis, haze, looming,


Page 550
&c., are as yet very imperfectly understood.
I am myself an empiric in natural philosophy,
suffering my faith to go no further than my
facts. I am pleased, however, to see the efforts
of hypothetical speculation, because by the collisions
of different hypotheses, truth may be
elicited and science advanced in the end. This
skeptical disposition does not permit me to say
whether your hypothesis for looming and floating
volumes of warm air occasionally perceived,
may or may not be confirmed by future observations.
More facts are yet wanting to
furnish a solution on which we may rest with
confidence. I even doubt as yet whether the
looming at sea and on land is governed by the
same laws.—
To George F. Hopkins. Washington ed. vii, 259.
(M. 1822)

See Climate.

— METROPOTAMIA, Proposed State of.—

See Western Territory.

5176. MEXICO, Interesting.—

Mexico is
one of the most interesting countries of our hemisphere, and merits every attention.—
To Dr. Barton. Washington ed. v, 470.
(M. 1809)

— MICHIGANIA, Proposed State of.—

See Western Territory.

5177. MILITIA, Bravery.—

Ill armed and
untried militia, who never before saw the
face of an enemy, have, at times during
the course of this war [of the Revolution] given occasions of exultation to our enemies,
but they afforded us, while at Warwick, a
little satisfaction in the same way. Six or
eight hundred of their picked men of light
infantry, with General Arnold at their head,
having crossed the [James] river from Warwick,
fled from a patrol of sixteen horse,
every man into his boat as he could, some
pushing North, some South as their fears
drove them.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. i, 306. Ford ed., iii, 33.
(R. 1781)

5178. MILITIA, Bravery.—[continued].

Our militia are heroes
when they have heroes to lead them on.—
To W. H. Crawford. Washington ed. vi, 420. Ford ed., ix, 504.
(M. 1815)

5179. MILITIA, Classification.—

will consider whether it would not be expedient,
for a state of peace as well as of
war, so to organize or class the militia, as
would enable us, on any sudden emergency,
to call for the services of the younger portions,
unencumbered with the old and those
having families. Upwards of three hundred
thousand able bodied men, between the ages
of eighteen and twenty-six years, which the
last census shows we may now count within
our limits, will furnish a competent number
for offence or defence in any point where
they may be wanted, and give time for raising
regular forces after the necessity of them
shall become certain; and the reducing to the
early period of life all its active service, cannot
but be desirable to our younger citizens,
of the present as well as future times, inasmuch
as it engages to them in more advanced
age a quiet and undisturbed repose in the
bosom of their families. I cannot, then, but
earnestly recommend to your early consideration
the expediency of so modifying our
militia system as, by a separation of the more
active part from that which is less so, we
may draw from it, when necessary, an efficient
corps, fit for real and active service,
and to be called to it in regular rotation.—
Fifth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 49. Ford ed., viii, 392.
(Dec. 1805)

5180. MILITIA, Classification.—[continued].

A militia of young men
will hold on until regulars can be raised, and
will be the nursery which will furnish them.—
To William A. Burwell. Ford ed., viii, 416.
(W. 1806)

5181. MILITIA, Classification.—[further continued].

A militia can never be
used for distant service on any other plan;
and Bonaparte will conquer the world, if they
do not learn his secret of composing armies
of young men only, whose enthusiasm and
health enable them to surmount all obstacles.—
To Mr. Bidwell. Washington ed. v, 16.
(W. 1806)

5182. MILITIA, Classification.—[further continued] .

Convinced that a militia of all ages promiscuously are entirely useless
for distant service, and that we never
shall be safe until we have a selected corps
for a year's distant service at least, the classification
of our militia is now the most essential
thing the United States have to do.
Whether, on Bonaparte's plan of making a
class for every year between certain periods,
or that recommended in my message, I do
not know, but I rather incline to his. The
idea is not new, as you may remember we
adopted it once in Virginia during the Revolution,
but abandoned it too soon. It is the
real secret of Bonaparte's success.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 76. Ford ed., ix, 49.
(M. May. 1807)

5183. MILITIA, Classification.—[further continued].

The session before the
last I proposed to the Legislature the classification
of the militia, so that those in the
prime of life only, and unburthened with
families, should ever be called into distant
service; and that every man should receive
a stand of arms the first year he entered
the militia. * * * It will prevail in time.—
To Mr. Coxe. Washington ed. v, 58.
(W. 1807)

5184. MILITIA, Classification.—[further continued] .

Against great land
armies we cannot attempt defence but by
equal armies. For these we must depend on
a classified militia, which will give us the
service of the class from twenty to twenty-six,
in the nature of conscripts, comprising
a body of about 250,000, to be specially
trained. This measure, attempted at a former
session, was pressed at the last, and might,
I think, have been carried by a small majority.
But considering that great innovations
should not be forced on a slender majority,
and seeing that the general opinion
is sensibly rallying to it, it was thought better
to let it lie over to the next session, when,
I trust, it will be passed.—
To General Armstrong. Washington ed. v, 281. Ford ed., ix, 194.
(W. May. 1808)

5185. MILITIA, Classification.—[further continued].

In the beginning of our
government we were willing to introduce the
least coercion possible on the will of the
citizen. Hence a system of military duty
was established too indulgent to his indolence.
This [war] is the first opportunity we


Page 551
have had of trying it, and it has completely
failed; an issue foreseen by many, and for
which remedies have been proposed. That
of classing the militia according to age, and
allotting each age to the particular kind of
service to which it was competent, was proposed
to Congress in 1805, and subsequently;
and, on the last trial, was lost, I believe, by
a single vote. Had it prevailed, what has
now happened would not have happened.
Instead of burning our Capitol, we should
have possessed theirs in Montreal and Quebec.
We must now adopt it, and all will be
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 379.
(M. 1814)

5186. MILITIA, Comfort of.—

The soldiers
themselves will thank you, when separated
from domestic accommodation, they
find themselves, through your attention to
their comfort, provided with conveniences
which will administer to their first wants.—
Letter to County Lieutenants. Ford ed., ii, 428.
(R. 1781)

5187. MILITIA, Commissions in.—

Executive, apprehending they have no authority
to grant brevet commissions, refer
to the General Assembly the expedience of
authorizing them to give to this gentleman [321] a Lieutenant Colonel's commission by way of
To Speaker of House of Delegates. Ford ed., ii, 266.
(Wg. 1779)


M. Le Mair, a Frenchman, who had purchased
arms in Europe for Virginia and requested a brevetcommission
as a reward for his services. Jefferson
was then Governor of Virginia.—Editor.

5188. MILITIA, Compulsory service in.—

We must train and classify the whole of
our male citizens, and make military instruction
a regular part of collegiate education. We can
never be safe till this is done.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 131.
(M. 1813)

5189. MILITIA, Compulsory service in.—[continued].

I think the truth must now be obvious that our people are too happy at
home to enter into regular service, and that we
cannot be defended but by making every citizen
a soldier, as the Greeks and Romans who had
no standing armies; and that in doing this all
must be marshalled, classed by their ages, and
every service ascribed to its competent class.—
To J. W. Eppes. Ford ed., ix, 484.
(M. 1814)

5190. MILITIA, Crimes and punishments.—

Any officer or soldier, guilty of mutiny,
desertion, disobedience of command,
absence from duty or quarters, neglect of
guard, or cowardice, shall be punished at
the discretion of a courtmartial by degrading,
cashiering, drumming out of the army,
whipping not exceeding twenty lashes, fine
not exceeding two months, or imprisonment
not exceeding one month.—
Invasion Bill. Ford ed., ii, 127.

5191. MILITIA, Defects in organization.—

Congress have had too much experience
of the radical defects and inconveniences
of militia service to need my enumerating
To the President of Congress. Ford ed., ii, 277.
(Wg. 1779)

5192. MILITIA, Distant service.—

do well for hasty enterprises, but cannot
be relied on for lengthy service, and out of
their own country.—
To North Carolina Assembly. Ford ed., ii, 480.
(R. 1781)

5193. MILITIA, Distant service.—[continued].

We hope it will be the
last time we shall have occasion to require
our militia to go out of their own country,
as we think it most advisable to put that
distant, disagreeable service on our regulars,
* * * and to employ our militia on service
in our own country.—
To Colonel Abraham Penn. Ford ed., iii, 29.
(R. 1781)

5194. MILITIA, Distant service.—[further continued].

I am sensible it is much
more practicable to carry on a war with
militia within our own country [State] than
out of it.—
To Major General Greene. Ford ed., iii, 2.
(R. 1781)

5195. MILITIA, Distant service.—[further continued] .

The law of a former
session of Congress, for keeping a body of
100,000 militia in readiness for service at a
moment's warning, is still in force. * * * When called into action, it will not be for a
lounging, but for an active, and perhaps
distant, service. [322]
To the Governor of Ohio. Washington ed. v, 51. Ford ed., ix, 34.
(W. March. 1807)


The Governors of Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi
Territory were also urged to furnish volunteers.—Editor.

5196. MILITIA, Distant service.—[further continued].

If the marching of the
militia into an enemy's country be once ceded
as unconstitutional (which I hope it never
will be), then will [the British] force [in
Canada], as now strengthened, bid us permanent
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 131.
(M. June. 1813)

5197. MILITIA, Distant service.—[further continued] .

Abolish, by a declaratory
law, the doubts which abstract scruples in
some, and cowardice and treachery in others,
have conjured up about passing imaginary
lines, and limiting, at the same time, the
services of the militia to the contiguous provinces
of the enemy.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 391. Ford ed., ix, 489.
(M. Oct. 1814)

— MILITIA, Draft law.—

See Draft.

5198. MILITIA, Employment of.—

must desire that, so far as the agency of the
militia be employed, it may be with the utmost
discretion, and with no act of force beyond
what shall be necessary to maintain
obedience to the laws, using neither deeds nor
words unnecessarily offensive.—
To Charles Simms. Washington ed. v, 418.
(W. Jan. 1809)

5199. MILITIA, Enrolment.—

For making
provision against invasions and insurrections,
and laying the burthen equally upon all
* * * the commanding officer of every
county * * * shall enroll under some
captain such persons * * * as ought to
make a part of the militia, who together with
those before enrolled, and not yet formed
into tenths * * * shall by such captain
* * * be divided into equal parts, as nearly
as may be, each part to be distinguished by
fair and equal lot by numbers from one to
ten, and when so distinguished, to be added
to and make part of the militia of the county.
Where any person * * * shall not attend,


Page 552
or shall refuse to draw for himself, the captain
shall cause his lot to be drawn for him.—
Invasion Bill. Ford ed., ii, 123.

5200. MILITIA, Equalization of duty.—

As militia duty becomes heavy, it becomes our duty to divide it equally.—
To General Nelson. Ford ed., ii, 464.
(R. 1781)

5201. MILITIA, Equalization of duty.—[continued].

Where any county shall
have sent but half the quota called for, they
have performed but half their tour, and
ought to be called on again. Where any
county has furnished their full complement,
they have performed their full tour, and it
would be unjust to call on them again till we
have gone through the counties. Militia
becoming burthensome, it is our duty to
divide it as equally as we can.—
To Colonel James Innes. Ford ed., ii, 465.
(R. 1781)

5202. MILITIA, Equalization of duty.—[further continued].

The spirit of disobedience
* * * in your county must be subdued.
Laws made by common consent must not be
trampled on by individuals. It is very much
[to] the [public] good to force the unworthy
into their due share of contributions to the
public support, otherwise the burthen on [the
worthy] will become oppressive indeed.—
To Colonel Vanmeter. Ford ed., iii, 24.
(R. 1781)

5203. MILITIA, Expensive.—

Whether it
be practicable to raise and maintain a sufficient
number of regulars to carry on the
war, is a question. That it would be burthensome
is undoubted, yet perhaps it is as certain
that no possible mode of carrying it on can be
so expensive to the public, so distressing and
disgusting to individuals, as the militia.—
To the House of Delegates. Ford ed., ii, 474.
(R. 1781)

5204. MILITIA, Improving.—

We should
at every session [of Congress] continue to
amend the defects * * * in the laws for
regulating the militia, until they are sufficiently
perfect. Nor should we now or at
any time separate, until we can say we have
done everything for the militia which we
could do were an enemy at our door.—
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 12. Ford ed., viii, 121.
(Dec. 1801)

5205. MILITIA, Improving.—[continued].

Uncertain as we must
ever be of the particular point in our circumference
where an enemy may choose to invade
us, the only force which can be ready at
every point and competent to oppose them, is
the body of neighboring citizens as formed
into a militia. On these, collected from the
parts most convenient, in numbers proportioned
to the invading foe, it is best to rely,
not only to meet the first attack, but if it
threatens to be permanent, to maintain the
defence until regulars may be engaged to
relieve them.—
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 11. Ford ed., viii, 121.
(Dec. 1801)

5206. MILITIA, Improving.—[further continued].

Considering that our
regular troops are employed for local purposes,
and that the militia is our general reliance
for great and sudden emergencies, you
will doubtless think this institution worthy
of a review, and give it those improvements
of which you find it susceptible.—
Second Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 19. Ford ed., viii, 185.
(Dec. 1802)

5207. MILITIA, Improving.—[further continued] .

In compliance with a request
of the House of Representatives, as
well as with a sense of what is necessary, I
take the liberty of urging on you the importance
and indispensable necessity of vigorous
exertions, on the part of the State governments,
to carry into effect the militia system
adopted by the national Legislature, agreeable
to the powers reserved to the States respectively,
by the Constitution of the United
States, and in a manner the best calculated
to ensure such a degree of military discipline,
and knowledge of tactics, as will under the
auspices of a benign Providence, render the
militia a sure and permanent bulwark of
national defence.—
To—. Washington ed. iv, 469.
(W. Feb. 1803)

5208. MILITIA, Improving.—[further continued].

It is incumbent on us at
every meeting, to revise the condition of the
militia, and to ask ourselves if it is prepared
to repel a powerful enemy at every point of
our territories exposed to invasion. Some
of the States have paid a laudable attention
to this object; but every degree of neglect
is to be found among others. Congress alone
have power to produce a uniform state of
preparation in this great organ of defence;
the interests which they so deeply feel in
their own and their country's security will
present this as among the most important
objects of their deliberation.—
Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 108. Ford ed., ix, 223.

5209. MILITIA, Maintenance of.—

[The maintenance of] a well-disciplined militia,
our best reliance in peace and for the first
moments of war, till regulars may relieve
them, I deem [one of the] essential principles
of our government and, consequently
[one] which ought to shape its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 4.

5210. MILITIA, Menial labor.—

A militia
of freemen cannot easily be induced to
labor in works of that kind [building forts].—
To the House of Delegates. Ford ed., iii, 36.
(R. 1781)

5211. MILITIA, Mutiny.—

The precedent
of a * * * mutiny would be so mischievous
as to induce us to believe that an
accommodation to their present temper [would
be] most prudent.—
To Major-General Steuben. Ford ed., ii, 466.
(R. Feb. 1781)

5212. MILITIA, Mutiny.—[continued].

The best way, perhaps,
is not to go against the mutineers [militiamen] when embodied, which would bring on,
perhaps, an open rebellion, or bloodshed most
certainly; but, when they shall have dispersed,
to go and take them out of their beds,
singly and without noise; or, if they be not
found, the first time, to go again and again,
so that they may never be able to remain
in quiet at home. This is what I must
recommend to you and, therefore, furnish


Page 553
the bearers with the commissions as you
To Colonel Vanmeter. Ford ed., iii, 25.
(R. 1781)

5213. MILITIA, Naval.—

I send you a
copy of the marine regulations of France.
There are things in it which may become interesting
to us; particularly, what relates to
the establishment of a marine militia, and
their classification.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 91.
(P. 1787)

5214. MILITIA, Naval.—[continued].

I wish to consult you on
a plan of a regular naval militia, to be composed
of all our sea-faring citizens, to enable
us to man a fleet speedily by supplying voluntary
enlistments by calls on that militia.—
To Robert Smith. Ford ed., viii, 381.
(W. Oct. 1805)

5215. MILITIA, Naval.—[further continued].

I think it will be necessary
to erect our sea-faring men into a naval
militia, and subject them to tours of duty
in whatever port they may be.—
To General Smith. Washington ed. v, 147.
(W. July. 1807)

5216. MILITIA, Naval.—[further continued] .

It is * * * material
that the seaport towns should have artillery-militia
duly trained * * *.—
To W. H. Cabell. Washington ed. v, 191.
(M. 1807)

5217. MILITIA, Naval.—[further continued].

I think our naval militia plan, both as to name and structure, better
for us than the English plan of Sea-fencibles.—
To Robert Smith. Washington ed. v, 234.

5218. MILITIA, Officers.—

Any officer resigning his commission on being called into
duty by the Governor, or his commanding
officer, shall be ordered into the ranks, and
shall moreover suffer punishment as for disobedience
of command.—
Invasion Bill. Ford ed., ii, 125.

5219. MILITIA, Officers.—[continued].

Much will depend on the
proper choice of officers.—
Invasion Circular-Letter. Ford ed., ii, 398.
(R. 1781)

5220. MILITIA, Officers.—[further continued].

The good of the service requires that the field officers at least be experienced
in the service. For this reason,
these will be provided for at the rendezvous.
I beg that this may not be considered by the
militia field officers [as arising] from want of
respect to them. We know and confide in
their zeal; but it cannot be disreputable to
them to be less knowing in the art of war
than those who have greater experience in it;
and being less knowing, I am quite sure the
spirit of patriotism, with which they are animated,
will lead them to wish that measure
to be adopted which will most promote the
public safety, however it may tend to keep
them from the post in which they would wish
to appear in defence of their country. [323]
To County Lieutenants. Ford ed., ii, 398.
(R. 1781)


From a letter calling out the militia of several
counties of Virginia when the State was invaded by
the British forces.—Editor.

5221. MILITIA, Officers.—[further continued] .

I enclose you a charge
against * * * [three militia officers], as
having become members of an organized
company, calling themselves the Tar Com
pany, avowing their object to be the tarring
and feathering citizens of some description.
Although in some cases the animadversions
of the law may be properly relied on to prevent
what is unlawful, yet with those clothed
with authority from the Executive, and being
a part of the Executive, other preventives
are expedient. These officers should be
warned that the Executive cannot tamely look
on and see its officers threaten to become
the violators instead of the protectors of the
rights of our citizens.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 383.

5222. MILITIA, Payment of Ohio.—

If we suffer the question of paying the [Ohio] militia embodied to be thrown on their Legislature,
it will excite acrimonious debate in
that body, and they will spread the same dissatisfaction
among their constituents, and
finally it will be forced back on us through
Congress. Would it not, therefore, be better
to say to Mr. Kirker, that the General Government
is fully aware that emergencies
which appertain to them will sometimes arise
so suddenly as not to give time for consulting
them, before the State must get into
action; that the expenses in such cases, incurred
on reasonable grounds, will be met
by the General Government; and that in the
present case [Burr's Conspiracy], although
it appears there was no real ground for embodying
the militia, and that more certain
measures for ascertaining the truth should
have been taken before embodying them, yet
an unwillingness to damp the public spirit
of our countrymen, and the justice due to the
individuals who came forward in defence of
their country, and could not know the
grounds on which they were called, have
determined us to consider the call as justifiable,
and to defray the expenses.—
To General Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 206. Ford ed., ix, 22.
(W. Oct. 1807)

5223. MILITIA, Public property and.—

Be pleased to give the same notice to the
militia as formerly, that no man will be ever
discharged till he shall have returned whatever
public arms or accoutrements he shall
have received.—
To Brigadier-General Nelson. Ford ed., ii, 396.
(R. 1781)

5224. MILITIA, Regular army and.—

I am for relying for internal defence on our
militia solely, till actual invasion.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 268. Ford ed., vii, 328.
(Pa., 1799)

5225. MILITIA, Regular army and.—[continued].

None but an armed nation
can dispense with a standing army. To
keep ours armed and disciplined, is therefore
at all times important.—
To—. Washington ed. iv, 469.
(W. 1803)

5226. MILITIA, Security in.—

For a people
who are free, and who mean to remain
so, a well organized and armed militia is
their best security.—
Eighth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 108. Ford ed., ix, 223.
(Nov. 1808)

5227. MILITIA, Slaves and.—

Slaves are
by the law excluded from the militia, and


Page 554
wisely as to that part of a soldier's duty
which consists in exercise of arms. But
whether male slaves might not under proper
regulations be subjected to the routine of
duty as pioneers, and to other military labors,
can only be determined by the wisdom of the
To the Va. House of Delegates. Ford ed., iii, 36.
(R. 1781)

5228. MILITIA, Standing fire.—

The scene of military operations has been hitherto
so distant from these States that their militia
are strangers to the actual presence of
danger. Habit alone will enable them to
view this with familiarity, to face it without
dismay; a habit which must be purchased
by calamity, but cannot be purchased too
To the President of Congress. Ford ed., ii, 335.
(R. 1780)

5229. MILITIA, Subsistence of.—

present [British] invasion [of Virginia] having
rendered it necessary to call into the field
a large body of militia, the providing them
with subsistence, and the means of transportation
becomes an arduous task in the unorganized
state of our military system. To
effect this we are obliged to vest the heads of
the Commissary's and Quartermaster's departments
with such powers as, if abused, will be
most afflicting to the people. Major General
Steuben, taught by experience on similar occasions,
has pressed on us the necessity of
calling to the superintendence of these officers
some gentleman of distinguished character
and abilities, who, while he prescribes
to them such rules as will effectually produce
the object of their appointment, will yet
stand between them and the people as a
guard from oppression. * * * Under the
exigency we have taken the liberty of casting
our eyes on yourself as most likely to fulfill
our wishes and, therefore, solicit your undertaking
this charge.—
To Colonel Richard Meade. Ford ed., ii, 400.
(R. 1781)

5230. MILITIA, Washington on use of.—

In conversation with the President, and
speaking about General [Nathaniel] Greene,
he said that he and General Greene had always
differed in opinion about the manner
of using militia. Greene always placed them
in his front; himself was of opinion they
should always be used as a reserve to improve
any advantage, for which purpose they
were the finest fellows in the world. He
said he was on the ground of the battle of
Guilford, with a person who was in the action,
and who explained the whole of it to him.
That General Greene's front was behind a
fence at the edge of a large field, through
which the enemy were obliged to pass to get
at them; and that in their passage through
this, they must have been torn all to pieces,
if troops had been posted there who would
have stood their ground; and that the retreat
from that position was through a
thicket, perfectly secure. Instead of this, he
posted the North Carolina militia there, who
only gave one fire and fell back, so that the
whole benefit of their position was lost. He
thinks that the regulars, with their field pieces,
would have hardly let a single man get
through that field.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 146. Ford ed., i, 232.

See Army and War.


The spirit of this country is totally adverse to
a large military force. I have tried for two
sessions to prevail on the Legislature to let
me plant thirty thousand well chosen volunteers
on donation lands on the west side of
the Mississippi, as a militia always at hand
for the defence of New Orleans; but I have
not yet succeeded.—
To Mr. Chandler Price. Washington ed. v, 47.
(W. 1807)

5232. MILITIA FOR LOUISIANA.—[continued].

The defence of Orleans
against a land army can never be provided
for, according to the principles of the Constitution,
till we can get a sufficient militia
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 215. Ford ed., ix, 167.
(Nov. 1807)

5233. MILITIA FOR LOUISIANA.—[further continued].

A measure has now twice
failed, which I have warmly urged, the immediate
settlement by donation lands, of such
a body of militia in the Territories of Orleans
and Mississippi, as will be adequate to
the defence of New Orleans.—
To General Armstrong. Washington ed. v, 281.
(W. May. 1808)

5234. MIND, Body and.—

If this period
[youth] be suffered to pass in idleness, the
mind becomes lethargic and impotent, as
would the body it inhabits if unexercised
during the same time. The sympathy between
body and mind during their rise, progress
and decline, is too strict and obvious
to endanger our being misled while we reason
from the one to the other.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 390. Ford ed., iii, 253.

5235. MIND, Freedom of.—

Almighty God hath created the mind free, and manifested
His supreme will that free it shall remain
by making it altogether insusceptible of
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 454. Ford ed., ii, 227.

5236. MIND, Influencing.—

All attempts
to influence [the mind] by temporal punishments,
or burthens, or by civil incapacitations,
tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and
meanness, and are a departure from the plan
of the Holy Author of our religion, who
being Lord both of body and mind, yet choose
not to propagate it by coercions on either,
as was in his Almighty power to do, but to
exalt it by its influence on reason alone.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Washington ed. viii, 454. Ford ed., ii, 238.

5237. MIND, Qualities of.—

I estimate
the qualities of the mind; 1, good humor; 2,
integrity; 3, industry; 4, science. The preference
of the first to the second quality May
not at first be acquiesced in; but certainly we
had all rather associate with a good-humored,
light-principled man, than with an ill-tempered
rigorist in morality.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. v, 225.
(W. 1808)


I have never known in the United


Page 555
States but one eminent mineralogist, who could
have been engaged on hire. This was a Mr.
Goudon from France, who came over to Philadelphia
six or seven years ago.—
To Governor Nicholas. Washington ed. vi, 588.

5239. MINERALOGY, Utility.—

learn * * * the ordinary arrangement of
the different strata of minerals in the earth, to
know from their habitual collocations and proximities,
where we find one mineral; whether
another, for which we are seeking, may be
expected to be in its neighborhood, is useful.
But the dreams about the modes of creation,
enquiries whether our globe has been formed by
the agency of fire or water, how many millions
of years it has cost Vulcan or Neptune to produce
what the fiat of the Creator would effect
by a single act of will, is too idle to be worth
a single hour of any man's life.—
To Dr. John P. Emmett. Washington ed. vii, 443.
(M. 1826)

5240. MINES, Federal Government and.—

I am afraid we know too little as yet of the
lead mines to establish a permanent system.
I verily believe that of leasing will be far the
best for the United States. But it will take
time to find out what rent may be reserved,
so as to enable the lessee to compete with those
who work mines in their own right, and yet
have an encouraging profit for themselves.
Having on the spot two such men as Lewis and
Bates, in whose integrity and prudence unlimited
confidence may be placed, would it
not be best to confide to them the whole business
of leasing and regulating the management
of our interests, recommending to them short
leases, at first, till themselves shall become
thoroughly acquainted with the subject, and
shall be able to reduce the management to a
system, which the government may then approve
and adhere to? I think one article of it should
be that the rent shall be paid in metal, not in
mineral, so that we may have nothing to do
with works which will always be mismanaged,
and reduce our concern to a simple rent. We
shall lose more by ill-managed smelting works
than the digging the ore is worth. Then, it
would be better that our ore remained in the
earth than in a storehouse, and consequently
we give nine-tenths of the ore for nothing.
These thoughts are merely for your consideration.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 210.
(Nov. 1807)

5241. MINES, Federal Government and.—[continued].

It is not merely a question
about the terms we have to consider, but
the expediency of working them.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 290.
(M. 1808)

5242. MINES, Federal Government and.—[further continued].

I received your favor
covering an offer * * * of an iron mine
to the public, and I thank you for * * * making the communication * * *. But
having always observed that public works are
much less advantageously managed than they
are by private hands, I have thought it better
for the public to go to market for whatever it
wants which is to be found there; for there
competition brings it down to the minimum of
value. I have no doubt we can buy brass cannon
at market cheaper than we could make iron
ones. I think it material, too, not to abstract
the high executive officers from those functions
which nobody else is charged to carry on, and
to employ them in superintending works which
are going on abundantly in private hands. Our
predecessors went on different principles; they
bought iron mines, and sought for copper ones.
We own a mine at Harper's Ferry of the finest
iron ever put into a cannon, which we are
afraid to attempt to work. We have rented it
heretofore, but it is now without a tenant.—
To Mr. Bibb. Washington ed. v, 326.
(M. July. 1808)

5243. MINES, Silver.—

I enclose for your
information the account of a silver mine to
fill your treasury.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. v, 245.

5244. MINES, Silver.—[continued].

With respect to the silver
mine on the Platte, 1700 miles from St.
Louis, I will observe that in the present state
of things between us and Spain, we could not
propose to make an establishment at that distance
from all support. It is interesting, however,
that the knowledge of its position should
be preserved, which can be done either by confiding
it to the government, who will certainly
never make use of it without an honorable compensation
for the discovery to yourself or your
representatives, or by placing it wherever you
think safest.—
To Anthony G. Bettay. Washington ed. v, 246.
(W. 1808)

5245. MINES, Virginia lead.—

We take
the liberty of recommending the lead mines to
you as an object of vast importance. We
great an extent. Considered as, perhaps, the
think it impossible they can be worked to too
sole means of supporting the American cause,
they are inestimable. As an article of commerce
to our Colony, too, they will be valuable;
and even the wagonage, if done either by the
Colony or individuals belonging to it, will carry
to it no trifling sum of money. [324]
To Governor Patrick Henry. Ford ed., ii, 67.
(July. 1776)


A note in the Ford edition says this paper was
evidently intended to be signed by the whole Virginia

5246. MINISTERS (Foreign), Appointment and grade.—

The Constitution having
declared that the President shall nominate and,
by and with the advice and consent of the
Senate, shall appoint, ambassadors, other public
ministers, and consuls, the President desired
my opinion whether the Senate has a
right to negative the grade he may think it
expedient to use in a foreign mission as well
as the person to be appointed. I think the
Senate has no right to negative the grade. The
Constitution has divided the powers of government
into three branches, Legislative, Executive
and Judiciary, lodging each with a distinct
magistracy. The Legislative it has given completely
to the Senate and House of Representatives.
It has declared that the Executive powers
shall be vested in the President, submitting
only special articles of it to a negative by the
Senate, and it has vested the Judiciary power
in the courts of justice, with certain exceptions
also in favor of the Senate. The transaction
of business with foreign nations is Executive
altogether. It belongs, then, to the head of
that department, except as to such portions of it
as are specially submitted to the Senate. Exceptions
are to be construed strictly. The
Constitution itself indeed has taken care to
circumscribe this one within very strict limits;
for it gives the nomination of the foreign
agents to the President, the appointments to
him and the Senate jointly, and the commissioning
to the President. This analysis calls
our attention to the strict import of each term.
To nominate must be to propose. Appointment
seems that act of the will which constitutes or
makes the agent, and the commission is the
public evidence of it. But there are still other
acts previous to these not specially enumerated
in the Constitution, to wit: 1st. The destination
of a mission to the particular country
where the public service calls for it, and 2nd,


Page 556
the character or grade to be employed in it.
The natural order of all these is first, destination;
second, grade; third, nomination;
fourth, appointment; fifth, commission. If
appointment does not comprehend the neighboring
acts nomination or commission (and
the Constitution says it shall not, by giving
them exclusively to the President), still less
can it pretend to comprehend those previous
and more remote, of destination and grade. The Constitution, analyzing the three last,
shows they do not comprehend the two first.
The fourth is the only one it submits to the
Senate. Shaping it into a right to say that
“A or B is unfit to be appointed”. Now, this
cannot comprehend a right to say that A or B
is indeed fit to be appointed, but the grade
fixed on is not the fit one to employ, or, “our
connections with the country of his destination
are not such as to call for any mission”. The
Senate is not supposed by the Constitution to
be acquainted with the concerns of the Executive
Department. It was not [325] intended that
these should be communicated to them, nor can
they, therefore, be qualified to judge of the necessity
which calls for a mission to any particular
place, or of the particular grade, more or
less marked, which special and secret circumstances
may call for. All this is left to the
President. They are only to see that no unfit
person be employed. It may be objected that
the Senate may by continual negatives on the
person, do what amounts to a negative on the
grade, and so, indirectly, defeat this right of
the President. But this would be a breach of
trust; an abuse of the power confided to the
Senate, of which that body cannot be supposed
capable. So the President has power to convoke
the Legislature, and the Senate might
defeat that power by refusing to come. This
equally amounts to a negative on the power
of convoking. Yet nobody will say they possess
such a negative, or would be capable of
usurping it by such oblique means. If the
Constitution had meant to give the Senate a
negative on the grade, or destination, as well
as on the person, it would have said so in
direct terms, and not left it to be effected by
a sidewind. It could never mean to give them
the use of one power through the abuse of another.—
Opinion on Powers of the Senate. Washington ed. vii, 465. Ford ed., v, 161.


In one of the two editions of Jefferson's Writings,
quoted in this work, “not” is omitted. The
MS. copy of the opinion which, with the other papers
of Jefferson, is preserved in the Department of State,
was examined in order to verify the text. Jefferson
wrote “it was not intended”.—Editor.

5247. MINISTERS (Foreign), Appointment and grade.—[continued].

The Secretary of State
recapitulated [to a committee of the Senate] the circumstances which justified the President's
having continued the grade of Minister
Plenipotentiary [at The Hague]; but added,
that whenever the biennial bill should come on,
each House would have a constitutional right
to review the establishment again, and whenever
it should appear that either House thought
any part of it might be reduced, on giving to
the Executive time to avail themselves of the
first convenient occasion to reduce it, the Executive
could not but do it; but that it would
be extremely injurious * * * to do it so
abruptly as to occasion the recall of ministers,
or unfriendly sensations in any of those
countries with which our commerce is interesting.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 422. Ford ed., i, 172.
(Jan. 1792)

5248. MINISTERS (Foreign), Appointment and grade.—[further continued].

After mature consideration
and consultation, I am of opinion that the
Constitution has made the President the sole
competent judge to what places circumstances
render it expedient that ambassadors, or other
public ministers, should be sent, and of what
grade they should be; and that it has ascribed
to the Senate no executive act but the single one
of giving or withholding their consent to the
person nominated. I think it my duty, therefore,
to protest, and do protest against the
validity of any resolutions of the Senate asserting
or implying any right in that House to exercise
any executive authority, but the single
one before mentioned.—
Paragraph for President's Message. Ford ed., v, 415.

5249. MINISTERS (Foreign), Exchange of.—

I doubt whether it be honorable for us to keep anybody at London unless they keep
some person at New York.—
To W. S. Smith. Washington ed. ii, 284.
(P. 1787)

5250. MINISTERS (Foreign), Exchange of.—[continued].

The President * * * authorized Mr. Gouverneur Morris to enter
into conference with the British ministers in
order to discover their sentiments on the exchange
of a minister. 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 * * * their
Secretary for Foreign Affairs is disposed to
exchange a minister, but meets with opposition
in his Cabinet, so as to render the issue uncertain.
The Secretary of State is of opinion
that Mr. Morris's letters remove any doubts
which might have been entertained as to the
intentions and dispositions of the British Cabinet;
that it would be dishonorable to the United
States, useless and even injurious, to renew
the propositions for * * * the exchange of
a minister, and that this subject should now
remain dormant, till it shall be brought forward
earnestly by them.—
Official Report. Washington ed. vii, 517. Ford ed., v, 261.
(Dec. 1790)

5251. MINISTERS (Foreign), Exchange of.—[further continued].

You have placed the
British proposition of exchanging a minister on
proper ground. It must certainly come from
them, and come in unequivocal form. With
those who respect their own dignity so much,
ours must not be counted at naught. On their
own proposal formally, to exchange a minister
we sent them one. They have taken no notice
of that, and talk of agreeing to exchange one
now, as if the idea were new. Besides, what
they are saying to you, they are talking to us
through Quebec; but so informally, that they
may disavow it when they please.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 182. Ford ed., v, 224.
(N.Y., Aug. 1790)

5252. MINISTERS (Foreign). Extraordinary expenses.—

With respect to the extraordinary
expenses which you may be under
the necessity of incurring at the coronation, I
am not authorized to give any advice. * * * I should certainly suppose that the representative
of the United States at Madrid, was to do
as the representatives of other sovereignties
do, and that it would be viewed as the compliment
of our nation and not of its minister.
If this be the true point of view, it proves
at whose expense it should be.—
To William Carmichael. Ford ed., v, 125.
(P. 1789)

5253. MINISTERS (Foreign), Outfit of.—

When Congress made their first appointments
of ministers to be resident in Europe,
I have understood (for I was not then in Congress )
that they allowed them all their expenses,


Page 557
and a fixed sum over and above for their time. Among their expenses was necessarily
understood their outfit. Afterwards they
thought proper to give them fixed salaries of
eleven thousand one hundred and eleven dollars
and one-ninth a year; and again by a resolution
of May the 6th and 8th, 1784, the
“salaries” of their ministers at foreign courts
were reduced to nine thousand dollars, to take
place on the 1st of August ensuing. On the
7th of May, I was appointed in addition to Mr.
Adams and Dr. Franklin, for the negotiation
of treaties of commerce; but this appointment
being temporary, for two years only, and not
as of a resident minister, the article of outfit
did not come into question. I asked an advance
of six months' salary, that I might be in
cash to meet the first expenses, which was
ordered. The year following I was appointed
to succeed Dr. Franklin at this court [France].
This was the first appointment of a minister
resident, since the original ones, under which
all expenses were to be paid. So much of the
ancient regulation as respected annual expenses
had been altered to a sum certain; so much of
it as respected first expenses, or outfit, remained
unaltered; and I might, therefore, expect that
the actual expenses for outfit were to be paid.
When I prepared my account for settlement
with Mr. Barclay, I began a detail of the articles
of clothing, carriage, horses, and household
furniture. I found they were numerous,
minute, and incapable from their nature of being
vouched; and often entered in my memorandum
book under a general head only, so that
I could not specify them. I found they would
exceed a year's salary. Supposing, therefore,
that mine being the first case, Congress would
make a precedent of it, and prefer a sum fixed
for the outfit as well as the salary, I have
charged it in my account at a year's salary;
presuming that there can be no question that
an outfit is a reasonable charge. It is the usage
here (and I suppose at all courts), that a minister
resident shall establish his house in the
first instant. If this is to be done out of his
salary, he will be a twelvemonth, at least, without
a copper to live on. It is the universal
practice, therefore, of all nations to allow the
outfit as a separate article from the salary. I
have enquired here into the usual amount of
it. I find that sometimes the sovereign pays
the actual cost. This is particularly the case
of the Sardinian ambassador now coming here,
who is to provide a service of plate, and every
article of furniture and other matters of first
expense, to be paid for by his court. In other
instances, they give a service of plate, and a
fixed sum for all other articles, which fixed sum
is in no case lower than a year's salary. I desire
no service of plate, having no ambition for
splendor. My furniture, carriage and apparel
are all plain, yet they have cost me more than
a year's salary. I suppose that in every
country, and in every condition of life, a year's
expense would be found a moderate measure
for the furniture of a man's house. It is not
more certain to me that the sun will rise to-morrow,
than that our government must allow
the outfit on their future appointment of foreign
ministers; and it would be hard on me
so to stand between the discontinuance of a
former rule, and institution of a future one,
as to have the benefit of neither.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 401.
(P. 1788)

5254. MINISTERS (Foreign), Outfit of.—[continued].

The outfit given to ministers
resident to enable them to furnish their
house, but given by no nation to a temporary
minister, who is never expected to take a
house or to entertain, but considered on the
footing of a voyageur, our predecessors gave
to their extraordinary ministers by the wholesale.
In the beginning of our administration,
among other articles of reformation in expense,
it was determined not to give an outfit
to ministers extraordinary, and not to incur
the expense with any minister of sending a
frigate to carry or bring him. The Boston
happened to be going to the Mediterranean,
and was permitted, therefore, to take up Mr.
Livingston, and touch in a port of France. A
frigate was denied to Charles Pinckney, and
has been refused to Mr. King for his return.
Mr. Madison's friendship and mine to you
being so well known, the public will have eagle
eyes to watch if we grant you any indulgences
out of the general rule; and on the other hand,
the example set in your case [as Minister
Extraordinary to France] will be more cogent
on future ones, and produce greater approbation
to our conduct. The allowance, therefore,
will be in this, and all similar cases, all the expenses
of your journey and voyage, taking a
ship's cabin to yourself, nine thousand dollars
a year from your leaving home till the proceedings
of your mission are terminated, and
then the quarter's salary for the expenses of
your return, as prescribed by law.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 455. Ford ed., viii, 191.
(W. 1803)

5255. MINISTERS (Foreign), Privileges.—

Legal provision should be made for
protecting and vindicating those privileges and
immunities to which foreign ministers, and
others attending on Congress are entitled by
the law of nations.—
Congress Resolution. Ford ed., iii, 463.
(April. 1784)

5256. MINISTERS (Foreign), Privileges.—[continued].

Foreign ministers are not
bound to an acquaintance with the laws of the
land. They are privileged by their ignorance
of them. They are bound by the laws of natural
justice only.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 246.
(M. 1790)

5257. [further continued]

Every person, diplomatic
in his own right, is entitled to the privileges of
the law of nations, in his own right. Among
these is the receipt of all packages unopened
and unexamined by the country which receives
him. The usage of nations has established
that this shall liberate whatever is imported
bonâ fide for his own use, from paying duty.
A government may control the number of
diplomatic characters it will receive; but if it
receives them it cannot control their rights
while bonâ fide exercised. Thus Dr. Franklin.
Mr. Adams, Colonel Humphreys and myself, all
residing at Paris at the same time, had all of
us our importation duty free. Great Britain
had an ambassador and a minister plenipotentiary
there, and an ambassador extra for
several years; all three had their entries free.
In most countries this privilege is permanent.
Great Britain is niggardly, and allows it only
on the first arrival. But in this, as she treats
us only as she does the most favored nations,
so we should treat her as we do the most favored
nations. If these principles are correct,
Mr. Foster is duty free.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 588.
(W. 1805)

5258. MINISTERS (Foreign), Reception of.—

The Secretary of State has the honor to
inform the Minister of France that the President
will receive his letters of credence to-day
at half after two: that this will be done in a
room of private audience, without any ceremony
whatever, or other person present than
the Secretary of State, this being the usage


Page 558
which will be observed. As the Secretary of
State will be with the President before that
hour on business, the Minister will find him
To Jean Baptiste Ternant. Ford ed., v, 370.
(Pa., 1791)

5259. MINISTERS (Foreign), Reception of.—[continued].

The reception of the
minister at all * * * (in favor of which
Colonel Hamilton has given his opinion, though
reluctantly, as he confessed), is an acknowledgment
of the legitimacy of their [the French] government.—
Opinion on French Treaties. Washington ed. vii, 616. Ford ed., vi, 223.

5260. MINISTERS (Foreign), Reception of.—[further continued].

It has been said without
contradiction, and the people have been made
to believe, that the refusal of the French to receive
our Envoys was contrary to the law of
nations, and a sufficient cause of war; whereas,
every one who has ever read a book on the law
of nations knows, that it is an unquestionable
right in every power to refuse any minister
who is personally disagreeable.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 289. Ford ed., vii, 359.
(Pa., 17991799)gt;

5261. MINISTERS (Foreign), Reception of.—[further continued] .

The Constitution has
made the Executive the organ for managing
our intercourse with foreign nations. It authorizes
him to appoint and receive ambassadors,
other public ministers, and consuls.
The term minister being applicable to other
agents as well as diplomatic, the constant practice
of the government, considered as a commentary,
established this broad meaning; and
the public interest approves it; because it would
be extravagant to employ a diplomatic minister
for a business which a mere rider would execute.
The Executive being thus charged with
the foreign intercourse, no law has undertaken
to prescribe its secific duties.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 529.

5262. MINISTERS (Foreign), Rejection.—

The public interest certainly made the rejection of Chevalier de Onis expedient, and
as that is a motive which it is not pleasant always
to avow, I think it fortunate that the
contending claims of Charles and Ferdinand
furnished such plausible embarrassment to the
question of right; for, on our principles, I presume,
the right of the Junta to send a minister
could not be denied.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 480.
(M. Nov. 1809)

5263. MINISTERS (Foreign), Revolutions and.—

Whenever the scene [Paris during
Revolution] became personally dangerous to
you, it was proper you should leave it, as well
from personal as public motives. But what degree
of danger should be awaited, to what
distance or place you should retire, are circumstances
which must rest with your own discretion,
it being impossible to prescribe them from
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 489. Ford ed., vi, 131.
(Pa., Nov. 1792)

5264. MINISTERS (Foreign), Rotation in.—

I think it possible that it will be established
into a maxim of the new government
to discontinue its foreign servants after a certain
time of absence from their own country,
because they lose in time that sufficient degree
of intimacy with its circumstances which alone
can enable them to know and pursue its interests.
Seven years have been talked of.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 244.
(M. 1790)

5265. MINISTERS (Foreign), Salaries.—

You have doubtless heard of the complaints
of our foreign ministers as to the incompetency
of their salaries. I believe it would be better
were they somewhat enlarged. Yet a moment's
reflection will satisfy you that a man may live
in any country on any scale he pleases, and
more easily in that [France] than this, because
there the grades are more distinctly marked.
From the ambassador there a certain degree of
representation is expected. But the lower
grades of Envoy, Minister, Resident, Chargé,
have been introduced to accommodate both the
sovereign and missionary as to the scale of expense.
I can assure you from my own knowledge
of the ground, that these latter grades
are left free in the opinion of the place to adopt
any style they please, and that it does not lessen
their estimation or their usefulness. When I
was at Paris, two-thirds of the diplomatic men
of the second and third orders entertained nobody.
Yet they were as much invited out and
honored as those of the same grades who entertained.
* * * This procures one some sunshine
friends who like to eat of your good
things, but has no effect on the men of real
business, the only men of real use to you, in
a place where every man is estimated at what
he really is.—
To General John Armstrong. Ford ed., viii, 302.
(W. 1804)

— MINISTERS (Foreign), Secretaries of Legation and.—

See Sumter.

5266. MINISTERS (Foreign), Verbal communications.—

Verbal communications
are very insecure; for it is only necessary to
deny them or to change their terms, in order
to do away their effect at any time. Those in
writing have many and obvious advantages, and
ought to be preferred.—
To Thomas Pinckeny. Washington ed. iv, 63. Ford ed., vi, 416.
(Pa., 1793)
See Diplomatic Establishment.

5267. MINISTERS (Imperial).—

are their [Kings] ministers but a committee,
badly chosen?—
To Benjamin Hawkins. Washington ed. ii, 221. Ford ed., iv, 426
(P. 1787)

5268. MINISTERS (Imperial), Politic.—

Ministers and merchants love nobody. The
merchants here [France] are endeavoring to
exclude us from their [West India] islands.
The ministers will be governed in it by political
motives, and will do it, or not do it, as these
shall appear to dictate, without love or hatred
to anybody.—
To John Langdon. Washington ed. i, 429.
(P. 1785)

5269. MINISTERS (Religious), Fearless of.—

You judge truly that I am not afraid
of the priests. They have tried upon me all
their various batteries, of pious whining, hypocritical
canting, lying and slandering, without
being able to give me one moment of pain.—
To Horatio Gates Spafford. Ford ed., x, 13.
(M. 1816)

5270. MINISTERS (Religious), French.—

The Curés throughout the [French] Kingdom
form the mass of the clergy. They are
the only part favorably known to the people,
because solely charged with the duties of baptism,
burial, confession, visitation of the sick,
instruction of the children, and aiding the poor.
They are themselves of the people, and united
with them. The carriages and equipage only
of the higher clergy, not their persons, are
known to the people, and are in detestation
with them.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 58.
(P. 1789)

5271. MINISTERS (Religious), French.—[continued].

Nor should we wonder
at * * * [the] pressure [for a fixed constitution
in 1788-9] when we consider the monstrous
abuses of power under which * * * the


Page 559
[French] people were ground to powder; when
we pass in review * * * the riches, luxury, indolence
and immorality of the clergy.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.

5272. MINISTERS (Religious), Hostility to Jefferson.—

The delusion into which the X. Y. Z. plot shows it possible to push the
people; the successful experiment made under
the prevalence of that delusion on the clause
of the Constitution, which, while it secured the
freedom of the press, covered also the freedom
of religion, had given to the clergy a
very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment
of a particular form of Christianity
through the United States; and as every sect
believes its own form the true one, every one,
perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the
Episcopalians and Congregationalists. The returning
good sense of our country threatens
abortion to their hopes, and they believe that
any portion of power confided to me, will be
exercised in opposition to their schemes. And
they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon
the altar of God eternal hostility against every
form of tyranny over the mind of man. But
this is all they have to fear from me; and
enough, too, in their opinion. And this is the
cause of their printing lying pamphlets against
me, forging conversations for me with Mazzei,
Bishop Madison, &c., which are absolute falsehoods
without a circumstance of truth to rest
on; falsehoods, too, of which I acquiet Mazzei
and Bishop Madison for they are men of truth.
But enough of this. It is more than I have before
committed to paper on the subject of all
the lies that have been preached and printed
against me.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 336. Ford ed., vii, 460.
(M. Sep. 1800)

5273. MINISTERS (Religious), Liberty and.—

In every country and in every age, the
priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always
in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses
in return for protection to his own.—
To Horatio G. Spafford. Washington ed. vi, 334.
(M. 1814)

5274. MINISTERS (Religious), New England.—

The sway of the clergy in New
England is indeed formidable. No mind beyond
mediocrity dares there to develop itself. If it
does, they excite against it the public opinion
which they command, and by little, but incessant
and tearing persecutions, drive it from
among them. Their present emigrations to the
Western country are real flights from persecution,
religious and political, but the abandonment
of the country by those who wish to enjoy
freedom of opinion leaves the despotism over
the residue more intense, more oppressive.—
To Horatio Gates Spafford. Ford ed., x, 13.
(M. 1816)

5275. MINISTERS (Religious), New England.—[continued].

The advocate of religious
freedom is to expect neither peace nor forgiveness
from the New England clergy.—
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. iv, 427. Ford ed., viii, 129.

See Church, Church and State, Clergy, and Religion.

5276. MINORITY, Censorship by.—

respectable minority [in Congress] is useful
as censors. The present one is not respectable,
being the bitterest remains of the cup
of federalism, rendered desperate and furious
by despair.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. iv, 437. Ford ed., viii, 149.
(W. May. 1802)

5277. MINORITY, Equal rights of.—

Bear in mind this sacred principle that * * * the minority possess their equal rights, which
equal laws must protect, and to violate which
would be oppression.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 2. Ford ed., viii, 2.

5278. MINORITY, Sacrifices to.—

The minorities [against the new Constitution] in
most of the accepting States have been very
respectable; so much so as to render it prudent,
were it not otherwise reasonable, to
make some sacrifice to them.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 533. Ford ed., v, 56.
(P. 1788)

5279. MINORITY, Sacrifices to.—[continued].

The minorities [against
the new Constitution] are too respectable,
not to be entitled to some sacrifice of opinion;
especially when a great proportion of them
would be contented with a bill of rights.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 506. Ford ed., v, 53.
(P. Nov. 1788)

5280. MINT, Establishment of.—

propositions [326] under consideration [by Congress] suppose that the coinage is to be
carried on in a foreign country, and that the
implements are to remain the property of the
undertaker; which conditions, in the opinion
[of the Secretary of State] render them inadmissible,
for these reasons: Coinage is
peculiarly an attribute of sovereignty. To
transfer its exercise into another country, is
to submit it to another sovereign. Its transportation
across the ocean, besides the ordinary
dangers of the sea, would expose it to
acts of piracy, by the crews to whom it would
be confided, as well as by others apprized of
its passage. In time of war, it would offer
to the enterprises of an enemy what have
been emphatically called the sinews of war.
If the war were with the nation within whose
territory the coinage is, the first act of war,
or reprisal, might be to arrest this operation,
with the implements and materials coined
and uncoined, to be used at their discretion.
The reputation and principles of the present
undertaker are safeguards against the abuses
of a coinage, carried on in a foreign country,
where no checks could be provided by
the proper sovereign, no regulations established,
no police, no guard exercised; in
short, none of the numerous cautions hitherto
thought essential at every mint; but in hands
less entitled to confidence, these will become
dangers. We may be secured, indeed, by
proper experiments as to the purity of the
coin delivered us according to contract, but
we cannot be secured against that which,
though less pure, shall be struck in the general
die, and protected against the vigilance of
Government, till it shall have entered into
circulation. We lose the opportunity of calling
in and recoining the clipped money in
circulation, or we double our risk by a double
transportation. We lose, in like manner, the
resource of coining up our household plate
in the instant of great distress. We lose the
means of forming artists to continue the
works, when the common accidents of mortality
shall have deprived us of those who
began them. In fine, the carrying on a coin


Page 560
age in a foreign country, as far as the Secretary
knows, is without example; and general
example is weighty authority. He is,
therefore, of opinion, on the whole, that a
mint, whenever established, should be established
at home.—
Coinage Report. Washington ed. vii, 463.
(April. 1790)


The question was referred to Jefferson by the
House of Representatives.—Editor.


The elevation and particular situation at Monticello
afford an opportunity of seeing a phenomenon
which is rare at land, though frequent at
sea. The seamen call it looming. Philosophy
is as yet in the rear of the seamen, for so far
from having accounted for it, she has not given
it a name. Its principal effect is to make distant
objects appear larger, in opposition to the
general law of vision, by which they are diminished.
I know an instance, at Yorktown, from
whence the water prospect eastwardly is without
termination, wherein a canoe with three
men, at a great distance was taken for a ship
with its three masts. I am little acquainted
with the phenomenon as it shows itself at sea;
but at Monticello it is familiar. There is a
solitary mountain about forty miles off in the
South, whose natural shape, as presented to
view there, is a regular cone; but by the effect
of looming, it sometimes subsides almost totally
in the horizon; sometimes it rises more acute
and more elevated; sometimes it is hemispherical;
and sometimes its sides are perpendicular,
its top flat, and as broad as its base. In short,
it assumes at times the most whimsical shapes,
and all these perhaps successively in the same
morning. The Blue Ridge of mountains comes
into view, in the north-east, at about one hundred
miles distance, and approaching in a direct
line, passes by within twenty miles, and goes
off to the south-west. This phenomenon begins
to show itself on these mountains at about
fifty miles distance, and continues beyond that
as far as they are seen. I remark no particular
state, either in the weight, moisture, or heat of
the atmosphere, necessary to produce this. The
only constant circumstances are its appearance
in the morning only, and on objects at least
forty or fifty miles distant. In this latter circumstance,
if not in both, it differs from the
looming on the water. Refraction will not
account for the metamorphosis. That only
changes the proportions of length and breadth,
base and altitude, preserving the general outlines.
Thus it may make a circle appear elliptical,
raise or depress a cone, but by none of
its laws, as yet developed, will it make a circle
appear a square, or a cone a sphere.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 327. Ford ed., iii, 186.

5282. MIRANDA EXPEDITION, Jefferson's knowledge of.—

That the expedition
of Miranda was countenanced by me, is an
absolute falsehood, let it have gone from whom
it might; and I am satisfied it is equally so as
to Mr. Madison. To know as much of it as
we could was our duty, but not to encourage
To William Duane. Washington ed. iv, 592. Ford ed., viii, 433.
(W. 1806)

5283. MIRANDA EXPEDITION, Jefferson's knowledge of.—[continued].

Your predecessor, soured
on a question of etiquette against the administration
of this country, wished to impute wrong
to them in all their actions, even where he did
not believe it himself. In this spirit, he wished
it to be believed that we were in unjustifiable
cooperation in Miranda's expedition. I solemnly,
and on my personal truth and honor,
declare to you, that this was entirely without
foundation, and that there was neither cooperation,
nor connivance on our part. He informed
us he was about to attempt the liberation of his
native country from bondage, and intimated a
hope of our aid, or connivance at least. He was
at once informed, that although we had great
cause of complaint against Spain, and even of
war, yet whenever we should think proper to
act as her enemy, it should be openly and above
board, and that our hostility should never be
exercised by such petty means. We had no
suspicion that he expected to engage men here,
but merely to purchase military stores. Against
this there was no law, nor consequently any
authority for us to interpose obstacles. On
the other hand, we deemed it improper to betray
his voluntary communication to the agents
of Spain. Although his measures were many
days in preparation at New York, we never had
the least intimation or suspicion of his engaging
men in his enterprise, until he was gone; and,
I presume, the secrecy of his proceeding kept
them equally unknown to the Marquis Yrujo at
Philadelphia, and the Spanish consul at New
York, since neither of them gave us any information
of the enlistment of men, until it
was too late for any measures taken at Washington
to prevent their departure. The officer
in the customs, who participated in the transaction
with Miranda, we immediately removed,
and should have had him and others further
punished, had it not been for the protection
given them by private citizens at New York,
in opposition to the government, who, by their
impudent falsehoods and calumnies, were able
to overbear the minds of the jurors.—
To Don Valentine de Foronda. Washington ed. v, 474. Ford ed., ix, 259.
(M. Oct. 1809)

5284. MIRANDA EXPEDITION, Prosecutions.—

On the prosecution of Ogden and
Smith for participation in Miranda's expedition,
the defendants and their friends have
contrived to make it a government question, in
which they mean to have the Administration
and the judge tried as the culprits instead of
themselves. Swartwout, the marshal to whom,
in his duel with Clinton, Smith was second,
and his bosom friend, summoned a panel of
jurors, the greater part of which were of the
bitterest federalists. His letter, too, covering
to a friend a copy of Aristides, [327] and affirming
that every fact in it was true as Holy Writ
[was considered in Cabinet]. Determined unanimously
that he be removed.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 316.
(May. 1806)


W. P. Van Ness, who wrote a pamphlet in favor
of Burr.—Editor.

5285. MISFORTUNE, Pleasure and.—

Pleasure is always before us; but misfortune
is at our side; while running after that, this arrests
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 37. Ford ed., iv, 317.
(P. 1786)

5286. MISFORTUNE, Solace in.—

I most
cordially sympathize in your losses. It is a situation
in which a man needs the aid of all his
wisdom and philosophy. But as it is better to
turn from the contemplation of our misfortunes
to the resources we possess of extricating ourselves,
you will, of course, have found solace
in your vigor of mind, health of body, talents,
habits of business, in the consideration that
you have time yet to retrieve everything, and a
knowledge that the very activity necessary for
this, is a state of greater happiness than the
unoccupied one to which you had a thought of
To Dr. Currie. Washington ed. ii, 218.
(P. 1787)

5287. MISSIONARIES, Foreign.—

I do not know that it is a duty to disturb by missionaries
the religion and peace of other


Page 561
countries, who may think themselves bound to
extinguish by fire and fagot the heresies to
which we give the name of conversions, and
quote our own example for it.—
To Mr. Megear. Washington ed. vii, 287.
(M. 1823)

5288. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Absolute cession.—

The navigation of the Mississippi we must have. This is all we
are as yet ready to receive.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. i, 518. Ford ed., iv, 189.
(P. Jan. 1786)

5289. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Absolute cession.—[continued].

A cession of the navigation
of the Mississippi, with such privileges as
to make it useful, and free from future chicane,
can be no longer dispensed with on our part.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 223. Ford ed., v, 299.
(Pa., 1791)


The affair of the
Mississippi, by showing that Congress is capable
of hesitating on a question, which proposes a
clear sacrifice of the western to the maritime
States, will with difficulty be obliterated. The
proposition of my going to Madrid to try to
recover there the ground which has been lost
at New York, by the concession of the vote of
seven States, I should think desperate.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 153. Ford ed., iv, 392.
(P. 1787)

5291. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Congress and.—[continued].

I was pleased to see the
vote of Congress, of September the 16th, on the
subject of the Mississippi, as I had before seen,
with great uneasiness, the pursuits of other
principles, which I could never reconcile to
my own ideas of probity or wisdom, and from
which, and my knowledge of the character of
our western settlers, I saw that the loss of that
country was a necessary consequence. I wish
this return to true policy may be in time to
prevent evil.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 563. Ford ed., v, 63.
(P. 1789)

5292. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Law of nature and.—

But our right
is built on ground still broader and more unquestionable,
to wit: On the law of nature and
nations. If we appeal to this, as we feel it
written in the heart of man, what sentiment is
written in deeper characters than that the ocean
is free to all men, and their rivers to all their
inhabitants? Is there a man, savage or civilized,
unbiased by habit, who does not feel
and attest this truth? Accordingly, in all tracts
of country united under the same political
society, we find this natural right universally
acknowledged and protected by laying the navigable
rivers open to all their inhabitants. When
their rivers enter the limits of another society,
if the right of the upper inhabitants to descend
the stream is in any case obstructed, it is an
act of force by a stronger society against a
weaker, condemned by the judgment of mankind.
The late case of Antwerp and the Scheldt
was a striking proof of a general union of
sentiment on this point; as it is believed that
Amsterdam had scarcely an advocate out of
Holland, and even there its pretensions were
advocated on the ground of treaties, and not of
natural right. * * * The Commissioners will
be able perhaps to find, either in the practice
or the pretensions of Spain as to the Douro,
Tagus, and Guadiana, some acknowledgments
of this principle on the part of that nation.
This sentiment of right in favor of the upper
inhabitants must become stronger in the proportion
which their extent of country bears to
the lower. The United States hold 600,000
square miles of habitable territory on the Mississippi
and its branches, and this river and its
branches afford many thousands of miles of
navigable waters penetrating this territory in
all its parts. The inhabitable grounds of Spain
below our boundary, and bordering on the
river, which alone can pretend any fear of being
incommoded by our use of the river, are not
the thousandth part of that extent. This vast
portion of the territory of the United States
has no other outlet for its productions, and
these productions are of the bulkiest kind. And
in truth, their passage down the river may not
only be innocent as to the Spanish subjects on
the river, but cannot fail to enrich them far
beyond their present condition. The real interests
then of all the inhabitants, upper and
lower, concur in fact with their rights. If we
appeal to the law of nature and nations, as expressed
by writers on the subject, it is agreed
by them, that, were the river, where it passes
between Florida and Louisiana, the exclusive
right of Spain, still an innocent passage along
it is a natural right in those inhabiting its borders
above. It would indeed be what those
writers call an imperfect right, because the
modification of its exercise depends in a considerable
degree on the conveniency of the
nation through which they are to pass. But
it is still a right as real as any other right,
however well-defined; and were it to be refused,
or to be so shackled by regulations, not necessary
for the peace or safety of its inhabitants,
as to render its use impracticable to us, it
would then be an injury, of which we should
be entitled to demand redress. The right of the
upper inhabitants to use this navigation is the
counterpart to that of those possessing the
shore below, and founded in the same natural
relations with the soil and water. And the line
at which their rights meet is to be advanced
or withdrawn, so as to equalize the inconveniences
resulting to each party from the exercise
of the right by the other. This estimate
is to be fairly made, with a mutual disposition to make equal sacrifices, and the numbers on
each side are to have their due weight in the estimate.
Spain holds so very small a tract of
habitable land on either side below our boundary,
that it may in fact be considered as a
strait of the sea; for though it is eighty leagues
from our boundary to the mouth of the river,
yet it is only here and there, in spots and slips,
that the land rises above the level of the water
in times of inundation. There are, then, and
ever must be, so few inhabitants on her part
of the river, that the freest use of its navigation
may be admitted to us without their annoyance.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 577. Ford ed., v, 467.

5293. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Sectional opposition.—

It is true,
there were characters whose stations entitled
them to credit, and who, from geographical
prejudices, did not themselves wish the navigation
of the Mississippi to be restored to us,
and who believe, perhaps, as is common with
mankind, that their opinion was the general
opinion. But the sentiments of the great mass
of the Union were decidedly otherwise then, and
the very persons to whom M. Gardoqui alluded,
have now come over to the opinion heartily,
that the navigation of the Mississippi, in full
and unrestrained freedom, is indispensably
necessary, and must be obtained by any means
it may call for.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. iii, 246.
(Pa., 1791)


In the course of the


Page 562
Revolutionary War, in which the thirteen colonies,
Spain and France, were opposed to Great
Britain, Spain took possession of several posts
held by the British in Florida. It is unnecessary
to inquire whether the possession of half a
dozen posts scattered through a country of
seven or eight hundred miles extent, could
be considered as the possession and conquest
of that country. If it was, it gave still
but an inchoate right, as was before explained,
which could not be perfected but by the relinquishment
of the former possession at the
close of the war; but certainly it could not be
considered as a conquest of the river, even
against Great Britain, since the possession of
the shores, to wit, of the island of New Orleans
on the one side, and Louisiana on the other,
having undergone no change, the right in the
water would remain the same, if considered in
its relation to them; and if considered as a distinct
right, independent of the shores, then
no naval victories obtained by Spain over Great
Britain, in the course of the war, gave her the
color of conquest over any water which the
British fleet could enter. Still less can she be
considered as having conquered the river, as
against the United States, with whom she was
not at war. We had a common right of navigation
in the part of the river between Florida,
the island of New Orleans, and the western
bank, and nothing which passed between Spain
and Great Britain, either during the war or at
its conclusion, could lessen that right. Accordingly,
at the treaty of November, 1782, Great
Britain confirmed the rights of the United
States to the navigation of the river, from its
source to its mouth, and in January, 1783, completed
the right of Spain to the territory of
Florida, by an absolute relinquishment of all
her rights in it. This relinquishment could not
include the navigation held by the United States
in their own right, because this right existed in
themselves only, and was not in Great Britain.
If it added anything to the rights of Spain respecting
the river between the eastern and
western banks, it could only be that portion of
right which Great Britain had retained to herself
in the treaty with the United States, held
seven weeks before, to wit, a right of using it in
common with the United States. So that as by
the treaty of 1763, the United States had obtained
a common right of navigating the whole
river from its source to its mouth, so by the
treaty of 1782, that common right was confirmed
to them by the only power who could
pretend claims against them, founded on the
state of war; nor has that common right been
transferred to Spain by either conquest or cession.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 576. Ford ed., v, 466.

5295. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Treaty of Paris and.—

The war of
1755-1763, was carried on jointly by Great
Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, now the
United States of America, against France and
Spain. At the peace which was negotiated by
our common magistrate, a right was secured to
the subjects of Great Britain (the common designation
of all those under his government) to
navigate the Mississippi in its whole breadth
and length, from its source to the sea, and expressly
that part which is between the Island
of New Orleans and the right bank of the river,
as well as the passage both in and out of its
mouth; and that the vessels should not be
stopped, visited, or subjected to the payment of
any duty whatsoever. These are the words of
the treaty, article VII. Florida was at the same
time ceded by Spain, and its extent westwardly
was fixed to the Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas,
and the River Mississippi; and Spain
received soon after from France a cession of
the island of New Orleans, and all the country
she held westward of the Mississippi, subject,
of course, to our right of navigating between
that country and the island previously granted
to us by France. This right was not parcelled
out to us in severalty, that is to say, to each the
exclusive navigation of so much of the river
as was adjacent to our several shores, in which
way it would have been useless to all; but it
was placed on that footing, on which alone it
could be worth anything, to wit: as a right to
all to navigate the whole length of the river in
common. The import of the terms, and the
reason of the thing, prove it was a right of
common in the whole, and not a several right
to each of a particular part. To which may be
added the evidence of the stipulation itself, that
we should navigate between New Orleans and
the western bank, which, being adjacent to none
of our States, could be held by us only as a
right of common. Such was the nature of our
right to navigate the Mississippi, as far as established
by the Treaty of Paris.—
Mississippi River Instructions. Washington ed. vii, 575. Ford ed., v, 466.

5296. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Western people and.—

The difficulty
on which the negotiation with Spain hangs is a
sine qua non with us. It would be to deceive
them and ourselves, to suppose that an amity
can be preserved while this right is withheld.
Such a supposition would argue not only an
ignorance of the people to whom this is most
interesting, but an ignorance of the nature of
man, or an inattention to it. Those who see
but half way into our true interest will think
that that concurs with the views of the other
party. But those who see it in all its extent,
will be sensible that our true interest will be
best promoted, by making all the just claims of
our fellow citizens, wherever situated, our own,
by urging and enforcing them with the weight
of our whole influence, and by exercising in
this, as in every other instance, a just government
in their concerns, and making common
cause even where our separate interest would
seem opposed to theirs. No other conduct can
attach us together; and on this attachment depends
our happiness.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 605. Ford ed., iv, 262.
(P. 1786)

5297. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Western people and.—[continued].

If they declare themselves
a separate people, we are incapable of a single
effort to retain them. Our citizens can never
be induced, either as militia or as soldiers, to
go there to cut the throats of their own brothers
and sons, or rather, to be themselves the subjects,
instead of the perpetrators of the parricide.
Nor would that country requite the cost
of being retained against the will of its inhabitants,
could it be done. But it cannot be done.
They are able already to rescue the navigation
of the Mississippi out of the hands of Spain,
and to add New Orleans to their own territory.
They will be joined by the inhabitants
of Louisiana. This will bring on a war between
them and Spain; and that will produce the question
with us, whether it will not be worth our
while to become parties with them in the war, in
order to reunite them with us, and thus correct
our error? And were I to permit my forebodings
to go one step further, I should predict
that the inhabitants of the United States would
force their rulers to take the affirmative of that
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 106. Ford ed., iv, 363.
(P. 1787)


Page 563

5298. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Western people and.—[further continued].

I never had any interest
westward of the Alleghany; and I never will
have any. But I have had great opportunities
of knowing the character of the people who inhabit
that country; and I will venture to say,
that the act which abandons the navigation of
the Mississippi is an act of separation between
the eastern and western country. It is a relinquishment
of five parts out of eight of the
territory of the United States; an abandonment
of the fairest subject for the payment of our
public debts, and the chaining those debts on
our necks, in perpetuum.
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 105. Ford ed., iv, 363.
(P. 1787)

5299. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Western people and.—[further continued] .

The navigation of the
Mississippi was perhaps the strongest trial to
which the justice of the Federal Government
could be put. If ever they thought wrong about
it, I trust they have got to rights. I should
think it proper for the Western country to defer
pushing their right to that navigation to extremity
as long as they can do without it tolerably;
but that the moment it becomes absolutely
necessary for them, it will become the duty of
the maritime States to push it to every extremity
to which they would their own right of
navigating the Chesapeake, the Delaware, the
Hudson, or any other water.—
To John Brown. Washington ed. ii, 395. Ford ed., v, 17.
(P. May. 1788)

5300. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Western people and.—[further continued].

It is impossible to answer
for the forbearance of our western citizens.
We endeavor to quiet them with the expectation
of an attainment of their rights by peaceable
means. But should they, in a moment of
impatience, hazard others, there is no saying
how far we may be led; for neither themselves
nor their rights will be ever abandoned by us.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. iii, 173. Ford ed., v, 217.
(N.Y., 1790)

5301. MISSISSIPPI RIVER NAVIGATION, Western people and.—[further continued] .

The navigation of the
Mississippi is necessary to us. More than half
the territory of the United States is on the
waters of that river. Two hundred thousand
of our citizens are settled on them, of whom
forty thousand bear arms. These have no other
outlet for their tobacco, rice, corn, hemp, lumber,
house timber, ship timber. We have hitherto
respected the indecision of Spain, because
we wish peace;—because our western citizens
have had vent at home for their productions.
A surplus of production begins now to demand
foreign markets. Whenever they shall say,
“We cannot, we will not, be longer shut up”,
the United States will be reduced to the following
dilemma: 1. To force them to acquiescence.
2. To separate from them, rather than take part
in a war against Spain. 3. Or to preserve them
in our Union, by joining them in the war. The
1st is neither in our principles, nor in our
power. 2. A multitude of reasons decide
against the second. It may suffice to speak
but one: were we to give up half our territory
rather than engage in a just war to preserve
it, we should not keep the other half long.
The third is the alternative we must adopt.—
Instructions to William Carmichael. Washington ed. ix, 412. Ford ed., v, 225.

See Louisiana and New Orleans.

5302. MISSISSIPPI TERRITORY, Government of.—

As to the people you are to
govern, we are apprised that they are divided
into two adverse parties, the one composed of
the richer and better informed, attached to the
first grade of government, the other of the body
of the people, not a very homogeneous mass,
advocates for the second grade which they possess
in fact. Our love of freedom, and the
value we set on self-government dispose us
to prefer the principles of the second grade,
and they are strengthened by knowing they
are [faded in MS.] by the will of the majority.
While cooperation with that plan, therefore, is
essentially to be observed, your best endeavors
should be exerted to bring over those opposed
to it by every means soothing and conciliatory.
The happiness of society depends so much on
preventing party spirit from infecting the common
intercourse of life, that nothing should be
spared to harmonize and amalgamate the two
parties in social circles.—
To William C. Claiborne. Ford ed., viii, 71.
(W. July. 1801)
See Louisiana.

5303. MISSOURI, Admission of.—

I rejoice
that * * * Missouri is at length a
member of our Union. Whether the question
it excited is dead, or only sleepeth, I do not
know. I see only that it has given resurrection
to the Hartford Convention men. They
have had the address, by playing on the honest
feelings of our former friends, to seduce them
from their kindred spirits, and to borrow their
weight into the Federal scale. Desperate of
regaining power under political distinctions,
they have adroitly wriggled into its seat under
the auspices of morality, and are again
in the ascendency from which their sins had
hurled them. * * * I still believe that
the Western extension of our Confederacy
will insure its duration, by overruling local
factions, which might shake a smaller association.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. vii, 215. Ford ed., x, 191.
(M. 1821)

5304. MISSOURI QUESTION, A breaker.—

The banks, bankrupt law, manufactures,
Spanish treaty, are nothing. These
are occurrences which, like waves in a storm,
will pass under the ship. But the Missouri
question is a breaker on which we lose the
Missouri country by revolt, and what more,
God only knows. From the battle of
Bunker's Hill to the treaty of Paris, we
never had so ominous a question. * * * I thank God that I shall not live to witness
its issue. [328]
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 148. Ford ed., x, 151.
(M. Dec. 1819)


Mr. Adams replied as follows: “The Missouri
question, I hope, will follow the other waves under
the ship, and do no harm. I know it is high treason
to express a doubt of the perpetual duration of our
vast American empire, and our free institution; and
I say as devoutly as father Paul, esto perpetua, but
I am sometimes Cassandra enough to dream, that
another Hamilton, and another Burr, might rend
this mighty fabric in twain, or perhaps into a leash;
and a few more choice spirits of the same stamp,
might produce as many nations in North America as
there are in Europe.”—Editor.

5305. MISSOURI QUESTION, Federalists and.—

Nothing has ever presented so
threatening an aspect as what is called the
Missouri question. The federalists, completely
put down and despairing of ever rising
again under the old divisions of Whig and
Tory, devised a new one of slave-holding
and non-slave-holding States, which, while it
had a semblance of being moral, was at the
same time geographical, and calculated to
give them ascendency by debauching their old
opponents to a coalition with them. Moral
the question certainly is not, because the removal


Page 564
of slaves from one State to another, no more than their removal from one country
to another, would never make a slave of
one human being who would not be so without
it. Indeed, if there were any morality in
the question it is on the other side; because
by spreading them over a larger surface their
happiness would be increased, and the burden
for their future liberation lightened by bringing
a greater number of shoulders under it.
However, it served to throw dust into the
eyes of the people and to fanaticize them,
while to the knowing ones it gave a geographical
and preponderant line of the Potomac
and Ohio, throwing fourteen States to the
North and East, and ten to the South and
West. With these, therefore, it is merely a
question of power; but with this geographical
minority it is a question of existence. For
if Congress once goes out of the Constitution
to arrogate a right of regulating the condition
of the inhabitants of the States, its majority
may, and probably will, next declare
that the condition of all men within the
United States shall be that of freedom; in
which case all the whites south of the Potomac
and Ohio must evacuate their States,
and most fortunate those who can do it
first. And so far this crisis seems to be advancing.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., x, 177.
(M. Dec. 1820)

5306. MISSOURI QUESTION, Geographical line.—

I am so completely withdrawn
from all attention to public matters,
that nothing less could arouse me than the
definition of a geographical line, which on an
abstract principle is to become the line of
separation of these States, and to render desperate
the hope that man ever enjoys the two
blessings of peace and self-government. The
question sleeps for the present, but is not
To H. Nelson. Washington ed. vii, 151. Ford ed., x, 156.
(M. March. 1820)

5307. MISSOURI QUESTION, Geographical line.—[continued].

I congratulate you on
the sleep of the Missouri question. I wish
I could say in its death, but of this I despair.
The idea of a geographical line once
suggested will brood in the minds of all
those who prefer the gratification of their
ungovernable passions to the peace and union
of their country.—
To Mark Langdon Hill. Washington ed. vii, 155.
(M. April. 1820)

5308. MISSOURI QUESTION, Geographical line.—[further continued].

This momentous question,
like a fire bell in the night, awakened
and filled me with terror. I considered it
at once as the knell of the Union. It is
hushed, indeed, for the moment. But this
is a reprieve only, not a final sentence. A
geographical line, coinciding with a marked
principle, moral and political, once conceived
and held up to the angry passions of men,
will never be obliterated; and every new irritation
will mark it deeper and deeper.—
To John Holmes. Washington ed. vii, 159. Ford ed., x, 157.
(M. April. 1820)

5309. MISSOURI QUESTION, A Party trick.—

The Missouri question is a mere party
trick. The leaders of federalism, defeated in
their schemes of obtaining power by rallying
partisans to the principle of monarchism, a
principle of personal not of local division,
have changed their tack, and thrown out another
barrel to the whale. They are taking
advantage of the virtuous feelings of the people
to effect a division of parties by a geographical
line; they expect that this will insure
them, on local principles, the majority
they could never obtain on principles of federalism;
but they are still putting their
shoulder to the wrong wheel; they are wasting
Jeremiads on the miseries of slavery, as
if we were advocates for it. Sincerity in
their declamations should direct their efforts
to the true point of difficulty, and unite their
counsels with ours in devising some reasonable
and practicable plan of getting rid of it.
Some of these leaders, if they could attain
the power, their ambition would rather use
it to keep the Union together, but others have
ever had in view its separation. If they push
it to that, they will find the line of separation
very different from their 36° of latitude, and
as manufacturing and navigating States, they
will have quarreled with their bread and
butter, and I fear not that after a little trial
they will think better of it and return to the
embraces of their natural and best friends.
But this scheme of party I leave to those who
are to live under its consequences. We who
have gone before have performed an honest
duty, by putting in the power of successors a
state of happiness which no nation ever before
had within their choice. If that choice
is to throw it away, the dead will have
neither the power nor the right to control
To Charles Pinckney. Washington ed. vii, 180. Ford ed., x, 162.
(M. 1820)

5310. MISSOURI QUESTION, Portentous.—

The Missouri question is the most
portentous one which ever yet threatened
our Union. In the gloomiest moment of the
Revolutionary war I never had any apprehensions
equal to what I feel from this
To Hugh Nelson. Ford ed., x, 156.
(M. Feb. 1820)

5311. MISSOURI QUESTION, Portentous.—[continued].

Last and most portentous
of all is the Missouri question. It is
smeared over for the present; but its geographical
demarcation is indelible. What it
is to become I see not.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 212. Ford ed., x, 189.
(M. 1821)

5312. MISSOURI QUESTION, Presidential politics.—

The boisterous sea of liberty
is never without a wave, and that from
Missouri is now rolling towards us, but we
shall ride over it as we have over all others.
It is not a moral question, but one merely of
power. Its object is to raise a geographical
principle for the choice of a President, and
the noise will be kept up till that is effected.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 194. Ford ed., x, 180.
(M. 1820)

5313. MISSOURI QUESTION, Presidential politics.—[continued].

Nothing disturbs us so
much as the dissension lately produced by
what is called the Missouri question; a question
having just enough of the semblance of
morality to throw dust into the eyes of the


Page 565
people and to fanaticize; while with the
knowing ones it is simply a question of
To D. B. Warden. Ford ed., x, 172.
(M. Dec. 1820)

5314. MISSOURI QUESTION, Separation.—

The Missouri question aroused and
filled me with alarm. The old schism of
federal and republican threatened nothing,
because it existed in every State, and united
them together by the fraternism of party.
But the coincidence of a marked principle,
moral and political, with a geographical line,
once conceived, I feared would never more
be obliterated from the mind; that it would
be recurring on every occasion and renewing
irritations, until it would kindle such mutual
and mortal hatred, as to render separation
preferable to eternal discord. I have been
among the most sanguine in believing that
our Union would be of long duration. I now
doubt it much, and see the event at no great
distance, and the direct consequence of this
question; not by the line which has been so
confidently counted on; the laws of nature
control this; but by the Potomac, Ohio and
Missouri, or more probably, the Mississippi
upwards to our northern boundary. My only
comfort and confidence is, that I shall not
live to see this; and I envy not the present
generation the glory of throwing away the
fruits of their fathers' sacrifices of life and
fortune, and of rendering desperate the experiment
which was to decide ultimately
whether man is capable of self-government.
This treason against human hope, will signalize
their epoch in future history, as the
counterpart of the medal of their predecessors.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 158.
(M. April. 1820)

5315. MISSOURI QUESTION, Separation.—[continued].

Should the schism [on
the Missouri question] be pushed to separation
it will be for a short term only; two or
three years' trial will bring them back, like
quarrelling lovers to renewed embraces, and
increased affections. The experiment of separation
would soon prove to both that they
had mutually miscalculated their best interests.
And even were the parties in Congress
to secede in a passion, the soberer people
would call a convention and cement again
the severance attempted by the insanity of
their functionaries. With this consoling
view, my greatest grief would be for the
fatal effect of such an event on the hopes and
happiness of the world. We exist, and are
quoted, as standing proofs that a government,
so modelled as to rest continually on the will
of the whole society, is a practicable government.
Were we to break to pieces, it would
damp the hopes and the efforts of the good,
and give triumph to those of the bad through
the whole enslaved world. As members,
therefore, of the universal society of mankind,
and standing in high and responsible
relation with them, it is our sacred duty to
suppress passion among ourselves, and not to
blast the confidence we have inspired of
proof that a government of reason is better
than one of force.—
To Richard Rush. Washington ed. vii, 182.
(M. 1820)

5316. MISSOURI QUESTION, Slavery extension.—

All know that permitting the
slaves of the south to spread into the west
will not add one being to that unfortunate
condition, that it will increase the happiness
of those existing, and by spreading them over
a larger surface, will dilute the evil everywhere,
and facilitate the means of getting finally
rid of it, an event more anxiously wished by
those on whom it presses than by the noisy
pretenders to exclusive humanity. In the
meantime, it is a ladder for rivals climbing
to power.—
To M. de Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 194. Ford ed., x, 180.
(M. 1820)

5317. MISSOURI QUESTION, Slavery extension.—[continued].

A hideous evil, the magnitude
of which is seen, and at a distance
only, by the one party, and more sorely felt
and sincerely deplored by the other, from
the difficulty of the cure, divides us at this
moment too angrily. The attempt by one
party to prohibit willing States from sharing
the evil, is thought by the other to render
desperate, by accumulation, the hope of its
final eradication. If a little time, however,
is given to both parties to cool, and to dispel
their visionary fears, they will see that concurring
in sentiment as to the evil, moral and
political, the duty and interest of both is to
concur also in devising a practicable process
of cure. Should time not be given, and the
schism be pushed to separation, it will be
for a short term only; two or three years'
trial will bring them back, like quarrelling
lovers to renewed embraces, and increased
affections. The experiment of separation
would soon prove to both that they had
mutually miscalculated their best interests.—
To Richard Rush. Washington ed. vii, 182.
(M. Oct. 1820)

5318. MISSOURI QUESTION, Slavery extension.—[further continued].

Our anxieties in this
quarter [the South] are all concentrated in
the question, what does the Holy Alliance in
and out of Congress mean to do with us on
the Missouri question? And this, by-the-bye,
is but the name of the case, it is only the
John Doe or Richard Roe of the ejectment.
The real question, as seen in the States afflicted
with this unfortunate population, is,
are our slaves to be presented with freedom
and a dagger? For if Congress has the power
to regulate the conditions of the inhabitants
of the States, within the States, it will be but
another exercise of that power, to declare
that all shall be free. Are we then to
see again Athenian and Lacedemonian confederacies?
To wage another Peloponnesian
war to settle the ascendency between them?
Or is this the tocsin of merely a servile war?
That remains to be seen; but not, I hope, by
you or me.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 200. Ford ed., x, 186.
(M. Jan. 1821)

5319. MOBS, Government and.—

mobs of great cities add just so much to the
support of pure government, as sores do to the
strength of the human body.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 406. Ford ed., iii, 269.

5320. MOBS, Imaginary.—

It is in the London newspapers only that exist those mobs
and riots, which are fabricated to deter


Page 566
strangers from going to America. Your person
will be sacredly safe and free from insult.—
To Mrs. Sprowle. Ford ed., iv, 66.
(P. 1785)

5321. MOBS, Revolutionary.—

For sometime
mobs of ten, twenty and thirty thousand
people collected daily, surrounded the Parliament
House [in Paris], huzzaed the members,
even entered the doors and examined into their
conduct, took the horses out of the carriages of
those who did well, and drew them home. The
government thought it prudent to prevent these,
drew some regiments into the neighborhood,
multiplied the guards, had the streets constantly
patrolled by strong parties, suspended privileged
places, forbade all clubs, &c. The mobs have
ceased; perhaps this may be partly owing to the
absence of parliament.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 258.
(P. Aug. 1787)

See Bastile.

5322. MODERATION, Political.—

moderate conduct throughout, which may not
revolt our new friends [the federalists], and
which may give them tenets with us, must be
To John Page. Washington ed. iv, 378.
(W. March. 1801)

5323. MODESTY, American.—

There is
modesty often which does itself injury. Our
countrymen possess this. They do not know
their own superiority.—
To William Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 350. Ford ed., v, 5.
(P. 1788)

5324. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—

know there are some among us who would now
establish a monarchy. But they are inconsiderable
in number and weight of character.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 5. Ford ed., v, 83.
(P. 1789)

5325. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—[continued].

It cannot be denied that
we have among us a sect who believe that the
English constitution contains whatever is perfect
in human institutions; that the members
of this sect have, many of them, names and
offices which stand high in the estimation of our
countrymen. I still rely that the great mass of
our community is untainted with these heresies,
as its head. On this I build my hope that we
have not labored in vain, and that our experiment
will still prove that men can be governed
by reason.—
To George Mason. Washington ed. iii, 209. Ford ed., v, 275.
(Pa., 1791)

5326. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—[further continued].

We have some names of
note here who have apostatized from the true
faith; but they are few indeed, and the body
of our citizens pure and insusceptible of taint
in their republicanism. Mr. Paine's answer to
Burke will be a refreshing shower to their
To Benjamin Vaughan. Ford ed., v, 334.
(Pa., 1791)

5327. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—[further continued] .

There are high names [329] here in favor of [monarchy], but the publications
in Bache's paper have drawn forth pretty
generally expressions of the public sentiment on
the subject, and I thank God to find they are,
to a man, firm as a rock in their republicanism.
I much fear that the honestest man of the party
will fall a victim to his imprudence on this
occasion, while another of them, from the mere
caution of holding his tongue, and buttoning
himself up, will gain what the other loses.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 361.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;


At this point a series of cipher figures is written
on the margin, which, when translated, reads:
“Adams, Jay, Hamilton, Knox. Many of the Cincinnati.
The second says nothing. The third is open.
Both are dangerous. They pant after union with England
as the power which is to support their projects,
and are most determined Anti-gallicans. It is prognosticated
that our republic is to end with the president's
life. But I believe they will find themselves
all head and no body.”—Note in Ford edition.

5328. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—[further continued].

The ultimate object of
all this increase of public debt, establishment
of a paper money system, corruption of Congress,
etc., is, it is charged, to prepare the way
for a change from the present republican form
of government to that of a monarchy, of which
the English constitution is to be the model.
That this was contemplated in the [Federal] Convention is no secret, because its partisans
have made none of it. To effect it then was
impracticable, but they are still eager after
their object, and are predisposing everything
for its ultimate attainment. So many of them
have got into the Legislature, that, aided by the
corrupt squadron of paper dealers, who are at
their devotion, they make a majority in both
houses. The republican party, who wish to preserve
the government in its present form, are
fewer in number. They are fewer even when
joined by the two, three, or half dozen antifederalists,
who, though they dare not avow it,
are still opposed to any General Government;
but, being less so to a republican than a
monarchical one, they naturally join those
whom they think pursuing the lesser evil.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 361. Ford ed., vi, 3.
(Pa., May. 1792)

5329. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—[further continued] .

While you [in France] are exterminating the monster aristocracy, and
pulling out the teeth and fangs of its associate,
monarchy, a contrary tendency is discovered
in some here. A sect has shown itself
among us, who declare they espoused our new
Constitution not as a good and sufficient thing
in itself, but only as a step to an English constitution,
the only thing good and sufficient in
itself, in their eyes. It is happy for us that
these are preachers without followers, and
that our people are firm and constant in their
republican purity. You will wonder to be told
that it is from the Eastward chiefly that these
champions for a King, lords and commons,
come. They get some important associates
from New York, and are puffed up by a tribe
of Agioteurs which have been hatched in a bed
of corruption made up after the model of
their beloved England. Too many of these
stock-jobbers and king-jobbers have come into
our Legislature, or rather too many of our
Legislature have become stock-jobbers and
king-jobbers. However, the voice of the people
is beginning to make itself heard, and will probably
cleanse their seats at the ensuing election.—
To General Lafayette. Washington ed. iii, 450. Ford ed., vi, 78.
(Pa., 1792)

5330. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—[further continued].

He [President Washington] said that as to the idea of transforming
this government into a monarchy, he did not
believe there were ten men in the United States
whose opinions were worth attention, who entertained
such a thought. I told him there
were many more than he imagined. I recalled
to his memory a dispute at his own table
* * * between General Schuyler, on one
side, and Pinckney and myself on the other,
wherein the former maintained the position,
that hereditary descent was as likely to produce
good magistrates as election. I told him, that
though the people were sound, there was a
numerous sect who had monarchy in contemplation;
that the Secretary of the Treasury was
one of these; that I had heard him say that this
Constitution was a shilly-shally thing, of mere
milk and water, which could not last, and was
only good as a step to something better. That


Page 567
when we reflected, that he had endeavored in
the convention, to make an English constitution
out of it, and when failing in that, we saw all
his measures tending to bring it to the same
thing, it was natural for us to be jealous; and
particularly, when we saw that these measures
had established corruption in the Legislature,
where there was a squadron devoted to the
nod of the Treasury, doing whatever he had directed,
and ready to do what he should direct.
That if the equilibrium of the three great bodies,
Legislative, Executive, and Judiciary, could be
preserved, if the Legislature could be kept independent,
I should never fear the result of such
a government; but that I could not but be uneasy
when I saw that the Executive had swallowed
up the Legislative branch. He said, that
as to that interested spirit in the Legislature,
it was what could not be avoided in any government,
unless we were to exclude particular
descriptions of men, such as the holders of the
funds from all office. I told him, there was
great difference between the little accidental
schemes of self-interest, which would take place
in every body of men, and influence their votes,
and a regular system for forming a corps of
interested persons who should be steadily at the
orders of the Treasury.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 121. Ford ed., i, 204.
(Oct. 1792)

5331. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—[further continued] .

In the course of our
[members of the Cabinet] conversation Knox,
stickling for parade, got into great warmth and
swore that our government must either be entirely
new modeled or it would be knocked to
pieces in less than ten years, and that, as it is
at present, he would not give a copper for it;
that it is the President's character, and not the
written Constitution, which keeps it together.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 139. Ford ed., i, 222.
(Feb. 1793)

5332. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—[further continued]..

The aspect of our politics
has wonderfully changed since you left us.
In place of that noble love of liberty, and republican
government which carried us triumphantly
through the war, an Anglican, monarchical,
aristocratical party has sprung up, whose
avowed object is to draw over us the substance,
as they have already done the forms of the
British government. The mass of our citizens,
however, remain true to their republican principles;
the whole landed interest is republican,
and so is a great mass of talents. Against us
are the Executive, the Judiciary, two out of
three branches of the Legislature, all the officers
of the Government, all who want to be officers,
all timid men who prefer the calm of despotism
to the boisterous sea of liberty. British merchants
and Americans trading on British capitals,
speculators and holders in the banks and
public funds, a contrivance invented for the purposes
of corruption, and for assimilating us in
all things to the rotten as well as the sound
parts of the British model. It would give you
a fever were I to name to you the apostates
who have gone over to these heresies, men who
were Samsons in the field and Solomons in the
council, but who have had their heads shorn by
* * * England. In short, we are likely to
preserve the liberty we have obtained only by
unremitting labors and perils. But we shall
preserve it; and our mass of weight and wealth
on the good side is so great, as to leave no
danger that force will ever be attempted against
us. We have only to awake and snap the
Lilliputian cords with which they have been entangling
us during the first sleep which succeeded
our labors.—
To Philip Mazzei. Washington ed. iv, 139. Ford ed., vii, 75.
(M. April. 1796)
See Mazzei.

5333. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—

It would seem that
changes in the principles of our government
are to be pushed till they accomplish a monarchy
peaceably, or force a resistance which,
with the aid of an army, may end in monarchy.
Still, I hope that this will be peaceably
prevented by the eyes of the people being
opened, and the consequent effect of the elective
To Charles Pinckney. Ford ed., vii, 398.
(M. Oct. 1799)

5334. MONARCHY, Advocates for.—[further continued].

I know, indeed, that there
are monarchists among us. One character of
these is in theory only, and perfectly acquiescent
in our form of government as it is, and not entertaining
a thought of destroying it merely on
their theoretic opinions. A second class, at the
head of which is our quondam colleague [in the
cabinet, Hamilton], are ardent for introduction
of monarchy, eager for armies, making more
noise for a great naval establishment than better
patriots, who wish it on a rational scale
only, commensurate to our wants and our
means. This last class ought to be tolerated
but not trusted.—
To General Henry Knox. Washington ed. iv, 386. Ford ed., viii, 36.
(W. March. 1801)

5335. MONARCHY, Colonists and.—

believe you may be assured, that an idea or
desire of returning to anything like their [the
Colonists'] ancient government, never entered
into their heads. [330]
To David Hartley. Washington ed. ii, 165.
(P. 1787)


David Hartley was the British agent in Paris.——Editor.

5336. MONARCHY, Colonists and.—[continued].

I am satisfied that the
King of England believes the mass of our people
to be tired of their independence, and desirous
of returning under his government, and that
the same opinion prevails in the ministry and
nation. They have hired their newswriters to
repeat this lie in their gazettes so long, that they
have become the dupes of it themselves.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 305.
(P. 1787)

5337. MONARCHY, Evils of.—

If anybody
thinks that kings, nobles or priests are
good conservators of the public happiness, send
him here [France]. It is the best school in
the universe to cure him of that folly. He will
see here, with his own eyes, that these descriptions
of men are an abandoned confederacy
against the happiness of the mass of the people.
The omnipotence of their effect cannot be better
proved than in this country particularly, where,
notwithstanding the finest soil upon earth, the
finest climate under heaven, and a people of the
most benevolent, the most gay and amiable character
of which the human form is susceptible;
where such a people, I say, surrounded by so
many blessings from nature, are loaded with
misery, by kings, nobles and priests, and by
them alone.—
To George Wythe. Washington ed. ii, 7. Ford ed., iv, 268.
(P. 1786)

5338. MONARCHY, Evils of.—[continued].

I am astonished at some
people's considering a kingly government as a
refuge [from the evils of the Confederation].
Advise such to read the fable of the frogs who
solicited Jupiter for a king. If that does not
put them to rights send them to Europe to
see something of the trappings of monarchy,
and I will undertake that every man shall go
back thoroughly cured. If all the evils which
can arise among us from the republican form of
government from this day to the day of judgment
could be put into a scale against what
this country [France] suffers from its monarchical
form in a week, or England in a month,
the latter would predominate. Consider the


Page 568
contents of the Red Book in England, or the
Almanac Royale of France, and say what a
people gain by monarchy. No race of kings has
ever presented above one man of common sense
in twenty generations. The best they can do
is to leave things to their ministers, and what
are their ministers but a committee, badly
chosen? If the king ever meddles it is to do
To Benjamin Hawkins. Washington ed. ii, 220. Ford ed., iv, 426.
(P. Aug. 1787)

5339. MONARCHY, Evils of.—[further continued].

I hear there are people
among you who think the experience of our
governments has already proved that republican
government will not answer. Send those
gentry here to count the blessings of monarchy.
A king's sister, for instance, stopped on the
road, and on a hostile journey, is sufficient
cause for him to march immediately twenty
thousand men to revenge this insult.—
To Joseph Jones. Washington ed. ii, 249. Ford ed., iv, 438.
(P. 1787)

5340. MONARCHY, Evils of.—[further continued] .

There is scarcely an evil
known in the European countries which May
not be traced to their king, as its source, nor
a good which is not derived from the small
fibres of republicanism existing among them.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 375. Ford ed., v, 8.
(P. 1788)

5341. MONARCHY, The Federal Convention and.—

The want of some authority
which should procure justice to the public creditors,
and an observance of treaties with foreign
nations, produced * * * the call of a convention
of the States at Annapolis. Although,
at this meeting, a difference of opinion was
evident on the question of a republican or kingly
government, yet, so generally through the States
was the sentiment in favor of the former, that
the friends of the latter confined themselves to
a course of obstruction only, and delay, to
everything proposed. They hoped, that nothing
being done, and all things going from bad to
worse, a kingly government might be usurped,
and submitted to by the people, as better than
anarchy and wars, internal and external, the
certain consequences of the present want of a
general government. The effect of their man
œuvres, with the defective attendance of deputies
from the States, resulted in the measure of
calling a more general convention, to be held
at Philadelphia. At this, the same party exhibited
the same practices, and with the same
views of preventing a government of concord,
which they foresaw would be republican, and
of forcing through anarchy their way to monarchy.
But the mass of that convention was too
honest, too wise, and too steady, to be baffled
or misled by their manœuvres. One of these
was a form of government proposed by Colonel
Hamilton, which would have been in fact a
compromise between the two parties of royalism
and republicanism. According to this,
the Executive and one branch of the Legislature
were to be during good behavior, i. e. for
life, and the governors of the States were to
be named by these two prominent organs. This,
however, was rejected; on which Hamilton left
the Convention, as desperate, and never returned
again, until near its conclusion. These
opinions and efforts, secret or avowed, of the
advocates for monarchy, had begotten great jealousy
through the States generally; and this jealousy
it was which excited the strong opposition
to the conventional Constitution; a jealousy
which yielded at last only to a general determination
to establish certain amendments as barriers
against a government either monarchical
or consolidated. [331]
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 89. Ford ed., i, 158.


Jefferson added: “In what passed through the
whole period of these conventions, I have gone on the
information of those who were members of them, being
myself absent on my mission to France.” A note
in the Ford edition reads: “No evidence whatever
has been found to confirm Jefferson's account of this
Convention * * *.”—Editor.

5342. MONARCHY, French Revolution and.—

The failure of the French Revolution
would have been a powerful argument with
those who wish to introduce a king, lords, and
commons here, a sect which is all head and no
To Edmund Pendleton. Ford ed., v, 358.
(Pa., 1791)

5343. MONARCHY, French Revolution and.—[continued].

President Washington
added that he considered France as the sheet
anchor of this country and its friendship as a
first object. There are in the United States
some characters of opposite principles; some
of them are high in office, others possessing
great wealth, and all of them hostile to France,
and fondly looking to England as the staff of
their hope. * * * They * * * have espoused
[the Constitution] only as a steppingstone
to monarchy, and have endeavored to
approximate it to that in its administration in
order to render its final transition more easy.
The successes of republicanism in France have
given the coup de grace to their prospects, and
I hope to their projects.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 503. Ford ed., vi, 155.
(Pa., 1793)

5344. MONARCHY, Hamilton and.—

[Alexander] Hamilton's financial system had
then [1790] passed. It had two objects. First,
as a puzzle, to exclude popular understanding
and inquiry. Secondly, as a machine for the
corruption of the Legislature; for he avowed
the opinion, that man could be governed by one
of two motives only, force or interest. [332] 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 measures of Hamilton's financial system,—the Funding and United States Bank Acts,


Page 569
&c.,] added to the number of votaries to the
Treasury, and made its Chief the master of
every vote in the Legislature, which might
give to the government the direction suited to
his political views. I know well, and so must
be understood, that nothing like a majority in
Congress had yielded to this corruption. Far
from it. But a division, not very unequal, had
already taken place in the honest part of that
body, between the parties styled republican
and federal. The latter being monarchists in
principle, adhered to Hamilton of course, as
their leader in that principle, and this mercenary
phalanx added to them, ensured him always
a majority in both Houses; so that the
whole action of the Legislature was now under
the direction of the Treasury. * * * By
this combination, legislative expositions were
given to the Constitution, and all the administrative
laws were shaped on the model of England,
and so passed. * * * Here then was
the real ground of the opposition which was
made to the course of administration. Its
object was to preserve the Legislature pure
and independent of the Executive, to restrain
the administration to republican forms and
principles, and not permit the Constitution to
be construed into a monarchy, and to be warped
in practice into all the principles and pollutions
of their favorite English model. Nor
was this an opposition to General Washington.
He was true to the republican charge confided
to him; and has solemnly and repeatedly protested
to me, in our conversations that he would
lose the last drop of his blood in support of it;
and he did this the oftener, and with the more
earnestness, because he knew my suspicions
of Hamilton's designs against it, and wished
to quiet them. For he was not aware of the
drift, or of the effect of Hamilton's schemes.
Unversed in financial projects, and calculations
and budgets, his approbation of them was bottomed
on his confidence in the man.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 91. Ford ed., i, 160, 164, 165.


The subjoined extracts from Hamilton's Works set forth his principles of government in this respect:

“A vast majority of mankind is naturally biased
by the motives of self-interest.”—Hamilton's Works, ii, 10.

“The safest reliance of every government is on
men's interests. This is a principle of human nature
on which all political speculation, to be just, must
be founded.”—Hamilton's Works. ii, 298.

“We may preach until we are tired of the theme
the necessity of disinterestedness in republics, without
making a single proselyte.”—Hamilton's Works. ii, 197.

“A small knowledge of human nature will convince
us that with far the greatest part of mankind
interest is the governing principle, and that almost
every man is more or less under its influence. Motives
of public virtue may for a time, or in particular
instances, actuate men to the observance of a conduct
purely disinterested, but they are not sufficient
of themselves to produce a conformity to the refined
dictates of social duty. Few men are capable of
making a continual sacrifice of all views of profit,
interest, or advantage, to the common good. It is
in vain to exclaim against the depravity of human
nature on this account; the fact is so, and we must in
a great measure change the constitution of man
before we can make it otherwise. No institution
not built on the presumptive truth of these maxims
can succeed.”—Hamilton's Works. ii, 140.—Editor.

5345. MONARCHY, Hamilton and.—[continued].

Hamilton was not only
a monarchist, but for a monarchy bottomed on
corruption. In proof of this, I will relate an
anecdote, for the truth of which I attest the
God who made me. Before the President
[Washington] set out on his southern tour in
April, 1791, he addressed a letter of the fourth
of that month, from Mount Vernon, to the Secretaries
of State, Treasury, and War, desiring
that if any serious and important cases should
arise during his absence, they would consult and
act on them. And he requested that the VicePresident
should also be consulted. This was
the only occasion on which that officer was
ever requested to take part in a cabinet question.
Some occasion for consultation arising,
I invited those gentlemen (and the Attorney
General as well as I remember), to dine with
me, in order to confer on the subject. After
the cloth was removed, and our question agreed
and dismissed, conversation began on other
matters, and, by some circumstance, was
led to the British Constitution, on which Mr.
Adams observed, “Purge that constitution of
its corruption, and give to its popular branch
equality of representation, and it would be the
most perfect constitution ever devised by the
wit of man”. Hamilton paused and said,
“purge it of its corruption, and give to its
popular branch equality of representation, and
it would become an impracticable government;
as it stands at present, with all its supposed
defects, it is the most perfect government
which ever existed”. And this was assuredly
the exact line which separated the political
creeds of these two gentlemen. The one was
for two hereditary branches and an honest
elective one; the other for an hereditary King,
with a House of Lords and Commons corrupted
to his will, and standing between him and
the people.
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 96. Ford ed., i, 165.

5346. MONARCHY, Hamilton and.—[further continued].

Hamilton frankly avowed
that he considered the British constitution,
with all the corruptions of its administration,
as the most perfect model of government which
had ever been devised by the wit of man; professing
however, at the same time, that the
spirit of this country was so fundamentally republican
that it would be visionary to think
of introducing monarchy here, and that, therefore,
it was the duty of its administrators to
conduct it on the principles their constituents
had elected.—
To Martin Van Buren. Washington ed. vii, 371. Ford ed., x, 314.
(M. 1824)

5347. MONARCHY, Hamilton and.—[further continued] .

Harper takes great pains
to prove that Hamilton was no monarchist, by
exaggerating his own intimacy with him, and
the impossibility, if he was so, that he should
not at some time have betrayed it to him. This
may pass with uninformed readers, but not
with those who have had it from Hamilton's
own mouth. I am one of those, and but one of
many. At my own table, in presence of Mr.
Adams, Knox, Randolph and myself, in a dispute
between Mr. Adams and himself, he
avowed his preference of monarchy over every
other government, and his opinion that the
English was the most perfect model of government
ever devised by the wit of man, Mr.
Adams agreeing, “if its corruptions were done
away”; while Hamilton insisted that “with
these corruptions it was perfect, and without
them it would be an impracticable government”.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 389. Ford ed., x, 330.
(M. 1825)

5348. MONARCHY, Imitation of.—

When on my return from Europe, I joined
the government in March, 1790, at New York,
I was much astonished, indeed, at the mimicry
I found established of royal forms and ceremonies,
and more alarmed at the unexpected
phenomenon, by the monarchical sentiments
I heard expressed and openly maintained in
every company, executive and judiciary ( General
Washington alone excepted), and by a
great part of the Legislature, save only some
members who had been of the old Congress,
and a very few of recent introduction. I took
occasion, at various times, of expressing to
General Washington my disappointment at
these symptoms of a change of principle, and
that I thought them encouraged by the forms
and ceremonies which I found prevailing, not
at all in character with the simplicity of republican
government, and looking as if wishfully
to those of European courts. His general explanations
to me were, that when he arrived at
New York to enter on the executive administration
of the new government, he observed to
those who were to assist him, that placed as
he was in an office entirely new to him, unacquainted
with the forms and ceremonies of
other governments, still less apprised of those
which might be properly established here, and
himself perfectly indifferent to all forms, he
wished them to consider and prescribe what
they should be; and the task was assigned particularly
to General Knox, a man of parade,
and to Colonel Humphreys, who had resided
sometime at a foreign court. They, he said,
were the authors of the present regulations,
and that others were proposed so highly


Page 570
strained that he absolutely rejected them. Attentive
to the difference of opinion prevailing
on this subject, when the term of his second
election arrived, he called the heads of Departments
together, observed to them the situation
in which he had been at the commencement of
the government, the advice he had taken and
the course he had observed in compliance with
it; that a proper occasion had now arrived of
revising that course, of correcting it in any particulars
not approved in experience; and he
desired us to consult together, agree on any
changes we should think for the better, and
that he should willingly conform to what we
should advise. We met at my office. Hamilton
and myself agreed at once that there was
too much ceremony for the character of our
government, and particularly that the parade
of the installation at New York ought not to
be copied on the present occasion, that the
President should desire the Chief Justice to
attend him at his chambers, that he should administer
the oath of office to him in the presence
of the higher officers of the government, and
that the certificate of the fact should be delivered
to the Secretary of State to be recorded.
Randolph and Knox differed from us, the latter
vehemently; they thought it not advisable to
change any of the established forms, and we
authorized Randolph to report our opinions to
the President. As these opinions were divided,
and no positive advice given as to any
change, no change was made.—
To Martin Van Buren. Washington ed. vii, 367. Ford ed., x, 310.
(M. 1824)

5349. MONARCHY, Imitation of.—[continued].

The forms which I had
censured in my letter to Mazzei were perfectly
understood by General Washington, and were
those which he himself but barely tolerated.
He had furnished me a proper occasion for
proposing their reformation, and my opinion
not prevailing, he knew I could not have meant
any part of the censure for him.—
To Martin Van Buren. Washington ed. vii, 368. Ford ed., x, 311.
(M. 1824)

5350. MONARCHY, Inimical to.—

I was
much an enemy to monarchies before I came
to Europe. I am ten thousand times more so,
since I have seen what they are.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 375. Ford ed., v, 8.
(P. 1788)

5351. MONARCHY, Preference for.—

returned from the mission [to France] in the
first year of the new government * * * and
proceeded to New York to enter on the office
of Secretary of State. Here, certainly, I found
a state of things which, of all I had ever contemplated,
I the least expected. I had left
France in the first year of her Revolution, in
the fervor of natural rights, and zeal for reformation.
My conscientious devotion to these
rights could not be heightened, but it had been
aroused and excited by daily exercise. The
President received me cordially, and my colleagues
and the circle of principal citizens,
apparently, with welcome. The courtesies of
dinner parties given me, as a stranger newly
arrived among them, placed me at once in
their familiar society. But I cannot describe
the wonder and mortification with which the
table conversations filled me. Politics was the
chief topic, and a preference of kingly, over
republican, government was evidently the favorite
sentiment. An apostate I could not be, nor
yet a hypocrite; and I found myself, for the
most part, the only advocate on the republican
side of the question, unless among the guests
there chanced to be some member of that party
from the Legislative Houses.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 91. Ford ed., i, 159.

5352. MONARCHY, Preference for.—[continued].

When I arrived at New
York in 1790, to take a part in the administration,
being fresh from the French Revolution,
while in its first and pure stage, and consequently
somewhat whetted up in my own republican
principles, I found a state of things,
in the general society of the place, which I
could not have supposed possible. Being a
stranger there, I was feasted from table to
table, at large set dinners, the parties generally
from twenty to thirty. The revolution I
had left, and that we had just gone through in
the recent change of our own government, being
the common topics of conversation, I was
astonished to find the general prevalence of
monarchical sentiments, insomuch that in
maintaining those of republicanism, I had always
the whole company on my hands, never
scarcely finding among them a single coadvocate
in that argument, unless some old member
of Congress happened to be present. The
furthest that any one would go, in support of
the republican features of our new government,
would be to say, “the present Constitution is
well as a beginning and may be allowed a fair
trial; but it is, in fact, only a stepping stone
to something better”. Among their writers,
[Joseph] Dennie, the editor of the “ Portfolio
”, who was a kind of oracle with them,
and styled “the Addison of America”, openly
avowed his preference of monarchy over all
other forms of government, prided himself on
the avowal, and maintained it by argument
freely and without reserve in his publications.
I do not myself know that the Essex Junta, of
Boston, were monarchists, but I have always
heard it so said, and never doubted. These
are but detached items from a great mass of
proofs then fully before the public. * * * They are now disavowed by the party. But,
had it not been for the firm and determined
stand then made by a counter party, no man
can say what our government would have been
at this day. Monarchy, to be sure, is now defeated,
and they wish it should be forgotten
that it was ever advocated. They see that it
is desperate, and treat its imputation to them
as a calumny; and I verily believe that none of
them have it now in direct aim. Yet the spirit
is not done away. The same party takes now
what they deem the next best ground, the consolidation
of the government; the giving to
the Federal member of the Government, by
unlimited constructions of the Constitution, a
control over all the functions of the States,
and the concentration of all power ultimately
at Washington.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 390. Ford ed., x, 332.
(M. 1825)

5353. MONARCHY, Throwing off.—

With respect to the State of Virginia in particular,
the people seem to have laid aside the
monarchical, and taken up the republican form
of government with as much ease as would
have attended their throwing off an old and
putting on a new suit of clothes. Not a single
throe has attended this important transformation.
A half-dozen aristocratical gentlemen,
agonizing under the loss of preeminence,
have sometimes ventured their sarcasms on our
political metamorphosis. They have been
thought fitter objects of pity than of punishment.—
To Benjamin Franklin. Washington ed. i, 204. Ford ed., ii, 131.
(Aug. 1777)

5354. MONARCHY, Washington and.—

I am satisfied that General Washington had not a wish to perpetuate his authority; but he


Page 571
who supposes it was practicable, had he wished
it, knows nothing of the spirit of America,
either of the people or of those who possessed
their confidence. There was, indeed, a cabal
of the officers of the army who proposed to
establish a monarchy and to propose it to General
Washington. He frowned indignantly at
the proposition (according to the information
which got abroad), and Rufus King and some
few civil characters, chiefly (indeed, I believe,
to a man) north of Maryland, who joined in
this intrigue. But they never dared openly
to avow it, knowing that the spirit which had
produced a change in the form of government
was alive to the preservation of it.—
Notes on Marshall's Life of Washington. Washington ed. ix, 478. Ford ed., ix, 262.

5355. MONARCHY, Washington and.—[continued].

The next effort was (on
suggestion of the same individuals, in the
moment of their separation), the establishment
of an hereditary order, under the name of the
Cincinnati, ready prepared, by that distinction,
to be engrafted into the future form of government,
and placing General Washington still
at their head. The General wrote to me on
this subject, while I was in Congress at Annapolis.
* * * He afterwards called on
me at that place, on his way to a meeting of
the society, and after a whole evening of consultation,
he left that place fully determined
to use all his endeavors for its total suppression.
But he found it so firmly riveted in the
affections of the members that, strengthened
as they happened to be by an adventitious occurrence
of the moment [the arrival of the
badges of the Order from France], he could
effect no more than the abolition of its hereditary
principle. [333] He called again on his return,
[334] and explained to me fully the opposition
which had been made, the effect of the occurrence
from France, and the difficulty with
which its duration had been limited to the lives
of the present members.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 89. Ford ed., i, 157.

See Cincinnati Society.


This is an error. The abolition of the hereditary
principle was proposed, but never adopted.—Note
in Ford edition.


This cannot be so, as Washington did not leave
Philadelphia till after May 16th, and Jefferson left
Annapolis for France on May 11th.—Note in Ford


With all the defects of our Constitution,
whether general or particular, the comparison
of our governments with those of Europe, is
like a comparison of heaven and hell. England,
like the earth, may be allowed to take
the intermediate station.—
To J. Jones. Washington ed. ii, 249.
(P. 1787)

5357. MONARCHY vs. REPUBLIC,—[continued].

We were educated in
royalism; no wonder if some of us retain that
idolatry still. Our young people are educated
in republicanism; an apostasy from that to
royalism, is unprecedented and impossible.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 5. Ford ed., v, 83.
(P. 1789)

5358. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—

The increase of circulating medium * * * according to my ideas of paper money, is
clearly a demerit [in the bill providing for the
establishment of a national bank.]—
National Bank Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 558. Ford ed., v, 287.

5359. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—[continued].

The adequate price of a
thing depends on the capital and labor nec
essary to produce it. In the term capital, I mean to include science, because capital as
well as labor has been employed to acquire it.
Two things requiring the same capital and
labor, should be of the same price. If a
gallon of wine requires for its production the
same capital and labor with a bushel of
wheat, they should be expressed by the same
price, derived from the application of a common
measure to them. The comparative
prices of things being thus to be estimated
and expressed by a common measure, we May
proceed to observe that were a country so
insulated as to have no commercial intercourse
with any other, to confine the interchange
of all its wants and supplies within
itself, the amount of circulating medium, as
a common measure for adjusting these exchanges,
would be quite immaterial. If their
circulation, for instance, were a million of
dollars, and the annual produce of their industry
equivalent to ten millions of bushels
of wheat, the price of a bushel of wheat might
be one dollar. If, then, by a progressive
coinage, their medium should be doubled, the
price of a bushel of wheat might become
progressively two dollars, and without inconvenience.
Whatever be the proportion of the
circulating medium to the value of the annual
produce of industry, it may be considered as
the representative of that industry. In the
first case, a bushel of wheat will be represented
by one dollar; in the second, by two
dollars. This is well explained by Hume,
and seems to be admitted by Adam Smith.
But where a nation is in a full course of
interchange of wants and supplies with all
others, the proportion of its medium to its
produce is no longer indifferent.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 233. Ford ed., ix, 406.
(M. 1813)

5360. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—[further continued].

One of the great advantages
of specie as a medium is, that being of
universal value, it will keep itself at a general
level, flowing out from where it is too
high into parts where it is lower. Whereas,
if the medium be of local value only, as paper
money, if too little, indeed, gold and silver
will flow in to supply the deficiency; but if
too much, it accumulates, banishes the gold
and silver not locked up in vaults and
hoards, and depreciates itself; that is to say,
its proportion to the annual produce of industry
being raised, more of it is required to
represent any particular article of produce
than in the other countries. This is agreed
to by [Adam] Smith the principal advocate
for a paper circulation; but advocating it on
the sole condition that it be strictly regulated.
He admits, nevertheless, that “the commerce
and industry of a country cannot be
so secure when suspended on the Dædalian
wings of paper money, as on the solid ground
of gold and silver; and that in time of war,
the insecurity is greatly increased, and great
confusion possible where the circulation is for
the greater part in paper”. But in a country
where loans are uncertain, and a specie
circulation the only sure resource for them,
the preference of that circulation assumes a


Page 572
far different degree of importance.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 233. Ford ed., ix, 407.
(M. Nov. 1813)

5361. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—[further continued] .

The only advantage
which [Adam] Smith proposes by substituting
paper in the room of gold and silver
money, B. 2. c. 2. 434, is “to replace an expensive
instrument with one much less costly,
and sometimes equally convenient”; that is
to say, page 437, “to allow the gold and silver
to be sent abroad and converted into
foreign goods”, and to substitute paper as
being a cheaper measure. But this makes no
addition to the stock or capital of the nation.
The coin sent was worth as much, while
in the country, as the goods imported and
taking its place. It is only, then, a change of
form in a part of the national capital, from
that of gold and silver to other goods. He
admits, too, that while a part of the goods
received in exchange for the coin exported
may be materials, tools and provisions for the
employment of an additional industry, a part,
also, may be taken back in foreign wines,
silks, &c., to be consumed by idle people who
produce nothing; and so far the substitution
promotes prodigality, increases expense and
corruption, without increasing production.
So far also, then, it lessens the capital of the
nation. What may be the amount which the
conversion of the part exchanged for productive
goods may add to the former productive
mass, it is not easy to ascertain, because,
as he says, page 441, “it is impossible to determine
what is the proportion which the circulating
money of any country bears to the
whole value of the annual produce. It has
been computed by different authors, from a
fifth to a thirtieth of that value”. In the
United States it must be less than in any
other part of the commercial world; because
the great mass of their inhabitants being in
responsible circumstances, the great mass of
their exchanges in the country is effected on
credit, in their merchants' ledger, who supplies
all their wants through the year, and at
the end of it receives the produce of their
farms, or other articles of their industry. It
is a fact that a farmer with a revenue of ten
thousand dollars a year, may obtain all his
supplies from his merchant, and liquidate
them at the end of the year by the sale of his
produce to him, without the intervention of
a single dollar of cash. This, then, is merely
barter, and in this way of barter a great
portion of the annual produce of the United
States is exchanged without the intermediation
of cash. We might safely, then, state
our medium at the minimum of one-thirtieth.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 234. Ford ed., ix, 407.
(M. Nov. 1813)

5362. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—[further continued].

But what is one-thirtieth
of the value of the annual produce of the industry
of the United States? Or what is
the whole value of the annual produce of the
United States? An able writer and competent
judge of the subject, in 1799, on as
good grounds as probably could be taken, estimated
it, on the then population of four and
a half millions of inhabitants, to be thirty-
seven and a half millions sterling, or one
hundred and sixty-eight and three-fourths
millions of dollars. According to the same
estimate for our present population, it will
be three hundred millions of dollars, onethirtieth
of which, Smith's minimum, would
be ten millions, and one-fifth, his maximum,
would be sixty millions for the quantum of
circulation. But suppose that instead of our
needing the least circulating medium of any
nation, from the circumstance before mentioned, we should place ourselves in the
middle term of the calculation, to wit: at
thirty-five millions. One-fifth of this, at the
least, Smith thinks, should be retained in
specie, which would leave twenty-eight millions
of specie to be exported in exchange for
other commodities; and if fifteen millions of
that should be returned in productive goods,
and not in articles of prodigality, that would
be the amount of capital which this operation
would add to the existing mass. But to what
mass? Not that of the three hundred millions,
which is only its gross annual produce,
but to that capital of which the three hundred
millions are but the annual produce. But
this being gross, we may infer from it the
value of the capital by considering that the
rent of lands is generally fixed at one-third
of the gross produce, and is deemed its net
profit, and twenty times that its fee simple
value. The profits on landed capital may,
with accuracy enough for our purpose, be
supposed to be on a par with those of other
capital. This would give us, then, for the
United States, a capital of two thousand millions,
all in active employment, and exclusive
of unimproved lands lying in a great degree
dormant. Of this, fifteen millions would be
the hundred and thirty-third part. And it is
for this petty addition to the capital of the
nation, this minimum of one dollar, added to
one hundred and thirty-three and a third or
three-fourths per cent., that we are to give up
our gold and silver medium, its intrinsic
solidity, its universal value, and its saving
powers in time of war, and to substitute for
it paper, with all its train of evils, moral,
political, and physical, which I will not pretend
to enumerate. There is another authority
to which we may appeal for the proper
quantity of circulating medium for the United
States. The old Congress, when we were estimated
at about two millions of people, on
a long and able discussion, June 22, 1775,
decided the sufficient quantity to be two millions
of dollars, which sum they then emitted, [335] According to this, it should be eight millions,
now that we are eight millions of people.
This differs little from Smith's minimum of
ten millions, and strengthens our respect for
that estimate.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 234. Ford ed., ix, 408.
(M. Nov. 1813)
See Banks and Debt.


Within five months after this, they were compelled
by the necessities of the war, to abandon the
idea of emitting only an adequate circulation, and to
make their necessities the sole measure of their
emissions.—Note by Jefferson.

5363. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—[further continued] .

Specie is the most perfect
medium because it will preserve its own level;


Page 573
because, having intrinsic and universal value,
it can never die in our hands, and it is the
surest resource of reliance in time of war.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 246. Ford ed., ix, 416.
(M. Nov. 1813)

5364. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—[further continued].

It would be best that
our medium should be so proportioned to our
produce, as to be on a par with that of the
countries with which we trade, and whose
medium is in a sound state.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 246. Ford ed., ix, 416.
(M. Nov. 1813)

5365. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—[further continued] .

Instead of yielding to
the cries of scarcity of medium set up by
speculators, projectors and commercial
gamblers, no endeavors should be spared to
begin the work of reducing it by such gradual
means as may give time to private fortunes
to preserve their poise, and settle down with
the subsiding medium.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 246. Ford ed., ix, 417.
(M. Nov. 1813)

5366. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—[further continued]..

We are already at ten or
twenty times the due quantity of medium;
insomuch, that no man knows what his property
is now worth, because it is bloating
while he is calculating; and still less what it
will be worth when the medium shall be relieved
from its present dropsical state.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 246. Ford ed., ix, 417.
(M. Nov. 1813)

5367. MONEY, Circulating Medium.—[further continued] .

This State [Virginia] is
in a condition of unparalleled distress. The
sudden reduction of the circulating medium
from a plethory to all but annihilation is
producing an entire revolution of fortune.
In other places I have known lands sold by
the sheriff for one year's rent; beyond the
mountains we hear of good slaves selling for
one hundred dollars, good horses for five
dollars, and the sheriffs generally the purchasers.
Our produce is now selling at
market for one-third of its price before this
commercial catastrophe, say flour at three and
a quarter and three and a half dollars the
barrel. We should have less right to expect
relief from our legislators if they had
been the establishers of the unwise system of
banks. A remedy to a certain degree was
practicable, that of reducing the quantum of
circulation gradually to a level with that of
the countries with which we have commerce,
and an eternal abjuration of paper. * * * I
fear local insurrections against these horrible
sacrifices of property.—
To H. Nelson. Washington ed. vii, 151. Ford ed., x, 156.
(M. 1820)
See National Currency and Paper Money.

5368. MONEY, Clipped.—

The Legislatures
should cooperate with Congress in providing
that no money be received or paid at
their treasuries, or by any of their officers,
or any bank, but on actual weight; in making
it criminal, in a high degree, to diminish their
own coins and, in some smaller degree, to
offer them in payment when diminished.—
Notes on a Money Unit. Washington ed. i, 169. Ford ed., iii, 453.

5369. MONEY, Coinage.—

The Administrator
[Governor] shall not possess the pre
rogative * * * of coining moneys, or regulating
their values.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 19.
(June. 1776)

5370. MONEY, Coinage.—[continued].

For rendering the half penny pieces of copper coin of this Commonwealth
of more convenient value, and by that
means introducing them into more general
circulation; Be it enacted by the General Assembly
of the Commonwealth of Virginia that
* * * the said pieces of copper coin shall pass
in all payments for one penny each of current
money of Virginia. Provided * * * that no person shall be obliged to take above
one shilling of * * * copper coin in any
one payment of twenty shillings, or under,
nor more than two shillings and six pence
* * * in any one payment of a greater sum
than twenty shillings.—
Copper Coinage Bill. Ford ed., ii, 118.

5371. MONEY, Coinage.—[further continued].

It is difficult to familiarize
a new coin to the people; it is more difficult
to familiarize them to a new coin with
an old name.—
Notes on a Money Unit. Washington ed. i, 165. Ford ed., iii, 449.

See Dollar,

5372. MONEY, Coinage.—[further continued] .

A great deal of small
change is useful in a State, and tends to reduce
the price of small articles.—
Notes on a Money Unit. Washington ed. i, 166. Ford ed., iii, 450.

5373. MONEY, Coinage.—[further continued].

I think it my duty to inform
Congress that a Swiss, of the name of
Drost, established in Paris, has invented a
method of striking the two faces and the
edge of a coin, at one stroke. By this, and
other simplifications of the process of coinage,
he is enabled to coin from twenty-five to
thirty thousand pieces a day, with the assistance
of only two persons, the pieces of
metal being first prepared. I send you by
Colonel Franks three coins of gold, silver and
copper, which you will perceive to be perfect
medals; and I can assure you, from having
seen him coin many, that every piece is as
perfect as these. There has certainly never
yet been seen any coin, in any country, comparable
to this. The best workmen in this
way, acknowledge that his is like a new art.
Coin should always be made in the highest
perfection possible, because it is a great guard
against the danger of false coinage. This
man would be willing to furnish his implements
to Congress, and if they please, he
will go over and instruct a person to carry on
the work; nor do I believe he would ask
anything unreasonable. It would be very desirable,
that in the institution of a new coinage,
we could set out on so perfect a plan as
this, and the more so as while the work is
so exquisitely done, it is done cheaper.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 89.
(P. Jan. 1787)

5374. MONEY, Coinage.—[further continued] .

Coinage is peculiarly an
attribute of sovereignty. To transfer its exercise
into another country, is to submit it to
another sovereign.—
Coinage Report. Washington ed. vii, 463.
(April. 1790)

5375. MONEY, Coinage.—[further continued].

The carrying on a coinage
in a foreign country, as far as the Secretary


Page 574
[of State] knows, is without example; and general experience is weighty authority.—
Coinage Report. Washington ed. vii, 464.
(April. 1790)

5376. MONEY, Coinage.—[further continued] .

Perfection in the engraving
is among the greatest safeguards against counterfeits, because engravers of the
first class are few, and elevated by their rank
in their art, and far above the base and
dangerous business of counterfeiting.—
Coinage Report. Washington ed. vii, 463.
(April. 1790)

5377. MONEY, Coinage.—[further continued]..

As to the question on whom the expense of coinage is to fall, I
have been so little able to make up an opinion
satisfactory to myself, as to be ready
to concur in either decision.—
To Alexander Hamilton. Washington ed. iii, 330.

5378. MONEY, Foreign.—

The quantity
of fine silver which shall constitute the Unit
being settled, and the proportion of the value
of gold to that of silver; a table should be
formed * * * classing the several foreign
coins according to their fineness, declaring
the worth of a pennyweight or grain in each
class, and that they shall be lawful tenders at
those rates, if not clipped or otherwise
diminished; and, where diminished, offering
their value for them at the mint, deducting
the expense of recoinage.—
Notes on a Money Unit. Washington ed. i, 169. Ford ed., iii, 453.

See Gold and Silver.

5379. MONEY, Foreign.—[continued].

Most of the gold and
silver coins of Europe pass in the several
States of America according to the quantity
of pure metal they contain.—
M. du Rival. Washington ed. ii, 52.
(P. 1786)

5380. MONEY, Foreign.—[further continued].

A bill has passed the
Representatives giving three years longer currency
to foreign coins. * * * The effect
of stopping the currency of gold and silver
is to force bank paper through all the States.
However, I presume the State Legislatures
will exercise their acknowledged right of regulating
the value of foreign coins, when not
regulated by Congress, and their exclusive
right of declaring them a tender.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 183.
(Pa., Dec. 1797)

5381. MONEY, Foreign.—[further continued] .

By the Constitution Congress
may regulate the value of foreign coin;
but if they do not do it, the old power revives
to the State, the Constitution only forbidding
them to make anything but gold and
silver a tender in payment of debts.—
To John Taylor. Ford ed., vii, 182.
(Pa., 1797)

5382. MONEY, Foreign.—[further continued].

A bill has passed the Representatives
to suspend for three years the law
arresting the currency of foreign coins. The
Senate proposed an amendment, continuing the
currency of the foreign gold only. * * * The
object of opposing the bill is to make the
French crowns a subject of speculation (for
it seems they fell on the President's proclamation
to a dollar in most of the States). and
to force bank paper (for want of other medium )
through all the States generally.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 205. Ford ed., vii, 189.
(Pa., 1798)

5383. MONEY, Legal tender.—

I deny
the power of the General Government of
making paper money, or anything else, a legal
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 260. Ford ed., vii, 310.
(M. 1798)

— MONEY, Loaning.—

See Trade.

5384. MONEY, Morality and.—

and not morality, is the principle of commercial
To John Langdon. Washington ed. v, 513.

5385. MONEY, National rights and.—

Money is the agent by which modern nations
will recover their rights.—
To Comte de Moustier. Washington ed. ii, 389. Ford ed., v, 12.
(P. 1788)

— MONEY, Prices and.—

See Paper

5386. MONEY, Scarcity of.—

An unparalleled
want of money here, and stoppage of
discount at all the banks, oblige the merchants
to slacken the price of wheat and flour;
but it is only temporary.—
To George Gilmer. Ford ed., vi, 202.
(Pa., 1793)

5387. MONEY, Standard.—

I believe all
the countries in Europe determine their standard
of money in gold as well as silver.
Thus, the laws of England direct that a
pound Troy of gold, of twenty-two carats
fine, shall be cut into forty-four and a half
guineas, each of which shall be worth twenty-one
and a half shillings, that is, into 956 3-4
shillings. This establishes the shilling at
5.518 grains of pure gold. They direct that
a pound of silver, consisting of 11 1-10 ounces
of pure silver and 9-10 of an ounce alloy,
shall be cut into sixty-two shillings. This
establishes the shilling at 85.93 grains of
pure silver, and, consequently, the proportion
of gold to silver as 85.93 to 5.518, or as
15.57 to 1. If this be the true proportion
between the value of gold and silver at
the general market of Europe, then the value
of the shilling, depending on two standards,
is the same, whether a payment be made
in gold or in silver. But if the proportion
of the general market at Europe be as fifteen
to one, then the Englishman who
owes a pound weight of gold at Amsterdam,
if he sends the pound of gold
to pay it, sends 1043.72 shillings; if he sends
fifteen pounds of silver, he sends only 1030.5
shillings; if he pays half in gold and half in
silver, he pays only 1037.11 shillings. And
this medium between the two standards of
gold and silver, we must consider as furnishing
the true medium value of the shilling. If
the parliament should now order the pound
of gold (of one-twelfth alloy as before) to
be put into a thousand shillings instead of
nine hundred and fifty-six and three-fourths,
leaving the silver as it is, the medium or true
value of the shilling would suffer a change
of half the difference; and in the case before
stated, to pay a debt of a pound weight of
gold, at Amsterdam, if he sent the pound
weight of gold, he would send 1090.9 shillings;
if he sent fifteen pounds of silver, he


Page 575
would send 1030.5 shillings; if half in gold
and half in silver, he would send 1060.7
shillings; which shows that this parliamentary
operation would reduce the value of the
shilling in the proportion of 1060.7 to 1037.11.—
To J. Sarsfield. Washington ed. iii, 18.
(P. April. 1789)

5388. MONEY, Standard.—[continued].

Now this is exactly the effect of the late change in the quantity of
gold contained in your louis. Your marc
d'argent fin
is cut into 53.45 livres ( fifty-three
livres and nine sous), the marc de l'or
was cut, heretofore, by law, into 784.6
livres (seven hundred and eighty-four livres
and twelve sous); gold was to silver then as
14.63 to 1. And if this was different from
the proportion at the markets of Europe, the
true value of your livre stood half way between
the two standards. By the ordinance
of October the 30th, 1785, the marc of pure
gold has been cut into 828.6 livres. If your
standard had been in gold alone, this would
have reduced the value of your livre in the
proportion of 828.6 to 784.6. But as you
had a standard of silver as well as gold, the
true standard is the medium between the
two; consequently the value of the livre is
reduced only one-half the difference, that is
as 806.6 to 784.6, which is very nearly three
per cent. Commerce, however, has made a
difference of four per cent., the average value
of the pound sterling, formerly twenty-four
livres, being now twenty-five livres. Perhaps
some other circumstance has occasioned an
addition of one per cent. to the change of
your standard.—
To J. Sarsfield. Washington ed. iii, 19.
(P. April. 1789)

5389. MONEY, Standard.—[further continued].

To trade on equal terms,
the common measure of values should be as
nearly as possible on a par with that of its
corresponding nations, whose medium is in a
sound state; that is to say, not in an accidental
state of excess or deficiency. Now, one
of the great advantages of specie as a medium
is, that being of universal value, it will keep
itself at a general level, flowing out from
where it is too high into parts where it is
lower. Whereas, if the medium be of local
value only, as paper money, if too little, indeed,
gold and silver will flow in to supply
the deficiency; but if too much, it accumulates,
banishes the gold and silver not locked
up in vaults and hoards, and depreciates
itself; that is to say, its proportion to the
annual produce of industry being raised,
more of it is required to represent any particular
article of produce than in the other
countries. This is agreed by [Adam] Smith,
(B. 2. c. 2. 437,) the principal advocate for a
paper circulation; but advocating it on the
sole condition that it be strictly regulated.
He admits, nevertheless, that “the commerce
and industry of a country cannot be so secure
when suspended on the Dædalian wings of
paper money, as on the solid ground of gold
and silver; and that in time of war, the insecurity
is greatly increased, and great confusion
possible where the circulation is for
the greater part in paper”. (B. 2. c. 2. 484.)
But in a country where loans are uncertain,
and a specie circulation the only sure re
source for them, the preference of that circulation
assumes a far different degree of
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 233. Ford ed., ix, 407.
(M. Nov. 1813)

5390. MONEY, Standard.—[further continued] .

Our dropsical medium
is long since divested of the quality of a
medium of value; nor can I find any other.
In most countries a fixed quantity of wheat
is perhaps the best permanent standard. But
here the blockade of our whole coast, preventing
all access to a market, has depressed
the price of that, and exalted that of other
things, in opposite directions, and, combined
with the effects of the paper deluge, leaves
really no common measure of values to be
resorted to.—
To M. Correa. Washington ed. vi, 406.
(M. 1814)

5391. MONEY, Standard.—[further continued].

We have no metallic
measure of values at present, while we are
overwhelmed with bank paper. The depreciation
of this swells nominal prices, without
furnishing any stable index of real value.—
To Jean Baptiste Say. Washington ed. vi, 434.
(M. March. 1815)

5392. MONEY, Standard.—[further continued] .

We are now without any
common measure of the value of property,
and private fortunes are up or down at the
will of the worst of our citizens. Yet there
is no hope of relief from the Legislatures
who have immediate control over this subject.
As little seems to be known of the
principles of political economy as if nothing
had ever been written or practiced on the
subject, or as was known in old times, when
the Jews had their rulers under the hammer.
It is an evil, therefore, which we must make
up our minds to meet and to endure as
those of hurricanes, earthquakes and other
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. vi, 499.
(M. Oct. 1815)

5393. MONEY, Standard.—[further continued].

The flood with which
the banks are deluging us of nominal money
has placed us completely without any certain
measure of value, and, by interpolating a false
measure, is deceiving and ruining multitudes
of our citizens.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., x, 116.
(M. 1818)

5394. MONEY, Standard.—[further continued] .

There is one evil which
awakens me at times, because it jostles me
at every turn. It is that we have now no
measure of value. I am asked eighteen dollars
for a yard of broadcloth, which, when we
had dollars, I used to get for eighteen shillings;
from this I can only understand that
a dollar is now worth but two inches of
broadcloth, but broadcloth is no standard of
measure or value. I do not know, therefore,
whereabouts I stand in the scale of property,
nor what to ask, or what to give for it. I
saw, indeed, the like machinery in action in
the years '80 and '81, and without dissatisfaction;
because in wearing out, it was working
out our salvation. But I see nothing in
this renewal of the game of “Robin's Alive” but a general demoralization of the nation,
a filching from industry its honest earnings,
wherewith to build up palaces, and raise
gambling stock for swindlers and shavers,


Page 576
who are to close, too, their career of piracies
by fraudulent bankruptices.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. vii, 111. Ford ed., x, 121.
(M. 1819)

5395. MONEY, Standard.—[further continued]..

The evils of this deluge
of paper money are not to be removed, until
our citizens are generally and radically instructed
in their cause and consequences, and
silence by their authority the interested
clamors and sophistry of speculating, shaving,
and banking institutions. Till then we
must be content to return, quoad hoc, to the
savage state, to recur to barter in the exchange
of our property, for want of a stable,
common measure of value, that now in use
being less fixed than the beads and wampum
of the Indian, and to deliver up our citizens,
their property and their labor, passive victims
to the swindling tricks of bankers and
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 115.
(M. 1819)

See Banks, Dollar, National Currency, and Paper Money.

5396. MONEY, Unit of.—

The plan reported
by the Financier [Robert Morris] is
worthy of his sound judgment. It admits,
however, of objection in the size of the
Unit. He proposes that this shall be the
1440th part of a dollar; so that it will require
1440 of his units to make the one before
proposed. He was led to adopt this by a
mathematical attention to our old currencies,
all of which this Unit will measure without
leaving a fraction. But as our object is to
get rid of those currencies, the advantage
derived from this coincidence will soon be
past, whereas the inconveniences of this
Unit will forever remain, if they do not altogether
prevent its introduction. It is defective
in two of the three requisites of a
Money Unit. 1. It is inconvenient in its application
to the ordinary money transactions.
Ten thousand dollars will require eight figures
to express them, to wit, 14,400,000 units.
A horse or bullock of eighty dollars' value,
will require a notation of six figures, to wit,
115,200 units. As a money of account, this
will be laborious, even when facilitated by the
aid of decimal arithmetic: as a common
measure of the value of property, it will be
too minute to be comprehended by the people.
The French are subjected to very Iaborious
calculations, the livre being their ordinary
money of account, and this but between
1-5th and 1-6th of a dollar; but what
will be our labors, should our money of account
be 1-1440th of a dollar? 2. It is neither
equal, nor near to any of the known coins in
Notes on a Money Unit. Washington ed. i, 166. Ford ed., iii, 450.

See Dollar.

5397. MONEY, Unit of.—[continued].

I concur with you in
thinking that the Unit must stand on both
To Alexander Hamilton. Washington ed. iii, 330.
(Feb. 1792)

5398. MONEY, War and.—

Money is the
nerve of war.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. vi, 498.
(M. 1815)

5399. MONEY BILLS, Origination.—

Bills for levying money shall be originated
and amended by the Representatives only.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 17.
(June. 1776)

5400. MONEY BILLS, Origination.—[continued].

The Senate and the
House of Representatives [of Virginia] shall
each * * * have power to originate and
amend bills; save only that bills for levying
money shall be originated and amended by
the representatives only: the assent of both
houses shall be requisite to pass a law.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 17.
(June. 1776)

5401. MONEY BILLS, Parliament and.—

By the law and usage of the British parliament,
all those are understood to be money
bills which raise money in any way, or which
dispose of it, and which regulate those circumstances
of matter, method and time,
which attend as of consequence on the right
of giving and disposing. Again, the law and
customs of their Parliament, which include the
usage as to “money bills”, are a part of the
law of their land; our ancestors adopted their
system of law in the general, making from
time to time such alterations as local diversities
required; but that part of their law,
which relates to the matter now in question,
was never altered by our Legislature, in any
period of its history; but on the contrary, the
two Houses of Assembly, both under our regal
and republican governments, have ever
done business on the constant admission that
the law of Parliament was their law.—
Congress Report. Ford ed., ii, 136.

5402. MONEY BILLS, Parliament and.—[continued].

The right of levying money, in whatever way, being * * * exercised by the Commons, as their exclusive
office, it follows, as a necessary consequence,
that they may also exclusively direct its application.
“Cujus est dare, ejus est disponere
is an elementary principle both of
law and of reason. That he who gives, May
direct the application of the gift: or, in other
words, may dispose of it; that if he may give
absolutely, he may also carve out the conditions,
limitations, purposes, and measure of
the gift, seems as evidently true as that the
greater power contains the lesser.—
Congress Report. Ford ed., ii, 139.

5403. MONEY BILLS, Parliament and.—[further continued].

In 1701, the Lords having
amended a bill, “for stating and examining
the public accounts”, by inserting
a clause for allowing a particular debt, the
Commons disagreed to the amendment; and
declared for a reason, “that the disposition,
as well as granting of money by act of Parliament,
hath ever been in the House of Commons;
and, that the amendment relating to
the disposal of money does entrench upon
that right”. And, to a bill of the same nature
the year following, the Lords having proposed
an amendment, and declared, “that
their right in gaming, limiting, and disposing
of public aids, being the main hinge of the
controversy, they thought it of the highest
concern that it should be cleared and settled”.
They then go on to prove the usage by precedents,
and declarations, and from these


Page 577
conclude, “that the limitation, disposition, and
manner of account belong only to them”.—
Congress Report. Ford ed., ii, 140.

5404. MONEY BILLS, Virginia Constitution and.—

Had those who framed the
[Virginia] Constitution, as soon as they had
completed that work, been asked, man by
man, what a money bill was, it is supposed
that, man by man, they would have referred
for answer to the well known laws and usages
of Parliament, or would have formed their
answer on the Parliamentary idea of that
term. Its import, at this day, must be the
same as it was then. And it would be as
unreasonable, now, to send us to seek its
definition in the subsequent proceedings of
that body, as it would have been for them,
at that day, to have referred us to such proceedings
before they had come into existence.
The meaning of the term must be supposed
complete at the time they use it; and to be
sought for in those resources only which existed
at the time. Constructions, which do
not result from the words of the legislator,
but lie hidden in his breast, till called forth,
ex post facto, by subsequent occasions, are
dangerous, and not to be justified by ordinary
Congress Report. Ford ed., ii, 138.

5405. MONEY (Continental), Depreciation of.—

Previous to the Revolution, most
of the States were in the habit, whenever
they had occasion for more money than could
be raised immediately by taxes, to issue paper
notes or bills, in the name of the State,
wherein they promised to pay to the bearer
the sum named in the note or bill. In some
of the States no time of payment was fixed,
nor tax laid to enable payment. In these,
the bills depreciated. But others of the
States named in the bill the day when it
should be paid, laid taxes to bring in money
for that purpose, and paid the bills punctually,
on or before the day named. In these States,
paper money was in as high estimation as
gold and silver. On the commencement of
the late Revolution, Congress had no money.
The external commerce of the States being
suppressed, the farmer could not sell his produce,
and, of course, could not pay a tax.
Congress had no resource then but in paper
money. Not being able to lay a tax for its
redemption, they could only promise that
taxes should be laid for that purpose, so
as to redeem the bills by a certain day. They
did not foresee the long continuance of the
war, the almost total suppression of their
exports, and other events, which rendered the
performance of their engagement impossible.
The paper money continued for a twelvemonth
equal to gold and silver. But the
quantities which they were obliged to emit
for the purpose of the war, exceeded what
had been the usual quantity of the circulating
medium. It began, therefore, to become
cheaper, or, as we expressed it, it depreciated,
as gold and silver would have done, had they
been thrown into circulation in equal quantities.
But not having, like them, an intrinsic
value, its depreciation was more rapid and
greater than could ever have happened with
them. In two years, it had fallen to two
dollars of paper money for one of silver; in
three years, to four for one; in nine months
more, it fell to ten for one; and in the six
months following, that is to say, by September,
1779, it had fallen to twenty for one.
Congress, alarmed at the consequences which
were to be apprehended should they lose this
resource altogether, thought it necessary to
make a vigorous effort to stop its further
depreciation. They, therefore, determined, in
the first place, that their emissions should
not exceed two hundred millions of dollars,
to which term they were then nearly arrived;
and though they knew that twenty dollars of
what they were then issuing would buy no
more for their army than one silver dollar
would buy, yet they thought it would be
worth while to submit to the sacrifice of
nineteen out of twenty dollars, if they could
thereby stop further depreciation. They,
therefore published an address to their constituents,
in which they renewed their original
declarations, that this paper money should
be redeemed at dollar for dollar. They
proved the ability of the States to do this,
and that their liberty would be cheaply bought
at that price. The declaration was ineffectual.
No man received the money at a
better rate; on the contrary, in six months
more, that is, by March, 1780, it had fallen
to forty for one. Congress then tried an
experiment of a different kind. Considering
their former offers to redeem this money at
par, as relinquished by the general refusal to
take it but in progressive depreciation, they
required the whole to be brought in, declared
it should be redeemed at its present value,
of forty for one, and that they would give
to the holders new bills, reduced in their
denomination to the sum of gold or silver,
which was actually to be paid for them. This
would reduce the nominal sum of the mass
in circulation to the present worth of that
mass, which was five millions; a sum not
too great for the circulation of the States, and
which, they therefore hoped, would not depreciate
further, as they continued firm in
their purpose of emitting no more. This effort
was as unavailing as the former. Very little
of the money was brought in. It continued
to circulate and to depreciate till the end of
1780, when it had fallen to seventy-five for
one, and the money circulated from the
French army, being, by that time, sensible in
all the States north of the Potomac, the paper
ceased its circulation altogether in those
States. In Virginia and North Carolina it
continued a year longer, within which time
it fell to one thousand for one, and then
expired, as it had done in the other States,
without a single groan. Not a murmur was
heard on this occasion among the people. On
the contrary, universal congratulations took
place on their seeing this gigantic mass, whose
dissolution had threatened convulsions which
should shake their infant confederacy to its
centre, quietly interred in its grave. For


Page 578
eigners, indeed, who do not, like the natives,
feel indulgence for its memory, as of a being
which vindicated their liberties, and fallen in
the moment of victory, have been loud, and
still are loud in their complaints. A few of
them have reason; but the most noisy are
not the best of them. They are persons who
have become bankrupt by unskilful attempts
at commerce with America. That they May
have some pretext to offer to their creditors,
they have bought up great masses of this
dead money in America, where it is to be had
at five thousand for one, and they show the
certificates of their paper possessions, as if
they had all died in their hands, and had been
the cause of their bankruptcy. Justice will
be done to all, by paying to all persons what
this money actually cost them, with an interest
of six per cent. from the time they received
it. If difficulties present themselves in
the ascertaining the epoch of the receipt, it
has been thought better that the State should
lose, by admitting easy proofs, than that individuals,
and especially foreigners, should,
by being held to such as would be difficult,
perhaps impossible.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 248. Ford ed., iv, 153.
(P. 1786)

5406. MONEY (Continental), Redemption of.—

It will be asked, how will the two
masses of Continental and State money have
cost the people of the United States seventy-two
millions of dollars, when they are to be
redeemed. now, with about six millions? I
answer, that the difference, being sixty-six
millions, has been lost on the paper bills,
separately, by the successive holders of them.
Every one, through whose hands a bill passed,
lost on that bill what it lost in value, during
the time it was in his hands. This was a
real tax on him; and, in this way, the people
of the United States actually contributed
those sixty-six millions of dollars, during the
war, and by a mode of taxation the most oppressive
of all, because the most unequal of
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 260. Ford ed., iv, 165.
(P. 1786)

5407. MONEY (Continental), Redemption of.—[continued].

The soldier, victualer,
or other person who received forty dollars
for a service, at the close of the year 1779,
received in fact, no more than he who received
one dollar for the same service, in the
year 1775, or 1776; because, in those years,
the paper money was at par with silver;
whereas, by the close of 1799, forty paper
dollars were worth but one of silver, and
would buy no more of the necessaries of life.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 259. Ford ed., iv, 163.
(P. 1786)

5408. MONEY (Continental), Redemption of.—[further continued].

As to the paper money
in your hands, the States have not yet been
able to take final arrangements for its redemption.
But, as soon as they get their
finances into some order, they will assuredly
pay for what it was worth in silver at the time
you received it, with interest.—
To M. Duler. Washington ed. ii, 64.
(P. 1786)

See Assumption of State Debts.

— MONEY (Metallic) Alloy in.—

See Dollar.

5409. MONEY (Metallic) Gold and silver ratio.—

The proportion between the
values of gold and silver is a mercantile problem
altogether. It would be inaccurate to fix
it by the popular exchanges of a half Joe for
eight dollars, a Louis for four French crowns,
or five Louis for twenty-three dollars. The
first of these, would be to adopt [336] the Spanish
proportion between gold and silver; the second,
the French; the third, a mere popular
barter, wherein convenience is consulted
more than accuracy. The legal proportion in
Spain is 16 for 1; in England 15 1-2 for 1;
in France, 15 for 1. * * * Just principles
will lead us to disregard legal proportions altogether;
to enquire into the market price of
gold, in the several countries with which we
shall principally be connected in commerce,
and to take an average from them. Perhaps
we might, with safety, lean to a proportion
somewhat above par for gold, considering our
neighborhood, and commerce with the sources
of the coins, and the tendency which the high
price of gold in Spain has, to draw thither
all that of their mines, leaving silver principally
for our and other markets. It is not
impossible that 15 for 1, may be found an
eligible proportion. I state it, however, as
a conjecture only.—
Notes on a Money Unit. Washington ed. i, 168. Ford ed., iii, 452.


In the Ford edition the text reads, “would be
about the Spanish proportion”.—Editor.

5410. MONEY (Metallic) Gold and silver ratio.—[continued].

I observed * * * that the true proportion or value between gold
and silver was a mercantile problem altogether
and that, perhaps, fifteen for one
might be found an eligible proportion. The
Financier [Robert Morris] is so good as to
inform me that this would be higher than the
market would justify. Confident of his better
information on this subject, I recede from
that idea. [337]
Supplementary Explanations. Washington ed. i, 171. Ford ed., iii, 454.


Jefferson appends this note: “In a newspaper,
which frequently gives good details in political
economy, I find under the Hamburg head, that the
present market price of gold and silver is, in England,
15.5 for 1; in Russia, 15; in Holland, 14.75; in
Savoy, 14.6; in France, 14.42; in Spain, 14.3; in Germany,
14.155; the average of which is 14.675 or 14 5-8.
I would still incline to give a little more than the
market price for gold, because of its superior convenience
in transportation.”—Editor.

5411. MONEY (Metallic) Gold and silver ratio.—[further continued].

There are particular
public papers here [Paris] which collect and
publish with a good deal of accuracy the
facts connected with political arithmetic. In
one of these I have just read the following
table of the proportion between the value of
gold and silver in several countries: Germany
1. to 14 11-71. Spain 1. to 14 3-10. Holland
1. to 14 3-4. England 1. to 15 1-2. France
1. to 14 42-100. Savoy 1. to 14 3-5. Russia
1. to 15. The average is 1. to 14 5-8.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 45.
(P. 1785)

5412. MONEY (Metallic) Gold and silver ratio.—[further continued] .

I concur with you * * * in the proportion you establish between the
value of the two metals.—
To Alexander Hamilton, Washington ed. iii, 330.
(Feb. 1792)
See Dollar.


Page 579

5413. MONEY (Metallic), Payments in.—

As the laws authorize the payment of a
given number of dollars to you, and as your
duties place you in London, I suppose we are
to pay you the dollars there, or other money
of equal value, estimated by the par of the
metals. Such has, accordingly, been the practice
ever since the close of the war.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 526.
(Pa., 1793)
See Banks, Dollar, Money, National Currency, and Paper Money.

5414. MONEY (Metallic) vs. PAPER MONEY.—

Sober thinkers cannot prefer a paper
medium at 13 per cent. interest to gold
and silver for nothing.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., v, 350.
(Pa., 1791)

5415. MONEY (Metallic) vs. PAPER MONEY.—[continued].

Experience has proved
to us that a dollar of silver disappears for
every dollar of paper emitted.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iii, 268. Ford ed., v, 353.
(Pa., July. 1791)

5416. MONEY (Metallic) vs. PAPER MONEY.—[further continued].

Admit none but a metallic
that will take its proper level with
the like circulation in other countries.—
To Charles Pinckney. Washington ed. vii, 180. Ford ed., x, 162.
(M. 1820)

See Money.

5417. MONOPOLY, Abolish.—

It is better
to abolish monopolies in all cases, than
not to do it in any.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 446. Ford ed., v, 46.
(P. 1788)

5418. MONOPOLY, Banking.—

The bill
for establishing a National Bank undertakes
* * *, to form the subscribers into a corporation
[and] * * * to give them the sole
and exclusive right of banking under the
national authority; and so far is against the
laws of Monopoly.
National Bank Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 555. Ford ed., v, 285.
See Banks, National Currency and Paper Money.

5419. MONOPOLY, Banking.—[continued].

These foreign and false
citizens * * * are advancing fast to a
monopoly of our banks and public funds,
thereby placing our finances under their control.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 172. Ford ed., vii, 121.
(Pa., 1797)

5420. MONOPOLY, Colonies and.—

monopoly of our [the Colonies] trade * * * brings greater loss to us and benefit to them
than the amount of our proportional contributions
to the common defence [of the empire].—
Address to Governor Dunmore. Ford ed., i, 457.

5421. MONOPOLY, Colonies and.—[continued].

The Congress stated the
lowest terms they thought possible to be accepted,
in order to convince the world they
were not unreasonable. They gave up the
monopoly and regulation of trade, and all
acts of Parliament prior to 1764, leaving to
British generosity to render these, at some
future time, as easy to America as the interest
of Britain would admit.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 201. Ford ed., i, 483.
(M. 1775)

5422. MONOPOLY, Colonies and.—[further continued].

It is not just that the
Colonies should be required to oblige them
selves to other contributions while Great
Britain possesses a monopoly of their trade.
This does of itself lay them under heavy
contribution. To demand, therefore, an additional
contribution in the form of a tax,
is to demand the double of their equal proportion.
If we are to contribute equally with
the other parts of the empire, let us equally
with them enjoy free commerce with the
whole world. But while the restrictions on
our trade shut to us the resources of wealth,
is it just we should bear all other burthens
equally with those to whom every resource
is open?—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 479.
(July. 1775)
See Colonies.

5423. MONOPOLY, Commerce and.—

a declaration of rights, I mean one which
shall stipulate * * * freedom of commerce
against monopolies.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 355.
(P. 1788)

5424. MONOPOLY, Commerce and.—[continued].

The British have wished
a monopoly of commerce * * * with us,
and they have in fact obtained it.—
To Eleridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 172. Ford ed., vii, 121.
(Pa., 1797)

See Commerce and Free Trade.

5425. MONOPOLY, Commerce and.—[further continued].

Nor 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 commerce by monopolies.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.

5426. MONOPOLY, Corporations.—

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

5427. MONOPOLY, Farmers General.—

The true obstacle to this proposition has penentrated,
in various ways, through the veil
which covers it. The influence of the
Farmers General has been heretofore found
sufficient to shake a minister in his office.
Monsieur de Calonne's continuance or dismission
has been thought, for some time, to
be on a poise. Were he to shift this great
weight, therefore, out of his own scale into
that of his adversaries, it would decide their
preponderance. The joint interests of France
and America would be insufficient counterpoise
in his favor.—
Report to Congress. Washington ed. ix, 242. Ford ed., iv, 129.
(P. 1785)

5428. MONOPOLY, Farmers General.—[continued].

As to the article of
tobacco, which had become an important
branch of remittance to almost all the States,
I had the honor of communicating to you my
proposition to the Court to abolish the monopoly
of it in their farm; that the Count de
Vergennes was, I thought, thoroughly sensible
of the expediency of this proposition,
and disposed to defriend it; that the renewal


Page 580
of the lease of the farms had been consequently
suspended six months and was still
in suspense, but that so powerful were the
Farmers General and so tottering the tenure
of the Minister of Finance in his office, that
I despaired of preventing the renewal of the
farm at that time. Things were in this state
when the Marquis de Lafayette * * * proposed to me a conference with some persons
well acquainted with the commercial
system of this country. We met. They
proposed the endeavoring to have a committee
appointed to inquire into the subject. The
proposition was made to the Count de Vergennes,
who befriended it, and had the Marquis
de Lafayette named a member of the
committee. He became, of course, the active
and truly zealous member for the liberty
of commerce; others, though well-disposed,
not choosing to oppose the farm openly.
* * * The committee showed an early and
decisive conviction that the measure taken
by the farm to put the purchase of their tobaccos
into monopoly on that side of the
water, as the sale of them was on this,
tended to the annihilation of commerce between
the two countries. Various palliatives
were proposed from time to time. I confess
that I met them all with indifference; my
object being a radical cure of the evils by
discontinuing the farm, and not a mere assuagement
of it for the present moment,
which, rendering it more bearable, might lessen
the necessity of removing it totally, and
perhaps prevent that removal.—
To John Jay. Ford ed., iv, 232.
(P. 1786)

5429. MONOPOLY, Farmers General.—[further continued].

The Count de Vergennes
said that the difficulty of changing so ancient
an institution [Farmers General] was immense;
that the King draws from it a revenue
of 29 millions of livres; that an interruption
of this revenue at least, if not a
diminution, would attend a change; that
their finances were not in a condition to bear
even an interruption, and in short that no
minister could venture to take upon himself
so hazardous an operation. This was only
saying explicitly what I had long been sensible
of, that the Comptroller General's continuance
in office was too much on a poise to
permit him to shift this weight out of his
own scale into that of his adversaries; and
that we must be contented to await the completion
of the public expectation that there
will be a change in this office, which change
may give us another chance for effecting this
desirable reformation.—
To John Jay. Ford ed., iv, 234.
(P. 1786)

5430. MONOPOLY, Farmers General.—[further continued] .

The only question agitated
[at the next meeting of the committee] was how best to relieve the trade under its
double monopoly. The committee found
themselves supported by the presence and
sentiments of the Count de Vergennes. They,
therefore, resolved that the contract with Mr.
Morris, if executed on his part, ought not to
be annulled here, but that no similar one
should ever be made hereafter; that, so long
as it continued, the Farmers should be
obliged to purchase from twelve to fifteen
thousand hhds. of tobacco a year, over and
above what they should receive from Mr.
Morris, from such merchants as should bring
it in French or American vessels, on the same
conditions contracted with Mr. Morris; providing,
however, that where the cargo shall
not be assorted, the prices shall be $38, $36
and $34 for the 1st, 2d and 3d qualities of
whichsoever the cargo may consist. In case of
dispute about the quality, specimens are to be
sent to the council, who will appoint persons
to examine and decide on it. This is indeed
the least bad of all the palliatives which have
been proposed; but it contains the seeds of
perpetual trouble. It is easy to foresee that
the Farmers will multiply the difficulties and
vexations on those who shall propose to sell
to them by force, and that these will be
making perpetual complaints, so that both
parties will be kept on the fret. If, without
fatiguing the friendly dispositions of the
ministry, this should give them just so much
trouble as may induce them to look to the
demolition of the monopoly as a desirable
point of rest, it may produce permanent as
well as temporary good.—
To John Jay. Ford ed., iv, 235.
(P. 1786)

5431. MONOPOLY, Farmers General.—[further continued].

The body [Farmers General] to which this monopoly [tobacco] was
given, was not mercantile. Their object is
to simplify as much as possible the administration
of their affairs. They sell for cash;
they purchase, therefore, with cash. Their
interest, their principles and their practice,
seem opposed to the general interest of the
kingdom, which would require that this capital
article should be laid open to a free exchange
for the productions of this country.
So far does the spirit of simplifying their
operations govern this body, that relinquishing
the advantages to be derived from a competition
of sellers, they contracted some time
ago with a single person (Mr. Morris), for
three years' supplies of American tobacco, to
be paid for in cash. They obliged themselves
too, expressly, to employ no other person to
purchase in America, during that term. In
consequence of this, the mercantile houses of
France, concerned in sending her productions
to be exchanged for tobacco, cut off, for three
years, from the hope of selling these tobaccos
in France, were of necessity to abandon that
commerce. In consequence of this, too, a
single individual, constituted sole purchaser
of so great a proportion of the tobaccos made,
had the price in his own power. A great reduction
in it took place, and that, not only
on the quantity he bought, but on the whole
quantity made. The loss to the States producing
the article did not go to cheapening
it for their friends here. Their price was
fixed. What was gained on their consumption
was to enrich the person purchasing it;
the rest, the monopolists and merchants of
other countries.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 186.
(P. 1787)

5432. MONOPOLY, Indian trade.—

Colonel McGillivray, with a company of
British merchants, having hitherto enjoyed a


Page 581
monopoly of the commerce of the Creek nation,
with a right of importing their goods
duty free, and considering these privileges as
the principal sources of his power over that
nation, is unwilling to enter into treaty with
us, unless they can be continued to him.
And the question is how this may be done
consistently with our laws, and so as to avoid
just complaints from those of our citizens who
would wish to participate of the trade? Our
citizens, at this time, are not permitted to
trade in that nation. The nation has a right
to give us their peace, and to withhold their
commerce, to place it under whatever monopolies
or regulations they please. If they insist
that only Colonel McGillivray and his
company shall be permitted to trade among
them, we have no right to say the contrary.
We shall even gain some advantage in substituting
citizens of the United States instead
of British subjects, as associates of Colonel
McGillivray, and excluding both British subjects
and Spaniards from the country. Suppose,
then, it be expressly stipulated by treaty,
that no person be permitted to trade in the
Creek country, without a license from the
President, but that a fixed number shall be
permitted to trade there at all, and that the
goods imported for and sent to the Creek nation,
shall be duty free. It may further be
either expressed that the person licensed shall
be approved by the leader or leaders of the
nation, or without this, it may be understood
between the President and McGillivray that
the stipulated number of licenses shall be
sent to him blank, to fill up.—
Opinion on Indian Trade. Washington ed. vii, 504. Ford ed., v, 215.

5433. MONOPOLY, Indian trade.—[continued].

The enclosed reclamations
of Girod and Choate against the claims of
Bapstropp to a monopoly of the Indian commerce,
supposed to be under the protection of
the 3rd article of the Louisiana Convention,
as well as some other claims to abusive
grants, will probably force us to meet that
question. * * * Congress has [extended] about twenty particular laws * * * to
Louisiana. Among these is the act concerning
intercourse with the Indians, which establishes
a system of intercourse with them admitting
no monopoly. That class of rights,
therefore, is now taken from under the treaty,
and placed under the principles of our laws.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., viii, 313.
(July. 1804)

5434. MONOPOLY, Of influence.—

British have wished a monopoly of influence
with us, and they have, in fact, obtained
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 172. Ford ed., vii, 121.
(Pa., 1797)

5435. MONOPOLY, Inventions and.—

like the declaration of rights as far as it goes,
but I should have been for going further. For
instance, the following alterations and additions
would have pleased me. * * *.
Article. 9. Monopolies may be allowed to persons
for their own productions in literature,
and their own inventions in the arts, for a
term not exceeding—years, but for no
longer term, and for no other purpose.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 101. Ford ed., v, 113.
(P. Aug. 1789)

5436. MONOPOLY, Inventions and.—[continued].

To embarrass society
with monopolies for every utensil existing,
and in all the details of life, would be more
injurious to them than had the supposed inventors
never existed; because the natural
understanding of its members would have
suggested the same things or others as good.—
To Oliver Evans. Washington ed. v, 75.
(M. 1807)
See Inventions and Patents.

5437. MONOPOLY, Of the judiciary.—

It is the self-appointment [of the county
courts] I wish to correct; to find some
means of breaking up a cabal, when such a
one gets possession of the bench. When this
takes place, it becomes the most afflicting of
tyrannies, because its powers are so various,
and exercised on everything most immediately
around us. And how many instances have
you and I known of these monopolies of county
administration? I know a county in which a
particular family (a numerous one) got possession
of the bench, and for a whole generation
never admitted a man on it who was not
of its clan or connection. I know a county
now of one thousand and five hundred militia,
of which sixty are federalists. Its court is of
thirty members, of whom twenty are federalists
(every third man of the sect). There
are large and populous districts in it without
a justice, because without a federalist for
appointment; the militia are as disproportionably
under federal officers. * * * The
remaining one thousand four hundred and
forty, free, fighting and paying citizens, are
governed by men neither of their choice or
confidence, and without a hope of relief.
They are certainly excluded from the blessings
of a free government for life, and indefinitely,
for aught the Constitution has provided.
This solecism may be called anything
but republican.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vii, 18. Ford ed., x, 52.
(M. 1816)

5438. MONOPOLY, Land.—

The property
of France is absolutely concentrated in a
very few hands, having revenues of from half
a million of guineas a year downwards.
These employ the flower of the country as
servants, some of them having as many as
two hundred domestics, not laboring. They
employ also a great number of manufacturers,
and tradesmen, and lastly the class of
laboring husbandmen. But after all, there
comes the most numerous of all the classes,
that is, the poor who cannot find work. I
asked myself what could be the reason that so
many should be permitted to beg who are
willing to work, in a country where there is
a very considerable proportion of uncultivated
lands? Those lands are undisturbed only for
the sake of game. It should seem then that
it must be because of the enormous wealth of
the proprietors which places them above attention
to the increase of their revenues by
permitting these lands to be labored.—
To Rev. James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 35.
(P. 1785)


Page 582

5439. MONOPOLY, Limited.—

I sincerely
rejoice at the acceptance of the new Constitution
by nine States. It is a good canvas,
on which some strokes only want retouching.
What these are, I think are sufficiently manifested
by the general voice from north to
south, which calls for a bill of rights. It
seems pretty generally understood that this
should go to * * * monopolies. * * * The saying there shall be no monopolies,
lessens the incitements to ingenuity, which is
spurred on by the hope of a monopoly for
a limited time, as of fourteen years; but the
benefit of even limited monopolies is too
doubtful to be opposed to that of their general
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 445. Ford ed., v, 45.
(P. July. 1788)

5440. MONOPOLY, Military.—

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
* * * monopoly of military honors by the
noblesse * * *.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.

5441. MONOPOLY, Of office.—

When it
is considered that during the late administration,
those who were not of a particular
sect of politics were excluded from all office;
when, by a steady pursuit of this measure,
nearly the whole offices of the United States
were monopolized by that sect; when the
public sentiment at length declared itself, and
burst open the doors of honor and confidence
to those whose opinions they more approved,
was it to be imagined that this
monopoly of office was still to be continued
in the hands of the minority? Does
it violate their equal rights to assert some
rights in the majority also? Is it political
to claim a proportionate
share in the direction of the public affairs?
Can they not harmonise in society unless
they have everything in their own hands?—
To the New Haven Committee. Washington ed. iv, 404. Ford ed., viii, 69.
(W. July. 1801)

5442. MONOPOLY, Restrict.—

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

5443. MONOPOLY, Special privileges.—

Monopolizing compensations are among the most fatal abuses which some governments
practice from false economy.—
Opinion on Stevens Case. Washington ed. ix, 474.

5444. MONOPOLY, Suppress.—

A company
had silently and by unfair means obtained
a monopoly for the making and selling
spermaceti candles [in France]. As soon
as we [338] discovered it, we solicited its suppression
which is effected by a clause in the
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 342.
(P. 1787)


An acknowledgment of Lafayette's assistance.——Editor.

5445. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—

The abolition
of the monopoly of our tobacco in the hands of the Farmers General will be pushed
by us with all our force. But it is so interwoven
with the very foundations of their system
of finance that it is of doubtful event.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 20.
(P. Dec. 1784)

5446. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[continued].

The monopoly of the purchase of tobacco in France discourages
both the French and American merchant
from bringing it here, and from taking in exchange
the manufactures and productions of
France. It is contrary to the spirit of trade,
and to the dispositions of merchants, to carry
a commodity to any market where but one
person is allowed to buy it, and where, of
course, that person fixes its price which the
seller must receive, or reexport his commodity,
at the loss of his voyage thither.
Experience accordingly shows that they carry
it to other markets, and that they take in
exchange the merchandise of the place where
they deliver it. I am misinformed, if France
has not been furnished from a neighboring
nation with considerable quantities of tobacco
since the peace, and been obliged to
pay there in coin, what might have been paid
here (France) in manufactures, had the
French and American merchants brought the
tobacco originally here. I suppose, too, that
the purchases made by the Farmers General
in America are paid for chiefly in coin, which
coin is also remitted directly hence to England,
and makes an important part of the
balance supposed to be in favor of that nation
against this. Should the Farmers General,
by themselves, or by the company to
whom they may commit the procuring these
tobaccos from America, require, for the satisfaction
of government on this head, the exportation
of a proportion of merchandise in
exchange for them, it would be an unpromising
expedient. It would only commit the
exports, as well as imports, between France
and America, to a monopoly which, being
secure against rivals in the sale of the
merchandise of France, would not be likely
to sell at such moderate prices as might encourage
its consumption there, and enable it
to bear a competition with similar articles
from other countries. I am persuaded this
exportation of coin may be prevented, and
that of commodities effected, by leaving both
operations to the French and American
merchants, instead of the Farmers General.
They will import a sufficient quantity of tobacco,
if they are allowed a perfect freedom
in the sale; and they will receive in payment,
wines, oils, brandies, and manufactures,
instead of coin; forcing each other, by
their competition, to bring tobaccos of the
best quality; to give to the French manufacturer
the full worth of his merchandise, and
to sell to the American consumer at the
lowest price they can afford; thus encouraging
him to use, in preference, the merchandise
of this country.—
To Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 386.
(P. 1785)


Page 583

5447. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued].

If, by a simplification of the collection of the King's duty on tobacco,
the cost of that collection can be reduced even
to five per cent., or a million and a half, instead
of twenty-five millions; the price to the
consumer will be reduced from three to two
livres the pound. * * * The price, being
thus reduced one-third, would be brought
within the reach of a new and numerous circle
of the people, who cannot, at present, afford
themselves this luxury. The consumption,
then, would probably increase, and perhaps, in
the same if not a greater proportion with the
reduction of the price; that is to say, from
twenty-four to thirty-six millions of pounds;
and the King, continuing to receive twenty-five
sous on the pound, as at present, would receive
forty-five instead of thirty millions of
livres, while his subjects would pay but two
livres for an object which has heretofore cost
them three. Or if, in event, the consumption
were not to be increased, he would levy only
forty-eight millions on his people, where seventy-two
millions are now levied, and would
leave twenty-four millions in their pockets,
either to remain there, or to be levied in
some other form, should the state of revenue
require it. It will enable his subjects, also,
to dispose of between nine and ten millions
worth of their produce and manufactures,
instead of sending nearly that sum annually,
in coin, to enrich a neighboring nation.—
To Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 388.
(P. 1785)

5448. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued] .

I have heard two objections
made to the suppression of this monopoly.
1. That it might increase the importation of
tobacco in contraband. 2. That it would lessen
the abilities of the Farmers General to make
occasional loans of money to the public treasury.
* * * With respect to the first
* * * I may observe that contraband does
not increase on lessening the temptations to it.
It is now encouraged by those who engage in
it being able to sell for sixty sous what cost
but fourteen, leaving a gain of forty-six sous.
When the price shall be reduced from sixty
to forty sous, the gain will be but twenty-six,
that is to say, a little more than one-half
of what it is at present. It does not seem a
natural consequence then, that contraband
should be increased by reducing its gain nearly
one-half. As to the second objection, if we
suppose (for elucidation and without presuming
to fix) the proportion of the farm on tobacco,
at one-eighth of the whole mass farmed,
the abilities of the Farmers General to lend
will be reduced one-eighth, that is, they can
hereafter lend only seven millions, where heretofore
they have lent eight. It is to be considered,
then, whether this eighth (or other
proportion, whatever it be) is worth the annual
sacrifice of twenty-four millions, or if a
much smaller sacrifice to other moneyed men,
will not produce the same loans of money in
the ordinary way.—
To Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 389.
(P. 1785)

5449. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued].

While the advantages of
an increase of revenue to the crown, a diminution
of impost on the people, and a payment
in merchandise, instead of money, are conjectured
as likely to result to France from a
suppression of the monopoly on tobacco, we
have also reason to hope some advantages on
our part * * *. I do not expect this
advantage will be by any augmentation of
price. The other markets of Europe have too
much influence on this article to admit any
sensible augmentation of price to take place.
But the advantage I principally expect is an
increase of consumption. This will give us
a vent for so much more, and, of consequence,
find employment for so many more cultivators
of the earth; and, in whatever proportion it increases
this production for us, in the same
proportion will it procure additional vent for
the merchandise of France, and employment
for the hands that produce it. I expect, too,
that by bringing our merchants here, they
would procure a number of commodities in
exchange, better in kind and cheaper in price.—
To the Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 390.
(P. 1785)

5450. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued] .

I observed [to the Count
de Vergennes] that France paid us two millions
of livres for tobacco; that for such portions of
it as were bought in London, they sent the
money directly there, and for what they bought
in the United States, the money was still remitted
to London by bills of exchange; whereas,
if they would permit our merchants to sell this
article freely, they would bring it here, and
take the returns on the spot in merchandise, not
money. The Count observed that my proposition
contained what was doubtless useful, but
that the king received on this article, at present,
a revenue of twenty-eight millions, which
was so considerable as to render them fearful
of tampering with it; that the collection of
this revenue by way of Farm was of very
ancient date, and that it was always hazardous
to alter arrangements of long standing, and of
such infinite combinations with the fiscal system.
I answered, that the simplicity of the
mode of collection proposed for this article,
withdrew it from all fear of deranging other
parts of their system; that I supposed they
would confine the importation to some of
their principal ports, probably not more than
five or six; that a single collector in each of
these was the only new officer requisite; that
he could get rich himself on six livres a hogshead,
and would receive the whole revenue,
and pay it into the treasury, at short hand.—
Conference with Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. ix, 232. Ford ed., iv, 119.

5451. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued].

I have received the
propositions of Messrs. Ross, Pleasants, &c., for
furnishing tobacco to the Farmers General; but
Mr. Morris had, in the meantime, obtained the
contract. I have been fully sensible of the baneful
influence on the commerce of France and
America, which this double monopoly will have.
I have struck at its root here, and spared no
pains to have the farm itself demolished, but it
has been in vain. The persons interested in it
are too powerful to be opposed, even by the
interest of the whole country.—
To Governor Patrick Henry. Washington ed. i, 515. Ford ed., iv, 137.
(P. 1786)

5452. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued] .

Till I see all hope of removing
the evil [the tobacco monopoly in
France] by the roots desperate, I cannot propose
to prune its branches.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 549. Ford ed., iv, 213.
(P. 1786)

5453. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued]..

Morris's contract for
sixty thousand hogsheads of tobacco has been
concluded with the Farmers General. I have
been for some time occupied in endeavoring to
destroy the root of the evils which the tobacco
trade encounters in this country, by making
the ministers sensible that merchants will not
bring a commodity to a market, where but one
person is allowed to buy it; and that so long
as that single purchaser is obliged to go to foreign
markets for it, he must pay for it in coin,
and not in commodities. These truths have
made their way to the minds of the ministry,


Page 584
insomuch as to have delayed the execution of
the new lease of the Farms six months. It is
renewed, however, for three years, but so as
not to render impossible a reformation of this
great evil. They are sensible of the evil, but it
is so interwoven with their fiscal system, that
they find it hazardous to disentangle. The
temporary distress, too, of the revenue, they
are not prepared to meet. My hopes, therefore,
are weak, though not quite desperate.
When they become so, it will remain to look
about for the best palliative this monopoly can
bear. My present idea is that it will be found
in a prohibition to the Farmers General to purchase
tobacco anywhere but in France.—
To James Ross. Washington ed. i, 560. Ford ed., iv, 216.
(P. 1786)

5454. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued] .

I consider [the suppression
of the tobacco monopoly in France] as
the most effectual means of procuring the full
value of our produce, of diverting our demands
for manufactures from Great Britain to this
country to a certain amount, and of thus producing
some equilibrium in our commerce
which, at present, lies all in the British scale.
It would cement an union with our friends,
and lessen the torrent of wealth we are pouring
into the laps of our enemies.—
To T. Pleasants. Washington ed. i, 563.
(P. 1786)

5455. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued]..

I think that so long as
the monopoly in the sale [of tobacco] is kept
up, it is of no consequence to us how they modify
the pill for their own internal relief; but, on
the contrary, the worse it remains, the more
necessary it will render a reformation. Any
palliative would take from us all those arguments
and friends that would be satisfied with
accommodation. The Marquis de Lafayette,
though differing from me in opinion on this
point, has, however, adhered to my principle of
absolute liberty or nothing.—
To Col. Monroe. Washington ed. i, 568. Ford ed., iv, 225.
(P. 1786)

5456. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued]

Some symptoms make
me suspect that my proceedings to reduce the
abusive administration of tobacco by the Farmers
General have indisposed towards me a
powerful person in Philadelphia, who was
profiting from that abuse. An expression in the
enclosed letter of M. de Calonnes would seem
to imply that I had asked the abolition of Mr.
Morris's contract. I never did. On the contrary,
I always observed to them that it would
be unjust to annul that contract. I was led to
this by principles both of justice and interest.
Of interest, because that contract would keep
up the price of tobacco here to thirty-four,
thirty-six and thirty-eight livres, from which it
will fall when it shall no longer have that support.
However, I have done what was right,
and I will not so far wound my privilege of
doing that, without regard to any man's interest,
as to enter into any explanation of this
paragraph with him. Yet I esteem him highly,
and suppose that hitherto he had esteemed me.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. ii, 70.
(P. 1786)

5457. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued]

I shall certainly press for something to be done by way of antidote
to the monopoly under which tobacco is placed
in France.—
To Joseph Fenwick. Washington ed. ii, 182.
(P. 1787)

5458. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued]

Of these eighty millions
[of American exports to Europe], thirty are
constituted by the single article of tobacco.
Could the whole of this be brought into the
ports of France, to satisfy its own demands,
and the residue to be revended to other nations,
it would be a powerful link of commercial
connection. But we are far from this.
Even her own consumption, supposed to be
nine millions, under the administration of the
monopoly to which it is farmed, enters little,
as an article of exchange, into the commerce
of the two nations. When this article was first
put into Farm, perhaps it did not injure the
commercial interests of the kingdom; because
nothing but British manufactures were then allowed
to be given in return for American tobaccos.
The laying the trade open, then, to
all the subjects of France, would not have
relieved her from a payment in money. Circumstances
are changed; yet the old institution
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 186.
(P. 1787)

5459. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued]

The effect of this operation
was vitally felt by every farmer in America,
concerned in the culture of this plant. At
the end of the year, he found he had lost a
fourth or a third of his revenue; the State, the
same proportion of its subjects of exchange
with other nations. The manufacturers of this
country [France], too, were either not to go
there at all, or go through the channel of a
new monopoly, which, freed from the control
of competition in prices and qualities, was not
likely to extend their consumption. It became
necessary to relieve the two countries from the
fatal effects of this double monopoly.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 187.
(P. 1787)

5460. MONOPOLY, Tobacco.—[further continued]

The governments have
nothing to do, but not to hinder their merchants
from making the exchange.—
To Count de Montmorin. Washington ed. ii, 189.
(P. 1787)

5461. MONOPOLY, Western trade.—

The Ohio and its branches, which head up
against the Potomac, afford the shortest water
communication by five hundred miles of any
which can ever be got between the western
waters and Atlantic; and, of course, promise
us almost a monopoly of the Western and
Indian trade.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 402.
(A. Feb. 1784)

5462. MONOPOLY, Whale oil.—

My endeavors
for emancipating the tobacco trade
have been less successful [than have been
those with respect to whale oil]. I still continue
to stir, however, this and all other
To Mr. Otto. Washington ed. i, 559.
(P. 1786)

5463. MONOPOLY, Whale oil.—[continued].

On the subject of the whale fishery, I enclose you some observations
I drew up for the ministry here, in
order to obtain a correction of their Arret of
September last, whereby they had involved
our oils with the English, in a general exclusion
from their ports. They will accordingly
correct this, so that our oils will participate
with theirs, in the monopoly of their
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 538. Ford ed., v, 60.
(P. 1788)

5464. MONOPOLY, Whale oil.—[further continued].

I have obtained the promise
of an explanatory Arret to declare that that
of September 28 [1788], was not meant to extend
to us. Orders are accordingly given in
the ports to receive our [oils]. This places
us on a better footing than ever, as it gives us
a monopoly of this market in conjunction with
the French fishermen.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. ii, 549.
(P. 1788)

5465. MONROE DOCTRINE, Jefferson and.—

The question presented by the letters [339]


Page 585
you have sent me, is the most momentous
which has been offered to my contemplation
since that of Independence. That made us a
nation, this sets our compass and points the
course which we are to steer through the
ocean of time opening on us. And never
could we embark on it under circumstances
more auspicious. Our first and fundamental
maxim should be, never to entangle ourselves
in the broils of Europe. Our second,
never to suffer Europe to intermeddle with
cis-Atlantic affairs. America, North and
South, has a set of interests distinct from
those of Europe, and peculiarly her own.
She should therefore have a system of her
own, separate and apart from that of Europe.
While the last is laboring to become the
domicile of despotism, our endeavor should
surely be, to make our hemisphere that of
freedom. One nation, most of all, could disturb
us in this pursuit: she now offers to lead,
aid, and accompany us in it. By acceding
to her proposition, we detach her from the
bands, bring her mighty weight into the scale
of free government, and emancipate a continent
at one stroke, which might otherwise
linger long in doubt and difficulty. Great
Britain is the nation which can do us the
most harm of any one, or all on earth; and
with her on our side we need not fear the
whole world. With her, then, we should
most sedulously cherish a cordial friendship;
and nothing would tend more to knit our affections
than to be fighting once more, side
by side in the same cause. Not that I would
purchase even her amity at the price of taking
part in her wars. But the war in which the
present proposition might engage us, should
that be its consequence, is not her war, but
ours. Its object is to introduce and establish
the American system, of keeping out of our
land all foreign powers, of never permitting
those of Europe to intermeddle with the affairs
of our nations. It is to maintain our
own principle, not to depart from it. And
if, to facilitate this, we can effect a division
in the body of the European powers, and
draw over to our side its most powerful member,
surely we should do it. But I am clearly
of Mr. Canning's opinion, that, it will prevent
instead of provoke war. With Great Britain
withdrawn from their scale and shifted
into that of our two continents, all Europe
combined would not undertake such a war.
For how would they propose to get at either
enemy without superior fleets? Nor is the
occasion to be slighted which this proposition
offers, of declaring our protest against the
atrocious violations of the rights of nations,
by the interference of any one in the internal
affairs of another, so flagitiously begun by
Bonaparte, and now continued by the equally
lawless Alliance, calling itself Holy. But
we have first to ask ourselves a question.
Do we wish to acquire to our own confederacy
any one or more of the Spanish provinces?
I candidly confess, that I have ever
looked on Cuba as the most interesting addition
which could ever be made to our system
of States. The control which, with
Florida Point, this island would give us over
the Gulf of Mexico, and the countries and
isthmus bordering on it, as well as all those
whose waters flow into it, would fill up the
measure of our political well-being. Yet, as
I am sensible that this can never be obtained,
even with her own consent, but by war; and
its independence, which is our second interest
(and especially its independence of England ),
can be secured without it. I have no
hesitation in abandoning my first wish to
future chances, and accepting its independence,
with peace and the friendship of England,
rather than its association, at the expense
of war and her enmity. I could
honestly, therefore, join in the declaration
proposed, that we aim not at the acquisition
of any of those possessions, that we will not
stand in the way of any amicable arrangement
between them and the mother country;
but that we will oppose, with all our means,
the forcible interposition of any other power,
as auxiliary, stipendiary, or under any other
form or pretext, and most especially, their
transfer to any power by conquest, cession,
or acquisition in any other way. [340] I should


Page 586
think it, therefore, advisable, that the Executive
should encourage the British government
to a continuance in the dispositions
expressed in these letters, by an assurance
of his concurrence with them as far as his
authority goes; and that as it may lead to
war, the declaration of which requires an
act of Congress, the case shall be laid before
them for consideration at their first meeting,
and under the reasonable aspect in which
it is seen by himself. I have been so long
weaned from political subjects, and have so
long ceased to take any interest in them,
that I am sensible I am not qualified to offer
opinions on them worthy of any attention.
But the question now proposed involves consequences
so lasting, and effects so decisive
of our future destinies, as to rekindle all
the interest I have heretofore felt on such
occasions, and to induce me to the hazard of
opinions, which will prove only my wish to
contribute still my mite towards anything
which may be useful to our country. [341]
To President Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 315. Ford ed., x, 277.
(M. Oct. 1823)

See Policy.


The letters were those of Mr. Rush, our minister
at the Court of St. James's, in which he communicated
to President Monroe the proposition of Mr.
Canning that the United States and England should
issue a joint declaration announcing that, while the
two governments desired for themselves no portion
of the Spanish-American colonies, then in revolt
against Spain, they would not view with indifference
any foreign intervention in their affairs, or their acquisition
by a third power. The declaration was
intended to be a warning to the allied powers, Russia,
Prussia and Austria, the members of the Holy


The subjoined extract from President Monroe's
Message to Congress on Dec. 2d, 1823, embodies the
Monroe Doctrine:

“In the wars of European powers, in matters relating
to themselves, we have never taken any part,
nor does it comport with our policy so to do. It is
only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced
that we resent injuries or make preparations
for our defence. With the movements on this hemisphere
we are, of necessity, more immediately connected,
and by causes which must be obvious to all
enlightened and impartial observers. The political
system of the allied powers [the Holy Alliance] is
essentially different in this respect from that of
America. This difference proceeds from that which
exists in their respective governments. And to the
defence of our own, which has been achieved by the
loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by
the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and
under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity,
this whole Nation is devoted. We owe it, therefore,
to candor and to the amicable relations existing
between the United States and those powers to declare
that we should consider any attempt on their
part to extend their system to any portion of this
hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety.
With the existing colonies or dependencies of any
European power we have not interfered, and shall
not interfere. But with the Governments who have
declared their independence and maintained it we
have, on great consideration and on just principles,
acknowledged, we could not view any interposition
for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling
in any other manner their destiny, by any European
power, in any other light than as the manifestation
of an unfriendly disposition towards the United
States. Our policy in regard to Europe, which was
adopted at an early stage of the wars which have so
long agitated that quarter of the globe, nevertheless
remains the same, which is not to interfere in the
internal concerns of any of its powers; to consider
the Government de facto as the legitimate Government
for us; to cultivate friendly relations with it,
and to preserve those relations by a frank, firm, and
manly policy; meeting in all instances the just
claims of every power, submitting to injuries from
none. But in regard to these continents, circumstances
are eminently and conspicuously different.
It is impossible that the allied powers should extend
their political system to any portion of either continent
without endangering our peace and happiness;
nor can any one believe that our Southern brethren,
if left to themselves, would adopt it of their own
accord. It is equally impossible, therefore, that we
should behold such interposition, in any form, with


Morse, in his Life of Jefferson (p. 235), says: “It
is curious to note that in the course of this business
(navigation of Mississippi), there was already a
faint foreshadowing of that principle, which many
years afterwards was christened with the name of
Monroe. For a brief time it was thought, not without
reason, that so soon as hostilities should break
out between England and Spain, the former power
would seize upon the North American possessions of
the latter. Jefferson wrote to Gouverneur Morris:
`We wish you, therefore, to intimate to them (the
British ministry) that we cannot be indifferent to
enterprises of this kind. That we should contemplate
a change of neighbors with extreme uneasiness.
That a due balance on our borders is not less desirable
to us than a balance of power in Europe has
always appeared to them'.”—Editor.

5466. MONROE (James), Ability.—

Many points in Monroe's character would render
him the most valuable acquisition the republican
interest in this Legislature [Congress] could make.—
To John Taylor. Ford ed., vii, 322,
(Pa., Jan. 1799)

5467. MONROE (James), Ability.—[continued].

I clearly think with you
on the competence of Monroe to embrace great
views of action. The decision of his character,
his enterprise, firmness, industry, and
unceasing vigilance, would, I believe, secure, as
I am sure they would merit, the public confidence,
and give us all the success which our
means can accomplish.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. vi, 81. Ford ed., ix, 368.
(M. Oct. 1812)

5468. MONROE (James), Book by.—

Your book * * * works irresistibly. It
would be very gratifying to you to hear the
unqualified eulogies both on the matter and
manner by all who are not hostile to it from
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 183.
(Pa., Dec. 1797)

5469. MONROE (James), Book by.—[continued].

Monroe's book is considered
as masterly by all those who are not
opposed in principle, and it is deemed unanswerable.
An answer, however, is commenced in
Fenno`s paper, under the signature of “Scipio”
[Uriah Tracy]. The real author is not yet
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 206. Ford ed., vii, 190.
(Pa., Jan. 1798)

5470. MONROE (James), British treaty and.—

You complain of the manner in which
the [British] treaty was received. But what
was that manner? I cannot suppose you to
have given a moment's credit to the stuff which
was crowded in all sorts of forms into the public
papers, or to the thousand speeches they put
into my mouth, not a word of which I had
ever uttered. I was not insensible at the time
of the views to mischief, with which these lies
were fabricated. But my confidence was firm,
that neither yourself nor the British government,
equally outraged by them, would believe
me capable of making the editors of newspapers
the confidants of my speeches or opinions. The
fact was this. The treaty was communicated
to us by Mr. Erskine on the day Congress was
to rise. Two of the senators enquired of me
in the evening, whether it was my purpose to
detain them on account of the treaty. My
answer was, “that it was not; that the treaty
containing no provision against the impressment
of our seamen, and being accompanied
by a kind of protestation of the British ministers,
which would leave that government free
to consider it as a treaty or no treaty, according
to their own convenience, I should not give
them the trouble of deliberating on it”. This
was substantially, and almost verbally, what I
said whenever spoken to about it, and I never
failed when the occasion would admit of it, to
justify yourself and Mr. Pinckney, by expressing
my conviction, that it was all that could be
obtained from the British government; that
you had told their commissioners that your
government could not be pledged to ratify, because
it was contrary to their instructions; of
course, that it should be considered but as a
projet; and in this light I stated it publicly
in my message to Congress on the opening of
the session. Not a single article of the treaty
was ever made known beyond the members of
the administration, nor would an article of it be
known at this day, but for its publication in
the newspapers, as communicated by somebody
from beyond the water, as we have always understood.
But as to myself, I can solemnly protest,
as the most sacred of truths, that I
never, one instant, lost sight of your reputation
and favorable standing with your country, and
never omitted to justify your failure to attain
our wish, as one which was probably unattainable.
Reviewing, therefore, this whole subject,
I cannot doubt you will become sensible,
that your impressions have been without just
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 254. Ford ed., ix, 179.
(W. March. 1808)

See Impressment.

5471. MONROE (James), Confidence in.—

I have had, and still have, such entire
confidence in the late and present Presidents,
that I willingly put both soul and body into
their pockets.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. vii, 111. Ford ed., x, 120.
(M. 1819)

5472. MONROE (James), Defence of.—

I should be glad to see the defence of Monroe's
conduct which you possess, though no paper of
that title is necessary to me. He was appointed
to an office during pleasure merely to get him
out of the Senate, and with an intention to seize
the first pretext for exercising the pleasure of
recalling him. * * * I think with you it
will be best to publish nothing concerning Colonel
Monroe till his return, that he may accommodate
the complexion of his publication to
times and circumstances.—
To John Edwards. Washington ed. iv, 164. Ford ed., vii, 112.
(M. Jan. 1797)


Page 587

5473. MONROE (James), Defence of.—[continued].

I understand that the
opposite party admit that there is nothing in
your conduct which can be blamed, except the
divulging secrets; and this, I think, might be
answered by a few sentences, discussing the
question whether an ambassador is the representative
of his country or of the President.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 197.
(Pa., Feb. 1798)

5474. MONROE (James), Diplomatic expenses.—

Although it is not pleasant to fall
short in returning civilities, yet necessity has
rendered this so familiar in Europe as not to
lessen respect for the person whose circumstances
do not permit a return of hospitalities.
I see by your letters the pain which this situation
gives you, and I can estimate its acuteness
from the generosity of your nature. But,
my dear friend, calculate with mathematical
rigor the pain annexed to each branch of the
dilemma, and pursue that which brings the
least. To give up entertainment, and to live
with the most rigorous economy till you have
cleared yourself of every demand is a pain for
a definite time only; but to return here with
accumulated encumbrances on you, will fill your
life with torture. We wish to do everything
for you which law and rule will permit. But
more than this would injure you as much as
us. Believing that the mission to Spain will
enable you to suspend expense greatly in London,
and to apply your salary during your absence
to the clearing off your debt, you will
be instructed to proceed there as soon as you
shall have regulated certain points of neutral
right for us with England, or as soon as you
find nothing in that way can be done.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 288.
(W. Jan. 1804)

5475. MONROE (James), Distaste for law.—

You wish not to engage in the drudgery
of the bar. You have two asylums from
that. Either to accept a seat in the Council,
or in the Judiciary department. The latter,
however, would require a little previous drudgery
at the bar to qualify you to discharge your
duty with satisfaction to yourself. Neither of
these would be inconsistent with a continued
residence at Albemarle. It is but twelve
hours' drive in a sulky from Charlottesville to
Richmond, keeping a fresh horse always at
the half-way, which would be a small annual
To James Monroe. Washington ed. ii, 71.
(P. 1786)

5476. MONROE (James), English mission.—

I perceive that painful impressions
have been made on your mind during your late
mission, of which I had never entertained a
suspicion. I must, therefore, examine the
grounds, because explanations between reasonable
men can never but do good. 1. You consider
the mission of Mr. Pinkney as an associate,
to have been in some way injurious to
you. Were I to take that measure on myself,
I might say in its justification, that it has been
the regular and habitual practice of the United
States to do this, under every form in which
their government has existed. I need not recapitulate
the multiplied instances, because you
will readily recollect them. I went as an adjunct
to Dr. Franklin, and Mr. Adams, yourself
as an adjunct first to Mr. Livingston, and
then to Mr. Pinkney, and I really believe there
has scarcely been a great occasion which has
not produced an extraordinary mission. Still,
however, it is well known that I was strongly
opposed to it in the case of which you complain.
A committee of the Senate called on
me with two resolutions of that body, on the
subject of impressment and spoliations by
Great Britain, and requesting that I would demand
satisfaction. After delivering the resolutions,
the committee entered into free conversation,
and observed that although the Senate
could not, in form, recommend any extraordinary
mission, yet that as individuals, there
was but one sentiment among them on the
measure, and they pressed it. I was so much
averse to it, and gave them so hard an answer,
that they felt it, and spoke of it. But it did not
end here. The members of the other House
took up the subject, and set upon me individually,
and these the best friends to you, as
well as myself, and represented the responsibility
which a failure to obtain redress would
throw on us both, pursuing a conduct in opposition
to the opinion of nearly every member
of the Legislature. I found it necessary, at
length, to yield my own opinion to the general
sense of the national council, and it really
seemed to produce a jubilee among them; not
from any want of confidence in you, but from
a belief in the effect which an extraordinary
mission would have on the British mind, by
demonstrating the degree of importance which
this country attached to the rights which we
considered as infracted.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 253. Ford ed., ix, 178.
(W. March. 1808)

5477. MONROE (James), Friendship for.—

I have ever viewed Mr. Madison and
yourself as two principal pillars of my happiness.
Were either to be withdrawn, I should
consider it as among the greatest calamities
which could assail my future peace of mind. I
have great confidence that the candor and high
understanding of both will guard me against
this misfortune, the bare possibility of which
has so far weighed on my mind, that I could
not be easy without unburthening it. [342]
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 248. Ford ed., ix, 178.
(W. Feb. 1808)


From a letter concerning the Presidential contest
and his neutrality in the struggle for the nomination.—Editor.

5478. MONROE (James), Leaves Congress.—

I look forward with anxiety to the
approaching moment of your departure from
Congress. Besides the interest of the Confederacy
and of the State, I have a personal
interest in it. I know not to whom I may venture
confidential communications after you are
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 607. Ford ed., iv, 265.
(P. 1786)

5479. MONROE (James), Leaves Congress.—[continued].

I regret your departure
[from Congress]. I feel, too, the want of a
person there to whose discretion I can trust
confidential communications, and on whose
friendship I can rely against the designs of
To James Monroe. Washington ed. ii, 70.
(P. 1786)

5480. MONROE (James), Louisiana purchase.—

I find our opposition is very
willing to pluck feathers from Monroe [on the
acquisition of Louisiana], although not fond of
sticking them into Livingston's coat. The
truth is, both have a just portion of merit; and
were it necessary or proper, it could be shown
that each has rendered peculiar services, and
of important value.—
To General Horatio Gates. Washington ed. iv, 495. Ford ed., viii, 249.
(W. July. 1803)

See Louisiana.

5481. MONROE (James), Madison and.—

I had * * * a frank conversation with
Colonel Monroe. * * * I reminded him
that in the letter I wrote to him while in Europe,


Page 588
proposing the government of Orleans, I also suggested that of Louisiana, if fears for
health should be opposed to the other. I said
something on the importance of the post, its
advantages, &c.—expressed my regret at the
curtain which seemed to be drawn between him
and his best friends, and my wish to see his
talents and integrity engaged in the service
of his country again, and that his going into
any post would be a signal of reconciliation,
on which the body of republicans, who lamented
his absence from the public service,
would again rally to him. * * * The sum
of his answers was, that to accept of that office
was incompatible with the respect he owed
himself; that he never would act in any office
where he should be subordinate to anybody but
the President himself, or which did not place
his responsibility substantially with the President
and the nation; that at your accession to
the chair, he would have accepted a place in the
cabinet, and would have exerted his endeavors
most faithfully in support of your fame and
measures; that he is not unready to serve the
public, and especially in the case of any difficult
crisis in our affairs; that he is satisfied
that such is the deadly hatred of both France
and England, and such their self-reproach and
dread at the spectacle of such a government as
ours, that they will spare nothing to destroy it;
that nothing but a firm union among the whole
body of republicans can save it, and, therefore,
that no schism should be indulged on any
ground; that in his present situation, he is
sincere in his anxieties for the success of the
Administration, and in his support of it as far
as the limited sphere of his action or influence
extends; that his influence to this end had been
used with those with whom the world had ascribed
to him an interest he did not possess, until,
whatever it was, it was lost (he particularly
named J. Randolph, who, he said, had plans of
his own, on which he took no advice); and that
he was now pursuing what he believed his
properest occupation, devoting his whole time
and faculties to the liberation of his pecuniary
embarrassments, which, three years of close
attention, he hoped, would effect. In order to
know more exactly what were the kinds of
employ he would accept, I adverted to the information
of the papers, * * * that General
Hampton was dead, but observed that the
military life in our present state, offered nothing
which could operate on the principle of
patriotism; he said he would sooner be shot
than take a command under Wilkinson.
* * * On the whole, I conclude he would
accept a place in the cabinet, or a military
command dependent on the Executive alone,
and I rather suppose a diplomatic mission, because
it would fall within the scope of his views,
and not because he said so, for no allusion was
made to anything of that kind in our conversation.
Everything from him breathed the purest
patriotism, involving, however, a close attention
to his own honor and grade. He expressed
himself with the utmost devotion to the interests
of our own country, and I am satisfied
he will pursue them with honor and zeal in any
character in which he shall be willing to act.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 481. Ford ed., ix, 265.
(M. Nov. 1809)

5482. MONROE (James), Mission to France.—

The fever into which the western
mind is thrown by the affair at New Orleans
[suspension of right of deposit], stimulated by
the mercantile and generally the federal interests,
threatens to overbear our peace. In this
situation we are obliged to call on you for a
temporary sacrifice of yourself, to prevent this
greatest of evils in the present prosperous tide
of our affairs. I shall to-morrow nominate you
to the Senate for an extraordinary mission to
France, and the circumstances are such as to
render it impossible to decline; because the
whole public hope will be vested on you.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 188.
(W. Jan. 10, 1803)

5483. MONROE (James), Mission to France.—[continued].

You possess the unlimited
confidence of the Administration, and
of the western people; and generally of the republicans
everywhere; and were you to refuse
to go, no other man can be found who does this.
* * * All eyes, all hopes, are now fixed on
you; and were you to decline, the chagrin would
be universal, and would shake under your feet
the high ground on which you stand with the
public. Indeed, I know nothing which would
produce such a shock, for on the event of this
mission depend the future destinies of this republic.
If we cannot, by a purchase of the
country, ensure to ourselves a course of perpetual
peace and friendship with all nations,
then, as war cannot be distant, it behooves us
immediately to be preparing for that course,
without, however, hastening it; and it may be
necessary (on your failure on the continent)
to cross the channel. We shall get entangled
in European politics, and figuring more, be
much less happy and prosperous. This can
only be prevented by a successful issue to
your present mission. I am sensible after the
measures you have taken for getting into a
different line of business, that it will be a great
sacrifice on your part, and presents from the
season and other circumstances serious difficulties.
But some men are born for the public.
Nature by fitting them for the service of
the human race on a broad scale, has stamped
them with the evidences of her destination and
their duty.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 454. Ford ed., iv, 190.
(W. Jan. 1803)

See Louisiana.

5484. MONROE (James), Orleans governorship.—

When mentioning your going to
New Orleans [as Governor], and that the salary
there would not increase the ease of your situation,
I meant to have added that the only considerations
which might make it eligible to you
were the facility of getting there the richest
land in the world, the extraordinary profitableness
of its culture, and that the removal of
your slaves there might immediately put you
under way.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 290.
(W. Jan. 1804)

5485. MONROE (James), Orleans governorship.—[continued].

I wish you were here at
present, to take your choice of the two governments
of Orleans and Louisiana, in either of
which I could now place you; and I verily believe
it would be to your advantage to be just
that much withdrawn from the focus of the
ensuing contest, until its event should be known.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 11. Ford ed., viii, 448.
(W. May. 1806)

5486. MONROE (James), Orleans governorship.—[further continued].

The government of New
Orleans is still without such a head as I wish.
The salary of five thousand dollars is too small;
but I am assured the Orleans Legislature would
make it adequate, would you accept it. It is the
second office in the United States in importance,
and I am still in hopes you will accept it.
It is impossible to let you stay at home while
the public has so much need of talents.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 54. Ford ed., ix, 37.
(W. March. 1807)

5487. MONROE (James), President.—

Nor is the election of Monroe an inefficient


Page 589
circumstance in our felicities. Four and
twenty years, which he will accomplish, of administration
in republican forms and principles,
will so consecrate them in the eyes of the
people as to secure them against the danger of
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 67. Ford ed., x, 84.
(M. 1817)

5488. MONROE (James), President.—[continued].

I had had great hopes
that while in your present office you would break
up the degrading practice of considering the
President's house as a general tavern, and
economize sufficiently to come out of it clear of
difficulties. I learn the contrary with great regret.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., x, 246.
(M. 1823)

5489. MONROE (James), Presidential contest.—

I had intended to have written you
to counteract the wicked efforts which the
federal papers are making to sow tares between
you and me, as if I were lending a hand to
measures unfriendly to any views which our
country might entertain respecting you. But I
have not done it, because I have before assured
you that a sense of duty, as well as of delicacy,
would prevent me from ever expressing a
sentiment on the subject, and that I think you
know me well enough to be assured I shall conscientiously
observe the line of conduct I
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 82.
(W. May. 1807)

5490. MONROE (James), Presidential contest.—[continued].

I cannot, indeed, judge
what falsehoods may have been written or
told you; and that, under such forms as to command
belief. But you will soon find that so
inveterate is the rancor of party spirit among
us, that nothing ought to be credited but what
we hear with our own ears. If you are less
on your guard than we are here, at this moment,
the designs of the mischief-makers will not fail
to be accomplished, and brethren and friends
will be made strangers and enemies to each
other, without ever having said or thought a
thing amiss of each other. I presume that the
most insidious falsehoods are daily carried to
you, as they are brought to me, to engage us
in the passions of our informers, and stated so
positively and plausibly as to make even doubt a rudeness to the narrator; who, imposed on
himself, has no other than the friendly view of
putting us on our guard. My answer is, invariably,
that my knowledge of your character
is better testimony to me of a negative, than
an affirmative which my informant did not
hear from yourself, with his own ears. In fact,
when you shall have been a little longer among
us, [343] you will find that little is to be believed
which interests the prevailing passions, and happens
beyond the limits of our own senses. Let
us not, then, my dear friend, embark our happiness
and our affections on the ocean of slander,
of falsehood and of malice, on which our credulous
friends are floating. If you have been
made to believe that I ever did, said, or thought
a thing unfriendly to your fame and feelings,
you do me injury as causeless as it is afflicting
to me.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 255. Ford ed., ix, 180.
(W. March. 1808)


Monroe had just returned from Europe.—Editor.

5491. MONROE (James), Presidential contest.—[further continued].

In the present contest in
which you are concerned, I feel no passion, I
take no part, I express no sentiment. Whichever
of my friends is called to the supreme
cares of the nation, I know that they will be
wisely and faithfully administered, and as far
as my individual conduct can influence, they
shall be cordially supported. For myself I
have nothing further to ask of the world, than
to preserve in retirement so much of their esteem
as I may have fairly earned, and to be
permitted to pass in tranquillity, in the bosom
of my family and friends, the days which yet
remain for me. Having reached the harbor myself,
I shall view with anxiety (but certainly
not with a wish to be in their place) those who
are still buffeting the storm, uncertain of their
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 255. Ford ed., ix, 181.
(W. March. 1808)

See Madison.

5492. MONROE (James), Purity of.—

He is a man whose soul might be turned wrong
side outwards, without discovering a blemish
to the world.—
To W. T. Franklin. Washington ed. i, 555.
(P. 1786)

5493. MONROE (James), Randolph and.—

One popular paper is endeavoring to
maintain equivocal ground; approving the administration
in all its proceedings, and Mr.
[John] Randolph in all those which have heretofore
merited approbation, carefully avoiding
to mention his late aberration. The ultimate
view of this paper is friendly to you; and the
editor, with more judgment than him who assumes
to be at the head of your friends, sees
that the ground of opposition to the administration
is not that on which it would be advantageous
to you to be planted. The great body
of your friends are among the firmest adherents
to the administration; and in their support of
you, will suffer Mr. Randolph to have no communications
with them. * * * But it is
unfortunate for you to be embarrassed with such
a soi-disant friend. You must not commit yourself
to him.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 10. Ford ed., viii, 448.
(W. May. 1806)

5494. MONROE (James), Recall from France.—

I should not wonder if Monroe
were * * * recalled [from France], under
the idea of his being of the partisans of
France, whom the President [Washington] considers
as the partisans of war and confusion, * * * and as disposed to excite them to
hostile measures, or at least to unfriendly sentiments;
a most infatuated blindness to the true
character of the sentiments entertained in
favor of France.—
To W. B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 127. Ford ed., vii, 44.
(M. Dec. 1795)

5495. MONROE (James), Republicanism of.—

I know them both [Mr. Madison
and Mr. Monroe] to be of principles as truly
republican as any men living.—
To Thomas Ritchie. Washington ed. vii, 191. Ford ed., x, 170.
(M. 1820)

5496. MONROE (James), Secretary of State.—

Although I may not have been among
the first, I am certainly with the sincerest, who
congratulate you on your entrance into the
national councils. Your value there has never
been unduly estimated by those whom personal
feelings did not misguide.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 597. Ford ed., ix, 323.
(M. May. 1811)

5497. MONROE (James), Selection of a home.—

On my return from the South of
France, I shall send you * * * a plan of
your house. I wish to heaven you may continue
in the disposition to fix it in Albemarle.
Short will establish himself there, and perhaps
Madison may be tempted to do so. This will be
society enough, and it will be the great sweetener
of our lives. Without society, and a society
to our taste, men are never contented.
The one here supposed, we can regulate to our
minds, and we may extend our regulations to
the sumptuary department so as to set a good


Page 590
example to a country which needs it, and to
preserve our own happiness clear of embarrassment.
* * * I am in hopes that Mrs. Monroe
will have, in her domestic cares, occupation
and pleasure sufficient to fill her time and insure
her against the tedium vitæ; that she
will find that the distractions of a town and the
waste of life under these can bear no comparison
with the tranquil happiness of domestic
life. If her own experience has not yet taught
her this truth, she has in its favor the testimony
of one who has gone through the various
scenes of business, of bustle, of office, of rambling
and of quiet retirement and who can assure
her that the latter is the one point upon
which the mind can settle at rest. Though
not clear of inquietudes, because no earthly
situation is so, they are fewer in number and
mixed with more objects of contentment than
in any other mode of life.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. ii, 71.
(P. 1786)

5498. MONROE (James), Selection of a home.—[continued].

I had entertained hopes
of your settling in my neighborhood; but these
were determined by your desiring a plan of a
house for Richmond. However reluctantly I
relinquish this prospect, I shall not the less
readily obey your commands by sending you a
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 564. Ford ed., iv, 220.
(P. 1786)

5499. MONROE (James), Slanderous attack on.—

I have reason to believe they are
preparing a batch of small stuff, such as refusing
to drink General Washington's health,
speaking ill of him, and the government, withdrawing
civilities from those attached to him,
countenancing Paine, to which they add connivance
at the equipment of privateers by
Americans. * * * We are of opinion here
that Dr. Edward's certificate * * * should
be reserved to repel these slanders—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 232.
(Pa., April. 1798)

5500. MONROE (James), Slanderous attack on.—[continued].

I have had a consultation
with Mr. Dawson on the matter respecting
Skipwith. We have neither of us the least
hesitation, on a view of the ground, to pronounce
against your coming forward in it at
all. Your name would be the watchword of
party at this moment, and the question would
give opportunities of slander, personal hatred,
and injustice, the effect of which on the justice
of the case cannot be calculated. Let it, therefore,
come forward in Skipwith's name, without
your appearing even to know of it. * * * I do not think “Scipio” worth your notice.
* * * Your narrative and letters, wherever
they are read, produce irresistible conviction,
and cannot be attacked but by a contradiction
of facts, on which they do not venture.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vii, 232.
(Pa., April. 1798)

5501. MONROE (James), Slanderous attack on.—[further continued].

You will have seen,
among numerous addresses [to the President] and answers, one from Lancaster in Pennsylvania,
and its answer; the latter travelling out
of the topics of the address altogether, to
mention you in a most injurious manner. Your
feelings have no doubt been much irritated by
it, as in truth it had all the characters necessary
to produce irritation. What notice you should
take of it, is difficult to say. But there is one
step in which two or three with whom I have
spoken concur with me, that feeble as the hand
is from which this shaft is thrown, yet with a
great mass of our citizens, strangers to the leading
traits of the character from which it came,
it will have considerable effect; and that in
order to replace yourself on the high ground
you are entitled to, it is absolutely necessary
that you should reappear on the public theatre,
and take an independent stand, from which you
can be seen and known to your fellow citizens.
The House of Representatives appears the only
place which can answer this end, as the proceedings
of the other House are too obscure.
Cabell has said he would give way to you,
should you choose to come in, and I really
think it would be expedient for yourself as well
as the public, that you should not wait until
another election, but come to the next session.
No interval should be admitted between this last
attack of enmity and your reappearance with
the approving voice of your constituents, and
your taking a commanding attitude. * * * If this be done, I should think it best that you
take no notice at all of the answer.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 242. Ford ed., vii, 257.
(Pa., May. 1798)

5502. MONTESQUIEU (Baron), Author.—

The history of Montesquieu's “Spirit
of Laws” is well known. He had been a great
reader, and had commonplaced everything he
read. At length he wished to undertake some
work into which he could bring his whole commonplace
book in a digested form. He fixed
on the subject of his “Spirit of Laws”, and
wrote the book. He consulted his friend
Helvetius about publishing it, who strongly dissuaded
it. He published it, however, and the
world did not confirm Helvetius's opinion.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 535.
(M. 1810)

5503. MONTESQUIEU (Baron), Author.—[continued].

Every man who reflects as he reads, has considered it as a book of
paradoxes; having, indeed, much of truth and
sound principle, but abounding also with inconsistencies,
apocryphal facts and false inferences.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 535.
(M. 1810)

5504. MONTESQUIEU (Baron), Author.—[further continued].

I had, with the world,
deemed Montesquieu's work of much merit;
but saw in it, with every thinking man, so much
of paradox, of false principle and misapplied
fact, as to render its value equivocal on the
whole. Williams and others had nibbled only
at its errors. A radical correction of them,
therefore, was a great desideratum. This want
is now supplied, and with a depth of thought,
precision of idea, of language and of logic,
which will force conviction into every mind.
I declare to you, in the spirit of truth and sincerity,
that I consider it the most precious gift
the present age has received. But what would
it have been, had the author, or would the author,
take up the whole scheme of Montesquieu's
work, and following the correct analysis he has
here developed, fill up all its parts according
to his sound views of them. Montesquieu's
celebrity would be but a small portion of that
which would immortalize the author.—
To M. Destutt Tracy. Washington ed. v, 566. Ford ed., ix, 305.
(M. 1811)

5505. MONTESQUIEU (Baron), Monarchist.—

I am glad to hear of everything
which reduces Montesquieu to his just level,
as his predilection for monarchy, and the
English monarchy in particular, has done mischief
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 539.
(M. 1810)

5506. MONTICELLO, Beauties of.—

our own dear Monticello: where has nature
spread so rich a mantle under the eye?
Mountains, forests, rocks, rivers! With what
majesty do we there ride above the storms!
How sublime to look down into the workhouse
of nature, to see her clouds, hail, snow, rain,
thunder, all fabricated at our feet! And the

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Page 591
glorious sun when rising, as if out of a distant
water, just gilding the tops of the mountains,
and giving life to all nature! [344]
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 35. Ford ed., iv, 315.
(P. 1786)
See Mirage.


With the cares and delights of his family, his
books and his farm, he mingled the gratification of
his devotion to the Fine Arts, particularly architecture.
He superintended [in 1781-2] the construction
of his elegant mansion, which had been commenced
some years before, and was already in a habitable
condition. The plan of the building was entirely
original in this country. He had drawn it himself
from books, with a view to improve the architecture
of his countrymen, by introducing an example of
the tastes and arts of Europe. The original design
of the structure, which was executed before his
travels in Europe had supplied him with any models,
is allowed by European travelers to have been infinitely
superior, in taste and convenience, to that
of any other house in America. The fame of the
Monticellean philosopher having already spread over
Europe, his hospitable seat was made the resort of
scientific adventurers, and of dignified travelers
from many parts of that continent.—Rayner's Life
of Jefferson,
p. 221.

5507. MONTICELLO, Guests at.—

know our practice of placing our guests at
their ease, by showing them we are so ourselves
and that we follow our necessary vocations, instead
of fatiguing them by hanging unremittingly
on their shoulders.—
To Francis W. Gilmer. Washington ed. vii, 5.

5508. MONTICELLO, Recollections of.—

All my wishes end, where I hope my days
will end, at Monticello. Too many scenes of
happiness mingle themselves with all the recollections
of my native woods and fields, to suffer
them to be supplanted in my affection by any
To Dr. George Gilmer. Washington ed. ii, 243. Ford ed., iv, 436.
(P. 1787)

5509. MONTMORIN (Count), Honest.—

I am pleased with Montmorin. His honesty
proceeds from the heart as well as the head,
and therefore may be more securely counted
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 153. Ford ed., iv, 393.
(P. 1787)

5510. MONTMORIN (Count), Modest.—

I am extremely pleased with his modesty, the
simplicity of his manners, and his dispositions
towards us. I promise myself a great deal of
satisfaction in doing business with him.—
To Marquis de Lafayette. Washington ed. ii, 131.
(P. 1787)

5511. MONTMORIN (Count), Weak but worthy.—

Montmorin is weak, though a
most worthy character. He is indolent and
inattentive, too, in the extreme.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 444. Ford ed., v, 43.
(P. 1788)

— MOON.—

See Latitude and Longitude.

5512. MORAL LAW, Evidence of.—

Man has been subjected by his Creator to the
moral law, of which his feelings, or conscience
as it is sometimes called, are the evidence with
which his Creator has furnished him.—
Opinion on French Treaties. Washington ed. vii, 613. Ford ed., vi, 220.

5513. MORAL LAW, Nations and.—

The moral duties which exist between individual
and individual in a state of nature, accompany
them into a state of society, and the aggregate
of the duties of all the individuals
composing the society constitutes the duties of
that society towards any other; so that between
society and society the same moral duties exist
as did between the individuals composing them
while in an unassociated state, their Maker not
having released them from those duties on
their forming themselves into a nation.—
Opinion on French Treaties. Washington ed. vii, 613. Ford ed., vi, 220.

5514. MORAL SENSE, Innate.—

I think
it is lost time to attend lectures on moral
philosophy. He who made us would have been
a pitiful bungler, if He had made the rules of
our moral conduct a matter of science. For
one man of science, there are thousands who
are not. What would have become of them?
Man was destined for society. His morality,
therefore, was to be formed to this object. He
was endowed with a sense of right and wrong,
merely relative to this. This sense is as much
a part of his nature, as the sense of hearing,
seeing, feeling; it is the true foundation of
morality, and not the το καλον, truth, &c., as
fanciful writers have imagined. The moral
sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man
as his leg or arm. It is given to all human
beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force
of members is given them in a greater or less
degree. It may be strengthened by exercise,
as may any particular limb of the body. This
sense is submitted, indeed, in some degree, to
the guidance of reason; but it is a small stock
which is required for this; even a less one than
what we call common sense. State a moral
case to a plowman and a professor. The former
will decide it as well and often better than the
latter, because he has not been led astray by
artificial rules. In this branch, therefore, read
good books, because they will encourage as well
as direct your feelings. The writings of Sterne,
particularly, form the best course of morality
that ever was written. Lose no occasion of
exercising your dispositions to be grateful, to
be generous, to be charitable, to be humane,
to be true, just, firm, orderly, courageous, &c.
Consider every act of this kind as an exercise
which will strengthen your moral faculties, and
increase your worth.—
To Peter Carr. Washington ed. ii, 238. Ford ed., iv, 428.
(P. 1787)

5515. MORAL SENSE, Innate.—[continued].

I sincerely believe in the
general existence of a moral instinct. I think
it the brightest gem with which the human character
is studded, and the want of it as more
degrading than the most hideous of the bodily
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 351.
(M. 1814)

5516. MORAL SENSE, Innate.—[further continued].

I believe * * * that
the moral sense is as much a part of our constitution
as that of feeling, seeing, or hearing;
as a wise Creator must have seen to be necessary
in an animal destined to live in society.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 39.
(M. 1816)

5517. MORAL SENSE, Innate.—[further continued] .

The moral sense [is] the
first excellence of well-organized man.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 275.
(M. 1823)

5518. MORAL SENSE, Utility and.—

Some have argued against the existence of a
moral sense, by saying that if nature had given
us such a sense, impelling us to virtuous actions,
and warning us against those which are vicious,
then nature would also have designated, by
some particular earmarks, the two sets of actions
which are, in themselves, the one virtuous
and the other vicious. Whereas, we find, in
fact, that the same actions are deemed virtuous
in one country and vicious in another. The
answer is that nature has constituted utility to
man the standard and test of virtue. Men living
in different countries, under different circumstances,
different habits and regimens, May
have different utilities; the same act, therefore,
may be useful, and consequently virtuous in one
country which is injurious and vicious in another


Page 592
differently circumstanced.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 351.
(M. 1814)

5519. MORAL SENSE, Want of.—

The Creator would, indeed, have been a bungling
artist, had He intended man for a social animal,
without planting in him social dispositions.
It is true that they are not planted in
every man, because there is no rule without
exceptions; but it is false reasoning which converts
exceptions into the general rule. Some
men are born without the organs of sight, or of
hearing, or without hands. Yet it would be
wrong to say that man is born without these
faculties, and sight, hearing, and hands May
with truth enter into the general definition of
man. The want or imperfection of the moral
sense in some men, like the want or imperfection
of the senses of sight and hearing in
others, is no proof that it is a general characteristic
of the species.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 350.
(M. 1814)

5520. MORAL SENSE, Want of.—[continued].

When the moral sense
is wanting, we endeavor to supply the defect
by education, by appeals to reason and calculation,
by presenting to the being so unhappily
conformed, other motives to do good and to eschew
evil, such as the love, or the hatred, or
the rejection of those among whom he lives, and
whose society is necessary to his happiness and
even existence; demonstrations by sound calculation
that honesty promotes interest in the
long run; the rewards and penalties established
by the laws; and ultimately the prospects of a
future state of retribution for the evil as well as
the good done while here. These are the
correctives which are supplied by education, and
which exercise the functions of the moralist, the
preacher, and legislator; and they lead into a
course of correct action all those whose depravity
is not too profound to be eradicated.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 350.
(M. 1814)

5521. MORALITY, Code of.—

I know but one code of morality for men, whether acting
singly or collectively. He who says I will
be a rogue when I act in company with a hundred
others, but an honest man when I act
alone, will be believed in the former assertion,
but not in the latter. I would say with the
poet, “hic niger est, hunc tu Romane cavato”. If the morality of one man produces a just line
of conduct in him, acting individually, why
should not the morality of one hundred men
produce a just line of conduct in them, acting
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 99. Ford ed., v, 111.
(P. 1789)

5522. MORALITY, Code of.—[continued].

I never did, or countenanced,
in public life, a single act inconsistent
with the strictest good faith; having never believed
there was one code of morality for a
public, and another for a private man.—
To Don Valentine de Feronda. Washington ed. v, 475. Ford ed., ix, 260.
(M. 1809)

5523. MORALITY, Foundations of.—

is really curious that on a question so fundamental,
such a variety of opinions should have
prevailed among men, and those, too, of the
most exemplary virtue and first order of understanding.
It shows how necessary was the
care of the Creator in making the moral principle
so much a part of our constitution as that
no errors of reasoning or of speculation might
lead us astray from its observance in practice.
Of all the theories on this question, the most
whimsical seems to have been that of Wollaston,
who considers truth as the foundation of
morality. The thief who steals your guinea
does wrong only inasmuch as he acts a lie in
using your guinea as if it were his own. Truth
is certainly a branch of morality, and a very
important one to society. But presented as its
foundation, it is as if a tree taken up by the
roots, had its stem reversed in the air, and one
of its branches planted in the ground.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 348.
(M. 1814)

5524. MORALITY, Foundations of.—[continued].

Some have made the
love of God the foundation of morality. This,
too, is but a branch of our moral duties, which
are generally divided into duties to God and
duties to man. If we did a good act merely
from the love of God and a belief that it is
pleasing to Him, whence arises the morality of
the atheist? It is idle to say, as some do, that
no such Being exists. We have the same evidence
of the fact as of most of those we act on,
to wit their own affirmations, and their reasonings
in support of them. I have observed,
indeed, generally that while in Protestant countries
the defections from the Platonic Christianity
of the priests is to Deism, in Catholic
countries they are to Atheism. Diderot,
D'Alembert, D'Holbach, Condorcet, are known
to have been among the most virtuous of men.
Their virtue, then, must have had some other
foundation than the love of God.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 348.
(M. 1814)

5525. MORALITY, Foundations of.—[further continued].

The Το καλον of others
is founded in a different faculty, that of taste,
which is not even a branch of morality. We
have, indeed, an innate sense of what we call
the beautiful, but that is exercised chiefly on
subjects addressed to the fancy, whether
through the eye in visible forms, as landscape,
animal figure, dress, drapery, architecture, the
composition of colors, &c., or to the imagination
directly, as imagery, style, or measure in
prose or poetry, or whatever constitutes the
domain of criticism or taste, a faculty entirely
distinct from the moral one.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 349.
(M. 1814)

5526. MORALITY, Foundations of.—[further continued] .

Self-interest, or rather
self-love, or egoism, has been more plausibly substituted
as the basis of morality. But I consider
our relations with others as constituting the
boundaries of morality. With ourselves we stand
on the ground of identity, not of relation, which
last, requiring two subjects, excludes self-love
confined to a single one. To ourselves, in
strict language, we can owe no duties, obligation
requiring also two parties. Self-love,
therefore, is no part of morality. Indeed it
is exactly its counterpart. It is the sole antagonist
of virtue, leading us constantly by
our propensities to self-gratification in violation
of our moral duties to others. Accordingly, it
is against this enemy that are erected the batteries
of moralists and religionists, as the only
obstacle to the practice of morality. Take from
man his selfish propensities, and he can have
nothing to seduce him from the practice of
virtue. Or subdue those propensities by education,
instruction, or restraint, and virtue remains
without a competitor.—
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 349.
(M. 1814)

5527. MORALITY, Foundations of.—[further continued].

Egoism in a broader
sense, has been thus presented as the source
of moral action. It has been said that we feed
the hungry, clothe the naked, bind up the
wounds of the man beaten by thieves, pour oil
and wine into them, set him on our own beast
and bring him to the inn, because we receive
ourselves pleasure from these acts. So Helvetius,
one of the best men on earth, and the most
ingenious advocate of this principle, after defining
“interest” to mean not merely that which
is pecuniary, but whatever may procure us


Page 593
pleasure, or withdraw us from pain (De l'Esprit
2, 1), says (ib. 2, 2), “the humane man
is he to whom the sight of misfortune is insupportable,
and who to rescue himself from
this spectacle, is forced to succor the unfortunate
object”. This, indeed, is true. But it
is one step short of the ultimate question.
These good acts give us pleasure, but how happens
it that they give us pleasure? Because
nature hath implanted in our breasts a love of
others, a sense of duty to them, a moral instinct,
in short, which prompts us irresistibly to
feel and to succor their distresses, and protests
against the language of Helvetius (ib. 2,
5), “what other motive than self-interest could
determine a man to generous actions? It is as
impossible for him to love what is good for the
sake of good, as to love evil for the sake of
To Thomas Law. Washington ed. vi, 349.
(M. 1814)

5528. MORALITY, Foundations of.—[further continued] .

God has formed us moral agents. Not that, in the perfection of
His state, He can feel pain or pleasure in
anything we may do; He is far above our
power; but that we may promote the happiness
of those with whom He has placed us in society,
by acting honestly towards all, benevolently
to those who fall within our way, respecting
sacredly their rights, bodily and mental, and
cherishing especially their freedom of conscience,
as we value our own.—
To Miles King. Washington ed. vi, 388.
(M. 1814)

5529. MORALITY, Religion and.—

Reading, reflection and time have convinced me
that the interests of society require the observation
of those moral precepts only in which
all religions agree (for all forbid us to steal,
murder, plunder, or bear false witness), and
that we should not intermeddle with the particular
dogmas in which all religions differ, and
which are totally unconnected with morality.
In all of them we see good men, and as many
in one as another. The varieties in the structure
and action of the human mind as in those
of the body, are the work of our Creator,
against which it cannot be a religious duty to
erect the standard of uniformity. The practice
of morality being necessary for the well-being
of society, he has taken care to impress
its percepts so indelibly on our hearts that
they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of
our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the
moral precepts of Jesus, and nowhere will they
be found delivered in greater purity than in His
discourses. It is, then, a matter of principle
with me to avoid disturbing the tranquillity of
others by the expression of any opinion on the
innocent questions on which we schismatize.—
To James Fishback. Washington ed. v, 471.
(M. 1809)

5530. MORALITY, Religion and.—[continued].

In that branch of religion
which regards the moralities of life, and the duties of a social being, which teaches us to
love our neighbors as ourselves, and to do good
to you and I do not
To . Washington ed. vii, 127.
(M. 1819)

5531. MORALITY, Sublimest system of.—

There never was a more pure and sublime
system of morality delivered to man than is to be found in the four Evangelists.—
To Samuel Greenhow. Washington ed. vi, 309.
(M. 1814)

5532. MORALITY, Sublimest system of.—[continued].

I know nothing more moral, more sublime, more worthy of your
preservation than David's description of the
good man, in 15th Psalm.—
To Isaac Englebrecht. Washington ed. vii, 337.
(M. 1824)

5533. MORALITY (National), Abandonment of.—

It was not expected in this
age, that nations so honorably distinguished by
their advances in science and civilization, would
suddenly cast away the esteem they had merited
from the world, and, revolting from the empire
of morality, assume a character in history,
which all the tears of their posterity will never
wash from its pages.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. viii, 128.

5534. MORALITY (National), Abandonment of.—[continued].

It has been peculiarly
unfortunate for us, personally, that the portion
in the history of mankind, at which we were
called to take a share in the direction of their
affairs, was such an one as history has never
before presented. At any other period, the
even-handed justice we have observed towards
all nations, the efforts we have made to merit
their esteem by every act which candor or
liberality could exercise, would have preserved
our peace, and secured the unqualified confidence
of all other nations in our faith and
probity. But the hurricane which is now blasting
the world, physical and moral, has prostrated
all the mounds of reason as well as right.
All those calculations which, at any other
period, would have been deemed honorable, of
the existence of a moral sense in man, individually
or associated, of the connection which the
laws of nature have established between his
duties and his interests, of a regard for honest
fame and the esteem of our fellow men, have
been a matter of reproach on us, as evidences
of imbecility. As if it could be a folly for an
honest man to suppose that another could be
honest also, when it is their interest to be so.
And when is this state of things to end? The
death of Bonaparte would, to be sure, remove
the first and chiefest apostle of the desolation
of men and morals, and might withdraw
the scourge of the land. But what is to restore
order and safety on the ocean? The death of
George III.? Not at all. He is only stupid;
and his ministers, however weak and profligate
in morals, are ephemeral. But his nation is
permanent, and it is that which is the tyrant
of the ocean. The principle that force is right,
is become the principle of the nation itself.
They would not permit an honest minister, were
accident to bring such an one into power, to
relax their system of lawless piracy. These
were the difficulties when I was with you. I
know they are not lessened, and I pity you.—
To Caesar A. Rodney. Washington ed. v, 500. Ford ed., ix, 271.
(M. Feb. 1810)

5535. MORALITY (National), Extinction of.—

There are three epochs in history,
signalized by the total extinction of national
morality. The first was of the successors of
Alexander, not omitting himself. The next,
the successors of the first Cæsar. The third,
our own age. This was begun by the partition
of Poland, followed by that of the treaty of
Pilnitz; next the conflagration of Copenhagen;
then the enormities of Bonaparte, partitioning
the earth at his will, and devastating it with
fire and sword; now the conspiracy of Kings,
the successors of Bonaparte, blasphemously calling
themselves the Holy Alliance, and treading
in the footsteps of their incarcerated leader; not
yet indeed usurping the government of other
nations, avowedly and in detail, but controlling
by their armies the forms in which they will
permit them to be governed; and reserving, in
the order and extent of the usurpations
further mediated.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 102. Ford ed., i, 141.

5536. MORALITY (National), Governments and.—

Your ideas of the moral obligations
of governments are perfectly correct.
The man who is dishonest as a statesman would


Page 594
be a dishonest man in any station. It is
strangely absurd to suppose that a million of
human beings, collected together, are not under
the same moral laws which bind each of them
To George Logan. Ford ed., x, 68.
Nov. 1816)

5537. MORALITY (National), Governments and.—[continued].

Moral duties are as obligatory
on nations as on individuals. [345]
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 332.


Reply, rejecting the proposal of a person entrusted
with the British minister's dispatches, to turn
them over to the United States government for a

5538. MORALITY (National), Progress in.—

The eighteenth century certainly witnessed
the sciences and arts, manners and
morals, advanced to a higher degree than the
world had ever before seen. And might we
not go back to the era of the Borgias, by which
time the barbarous ages had reduced national
morality to its lowest point of depravity, and
observe that the arts and sciences, rising from
that point, advanced gradually through all the
sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,
softening and correcting the manners and
morals of man?—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 523.
(M. 1816)

5539. MORALITY (National), Progress in.—[continued].

With some exceptions
only, through the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, morality occupied an honorable
chapter in the political code of nations. You
must have observed while in Europe, as I
thought I did, that those who administered the
governments of the greater powers at least, had
a respect to faith, and considered the dignity
of their government as involved in its integrity.
A wound indeed was inflicted on this character
of honor in the eighteenth century by the partition
of Poland. But this was the atrocity of a
barbarous government chiefly, in conjunction
with a smaller one still scrambling to become
great, while one only of those already great,
and having character to lose, descended to
the baseness of an accomplice in the crime.
France, England, Spain, shared in it only inasmuch
as they stood aloof and permitted its
perpetration. How, then, has it happened that
these nations, France especially, and England,
so great, so dignified, so distinguished by
science and the arts, plunged all at once into
all the depths of human enormity, threw off
suddenly and openly all the restraints of morality,
all sensation to character, and unblushingly
avowed and acted on the principle that power
was right? Can this sudden apostasy from national
rectitude be accounted for? The treaty
of Pilnitz seems to have begun it, suggested
perhaps by the baneful precedent of Poland.
Was it from the terror of monarchs, alarmed
at the light returning on them from the west,
and kindling a volcano under their thrones?
Was it a combination to extinguish that light,
and to bring back, as their best auxiliaries,
those enumerated by you, the Sorbonne, the
Inquisition, the Index Expurgatorius, and the
knights of Loyola? Whatever it was, the close
of the new century saw the moral world
thrown back again to the age of the Borgias, to
the point from which it had departed three hundred
years before. France, after crushing and
punishing the conspiracy of Pilnitz, went deeper
herself and deeper into the crimes she had
been chastising. I say France and not Bonaparte;
for, although he was the head and mouth,
the nation furnished the hands which executed
his enormities. England, although in opposition,
kept full pace with France, not indeed by
the manly force of her own arms, but by oppressing
the weak and bribing the strong. At
length the whole choir joined and divided the
weaker nations among them.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 524.
(M. Jan. 1816)

5540. MORALITY (National), United States and.—

Let us hope that our new [Federal] government will * * * show that they
mean to proscribe no virtue from the canons
of their conduct with other nations.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 100. Ford ed., v, 112.
(P. 1789)

5541. MORALITY (National), United States and.—[continued].

We are firmly convinced,
and we act on that conviction, that with nations,
as with individuals, our interests soundly
calculated, will ever be found inseparable from
our moral duties; and history bears witness to
the fact, that a just nation is taken on its word,
when recourse is had to armaments and wars
to bridle others.—
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 40. Ford ed., viii, 343.

5542. MORALITY (National), United States and.—[further continued].

It is a great consolation
to me that our government, as it cherishes
most its duties to its own citizens, so is it the
most exact in its moral conduct towards other
nations. I do not believe that in the four
Administrations which have taken place, there
has been a single instance of departure from
good faith towards other nations. We May
sometimes have mistaken our rights, or made
an erroneous estimate of the actions of others,
but no voluntary wrong can be imputed to us.—
To George Logan. Ford ed., x, 68.
Nov. 1816)

5543. MORALITY (National), United States and.—[further continued] .

It is of great consequence
to us, and merits every possible endeavor,
to maintain in Europe a correct opinion
of our political morality.—
To President Monroe. Ford ed., x, 123.
(M. 1819)

5544. MORALS, Preservation of.—

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

5545. MORALS, Preservation of.—[continued]

We wish to preserve the
morals of our citizens from being vitiated by
courses of lawless plunder and murder.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 559. Ford ed., vi, 253.
(Pa., 1793)

5546. MORALS, Science and.—

I fear,
from the experience of the last twenty-five
years, that morals do not of necessity advance
hand in hand with the sciences.—
To M. Correa. Washington ed. vi, 480.
(M. 1815)

5547. MOREAU (General J. Victor), Esteem for.—

No one entertains a more cordial
esteem for General Moreau's character than I do, and although our relations with France
have rendered it a duty in me not to seek any
public manifestation of it, yet were accident to
bring us together, I could not be so much wanting
to my sentiments and those of my constituents
individually, as to omit a cordial manifestation
of it.—
To William Short. Washington ed. v, 212.
(W. Nov. 1807)

5548. MOREAU (General J. Victor), Reception of.—

I confess that the enclosed
letter from General Turreau excites in me both
jealousy and offence in undertaking, and without
apology, to say in what manner to receive
and treat Moreau within our own country.
Had Turreau been here longer he would have
known that the national authority pays honors
to no foreigners. That the State authorities,
municipalities and individuals, are free to render
whatever they please, voluntarily, and free
from restraint by us; and he ought to know


Page 595
that no part of the criminal sentence of another
country can have any effect here. The style
of that government in the Spanish business,
was calculated to excite indignation; but it was
a case in which that might have done injury.
But the present is a case which would justify
some notice in order to let them understand
we are not of those powers who will receive
and execute mandates. I think the answer
should show independence as well as friendship.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 584. Ford ed., viii, 376.
(M. Aug. 1805)

5549. MORGAN (George), Exposure of Burr.—

Your situation and the knowledge
you already possess would probably put it in
your power to trace the footsteps of this enterprise
[Burr's conspiracy] on the public peace
with more effect than any other with whom I
could communicate. Whatever zeal you might
think proper to use in this pursuit, would be
used in fulfilment of the duties of a good citizen,
and any communications you may be so
good as to make to me on the subject shall be
thankfully received, and so made use of as not
to commit you any further than yourself May
think proper to express. A knowledge of the
persons who may reject, as well as of those who
may accept parricide propositions will be peculiarly
To George Morgan. Ford ed., viii, 473.
(M. Sep. 1806)

5550. MORGAN (George), Exposure of Burr.—[continued].

Yours was the very first
intimation I had of Burr's plot, for which it is
but justice to say you have deserved well of
your country.—
To Colonel George Morgan. Washington ed. v, 57.
(W. 1807)

5551. MORGAN (George), Exposure of Burr.—[further continued].

Colonel Morgan first
gave us notice of the mad project of that day,
which if suffered to proceed, might have
brought afflicting consequences on persons
whose subsequent lives have proved their integrity
and loyalty to their country.—
To Mrs. K. D. Morgan. Ford ed., viii, 473.
(M. 1822)

5552. MORGAN (George), Land grant.—

Spain has granted to Colonel Morgan, of
New Jersey, a vast tract of land on the western
side of the Mississippi with the monopoly of the
navigation of that river. He is inviting settlers
and they swarm to him. Even the settlement
of Kentucky is likely to be much weakened
by emigrations to Morgan's grant.—
To William Short. Washington ed. ii, 574. Ford ed., v, 71.
(P. 1789)

5553. MOROCCO, Brig Betsey.—

Court of Madrid has obtained the delivery of
the crew of the brig Betsey, taken by the Emperor
of Morocco. The Emperor had treated
them kindly, new clothed them, and delivered
them to the Spanish minister, who sent them
to Cadiz. This is the only American vessel
ever taken by the Barbary States.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 413.
(P. 1785)

5554. MOROCCO, Proofs of friendship.—

The Emperor [of Morocco] continues to
give proofs of his desire to be in friendship
with us, or, in other words, of receiving us into
the number of his tributaries. Nothing further
need be feared from him.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 413.
(P. 1785)

5555. MOROCCO, Treaty.—

The treaty
with Morocco * * * is signed before this
time: for which we are much indebted to
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. ii, 10.
(P. 1786)

5556. MOROCCO, Tribute or war.—

Emperor of Morocco * * * is ready to
receive us into the number of his tributaries.
What will be the amount of tribute remains yet
to be known, * * * but it will surely be
more than a free people ought to pay to a
power owning only four or five frigates, under
twenty-two guns. He has not a port into which
a larger vessel can enter. The Algerines possess
fifteen or twenty frigates, from that size
up to fifty guns. Disinclination on their part
has lately broken off a treaty between Spain
and them, whereon they were to have received
a million of dollars, besides great presents in
naval stores. What sum they intend we shall
pay, I cannot say. Then follow Tunis and
Tripoli. You will probably find the tribute to
all these powers make such a proportion of the
Federal taxes, as that every man will feel them
sensibly when he pays those taxes. The question
is whether their peace or war will be
cheaper? But it is a question which should
be addressed to our honor, as well as our avarice.
Nor does it respect us as to these pirates
only, but as to the nations of Europe. If we
wish our commerce to be free and uninsulted,
we must let these nations see that we have an
energy which at present they disbelieve. The
low opinion they entertain of our powers cannot
fail to involve us soon in a naval war.—
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 401.
(P. 1785)

5557. MORRIS (Gouverneur), Monarchist.—

Gouverneur Morris, a high flying
monarchy man, shutting his eyes and his faith
to every fact against his wishes, and believing
everything he desires to be true, has kept the
President's [Washington's] mind constantly
poisoned with his forebodings [respecting the
French Revolution].—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 111. Ford ed., i, 188.

5558. MORRIS (Gouverneur), Opposition to.—

The opposition to Gouverneur Morris
was upon the following principles: 1. His
general character, being such that we would
not confide in it. 2. His known attachment to
monarchy, and contempt of republican government;
and 3, his present employment abroad
being a news vender of back-lands and certificates.
We took the yeas and nays on his appointment
and eleven voted against it.—
To Archibald Stuart. Ford ed., v, 454.
(Pa., 17921792)gt;

5559. MORRIS (Gouverneur), Opposition to.—[continued].

The nomination of Mr.
Morris was so extremely unpopular, and so little
relished by several of the Senate, that every
effort was used to negative it. Those whose
personal objections to Mr. Morris overruled
their deference to the President, finding themselves
in a minority, joined with another small
party who were against all foreign appointments,
and endeavored with them to put down
the whole system rather than let this article
pass. This plan was defeated, and Mr. Morris
passed by a vote of 16 against 11.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 329. Ford ed., v, 434.
(Pa., 17921792)gt;

5560. MORRIS (Gouverneur), Services in England.—

President Washington's letter
of January 22d [1790], authorized Mr. Morris
to enter into conference with the British ministers
in order to discover their sentiments on
[certain] subjects. * * * The Secretary of
State is of opinion that Mr. Morris's letters [to
the President] remove any doubts which might
have been entertained as to the intentions and
dispositions of the British cabinet; * * * that Mr. Morris should be informed that he has
fulfilled the object of his agency to the satisfaction
of the President.—
Official Report. Washington ed. vii, 517. Ford ed., v, 261.
(Dec. 1790)


Page 596

5561. MORTMAIN, Laws of.—

The bill
for establishing a National Bank undertakes
* * * to form the subscribers into a corporation
and enables them in their corporate
capacities to receive grants of land, and, so far,
is against the laws of Mortmain. Though the
Constitution controls the laws of Mortmain so
far as to permit Congress itself to hold land
for certain purposes, yet not so far as to permit
them to communicate a similar right to other
corporate bodies.—
National Bank Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 555. Ford ed., v, 284.

5562. MOTTOES, Beauty of.—

I shall
omit the word agisos, according to the license
you allow me, because I think the beauty of a
motto is to condense much matter in as few
words as possible. [346]
To George Wythe. Washington ed. ii, 6. Ford ed., iv, 267.
(P. 1786)


Jefferson proposed this motto for the Coat of
Arms of Virginia: “Rex est qui regem non habet.”
The mottoes on his own seals were: “Ab eo libertas,
a quo spiritus”, and “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience
to God”.—Editor.

5563. MOUNTAINS, Altitude of.—

I examined,
with great satisfaction, your barometrical
estimate of the heights of our mountains;
and with the more, as they corroborated conjectures
on this subject which I had made before.
My estimates had made them a little
higher than yours (I speak of the Blue Ridge).
Measuring with a very nice instrument the
angle subtended vertically by the highest mountain
of the Blue Ridge opposite to my own
house, a distance of about eighteen miles southwestward,
I made the highest about two thousand
feet, as well as I remember. * * * I do
not remember from what principles I estimated
the Peaks of Otter at four thousand feet; but
some late observations of Judge Tucker's coincided
very nearly with my estimate. Your
measures confirm another opinion of mine, that
the Blue Ridge, on its south side, is the highest
ridge in our country compared with its base.—
To Jonathan Williams. Washington ed. iv, 146. Ford ed., vii, 85.
(M. 1796)

5564. MOUNTAINS, Barometrical measurement.—

The method of estimating
heights [of mountains] by the barometer, is
convenient and useful, as being ready, and furnishing
an approximation to truth. Of what
degree of accuracy it is susceptible we know
not as yet; no certain theory being established
for ascertaining the density and weight of that
portion of the column of atmosphere contiguous
to the mountain; from the weight of which,
nevertheless, we are to infer the height of the
mountain. The most plausible seems to be that
which supposes the mercury of barometer divided
into horizontal lamina of equal thickness; and a similar column of the atmosphere into
lamina of equal weights. The former divisions
give a set of arithmetical, the latter of geometrical
progressionals, which being the character,
of logarithms and their numbers, the tables of
these furnish ready computations, needing, however,
the corrections which the state of the
thermometer calls for. It is probable that in
taking heights in the vicinity of each other in
this way, there may be no considerable error,
because the passage between them may be quick
and repeated. The height of a mountain from
its base, thus taken, merits, therefore, a very
different degree of credit from that of its height
above the level of the sea, where that is distant.
According, for example, to the theory above
mentioned, the height of Monticello from its
base is 580 feet, and its base 610 feet 8 inches,
above the level of the ocean; the former, from
other facts, I believe to be near the truth; but a
knowledge of the different falls of water from
hence to the tide-water at Richmond, a distance
of seventy-five miles, enables us to say that the
whole descent to that place is but 170 or 180
feet. From thence to the ocean may be a distance
of one hundred miles; it is all tide-water,
and through a level country. I know not what
to conjecture as the amount of descent, but certainly
not 435 feet, as that theory would suppose,
nor the quarter part of it. I do not know
by what rule General Williams made his computations.
He reckons the foot of the Blue
Ridge, twenty miles from here, but 100 feet
above the tide-water at Richmond. We know
the descent, as before observed, to be at least
170 feet from hence, to which is to be added
that from the Blue Ridge to this place, a very
hilly country, with constant and great waterfalls.
His estimate, therefore, must be much
below truth. Results so different prove that for
distant comparisons of height, the barometer
is not to be relied on according to any theory
yet known. While, therefore, we give a good
degree of credit to the results of operations between
the summit of a mountain and its base,
we must give less to those between its summit
and the level of the ocean.—
To Capt. A. Partridge. Washington ed. vi, 495.
(M. 1815)

5565. MOUNTAINS, Trigonometrical measurement.—

I thank you for * * * the corrections of Colonel Williams's altitudes
of the mountains of Virginia, * * * and
especially for the very able extract on barometrical
measures. The precision of the calculations,
and soundness of the principles on
which they are founded, furnish, I am satisfied,
a great approximation towards truth, and raise
that method of estimating heights to a considerable
degree of rivalship with the trigonometrical.
The last is not without some sources of
inaccuracy. The admeasurement of the base
is liable to errors which can be rendered insensible
only by such degrees of care as have
been exhibited by the mathematicians who have
been employed in measuring degrees on the
surface of the earth. * * * No two men
can differ on a principle of trigonometry. Not
so on the theories of barometrical mensuration.
On these have been great differences of
opinion, and among characters of just celebrity.
* * * In 1776, I observed the height of the
mercury at the base and summit of the mountain
I live on, and by Nettleton's tables, estimated
the height at 512.17 feet, and called it
about 500 feet in the Notes on Virginia. But
calculating it since on the same observations,
according to Bongour's method with De Luc's
improvements, the result was 579.5 feet; and
lately I measured the same height trigonometrically,
with the aid of a base line of 1,175 feet
in a vertical plane with the summit, and at the
distance of about 1500 yards from the axis of
the mountain, and made it 599.35 feet. I consider
this as testing the advance of the barometrical
process towards truth by the adoption of
the logarithmic ratio of heights and densities;
and continued observations and experiments
will continue to advance it still more. But the
first character of a common measure of things
being that of invariability, I can never suppose
that a substance so heterogeneous and variable
as the atmospheric fluid, changing daily and
hourly its weight and dimensions to the amount,
sometimes, of one-tenth of the whole, can be
applied as a standard of measure to anything,
with as much mathematical exactness, as a trigonometrical
process. It is still, however, a
resource of great value for these purposes, because
its use is so easy, in comparison with the


Page 597
other, and especially where the grounds are
unfavorable for a base; and its results are so
near the truth as to answer all the common
purposes of information. Indeed, I should in
all cases, prefer the use of both, to warn us
against gross error, and to put us, when that
is suspected on a repetition of our process. [347]
To Capt. A. Partridge. Washington ed. vi, 510.
(M. 1816)


Captain Partridge was an Engineer officer at
West Point.—Editor.

5566. MOURNING, Official.—

No one
would more willingly than myself pay the just
tribute due to the services of Captain [John] Barry, by writing a letter of condolence to his
widow, as you suggest. But when one undertakes
to administer justice, it must be with an
even hand, and by rule; what is done for one,
must be done for every one in equal degree.
To what a train of attentions would this draw a
President. How difficult it would be to draw
the line between that degree of merit entitled
to such a testimonial of it, and that not so
entitled? If drawn in a particular case differently
from what the friends of the deceased
would judge right, what offence would it give,
and of the most tender kind? How much offence
would be given by accidental inattentions,
or want of information? The first step into
such an undertaking ought to be well weighed.
On the death of Dr. Franklin, the King and
Convention of France went into mourning.
So did the House of Representatives of the
United States. The Senate refused. I proposed
to General Washington that the Executive
department should wear mourning. He
declined it, because he said he should not know
where to draw the line, if he once began that
ceremony. Mr. Adams was then Vice-President,
and I thought General Washington had
his eye on him, whom he certainly did not love.
I told him the world had drawn so broad a
line between himself and Dr. Franklin, on the
one side, and the residue of mankind, on the
other, that we might wear mourning for them,
and the question still remain new and undecided
as to all others. He thought it best, however,
to avoid it. On these considerations
alone, however well affected to the merit of
Commodore Barry, I think it prudent not to
engage myself in a practice which may become
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 507. Ford ed., viii, 264.
(W. 1803)

5567. MOUSTIER (Count), Attachment for.—

Fortune seems to have arranged
among her destinies that I should never continue
for any time with a person whose manners
and principles had excited my warm attachment.
While I resided in France, you
resided in America. While I was crossing
over to America, you were crossing back to
France; when I am come to reside with our
government, your residence is transferred to
Berlin. Of all this, Fortune is the mistress,
but she cannot change my affections, nor
lessen the regrets I feel at their perpetual disappointment.—
To Count Moustier. Washington ed. iii, 199.
(Pa., 1790)

5568. MOUSTIER (Count), Character of.—

You will find him open, communicative,
candid, simple in his manners, and a declared
enemy to ostentation and luxury. He goes
with a resolution to add no aliment to it by
his example, unless he finds that the dispositions
of our countrymen require it indispensably.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 293.
(P. 1787)

5569. MOUSTIER (Count), Character of.—[continued].

De Moustier is remarkably
communicative. With adroitness he May
be pumped of anything. His openness is from
character, not from affectation. An intimacy
with him may, on this account, be politically
To James Madison. Ford ed., iv, 461.
(P. 1787)

5570. MOUSTIER (Count), Medal for.—

The President, in a letter to the King, has
expressed his sense of your merit, and his
entire approbation of your conduct while here,
and has charged me to convey to yourself the
same sentiments on his part. Had you returned
to your station with us, you would have
received new and continued marks of the esteem
inspired by the general worth of your
character, as well as by the particular dispositions
you manifested towards this country.
* * * As a testimony of these sentiments,
we ask your acceptance of a medal and chain
of gold. [348]
To Count Moustier. Washington ed. iii, 216.
(Pa., 1791)


De Moustier was appointed minister to Berlin.—Editor.

5571. MOUSTIER (Count), Minister to America.—

The count Moustier is nominated
Minister Plenipotentiary to America, and
a frigate is ordered to Cherbourg to carry him
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 274.
(P. Sep. 1787)

5572. MOUSTIER (Count), Recall.—

We had before understood * * * that the
conduct of the Count Moustier was politically
and morally offensive. It was delicate for me
to speak on the subject to the Count de Montmorin.
The invaluable mediation of * * * the Marquis de Lafayette was, therefore, resorted
to, and the subject explained, though
not pressed. Later intelligence showing the
necessity of pressing it, it has been represented
through the same medium to the Count de
Montmorin, that recent information proved to
us, that his minister's conduct had rendered
him personally odious in America, and might
even influence the dispositions of the two
nations; that his recall was become a matter
of mutual concern; that we had understood
he was instructed to remind the new government
of their debt to this country, and that
he was in the purpose of doing it in very harsh
terms; that this could not increase their desire
of hastening payment, and might wound their
affections; that, therefore, it was much to
be desired that his discretion should not be
trusted to, as to the form in which the demand
should be made, but that the letter should be
written here, and he instructed to add nothing
but his signature; nor was his private conduct
omitted. The Count de Montmorin was sensibly
impressed. * * * It had been decided,
on the request of the Marquis de la Luzerne,
that Otto should go to London; that they would
send a person [Colonel Ternant] to America
as Chargé des Affaires in place of Otto, and
that if the President (General Washington)
approved of him, he should be afterwards made
minister. * * * Ternant will see that his
predecessor is recalled for unconciliatory deportment,
and that he will owe his own promotion
to the approbation of the President.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 571.
(P. 1789)

5573. MOUSTIER (Count), Unostentatious.—

He is a great enemy to formality, etiquette, ostentation and luxury. He goes
with the best dispositions to cultivate society,
without poisoning it by ill example. He is
sensible, disposed to view things favorably,
and being well acquainted with the constitution
of England, her manners and language, is the


Page 598
better prepared for his station with us.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 292. Ford ed., iv, 460.
(P. 1787)

See Etiquette.

5574. MURDER, Child.—

By the stat. 21.
Jac. 1. c. 27. and Act. Ass. 1170. c. 12. concealment
by the mother of the death of a bastard
child is made murder. In justification of this,
it is said, that shame is a feeling which operates
so strongly on the mind, as frequently to induce
the mother of such a child to murder it, in order
to conceal her disgrace. The act of concealment,
therefore, proves she was influenced by
shame, and that influence produces a presumption
that she murdered the child. The effect
of this law, then is, to make what, in its nature,
is only presumptive evidence of a murder conclusive
of that fact. To this I answer, 1.
So many children die before or soon after birth,
that to presume all those murdered who are
found dead, is a presumption which will lead, us
oftener wrong than right, and consequently
would shed more blood than it would save. 2.
If the child were born dead, the mother would
naturally choose rather to conceal it, in hopes
of still keeping a good character in the neighborhood.
So that the act of concealment is
far from proving the guilt of murder on the
mother. 3. If shame be a powerful affection of
the mind, is not parental love also? Is it not
the strongest affection known? Is it not greater
even than that of self-preservation? While we
draw presumptions from shame, one affection
of the mind, against the life of the prisoner,
should we not give some weight to presumptions
from parental love, an affection at least
as strong, in favor of life? If concealment of
the fact is a presumptive evidence of murder,
so strong as to overbalance all other evidence
that may possibly be produced to take away the
presumption, why not trust the force of this
incontestable presumption to the jury, who are
in a regular course, to hear presumptive, as well
as positive testimony? If the presumption
arising from the act of concealment, may be
destroyed by proof, positive or circumstantial,
to the contrary, why should the legislature
preclude that contrary proof? Objection. The
crime is difficult to prove, being usually committed
in secret. Answer. But circumstantial
proof will do; for example, marks of violence,
the behavior, countenance, &c., of the
prisoner, &c. And if conclusive proof be difficult
to be obtained, shall we, therefore, fasten
irremovably upon equivocal proof? Can we
change the nature of what is contestable, and
make it incontestable? Can we make that conclusive
which God and nature have made inconclusive?
Solon made no law against parricide,
supposing it impossible that any one could
be guilty of it; and the Persians from the same
opinion, adjudged all who killed their reputed
parents to be bastards; and although parental
be yet stronger than filial affection, we admit
saticide proved on the most equivocal testimony,
whilst they rejected all proof of an act certainly
not more repugnant to nature, as of a thing impossible,
Note to Crimes Bili. Washington ed. i, 149. Ford ed., ii, 206.

5575. MURDER, Of colonists.—

proposition [of Lord North] is altogether unsatisfactory
* * * because it does not propose
to repeal the several acts of Parliament
* * * exempting, by mock trial, the murderers
of colonists from punishment.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 480.
(July. 1775)

5576. MURDER, Of colonists.—[continued].

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

5577. MURDER, Degrees of.—

is the killing a man with design,
but in a sudden gust of passion, and where the
killer has not had time to cool. The first
offence is not punished capitally, but the second
is. This is the law of England and of all
the American States; and is not now a new
proposition. Those laws have supposed that a
man, whose passions have so much dominion
over him, as to lead him to repeated acts of
murder, is unsafe to society; that it is better
he should be put to death by the law, than
others more innocent than himself, on the
movements of his impetuous passions.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 263. Ford ed., iv, 169.
(P. 1786)

5578. MURDER, Degrees of.—[continued].

In 1796, our Legislature
passed the law for amending the penal laws
of the Commonwealth. [Virginia.] * * * Instead
of the settled distinctions of murder and
manslaughter, preserved in my bill, they introduced
the new terms of murder in the first and
second degrees. [349]
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 47. Ford ed., i, 65.


The clause of Jefferson's bill read as follows:
“And where persons, meaning to commit a trespass
only, or larceny, or other unlawful deed, and doing
an act from which involuntary homicide hath ensued,
have heretofore been adjudged guilty of manslaughter,
or of murder, by transferring such their unlawful
intention to an act, much more penal than they
could have in probable contemplation; no such
case shall hereafter be deemed manslaughter, unless
manslaughter was intended, nor murder, unless
murder was intended.”—Editor.

5579. MURDER, Excusable.—

Excusable homicides are in some cases not quite unblamable.
These should subject the party to marks
of contrition; viz., the killing of a man in defence
of property; so also in defence of one's
person, which is a species of excusable homicide;
because, although cases may happen
where these are also commendable, yet most
frequently they are done on too slight appearance
of danger; as in return for a blow, kick,
fillip, &c., or on a person's getting into a house,
not animo furandi, but perhaps veneris causa, &c. Excusable homicides are by misadventure,
or in self-defence.—
Note to Crimes Bill. Washington ed. i, 152. Ford ed., ii, 209.

5580. MURDER, Indian.—

I wish Governor
Harrison may be able to have the murder
of the Kaskaskian by the Kickapoo settled in
the Indian way. * * * Both the Indians and
our own people need some example of punishment
for the murder of an Indian.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 162.
(M. 1807)

5581. MURDER, Indian.—[continued].

When a murder has been
committed on one of our stragglers, the murderer
should be demanded. If not delivered,
give time, and still press the demand. We
find it difficult, with our regular government,
to take and punish a murderer of an Indian.
Indeed, I believe we have never been able to do
it in a single instance. They have their difficulties
also, and require time. In fact, it is
a case where indulgence on both sides is just
and necessary, to prevent the two nations from
being perpetually committed in war, by the
acts of the most vagabond and ungovernable of
their members. When the refusal to deliver


Page 599
the murderer is permanent, and proceeds from
the want of will, and not of ability we should
then interdict all trade and intercourse with
them till they give us complete satisfaction.—
To Meriwether Lewis. Washington ed. v, 350.
(M. 1808)

5582. MURDER, Indian.—[further continued].

If we had to go to war [with the Indians] for every hunter or trader
killed, and murderer refused, we should have
had general and constant war. The process
to be followed, in my opinion, when a murder
has been committed, is first to demand the murderer,
and not regarding a first refusal to deliver,
give time and press it. If perseveringly
refused, recall all traders, and interdict commerce
with them, until he be delivered.—
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 348.
(M. Aug. 1808)

5583. MURDER, Punishment for.—

there was but one white man murdered by the
Indians, I should be averse to the execution of
more than one of them, selecting the most
guilty and worst character. Nothing but extreme
criminality should induce the execution
of a second, and nothing beyond that. Their
idea is that justice allows only man for man,
that all beyond that is new aggression, which
must be expiated by a new sacrifice of an
equivalent number of our people.—
To Meriwether Lewis. Washington ed. v, 354.
(M. 1808)

5584. MURDER, Punishment for.—[continued].

There is the more reason for moderation, as we know we cannot punish
any murder which shall be committed by us on
them. Even if the murderer can be taken, our
juries have never yet convicted the murderer
of an Indian.—
To Meriwether Lewis. Washington ed. v, 354.
(M. 1808)

5585. MURDER, Self.—

Suicide is by law
punishable by forfeiture of chattels. This bill
(revising the Virginia Code) exempts it from
forfeiture. The suicide injures the State less
than he who leaves it with his effects. If
the latter then be not punished, the former
should not. As to the example, we need not
fear its influence. Men are too much attached
to life, to exhibit frequent instances of depriving
themselves of it. At any rate, the quasipunishment
of confiscation will not prevent it.
For if one be found who can calmly determine
to renounce life, who is so weary of his existence
here, as rather to make experiment of
what is beyond the grave, can we suppose him,
in such a state of mind, susceptible of influence
from the losses to his family from confiscation?
That men in general, too, disapprove
of this severity, is apparent from the constant
practice of juries finding the suicide in a state
of insanity; because they have no other way
of saving the forfeiture. Let it then be done
Note to Crimes Bill. Washington ed. i, 152. Ford ed., ii, 210.

5586. MUSEUMS, Maintenance of.—

Nobody can desire more ardently than myself,
to concur in whatever may promote useful science,
and I view no science with more partiality
than Natural History. But I have ever
believed that in this, as in most other cases,
abortive attempts retard rather than promote
this object. To be really useful we must
keep pace with the state of society, and not dishearten
it by attempts at what its population,
means, or occupations will fail in attempting.
In the particular enterprises for museums, we
have seen the populous and wealthy cities of
Boston and New York unable to found or
maintain such an institution. The feeble condition
of that in each of these places sufficiently
proves this. In Philadelphia alone, has this
attempt succeeded to a good degree. It has
been owing there to a measure of zeal and perseverance
in an individual rarely equalled; to
a population, crowded, wealthy, and more than
usually addicted to the pursuit of knowledge.
And, with all this, the institution does not
maintain itself.—
To Mr. De La Coste. Washington ed. v, 79.
(W. 1807)

5587. MUSIC, Domestic bands.—

bounds of an American fortune will not admit
the indulgence of a domestic band of musicians,
yet I have thought that a passion for music
might be reconciled with that economy which
we are obliged to observe. I retain, for instance,
among my domestic servants a gardener,
a weaver, a cabinet-maker, and a stone-cutter,
to which I would add a vigneron. In a country
where, like yours [France], music is cultivated
and practiced by every class of men, I suppose
there might be found persons of these trades
who could perform on the French horn, clarionet,
or hautboy, and bassoon, so that one might
have a band of two French horns, two clarionets,
two hautboys, and a bassoon, without
enlarging his domestic expenses. A certainty
of employment for a half dozen years, and at
the end of that time, to find them, if they chose,
a conveyance to their own country, might induce
them to come here on reasonable wages.
Without meaning to give you trouble, perhaps
it might be practicable for you * * * to
find out such men disposed to come to America.
Sobriety and good nature would be desirable
parts of their characters. If you think
such a plan practicable, and will be so kind as
to inform me what will be necessary to be
done on my part, I will take care that it shall
be done.
To——. Washington ed. i, 209. Ford ed., ii, 159.
(Wg. 1778)

5588. MUSIC, Ear for.—

Music is invaluable
where a person has an ear. Where they
have not, it should not be attempted.—
To N. Burwell. Washington ed. vii, 103. Ford ed., x, 105.
(M. 1818)

5589. MUSIC, Enjoyment of.—

Music is
an enjoyment [in France] the deprivation of
which with us, cannot be calculated. I am almost
ready to say, it is the only thing which
from my heart I envy them, and which, in
spite of all the authority of the Decalogue, I
do covet.—
To Mr. Bellini. Washington ed. i, 445.
(P. 1785)

5590. MUSIC, Foot-bass.—

I have lately
examined a foot-bass, newly invented by the
celebrated Krumfoltz. It is precisely a piano-forte,
about ten feet long, eighteen inches
broad, and nine inches deep. It is of one
octave only, from fa to fa. The part where the
keys are projects at the side in order to
lengthen the levers of the keys. It is placed
on the floor, on the harpsichord or other piano-forte,
is set over it, the foot acting in concert
on that, while the fingers play on this. There
are three unison chords to every note, of
strong brass wire, and the lowest have wire
wrapped on them as the lowest in the piano-forte.
The chords give a fine, clear, deep tone
almost like the pipe of an organ.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 75.
(P. 1786)

5591. MUSIC, Harmonica.—

I am very
much pleased with your project on the harmonica,
and the prospect of your succeeding
in the application of keys to it. It will be the
greatest present which has been made to the
musical world this century, not excepting the
piano-forte. If its tone approaches that given
by the finger as nearly only as the harpsichord
does that of the harp, it will be very valuable.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 75.
(P. 1786)


Page 600

5592. MUSIC, Harpsichord.—

I applaud much your perseverance in improving this instrument
[harpsichord], and benefiting mankind
almost in spite of their teeth.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. i, 440.
(P. 1785)

5593. MUSIC, Keeping time.—

Monsieur Renaudin's invention for determining the true
time of the musical movements, Largo, Adagio,
&c. * * * has been examined by the
[Paris] Academy of Music, who are so well
satisfied of its utility, that they have ordered
all music which shall be printed here, in future,
to have the movements numbered in
correspondence with this plexi-chronometer.
* * * The instrument is useful, but still it
may be greatly simplified. I got him to make
me one, and having fixed a pendulum vibrating
seconds, I tried by that the vibrations of
his pendulum, according to the several movements.
I find the pendulum regulated to

Largo  vibrates  52  times
in a
Adagio  60 
Andante  70 
Allegro  95 
Presto  135 

Every one, therefore, may make a chronometer adapted to his instrument. For a harpsichord,
the following occurs to me: In the
wall of your chamber, over the instrument,
drive five little brads, as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, in the
following manner. Take a string with a bob
to it, of such length, as that hung on No. 1,
it shall vibrate fifty-two times in a minute.
Then proceed by trial to drive number No. 2,
at such a distance, that drawing the loop of
the string to that, the part remaining between
1 and the bob, shall vibrate sixty times in a
minute. Fix the third for seventy vibrations,
&c.; the chord always hanging over No. 1,
as the centre of vibration. A person, playing
on the violin, may fix this on his music stand.
A pendulum, thrown into vibration, will continue
in motion long enough to give you the
time of your piece.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. i, 504.
(P. 1786)

5594. MUSIC, Negroes and.—

In music
the blacks are more generally gifted than the
whites, with accurate ears for tune and time,
and they have been found capable of imagining
a small catch. [350] Whether they will be
equal to the composition of a more extensive
run of melody, or of complicated harmony, is
yet to be proved.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 383. Ford ed., iii, 246.


The instrument proper to them is the banjer
(corrupted by the negroes into “banjo”) which they
brought hither from Africa, which is the original of
the guitar, its chords being precisely the four lower
chords of the guitar.—Note by Jefferson.

5595. MUSIC, Passion for.—

If there is a
gratification which I envy any people in this
world, it is to your country [France] its music.
This is the favorite passion of my soul, and
fortune has cast my lot in a country where
it is in a state of deplorable barbarism.—
To—. Washington ed. i, 209. Ford ed., ii, 158.
(Wg. 1778)

5596. MUSIC, Piano.—

I wrote [you] for
a Clavichord. I have since seen a Forte-piano
and am charmed with it. Send me this instrument
then instead of the Clavichord: let the
case be of fine mahogany, solid, not veneered,
the compass from Double G. to F. in alt, a
plenty of spare strings; and the workmanship
of the whole very handsome and worthy the
acceptance of a lady for whom I intend it.—
To Thomas Adams. Ford ed., i, 395.
(M. 1771)

5597. MUSIC, Piano.—[continued].

I had almost decided,
on Piccini's advice, to get a piano-forte for
my daughter; but your last letter may pause
me, till I see its effect.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. i, 440.
(P. 1785)

5598. MUSIC, Quilling.—

I do not altogether
despair of making something of your method of quilling, though, as yet, the prospect
is not favorable.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. i, 440.
(P. 1785)

5599. MUSIC, Quilling.—[continued].

I mentioned to Piccini the improvement [quilling] with which I am
entrusted. He plays on the piano-forte, and
therefore did not feel himself personally interested.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. i, 440.
(P. 1785)

5600. MUSKETS, Improved.—

An improvement
is made here [France] in the construction
of muskets, which it may be interesting
to Congress to know, should they
at any time propose to procure any. It consists
in the making every part of them so exactly
alike, that what belongs to any one, May
be used for every other musket in the magazine.
* * * As yet, the inventor has only
completed the lock of the musket, on this plan.
* * * He presented me the parts of fifty
locks taken to pieces, and arranged in compartments.
I put several together myself, taking
pieces at hazard as they came to hand,
and they fitted in the most perfect manner.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 411.
(P. 1785)


See Jefferson, (Thomas).