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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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— PACIFIC, Exploration of the.—

See Lewis and Clark Expedition.

6305. PAGE (John), Jefferson and.—

had given me much pain, that the zeal of our
respective friends should ever have placed you
and me in the situation of competitors. [375] I was
comforted, however, with the reflection, that it
was their competition, not ours, and that the
difference of the numbers which decided between
us, was too insignificant to give to you
a pain, or me a pleasure, had our dispositions
towards each other been such as to admit those
To John Page. Washington ed. i, 210. Ford ed., ii, 187.


For the governorship of Virginia. On the first
vote, the figures were: Jefferson, 55; Nelson, 32; and
Page, 38. The second vote resulted: Jefferson, 67.
Page 61.—Editor.

6306. PAGE (John), Tribute to.—

I have
known Mr. Page from the time we were boys
and classmates together, and love him as a
brother, but I have always known him the worst
judge of men existing. He has fallen a sacrifice
to the ease with which he gives his confidence
to those who deserve it not. * * * I am
very anxious to do something useful for him;
and so universally is he esteemed in this country
[Virginia], that no man's promotion would
be more generally approved. He has not an
enemy in the world.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., viii, 85.
(M. 1801)

6307. PAIN, Pleasure vs.—

We have no
rose without its thorn; no pleasure without
alloy. It is the law of our existence; and we
must acquiesce. It is the condition annexed to
all our pleasures, not by us who receive, but
by Him who gives them.—
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 41. Ford ed., iv, 321.
(P. 1786)

6308. PAIN, Pleasure vs.—[continued].

I do not agree that an
age of pleasure is no compensation for a mo
ment of pain.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 26.
(M. 1816)

6309. PAIN, Security against.—

most effectual means of being secure against
pain is to retire within ourselves and to suffice
for our own happiness. Those which depend on
ourselves are the only pleasures a wise man will
count on; for nothing is ours which another
may deprive us of. Hence the inestimable
value of intellectual pleasures. Ever in our
power, always leading us to something new,
never cloying, we ride serene and sublime above
the concerns of this mortal world, contemplating
truth and nature, matter and motion, the
laws which bind up their existence, and that
Eternal Being who made and bound them up
by those laws.—
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 37. Ford ed., iv, 317.
(P. 1786)

6310. PAINE (Thomas), Common Sense.—

Paine's Common Sense electrified us.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 91. Ford ed., i, 127.

6311. PAINE (Thomas), Correspondence.—

I have been in daily intention of answering
your letters, fully and confidentially;
but you know, such a correspondence between
you and me cannot pass through the post, nor
even by the couriers of ambassadors.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. ii, 545.
(P. 1788)

6312. PAINE (Thomas), Gunboats.—

The model of a contrivance for making one
gunboat do nearly double execution has all the
ingenuity and simplicity which generally mark
your inventions. I am not nautical enough
to judge whether two guns may be too heavy
for the bow of a gunboat, or whether any other
objection will countervail the advantage it offers,
and which I see visibly enough. I send
it to the Secretary of the Navy, within whose
department it lies to try and to judge it.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. v, 189. Ford ed., ix, 136.
(M. 1807)

6313. PAINE (Thomas), Honors to.—

You expressed a wish to get a passage to this
country in a public vessel. Mr. Dawson is
charged with orders to the captain of the Maryland,
a sloop of war, to receive and accommodate
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. iv, 371. Ford ed., viii, 18.
(W. March. 1801)

6314. PAINE (Thomas), Honors to.—[continued].

I am in hopes you will
[on your return from France] find us returned
generally to sentiments worthy of former
times. In these it will be your glory to
have steadily labored, and with as much effect
as any man living.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. iv, 371. Ford ed., viii, 19.
(W. March. 1801)

6315. PAINE (Thomas), Iron bridge.—

Mr. Paine (Common Sense) is in Paris on his
way to England. He has brought the model
of an iron bridge, with which he supposes a single
arch of four hundred feet, may be made.—
To B. Vaughan. Washington ed. ii, 166.
(P. 1787)

6316. PAINE (Thomas), Iron bridge.—[continued].

I feel myself interested in your bridge, and it is with great pleasure
that I learn that the execution of the arch of
experiment exceeds your expectation. In your
former letter, you mention that instead of arranging
your tubes and bolts as ordinates to
the chord of the arch, you had reverted to your
first idea, of arranging them in the direction of
the radii. I am sure it will gain both in beauty
and strength. It is true that the divergence of
those radii recurs as a difficulty, in getting the
rails upon the bolts; but I thought this removed
by the answer you first gave me, when I suggested
that difficulty, to wit, that you should


Page 666
place the rails first, and drive the bolts through
them, and not as I had imagined, place the
bolts first, and put the rails on them. I must
doubt whether what you now suggest, will be as
good as your first idea; to wit, to have every
rail split into two pieces longitudinally, so that
there shall be but the halves of the holes in
each, and then to clamp the two halves together.
The solidity of this method cannot be
equal to that of the solid rail, and it increases
the suspicious part of the whole machine,
which, in a first experiment, ought to be rendered
as few as possible. But of all this, the
practical iron men are much better judges than
we theorists. You hesitate between the
catenary and portion of a circle. I have lately
received from Italy, a treatise on the equilibrium
of arches by the Abbé Mascheroni. * * * I find that the conclusions of his demonstrations
are that every part of the catenary is in
perfect equilibrium. It is a great point, then,
in a new experiment, to adopt the sole arch,
where the pressure will be equally borne by
every point of it. If any one point is pushed
with accumulated pressure, it will introduce a
danger foreign to the essential part of the plan.
The difficulty you suggest is, that the rails being
all in catenaries, the tubes must be of different
lengths, as these approach nearer, or recede
farther from each other, and therefore, you
recur to the portions of concentric circles,
which are equi-distant in all their parts. But
I would rather propose that you make your
middle rail an exact catenary, and the interior
and exterior rails parallels to that. It is true
they will not be exact catenaries, but they will
depart very little from it; much less than portions
of circles will.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. ii, 546.
(P. 1788)

6317. PAINE (Thomas), Iron bridge.—[further continued].

To say another word
about the catenary arch, without caring about
mathematical demonstrations, its nature proves
it to be in equilibrio in every point. It is the
arch formed by a string fixed at both ends, and
swaying loose in all the intermediate points.
Thus at liberty, they must finally take that position,
wherein every one will be equally pressed;
for if any one was more pressed than the neighboring
point, it would give way, from the flexibility
of the matter of the string.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. ii, 547.
(P. 1788)

6318. PAINE (Thomas), Iron bridge.—[further continued] .

Mr. Paine, the author of
“Common Sense”, has invented an iron
bridge, which promises to be cheaper by a great
deal than stone, and to admit of a much greater
arch. He supposes it may be ventured for an
arch of five hundred feet. He has obtained a
patent for it in England, and is now executing
the first experiment with an arch of between
ninety and one hundred feet.—
To Dr. Willard. Washington ed. iii, 16.
(P. 1789)

6319. PAINE (Thomas), Iron bridge.—[further continued].

I congratulate you sincerely
on the success of your bridge. I was
sure of it before from theory; yet one likes to
be assured from practice also.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. iii, 40.
(P. 1789)

6320. PAINE (Thomas), Planing Machine.—

How has your planing machine answered?
Has it been tried and persevered in
by any workmen?—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. iv, 582. Ford ed., viii, 360.
(W. 1805)

6321. PAINE (Thomas), Republicanism.—

A host of writers have risen in favor of Paine, and prove that in this quarter [Philadelphia],
at least, the spirit of republicanism is
sound. The contrary spirit of the high officers
of government is more understood than I expected.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iii, 268. Ford ed., v, 352.
(Pa., 1791)

6322. PAINE (Thomas), Republicanism.—[continued].

Would you believe it
possible that, in this country, there should be
high and important characters who need your
lessons in republicanism, and who do not heed
them? It is but too true that we have a sect
preaching up and panting after an English constitution
of king, lords, and commons, and
whose heads are itching for crowns, coronets,
and mitres. But our people * * * are firm and
unanimous in their principles of republicanism,
and there is no better proof of it than that they
love what you write and read it with delight.
The printers season every newspaper with extracts
from your last, as they did before from
your first part of the Rights of Man.—
To Thomas Paine. Ford ed., vi, 87.
(Pa., June. 1792)

6323. PAINE (Thomas), Respect for.—

You have certainly misconceived what you
deem shyness. Of that I have not had a
thought towards you, but on the contrary have
openly maintained in conversation the duty of
showing our respect to you, and of defying
federal calumny in this as in other cases, by
doing what is right. As to fearing it, if I ever
could have been weak enough for that, they
have taken care to cure me of it thoroughly.—
To Thomas Paine. Ford ed., viii, 189.
(W. 1803)

6324. PAINE (Thomas), Rewards to.—

The Assembly of New York have made Paine,
the author of “Common Sense”, a present of a
farm. Could you prevail on our Assembly to
do something for him? I think their quota of
what ought to be given him would be 2000
guineas, or an inheritance within 100 guineas
a year. It would be peculiarly magnanimous in
them to do it; because it would show that no
particular and smaller passion has suppressed
the grateful impressions which his services have
made on our minds.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 499.
(Pa., May. 1784)

6325. PAINE (Thomas), Rewards to.—[continued].

I still hope something
will be done for Paine. He richly deserves it;
and it will give a character of littleness to our
State if they suffer themselves to be restrained
from the compensation due for his services by
the paltry consideration that he opposed our
right to the Western country. Who was there
out of Virginia who did not oppose it? Place
this circumstance in one scale, and the effect of
his writings produced in uniting us in independence
in the other, and say which preponderates.
Have we gained more by his advocacy
of independence than we lost by his opposition
to our territorial right? Pay him the balance
To James Madison. Ford ed., iv, 17.
(P. Dec. 1784)

6326. PAINE (Thomas), Rights of Man.—

The “Rights of Man” would bring
England itself to reason and revolution, if it
was permitted to be read there. However, the
same things will be said in milder forms, will
make their way among the people, and you
must reform at last.—
To Benjamin Vaughan. Ford ed., v, 334.
(Pa., 1791)

6327. PAINE (Thomas), Rights of Man.—[continued].

The “Rights of Man”
has been much read in America with avidity
and pleasure. A writer under the signature of
“Publicola” has attacked it. A host of champions
entered the arena immediately in your
defence. The discussion excited the public attention,
recalled it to the “Defence of the
American Constitutions”, and the “Discourses


Page 667
on Davila”, which it had kindly passed over
without censure in the moment, and very general
expressions of their sense have been now
drawn forth; and I thank God that they appear
firm in their republicanism, notwithstanding the
contrary hopes and assertions of a sect here,
high in names, but small in numbers. These
had flattered themselves that the silence of the
people under the “Defence” and “Davila”
was a symptom of their conversion to the doctrine
of king, lords, and commons. They are
checked at least by your pamphlet, and the
people confirmed in their good old faith.—
To Thomas Paine. Washington ed. iii, 278. Ford ed., v, 367.
(Pa., 1791)

6328. PAINE (Thomas), Thinker.—

Paine thought more than he read.—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 355.
(M. 1824)

6329. PALEONTOLOGY, Bones.—

Clark has employed ten laborers several
weeks at the Big-bone Lick, and has shipped
the result * * * for this place [Washington].
He has sent, 1st, of the Mammoth, as he calls
it, frontals, jaw-bones, tusks, teeth, ribs, a
thigh, and a leg, and some bones of the paw;
2d, of what he calls the Elephant, a jaw-bone,
tusks, teeth, ribs; 3d. of something of the
Buffalo species, a head and some other bones
unknown. My intention, in having this research
thoroughly made, was to procure for the
[Philosophical] Society as complete a supplement
to what is already possessed as that lick
can furnish at this day, and to serve them first
with whatever they wish to possess of it. There
are a tusk and a femur which General Clark
procured particularly at my request, for a
special kind of Cabinet I have at Monticello.
But the great mass of the collection are mere
duplicates of what you possess at Philadelphia,
of which I would wish to make a donation to
the National Institute of France, which I believe
has scarcely any specimens of the remains
of these animals. But how make the selection
without the danger of sending away something
which might be useful to our own Society?
Indeed, my friend, you must give a week to this
object, * * * examine these bones, and set
apart what you would wish for the Society.—
To Dr. Wistar. Washington ed. v, 219.
(W. 1807)

6330. PALEONTOLOGY, Mammoth.—

It is well known, that on the Ohio, and in
many parts of America further north, tusks,
grinders, and skeletons of unparalleled magnitude,
are found in great numbers, some lying
on the surface of the earth, and some a little
below it. A Mr. Stanley, taken prisoner near
the mouth of the Tennessee, relates, that after
being transferred through several tribes, from
one to another, he was at length carried over
the mountains west of the Missouri to a river
which runs westwardly; that these bones
abounded there, and that the natives described
to him the animal to which they belonged as
still existing in the northern parts of their
country; from which description he judged it
to be an elephant. Bones of the same kind
have been lately found, some feet below the
surface of the earth, in salines opened on the
North Holston, a branch of the Tennessee,
about the latitude of 36½° north. From the
accounts published in Europe, I suppose it
to be decided that these are of the same kind
with those found in Siberia. * * * It is remarkable
that the tusks and skeletons have
been ascribed by the naturalists of Europe to
the elephant, while the grinders have been
given to the hippopotamus, or river horse. Yet
it is acknowledged, that the tusks and skeletons
are much larger than those of the elephant, and
the grinders many times greater than those of
the hippopotamus, and essentially different in
form. * * * We must agree, then, that these
remains belong to each other, that they are of
one and the same animal, that this was not a
hippopotamus, because the hippopotamus had
no tusks, nor such a frame, and because the
grinders differ in their size as well as in the
number and form of their points. That this
was not an elephant, I think ascertained by
proofs equally decisive. * * * I have never
heard an instance, and suppose there has been
none, of the grinder of an elephant being found
in America. From the known temperature and
constitution of the elephant, he could never
have existed in those regions where the remains
of the mammoth have been found. The
elephant is a native only of the torrid zone
and its vicinities. * * * No bones of the mammoth,
have ever been found farther south than
the salines of Holston, and they have been
found as far north as the Arctic circle. * * * For my own part, I find it easier to believe that
an animal may have existed, resembling the
elephant in his tusks, and general anatomy,
while his nature was in other respects extremely
different. From the 30th degree of south latitude
to the 30th degree of north, are nearly
the limits which nature has fixed for the existence
and multiplication of the elephant
known to us. Proceeding thence northwardly
to 36½° degrees, we enter those assigned to the
mammoth. The farther we advance north, the
more their vestiges multiply as far as the earth
has been explored in that direction; and it is
as probable as otherwise, that this progression
continues to the pole itself, if land extends so
far. The centre of the frozen zone, then, May
be the acme of their vigor, as that of the torrid
is of the elephant. Thus nature seems to have
drawn a belt of separation between these two
tremendous animals, whose breadth, indeed, is
not precisely known, though at present we May
suppose it about 6½ degrees of latitude; to
have assigned to the elephant the regions south
of these confines, and those north to the mammoth,
founding the constitution of the one in
the extreme of heat, and that of the other in
the extreme of cold. * * * But to whatever
animal we ascribe these remains, it is certain
that such a one has existed in America, and
that it has been the largest of all terrestrial
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 286. Ford ed., iii, 134.

6331. PALEONTOLOGY, Mammoth.—[continued].

I have heard of the discovery
of some large bones, supposed to be of
the mammoth, at about thirty or forty miles
distant from you; and among the bones found,
are said to be some which we have never
been able to procure. The first interesting
question is, whether they are the bones of the
mammoth? The second, what are the particular
bones, and could I possibly procure
them? * * * If they are to be bought I will
gladly pay for them whatever you shall agree
to as reasonable.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 337. Ford ed., vii, 463.
(W. 1800)


See Canal.

6332. PANICS, Evils of.—

Buildings and
other improvements are suspended. Workmen
turned adrift. Country produce is not to be
sold at any price; because even substantial
merchants, who never meddled with paper, cannot
tell how many of their debtors have meddled
and may fail; consequently they are afraid
to make any new money arrangements till they
shall know how they stand.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 509.
(Pa., April. 1792)


Page 668

6333. PANICS, Financial.—

I learn with real concern the calamities which are fallen on
New York, and which must fall on Philadelphia
also. No man of reflection who had ever attended
to the South Sea bubble, in England, or
that of Law in France, and who applied the
lessons of the past to the present time, could
fail to foresee the issue though he might not
calculate the moment at which it would happen.
The evidences of the public debt are solid
and sacred. I presume there is not a man in
the United States who would not part with his
last shilling to pay them. But all that stuff
called scrip, of whatever description, was folly
or roguery, and under a resemblance to genuine
public paper, it buoyed itself up to a par with
that. It has given a severe lesson; yet such is
the public gullibility in the hands of cunning
and unprincipled men, that it is doomed by
nature to receive these lessons once in an age
at least. Happy if they now come about and
get back into the tract of plain unsophisticated
common sense which they ought never to have
been decoyed from.—
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., v, 507.
(Pa., April. 1792)

See Banks.

6334. PANICS, Losses by.—

It is computed
there is a dead loss at New York of
about five millions of dollars, which is reckoned
the value of all the buildings of the city: so
that if the whole town had been burned to the
ground it would have been just the measure
of the present calamity, supposing goods to
have been saved. In Boston, the dead loss is
about a million of dollars. * * * It is conjectured
that the loss in Philadelphia will be
about equal to that of Boston.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 509.

6335. PANICS, Losses by.—[continued].

The losses on this occasion
would support a war such as we now have on hand, five or six years. Thus you will
see that the calamity has been greater in proportion
than that of the South Sea in England,
or Law in France.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 510.
(Pa., April. 1792)

6336. PANICS, Paper money and.—

length our paper bubble is burst. The failure
of Duer, in New York, soon brought on others,
and these still more, like nine pins knocking
one another down, till at that place the bankruptcy
is become general. Every man concerned
in paper being broke, and most of the
tradesmen and farmers, who had been laying
down money, having been tempted by these
speculators to lend it to them at an interest of
from 3 to 6 per cent. a month, have lost the
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 509.
(Pa., 1792)

See Paper Money.

6337. PANICS, Paper money and.—[continued].

The paper debt of the
United States is scarcely at par. Bank stock
is at 25 per cent. It was once upwards of 300
per cent.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 510.
(Pa., April. 1792)

6338. PANICS, Stocks and.—

What a
loss you would have suffered if we had laid out
your paper for bank stock? * * * Though
it would have been improper for me to have
given at any time, an opinion on the subject of
stocks to Mr. Brown, or any man dealing in
them, yet I have been unable to refrain from
interposing for you on the present occasion.
I found that your stock stood so as not to
charge Donald & Co. I know Brown to be a
good man, but to have dealt in paper, I did not
know how far he was engaged. I knew that
good men might sometimes avail themselves
of the property of others in their power, to
help themselves out of a present difficulty in
an honest but delusive confidence that they
will be able to repay; that the best men and
those whose transactions stand all in an advantageous
form, may fail by the failure of
others. Under the impulse, therefore, of the
general panic, I ventured to enter a caveat in
the treasury office against permitting the transfer
of any stock standing in your name, or
in any other for your use. This was on the
19th of April. I knew your stock had not been
transferred before March 31, and that from that
time to this, Mr. Brown had not been in
Virginia, so as to give me a reasonable confidence
that it had not been transferred between
the 1st and 19th inst. If so, it is safe.
But it would be still safer invested in Ned
Carter's lands at five dollars the acre.—
To William Short. Ford ed., v, 510.
(Pa., April. 1792)

See Speculation.


This article, the creature of art, and but latterly
so comparatively, is now interwoven so much
into the conveniences and occupations of men,
as to have become one of the necessaries of
civilized life.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Ford ed., vii, 445.
(Pa., 1800)

6340. PAPER MONEY, Abuses.—

is liable to be abused, has been, is, and forever
will be abused, in every country in which
it is permitted.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 246. Ford ed., ix, 416.
(M. Nov. 1813)

6341. PAPER MONEY, Abuses.—[continued].

Paper is already at a
term of abuse in these States, which has
never been reached by any other nation,
France excepted, whose dreadful catastrophe
should be a warning against the instrument
which produced it.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 246. Ford ed., ix, 416.
(M. Nov. 1813)

6342. PAPER MONEY, A cheat.—

money was a cheat. Tobacco was the
counter-cheat. Everyone is justifiable in rejecting
both except so far as his contracts
bind him.—
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., v, 212.
(N.Y., 1790)

6343. PAPER MONEY, Continental.—

When I speak comparatively of the paper
emission of the old Congress and the present
banks, let it not be imagined that I cover
them under the same mantle. The object of
the former was a holy one; for if ever there
was a holy war it was that which saved our
liberties and gave us independence. The object
of the latter is to enrich swindlers at the
expense of the honest and industrious part of
the nation.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 246. Ford ed., ix, 416.
(M. Nov. 1813)

6344. PAPER MONEY, Continental.—[continued].

The errors of that day [376] cannot be recalled. The evils they have engendered
are now upon us, and the question
is how we are to get out of them? Shall
we build an altar to the old money of the
Revolution, which ruined individuals but
saved the Republic, and burn on that all the
bank charters, present and future, and their
notes with them? For these are to ruin both
Republic and individuals. This cannot be
done. The mania is too strong. It has
seized, by its delusions and corruptions, all


Page 669
the members of our governments, general,
special and individual.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 305.
(M. Jan. 1814)


When the United States Bank was founded.——Editor.

6345. PAPER MONEY, Contraction.—

have been endeavoring to persuade a friend
in our Legislature to try and save this State
[Virginia] from the general ruin by timely
interference. I propose to him, first, to prohibit
instantly, all foreign paper. Secondly,
to give our banks six months to call in all
their five-dollar bills (the lowest we allow);
another six months to call in their ten-dollar
notes, and six months more to call in all
below fifty dollars. This would produce so
gradual a diminution of medium, as not to
shock contracts already made—would leave
finally, bills of such size as would be called
for only in transactions between merchant
and merchant, and ensure a metallic circulation
for those of the mass of citizens. But
it will not be done. You might as well, with
the sailors, whistle to the wind, as suggest
precautions against having too much money.
We must bend, then, before the gale, and try
to hold fast ourselves by some plank of the
wreck. God send us all a safe deliverance.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 306.
(M. Jan. 1814)

6346. PAPER MONEY, Contraction.—[continued].

I had been in hopes that good old Virginia, not yet so far embarked
as her northern sisters, would have set the
example this winter, of beginning the process
of cure, by passing a law that, after a certain
time, suppose of six months, no bank bill of
less than ten dollars should be permitted.
That after some reasonable term, there should
be none less than twenty dollars, and so on,
until those only should be left in circulation
whose size would be above the common
transactions of any but merchants. This
would ensure us an ordinary circulation of
metallic money, and would reduce the quantum
of paper within the bounds of moderate
mischief. And it is the only way in which
the reduction can be made without a shock
to private fortunes. A sudden stop to this
trash, either by law or its own worthlessness,
would produce confusion and ruin. Yet this
will happen by its own extinction if left to
itself. Whereas, by a salutary interposition
of the Legislature, it may be withdrawn insensibly
and safely. Such a mode of doing
it, too, would give less alarm to the bankholders,
the discreet part of whom must wish
to see themselves secured by circumscription.
It might be asked what we should do for
change? The banks must provide it, first
to pay off their five-dollar bills, next their
ten-dollar bills and so on, and they ought to
provide it to lessen the evils of their institution.
But I now give up all hope. After
producing the same revolutions in private
fortunes as the old Continental paper did,
it will die like that, adding a total incapacity
to raise resources for the war.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vi, 300.
(M. Jan. 1814)

6347. PAPER MONEY, Contraction.—[further continued].

Let us be allured by no
projects of banks, public or private, or
ephemeral expedients, which, enabling us to
gasp and flounder a little longer, only in
crease, by protracting the agonies of death.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 395. Ford ed., ix, 492.
(M. 1814)

6348. PAPER MONEY, Contraction.—[further continued] .

Different persons, doubtless,
will devise different schemes of relief.
One would be to suppress instantly the currency
of all paper not issued under the authority
of our own State or of the General
Government; to interdict after a few months
the circulation of all bills of five dollars and
under; after a few months more, all of ten
dollars and under; after other terms, those
of twenty, fifty, and so on to one hundred
dollars, which last, if any must be left in circulation,
should be the lowest denomination.
These might be a convenience in mercantile
transactions and transmissions, and would
be excluded by their size from ordinary circulation.
But the disease may be too pressing
to await such a remedy. With the Legislature
I cheerfully leave it to apply this medicine,
or no medicine at all. I am sure their
intentions are faithful; and embarked in the
same bottom, I am willing to swim or sink
with my fellow citizens. If the latter is
their choice, I will go down with them without
a murmur. But my exhortation would
rather be “not to give up the ship”.—
To Charles Yancey. Washington ed. vi, 516. Ford ed., x, 3.
(M. Jan. 1816)

6349. PAPER MONEY, Contraction.—[further continued].

That in the present state
of the circulation the banks should resume payments
in specie, would require their vaults
to be like the widow's cruse. The thing to
be aimed at is, that the excesses of their
emissions should be withdrawn gradually,
but as speedily, too, as is practicable, without
so much alarm as to bring on the crisis
To Charles Yancey. Washington ed. vi, 516. Ford ed., x, 3.
(M. Jan. 1816)

6350. PAPER MONEY, Convenience of.—

There is, indeed, a convenience in paper; its
easy transmission from one place to another.
But this may be mainly supplied by bills
of exchange, so as to prevent any great displacement
of actual coin. Two places trading
together balance their dealings, for the most
part, by their mutual supplies, and the debtor
individuals of either may, instead of cash, remit
the bills of those who are creditor in the
same dealings; or may obtain them through
some third place with which both have dealings.
The cases would be rare where such
bills could not be obtained, either directly or
circuitously, and too unimportant to the nation
to overweigh the train of evils flowing
from paper circulation.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 237. Ford ed., ix, 409.
(M. Nov. 1813)

6351. PAPER MONEY, A deluge of.—

told the President [Washington] that a system
had there [the Treasury Department] been contrived, for deluging the States with
paper money instead of gold and silver, for
withdrawing our citizens from the pursuits of
commerce, manufactures, buildings, and other
branches of useful industry, to occupy themselves
and their capitals in a species of gambling,
destructive of morality, and which had


Page 670
introduced its poison into the government itself.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 104. Ford ed., i, 177.
(Feb. 1792)

6352. PAPER MONEY, Depreciation.—

The first symptom of the depreciation of our
present paper money, was that of silver
dollars selling at six shillings, which had
before been worth but five shillings and nine
pence. The Assembly thereupon raised them
by law to six shillings.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 410. Ford ed., iii, 275.

6353. PAPER MONEY, Depreciation.—[continued].

The acknowledged depreciation
of the paper circulation of England,
with the known laws of its rapid progression
to bankruptcy, will leave that nation
shortly without revenue.—
To Clement Caine. Washington ed. vi, 14. Ford ed., ix, 330.
(M. Sep. 1811)

6354. PAPER MONEY, Depreciation.—[further continued].

The rapid rise in the
nominal price of land and labor (while war
and blockade should produce a fall) proves
the progressive state of the depreciation of
our medium.—
To Thomas Law. Ford ed., ix, 433.
(M. 1813)

6355. PAPER MONEY, Economy of.—

The trifling economy of paper, as a cheaper
medium, or its convenience for transmission,
weighs nothing in opposition to the advantages
of the precious metals.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 246. Ford ed., ix, 416.
(M. Nov. 1813)

6356. PAPER MONEY, English assignats.—

England is emitting assignats also,
that is to say exchequer bills, to the amount
of five millions English, or one hundred and
twenty-five millions French; and these are not
founded on land as the French assignats are,
but on pins, thread, buckles, hops, and whatever
else you will pawn in the exchequer of
double the estimated value. But we all know
that five millions of such stuff forced for sale
on the market of London, where there will be
neither cash nor credit, will not pay storage.
This paper must rest, then, ultimately on the
credit of the nation as the rest of their public
paper does, and will sink with that.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 7. Ford ed., vi, 322.
(Pa., June. 1793)

6357. PAPER MONEY, English assignats.—[continued].

England, too, is issuing
her paper, not founded, like the assignats, on
land, but on pawns of thread, ribbons,
buckles, &c. They will soon learn the science
of depreciation, and their whole paper system
vanish into nothing, on which it is bottomed.—
To Dr. Gilmer. Washington ed. iv, 6. Ford ed., vi, 325.
(Pa., 1793)

6358. PAPER MONEY, English assignats.—[further continued].

The English are trying
to stop the torrent of bankruptcies by an
emission of five millions of exchequer bills,
loaned on the pawn-broking plan, consequently
much inferior to the assignats in
value. But the paper will sink to an immediate
level with their other public paper, and
consequently can only complete the ruin of
those who take it from the government at
par, and on a pledge of pins, buckles, &c.,
of double value, which will not sell so as to
pay storage in a country where there is no
specie, and we may say no paper of confidence.
Every letter which comes expresses
a firm belief that the whole paper system will
now vanish into that nothing on which
it is bottomed. For even the public faith
is nothing, as the mass of paper bottomed on
it is known to be beyond its possible redemption.
I hope this will be a wholesome lesson
to our future Legislature.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 8. Ford ed., vi, 326.
(June. 1793)

6359. PAPER MONEY, Evils of.—

dealers and banking companies, by the aid
of a paper system, are enriching themselves
to the ruin of our country, and swaying the
government by their possession of the printing
presses, which their wealth commands,
and by other means, not always honorable
to the character of our countrymen.—
To Arthur Campbell. Washington ed. iv, 197. Ford ed., vii, 170.
(M. 1797)

6360. PAPER MONEY, Farmers and.—

The redundancy of paper in the cities is
palpably a tax on the distant farmer.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vi, 404.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

6361. PAPER MONEY, Fluctuations in.—

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

6362. PAPER MONEY, Gambling in.—

What do you think of this scrippomany?
Ships are lying idle at the wharves, buildings
are stopped, capital withdrawn from
commerce, manufactures, arts and agriculture,
to be employed in gambling, and the
tide of prosperity almost unparalleled in any
country, is arrested in its course, and suppressed
by the rage of getting rich in a day.
No mortal can tell where this will stop;
for the spirit of gaming, when once it has
seized a subject, is incurable. The tailor
who has made thousands in one day, though
he has lost them the next, can never again be
content with the slow and moderate earnings
of his needle. Nothing can exceed the public
felicity, if our papers are to be believed,
because our papers are under the orders of
the scripmen. I imagine, however, we shall
hear that all our cash has quitted the extremities


Page 671
of the nation, and accumulated here [Philadelphia]; that produce and property fall
to half price there, and the same things rise to
double price here; that the cash accumulated
and stagnated here, as soon as the bank paper
gets out, will find its vent into foreign countries;
and instead of this solid medium, which
we might have kept for nothing, we shall have
a paper one, for the use of which we are to
pay these gamesters fifteen per cent. per annum,
as they say.—
To E. Rutledge. Washington ed. iii, 285. Ford ed., v, 375.
(Pa., 1791)

6363. PAPER MONEY, Gambling in.—[continued].

Our public credit is good,
but the abundance of paper has produced a
spirit of gambling in the funds, which has
laid up our ships at the wharves, as too slow
instruments of profit, and has even disarmed
the hand of the tailor of his needle and
thimble. They say the evil will cure itself.
I wish it may; but I have rarely seen a
gamester cured, even by the disasters of his
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 290.
(Pa., 1791)

See Speculation.

6364. PAPER MONEY, Manufactures.—

New schemes are on foot for bringing
more paper to market by encouraging great
manufacturing companies to form, and their
actions, or paper-shares, to be transferable
as bank stock.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., v, 320.
(Pa., 1791)

6365. PAPER MONEY, Mississippi scheme.—

The Mississippi scheme, it is well
known, ended in France in the bankruptcy
of the public treasury, the crash of thousands
and thousands of private fortunes, and scenes
of desolation and distress equal to those of an
invading army, burning and laying waste all
before it.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 239. Ford ed., ix, 411.
(M. Nov. 1813)

6366. PAPER MONEY, Perilous.—

money would be perilous even to the paper
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 259. Ford ed., vii, 310.
(M. 1798)

6367. PAPER MONEY, Plan to reduce.—

The plethory of circulating medium which
raised the prices of everything to several times
their ordinary and standard value, in which
state of things many and heavy debts were contracted;
and the sudden withdrawing too great
a proportion of that medium, and reduction of
prices far below that standard, constitute the
disease under which we are now laboring, and
which must end in a general revolution of property,
if some remedy is not applied. That remedy
is clearly a gradual reduction of the medium
to its standard level, that is to say, to
the level which a metallic medium will always
find for itself, so as to be in equilibrio with
that of the nations with which we have commerce.
To effect this: Let the whole of the
present paper medium be suspended in its circulation
after a certain and not distant day. Ascertain
by proper inquiry the greatest sum of it
which has at any one time been in actual circulation.
Take a certain term of years for its
gradual reduction. Suppose it to be five years;
then let the solvent banks issue 5-6 of that
amount in new notes, to be attested by a public
officer, as a security that neither more nor
less is issued, and to be given out in exchange
for the suspended notes, and the surplus in discount.
Let 1-5 of these notes bear on their
face that the bank will discharge them with
specie at the end of one year; another 5th at
the end of two years; a third 5th at the end of
three years; and so of the 4th and 5th. They
will be sure to be brought in at their respective
periods of redemption. Make it a high offense
to receive or pass within this State a note of
any other. There is little doubt that our banks
will agree readily to this operation; if they refuse,
declare their charters forfeited by their
former irregularities, and give summary process
against them for the suspended notes. The
Bank of the United States will probably concur
also; if not, shut their doors and join the other
States in respectful, but firm applications to
Congress, to concur in constituting a tribunal
(a special convention, e. g.) for settling amicably
the question of their right to institute a bank,
and that also of the States to do the same.
A stay-law for the suspension of executions,
and their discharge at five annual instalments,
should be accommodated to these measures. Interdict
forever, to both the State and National
Governments, the power of establishing any
paper bank; for without this interdiction, we
shall have the same ebbs and flows of medium,
and the same revolutions of property to go
through every twenty or thirty years. In this
way the value of property, keeping pace nearly
with the sum of circulating medium, will descend
gradually to its proper level, at the rate
of about 1-5 every year, the sacrifices of what
shall be sold for payment of the first instalments
of debts will be moderate, and time will
be given for economy and industry to come
in aid of those subsequent. Certainly no nation
ever before abandoned to the avarice and jugglings
of private individuals to regulate, according
to their own interests, the quantum of
circulating medium for the nation; to inflate,
by deluges of paper, the nominal prices of property,
and then to buy up that property at 1s. in
the pound, having first withdrawn the floating
medium which might endanger a competition
in purchase. Yet this is what has been done,
and will be done, unless stayed by the protecting
hand of the Legislature. The evil has been produced
by the error of their sanction of this ruinous
machinery of banks; and justice, wisdom,
duty, all require that they should interpose and
arrest it before the schemes of plunder and
spoliation desolate the country. It is believed
that Harpies are already hoarding their money
to commence these scenes on the separation of
the Legislature; and we know that lands have
been already sold under the hammer for less
than a year's rent.—
To W. C. Rives. Washington ed. vii, 145. Ford ed., x, 150.
(M. Nov. 1819)

6368. PAPER MONEY, Poverty.—

is poverty. It is only the ghost of money,
and not money itself.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 405. Ford ed., v, 21.
(P. 1788)

6369. PAPER MONEY, Prices and.—

All the imported commodities are raised
about fifty per cent. by the depreciation of the
money. Tobacco shares the rise, because it
has no competition abroad. Wheat has been
extravagantly high from other causes. When
these cease, it must fall to its ancient nominal
price, notwithstanding the depreciation of
that, because it must contend at market with
foreign wheats. Lands have risen within the
notice of the papers, and as far out as that
can influence. They have not risen at all
here [Virginia]. On the contrary, they are


Page 672
lower than they were twenty years ago.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 141. Ford ed., vii, 80.
(M. June. 1796)

See Price.

6370. PAPER MONEY, Private property and.—

Money is leaving the remoter
parts of the Union, and flowing to this place
[Philadelphia] to purchase paper; and here,
a paper medium supplying its place, it is
shipped off in exchange for luxuries. The
value of property is necessarily falling in the
places left bare of money. In Virginia, for
instance, property has fallen 25 per cent. in
the last twelve months.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 343. Ford ed., v, 459.
(Pa., March. 1792)

6371. PAPER MONEY, Private property and.—[continued].

That paper money has
some advantages, is admitted. But that its
abuses also are inevitable, and, by breaking
up the measure of value, makes a lottery of
all private property, cannot be denied. Shall
we ever be able to put a constitutional veto
on it?—
To Dr. Josephus B. Stuart. Washington ed. vii, 65.
(M. May. 1817)

6372. PAPER MONEY, Redeeming taxes.—

M. Say will be surprised to find, that
forty years after the development of sound
financial principles by Adam Smith and the
Economists, and a dozen years after he has
given them to us in a corrected, terse, and
lucid form, there should be so much ignorance
of them in our country; that instead of funding
issues of paper on the hypothecation of
specific redeeming taxes (the only method of
anticipating, in a time of war, the resources
of times of peace, tested by the experience of
nations), we are trusting to the tricks of
jugglers on the cards, to the illusions of banking
schemes for the resources of the war, and
for the cure of colic to inflations of more
To M. Correa. Washington ed. vi, 406.
(M. 1814)

6373. PAPER MONEY, Ruin by.—

Not Quixotic enough to attempt to reason Bedlam
to rights, my anxieties are turned to the most
practicable means of withdrawing us from the
ruin into which we have run. Two hundred
millions of paper in the hands of the people
(and less cannot be from the employment of
a banking capital known to exceed one hundred
millions), is a fearful tax to fall at haphazard
on their heads. The debt which
purchased our Independence was but of
eighty millions, of which twenty years of taxation
had, in 1889, paid but the one-half.
And what have we purchased with this tax
of two hundred millions which we are to
pay, by wholesale, but usury, swindling, and
new forms of demoralization?—
To Charles Yancey. Washington ed. vi, 515. Ford ed., x, 2.
(M. Jan. 1816)

6374. PAPER MONEY, Silver for.—

is said that our paper is as good as silver, because
we may have silver for it at the bank
where it issues. This is not true. One, two,
or three persons might have it; but a general
application would soon exhaust their vaults,
and leave a ruinous proportion of their paper
in its intrinsic worthless form. It is a fallacious
pretence, for another reason. The inhabitants
of the banking cities might obtain cash for
their paper, as far as the cash of the vaults
would hold out, but distance puts it out of
the power of the country to do this. A
farmer having a note of a Boston or Charleston
bank, distant hundreds of miles, has no
means of calling for the cash. And while
these calls are impracticable for the country,
the banks have no fear of their being made
from the towns; because their inhabitants are
mostly on their books, and there on sufferance
only, and during good behavior.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 243. Ford ed., ix, 414.
(M. Nov. 1813)

6375. PAPER MONEY, Specie and.—

The unlimited emission of bank paper has
banished all Great Britain's specie, and is
now, by a depreciation acknowledged by her
own statesmen, carrying her rapidly to bankruptcy,
as it did France, as it did us, and will
do us again, and every country permitting
paper money to be circulated, other than that
by public authority, rigorously limited to the
just measure for circulation.—
To John W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 142. Ford ed., ix, 394.
(M. June. 1813)

6376. PAPER MONEY, Specie and.—[continued].

Revolutionary history
has warned us of the probable moment when
this baseless trash is to receive its fiat.
Whenever so much of the precious metals
shall have returned into the circulation as
that every one can get some in exchange for
his produce, paper, as in the Revolutionary
war, will experience at once an universal rejection.
When public opinion changes, it is
with the rapidity of thought. Confidence is
already on the totter, and every one now
handles this paper as if playing at “Robin's
To Charles Yancey. Washington ed. vi, 516. Ford ed., x, 3.
(M. Jan. 1816)

6377. PAPER MONEY, Treasury notes vs.—

Even with the flood of private paper by
which we were deluged, would the treasury
have ventured its credit in bills of circulating
size, as of fives or ten dollars, &c., they
would have been greedily received by the
people in preference to bank paper. But unhappily
the towns of America were considered
as the nation of America, the dispositions
of the inhabitants of the former as
those of the latter, and the treasury, for want
of confidence in the country, delivered itself
bound hand and foot to bold and bankrupt
adventurers and pretenders to be money-holders,
whom it could have crushed at any
moment. Even the last half-bold, half-timid
threat of the Treasury showed at once that
these jugglers were at the feet of the government.
For it never was, and is not, any confidence
in their frothy bubbles, but the want
of all other medium, which induced, or now
induces, the country people to take their
paper; and at this moment, when nothing
else is to be had, no man will receive it but
to pass it away instantly, none for distant
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. vi, 498.
(M. Oct. 1815)

See National Currency.

6378. PAPER MONEY, Tricks with.—

We are now taught to believe that legerde


Page 673
main tricks upon paper can produce as solid
wealth as hard labor in the earth. It is vain
for common sense to urge that nothing can
produce but nothing; that it is an idle dream
to believe in a philosopher's stone which is
to turn everything into gold, and to redeem
man from the original sentence of his Maker,
“in the sweat of his brow shall he eat his
To Charles Yancey. Washington ed. vi, 515. Ford ed., x, 2.
(M. Jan. 1816)

6379. PAPER MONEY, War and.—

this war continues, bank circulation must be
suppressed, or the government shaken to its
foundation by the weight of taxes, and impracticability
to raise funds on them.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 204. Ford ed., ix, 402.
Sep. 1813)

See Banks Dollar, Money, and National Currency.

6380. PAPERS, Communication of.—

With respect to [Executive] papers, there is
certainly a public and a private side to our
offices. To the former belong grants of land,
patents for inventions, certain commissions,
proclamations, and other papers patent in their
nature. To the other belong mere executive
proceedings. All nations have found it necessary,
that for the advantageous conduct of
their affairs, some of these proceedings, at
least, should remain known to their executive
functionary only. He, of course, from the nature
of the case, must be the sole judge of which
of them the public interests will permit publication.
Hence, under our Constitution, in requests
of papers, from the Legislative to the
Executive branch, an exception is carefully
expressed, as to those which he may deem the
public welfare may require not to be disclosed.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 97. Ford ed., ix, 57.
(W. 1807)

6381. PAPERS, Confidential.—

that it is thought important that a
letter of Nov. 12, 1806, from General Wilkinson
to myself, should be produced in evidence on
the charges against Burr, * * * I send you
a copy of it, omitting only certain passages,
* * * entirely confidential, given for my
information in the discharge of my executive
functions, and which my duties and the public
interest forbid me to make public.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 190. Ford ed., ix, 63.
(M. Sep. 1807)

6382. PAPERS, Confidential.—[continued].

You are certainly free to
make use of any of the papers we put into Mr.
Hay's hands, with a single reservation: to wit,
some of them are expressed to be confidential,
and others are of that kind which I always
consider as confidential, conveying censure on
particular individuals, and therefore never communicate
them beyond the immediate executive
To General Wilkinson. Washington ed. v, 198. Ford ed., ix, 141.
(M. 1807)

6383. PAPERS, Confidential.—[further continued].

Papers containing censures
on particular individuals, * * * I
always deem confidential, and therefore cannot
communicate, but for regularly official purposes,
without a breach of trust.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 198. Ford ed., ix, 141.
(M. 1807)

6384. PAPERS, Executive.—

the necessary right of the President of the
United States to decide, independently of all
other authority, what papers, coming to him
as President, the public interests permit to be
communicated, and to whom, I assure you of
my readiness, under that restriction, voluntarily
to furnish on all occasions, whatever the purposes
of justice may require.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 94. Ford ed., ix, 55.
(W. June. 1807)

6385. PAPERS, Executive.—[continued].

When the request goes
to “copies of the orders issued in relation to
Colonel Burr, to the officers at Orleans, Natchez,
&c., by the Secretaries of the War and Navy
Departments”, it seems to cover a correspondence
of many months, with such a variety of
officers, civil and military, all over the United
States, as would amount to laying open the
whole executive books. I have desired the
Secretary of War to examine his official communications;
and on a view of these, we May
be able to judge, what can and ought to be done,
towards a compliance with the request. If the
defendant alleges that there was any particular
order, which, as a cause, produced any particular
act on his part, then he must know what
this order was, can specify it, and a prompt
answer can be given.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 95. Ford ed., ix, 55.
(W. June. 1807)

6386. PAPERS, Retention of.—

I enclose
you a copy of [General] Armstrong's letter,
covering the papers sent to Congress. The date
was blank, as in the copy; the letter was so
immaterial that I had really forgotten it altogether
when I spoke with you. I feel myself
much indebted to you for having given me this
private opportunity of showing that I have
kept back nothing material. That the federalists
and a few others should by their vote make
such a charge on me, is never unexpected. But
how can any join in it who call themselves
friends? The President sends papers to the
House, which he thinks the public interest requires
they should see. They immediately pass
a vote, implying irresistibly their belief that
he is capable of having kept back other papers
which the same interest requires they should
see. They pretend to no direct proof of this.
It must, then, be founded in presumption; and
on what act of my life or of my administration
is such a presumption founded? What interest
can I have in leading the Legislature to act on
false grounds? My wish is certainly to take
that course with the public affairs which the
body of the Legislature would prefer. It is
said, indeed, that such a vote is to satisfy the
federalists and their partisans. But were I
to send twenty letters, they would say, “You
have kept back the twenty-first; send us that”.
If I sent one hundred, they would say, “There
were one hundred and one”; and how could I
prove the negative? Their malice can be cured
by no conduct; it ought, therefore, to be disregarded,
instead of countenancing their imputations
by the sanction of a vote. Indeed I
should consider such a vote as a charge, in the
face of the nation calling for a serious and
public defence of myself. [377]
To Joseph B. Varnum. Washington ed. v, 249.
(W. Feb. 1808)


Mr. Varnum was then Speaker of the House of

6387. PARASITES, Government and.—

I think we have more machinery of government
than is necessary, too many parasites living
on the labor of the industrious.—
To William Ludlow. Washington ed. vii, 378.
(M. 1824)

6388. PARDONS, Abolition of.—

Nor shall there be power anywhere to pardon crimes
or to remit fines or punishments.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 17.
(June. 1776)

6389. PARDONS, Conditions of.—

I have
made it a rule to grant no pardon in any criminal
case but on the recommendation of the


Page 674
judges who sat on the trial, and the district
attorney, or two of them. I believe it a sound
rule, and not to be departed from but in extraordinary
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., viii, 465.
(M. 1806)

6390. PARDONS, Conditions of.—[continued].

In all cases I have referred
petitions [for pardons] to the judges
and prosecuting attorney, who having heard
all the circumstances of the case, are the best
judges whether any of them were of such a
nature as ought to obtain for the criminal a
remission or abridgment of the punishment.—
To George Blake. Washington ed. v, 113.
(W. 1807)

6391. PARDONS, Conditions of.—[further continued].

The Legislature having made stripes a regular part of the punishment
[for robbing the mails], the pardoning them
cannot be a thing of course, as that would be
to repeal the law. Extraordinary and singular
considerations are necessary to entitle the
criminal to that remission.—
To E. Randolph. Washington ed. v, 406.
(W. 1808)

6392. PARDONS, Imprudent.—

It would
be against every rule of prudence for me to
undertake to revise the verdict of a jury on
ex parte affidavits and recommendations.—
To George Blake. Washington ed. v, 371.
(W. 1808)

6393. PARDONS, Proper.—

The power of
pardon, committed to Executive discretion,
[can] never be more properly exercised than
where citizens [are] suffering without the authority
of law, or, which [is] equivalent, under
a law unauthorized by the Constitution, and
therefore null.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 135. Ford ed., x, 141.


Pardons for counterfeiting bank paper
are yielded with much less facility than others.—
To George Blake. Washington ed. v, 113.
(W. 1807)


As the case of the five Alabamas, under prosecution
for the murder of a white man, may not
admit delay, if a conviction takes place, I have
thought it necessary to recommend to you in
that case to select the leader, or most guilty,
for execution, and to reprieve the others;
* * * letting them return to their friends,
with whom you will of course take just merit
for this clemency. Our wish * * * [is] merely to make them sensible by the just punishment
of one, that our citizens are not to be
murdered or robbed with impunity.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. v, 345.
(M. 1808)


The “ privilege
of clergy”, originally allowed to the clergy, is now extended to every man, and even to
women. It is a right of exemption from capital
punishment, for the first offence in most
cases. It is, then, a pardon by the law. In
other cases, the Executive gives the pardon.
But when laws are made as mild as they should
be, both those pardons are absurd. The principle
of Beccaria is sound. Let the legislators
be merciful, but the executors of the law inexorable.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 263. Ford ed., iv, 168.
(P. 1786)

6397. PARIS, Bois de Boulogne.—

Bois de Boulogne invites you earnestly to come
and survey its beautiful verdure, to retire to its
umbrage from the heats of the season. I was
through it to-day, as I am every day.—
To Madame de Corny. Washington ed. ii, 161.
(P. 1787)

6398. PARIS, Evils of.—

From what I
have seen in Paris, I know not one good purpose
on earth which can be effected by a young
gentleman coming here. He may learn indeed
to speak the language, but put this in the scale
amongst other things he will learn and evils he
is sure to acquire, and it will be found too light.
I have always disapproved of a European education
for our youth from theory; I now do it
from inspection.—
To Charles Thomson. Ford ed., iv, 15.
(P. 1784)

6399. PARK (Mungo), Work on Africa.—

I fear Park's work on Africa will throw
cold water on the hopes of the friends of freedom.—
To Dr. Benjamin Rush. Washington ed. iv, 336. Ford ed., vii, 461.
(M. 1800)

6400. PARLIAMENT, Dignity of.—

dignity of Parliament, it seems, can brook no
opposition to its power. Strange, that a set
of men, who have made sale of their virtue to
the Minister, should yet talk of retaining dignity.—
To Dr. William Small. Washington ed. i, 199. Ford ed., i, 454.

6401. PARLIAMENT, Executive Power of.—

A new executive power, unheard of till
then [the date of the Boston Port Bill, 14. G. 3.],
that of a British Parliament.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 133. Ford ed., i, 438.

6402. PARLIAMENT, Injuries by.—

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

6403. PARLIAMENT, Jurisdiction of.—

The British Parliament has no right to exercise
authority over us.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 130. Ford ed., i, 434.

6404. PARLIAMENT, Jurisdiction of.—[continued].

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

6405. PARLIAMENT, Jurisdiction of.—[further 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, * * * declaring themselves invested
with power to legislate for us in all
cases whatsoever.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

6406. PARLIAMENT, Misgovernment by.—

Not only the principles of common sense, but the feelings of human nature, must
be surrendered up before his Majesty's subjects
here, can be persuaded to believe that they
hold their political existence at the will of a
British Parliament. Shall these governments
be dissolved, their property annihilated, and
their people reduced to a state of nature, at the
imperious breath of a body of men whom they
never saw, in whom they never confided, and
over whom they have no powers of punishment
or removal, let their crimes against the American
public be ever so great? Can any one reason
be assigned why one hundred and sixty
thousand electors in the Island of Great Britain
should give law to four millions in the States


Page 675
of America, every individual of whom is equal
to every individual of them, in virtue, in understanding,
and in bodily strength? Were this
to be admitted, instead of being a free people,
as we have hitherto supposed, and mean to continue
ourselves, we should suddenly be found
the slaves, not of one, but of one hundred and
sixty thousand tyrants, distinguished, too, from
all others by this singular circumstance, that
they are removed from the reach of fear, the
only restraining motive which may hold the
hand of a tyrant.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 131. Ford ed., i, 436.

6407. PARLIAMENT, Purchase of favor.—

Congress are of opinion that the proposition
* * * [of Lord North] is unreasonable
and insidious: unreasonable because, if we declare we accede to it, we declare without
reservation we will purchase the favor of parliament
not knowing at the same time at what
price they will please to estimate their favor.
It is insidious because any individual Colonies,
having bid and bidden again till they find the
avidity of the seller unattainable by all their
powers, are then to return into opposition, divided
from their sister Colonies whom the minister
will have previously detached by a grant
of easier terms, or by an artful procrastination
of a definitive answer.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 478.
(July. 1775)

6408. PARLIAMENT, Repudiation of.—

A body of men foreign to our constitutions,
and unacknowledged by our laws.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 134. Ford ed., i, 439.

6409. PARLIAMENT, Repudiation of.—[continued].

Rather than submit to
the rights of legislating for us, assumed by the
British Parliament, * * * I would lend my
hand to sink the whole Island in the ocean.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 201. Ford ed., i, 484.
(M. 1775)

6410. PARLIAMENT, Repudiation of.—[further continued].

We utterly dissolve all
political connection which may heretofore have
subsisted between us and the people or parliament
of Great Britain. [378]
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Struck out by the Congress.—Editor.

6411. PARLIAMENT, Submission to.—

In constituting indeed our several forms of government, we had adopted one common king,
thereby laying a foundation for perpetual league
and amity with them; but that submission to
their parliament was no part of our constitution,
nor ever in idea, if history may be credited. [379]
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress struck out this passage.—Editor.

6412. PARLIAMENT, Tyranny of.—

History has informed us that bodies of men as
well as individuals are susceptible of the spirit
of tyranny. A view of these acts of Parliament
for regulation, as it has been affectedly
called, of the American trade, if all other evidences
were removed out of the case, would undeniably
evince the truth of this observation.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 128. Ford ed., i, 433.

6413. PARLIAMENTARY LAW, Compilation of.—

I do not mention the Parliamentary
Manual published for the use of the Senate
of the United States because it was a mere compilation
into which nothing entered of my own
but the arrangement and a few observations
necessary to explain that and some of the cases.—
To John W. Campbell. Washington ed. v, 466. Ford ed., ix, 258.
(M. 1809)

6414. PARLIAMENTARY LAW, Study of.—

It seems probable that I will be called on
to preside in a legislative chamber. It is now
so long since I have acted in the legislative line,
that I am entirely rusty in the Parliamentary
rules of procedure. I know they have been
more studied and are better known by you than
by any man in America, perhaps by any man
living. I am in hopes that while inquiring into
the subject you made notes on it. If any such
remain in your hands, however informal, in
books or in scraps of paper, and you will be
so good as to trust me with them a little while,
they shall be most faithfully returned.—
To George Wythe. Washington ed. iv, 163. Ford ed., vii, 110.
(M. 1797)

6415. PARTIES, Amalgamation of.—

What do you think of the state of parties at this
time [1822]? An opinion prevails that there
is no longer any distinction, that the republicans
and federalists are completely amalgamated, but
it is not so. The amalgamation is of name only,
not of principle. All, indeed, call themselves by
the name of republicans, because that of the
federalists was extinguished in the battle of
New Orleans. But the truth is that finding
that monarchy is a desperate wish in this
country, they rally to the point which they
think next best, a consolidated government.
Their aim is now, therefore, to break down the
rights reserved by the Constitution to the States
as a bulwark against that consolidation, the
fear of which produced the whole of the opposition
to the Constitution at its birth. Hence
new republicans in Congress, preaching the doctrines
of the old federalists, and the new nicknames
of “Ultras” and “Radicals”. But, I
trust, they will fail under the new, as the old
name, and that the friends of the real Constitution
and Union will prevail against consolidation,
as they have done against monarchism.
I scarcely know myself which is most to be
deprecated, a consolidation, or dissolution of
the States. The horrors of both are beyond the
reach of human foresight.—
To William Johnson. Ford ed., x, 225.
(M. Oct. 1822)

6416. PARTIES, Amalgamation of.—[continued].

You are told, indeed, that there are no longer parties among us; that
they are all now amalgamated; the lion and the
lamb lie down together in peace. Do not believe
a word of it. The same parties exist now
as ever did. No longer, indeed, under the name
of republicans and federalists. The latter name
was extinguished in the battle of Orleans.
Those who wore it, finding monarchism a desperate
wish in this country, are rallying to
what they deem the next best point, a consolidated
government. Although this is not yet
avowed (as that of monarchy, you know, never
was), it exists decidedly, and is the true key
to the debates in Congress, wherein you see
many calling themselves republicans, and
preaching the rankest doctrines of the old federalists.
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., x, 235.
(M. Oct. 1822)


Gallatin was then in Europe.—Editor.

6417. PARTIES, Amalgamation of.—[further continued].

You will be told that
parties are now all amalgamated; the wolf now
dwells with the lamb, and the leopard lies down
with the kid. It is true that federalism has
changed its name and hidden itself among us.
Since the Hartford convention it is deemed
even by themselves a name of reproach. In
some degree, too, they have varied their object.
To monarchize this nation they see is impossible;
the next best thing in their view is to
consolidate it into one government as a premier
to monarchy. The party is now as strong


Page 676
as it ever has been since 1800; and though
mixed with us are to be known by their rallying
together on every question of power in a
general government. The judges, as before,
are at their head, and are their entering wedge.
Young men are more easily seduced into this
principle than the old one of monarchy.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., x, 262.
(M. Aug. 1823)

6418. PARTIES, Amalgamation of.—[further continued] .

[It is] an amalgamation
of name but not of principle. Tories are tories
still, by whatever name they may be called.—
To Martin Van Buren. Washington ed. vii, 373. Ford ed., x, 316.
(M. 1824)

6419. PARTIES, Amalgamation of.—[further continued].

I am no believer in the
amalgamation of parties, nor do I consider it
as either desirable or useful for the public; but
only that, like religious differences, a difference
in politics should never be permitted to enter
into social intercourse, or to disturb its friendships,
its charities, or justice. In that form,
they are censors of the conduct of each other,
and useful watchmen for the public.—
To H. Lee. Washington ed. vii, 376. Ford ed., x, 317.
(M. 1824)

6420. PARTIES, Amalgamation of.—[further continued] .

There is really no amalgamation
[of parties]. The parties exist now
as heretofore. The one, indeed, has thrown off
its old name, and has not yet assumed a new
one, although obviously consolidationists. And
among those in the offices of every denomination
I believe it to be a bare minority.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 392. Ford ed., x, 335.
(M. Jan. 1825)

6421. PARTIES, Birth of.—

At the
formation of our government, many had formed
their political opinions on European writings
and practices, believing the experience of old
countries, and especially of England, abusive as
it was, to be a safer guide than mere theory.
The doctrines of Europe were, that men in
numerous associations cannot be restrained
within the limits of order and justice, but by
forces physical and moral, wielded over them
by authorities independent of their will. Hence
their organization of kings, hereditary nobles,
and priests. Still further to constrain the brute
force of the people, they deem it necessary to
keep them down by hard labor, poverty and ignorance,
and to take from them, as from bees,
so much of their earnings, as that unremitting
labor shall be necessary to obtain a sufficient
surplus barely to sustain a scanty and miserable
life. And these earnings they apply to maintain
their privileged orders in splendor and idleness,
to fascinate the eyes of the people, and
excite in them an humble adoration and submission,
as to an order of superior beings. Although
few among us had gone all these lengths
of opinion, yet many had advanced, some more,
some less, on the way. And in the convention
which formed our government, they endeavored
to draw the cords of power as tight as they
could obtain them, to lessen the dependence of
the general functionaries on their constituents,
to subject to them those of the States, and to
weaken their means of maintaining the steady
equilibrium which the majority of the convention
had deemed salutary for both branches,
general and local. To recover, therefore, in
practice the powers which the nation had refused,
and to warp to their own wishes those
actually given, was the steady object of the Federal
party. Ours, on the contrary, was to maintain
the will of the majority of the convention,
and of the people themselves. We believed,
with them, that man was a rational animal, endowed
by nature with rights, and with an innate
sense of justice; and that he could be restrained
from wrong and protected in right, by moderate
powers, confided to persons of his own choice,
and held to their duties by dependence on his
own will. We believed that the complicated
organization of kings, nobles, and priests, was
not the wisest nor best to effect the happiness
of associated man; that wisdom and virtue were
not hereditary; that the trappings of such a
machinery, consumed by their expense, those
earnings of industry, they were meant to protect,
and, by the inequalities they produced, exposed
liberty to sufferance. We believed that
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, would be more easily and
safely governed, than with minds nourished in
error, and vitiated and debased, as in Europe,
by ignorance, indigence and oppression. The
cherishment of the people then was our principle,
the fear and distrust of them, that of the
other party. Composed, as we were, of the
landed and laboring interests of the country, we
could not be less anxious for a government of
law and order than were the inhabitants of the
cities, the strongholds of federalism. And
whether our efforts to save the principles and
form of our Constitution have not been salutary,
let the present republ can freedom, order
and prosperity of our country determine.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 290. Ford ed., x, 226.
(M. June, 1823)

6422. PARTIES, History.—

Let me implore
you to finish your history of parties, leaving
the time of publication to the state of
things you may deem proper, but taking especial
care that we do not lose it altogether. We
have been too careless of our future reputation,
while our tories will omit nothing to place us in
the wrong. Besides the five-volumed libel
which represents us as struggling for office,
and not at all to prevent our government from
being administered into a monarchy, the Life
of Hamilton is in the hands of a man who, to
the bitterness of the priest, adds the rancor of
the fiercest federalism. Mr. Adams's papers,
too, and his biography will descend, of course,
to his son whose pen, you know, is pointed,
and his prejudices not in our favor. And,
doubtless, other things are in preparation, unknown
to us. On our part, we are depending
on truth to make itself known, while history is
taking a contrary set which may become too
inveterate for correction. Mr. Madison will
probably leave something, but, I believe, only
particular passages of our history, and these
chiefly confined to the period between the dissolution
of the old and commencement of the
new government, which is peculiarly within his
knowledge. After he joined us in the administration,
he had no leisure to write. This, too,
was my case. But although I had not time to
prepare anything express, my letters (all preserved )
will furnish the daily occurrences and
views from my return from Europe in 1790,
till I retired finally from office. These will
command more conviction than anything I could
have written after my retirement; no day having
ever passed during that period without a
letter to somebody. Written, too, in the moment,
and in the warmth and freshness of fact
and feeling, they will carry internal evidence
that what they breathe is genuine. Selections
from these, after my death, may come out successively
as the maturity of circumstances May
render their appearance seasonable. But multiplied
testimony, multiplied views will be necessary
to give solid establishment to truth.
Much is known to one which is not known to


Page 677
another, and no one knows everything. It is
the sum of individual knowledge which is to
make up the whole truth, and to give its correct
current through future time. Then, do not
* * * withhold your stock of information;
and I would moreover recommend that you
trust it not to a single copy, nor to a single
depositary. Leave it not in the power of any
one person, under the distempered view of an
unlucky moment, to deprive us of the weight of
your testimony, and to purchase, by its destruction,
the favor of any party or person.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 277. Ford ed., x, 247.
(M. 1823)

6423. PARTIES, History.—[continued].

Our opponents are far
ahead of us in preparations for placing their
cause favorably before posterity. Yet I hope
even from some of them the escape of precious
truths, in angry explosions or effusions of
vanity, which will betray the genuine monarchism
of their principles. They do not themselves
believe what they endeavor to inculcate, that
we were an opposition party, not on principle,
but merely seeking for office.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 290. Ford ed., x, 226.
(M. 1823)

6424. PARTIES, Independent of.—

If I
could not go to heaven but with a party, I would
not go there at all.—
To Francis Hopkinson. Washington ed. ii, 585. Ford ed., v, 76.
(P. 1789)

6425. PARTIES, Jay's Treaty and.—

You well know how strong a character of division
had been impressed on the Senate by
the British treaty. Common error, common
censure, and common efforts of defence had
formed the treaty majority into a common band,
which feared to separate even on other subjects.
Towards the close of the last Congress,
however, it had been hoped that their ties began
to loosen, and their phalanx to separate a little.
This hope was blasted at the very opening of the
present session, by the nature of the appeal
which the President made to the nation; the occasion
for which had confessedly sprung from
the fatal British treaty. This circumstance
rallied them again to their standard, and hitherto
we have had pretty regular treaty votes
on all questions of principle. And, indeed,
I fear, that as long as the same individuals remain,
so long we shall see traces of the same
To Aaron Burr. Washington ed. iv, 184. Ford ed., vii, 145.
(Pa., June. 1797)

6426. PARTIES, Motives.—

That each
party endeavors to get into the administration
of the government, and exclude the other from
power, is true, and may be stated as a motive of
action: but this is only secondary; the primary
motive being a real and radical difference of
political principle. I sincerely wish our differences
were but personally who should govern,
and that the principles of our Constitution
were those of both parties. Unfortunately,
it is otherwise; and the question of preference
between monarchy and republicanism, which
has so long divided mankind elsewhere,
threatens a permanent division here.—
To John Melish. Washington ed. vi, 95. Ford ed., ix, 374.
(M. Jan. 1813)

6427. PARTIES, Names.—

The appellation
of aristocrats and democrats is the true
one expressing the essence of all [political
To H. Lee. Washington ed. vii, 376. Ford ed., x, 318.
(M. 1824)

6428. PARTIES, Natural division.—

The division into whig and tory is founded in
the nature of men; the weakly and neverless,
the rich and the corrupt, seeing more safety
and accessibility in a strong executive; the
healthy, firm, and virtuous, feeling confidence
in their physical and moral resources, and willing
to part with only so much power as is necessary
for their good government; and, therefore,
to retain the rest in the hands of the many,
the division will substantially be into whig
and tory, as in England formerly.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. iv, 438. Ford ed., viii, 150.
(W. May. 1802)

6429. PARTIES, Natural division.—[continued].

I consider the party division
of whig and tory the most wholesome
which can exist in any government, and well
worthy of being nourished, to keep out those
of a more dangerous character.—
To William T. Barry. Washington ed. vii, 255.
(M. 1822)

6430. PARTIES, Natural division.—[further continued].

The parties of whig and
tory are those of nature. They exist in all
countries, whether called by these names, or by
those of aristocrats and democrats, coté droite and coté gauche, ultras and radicals, serviles
and liberals. The sickly, weakly, timid man
fears the people, and is a tory by nature. The
healthy, strong and bold, cherishes them, and
is formed a whig by nature.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. vii, 325. Ford ed., x, 281.
(M. 1823)

6431. PARTIES, Natural division.—[further continued] .

Men by their constitutions
are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and
wish to draw all powers from them into the
hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who
identify themselves with the people, have confidence
in them, cherish and consider them as
the most honest and safe, although not the
most wise depositary of the public interests.
In every country these two parties exist, and
in every one where they are free to think, speak
and write, they will declare themselves. Call
them, therefore, liberals and serviles, Jacobins
and ultras, whigs and tories, republicans and
federalists, aristocrats and democrats, or by
whatever name you please, they are the same
parties still, and pursue the same object. The
last appellation of aristocrats and democrats is
the true one expressing the essence of all.—
To H. Lee. Washington ed. vii, 376. Ford ed., x, 317.
(M. 1824)

6432. PARTIES, Natural division.—[further continued].

The division of whig and
tory, or, according to our denominations, of
republican and federal, is the most salutary of
all divisions, and ought, therefore, to be
fostered, instead of being amalgamated; for,
take away this, and some more dangerous principle
of division will take its place.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 392. Ford ed., x, 335.
(M. 1825)

6433. PARTIES, Opposite.—

In every
free and deliberating society, there must, from
the nature of man, be opposite parties, and
violent dissensions and discords; and one of
these, for the most part, must prevail over the
other for a longer or shorter time.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 246. Ford ed., vii, 264.
(Pa., 1798)

6434. PARTIES, Opposite.—[continued].

Wherever there are men,
there will be parties; and wherever there are
free men they will make themselves heard.
Those of firm health and spirits are unwilling to
cede more of their liberty than is necessary
to preserve order; those of feeble constitutions
will wish to see one strong arm able to protect
them from the many. These are the whigs and
tories of nature. These mutual jealousies produce
mutual security; and while the laws shall
be obeyed, all will be safe. He alone is your
enemy who disobeys them.—
Jefferson's MSS. Ford ed., viii, 1.


Page 678

6435. PARTIES, Opposite.—[further continued].

Men have differed in
opinion, and been divided into parties by these
opinions, from the first origin of societies, and
in all governments where they have been permitted
freely to think and to speak. The same
political parties which now agitate the United
States, have existed through all time. Whether
the power of the people or that of the αριςτοι should prevail, were questions which kept
the States of Greece and Rome in eternal
convulsions, as they now schismatize every people
whose minds and mouths are not shut up
by the gag of a despot. And in fact, the terms
of whig and tory belong to natural as well as
to civil history. They denote the temper and
constitution of mind of different individuals.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 143.
(M. 1813)

6436. PARTIES, Opposite.—[further continued] .

To me it appears that there have been differences of opinion and party
differences, from the first establishment of government
to the present day, and on the same
question which now divides our own country;
that these will continue through all future time;
that every one takes his side in favor of the
many, or of the few, according to his constitution,
and the circumstances in which he is
placed; that opinions which are equally honest
on both sides, should not affect personal esteem
or social intercourse; that as we judge between
the Claudii and the Gracchi, the Wentworths
and the Hampdens of past ages, so of those
among us whose names may happen to be remembered
for awhile, the next generations will
judge favorably or unfavorably, according to
the complexion of individual minds, and the
side they shall themselves have taken; that
nothing new can be added by you or me in support
of the conflicting opinions on government;
and that wisdom and duty dictate an humble
resignation to the verdict of our future peers.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 145.
(M. 1813)

6437. PARTIES, Opposite.—[further continued].

To come to our own country, and to the times when you and I became
first acquainted, we well remember the
violent parties which agitated the old Congress,
and their bitter contests. There you and I were
together, and the Jays, and the Dickinsons,
and other anti-independents, were arrayed
against us. They cherished the monarchy of
England, and we the rights of our countrymen.
When our present government was in the mew,
passing from Confederation to Union, how bitter
was the schism between the “Feds” and
the “Antis”. Here you and I were together
again. For although, for a moment, separated
by the Atlantic from the scene of action, I
favored the opinion that nine States should
confirm the Constitution, in order to secure it,
and the others hold off until certain amendments,
deemed favorable to freedom, should be
made. I rallied in the first instant to the wiser
proposition of Massachusetts, that all should
confirm, and then all instruct their delegates to
urge those amendments. The amendments were
made, and all were reconciled to the government.
But as soon as it was put into motion,
the line of division was again drawn. We broke
into two parties, each wishing to give the government
a different direction; the one to
strengthen the most popular branch, the other
the more permanent branches, and to extend
their permanence.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 143.
(M. 1813)

6438. PARTIES, Opposite.—[further continued] .

Here you and I separated
for the first time, and as we had been
longer than most others on the public theatre,
and our names were more familiar to our
countrymen, the party which considered you
as thinking with them, placed your name at
their head; the other, for the same reason,
selected mine. But neither decency nor inclination
permitted us to become the advocates
of ourselves, or to take part personally in the
violent contests which followed. We suffered
ourselves, as you so well expressed it, to be
passive subjects of public discussion. And
these discussions, whether relating to men,
measures or opinions, were conducted by the
parties with an animosity, a bitterness and an
indecency which had never been exceeded. All
the resources of reason and of wrath were exhausted
by each party in support of its own,
and to prostrate the adversary opinions; one
was upbraided with receiving the anti-federalists,
the other the old tories and refugees, into
their bosom. Of this acrimony, the public
papers of the day exhibit ample testimony, in
the debates of Congress, of State Legislatures,
of stump-orators, in addresses, answers, and
newspaper essays; and to these, without question,
may be added the private correspondences
of individuals; and the less guarded in these,
because not meant for the public eye, not restrained
by the respect due to that, but poured
forth from the overflowings of the heart into
the bosom of a friend, as a momentary easement
of our feelings.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 144.

6439. PARTIES, Principles and.—

parties here divided merely by a greediness for
office, as in England, to take a part with either
would be unworthy of a reasonable or moral
man. But where the principle of difference is
as substantial, and as strongly pronounced as
between the republicans and the monocrats of
our country, I hold it as honorable to take a
firm and decided part, and as immoral to pursue
a middle line, as between the parties of honest
men and rogues, into which every country is
To William B. Giles. Washington ed. iv, 126. Ford ed., vii, 43.
(M. Dec. 1795)

6440. PARTIES, Principles and.—[continued].

What in fact is the difference
of principle between the two parties?
The one desires to preserve an entire independence
of the Executive and Legislative on
each other, and the dependence of both on the
same source—the free election of the people.
The other party wishes to lessen the dependence
of the Executive, and of one branch of the
Legislature on the people, some by making them
hold for life, some hereditary, and some even
for giving the Executive an influence by patronage
or corruption over the remaining popular
branch, so as to reduce the elective franchise
to its minimum.—
To J. F. Mercer. Washington ed. iv, 563.
(W. 1804)

6441. PARTIES, Principles and.—[further continued].

It is indeed of little consequence
who governs us, if they sincerely and
zealously cherish the principles of union and
To Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. vii, 215. Ford ed., x, 192.
(M. 1821)

6442. PARTIES, Public welfare and.—

Both of our political parties, at least the honest
part of them, agree conscientiously in the
same object—the public good; but they differ
essentially in what they deem the means of
promoting that good. One side believes it best
done by one composition of the governing
powers; the other, by a different one. One
fears most the ignorance of the people; the
other, the selfishness of rulers independent of
them. Which is right, time and experience
will prove. We think that one side of this experiment
has been long enough tried, and
proved not to promote the good of the many;
and that the other has not been fairly and sufficiently
tried. Our opponents think the reverse.


Page 679
With whichever opinion the body of the nation concurs, that must prevail.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 562. Ford ed., viii, 312.
(M. 1804)

6443. PARTIES, Republican vs. Monarchical.—

Where a Constitution, like ours,
wears a mixed aspect of monarchy and republicanism,
its citizens will naturally divide into
two classes of sentiment according to their tone
of body or mind. Their habits, connections
and callings induce them to wish to strengthen
either the monarchical or the republican features
of the Constitution. Some will consider
it as an elective monarchy, which had better
be made hereditary, and, therefore, endeavor
to lead towards that all the forms and principles
of its administration. Others will view it
as an energetic republic, turning in all its
points on the pivot of free and frequent elections.
The great body of our native citizens are
unquestionably of the republican sentiment.
Foreign education, and foreign conventions of
interest, have produced some exceptions in
every part of the Union, North and South, and
perhaps other circumstances in your quarter,
better known to you, may have thrown into
the scale of exceptions a greater number of
the rich. Still there, I believe, and here [the
South] I am sure, the great mass is republican.
Nor do any of the forms in which the public
disposition has been pronounced in the last half
dozen years, evince the contrary. All of
them, when traced to their true source, have
only been evidences of the preponderant popularity
of a particular great character. That influence
once withdrawn, and our countrymen
left to the operation of their own unbiased
good sense, I have no doubt we shall see a
pretty rapid return of general harmony, and our
citizens moving in phalanx in the paths of
regular liberty, order, and a sacrosanct adherence
to the Constitution. Thus I think it
will be, if war with France can be avoided. But
if that untoward event comes athwart us in our
present point of deviation, nobody, I believe,
can foresee into what port it will drive us.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. iv, 168. Ford ed., vii, 117.
(M. Feb. 1797)

6444. PARTIES, Republican vs. Monarchical.—[continued].

The toryism with which
we struggled in 1777 differed but in name
from the federalism of 1799, with which we
struggled also; and the Anglicism of 1808,
against which we are now struggling, is but the
same thing still in another form. It is a longing
for a king and an English king rather than
any other. This is the true source of their
sorrows and wailings.—
To John Langdon. Washington ed. v, 512.
(M. 1810)

6445. PARTIES, Washington's relations to.—

You expected to discover the difference
of our party principles in General
Washington's valedictory, and my inaugural
address. Not at all. General Washington did
not harbor one principle of federalism. He
was neither an Angloman, a monarchist, nor a
separatist. He sincerely wished the people to
have as much self-government as they were
competent to exercise themselves. The only
point on which he and I ever differed in opinion,
was, that I had more confidence than he
had in the natural integrity and discretion of
the people, and in the safety and extent to
which they might trust themselves with a control
of their government. He has asseverated
to me a thousand times his determination that
the existing government should have a fair
trial, and that in support of it he would spend
the last drop of his blood. He did this the
more repeatedly, because he knew General Hamilton's
political bias, and my apprehensions
from it. It is a mere calumny, therefore, in
the monarchists, to associate General Washington
with their principles. But that may have
happened in this case which has been often
seen in ordinary cases, that, by oft repeating an
untruth, men come to believe it themselves.
It is a mere artifice in this party to bolster
themselves up on the revered name of that
first of our worthies.—
To John Melish. Washington ed. vi, 97. Ford ed., ix, 376.
(M. Jan. 1813)

See Federalists, Hartford Convention, Monarchists, Republicanism and Republicans.

6446. PASSIONS, Control.—

We must
keep the passions of men on our side, even
when we are persuading them to do what
they ought to do.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 272. Ford ed., iv, 177.
(P. 1786)

6447. PASSIONS, Suppress.—

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, 183.
(M. 1820)

6448. PATENTS, Benefits of.—

In the
arts, and especially in the mechanical arts,
many ingenious improvements are made in consequence
of the patent-right giving exclusive
use of them for fourteen years.—
To M. Pictet. Washington ed. iv, 462.
(W. 1803)

6449. PATENTS, Combinations in.—

we have a right to use three things separately,
I see nothing in reason, or in the patent law,
which forbids our using them all together. A
man has a right to use a saw, an axe, a plane
separately; may he not combine their uses on
the same piece of wood? He has a right to use
his knife to cut his meat, a fork to hold it;
may a patentee take from him the right to continue
their use on the same subject? Such a
law, instead of enlarging our conveniences, as
was intended, would most fearfully abridge
them, and crowd us by monopolies out of the
use of the things we have.—
To Oliver Evans. Washington ed. vi, 298.
(M. 1814)

6450. PATENTS, Duration of.—

an inventor ought to be allowed a right to
the benefit of his invention for some certain
time. It is equally certain it ought not to be
perpetual; for 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. How long the term should be,
is the difficult question. Our legislators have
copied the English estimate of the term, perhaps
without sufficiently considering how much
longer, in a country so much more sparsely settled,
it takes for an invention to become known,
and used to an extent profitable to the inventor.
Nobody wishes more than I do that ingenuity
should receive a liberal encouragement.—
To Oliver Evans. Washington ed. v, 75.
(M. 1807)

6451. PATENTS, Frivolous.—

The abuse
of frivolous patents is likely to cause more inconvenience
than is countervailed by those
really useful. We know not to what uses we
may apply implements which were in our hands
before the birth of our government, and even
the discovery of America.—
To Dr. Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 295.
(M. 1814)


Page 680

6452. PATENTS, Granting of.—

the exclusive right to invention as given
not of natural right, but for the benefit of
society, I know well the difficulty of drawing
a line between the things which are worth to
the public the embarrassment of an exclusive
patent, and those which are not. As a member
of the patent board for several years, while
the law authorized a board to grant or refuse
patents, I saw with what slow progress a system
of general rules could be matured. Some,
however, were established by that board. One
of these was, that a machine of which we were
possessed, might be applied to every man to any
use of which it is susceptible, and that this right
ought not to be taken from him and given to a
monopolist, because the first perhaps had occasion
to apply it. Thus a screw for crushing
plaster might be employed for crushing corncobs.
And a chain-pump for raising water
might be used for raising wheat; this being
merely a change of application. Another rule
was that a change of material should not give
title to a patent. * * * A third was that a
mere change of form should give no right to a
patent. * * * But there were still abundance
of cases which could not be brought under rule,
until they should have presented themselves
under all their aspects; and these investigations
occupying more time of the members of
the board than they could spare from higher
duties, the whole was turned over to the judiciary,
to be matured into a system, under
which every one might know when his actions
were safe and lawful. Instead of refusing a
patent in the first instance, as the board was
authorized to do, the patent now issues of
course, subject to be declared void on such
principles as should be established by the courts
of law. This business, however, is but little
analogous to their course of reading, since
we might in vain turn over all the lubberly
volumes of the law to find a single ray which
would lighten the path of the mechanic or the
mathematician. It is more within the information
of a board of academical professors, and
a previous refusal of patent would better guard
our citizens against harassment by lawsuits.
But England had given it to her judges, and
the usual predominancy of her examples carried
it to ours.—
To Isaac McPherson. Washington ed. vi, 181.
(M. 1813)

— PATENTS, Inventors and.—

See Inventions and Inventors, Rights of.

6453. PATENTS, Law of.—

I found it
more difficult than I had on first view imagined,
to draw the clause you wish to have introduced
in the inclosed bill. [381] Will you make the first
trial against the patentee conclusive against all
others who might be interested to contest his
patent? If you do he will always have a
conclusive suit brought against himself at once.
Or will you give every one a right to bring
actions separately. If you do, besides running
him down with the expenses and vexations of
lawsuits, you will be sure to find some jury in
the long run, who from motives of partiality or
ignorance, will find a verdict against him,
though a hundred should have been before
found in his favor. I really believe that less
evil will follow from leaving him to bring suits
against those who invade his right.—
To Hugh Williamson. Ford ed., v, 392.


Jefferson's bill “to Promote the Progress of the
Useful Arts” was introduced into the House of Representatives
by Mr. White on Feb. 7, 1791. No action
was taken upon it, however; but in the next Congress
it was passed after many minor alterations had been

6454. PATENTS, Monopoly and.—

If a
new application of our old machines be a ground
of monopoly, the patent law will take from us
much more good than it will give.—
To Oliver Evans. Washington ed. vi, 298.
(M. 1814)

6455. PATENTS, Regulation of.—

A rule
has occurred to me, which I think, would * * * go far towards securing the citizen against the
vexation of frivolous patents. It is to consider
the invention of any new mechanical
power, or of any new combination of the mechanical
powers already known, as entitled to
an exclusive grant; but that the purchaser of
the right to use the invention should be free
to apply it to every purpose of which it is
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 372.
(M. 1814)

6456. PATENTS, Scope of.—

[You say] that your patent is for your improvement in the
manufacture of flour by the application of certain
principles, and of such machinery as will
carry those principles into operation, whether
of the improved elevator, improved hopper-boy,
or (without being confined to them) of any
machinery known and free to the public. I can
conceive how a machine may improve the manufacture
of flour; but not how a principle abstracted
from any machine can do it. It must
then be the machine, and the principle of that
machine, which is secured to you by your
patent. Recurring now to the words of your
definition, do they mean that, while all are free
to use the old string of buckets, and Archimedes's
screw for the purposes to which they
have been formerly applied, you alone have
the exclusive right to apply them to the manufacture
of flour? that no one has a right to
apply his old machines to all the purposes of
which they are susceptible? that every one, for
instance, who can apply the hoe, the spade, or
the axe, to any purpose to which they have not
been before applied, may have a patent for the
exclusive right to that application? and May
exclude all others, under penalties, from so
using their hoe, spade, or axe? If this be the
meaning, [it is] my opinion that the Legislature
never meant by the patent law to sweep away
so extensively the rights of their constituents,
[and thus] to environ everything they touch
with snares.—
To Oliver Evans. Washington ed. vi, 297.
(M. 1814)

6457. PATERNALISM, Condemned.—

Having always observed that public works
are much less advantageously managed than
the same 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 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. 1808)

6458. PATERNALISM, Private enterprise vs.—

Private enterprise manages * * * much better [than the government] all the concerns


Page 681
to which it is equal.—
Sixth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 68. Ford ed., viii, 494.

6459. PATIENCE, Abuse of.—

patience has begotten false estimates of its
motives, when wrongs are pressed because it is
believed they will be borne, resistance becomes
To Madame de Stael. Washington ed. v, 133.
(W. 1807)

6460. PATRIOTISM, Cherish.—

Let the
love of our country soar above all minor
To John Hollins. Washington ed. v, 597.
(M. 1811)

6461. PATRIOTISM, Cherish.—[continued].

The first object of my
heart is my country. In that is embarked my
family, my fortune, and my own existence.
I have not one farthing of interest, nor one
fibre of attachment out of it, nor a single
motive of preference of any one nation to
another, but in proportion as they are more
or less friendly to us.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 269. Ford ed., vii, 329.
(Pa., 1799)

6462. PATRIOTISM, Disinterested.—

The man who loves his country on its own
account, and not merely for its trappings of
interest or power, can never be divorced from
it, can never refuse to come forward when
he finds that she is engaged in dangers which
he has the means of warding off.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 188. Ford ed., vii, 151.
(Pa., June. 1797)

6463. PATRIOTISM, Disinterested.—[continued].

Let us deserve well of
our country by making her interests the end
of all our plans, and not our own pomp,
patronage, and irresponsiblity.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 429. Ford ed., viii, 141.
(W. 1802)

6464. PATRIOTISM, Inspirations to.—

I sincerely wish you may find it convenient to
come to Europe. * * * It will make you
adore your own country, its soil, its climate,
its equality, liberty, laws, people and manners.
* * * While we shall see multiplied instances
of Europeans going to live in America,
I will venture to say, no man now living
will ever see an instance of an American removing
to settle in Europe, and continuing
there. Come, then, and see the proofs of this,
and on your return add your testimony to
that of every thinking American, in order to
satisfy our countrymen how much it is their
interest to preserve, uninfected by contagion,
those peculiarities in their government and
manners, to which they are indebted for those
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 352. Ford ed., iv, 59.
(P. 1785)

6465. PATRIOTISM, Sacrifices for.—

To preserve the peace of our fellow citizens,
promote their prosperity and happiness, reunite
opinion, cultivate a spirit of candor,
moderation, charity and forbearance toward
one another, are objects calling for the efforts
and sacrifices of every good man and
patriot. Our religion enjoins it; our happiness
demands it; and no sacrifice is requisite
but of passions hostile to both.—
To Rhode Island Assembly. Washington ed. iv, 397.
(W. 1801)

6466. PATRONAGE, Advantages of.—

Those who have once got an ascendancy, and
possessed themselves of all the resources of
the nation, their revenues and offices, have
immense means for retaining their advantage.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 246. Ford ed., vii, 263.
(Pa., June. 1798)

6467. PATRONAGE, Corruption and.—

Bad men will sometimes get in [the Presidency],
and with such an immense patronage,
may make great progress in corrupting the
public mind and principles. This is a subject
with which wisdom and patriotism should
be occupied.—
To Moses Robinson. Washington ed. iv, 380.
(W. 1801)

6468. PATRONAGE, Curtailing.—

[first republican Congress] * * * are disarming
executive patronage and preponderance,
by putting down one-half the offices of
the United States, which are no longer necessary.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. iv, 430.
(W. April. 1802)

See Offices and Office-holders.

6469. PATRONAGE, Distribution of.—

I am sensible of the necessity as well as justice
of dispersing employments over the whole
of the United States. But this is difficult as
to the smaller offices, which require to be
filled immediately as they become vacant and
are not worth coming for from the distant
States. Hence they will unavoidably get into
the sole occupation of the vicinities of the
seat of government,—a reason the more for
removing that seat to the true centre.—
To Colonel Henry Lee. Ford ed., v, 163.
(N.Y., 1790)

6470. PATRONAGE, Elections and.—

The elective principle becomes nothing, if it
may be smothered by the enormous patronage
of the General Government.—
To Governor Thomas M'Kean. Washington ed. iv, 350. Ford ed., vii, 487.
(W. 1801)

6471. PATRONAGE, Necessity for.—

The safety of the government absolutely required
that its direction in its higher departments
should be taken into friendly hands.
Its safety did not even admit that the whole
of its immense patronage should be left at
the command of its enemies to be exercised
secretly or openly to reestablish the tyrannical
and dilapidating system of the preceding administration,
and their deleterious principles
of government.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Ford ed., viii, 169.
(W. 1802)

6472. PATRONAGE, Partizans and.—

Every officer of the government may vote at
elections according to his conscience; but we
should betray the cause committed to our
care, were we to permit the influence of official
patronage to be used to overthrow that
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. iv, 451. Ford ed., viii, 176.
(W. 1802)

6473. PATRONAGE, For personal ends.—

A person who wishes to make [the bestowal
of office] an engine of self-elevation, May do wonders with it; but to one who wishes to


Page 682
use it conscientiously for the public good,
without regard to the ties of blood or friendship,
it creates enmities without number,
many open, but more secret, and saps the
happiness and peace of his life.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. v, 252.
(W. 1808)

6474. PATRONAGE, Use of.—

The patronage
of public office should no longer be
confided to one who uses it for active opposition
to the national will.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 544. Ford ed., viii, 304.

6475. PATRONAGE, Use of.—[continued].

No government [can] discharge its duties to the best advantage of
its citizens, if its agents [are] in a regular
course of thwarting instead of executing all
its measures, and [are] employing the patronage
and influence of their offices against the
government and its measures.—
To John Page. Washington ed. v, 136. Ford ed., ix, 118.
(W. July. 1807)


Let us deserve well of our country by making
her interests the end of all our plans,
and not our own pomp, patronage, and irresponsibility.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 429. Ford ed., viii, 141.
(W. 1802)

6477. PAUPERS, No American.—

have no paupers, the old and crippled among
us, who possess nothing and have no families
to take care of them, being too few to merit
notice as a separate section of society, or to
affect a general estimate. The great mass of
our population is of laborers; our rich who
can live without labor, either manual or professional,
being few and of moderate wealth.
Most of the laboring class possess property,
cultivate their own lands, have families, and
from the demand for their labor are enabled
to exact from the rich and the competent such
prices as enable them to be fed abundantly,
clothed above mere decency, to labor moderately
and raise their families.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vi, 377.
(M. 1814)

6478. PEACE, America and.—

years of peace, and the prosperity so visibly
flowing from it, have but strengthened our
attachment to it, and the blessings it brings,
and we do not despair of being always a
peaceable nation.—
To M. Cabanis. Washington ed. iv, 497.
(W. 1803)

6479. PEACE, Blessings of.—

Wars and
contentions, indeed, fill the pages of history
with more matter. But more blessed is that
nation whose silent course of happiness
furnishes nothing for history to say. This is
what I ambition for my own country.—
To Comte Diodati. Washington ed. v, 62.
(W. 1807)

6480. PEACE, Bread and.—

Were I in
Europe, pax et panis [peace and a loaf] would certainly be my motto.—
To Comte Diodati. Washington ed. v, 62.
(W. 1807)

6481. PEACE, Cherishing.—

I believe
that through all America there has been but
a single sentiment on the subject of peace
and war, which was in favor of the former.
The Executive here has cherished it with
equal and unanimous desire We have differed,
perhaps, as to the tone of conduct ex
actly adapted to the securing it.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 6. Ford ed., vi, 321.
(Pa., June. 1793)

6482. PEACE, Cherishing.—[continued].

Having seen the people
of all other nations bowed down to the earth
under the wars and prodigalities of their
rulers, I have cherished their opposites, peace,
economy, and riddance of public debt, believing
that these were the high road to public
as well as private prosperity and happiness.—
To Henry Middleton. Washington ed. vi, 90.
(M. Jan. 1813)

6483. PEACE, Cultivate.—

Young as we
are, and with such a country before us to
fill with people and with happiness, we should
point in that direction the whole generative
force of nature, wasting none of it in efforts
of * * * destruction.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 412. Ford ed., iii, 278.

6484. PEACE, Cultivate.—[continued].

It should be our endeavor
to cultivate the peace and friendship
of every nation, even of that which has injured
us most, when we shall have carried
our point against her.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 412. Ford ed., iii, 279.

6485. PEACE, Cultivate.—[further continued].

I am decidedly of opinion
we should take no part in European
quarrels, but cultivate peace and commerce
with all.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 533. Ford ed., v, 57.
(P. 1788)

6486. PEACE, Cultivate.—[further continued] .

We wish to cultivate
peace and friendship with all nations, believing
that course most conducive to the
welfare of our own.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. vii, 24.
(M. 1816)

6487. PEACE, The Deity and.—

I bless
the Almighty Being, Who, in gathering together
the waters under the heavens into one
place, divided the dry land of your hemisphere
from the dry lands of ours, and said,
at least be there peace.—
To Earl of Buchan. Washington ed. iv, 493.
(W. 1803)

6488. PEACE, Desire for.—

The power of
making war often prevents it, and in our case
would give efficacy to our desire of peace.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 533. Ford ed., v, 57.
(P. Dec. 1788)

6489. PEACE, Desire for.—[continued].

The bravery exhibited
by our citizens on that element [the ocean] will, I trust, be a testimony to the world that
it is not the want of that virtue which makes
us seek their peace, but a conscientious desire
to direct the energies of our nation to the
multiplication of the human race, and not to
its destruction.—
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 8. Ford ed., viii, 118.

6490. PEACE, With England.—

I am
glad of the pacification of Ghent, and shall
still be more so, if, by a reasonable arrangement
against impressment, they will make it
truly a treaty of peace, and not a mere truce,
as we must all consider it, until the principle
of the war is settled.—
To General Dearborn. Washington ed. vi, 450.
(M. March. 1815)

6491. PEACE, With England.—[continued].

The United States and Great Britain ought to wish for peace and


Page 683
cordial friendship; we, because you can do
us more harm than any other nation; and
you, because we can do you more good than
any other nation.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. vii, 22.
(M. 1816)

6492. PEACE, With England.—[further continued].

I reciprocate congratulations
with you sincerely on the restoration of
peace between our two nations. * * * Let
both parties now count soberly the value of
mutual friendship.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. vii, 22.
(M. 1816)

6493. PEACE, European wars and.—

Till our treaty with England be fully executed,
it is desirable to us that all the world
should be in peace. That done, their wars
would do us little harm.—
To Samuel Osgood. Washington ed. i, 450.
(P. 1785)

6494. PEACE, Faith, honor and.—

I hope some means will turn up of reconciling our
faith and honor with peace.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 104. Ford ed., vi, 505.
(M. April. 1794)

6495. PEACE, Faith, honor and.—[continued].

I wish for peace, if it
can be preserved, salvê fide et honore.
To James Monroe. Ford ed., vi, 504.
(M. 1794)

6496. PEACE, With France.—

The agents
of the two people [United States and France] are either great bunglers or great rascals,
when they cannot preserve that peace which
is the universal wish of both.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 20. Ford ed., vi, 349.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

6497. PEACE, With France.—[continued].

[My assailant] says I
am “for peace; but it is only with France”.
He has told half the truth. He would have
told the whole, if he had added England. I
am for peace with both countries.—
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. iv, 254. Ford ed., vii, 277.
(M. 1798)

6498. PEACE, Happiness and prosperity.—

Always a friend to peace, and believing
it to promote eminently the happiness and
prosperity of nations, I am ever unwilling
that it should be disturbed, until greater and
more important interests call for an appeal
to force.—
To General Shee. Washington ed. v, 33.
(W. 1807)

6499. PEACE, Happiness and prosperity.—[continued].

All the energies of the
European nations are expended in the destruction
of the labor, property and lives of
their people. On our part, never had a people
so favorable a chance of trying the opposite
system, of peace and fraternity with mankind,
and the direction of all our means and
faculties to the purposes of improvement instead
of destruction.—
To President Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 288. Ford ed., x, 257.
(M. 1823)

6500. PEACE, Importance of.—

Peace is
our most important interest, and a recovery
from debt.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iv, 414. Ford ed., viii, 98.
(W. 1801)

6501. PEACE, Independence and.—

Peace is the most important of all things for
us, except the preserving an erect and independent
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 448. Ford ed., viii, 173.
(W. Oct. 1802)

6502. PEACE, A landmark.—

To cultivate
peace * * * [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, 186.
(Dec. 1802)

6503. PEACE, Love of.—

I love peace,
and am anxious that we should give the
world still another useful lesson, by showing
to them other modes of punishing injuries
than by war, which is as much a punishment
to the punisher as to the sufferer.—
To Tench Coxe. Washington ed. iv, 105. Ford ed., vi, 508.
(M. May. 1794)

6504. PEACE, With mankind.—

I do
not recall these recollections [of conflicts with
the federal monarchists] with pleasure, but
rather wish to forget them, nor did I ever
permit them to affect social intercourse. And
now, least of all, am I disposed to do so.
Peace and good will with all mankind is my
sincere wish.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 392. Ford ed., x, 335.
(M. 1825)

6505. PEACE, Markets and.—

I hope
France, England and Spain will all see it
their interest to let us make bread for them
in peace, and to give us a good price for it.—
To Colonel M. Lewis. Washington ed. iii, 163.
(N.Y., 17901790)gt;

6506. PEACE, National reputation and.—

I am so far from believing that our reputation
will be tarnished by our not having
mixed in the mad contests of the rest of the
world that, setting aside the ravings of pepper-pot
politicians, of whom there are enough
in every age and country, I believe it will
place us high in the scale of wisdom, to have
preserved our country tranquil and prosperous
during a contest which prostrated the
honor, power, independence, laws and property
of every country on the other side of
the Atlantic. Which of them have better
preserved their honor? Has Spain, has Portugal,
Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Prussia,
Austria, the other German powers, Sweden,
Denmark, or even Russia? And would we
accept of the infamy of France or England
in exchange for our honest reputation, or of
the result of their enormities, despotism to
the one, and bankruptcy and prostration to
the other, in exchange for the prosperity, the
freedom and independence, which we have
preserved safely through the wreck?—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 15.
(M. Sep. 1811)

6507. PEACE, Our object.—

Peace with
all nations, and the right which that gives us
with respect to all nations, are our object.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. iii, 535.
(Pa., 1793)

6508. PEACE, Passion for.—

Peace is our passion.—
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. iv, 491.
(W. 1803)

6509. PEACE, Pipe of.—

I have joined
with you sincerely in smoking the pipe of


Page 684
peace; it is a good old custom handed down
by your ancestors, and as such I respect and
join in it with reverence. I hope we shall
long continue to smoke in friendship together.—
To Brother John Baptist de Coigne. Washington ed. viii, 172.

6510. PEACE, A Polar star.—

Peace and
justice [should] be the polar stars of the
American Societies.—
To J. Correa. Washington ed. vii, 184. Ford ed., x, 164.
(M. 1820)

6511. PEACE, A policy of.—

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

6512. PEACE, A policy of.—[continued].

I hope that peace and
amity with all nations will long be the
character of our land, and that its prosperity
under the Charter will react on the mind of
Europe, and profit her by the example.—
To Earl of Buchan. Washington ed. iv, 494.
(W. 1803)

6513. PEACE, A policy of.—[further continued].

We ask for peace and
justice from all nations.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 12. Ford ed., viii, 450.
(W. May. 1806)

6514. PEACE, A policy of.—[further continued] .

The desire to preserve
our country from the calamities and ravages
of war, by cultivating a disposition, and pursuing
a conduct, conciliatory and friendly to
all nations, has been sincerely entertained
and faithfully followed. It was dictated by
the principles of humanity, the precepts of the
gospel, and the general wish of our country.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. viii, 118.

6515. PEACE, Politics and.—

We have great need of peace in Europe, that foreign
affairs may no longer bear so heavily on ours.
We have great need for the ensuing twelve
months to be left to ourselves. The enemies
of our Constitution are preparing a fearful
operation, and the dissensions in this State
[Pennsylvania] are too likely to bring things
to the situation they wish, when our Bonaparte,
surrounded by his comrades in arms,
may step in to give us political salvation in
his way. It behooves our citizens to be on
their guard, to be firm in their principles, and
full of confidence in themselves. We are
able to preserve our self-government if we
will but think so.—
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. iv, 319. Ford ed., vii, 422.
(Pa., Feb. 1800)

6516. PEACE, Prayers for.—

I pray for
peace, as best for all the world, best for us,
and best for me, who have already lived to
see three wars, and now pant for nothing
more than to be permitted to depart in peace.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. vi, 466. Ford ed., ix, 522.
(M. 1815)

6517. PEACE, Preserving.—

My hope of
preserving peace for our country is not
founded in the greater principles of non-resistance
under every wrong, but in the belief
that a just and friendly conduct on our part
will produce justice and friendship from
To Earl of Buchan. Washington ed. iv, 494.
(W. 1803)

6518. PEACE, Preserving.—[continued].

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

6519. PEACE, Preserving.—[further continued].

To preserve and secure
peace has been the constant aim of my administration.—
R. to A. Baltimore Baptists. Washington ed. viii, 137.

6520. PEACE, A principle of government.—

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

6521. PEACE, A principle of government.—[continued].

Peace has been our principle,
peace is our interest, and peace has
saved to the world this only plant of free and
rational government now existing in it.
* * * However, therefore, we may have
been reproached for pursuing our Quaker system,
time will affix the stamp of wisdom on
it, and the happiness and prosperity of our
citizens will attest its merit. And this, I
believe, is the only legitimate object of government,
and the first duty of governors, and
not the slaughter of men and devastation of
the countries placed under their care, in pursuit
of a fantastic honor, unallied to virtue or
happiness; or in gratification of the angry
passions, or the pride of administrators, excited
by personal incidents, in which their
citizens have no concern.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. v, 585.
(M. 1811)

6522. PEACE, And profit.—

Peace and profit will, I hope, be our lot.—
To Benjamin Vaughan. Washington ed. iii, 159.
(N.Y., 1790)

6523. PEACE, Prosperity and.—

Our desire
is to pursue ourselves the path of peace
as the only one leading surely to prosperity.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 559. Ford ed., vi, 253.
(Pa., 1793)

6524. PEACE, Prosperity and.—[continued].

I have ever cherished
the same spirit with all nations, from a consciousness
that peace, prosperity, liberty and
morals, have an intimate connection.—
To Dr. George Logan. Washington ed. vi, 215. Ford ed., ix. 421.
(M. 1813)

6525. PEACE, Public welfare and.—

wish to cultivate peace and friendship with
all nations, believing that course most conducive
to the welfare of our own.—
To Rufus King. Washington ed. iv, 444. Ford ed., viii, 164.
(W. 1802)

6526. PEACE, Pursuit of.—

From the moment
which sealed our peace and independence,


Page 685
our nation has wisely pursued the paths of peace and justice. During the period in
which I have been charged with its concerns,
no effort has been spared to exempt us from
the wrongs and the rapacity of foreign nations,
and * * * I feel assured that no
American will hesitate to rally round the
standard of his insulted country, in defence
of that freedom and independence achieved
by the wisdom of sages, and consecrated by
the blood of heroes.—
R. to A. Georgetown Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 159.

6527. PEACE, Pursuit of.—[continued].

Do what is right, leaving
the people of Europe to act their follies
and crimes among themselves, while we pursue
in good faith the paths of peace and
To President Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 290. Ford ed., x, 259.
(M. 1823)

6528. PEACE, Securing.—

Whatever enables
us to go to war, secures our peace.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., v, 198.
(N.Y., 17901790)gt;

6529. PEACE, Wisdom of.—

Peace and
friendship with all mankind is our wisest
policy; and I wish we may be permitted to
pursue it.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. i, 553.
(P. 1786)

6530. PEACE, Wishes for.—

That peace,
safety, and concord may be the portion of our
native land, and be long enjoyed by our fellow-citizens,
is the most ardent wish of my
heart, and if I can be instrumental in procuring
or preserving them, I shall think I
have not lived in vain.—
To Benjamin Waring. Washington ed. iv, 378.
(W. March. 1801)

6531. PEACE, Wishes for.—[continued].

It is impossible that any
other man should wish peace as much as I
do; although duty may control that wish.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. v, 216. Ford ed., ix, 168.
(W. Dec. 1807)

See Alliances.

6532. PEACE vs. WAR.—

I value peace,
and I should unwillingly see any event take
place which would render war a necessary
To M. Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. iv, 435.
(W. April. 1802)

6533. PEACE vs. WAR.—[continued].

I hope we shall prove
how much happier for man the Quaker
policy is, and that the life of the feeder, is
better than that of the fighter; and it is some
consolation that the desolation by these
maniacs [European kings] of one part of
the earth is the means of improving it in
other parts.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 245. Ford ed., x, 217.
(M. 1822)

— PELISIPIA, Proposed State of.—

See Western Territory.

6534. PENDLETON (Edmund), Address of.—

Your patriarchal address to your
country is running through all the republican
papers, and has a very great effect on the people.
It is short, simple, and presents things in
a view they readily comprehend. The character
and circumstances, too, of the writer leave
them without doubts of his motives.—
To Edmund Pendleton. Washington ed. iv, 274. Ford ed., vii, 336.
(Pa., 1799)

6535. PENDLETON (Edmund), Perseverance.—

Mr. Pendleton * * * was the
ablest man in debate I have ever met with. He
had not, indeed, the poetical fancy of Mr.
Henry, his sublime imagination, his lofty and
overwhelming diction; but he was cool, smooth
and persuasive; his language flowing, chaste
and embellished; his conceptions quick, acute
and full of resource; never vanquished: for if
he lost the main battle, he returned upon you,
and regained so much of it as to make it a
drawn one, by dexterous manœuvres, skirmishes
in detail, and the recovery of small advantages
which, little singly, were important
altogether. You never knew when you were
clear of him, but were harassed by his perseverance,
until the patience was worn down of
all who had less of it than himself. Add to this,
that he was one of the most virtuous and
benevolent of men, the kindest friend, the most
amiable and pleasant of companions, which insured
a favorable reception to whatever came
from him.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 37. Ford ed., i, 50.

6536. PENDULUM, Advantages of.—

The great and decisive superiority of the pendulum,
as a standard of measure, is its accessibility
to all men, at all times, and in all places.—
To Dr. Robert Patterson. Washington ed. vi, 20.
(M. 1811)

6537. PENDULUM, Construction of.—

I have a curiosity to try the length of a pendulum
vibrating seconds here. * * * The bob should
be spherical, of lead, and its radius, I presume,
about one inch. * * * The suspending rod
should be such as not to be affected by heat or
cold, nor yet so heavy as to affect too sensibly
the centre of oscillation. Would not a rod
of wood not larger than a large wire answer
this double view? * * * Iron has been found
but about six times as strong as wood while
its specific gravity is eight times as great. * * * A rod of white oak not larger than a seine
twine, would probably support a spherical bob
of lead of one inch radius.—
To Dr. Robert Patterson. Washington ed. vi, 26.
(M. 1811)

6538. PENDULUM, Experiments with.—

I had taken no notice of the precaution of
making the experiment of the pendulum on
the sea-shore, because the highest mountain in
the United States would not add 1-5000 part to
the length of the earth's radius, nor 1-128 of an
inch to the length of the pendulum. The highest
part of the Andes, indeed, might add about
1-1000 to the earth's radius, and 1-25 of an
inch to the pendulum. As it has been thought
worth mention, I will insert it also.—
To David Rittenhouse. Washington ed. iii, 149.
(N.Y., 1790)

— PENNSYLVANIA, Boundary line.—

See Boundaries.

6539. PENNSYLVANIA, Electoral influence.—

In Pennsylvania, the election has
been triumphantly carried by the republicans;
their antagonists having got but two out of
eleven members [of Congress], and the vote of
this State can generally turn the balance.—
To T. M. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 491. Ford ed., vi, 134.
(Pa., 1792)

6540. PENNSYLVANIA, Patriotism.—

I shall always be thankful for any information
* * * which may enable me to understand
the differences of opinion and interest which
seem to be springing up in Pennsylvania, and to
be subjects of uneasiness. If that State splits
it will let us down into the abyss. I hope so
much from the patriotism of all, that they will
make all smaller interests give way to the


Page 686
greater importance of the general welrare.—
To William Duane. Ford ed., viii, 54.
(W. May. 1801)

6541. PENNSYLVANIA, Religious freedom.—

The laws of Pennsylvania set us
the first example of the wholesome and happy
effects of religious freedom.—
To M. Dufief. Washington ed. vi, 341.
(M. 1814)

6542. PENNSYLVANIA, Religious freedom.—[continued].

The cradle of toleration
and freedom of religion.—
To Dr. Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. vii, 266. Ford ed., x, 242.
(M. 1822)

6543. PENNSYLVANIA, Republicanism.—

Pennsylvania is coming majestically
round to the true principles.—
To T. Lomax. Washington ed. iv, 300. Ford ed., vii, 374.
(M. March. 1799)

6544. PENNSYLVANIA, Republicanism.—[continued].

In the electoral election
[1808] Pennsylvania really spoke in a voice of
thunder to the monarchists of our country, and
while that State continues so firm, with the
solid mass of republicanism to the South and
West, such efforts as we have lately seen in
the anti-republican portion of our country cannot
ultimately affect our security.—
To Dr. E. Griffith. Washington ed. v, 450.
(M. 1809)

6545. PENNSYLVANIA, Virginia and.—

With respect to your State particularly, we
shall take very great pleasure in cultivating
every disposition to harmony and mutual aid.
That policy would be very unsound which
should build our interest or happiness on anything
inconsistent with yours.—
To the President of Pennsylvania. Ford ed., iii, 17.
(R. 1781)

6546. PENNSYLVANIA, Virginia and.—[continued].

The permanence of our
Union hanging on the harmony of Pennsylvania
and Virginia, I hope that will continue as long
as our government continues to be a blessing to
To Thomas Leiper. Ford ed., x, 299.
(M. 1824)

6547. PENSACOLA, Capture of.—

capture of Pensacola, which furnished so much
speculation for European news-writers (who
imagine that our political code, like theirs,
had no chapter of morality), was nothing here.
In the first moment, indeed there was a general
outcry of condemnation of what appeared
to be a wrongful aggression. But this was
quieted at once by information that it had been
taken without orders, and would be instantly
restored. * * * This manifestation of the will
of our citizens to countenance no injustice towards
a foreign nation filled me with comfort
as to our future course.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., x, 115.
(M. Nov. 1818)

6548. PENSIONS, Prodigalities of.—

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
prodigalities of pensions.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.

6549. PENSIONS, Public.—

Every person
* * * qualified to elect [to the House of Representatives
of Virginia] shall be capable of being
elected [to the House of Representative],
* * * During his continuance in the said office,
he shall hold no public pension * * *.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 15.
(June. 1776)

6550. PENSIONS, Public.—[continued].

While in the senatorial
office they [the members] shall be incapable of
holding any public pension.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 16.
(June. 1776)

6551. PENSIONS, Taxes and.—

We do
not mean that our people shall be burthened
with oppressive taxes to provide sinecures for
the idle or the wicked, under color of providing
for a civil list.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 480.
(July. 1775)

6552. PEOPLE, Administration of law and.—

That people will be happiest whose laws are best, and are best administered.—
Diffusion of Knowledge Bill. Ford ed., ii, 221.

6553. PEOPLE, American vs. British.—

Our country is getting into a ferment against
yours, or rather has caught it from yours.
God knows how this will end; but assuredly
in one extreme or the other. There can be
no medium between those who have loved so
To Dr. Price. Washington ed. i, 378. Ford ed., iv, 84.
(P. 1785)

6554. PEOPLE, American and European.—

If all the sovereigns of Europe were
to set themselves to work to emancipate the
minds of their subjects from their present
ignorance and preiudices, and that, as zealously
as they now endeavor the contrary, a
thousand years would not place them on
that high ground on which our common people
are now setting out. Ours could not have
been so fairly put into the hands of their own
common sense, had they not been separated
from their parent stock, and kept from contamination,
either from them, or the other
people of the old world, by the intervention
of so wide an ocean.—
To George Wythe. Washington ed. ii, 7. Ford ed., iv, 268.
(P. 1786)

6555. PEOPLE, American and French.—

There is an affection between the two peoples
[the Americans and French] which disposes
them to favor one another.—
To Count de Vergennes. Washington ed. i, 390.
(P. 1785)

6556. PEOPLE, Animosities.—

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

6557. PEOPLE, Ascendency of.—

down true principles and adhere to them
inflexibly. Do not be frightened into their
surrender by the alarms of the timid, or the
croakings of wealth against the ascendency
of the people. If experience be called for,
appeal to that of our fifteen or twenty governments
for forty years, and show me
where the people have done half the mischief
in these forty years, that a single despot
would have done in a single year; or show
half the riots and rebellions, the crimes and
the punishments, which have taken place in
any single nation, under kingly government,
during the same period.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 11. Ford ed., x, 39.
(M. 1816)

6558. PEOPLE, Authority of.—

I consider
the people who constitute a society or nation as the source of all authority in that
nation; as free to transact their common con


Page 687
cerns by any agents they think proper; to
change these agents individually, or the organization
of them in form or function whenever
they please; that all the acts done by
these agents under the authority of the nation,
are the acts of the nation, are obligatory on
them, and enure to their use, and can in no
wise be annulled or affected by any change in
the form of the government, or of the persons
administering it.—
Opinion on French Treaties. Washington ed. vii, 612. Ford ed., vi, 220.
(April. 1793)

6559. PEOPLE, Authority of.—[continued].

Leave no authority existing
not responsible to the people.—
To Isaac H. Tiffany. Washington ed. vii, 32.
(M. 1816)

6560. PEOPLE, Authority of.—[further continued].

All authority belongs to
the people.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 213. Ford ed., x, 190.
(M. 1821)

6561. PEOPLE, Blood of.—

On this side
of the Atlantic [Europe] the blood of the
people is become an inheritance, and those
who fatten on it will not relinquish it easily.—
To E. Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 435. Ford ed., v, 42.
(P. 1788)

6562. PEOPLE, Cities and.—

When the
people get piled upon one another in large
cities, as in Europe, they will become corrupt
as in Europe. [382]
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 332. Ford ed., iv, 479.
(P. 1787)


In the Congress edition “When we get piled
upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we
shall become as corrupt as in Europe, and go to eating
one another as they do there.”—Editor.

6563. PEOPLE, City and country.—

inhabitants of the commercial cities are as
different in sentiment and character from the
country people as any two distinct nations,
and are clamorous against the order of
things [republicanism] established by the agricultural
To M. Pictet. Washington ed. iv, 463.
(W. 1803)

6564. PEOPLE, Confidence in.—

My confidence
* * * in my countrymen generally
leaves me without much fear for the future.—
To James Fishback. Washington ed. v, 470.
(M. 1809)

6565. PEOPLE, Control by.—

Unless the mass retains sufficient control over those intrusted
with the powers of their government,
these will be perverted to their own oppression,
and to the perpetuation of wealth and
power in the individuals and their families
selected for the trust. Whether our Constitution
has hit on the exact degree of control
necessary, is yet under experiment; and it is
a most encouraging reflection that distance
and other difficulties securing us against the
brigand governments of Europe, in the safe
enjoyment of our farms and firesides, the experiment
stands a better chance of being satisfactorily
made here than on any occasion
yet presented by history.—
To Mr. Vander Kemp. Washington ed. vi, 45.
(M. 1812)

6566. PEOPLE, Control by.—[continued].

I know no safe depositary
of the ultimate powers of the society
but the people themselves; and if we think
them not enlightened enough to exercise their
control with a wholesome discretion, the
remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform
their discretion by education. This is
the true corrective of abuses of constitutional
To William C. Jarvis. Washington ed. vii, 179. Ford ed., x, 161.
(M. 1820)

6567. PEOPLE, Corruption and.—

germ of corruption indeed has been transferred
from our dear mother country, and
has already borne fruit, but its blight is begun
from the breath of the people.—
To J. P. Brissot de Warville. Ford ed., vi, 249.
(Pa., 1793)

6568. PEOPLE, Deception of.—

The spirit
of 1776 is not dead. It has only been
slumbering. The body of the American people
is substantially republican. But their virtuous
feelings have been played on by some
fact with more fiction; they have been the
dupes of artful manœuvres, and made for a
moment to be willing instruments in forging
chains for themselves. But time and truth
have dissipated the delusion, and opened their
To T. Lomax. Washington ed. iv, 300. Ford ed., vii, 373.
(M. March. 1799)

6569. PEOPLE, Deception of.—[continued].

Our citizens may be deceived
for awhile, and have been deceived;
but as long as the presses can be protected,
we may trust to them for light.—
To Archibald Stuart. Ford ed., vii, 378.
(M. 1799)

6570. PEOPLE, Deception of.—[further continued].

The lesson we have had will probably be useful to the people at large,
by showing to them how capable they are
of being made the instruments of their own
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. iv, 424.
(W. 1801)

6571. PEOPLE, Duty of rulers.—

To inform
the minds of the people, and to follow
their will, is the chief duty of those placed
at their head.—
To M. Dumas. Washington ed. ii, 297.
(P. 1787)

6572. PEOPLE, Enforcement of rights.—

The spirit of the times may alter, will alter.
Our rulers will become corrupt, our people
careless. * * * They will be forgotten,
and their rights disregarded. They will forget
themselves, but in the sole faculty of
making money, and will never think of uniting
to effect a due respect for their rights.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 402. Ford ed., iii, 266.

6573. PEOPLE, English.—

For the
achievement of this happy event [peace] we
call for and confide in the good offices of our
fellow-subjects beyond the Atlantic. Of their
friendly dispositions we do not cease to hope;
aware, as they must be, that they have nothing
more to expect from the same common
enemy, than the humble favor of being last
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 475.
(July. 1775)

6574. PEOPLE, English.—[continued].

Nor have we been wanting
in attentions to our British brethren. We
have warned them from time to time of attempts
by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable
jurisdiction over these our States.
We have reminded them of the circumstances


Page 688
of our emigration and settlement here, no one
of which could warrant so strange a pretension;
that these were effected at the expense
of our own blood and treasure, unassisted
by the wealth or strength of Great
Britain; that in constituting, indeed, our several
forms of government, we had adopted
one common king, thereby laying a foundation
for perpetual league and amity with
them; but that submission to their parliament
was no part of our constitution, nor ever in
idea, if history may be credited; and we have
appealed to their native justice and magnanimity
as well as to the ties of our common
kindred to disavow these usurpations which
were likely to interrupt our connection and
correspondence. They, too, have been deaf
to the voice of justice and of consanguinity,
and when occasions have been given them,
by the regular course of their laws, of removing
from their councils the disturbers of
our harmony, they have, by their free elections,
reestablished them in power. At this
very time, too, they are permitting their chief
Magistrate to send over not only soldiers of
our common blood, but Scotch and foreign
mercenaries, to invade and destroy us. These
facts have given the last stab to agonizing affection,
and manly spirit bids us to renounce
forever these unfeeling brethren. We must
endeavor to forget our former love for them,
to hold them as we hold the rest of mankind,
enemies in war, in peace, friends. We
might have been a free and a great people together;
but a communication of grandeur and
of freedom, it seems, is below their dignity.
Be it so, since they will have it. The road to
happiness and to glory is open to us, too, We
will tread it apart from them, and acquiesce
in the necessity which denounces our eternal
separation. [383]
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Congress changed the passage as follows. “Nor
have we been wanting in attentions to our British
brethren. We have warned them, from time to time,
of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable
jurisdiction over us. We have reminded
them of the circumstances of our emigration and
settlement here. We have appealed to their native
justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured
them, by the ties of our common kindred, to disavow
these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt
our connection and correspondence. They, too, have
been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.
We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which
denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold
the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace,

6575. PEOPLE, English.—[further continued].

The spirit of hostility to
us has always existed in the mind of the King,
but it has now extended itself through the whole
mass of the people, and the majority of the public
councils. In a country, where the voice of
the people influences so much the measures of
administration, and where it coincides with the
private temper of the King, there is no pronouncing
on future events. It is true they
have nothing to gain, and much to lose by a war
with us; but interest is not the strongest passion
in the human breast.—
To James Ross. Washington ed. i, 561. Ford ed., iv, 217.
(P. 1786)

6576. PEOPLE, English.—[further continued] .

The people of England,
I think, are less oppressed than the people in
France. But it needs but half an eye to see, when
among them, that the foundation is laid in their
dispositions for the establishment of a despotism.
Nobility, wealth and pomp are the objects
of their admiration. They are by no
means the free-minded people we suppose them
in America. Their learned men, too, are few
in number, and are less learned, and infinitely
less emancipated from prejudices than are
those of this country [France].—
To George Wythe. Washington ed. ii, 8. Ford ed., iv, 269.
(P. 1786)

6577. PEOPLE, English.—[further continued].

England presents the
singular phenomenon of a nation, the individuals
of which are as faithful to their private
engagements and duties, as honorable, as
worthy, as those of any nation on earth, and
whose government is yet the most unprincipled
at this day known.—
To John Langdon. Washington ed. v, 514.
(M. 1810)

6578. PEOPLE, English.—[further continued] .

The English people are
individually as respectable as those of other
nations,—it is her government which is so
corrupt, and which has destroyed the nation.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 552. Ford ed., ix, 287.
(M. 1810)

6579. PEOPLE, English.—[further continued].

I should be glad to see
their farmers and mechanics come here, but I
hope their nobles, priests and merchants will
be kept at home to be moralized by the discipline
of the new government.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 552. Ford ed., ix, 287.
(M. 1810)

6580. PEOPLE, English.—[further continued] .

The English have been
a wise, a virtuous and truly estimable people.
But commerce and a corrupt government have
rotted them to the core. Every generous, nay,
every just sentiment, is absorbed in the thirst
for gold. I speak of their cities, which we
may certainly pronounce to be ripe for despotism,
and fitted for no other government.
Whether the leaven of the agricultural body is
sufficient to regenerate the residuary mass, and
maintain it in a sound state, under any reformation
of government, may still be doubted.—
To Mr. Ogilvie. Washington ed. v, 604.
(M. 1811)

6581. PEOPLE, English.—[further continued]..

The individuals of the
[British] nation I have ever honored and esteemed,
the basis of their character being essentially
worthy; but I consider their government
as the most flagitious which has existed
since the days of Philip of Macedon, whom they
make their model.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 46.

6582. PEOPLE, Errors of.—

The people
are the only censors of their governors; and
even their errors will tend to keep these to
the true principles of their institution. To
punish these errors too severely would be
to suppress the only safeguard of the public
To Edward Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 99. Ford ed., iv, 359.
(P. 1787)

6583. PEOPLE, European.—

Behold me
at length on the vaunted scene of Europe!
* * * You are, perhaps, curious to know
how this new scene has struck a savage of the
mountains of America. Not advantageously, I
assure you. I find the general fate of humanity
here most deplorable. The truth of Voltaire's
observation offers itself perpetually, that every
man here must be either the hammer or the
anvil. It is a true picture of that country to
which they say we shall pass hereafter, and
where we are to see God and His angels in
splendor, and crowds of the damned trampled
under their feet. While the great mass of the
people are thus suffering under physical and
moral oppression, I have endeavored to examine
more nearly the condition of the great,


Page 689
to appreciate the true value of the circumstances
in their situation which dazzle the bulk of
spectators, and, especially, to compare it with
that degree of happiness which is enjoyed in
America, by every class of people. Intrigues
of love occupy the younger, and those of ambition,
the elder part of the great. Conjugal
love having no existence among them, domestic
happiness, of which that is the basis, is utterly
unknown. In lieu of this, are substituted pursuits
which nourish and invigorate all our bad
passions, and which offer only moments of
ecstacy amidst days and months of restlessness
and torment. Much, very much inferior, this,
to the tranquil, permanent felicity with which
domestic society in America blesses most of its
inhabitants; leaving them to follow steadily
those pursuits which health and reason approve,
and rendering truly delicious the intervals of
those pursuits.—
To Mr. Bellini. Washington ed. i, 444.
(P. 1785)

6584. PEOPLE, Freedom and.—

I am not
among those who fear the people. They, and
not the rich, are our dependence for continued
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 14. Ford ed., x, 41.
(M. 1816)

6585. PEOPLE, French.—

I do love this
people with all my heart, and think that with
a better religion, a better form of government
and their present governors, their condition
and country would be most enviable.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Ford ed., iv, 61.
(P. 1785)

6586. PEOPLE, French.—[continued].

It is difficult to conceive
how so good a people, with so good a King, so
well-disposed rulers in general, so genial a
climate, so fertile a soil, should be rendered so
ineffectual for producing human happiness by
one single curse,—that of a bad form of government.
But it is a fact. In spite of the mildness
of their governors, the people are ground
to powder by the vices of the form of government.
Of twenty millions of people supposed
to be in France, I am of opinion there are
nineteen millions more wretched, more accursed
in every circumstance of human existence than
the most conspicuously wretched individual of
the whole United States.—
To Mrs. Trist. Washington ed. i, 394.
(P. 1785)

6587. PEOPLE, French.—[further continued].

Two peoples whose interests,
whose principles, whose habits of attachment,
founded on fellowship in war and
mutual kindnesses, have so many points of
union, cannot but be easily kept together.—
To M. Odit. Washington ed. iv, 123.
(M. Oct. 1795)

6588. PEOPLE, French.—[further continued] .

The body of the people
of * * * [France] love us cordially.—
To John Langdon. Washington ed. i, 429.
(P. 1785)

6589. PEOPLE, French.—[further continued].

In science the mass of
the people [of France] are two centuries behind
ours; their literati a dozen years before us.
Books, really good, acquire just reputation in
that time, and so become known to us, and communicate
to us all their advances in knowledge.
Is not this delay compensated by our being
placed out of the reach of that swarm of nonsensical
publications which issues daily from a
thousand presses, and perishes in the issuing?—
To Mr. Bellini. Washington ed. i, 444.
(P. 1785)

6590. PEOPLE, French.—[further continued] .

Certain it is that they [the farming classes in South of France] are
less happy and less virtuous in villages, than
they would be insulated with their families
on the grounds they cultivate.—
Travels in France. Washington ed. ix, 313.

6591. PEOPLE, French.—[further continued]

I cannot leave this great
and good country without expressing my sense
of its preeminence of character among the nations
of the earth. A more benevolent people
I have never known, nor greater warmth and
devotedness in their select friendships. Their
kindness and accommodation to strangers is unparalleled,
and the hospitality of Paris is beyond
anything I had conceived to be practicable
in a large city. Their eminence, too, in science,
the communicative dispositions of their scientific
men, the politeness of the general manners,
the ease and vivacity of their conversation, give
a charm to their society, to be found nowhere
else. In a comparison of this with other countries,
we have the proof of primacy, which was
given to Themistocles after the battle of Salamis.
Every general voted to himself the first
reward of valor, and the second to Themistocles.
So, ask the travelled inhabitant of any
nation, in what country on earth would you
rather live? Certainly, in my own, where are
all my friends, my relations, and the earliest
and sweetest affections and recollections of
my life. Which would be your second choice?
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 107. Ford ed., i, 148.

6592. PEOPLE, Frugality and happiness.—

Kindly separated by nature and a wide
ocean from the exterminating havoc of one
quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure
the degradations of the others; possessing
a chosen contry, with room enough for
our descendants to the hundredth and thousandth
generation; entertaining a due sense
of our equal right to the use of our own faculties,
to the acquisitions of our own industry,
to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens,
resulting, not from birth, but from our
actions, and their sense of them; enlightened
by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and
practiced in various forms, yet all of them
inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude
and the love of man; acknowledging
and adoring an overruling Providence,
which, by all its dispensations, proves that
it delights in the happiness of man here
and his greater happiness hereafter,—with
all these blessings, what more is necessary
to make us a happy and prosperous
people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal government,
which shall restrain men from injuring one
another, which shall leave them otherwise
free to regulate their own pursuits of industry
and improvement, and shall not take
from the mouth of labor the bread it has
earned. This is the sum of good government,
and this is necessary to close the circle
of our felicities.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 3. Ford ed., viii, 3.

6593. PEOPLE, Government and.—

government degenerates when trusted to the
rulers of the people alone. The people
themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositaries.
And to render even them safe,
their minds must be improved to a certain
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 390. Ford ed., iii, 254.

6594. PEOPLE, Government and.—[continued].

A tractable people May
be governed in large bodies; but, in proportion
as they depart from this character, the


Page 690
extent of their government must be less.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 66. Ford ed., iv, 333.
(P. 1786)

6595. PEOPLE, Government and.—[further continued].

The government which
can wield the arm of the people must be the
strongest possible.—
To Mr. Weaver. Washington ed. v, 89.
(W. 1807)

6596. PEOPLE, Government and.—[further continued] .

No government can continue
good, but under the control of the people.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 149. Ford ed., x, 153.
(M. 1819)

6597. PEOPLE, Imposing upon.—

little [as to shut up the press] is it necessary
to impose on the people's senses, or dazzle
their minds by pomp, splendor, or forms.
Instead of this artificial, how much surer is
that real respect, which results from the use
of their reason, and the habit of bringing
everything to the test of common sense.—
To Judge Tyler. Washington ed. iv, 548.
(W. 1804)

6598. PEOPLE, Independent of all.—

Independence can be trusted nowhere but
with the people in mass. They are inherently
independent of all but moral law.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 134. Ford ed., x, 141.

6599. PEOPLE, Industry.—

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

6600. PEOPLE, Industry.—[continued].

No other depositaries of
power [than the people themselves] have ever
yet been found, which did not end in converting
to their own profit the earnings of those
committed to their charge.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 36. Ford ed., x, 45.
(M. 1816)

See Industry.

6601. PEOPLE, Judgment of.—

firmness with which the people have withstood
the late abuses of the press, the discernment
they have manifested between
truth and falsehood, show that they May
safely be trusted to hear everything true and
false, and to form a correct judgment between
To Judge Tyler. Washington ed. iv, 549.
(W. 1804)

See Newspapers.

6602. PEOPLE, Legislative powers.—

While those bodies are in existence to whom
the people have delegated the powers of legislation,
they alone possess, and may exercise,
those powers. But when they are dissolved
by the lopping off of one or more of their
branches, the power reverts to the people,
who may exercise it to unlimited extent,
either assembling together in person, sending
deputies, or in any other way they may think
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 138. Ford ed., i, 443.

6603. PEOPLE, Liberty and the.—

people are the only sure reliance for the
preservation of our liberty.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 332.
(P. 1787)

6604. PEOPLE, New England.—

The adventurous
genius and intrepidity of those peo
ple [New Englanders] is amazing. They are
now intent on burning Boston as a hive which
gives cover to [British] regulars; and none
are more bent upon it than the very people
who come out of it, and whose prosperity
lies there.—
To Francis Eppes. Ford ed., i, 461.
(Pa., July 4, 1775)

6605. PEOPLE, Oppressed.—

To constrain
the brute force of the people, the European
governments deem it necessary to keep
them down by hard labor, poverty and ignorance,
and to take from them, as from bees,
so much of their earnings, as that unremitting
labor shall be necessary to obtain a sufficient
surplus barely to sustain a scanty and miserable
life. And these earnings they apply
to maintain their privileged orders in splendor
and idleness, to fascinate the eyes of the people,
and excite in them an humble adoration
and submission, as to an order of superior
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 291. Ford ed., x, 226.
(M. 1823)

6606. PEOPLE, Participation in government.—

We think in America that it is necessary
to introduce the people into every department
of government, as far as they are
capable of exercising it; and that this is the
only way to ensure a long-continued and
honest administration of its powers.—
To M. L'Abbé Arnond. Washington ed. iii, 81. Ford ed., v, 103.
(P. 1789)

6607. PEOPLE, Participation in government.—[continued].

The people are not
qualified to exercise themselves the executive
department, but they are qualified to name
the person who shall exercise it. With us,
therefore, they choose this officer every four
To L'Abbé Arnond. Washington ed. iii, 81. Ford ed., v, 103.
(P. 1789)

6608. PEOPLE, Participation in government.—[further continued].

The people are not qualified
to legislate. With us, therefore, they only
choose the legislators.—
To M. L'Abbé Arnond. Washington ed. iii, 81. Ford ed., v, 103.
(P. 1789)

6609. PEOPLE, Participation in government.—[further continued] .

Were I called upon to decide whether the people had best be omitted
in the Legislative or Judiciary department,
I would say it is better to leave them out of
the Legislative. The execution of the laws
is more important than the making them.
However, it is best to have the people in all
the three departments where that is possible.—
To M. L'Abbé Arnond. Washington ed. iii, 82. Ford ed., v, 104.
(P. 1789)

6610. PEOPLE, Participation in government.—[further continued].

The people, being the
only safe depositary of power, should exercise
in person every function which their qualifications
enable them to exercise, consistently
with the order and security of society.—
To Dr. Walter Jones. Washington ed. vi, 285. Ford ed., ix, 447.
(M. 1814)

6611. PEOPLE, Prussian.—

The transition
from ease and opulence to extreme poverty
is remarkable on crossing the line between the
Dutch and Prussian territories. The soil and
climate are the same; the governments alone
differ. With the poverty, the fear also of slaves
is visible in the faces of the Prussian subjects.—
Travels in Prussia. Washington ed. ix, 378.


Page 691

6612. PEOPLE, Reasonable.—

It is a blessing that our people are reasonable; that
they are kept so well informed of the state
of things as to judge for themselves, to see
the true sources of their difficulties, and to
maintain their confidence undiminished in the
wisdom and integrity of their functionaries.—
To Cæsar A. Rodney. Washington ed. v, 501. Ford ed., ix, 272.
(M. 1810)

6613. PEOPLE, Representation.—

I look
for our safety to the broad representation of
the people [in Congress]. It will be more
difficult for corrupt views to lay hold of so
large a mass.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 455.
(Pa., 1792)

6614. PEOPLE, Representation and taxation.—

Preserve inviolate the fundamental
principle, that the people are not to
be taxed but by representatives chosen immediately
by themselves.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 328. Ford ed., iv, 475.
(P. 1787)

6615. PEOPLE, Republic.—

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, 406. Ford ed., iii, 269.

6616. PEOPLE, Respect for.—

My visit
to Philadelphia will be merely out of respect
to the public, and to the new President.—
To Mr. Volney. Washington ed. iv, 159.
(M. Jan. 1797)

6617. PEOPLE, Rights of.—

Their rights
* * * [are] derived from the laws of nature,
and [are] not the gift of their Chief
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 141. Ford ed., i, 446.

6618. PEOPLE, Rights of.—[continued].

The people of every
country are the only safe guardians of their
own rights, and are the only instruments
which can be used for their destruction.
And certainly they would never consent to
be so used were they not deceived. To
avoid this they should be instructed to a
certain degree.—
To John Wyche. Washington ed. v, 448.
(M. 1809)

6619. PEOPLE, Rights of.—[further continued].

The people, especially
when moderately instructed, are the only
safe, because the only honest, depositaries of
the public rights, and should, therefore, be
introduced into the administration of them
in every function to which they are sufficient.
They will err sometimes and accidentally, but
never designedly, and with a systematic and
persevering purpose of overthrowing the free
principles of the government.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 319.
(M. 1823)

6620. PEOPLE, Roman.—

The letters of
Cicero breathe the purest effusions of an exalted
patriot, while the parricide Cæsar is lost
in odious contrast. When the enthusiasm, however,
kindled by Cicero's pen and principles,
subsides into cool reflection, I ask myself, what
was that government, which the virtues of
Cicero were so zealous to restore, and the ambition
of Cæsar to subvert? And if Cæsar had
been as virtuous as he was daring and sagacious,
what could he, even in the plenitude of his
usurped power, have done to lead his fellow
citizens into good government? I do not say
to restore it, because they never had it, from the
rape of the Sabines to the ravages of the
Cæsars. If their people, indeed, had been, like
ourselves, enlightened, peaceable and really
free, the answer would be obvious. “Restore
independence to all your foreign conquests, relieve
Italy from the government of the rabble
of Rome, consult it as a nation entitled to self-government,
and do its will”. But steeped in
corruption, vice and venality, as the whole nation
was (and nobody had done more than
Cæsar to corrupt it), what could even Cicero,
Cato, Brutus have done, had it been referred
to them to establish a good government for their
country? They had no ideas of government
themselves, but of their degenerate Senate, nor
the people of liberty, but of the factious opposition
of their Tribunes. They had afterwards
their Tituses, their Trajans and Antoninuses,
who had the will to make them happy, and the
power to mould their government into a good
and permanent form. But it would seem as if
they could not see their way clearly to do it.
No government can continue good, but under
the control of the people; and their people were
so demoralized and depraved, as to be incapable
of exercising a wholesome control. Their reformation
then was to be taken up ab incunabulis.
Their minds were to be informed by
education what is right and what wrong; to be
encouraged in habits of virtue and deterred
from those of vice by the dread of punishments,
proportioned, indeed, but irremissible; in all
cases, to follow truth as the only safe guide,
and to eschew error, which bewilders us in one
false consequence after another, in endless succession.
These are the inculcations necessary
to render the people a sure basis for the structure
of order and good government. But this
would have been an operation of a generation
or two, at least, within which period would have
succeeded many Neros and Commoduses, who
would have quashed the whole process. I confess,
then, I can neither see what Cicero, Cato
and Brutus, united and uncontrolled, could have
devised to lead their people into good government,
nor how this enigma can be solved, nor
how further shown why it has been the fate of
that delightful country never to have known, to
this day, and through a course of five and
twenty hundred years, the history of which
we possess, one single day of free and rational
government. Your intimacy with their history,
ancient, middle and modern, your familiarity
with the improvements in the science of government
at this time, will enable you, if anybody,
to go back with our principles and opinions to
the times of Cicero, Cato and Brutus, and tell
us by what process these great and virtuous
men could have led so unenlightened and vitiated
a people into freedom and good government.
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 148. Ford ed., x, 152.
(M. 1819)


“I never could discover,” wrote Mr. Adams in
reply, “that they possessed much virtue, or real
liberty. Their Patricians were in general griping
usurers, and tyrannical creditors in all ages. Pride,
strength, and courage, were all the virtues that composed
their national characters.”—Editor.

6621. PEOPLE, Self-government.—

panic into which the people were artfully
thrown in 1798, the frenzy which was excited
in them by their enemies against their
apparent readiness to abandon all the principles
established for their own protection,
seemed for awhile to countenance the opinions
of those who say they cannot be trusted


Page 692
with their own government. But I never
doubted their rallying; and they did rally
much sooner than I expected. On the whole,
that experiment on their credulity has confirmed
my confidence in their ultimate good
sense and virtue.—
To Judge Tyler. Washington ed. iv, 549.
(W. 1804)

6622. PEOPLE, Self-government.—[continued].

To open the doors of
truth, and to fortify the habit of testing
everything by reason, are the most effectual
manacles we can rivet on the hands of our
successors to prevent their manacling the
people with their own consent.—
To Judge Tyler. Washington ed. iv, 549.
(W. 1804)

6623. PEOPLE, Spirit of.—

Cherish the
spirit of our people and keep alive their attention.
Do not be too severe upon their
errors, but reclaim them by enlightening
them. If once they become inattentive to
the public affairs, you and I and Congress
and assemblies, judges and governors shall
all become wolves.—
To Edward Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 100. Ford ed., iv, 360.
(P. 1787)

6624. PEOPLE, Supreme.—

He [George
III.] is no more than the chief officer of the
people, appointed by the laws, and circumscribed
with definite powers, to assist in
working the great machine of government,
erected for their use, and, consequently, subject
to their superintendence.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 125. Ford ed., i, 429.

6625. PEOPLE, A united.—

Spain, under
all her disadvantages, physical and mental,
is an encouraging example of the impossibility
of subduing a people acting with an
undivided will. She proves, too, another
truth not less valuable, that a people having
no king to sell them for a mess of pottage
for himself, no shackles to restrain their
powers of self-defence, find resources within
themselves equal to every trial. This we
did during the Revolutionary war, and this
we can do again, let who will attack us, if
we act heartily with one another. This is
my creed. To the principles of union I sacrifice
all minor differences of opinion. These,
like differences of face, are a law of our
nature, and should be viewed with the same
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 603.
(M. July. 1811)

6626. PEOPLE, A well-informed.—

Whenever the people are well-informed they
can be trusted with their own government.—
To Dr. Price. Washington ed. ii, 553.
(P. 1789)

6627. PEOPLE, A well-informed.—[continued].

Whenever the people
are well-informed * * * and things get
so far wrong as to attract their notice, they
may be relied on to set them to rights.—
To Dr. Price. Washington ed. ii, 553.
(P. 1789)

6628. PEOPLE, The western.—

That our fellow citizens of the West would need only
to be informed of criminal machinations [by
Aaron Burr] against the public safety to
crush them at once, I never entertained a
To Governor H. D. Tiffin. Washington ed. v, 37. Ford ed., ix, 21.
(W. 1807)

6629. PEOPLE, The western.—[continued]

They are freer from
prejudices than we are, and bolder in grasping
at truth. The time is not distant, though
neither you nor I shall see it, when we shall
be but a secondary people to them. Our
greediness for wealth, and fantastical expense,
have degraded, and will degrade, the
minds of our maritime citizens. These are
the peculiar vices of commerce.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 103. Ford ed., x, 107.
(M. 1818)

6630. PEOPLE, The western.—[further continued].

The bait of local interests,
artfully prepared for their palate, has
decoyed them [the Western people] from
their kindred attachments to alliances alien
to them.—
To C. W. Gooch. Washington ed. vii, 430.
(M. 1826)

6631. PEOPLE, Will of.—

It accords
with our principles to acknowledge any government
to be rightful, which is formed by
the will of the people substantially declared.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iii, 489. Ford ed., vi, 131.
(Pa., Nov. 1792)

6632. PEOPLE, Will of.—[continued].

The will of the people
is the only legitimate foundation of any government,
and to protect its free expression
should be our first object.—
To Benjamin Waring. Washington ed. iv, 379.
(W. March. 1801)

6633. PEOPLE, Wisdom of.—

Our people
in a body are wise, because they are
under the unrestrained and unperverted
operation of their own understandings.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 440. Ford ed., viii, 158.
(W. 1802)

6634. PERCEVAL (Spencer), Ministry.—

I am glad of the reestablishment of a Perceval
ministry. [385] The opposition would have recruited
our minority by half-way offers.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 77.
(M. Aug. 1812)


Spencer Perceval, who succeeded the Duke of
Portland as Premier, was assassinated in the lobby
of the House of Commons on May 11, 1812, three
months before this letter was written, by John Bellingham,
an English merchant, who was engaged in
business at Archangel, and who had been unable to
obtain redress from the Russian Government for
some alleged injury. The murderer was hanged.——Editor.

6635. PERPETUAL MOTION, Delusion of.—

I am very thankful to you for the
description of Redhefer's machine. I had never
been able to form an idea of what his principle
of deception was. He is the first of the inventors
of perpetual motion within my knowledge,
who has had the cunning to put his visitors
on a false pursuit, by amusing them with
a sham machinery whose loose and vibratory
motion might impose on them the belief that
it is the real source of the motion they see.
To this device he is indebted for a more extensive
delusion than I have before witnessed
on this point. We are full of it as far as this
State, and I know not how much farther. In
Richmond, they have done me the honor to
quote me as having said that it was a possible
thing. A poor Frenchman who called on me the
other day, with another invention of perpetual
motion, assured me that Dr. Franklin, many
years ago, expressed his opinion to him that it
was not impossible. Without entering into contest
on this abuse of the Doctor's name, I
gave him the answer I had given to others before,


Page 693
that the Almighty himself could not construct
a machine of perpetual motion while the
laws exist which he has prescribed for the government
of matter in our system; that the
equilibrium established by him between cause
and effect must be suspended to effect that purpose.—
To Dr. Robert Patterson. Washington ed. vi, 83.
(M. 1812)

6636. PERPETUAL MOTION, Friction and.—

The diminution of friction is certainly
one of the most desirable reformations in mechanics.
Could we get rid of it altogether we
should have perpetual motion. I was afraid
that using a fluid for a fulcrum, the pivot (for
so we may call them) must be of such a diameter
as to lose what had been gained. I
shall be glad to hear the event of any other
experiments you may make on this subject.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Ford ed., v, 277.
(Pa., 1791)

6637. PERSONAL LIBERTY, Children of slaves.—

The reducing the mother to
servitude was a violation of the law of nature,
surely, then, the same law cannot prescribe
a continuance of the violation to her
issue, and that, too, without end, for if it
extends to any, it must to every degree of
Legal Argument. Ford ed., i, 376.

6638. PERSONAL LIBERTY, Children of slaves.—[continued].

That the bondage of the
mother does not under the law of nature,
infer that of her issue, as included in her,
is further obvious from this consideration,
that by the same reason, the bondage of the
father would infer that of his issue; for he
may with equal, and some anatomists say
with greater reason, be said to include all
his posterity.—
Legal Argument. Ford ed., i, 377.

6639. PERSONAL LIBERTY, Inconsistent laws.—

If it be a law of nature that
the child shall follow the condition of the
parent, it would introduce a very perplexing
dilemma; as where the one parent is free and
the other a slave. Here the child is to be
a slave, says this law, by inheritance of the
father's bondage; but it is also to be free,
says the same law, by inheritance of its
mother's freedom. This contradiction proves
it to be no law of nature.—
Legal Argument. Ford ed., i, 377.

6640. PERSONAL LIBERTY, Invasion of.—

There are rights which it is useless to
surrender to the government, and which
governments have yet always been found to
invade. [Among] these is * * * the
right of personal freedom.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 13. Ford ed., v, 89.
(P. 1789)

6641. PERSONAL LIBERTY, Lettres de cachet.—

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 the freedom * * * of the person by
Lettres de Cachet.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.

6642. PERSONAL LIBERTY, Natural.—

Under the law of nature, all men are born
free, every one comes into the world with a
right to his own person, which includes the
liberty of moving and using it at his own
will. This is what is called personal liberty,
and is given him by the Author of nature,
because necessary for his own sustenance.—
Legal Argument. Ford ed., i, 376.

6643. PERSONAL LIBERTY, Preservation of.—

If we are made in some degree for others, yet in a greater are we made for
ourselves. It were contrary to feeling, and
indeed ridiculous to suppose that a man had
less rights in himself than one of his neighbors,
or indeed all of them put together. This would
be slavery, and not that liberty which the bill
of rights has made inviolable, and for the
preservation of which our government has
been charged.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 319. Ford ed., iii, 58.
(M. 1782)

6644. PERSONAL LIBERTY, In private life.—

I feel at length [in my retirement
from public life] the blessing of being
free to say and do what I please, without
being responsible for it to any mortal.—
To Gen. Kosciusko. Washington ed. v, 50.
(M. 1810)

6645. PERSONAL LIBERTY, Universal.—

In a government bottomed on the will
of all, the * * * liberty of every individual
citizen becomes interesting to all.—
Fifth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 50. Ford ed., viii, 392.


See Rights.

6646. PETITION, Right of.—

The people
have a right to petition, but not to use
that right to cover calumniating insinuations.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 367. Ford ed., ix, 209.
(M. 1808)

6647. PETITIONS, The Executive and.—

In my report on How's case, where I state
that it should go to the President, it will
become a question with the House [of Representatives] whether they shall refer it to
the President themselves, or give it back to
the petitioner, and let him so address it, as
he ought to have done at first. I think the
latter proper, 1. because it is a case belonging
purely to the Executive; 2, because the
Legislature should never show itself in a
matter with a foreign nation, but where the
case is very serious and they mean to commit
the nation on its issue; 3, because if they
indulge individuals in handing through the
Legislature their applications to the Executive,
all applicants will be glad to avail themselves
of the weight of so powerful a solicitor.
Similar attempts have been repeatedly
made by individuals to get the President to
hand in their petitions to the Legislature,
which he has constantly refused. It seems
proper that every person should address himself
directly to the department to which the
Constitution has allotted his case; and that
the proper answer to such from any other
department is, “that it is not to us that the
Constitution has assigned the transaction of
this business”.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 296. Ford ed., v, 391.
(Pa., 1791)


Page 694

6648. PETITIONS, The Executive and.—[continued].

The Executive of the
Union is, by the Constitution, made the
channel of communication between foreign powers and the United States. But citizens,
whether individually, or in bodies corporate,
or associated, have a right to apply directly
to any department of their government,
whether Legislative, Executive, or Judiciary,
the exercise of whose powers they have a
right to claim; and neither of these can regularly
offer its intervention in a case belonging
to the other. The communication and
recommendation by me to Congress of the
memorial you * * * enclose me, would
be an innovation, not authorized by the practice
of our government, and, therefore, the
less likely to add to its weight or effect.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. v, 203.
(W. 1807)

6649. PETITIONS, The Executive and.—[further continued].

I cannot lay petitions before Congress consistently with my own
opinion of propriety, because where the petitioners
have a right to petition their immediate
representatives in Congress directly,
I have deemed it neither necessary nor proper
for them to pass their petition through the
intermediate channel of the Executive.—
To Joseph B. Varnum. Washington ed. v, 388.
(W. 1808)

6650. PETITIONS, The Executive and.—[further continued] .

I have never presumed
to place myself between the Legislative
Houses and those who have a constitutional
right to address them directly.—
To Andrew Gregg. Washington ed. v, 431.
(W. 1809)

6651. PETITIONS, Punishment for.—

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

6652. PETITIONS, Rejected.—

We [Virginia] have exhausted every mode of application
which our invention could suggest
as proper and promising. We have decently
remonstrated with Parliament: they have
added new injuries to the old. We have
wearied our King with applications; he has
not deigned to answer us. We have appealed
to the native honour and justice of the
British Nation: their efforts in our favor
have been hitherto ineffectual. What, then,
remains to be done? That we commit our
injuries to the even-handed justice of the
Being who doth no wrong, earnestly beseeching
Him to illuminate the councils, and prosper
the endeavors of those to whom America
hath confided her hopes, that through their
wise direction we may again see reunited
the blessings of liberty, property, and harmony
with Great Britain.—
Address of House of Burgesses to Lord Dunmore. Ford ed., i, 458.

6653. PETITIONS, Repetition of injury and.—

In every stage of these oppressions
we have petitioned for redress, in the
most humble terms; Our repeated petitions
have been answered only by repeated injuries.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

6654. PETITIONS, Unanswered.—

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

6655. PETITIONS, Vain.—

We have supplicated
our king at various times in terms almost disgraceful to freedom; we have reasoned,
we have remonstrated with parliament
in the most mild and decent language; we
have even proceeded to break off our commercial
intercourse with our fellow-subjects,
as the last peaceful admonition that our attachment
to no nation on earth should supplant
our attachment to liberty. And here
we had well hoped was the ultimate step of
the controversy. But subsequent events have
shown how vain was even this last remain
of confidence in the moderation of the British
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 470.
(July. 1775)

6656. PEYROUSE EXPEDITION, Objects of.—

You have, doubtless, seen in the
papers, that this court [France] was sending
two vessels into the South Sea, under the conduct
of a Captain Peyrouse. They give out
that the object is merely for the improvement
of our knowledge of the geography of that part
of the globe. And certain it is, that they carry
men of eminence in different branches of
science. Their loading, however, as detailed in
conversations, and some other circumstances,
appeared to me to indicate some other design;
perhaps that of colonizing on the Western coast
of America; or, it may be, only to establish
one or more factories there, for the fur trade.
Perhaps we may be little interested in either
of these objects. But we are interested in another,
that is, to know whether they are perfectly
weaned from the desire of possessing continental
colonies in America. Events might
arise, which would render it very desirable for
Congress to be satisfied they have no such wish.
If they would desire a colony on the western
side of America, I should not be quite satisfied
that they would refuse one which should offer
itself on the eastern side. Captain Paul Jones
being at L'Orient, within a day's journey of
Brest, where Captain Peyrouse's vessels lay, I
desired him, if he could not satisfy himself at
L'Orient of the nature of this equipment, to go
to Brest for that purpose; conducting himself
so as to excite no suspicion that we attended at
all to this expedition. His discretion can be
relied on.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 382.
(P. 1785)

6657. PEYROUSE EXPEDITION, Objects of.—[continued].

The circumstances are obvious which indicate an intention to settle
factories and not colonies, at least for the present.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 454.
(P. 1785)

6658. PEYROUSE EXPEDITION, Objects of.—[further continued].

The Gazette of France announces the arrival of Peyrouse at Brazil,
that he was to touch at Otaheite, and proceed to
California, and still further northwardly. * * * The presumption is, that they will make an establishment
of some sort, on the northwest coast
of America.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 602.
(P. 1786)

6659. PHILADELPHIA, Injuries by war.—

I sincerely congratulate you on the recovery
of Philadelphia and wish it may be found uninjured by the enemy. How far the


Page 695
interests of literature may have suffered by the
injury, or removal of the Orrery (as it is miscalled ),
the public libraries, your papers and
implements, are doubts which still excite anxiety.—
To David Rittenhouse. Washington ed. i, 210. Ford ed., ii, 162.
(M. July. 1778)

6660. PHILOSOPHY, Ancient.—

moral principles inculcated by the most esteemed
of the sects of ancient philosophy, or of
their individuals; particularly, Pythagoras, Socrates,
Epicurus, Cicero, Epictetus, Seneca and
Antoninus, related chiefly to ourselves, and the
government of those passions which, unrestrained,
would disturb our tranquillity of mind.
In this branch of philosophy they were really
great. In developing our duties to others, they
were short and defective. They embraced, indeed,
the circles of kindred and friends, and
inculcated patriotism, or the love of our country
in the aggregate, as a primary obligation;
towards our neighbors and countrymen they
taught justice, but scarcely viewed them as
within the circle of benevolence. Still less
have they inculcated peace, charity, and love to
our fellow men, or embraced with benevolence
the whole family of mankind.—
Syllabus of the Doctrines of Jesus. Washington ed. iv, 480. Ford ed., viii, 224.

6661. PHILOSOPHY, Epicureanism.—

I am Epicurean. I consider the genuine (not
the imputed) doctrines of Epicurus as containing
everything rational in moral philosophy
which Greece and Rome have left us. Epictetus,
indeed, has given us what was good of the
Stoics; all beyond, of their dogmas being hypocrisy
and grimace. Their great crime was
in their calumnies of Epicurus and misrepresentations
of his doctrines; in which we lament
to see the candid character of Cicero engaging
as an accomplice.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 138. Ford ed., x, 143.
(M. 1819)

— PHILOSOPHY, Platonic.—

See Plato.

6662. PHILOSOPHY, Seneca.—

is, indeed, a fine moralist, disfiguring his work
at times with some Stoicisms, and affecting too
much of antithesis and point, yet giving us on
the whole a great deal of sound and practical
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 139. Ford ed., x, 144.
(M. 1819)

6663. PHILOSOPHY, Socratic.—

Of Socrates
we have nothing genuine but in the
Memorabilia of Xenophon; for Plato makes him
one of his collocutors, merely to cover his own
whimsies under the mantle of his name; a liberty
of which we are told Socrates himself complained.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 139. Ford ed., x, 144.
(M. 1819)

6664. PHILOSOPHY, War against.—I

still dare to use the word philosophy, notwithstanding
the war waged against it by bigotry
and despotism.—
To Dr. Hugh Williamson. Washington ed. iv, 347. Ford ed., vii, 481.
(W. Jan. 1801)

6665. PICKERING (Timothy), Jefferson and.—

I could not have believed that for
so many years, and to such a period of advanced
age, Mr. Pickering could have nourished passions
so vehement and viperous. It appears
that for thirty years past, he has been industriously
collecting materials for vituperating the
characters he had marked for his hatred; some
of whom, certainly, if enmities towards him had
ever existed, had forgotten them all, or buried
them in the grave with themselves. As to myself,
there never had been anything personal between
us, nothing but the general opposition of
party sentiment; and our personal intercourse
had been that of urbanity, as himself says. But
it seems he has been all this time brooding
over an enmity which I had never felt, and that
with respect to myself, as well as others, he has
been writing far and near, and in every direction,
to get hold of original letters, where he
could, copies, where he could not, certificates
and journals, catching at every gossiping story
he could hear of in any quarter, supplying by
suspicions what he could find nowhere else, and
then arguing on this motley farrago as if established
on gospel evidence. * * * He
arraigns me on two grounds, my actions and my
motives. The very actions, however, which he
arraigns, have been such as the great majority
of my fellow citizens have approved. The approbation
of Mr. Pickering and of those who
thought with him, I had no right to expect.
My motives he chooses to ascribe to hypocrisy,
to ambition, and a passion for popularity. Of
these the world must judge between us. It is
no office of his or mine. To that tribunal I
have ever submitted my actions and motives,
without ransacking the Union for certificates,
letters, journals and gossiping tales to justify
myself and weary them. * * * If no action
is to be deemed virtuous for which malice
can imagine a sinister motive, then there never
was a virtuous action; no, not even in the life
of our Saviour himself. But He has taught us
to judge the tree by its fruit and to leave motives
to Him who can alone see into them.
* * * I leave to its fate the libel of Mr.
Pickering, with the thousands of others like it,
to which I have given no other answer than a
steady course of similar action * * *.—
To Martin Van Buren. Washington ed. vii, 362. Ford ed., x, 305.
(M. 1824)

See Declaration of Independence.

6666. PICKERING (Timothy), Josiah Quincy and.—

The termination of Mr. Rose's
mission, re infecta, put it in my power to communicate
to Congress yesterday, everything respecting
our relations with England and France,
which will effectually put down Mr. Pickering,
and his worthy coadjutor Mr. [Josiah] Quincy.
Their tempers are so much alike, and really
their persons, as to induce a supposition that
they are related.—
To Levi Lincoln. Washington ed. v, 264.
(W. March. 1808)

6667. PIERS, Power to build.—

know my doubts, or rather convictions, about
the unconstitutionality of the act for building
piers in the Delaware, and the fears that it
will lead to a bottomless expense, and to the
greatest abuses. There is, however, one intention
of which the act is susceptible, and
which will bring it within the Constitution;
and we ought always to presume that the real
intention which is alone consistent with the
Constitution. Although the power to regulate
commerce does not give a power to build piers,
wharves, open ports, clear the beds of rivers,
dig canals, build warehouses, build manufacturing
machines, set up manufactories, cultivate
the earth, to all of which the power would go
if it went to the first, yet a power to provide
and maintain a navy is a power to provide
receptacles for it, and places to cover and preserve
it. In choosing the places where this
money should be laid out, I should be much disposed,
as far as contracts will permit, to confine
it to such place or places as the ships of war
may lie at, and be protected from ice; and I
should be for stating this in a message to Congress,
in order to prevent the effect of the present
example. This act has been built on the exercise
of the power of building light houses, as a
regulation of commerce. But I well remember


Page 696
the opposition, on this very ground, to the first
act for building a lighthouse. The utility of
the thing has sanctioned the infraction. But
if, on that infraction, we build a second, and on
that second a third, &c., any one of the powers
in the Constitution may be made to comprehend
every power of government.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 449. Ford ed., viii, 174.
(Oct. 1802)

6668. PIERS, Power to build.—[continued].

The act of Congress of 1789, c. 9, assumes on the General Government
the maintenance and repair of all lighthouses,
beacons, buoys, and public piers then existing,
and provides for the building a new lighthouse.
This was done under the authority given by the
Constitution “to regulate commerce”, and was
contested at the time as not within the meaning
of its terms, and yielded to only on the urgent
necessity of the case. The act of 1802, c. 20,
f. 8, for repairing and erecting public piers in
the Delaware, does not take any new ground—
it is in strict conformity with the act of 1789.
While we pursue, then, the construction of the
Legislature, that the repairing and erecting
lighthouses, beacons, buoys, and piers, is authorized
as belonging to the regulation of commerce,
we must take care not to go ahead of
them, and strain the meaning of the terms still
further to the clearing out the channels of all
the rivers, &c., of the United States. The removing
a sunken vessel is not the repairing of
a pier. How far the authority “to levy taxes to
provide for the common defence”, and that
“for providing and maintaining a navy”, May
authorize the removing obstructions in a river
or harbor, is a question not involved in the
present case.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 478.
(April. 1803)

6669. PIKE (General Z. M.), Death of.—

He died in the arms of victory gained over
the enemies of his country. * * * [He
was] an honest and zealous patriot who lived
and died for his country.—
To Baron von Humboldt. Washington ed. vi, 270. Ford ed., ix, 432.

6670. PIKE (General Z. M.), Expedition.—

On the transfer of Louisiana by France to the United States, according to its
boundaries when possessed by France, the government
of the United States considered itself
as entitled as far west as the Rio Norte;
but understanding soon afterwards that Spain,
on the contrary, claimed eastwardly to the river
Sabine, it has carefully abstained from doing
any act in the intermediate country, which
might disturb the existing state of things, until
these opposing claims should be explained and
accommodated amicably. But that the Red River
and all its waters belonged to France, that she
made several settlements on that river, and held
them as a part of Louisiana until she delivered
that country to Spain, and that Spain, on the
contrary, had never made a single settlement
on the river are circumstances so well known,
and so susceptible of proof, that it was not supposed
that Spain would seriously contest the
facts; or the right established by them. Hence
our government took measures for exploring
that river, as it did that of the Missouri, by
sending Mr. Freeman to proceed from the
mouth upwards, and Lieutenant Pike from the
source downwards merely to acquire its geography,
and so far enlarge the boundaries of
science. For the day must be very distant
when it will be either the interest or the wish
of the United States to extend settlements into
the interior of that country. Lieutenant Pike's
orders were accordingly strictly confined to the
waters of the Red river, and from his known
observance of orders, I am persuaded that it
must have been, as he himself declares, by miss
ing his way that he got on the waters of the
Rio Norte, instead of those of the Red river.
That your Excellency should excuse this involuntary
error, and indeed misfortune, was expected
from the liberality of your character;
and the kindnesses you have shown him are an
honorable example of those offices of good
neighborhood on your part, which it will be so
agreeable to us to cultivate. * * * To the same
liberal sentiment Lieutenant Pike must appeal
for the restoration of his papers. You must
have seen in them no trace of unfriendly views
towards your nation, no symptoms of any other
design than that of extending geographical
knowledge; and it is not in the nineteenth
century, nor through the agency of your Excellency,
that science expects to encounter obstacles.
To General Henry Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 110. Ford ed., ix, 85.
(W. 1807)


Draft of letter to be sent to Spanish governor.——Editor.

6671. PIKE (General Z. M.), Mission.—

I think that the truth as to Pike's mission might
be so simply stated as to need no argument to
show that (even during the suspension of our
claims to the eastern border of the Rio Norte)
his getting on it was a mere error, which ought
to have called for the setting him right, instead
of forcing him through the interior country.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 294. Ford ed., x, 195.
(M. May. 1808)

6672. PINCKNEY (Charles), Political ambition.—

There is here a great sense of the
inadequacy of C. Pinckney to the office he is
in. His continuance is made a subject of standing
reproach to myself personally, by whom the
appointment was made before I had collected
the administration. He declared at the time
that nothing would induce him to continue so
as not to be here at the ensuing Presidential
election. I am persuaded he expected to be
proposed at it as V. P. After he got to Europe
his letters asked only a continuance of two
years; but he now does not drop the least hint
of a voluntary return. Pray, avail yourself
of his vanity, his expectations, his fears, and
whatever will weigh with him to induce him to
ask leave to return, and obtain from him to be
the bearer of the letter yourself. You will render
us in this the most acceptable service possible.
His enemies here are perpetually dragging
his character in the dirt, and charging
it on the administration. He does, or ought to
know this, and to feel the necessity of coming
home to vindicate himself, if he looks to anything
further in the career of honor.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 289.
(W. Jan. 1804)

6673. PINCKNEY (Thomas), Character.—

An honest, sensible man, and good republican.—
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. iii, 451. Ford ed., vi, 88.
(Pa., 1792)

6674. PINCKNEY (Thomas), Minister.—

Your nomination as Minister to London
gave general satisfaction.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 321. Ford ed., v, 423.
(Pa., Jan. 1792)

6675. PINCKNEY (Thomas), Vice-Presidency.—

The federalists will run Mr.
Pinckney for the Vice-Presidency. They regard
his southern position rather than his principles.
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 149. Ford ed., vii, 89.
(M. July. 1796)

6676. PITT (William), Friend of America.—

Pitt is rather well disposed to us.—
To Governor Benj. Harrison. Ford ed., iii, 414.
(A. March. 1784)


Page 697

6677. PLANTS, Useful.—

The greatest
service which can be rendered any country is to
add an useful plant to its culture; especially, a
bread grain; next in value to bread is oil.—
Jefferson's MSS. Washington ed. i, 176.
(M. 1821)

6678. PLATO, Teachings of.—

No writer, ancient or modern, has bewildered the world
with more ignes fatui, than this renowned philosopher,
in ethics, in politics, and physics.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 165.
(M. 1820)

6679. PLATO, Whimsies.—

Plato * * * used the name of Socrates to cover the whimsies
of his own brain.—
Syllabus of the Doctrines of Jesus. Washington ed. iv, 481.


I amused
myself [recently] with reading Plato's Republic.
I am wrong, however, in calling it amusement,
for it was the heaviest task-work I ever went
through. I had occasionally before taken up
some of his other works, but scarcely ever had
patience to get through a whole dialogue. While
wading through the whimsies, the puerilities,
and unintelligible jargon of this work, I laid it
down often to ask myself how it could have
been that the world should have so long consented
to give reputation to such nonsense as
this? How the soi-disant Christian world, indeed,
should have done it, is a piece of historical
curiosity. But how could the Roman good sense
do it? And particularly, how could Cicero bestow
such eulogies on Plato? Although Cicero
did not wield the dense logic of Demosthenes,
yet he was able, learned, laborious, practiced
in the business of the world, and honest. He
could not be the dupe of mere style, of which
he was himself the first master in the world.
With the moderns, I think, it is rather a matter
of fashion and authority. Education is
chiefly in the hands of persons who, from their
profession, have an interest in the reputation
and the dreams of Plato. They give the tone
while at school, and few in after years have
occasion to revise their college opinions. But
fashion and authority apart, and bringing Plato
to the test of reason, take from him his
sophisms, futilities and incomprehensibilities,
and what remains? In truth, he is one of the
race of genuine Sophists, who has escaped the
oblivion of his brethren, first, by the eloquence
of his diction, but chiefly, by the adoption and
incorporation of his whimsies into the body of
artificial Christianity. His foggy mind is forever
presenting the semblances of objects which,
half seen through a mist, can be defined neither
in form nor dimensions. * * * Socrates hadreason,
indeed, to complain of the misrepresentations
of Plato; for in truth, his dialogues
are libels on Socrates.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 354. Ford ed., ix, 462.
(M. 1814)

6681. PLATO'S REPUBLIC.—[continued].

It is fortunate for us,
that Platonic republicanism has not obtained the
same favor as Platonic Christianity; or we
should now have been all living men, women
and children pell mell together, like beasts of
the field or forest.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 355.

6682. PLEASURE, Bait of.—

Do not bite
at the bait of pleasure till you know there is
no hook beneath it.—
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 37. Ford ed., iv, 317.
(P. 1786)


have no rose without its thorn; no pleasure
without alloy. It is the law of Existence; and
we must acquiesce. It is the condition annexed
to all our pleasures, not by us who receive, but
by Him who gives them.—
To Mrs. Cosway. Washington ed. ii, 41. Ford ed., iv, 321.
(P. 1786)

6684. PLEASURE AND PAIN.—[continued]

I do not agree that an
age of pleasure is no compensation for a moment
of pain.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 26.
(M. 1816)

6685. POETRY, Judging.—

It is not for
a stranger to decide on the merits of poetry in
a language foreign to him.—
To M. Hilliard D'Auberteuil. Washington ed. ii, 103.
(P. 1787)

6686. POETRY, Judging.—[continued].

To my own mortification,
* * * of all men living, I am the last who
should undertake to decide as to the merits of
poetry. In earlier life I was fond of it, and
easily pleased. But as age and cares advanced,
the powers of fancy have declined. Every year
seems to have plucked a feather from her wings,
till she can no longer waft one to those sublime
heights to which it is necessary to accompany
the poet. So much has my relish for poetry
deserted me that, at present, I cannot read
even Virgil with pleasure. I am consequently
utterly incapable to decide on the merits of
poetry. The very feelings to which it is addressed
are among those I have lost. So that the
blind man might as well undertake to [faded in
MS.] a painting, or the deaf a musical composition.
To John D. Burke. Ford ed., viii, 65.
(W. 1801)


Mr. Burke had sent Jefferson a copy of the Columbiad.—Editor.

6687. POLAND, Partition of.—

The history
of Poland gives a lesson which all our
countrymen should study; the example of a
country erased from the map of the world by
the dissensions of its own citizens. The papers
of every day read them the counter lesson of
the impossibility of subduing a people acting
with an undivided will. Spain, under all her
disadvantages, physical and mental, is an encouraging
example of this.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 603.
(M. July. 1811)

6688. POLAND, Partition of.—[continued].

The partition of Poland
* * * 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.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 524.
(M. 1816)

6689. POLICY (American), Balance of power.—

We especially ought to pray that the
powers of Europe may be so poised and
counterpoised among themselves, that their
own safety may require the presence of all
their force at home, leaving the other quarters
of the globe in undisturbed tranquility.—
To Dr. Crawford. Washington ed. vi, 33.

6690. POLICY (American), Coalition of American nations.—

From many conversations
with him [M. Correa] I hope he sees, and will promote in his new situation [in
Brazil] the advantages of a cordial fraternization
among all the American nations, and
the importance of their coalescing in an
American system of policy, totally independent
of and unconnected with that of Europe.
The day is not distant, when we May
formally require a meridian of partition
through the ocean which separates the two
hemispheres, on the hither side of which no
European gun shall ever be heard, nor an
American on the other; and when, during the
rage of the eternal wars of Europe, the lion [388]


Page 698
and the lamb, within our regions, shall lie
down together in peace. * * * I wish to
see this coalition begun.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 168.


Portuguese Minister at Washington.—Editor.

6691. POLICY (American), Coalition of American nations.—[continued].

I wish to see this coalilion
begun. I am earnest for an agreement
with the maritime powers of Europe, assigning
them the task of keeping down the
piracies of their seas and the cannibalism of
the African coasts, and to us, the suppression
of the same enormities within our seas; and
for this purpose, I should rejoice to see the
fleets of Brazil and the United States riding
together as brethren of the same family, and
pursuing the same object. And indeed it
would be of happy augury to begin at once
this concert of action here, on the invitation
of either to the other government, while the
way might be preparing for withdrawing our
cruisers from Europe, and preventing naval
collisions there which daily endanger our
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 169.
(M. 1820)

6692. POLICY (American), Coercion of Europe.—

We think that peaceable means
may be devised of keeping nations in the
path of justice towards us, by making justice
their interest and injuries to react on
themselves. Our distance enables us to pursue
a course which the crowded situation of
Europe renders, perhaps, impracticable there.—
To M. Cabanis. Washington ed. iv, 497.
(W. 1803)

6693. POLICY (American), Detachment from Europe.—

We cannot too distinctly
detach ourselves from the European system, which is essentially belligerent, nor
too sedulously cultivate an American system,
essentially pacific.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. vi, 453. Ford ed., ix, 513.
(M. March. 1815)

6694. POLICY (American), European politics and.—

The politics of Europe render
it indispensably necessary that, with respect
to everything external, we be one nation only,
firmly hooped together.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. i, 531. Ford ed., iv, 192.
(P. Feb. 1786)

6695. POLICY (American), European quarrels.—

I am decidedly of opinion we
should take no part in European quarrels,
but cultivate peace and commerce with all.—
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 533. Ford ed., v, 57.
(P. 1788)

6696. POLICY (American), European quarrels.—[continued].

At such a distance from
Europe, and with such a distance between
us, we hope to meddle little in its quarrels or
combinations. Its peace and its commerce
are what we shall court.—
To M. de Pinto. Washington ed. iii, 174.
(N.Y., 1790)

6697. POLICY (American), European system and.—

The European nations constitute
a separate division of the globe; their
localities make them part of a distinct system;
they have a set of interests of their
own in which it is our business never to engage
To Baron von Humboldt. Washington ed. vi, 268. Ford ed., ix, 431.
(Dec. 1813)

6698. POLICY (American), France and England.—

We owe gratitude to France,
justice to England, good will to all, and
subservience to none.—
To Arthur Campbell. Washington ed. iv, 198. Ford ed., vii, 170.
(M. 1797)

6699. POLICY (American), France and England.—[continued].

It is our unquestionable
interest and duty to conduct ourselves with
such sincere friendship and impartiality towards
both France and England, as that each
may see unequivocally, what is unquestionably
true, that we may be very possibly
driven into her scale by unjust conduct in
the other.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 557. Ford ed., viii, 315.
(M. Aug. 1804)

6700. POLICY (American), Freedom of the ocean.—

That the persons of our citizens
shall be safe in freely traversing the ocean,
that the transportation of our own produce,
in our own vessels, to the markets of our
choice, and the return to us of the articles we
want for our own use, shall be unmolested,
I hold to be fundamental, and the gauntlet
that must be forever hurled at him who
questions it.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 459.
(M. June. 1815)

6701. POLICY (American), Great Britain and.—

With respect to the English government,
or policy, as concerning themselves
or other nations, we wish not to intermeddle
in word or deed, and that it be not understood
that our government permits itself to
entertain either a will or opinion on the subject.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iii, 442. Ford ed., vi, 75.
(Pa., 1792)

6702. POLICY (American), Gulf of Mexico.—

We begin to broach the idea that
we consider the Gulf Stream as of our
waters, in which hostilities and cruising are
to be frowned on for the present, and prohibited
so soon as either consent or force
will permit us. We shall never permit another
privateer to cruise within it, and shall
forbid our harbors to national cruisers.
This is essential for our tranquillity and commerce.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 12. Ford ed., viii, 450.
(W. May. 1806)

6703. POLICY (American), Internal resources.—

The promotion of the arts and
sciences * * * becomes peculiarly interesting
to us, at this time, when the total
demoralization of the governments of Europe,
has rendered it safest, by cherishing
internal resources, to lessen the occasions of
intercourse with them.—
To Dr. John L. E. W. Shecut. Washington ed. vi, 153.
(M. 1813)

6704. POLICY (American), A just.—

Let it be our endeavor * * * to merit the
character of a just nation.—
Third Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 28. Ford ed., viii, 272.

6705. POLICY (American), Markets.—

Our object is to feed and theirs to fight.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., v, 198.
(N.Y., 17901790)gt;

6706. POLICY (American), Mid-Atlantic meridian.—

When our strength will


Page 699
permit us to give the law of our hemisphere,
it should be that the meridian of the mid-Atlantic
should be the line of demarcation
between war and peace, on this side of
which no act of hostility should be committed,
and the lion and the lamb lie down
in peace together.—
To Dr. Crawford. Washington ed. vi, 33.
(M. Jan. 1812)

6707. POLICY (American), Peace and friendship.—

Peace and friendship with all
mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish
we may be permitted to pursue it.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. i, 553.

6708. POLICY (American), Peace and friendship.—[continued].

Peace with all nations,
and the right which that gives us with respect
to all nations, are our object.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. iii, 535.
(Pa., 1793)

6709. POLICY (American), Peace and friendship.—[further continued].

Peace, justice, and liberal
intercourse with all the nations of the
world, will, I hope, characterize this commonwealth.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. iv, 388.
(W. 1801)

6710. POLICY (American), Peace and friendship.—[further continued] .

Separated by a wide
ocean from the nations of Europe, and from
the political interests which entangle them
together, with productions and wants which
render our commerce and friendship useful
to them and theirs to us, it cannot be the
interest of any to assail us, nor ours to disturb
them. We should be most unwise, indeed
were we to cast away the singular
blessings of the position in which nature has
placed us, the opportunity she has endowed
us with of pursuing at a distance from foreign
contentions, the paths of industry, peace
and happiness; of cultivating general friendship,
and of bringing collisions of interest
to the umpirage of reason rather than of
Third Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 29. Ford ed., viii, 273.
(Oct. 1803)

6711. POLICY (American), Peace and justice.—

We ask for peace and justice from
all nations.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. ii, 12. Ford ed., viii, 450.
(W. May. 1806)

6712. POLICY (American), Peopling the continent.—

Our Confederacy must be
viewed as the nest from which all America,
North and South, is to be peopled.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. i, 518. Ford ed., iv, 188.
(P. Jan. 1786)

6713. POLICY (American), Principles.—

On the question you propose [James Monroe],
whether we can, in any form, take a
bolder attitude than formerly in favor of liberty,
I can give you but commonplace ideas.
They will be but the widow's mite, and
offered only because requested. The matter
which now embroils Europe, the presumption
of dictating to an independent nation the
form of its government, is so arrogant, so
atrocious, that indignation, as well as moral
sentiment, enlists all our partialities and
prayers in favor of one, and our equal execrations
against the other. I do not know,
indeed, whether all nations do not owe to
one another a bold and open declaration of
their sympathies with the one party, and their
detestation of the conduct of the other. But
farther than this we are bound to go; and indeed,
for the sake of the world, we ought not
to increase the jealousies, or draw on ourselves
the power of this formidable confederacy
[The Holy Alliance], I have ever deemed
it fundamental for the United States never
to take active part in the quarrels of Europe.
Their political interests are entirely distinct
from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their
balance of power, their complicated alliances,
their forms and principles of government,
are all foreign to us. They are nations of
eternal war. All their energies are expended
in the destruction of the labor, property and
lives of their people. On our part, never
had a people so favorable a chance of trying
the opposite system, of peace and fraternity
with mankind, and the direction of all our
means and faculties to the purposes of improvement
instead of destruction. With Europe
we have few occasions of collision, and
these, with a little prudence and forbearance,
may be generally accommodated. Of the
brethren of our own hemisphere, none is yet,
or for an age to come will be, in a shape,
condition, or disposition to war against us.
And the foothold which the nations of Europe
had in either America, is slipping from under
them, so that we shall soon be rid of their
neighborhood. Cuba alone seems at present
to hold up a speck of war to us. Its possession
by Great Britain would indeed be a
great calamity to us. Could we induce her to
join us in guaranteeing its independence
against all the world, except Spain, it would
be nearly as valuable to us as if it were our
own. [389] But should she take it, I would not
immediately go to war for it; because the
first war on other accounts will give it to
us; or the island will give itself to us, when
able to do so. While no duty, therefore,
calls on us to take part in the present war of
Europe, and a golden harvest offers itself in
reward for doing nothing, peace and neutrality
seem to be our duty and interest. We
may gratify ourselves, indeed, with a neutrality
as partial to Spain as would be justifiable
without giving cause of war to her
adversary; we might and ought to avail ourselves
of the happy occasion of procuring and
cementing a cordial reconciliation with her,
by giving assurance of every friendly office
which neutrality admits, and especially,
against all apprehension of our intermeddling
in the quarrel with her colonies. And I
expect daily and confidently to hear of a
spark kindled in France, which will employ
her at home, and relieve Spain from all further
apprehension of danger. That England
is playing false with Spain cannot be doubted.
Her government is looking one way and rowing
another. * * * You will do what is
right, leaving the people of Europe to act
their follies and crimes among themselves,
while we pursue in good faith the paths of
peace and prosperity.—
To President Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 287. Ford ed., x, 257.
(M. June. 1823)


Page 700

See note under Cuba.—Editor..

6714. POLICY (American), Resistance to wrong.—

We believe that the just standing
of all nations is the health and security of
all. We consider the overwhelming power
of England on the ocean, and of France on
the land, as destructive of the prosperity and
happiness of the world, and wish both to be
reduced only to the necessity of observing
moral duties. We believe no more in Bonaparte's
fighting for the liberty of the seas,
than in Great Britain fighting for the liberties
of mankind. The object of both is the same
to draw to themselves the power, the wealth
and the resources of other nations. We resist
the enterprises of England first, because
they first come vitally home to us. And our
feelings repel the logic of bearing the lash of
George III. for fear of that of Bonaparte at
some future day. When the wrongs of France
shall reach us with equal effect, we shall resist
them also. But one at a time is enough;
and having offered a choice to the champions,
England first takes up the gauntlet.—
To James Maury. Washington ed. vi, 52. Ford ed., ix, 349.
(M. April. 1812)

6715. POLICY (American), A system of.—

America has a hemisphere to itself. It
must have its separate system of interests,
which must not be subordinated to those of
To Baron von Humboldt. Washington ed. vi, 268. Ford ed., ix, 431.
(Dec. 1813)

6716. POLICY (American), A system of.—[continued].

Distance, and difference
of pursuits, of interests, of connections and
other circumstances, prescribe to us a different
system, having no object in common
with Europe, but a peaceful interchange of
mutual comforts for mutual wants.—
To Madame de Stael. Washington ed. vi, 481.
(M. 1815)

6717. POLICY (American), A system of.—[further continued].

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

6718. POLICY (American), A system of.—[further continued] .

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 domicil of despotism, our endeavor
should surely be, to make our hemisphere that
of freedom.—
To President Monroe. Washington ed. vii, 315. Ford ed., x, 277.
(M. 1823)

6719. POLICY (American), Wars of Europe.—

The insulated state in which nature
has placed the American continent,
should so far avail it that no spark of war
kindled in the other quarters of the globe
should be wafted across the wide oceans
which separate us from them. And it will
be so. In fifty years more the United States
alone will contain fifty millions of inhabitants,
and fifty years are soon gone over.
The peace of 1763 is within that period. I
was then twenty years old, and of course
remember well all the transactions of the war
preceding it. And you will live to see the
period equally ahead of us; and the numbers
which will then be spread over the other
parts of the American hemisphere, catching
long before that the principles of our portion
of it, and concurring with us in the maintenance
of the same system. * * * I am anticipating
events of which you will be the
bearer to me in the Elysian fields fifty years
To Baron von Humboldt. Washington ed. vi, 268. Ford ed., ix, 431.
(Dec. 1813)

6720. POLICY (American), Wars of Europe.—[continued].

Your exhortations to
avoid taking any part in the war * * * in
Europe were a confirmation of the policy I
had myself pursued, and which I thought
and still think should be the governing canon
of our republic.—
To Madame de Stael. Washington ed. vi, 481.
(M. July. 1815)

6721. POLICY (American), Wars of Europe.—[further continued].

I hope no American
patriot will ever lose sight of the essential
policy of interdicting in the seas and territories
of both Americas, the ferocious and
sanguinary contests of Europe.—
To William Short. Washington ed. vii, 168.
(M. 1820)

6722. POLITENESS, European.—

repect to what are termed polite manners, without
sacrificing too much the sincerity of language,
I would wish my countrymen to adopt
just so much of European politeness, as to be
ready to make all those little sacrifices of self,
which really render European manners amiable,
and relieve society from the disagreeable scenes
to which rudeness often subjects it. Here
(France), it seems that a man might pass a life
without encountering a single rudeness.—
To Mr. Bellini. Washington ed. i, 445.
(P. 1785)

6723. POLITENESS, Good humor and.—

I have mentioned good humor as one of
the preservatives of our peace and tranquillity.
It is among the most effectual, and its effect
is so well imitated and aided, artificially, by
politeness, that this also becomes an acquisition
of first rate value. In truth, politeness is
artificial good humor; it covers the natural
want of it, and ends by rendering habitual a
substitute nearly equivalent to the real virtue.
It is the practice of sacrificing to those whom
we meet in society, all the little conveniences
and preferences which will gratify them, and
deprive us of nothing worth a moment's consideration;
it is the giving a pleasing and flattering
turn to our expressions, which will conciliate
others, and make them pleased with us
as well as themselves. How cheap a price for
the good will of another! When this is in return
for a rude thing said by another, it brings
him to his senses, it mortifies and corrects him
in the most salutary way, and places him at the
feet of your good nature, in the eyes of the company.—
To Thomas Jefferson Randolph. Washington ed. v, 389. Ford ed., ix, 231.
(W. 1808)


See Economy (Political).


Page 701

6724. POLITICS, Bigotry in.—

What an
effort of bigotry in politics * * * have
we gone through! The barbarians really flattered
themselves they should be able to bring
back the times of Vandalism, when ignorance
put everything into the hands of power
and priestcraft. All advances in science were
proscribed as innovations. They pretended
to praise and encourage education, but it
was to be the education of our ancestors.
We were to look backwards, not forwards,
for improvement; the President himself
[John Adams] declaring in one of his
answers to addresses, that we were never to
expect to go beyond them in real science.—
To Dr. Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 373. Ford ed., viii, 21.
(W. 1801)

6725. POLITICS, Commercial influence.—

The system of alarm and jealousy
which has been so powerfully played off in
England, has been mimicked here, not entirely
without success. The most long-sighted
politician could not, seven years ago, have
imagined that the people of this wide-extended
country could have been enveloped in
such delusion, and made so much afraid of
themselves and their own power, as to surrender
it spontaneously to those who are
manœuvring them into a form of government,
the principal branches of which May
be beyond their control. The commerce of
England, however, has spread its roots over
the whole face of our country. This is the
real source of all the obliquities of the public
To A. H. Rowan. Washington ed. iv, 256. Ford ed., vii, 280.
(M. 1798)

6726. POLITICS, Conversations on.—

Political conversations I really dislike, and
therefore avoid where I can without affectation.
But when urged by others, I have
never conceived that having been in public
life requires me to belie my sentiments, or
even to conceal them. When I am led by
conversation to express them, I do it with the
same independence here which I have practiced
everywhere, and which is inseparable
from my nature.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iv, 142. Ford ed., vii, 83.
(M. 1796)

6727. POLITICS, Destructive of happiness.—

Politics and party hatreds destroy the happiness of every being here. They seem, like
salamanders, to consider fire as their element.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. D. L. J.,249.
(Pa., May. 1798)

6728. POLITICS, Differences in.—

never suffered a political to become a personal
To Timothy Pickering. Washington ed. vii, 210.
(M. 1821)

6729. POLITICS, Dislike of.—

It is a relief
to be withdrawn from the torment of the
scenes amidst which we are. Spectators of
the heats and tumults of conflicting parties,
we cannot help participating of their feelings.
* * *.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. Ford ed., v, 487.
(Pa., March. 1792)

6730. POLITICS, Divorce from.—

In my
retirement I shall certainly divorce myself
from all part in political affairs. To get rid
of them is the principal object of my retirement,
and the first thing necessary to the
happiness which it is in vain to look for in
any other situation.—
To Benjamin Stoddert. Washington ed. v, 427. Ford ed., ix, 246.
(W. 1809)

6731. POLITICS, A duty.—

Politics is
my duty.—
To Harry Innes. Ford ed., v, 294.
(Pa., 1791)

6732. POLITICS, Estrangement from.—

I think it is Montaigne who has said that
ignorance is the softest pillow on which a
man can rest his head. I am sure it is
true as to everything political, and shall endeavor
to estrange myself to everything of
that character.—
To Edmund Randolph. Washington ed. iv, 101. Ford ed., vi, 498.
(M. Feb. 1794)

6733. POLITICS, French furnace of.—

The gay and thoughtless Paris is now become
a furnace of politics. All the world is
now politically mad. Men, women, children
talk nothing else, and you know that naturally
they talk much, loud and warm. Society
is spoiled by it, at least for those who,
like myself, are but lookers on.—
To Mrs. William Bingham. Ford ed., v, 9.
(P. 1788)

6734. POLITICS, Hateful.—

The ensuing
year will be the longest of my life, and the
last of such hateful labors. The next we
will sow our cabbages together.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. Ford ed., v, 488.
(March. 1792)

6735. POLITICS, Hateful.—[continued].

I am to thank you for
forwarding M. d'Ivernois's book on the
French Revolution. But it is on politics, a
subject I never loved, and now hate.—
To John Adams. Ford ed., vii, 56.
(M. Feb. 1796)

6736. POLITICS, Influencing.—

I have
made great progress into the MS., and still
with the same pleasure. I have no doubt it
must produce great effect. But that this
may be the greatest possible, its coming out
should be timed to the best advantage. It
should come out just so many days before
the meeting of Congress as will prevent suspicions
of its coming with them, yet so as
to be a new thing when they arrive, ready
to get into their hands while yet unoccupied.
* * * I will direct it to appear a fortnight
before their meeting unless you order otherwise.
It might as well be thrown into a
churchyard, as come out now.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vi, 404.
(Pa., 1793)

6737. POLITICS, Knowledge of European.—

I often doubt whether I should
trouble Congress or my friends with * * * details of European politics. I know they do
not excite that interest in America of which
it is impossible for one to divest himself
here. I know, too, that it is a maxim with
us, and I think it a wise one, not to entangle
ourselves with the affairs of Europe.
Still, I think we should know them. The
Turks have practiced the same maxim of not
meddling in the complicated wrangles of this


Page 702
continent. But they have unwisely chosen to
be ignorant of them also, and it is this total
ignorance of Europe, its combinations, and
its movements which exposes them to that
annihilation possibly about taking place.
While there are powers in Europe which fear
our views, or have views on us, we should
keep an eye on them, their connections and
oppositions, that in a moment of need we
may avail ourselves of their weakness with
respect to others as well as ourselves, and
calculate their designs and movements on all
the circumstances under which they exist.
Though I am persuaded, therefore, that these
details are read by many with great indifference,
yet I think it my duty to enter into
them, and to run the risk of giving too
much, rather than too little information.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 334. Ford ed., iv, 482.
(P. 1787)

6738. POLITICS, Liberation from.—

shall be liberated from the hated occupations
of politics, and remain in the bosom of my
family, my farm, and my books.—
To Mrs. Church. Ford ed., vi, 455.
(G. 1793)

6739. POLITICS, A maxim in.—

maxim of your letter “slow and sure” is not
less a good one in agriculture than in politics.
I sincerely wish it may extricate us
from the event of a war, if this can be done
saving our faith and our rights.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iv, 106. Ford ed., vi, 510.
(M. May. 1794)

6740. POLITICS, Moral right and.—

Political interest can never be separated in
the long run from moral right.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., viii, 477.
(W. 1806)

6741. POLITICS, Neutrality in factional.—

We must be neutral between the
discordant republicans, but not between them
and their common enemies.—
To Robert Smith. Ford ed., viii, 318.
(M. 1804)

6742. POLITICS, Pamphlets on.—

will receive some pamphlets * * * on
the acts of the last session. These I would
wish you to distribute, not to sound men
who have no occasion for them, but to such
as have been misled, are candid, and will
be open to the conviction of truth, and are
of influence among their neighbors. It is
the sick who need medicine, and not the well.—
To Archibald Stuart. Washington ed. iv, 286. Ford ed., vii, 354.
(Pa., 1799)

6743. POLITICS, Partizan.—

You have
found on your return [from Europe] a
higher style of political difference than you
had left here. I fear this is inseparable from
the different constitutions of the human
mind, and that degree of freedom which permits
unrestrained expression.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iv, 176. Ford ed., vii, 128.
(Pa., 17971797)gt;

6744. POLITICS, Passions and.—

and I have formerly seen warm debates and
high political passions. But gentlemen of
different politics would then speak to each
other, and separate the business of the Senate
from that of society. It is not so now. Men
who have been intimate all their lives, cross
the streets to avoid meeting, and turn their
heads another way, lest they should be
obliged to touch their hats. This may do for
young men with whom passion is enjoyment;
but it is afficting to peaceable minds.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 191. Ford ed., vii, 154.
(Pa., June. 1797)

6745. POLITICS, Price of wheat and.—

Wherever there was any considerable portion
of federalism, it has been so much reinforced
by those of whose politics the price of wheat
is the sole principle, that federalists will be
retained from many districts of Virginia.—
To President Madison. Washington ed. v, 443.
(M. April. 1809)

6746. POLITICS, Propriety and.—

I have
had a proposition to meet Mr. [Patrick] Henry this month, to confer on the subject
of a convention, to the calling of which he
is now become a convert; * * * but the
impropriety of my entering into consultation
on a measure in which I would take no part,
is a permanent one.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 118. Ford ed., vii, 11.
(M. April. 1795)

6747. POLITICS, Propriety and.—[continued].

The question of a [constitutional] convention is become a party one
with which I shall not intermeddle.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Ford ed., x, 47.
(M. 1816)

6748. POLITICS, Pursuit of.—

I am glad
to find that among the various branches of
science presenting themselves to your mind,
you have fixed on that of politics as your
principal pursuit. Your country will derive
from this a more immediate and sensible
benefit. She has much for you to do. For,
though we may say with confidence, that the
worst of the American constitutions is better
than the best which ever existed before in
any other country, and that they are wonderfully
perfect for a first essay, yet every
human essay must have defects. It will remain,
therefore, to those now coming on the
stage of public affairs, to perfect what has
been so well begun by those going off it.—
To T. M. Randolph, Jr. Washington ed. ii, 175. Ford ed., iv, 403.
(P. 1787)

6749. POLITICS, Pursuit of.—[continued].

Having pursued your
main studies [in France] about two years,
and acquired a facility in speaking French,
take a tour of four or five months through
this country and Italy, return then to Virginia,
and pass a year in Williamsburg under
the care of Mr. Wythe; and you will be ready
to enter on the public stage, with superior
To T. M. Randolph, Jr. Washington ed. ii, 176. Ford ed., iv, 405.
(P. 1787)

6750. POLITICS, Reformation of.—

Politics, like religion, holds up the torches
of martyrdom to the reformers of error.—
To Mr. Ogilvie. Washington ed. v, 605.
(M. 1811)

6751. POLITICS, Retirement from.—

ought not to quit the port in which I am
quietly moored to commit myself again to the
stormy ocean of political or party contest,


Page 703
to kindle new enmities, and lose old friends.
No, tranquillity is the summum bonum of old age, and there is a time when
it is a duty to leave the government of the
world to the existing generation, and to repose
one's self under their protecting hand.
That time is come with me, and I welcome
To Samuel H. Smith. Ford ed., x, 263.
(M. Aug. 1823)

See Retirement.

6752. POLITICS, Revolution in.—

Things have so much changed their aspect,
it is like a new world. Those who know
us only from 1775 to 1793, can form no better
idea of us now than of the inhabitants of
the moon; I mean as to political matters.—
To Colonel Hawkins. Washington ed. iv, 326. Ford ed., vii, 435.
(Pa., March. 1800)

6753. POLITICS, Taxation and.—

purse of the people is the real seat of sensibility.
It is to be drawn upon largely, and
they will then listen to truths which could
not excite them through any other organ.—
To A. H. Rowan. Washington ed. iv, 257. Ford ed., vii, 281.
(M. 1798)

6754. POLITICS, Taxation and.—[continued].

Excessive taxation * * * will carry reason and reflection to every
man's door, and particularly in the hour of
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 259. Ford ed., vii, 310.
(M. 1798)

6755. POLITICS, Torment of.—

It is a
relief to be withdrawn from the torment of
the scenes amidst which we are. Spectators
of the heats and tumults of conflicting
parties, we cannot help participating of their
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. Ford ed., v, 487.
(Pa., March. 1792)

6756. POLITICS, Torment of.—[continued].

Politics is such a torment
that I would advise every one I love
not to mix with it.—
To Martha Jefferson Randolph. D. L. J. 262.
(Pa., 1800)


See Inventions.

— POLYPOTAMIA, Proposed State of.—

See Western Territory.

6757. POOR, Care of.—

The poor who
have neither property, friends, nor strength to
labor, are boarded in the houses of good farmers,
to whom a stipulated sum is annually paid.
To those who are able to help themselves a
little, or have friends from whom they derive
some succor, inadequate however to their full
maintenance, supplementary aids are given
which enable them to live comfortably in their
own houses, or in the houses of their friends.
* * * From Savannah to Portsmouth, you will
seldom meet a beggar. In the larger towns, indeed,
they sometimes present themselves. These
are usually foreigners, who have never obtained
a settlement in any parish. I never yet saw a
native American begging in the streets or highways.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 375. Ford ed., iii, 239.

6758. POPE PIUS VI., Influence of.—

A dispute has arisen between the Papal See and
the King of Naples, which may in its progress
enable us to estimate what degree of influence
that See retains at the present day. The Kingdom
of Naples, at an early period of its history,
became feudatory to the See of Rome, and
in acknowledgment thereof, has annually paid a
hackney to the Pope in Rome, to which place
it has always been sent by a splendid embassy.
The hackney has been refused by the King this
year, and the Pope, giving him three months to
return to obedience, threatens, if he does not,
to proceed seriously against him.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. ii, 454.
(P. 1788)

6759. POPULATION, America's capacity for.—

The territory of the United States
contains about a million of square miles, English.
There is, in them, a greater proportion of fertile
lands than in the British dominions in Europe.
Suppose the territory of the United States, then,
to attain an equal degree of population with
the British European dominions, they will have
an hundred millions of inhabitants. Let us extend
our views to what may be the population
of North and South America, supposing them
divided at the narrowest part of the Isthmus of
Panama. Between this line and that of 50° of
north latitude, the northern continent contains
about five millions of square miles, and south
of this line of division the southern continent
contains about seven millions of square miles.
* * * Here are twelve millions of square miles
which, at the rate of population before assumed,
will nourish twelve hundred millions of inhabitants,
a greater number than the present
population of the whole globe is supposed to
amount to. If those who propose medals for
the resolution of questions, about which nobody
makes any question, those who have invited discussion
on the pretended problem, “whether the
discovery of America was for the good of mankind ”? if they, I say, would have viewed it
only as doubling the numbers of mankind, and,
of course, the quantum of existence and happiness,
they might have saved the money and
the reputation which their proposition has cost
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 275. Ford ed., iv, 179.
(P. 1786)

6760. POPULATION, Extension of.—

The present population of the inhabited parts
of the United States is of about ten to the
square mile; and experience has shown us,
that wherever we reach that, the inhabitants
become uneasy, as too much compressed, and
so go off in great numbers to search for vacant
country. Within forty years their whole territory
will be peopled at that rate. We may fix
that, then, as the term beyond which the people
of those States will not be restricted within
their present limits; we may fix that population,
too, as the limit which they will not exceed till
the whole of those two continents are filled up
to that mark, that is to say, till they shall contain
one hundred and twenty millions of inhabitants.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 275. Ford ed., iv, 180.
(P. 1786)

6761. POPULATION, Extension of.—[continued].

The soil of the country
on the western side of the Mississippi, its climate
and its vicinity to the United States, point
it out as the first which will receive population
from that nest. The present occupiers will just
have force enough to repress and restrain the
emigrations to a certain degree of consistence.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 276. Ford ed., iv, 180.
(P. 1786)

6762. POPULATION, Extension of.—[further continued].

We have lately seen a
single person go and decide on a settlement in
Kentucky, many hundred miles from any white
inhabitant, remove thither with his family and
a few neighbors; and though perpetually harassed
by the Indians, that settlement in the
course of ten years has acquired thirty thousand
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 276. Ford ed., iv, 181.
(P. 1786)


Page 704

6763. POPULATION, Growth of.—

census just now concluded, shows we have added
to our population a third of what it was
ten years ago. This will be a duplication in
twenty-three or twenty-four years. If we can
delay but for a few years the necessity of
vindicating the laws of nature on the ocean,
we shall be the more sure of doing it with effect.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iv, 415. Ford ed., viii, 98.
(W. Oct. 1801)

6764. POPULATION, Growth of.—[continued].

Our growth is now so
well established by regular enumerations through
a course of forty years, and the same grounds of
continuance so likely to endure for a much
longer period, that, speaking in round numbers,
we may safely call ourselves twenty millions
in twenty years, and forty millions in forty
To Sir John Sinclair. Washington ed. vii, 22.
(M. 1816)

See Emigration.

6765. POPULATION, Happiness and.—

The increase of numbers during the last
ten years, proceeding in a geometrical ratio,
promises a duplication in a little more than
twenty-two years. We contemplate this rapid
growth, and the prospect it holds up to us, not
with a view to the injuries it may enable us to
do to others in some future day, but to the settlement
of the extensive country still remaining
vacant within our limits, to the multiplications
of men susceptible of happiness, educated
in the love of order, habituated to self-government,
and valuing its blessings above all
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 8. Ford ed., viii, 119.

6766. POPULATION, Malefactors and.—

The malefactors sent to America were not
sufficient in number to merit enumeration as
one class out of three which peopled America.
It was at a late period of their history that this
practice began. * * * I do not think the
whole number sent would amount to two thousand,
and being principally men, eaten up with
disease, they married seldom and propagated
little. I do not suppose that themselves and
their descendants are at present four thousand,
which is little more than one thousandth part
of the whole inhabitants.—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 254. Ford ed., iv, 158.
(P. 1786)

6767. POPULATION, Preventing.—

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

6768. POPULATION, Theories of Malthus.—

Malthus's work on Population is a work of sound logic, in which some of the
opinions of Adam Smith, as well as of the
Economists, are ably examined. * * * The
differences of circumstances between this and
the old countries of Europe, furnish differences
of fact whereon to reason in
questions of political economy, and will consequently
produce sometimes a difference of result.
There, for example, the quantity of food
is fixed, or increasing in a slow and only arithmetical
ratio, and the proportion is limited by
the same ratio. Supernumerary births consequently
add only to your mortality. Here the
immense extent of uncultivated and fertile
lands enables every one who will labor to marry
young, and to raise a family of any size. Our
food, then, may increase geometrically with our
laborers, and our births, however multiplied,
become effective. Again, there the best distri
bution of labor is supposed to be that which
places the manufacturing hands alongside of the
agricultural; so that the one part shall feed
both, and the other part furnish both with
clothes and other comforts. Would that be
best here? Egoism and first appearances say
“yes”. Or would it be better that all our
laborers should be employed in agriculture?
In this case a double or treble portion of fertile
lands would be brought into culture; a double or
treble creation of food be produced, and its surplus
go to nourish the now perishing births of
Europe, who in return would manufacture and
send us in exchange our clothes and other comforts.
Morality listens to this, and so invariably
do the laws of nature create our duties and
interests, that when they seem to be at variance,
we ought to suspect some fallacy in our reasonings.
In solving this question, too, we
should allow just weight to the moral and physical
preference of the agricultural, over the
manufacturing, man.—
To M. Say, Washington ed. iv, 526.
(W. Feb. 1804)

See Malthus.

6769. PORTER (David), Complaint against.—

Mr. Madison * * * suggests
the expediency of immediately taking up the
case of Captain Porter, against whom Mr. Erskine
[British minister] lodged a very serious
complaint, for an act of violence committed
on a British seaman in the Mediterranean.
While Mr. Erskine was reminded of the mass
of complaints we had against his government
for similar violences, he was assured that contending
against such irregularities ourselves,
and requiring satisfaction for them, we did not
mean to follow the example, and that on Captain
Porter's return, it should be properly inquired
into. The sooner this is done the better;
because if Great Britain settles with us
satisfactorily all our subsisting differences, and
should require in return (to have an appearance
of reciprocity of wrong as well as redress), a
marked condemnation of Captain Porter, it
would be embarrassing were that the only obstacle
to a peaceable settlement, and the more
so as we cannot but disavow his act. On the
contrary, if we immediately look into it, we
shall be more at liberty to be moderate in the
censure of it, on the very ground of British
example; and the case being once passed upon,
we can more easily avoid the passing on it a
second time, as against a settled principle. It
is, therefore, to put it in our power to let Captain
Porter off as easily as possible, as a valuable
officer whom we all wish to favor, that I
suggest to you the earliest attention to the inquiry,
and the promptest settlement of it.—
To Robert Smith. Washington ed. v, 192. Ford ed., ix, 138.
(M. Sep. 1807)

6770. PORTUGAL, Commerce with.—

am in hopes Congress will send a minister to
Lisbon. I know no country with which we are
likely to cultivate a more useful commerce. I
have pressed this in my private letters.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. i, 530.
(P. 1786)

6771. PORTUGAL, Commerce with.—[continued].

[In arranging the treaty
of commerce] we wished much to have had
some privileges in their American possessions;
but this was not to be effected. The right to
import flour into Portugal, though not conceded
by the treaty, we are not without hopes of
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. i, 551.
(P. 1786)

6772. PORTUGAL, Commerce with.—[further continued].

While in London we
entered into negotiations with the Chevalier
Pinto, Ambassador of Portugal at that place.
The only article of difficulty between us was a
stipulation that our bread stuff should be received


Page 705
in Portugal in the form of flour as well as of grain. He approved of it himself, but
observed that several Nobles, of great influence
at their court, were the owners of wind-mills
in the neighborhood of Lisbon which depended
much for their profits on manufacturing our
wheat, and that this stipulation would endanger
the whole treaty. He signed it, however, and
its fate was what he had candidly portended.—
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 64. Ford ed., i, 90.

6773. PORTUGAL, Government of.—

The government of Portugal is so peaceable
and inoffensive that it has never any altercations
with its friends. If their minister abroad
writes them once a quarter that all is well, they
desire no more.—
To F. W. Gilmer. Washington ed. vii, 5. Ford ed., x, 33.
(M. 1816)

6774. PORTUGAL, Government of.—[continued].

During six and thirty
years that I have been in situations to attend
to the conduct and characters of foreign nations,
I have found the government of Portugal
the most just, inoffensive, and unambitious of
any one with which we had concern, without a
single exception. I am sure that this is the
character of ours also. Two such nations can
never wish to quarrel with each other.—
To J. Correa. Washington ed. vii, 184. Ford ed., x, 164.
(M. 1820)

6775. POSTERITY, Judgment of.—

is fortunate for those in public trust, that posterity
will judge them by their works, and not
by the malignant vituperations and invectives
of the Pickerings and Gardiners of their age.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 62.
(M. 1817)

6776. POSTERITY, Sacrifices for.—

It is from posterity we are to expect remuneration
for the sacrifices we are making for their service,
of time, quiet and good will.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vii, 394.
(M. 1825)

6777. POSTERITY, Sacrifices for.—[continued].

It has 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.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. vii, 435. Ford ed., x, 378.
(M. 1826)

6778. POST OFFICE, Appointments.—

A very early recommendation * * * [was] given to the Postmaster General to employ no
printer, foreigner, or revolutionary tory in any
of his offices.—
To Nathaniel Macon. Washington ed. iv, 397.
(W. May. 1801)

6779. POST OFFICE, Appointments.—[continued].

The true remedy for
putting those [Post office] appointments into a
wholesome state would be a law vesting them
in the President, but without the intervention
of the Senate. That intervention would make
the matter worse. Every Senator would expect
to dispose of all the post offices in his vicinage,
or perhaps in his State. At present the President
has some control over those appointments
by his authority over the postmaster himself.—
To President Madison. Ford ed., ix, 460.
(M. 1814)

6780. POST OFFICE, Benefits of.—

wish the regulation of the post office, adopted
by Congress * * *, could be put in practice.
It was for the travel night and day, and
to go their several stages three times a week.
The speedy and frequent communication of intelligence
is really of great consequence. So
many falsehoods have been propagated that
nothing now is believed unless coming from
Congress or camp. Our people, merely for
want of intelligence which they may rely on,
are becoming lethargic and insensible of the
state they are in.—
To John Adams. Ford ed., ii, 130.
(May. 1777)

6781. POST OFFICE, The Colonial.—

[The] exercises of usurped power [by Parliament] have not been confined to instances alone
in which themselves were interested; but they
have also intermeddled with the regulation
of the internal affairs of the Colonies.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 130. Ford ed., i, 434.

6782. POST OFFICE, The Colonial.—[continued].

The act of the 9th [year] of [Queen] Anne for establishing a post office in
America, seems to have had little connection
with British convenience, except that of accommodating
his Majesty's ministers and favorites
with the sale of a lucrative and easy office.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 130. Ford ed., i, 434.

6783. POST OFFICE, Expediting mails.—

Congress have adopted the late improvement
in the British post office, of sending their
mails by the stages.—
To Wm. Carmichael. Washington ed. i, 475.
(P. 1785)

6784. POST OFFICE, Expediting mails.—[continued].

I opened to the President
a proposition for doubling the velocity of
the post riders, who now travel about fifty miles
a day, and might, without difficulty, go one
hundred, and for taking measures (by way-bills)
to know where the delay is, when there is any.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 101. Ford ed., i, 174.

6785. POST OFFICE, Expediting mails.—[further continued].

I am now on a plan with
the Postmaster General to make the posts go
from Philadelphia to Richmond in two days and
a half instead of six, which I hope to persuade
him is practicable.—
To T. M. Randolph. Ford ed., v, 456.
(Pa., 1792)

6786. POST OFFICE, Foreign mails.—

The person at the head of the post office here
says he proposed to Dr. Franklin a convention
to facilitate the passage of letters through their
office and ours, and that he delivered a draft of
the convention proposed, that it might be sent
to Congress. I think it possible he may be mistaken
in this, as, on my mentioning it to Dr.
Franklin, he did not recollect any such draft
having been put into his hands. An answer,
however, is expected by them. I mention it,
that Congress may decide whether they will
make any convention on the subject, and on
what principle. The one proposed here was,
that, for letters passing hence into America,
the French postage should be collected by our
post officers, and paid every six months, and for
letters coming from America here, the American
postage should be collected by the post officers
here, and paid to us in like manner. A second
plan, however, presents itself; that is, to suppose
the sums to be thus collected, on each side,
will be equal, or so nearly equal, that the balance
will not pay for the trouble of keeping accounts,
and for the little bickerings that the settlement
of accounts and demands of the balances
may occasion; and therefore, to make an
exchange of postage. This would better secure
our harmony; but I do not know that it would
be agreed to here. If not, the other might then
be agreed to.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 410.
(P. 1785)

6787. POST OFFICE, Infidelities in foreign.—

The infidelities of the post offices,
both of England and France, are not unknown
to you. The former are the most rascally, because
they retain one's letters, not choosing to


Page 706
take the trouble of copying them. The latter,
when they have taken copies, are so civil as to
send the originals, resealed clumsily with a
composition, on which they have previously
taken the impression of the seal.—
To R. Izard. Washington ed. i, 442.
(P. 1785)

6788. POST OFFICE, Infidelities in foreign.—[continued].

Send your letters by the
French packet. They come by that conveyance
with certainty, having first undergone the ceremony
of being opened and read in the post office,
which I am told is done in every country
in Europe.—
To James Monroe. Ford ed., iv, 33.
(P. 1785)

6789. POST OFFICE, Infidelities in foreign.—[further continued].

All letters [are] opened
which come either through the French or English
channel, unless trusted to a messenger. I
think I never received one through the post
office which had not been. It is generally discoverable
by the smokiness of the wax and
faintness of the reimpression. Once they sent
me a letter open, having forgotten to reseal it.—
To Richard H. Lee. Ford ed., iv, 69.
(P. 1785)

6790. POST OFFICE, Infidelities in foreign.—[further continued] .

[I wrote] on such things
only as both the French and English post offices
were welcome to see.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. i, 590. Ford ed., iv, 250.
(P. 1786)

6791. POST OFFICE, Newspaper postage.—

I desired you * * * to send the
newspapers notwithstanding the expense. I
had then no idea of it. Some late instances
have made me perfectly acquainted with it. I
have, therefore been obliged * * * to have
my newspapers from the different States, enclosed
to the office for Foreign Affairs, and to
desire Mr. Jay to pack the whole in a box, and
send it * * * as merchandise. * * * In this way, they will cost me livres where
they now cost me guineas.—
To F. Hopkinson. Washington ed. i, 441.
(P. 1785)

6792. POST OFFICE, Patronage of.—

said to President Washington] that I thought
it would be advantageous to declare [that the
Post office is included in the Department of
State] for another reason, to wit, that the Department
of Treasury possessed already such
an influence as to swallow up the whole Executive
powers, and that even the future Presidents
(not supported by the weight of character
which himself possessed) would not be able to
make head against this Department. That in
urging this measure I had certainly no personal
interest, since, if I was supposed to have any
appetite for power, yet as my career would certainly
be exactly as short as his own, the intervening
time was too short to be an object. My
real wish was to avail the public of every occasion
during the residue of the President's
period, to place things on a safe footing.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 101. Ford ed., i, 174.
(Feb. 1792)

6793. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—

The interruption of letters is becoming so
notorious, that I am forming a resolution of
declining correspondence with my friends
through the channels of the Post Office altogether.—
To E. Randolph. Washington ed. iv, 192. Ford ed., vii, 156.
(Pa., June. 1797)

6794. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[continued].

The impression of my
seal on wax (which shall be constant hereafter)
will discover whether my letters are opened by
the way. The nature of some of my communications
furnishes ground of inquietude for their
safe conveyance.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 231. Ford ed., vii, 230.
(Pa., April. 1798)

6795. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued].

To avoid the suspicions
and curiosity of the post office, which would
have been excited by seeing your name [390] and
mine on the back of a letter, I have delayed
acknowledging the receipt of your favor * * * till an occasion to write to an inhabitant of
Wilmington gives me an opportunity of putting
my letter under cover to him.—
To Archibald Hamilton Rowan. Washington ed. iv, 256. Ford ed., vii, 280.
(M. 1798)


Rowan was one of the leaders in the Irish Rebellion
of 1798.—Editor.

6796. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued] .

The infidelities of the
post office and the circumstances of the times
are against my writing fully and freely.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. iv, 259. Ford ed., vii, 309.
(M. 1798)

6797. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued].

I shall follow your direction
in conveying this [letter] by a private
hand, though I know not as yet when one
worthy of confidence will occur. * * * Did
we ever expect to see the day, when, breathing
nothing but sentiments of love, to our
country and its freedom and happiness, our
correspondence must be as secret as if we
were hatching its destruction!—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 273. Ford ed., vii, 335.
(Pa., 17991799)gt;

6798. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued] .

A want of confidence in
the post office deters me from writing to my
friends on the subject of politics.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 297. Ford ed., vii, 368.
(Pa., 1799)

6799. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued].

From the commencement
of the ensuing session [of Congress], I
shall trust the post offices with nothing confidential,
persuaded that during the ensuing
twelve months they will lend their inquisitorial
aid to furnish matter for newspapers.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 307. Ford ed., vii, 400.
(M. Nov. 1799)

6800. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued] .

One of your electors
* * * offers me a safe conveyance at a moment
when the post offices will be peculiarly
suspicious and prying. Your answer may come
by post without danger, if directed in some
other handwriting than your own.—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 339. Ford ed., vii, 466.
(W. Dec. 1800)

6801. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued]..

Mr. Brown's departure
for Virginia enables me to write confidentially
what I could not have ventured by the post at
this prying season.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 342. Ford ed., vii, 470.
(W. Dec. 1800)

6802. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued] .

I shall neither frank nor
subscribe my letter, because I do not choose to
commit myself to the fidelity of the post office.
For the same reason, I have avoided putting
pen to paper through the whole summer, except
on mere business, because I knew it was a prying
To Tench Coxe. Washington ed. iv, 345. Ford ed., vii, 474.
(W. Dec. 1800)

6803. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued]..

I dare not through the
channel of the post hazard a word to you on the
subject of the [Presidential] election. Indeed
the interception and publication of my letters
expose the republican cause, as well as myself
personally, to such obloquy that I have
come to a resolution never to write another sentence
of politics in a letter.—
To James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 484.
(W. Feb. 1801)

6804. POST OFFICE, Political spies in.—[further continued]

Several letters from you have not been acknowledged. By the post I
dare not, * * *.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 354. Ford ed., vii, 490.
(W. Feb. 1801)


Page 707

6805. POST OFFICE, Reformed.—

letters through the post will now come safely.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 393. Ford ed., viii, 43.
(W. March. 1801)

6806. POST OFFICE, Reformed.—[continued].

I trust that the post is
become a safe channel to and from me. I have
heard, indeed, of some extraordinary licences
practiced in the post offices of your State, and
there is nothing I desire so much as information
of facts on that subject, to rectify the office.—
To Gideon Granger. Ford ed., viii, 44.
(W. March. 1801)

6807. POST ROADS, Building.—

you considered all the consequences of your
proposition respecting post roads? I view it
as a source of boundless patronage to the
Executive, jobbing to members of Congress
and their friends, and a bottomless abyss of
public money. You will begin by appropriating
only the surplus of the Post Office revenues;
but the other revenues will soon be
called into their aid, and it will be the source
of eternal scramble among the members, who
can get the most money wasted in their
State; and they will always get most who
are meanest. We have thought, hitherto,
that the roads of a State could not be so well
administered even by the State Legislature,
as by the magistracy of the county, on the
spot. How will it be when a member of
New Hampshire is to mark out a road for
Georgia? Does the power to establish post
roads, given you by the Constitution, mean
that you shall make the roads, or only select from those already made, those on which
there shall be a post? If the term be equivocal
(and I really do not think it so,) which
is the safer construction? That which permits
a majority of Congress to go cutting
down mountains and bridging of rivers, or
the other, which, if too restricted, may be
referred to the States for amendment, securing
still due measure and proportion among
us, and providing some means of information
to the members of Congress tantamount to
that ocular inspection, which, even in our
county determinations, the magistrate finds
cannot be supplied by any other evidence?
The fortification of harbors was liable to
great objection. But national circumstances
furnished some color. In this case there is
none. The roads of America are the best in
the world except those of France and England.
But does the state of our population,
the extent of our internal commerce, the
want of sea and river navigation, call for
such expense on roads here, or are our means
adequate to it?—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 131. Ford ed., vii, 63.
(M. March. 1796)

6808. POST ROADS, Expense.—

I very
much fear the road system will be urged.
The mines of Peru would not supply the
moneys which would be wasted on this object,
nor the patience of any people stand the
abuses which would be incontrollably committed
under it.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 344. Ford ed., vii, 472.
(W. Dec. 1800)

6809. POST ROADS, Jobbery.—

Roads bill will be a bottomless abyss for
money, the most fruitful field for—[391] and
the richest provision for jobs to favorites that
has ever yet been proposed.—
To Cæsar Rodney. Ford ed., vii, 473.
(W. Dec. 1800)


Illegible in MS.

6810. POSTS (Western), England's detention of.—

England shows no dispositions to enter into friendly connections with us. On
the contrary, her detention of our posts seems
to be the speck which is to produce a storm.—
To R. Izard. Washington ed. i, 442.
(P. 1785)

6811. POSTS (Western), England's detention of.—[continued].

The British garrisons were not withdrawn with all convenient speed,
nor have ever yet been withdrawn from Machilimackinac,
on Lake Michigan; Detroit, on the
straits of Lake Erie and Huron; Fort Erie, on
Lake Erie; Niagara, Oswego, on Lake Ontario;
Oswegatchie, on the River St. Lawrence; Point
Au-Fer, and Dutchman's Point, on Lake Champlain.—
To George Hammond. Ford ed., vi, 468.
(P. Dec. 1793)

6812. POSTS (Western), France and.—

The question * * * proposed [by you],
“How far France considers herself as bound
to insist on the delivery of the posts”, would
infallibly produce another, “How far we consider
ourselves as guarantees of their American
possessions, and bound to enter into any future
war in which these may be attacked”? The
words of the treaty of alliance seem to be
without ambiguity on either head, yet I should
be afraid to commit Congress by answering
without authority. I will endeavor on my return
[from London to Paris] to sound the
opinion of the minister, if possible without exposing
myself to the other question. Should
anything forcible be meditated on these posts,
it would possibly be thought prudent, previously,
to ask the good offices of France to obtain
their delivery. In this case, they would probably
say, we must first execute the treaty on
our part by repealing all acts which have contravened
it. Now this measure, if there be any
candor in the court of London, would suffice
to obtain a delivery of the posts from them
without the mediation of any third power.
However, if this mediation should be finally
needed, I see no reason to doubt our obtaining
it, and still less to question its omnipotent influence
on the British court.—
To John Jay. Washington ed. i, 539. Ford ed., iv, 200.
(L. March. 1786)

6813. POSTS (Western), Indian murders.—

Were the western posts in our possession,
it cannot be doubted but there would
be an end to the murders daily committed by
the Indians on our Northwestern frontier, and
to a great part of the expense of our armaments
in that quarter.—
To George Hammond. Ford ed., vi, 321.

6814. POTATO, Nativity of.—

You say
in your “General Geography” the potato is a
native of the United States. I presume you
speak of the Irish potato. I have inquired
much into the question, and think I can assure
you that the plant is not a native of North
America. Zimmerman. in his “Geographical Zoology ”, says it is a native of Guiana; and Clavigers,
that the Mexicans got it from South
America, its native country. The most probable
account I have been able to collect is, that
a vessel of Sir Walter Raleigh's, returning from
Guiana, put into the west of Ireland in distress,
having on board some potatoes which
they called earth apples. That the season of the
year, and circumstance of their being already
sprouted, induced them to give them all out


Page 708
there, and they were no more heard or thought
of, till they had spread considerably into that
island, whence they were carried over into
England, and, therefore, called the Irish potato.
From England they came to the United States
bringing their name with them.—
To Mr. Spafford. Washington ed. v, 445.
(M. 1809)


See Canal.

6815. POWER, Abridgment of.—

The functionaries of public power rarely strengthen
in their dispositions to abridge it.—
To John Taylor. Washington ed. vi, 608. Ford ed., x, 31.
(M. 1816)

6816. POWER, Abuses.—

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

6817. POWER, Depositaries of.—

other depositaries of power [than the people
themselves] have ever yet been found, which
did not end in converting to their own profit
the earnings of those committed to their
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 36. Ford ed., x, 45.
(M. 1816)

6818. POWER, Depositaries of.—[continued].

I know no safe depositary
of the ultimate powers of the society
but the people themselves; and if we
think them not enlightened enough to exercise
their control with a wholesome discretion,
the remedy is not to take it from them,
but to inform their discretion by education.—
To William C. Jarvis. Washington ed. vii, 179. Ford ed., x, 161.
(M. 1820)

6819. POWER, Exercise of.—

I have
never been able to conceive how any rational
being could propose happiness to himself
from the exercise of power over others.—
To M. Destutt Tracy. Washington ed. v, 569. Ford ed., ix, 308.
(M. 1811)

6820. POWER, Exercise of.—[continued].

An honest man can feel
no pleasure in the exercise of power over his
fellow citizens. And considering as the only
offices of power those conferred by the people
directly, that is to say, the Executive and
Legislative functions of the General and
State Governments, the common refusal of
these, and multiplied resignations, are proofs
sufficient that power is not alluring to pure
minds, and is not with them, the primary
principle of contest. This is my belief of it;
it is that on which I have acted; and had it
been a mere contest who should be permitted
to administer the Government according to
its genuine republican principles, there has
never been a moment of my life in which I
should have relinquished for it the enjoyments
of my family, my farm, my friends and
To John Melish. Washington ed. vi, 96. Ford ed., ix, 376.
(M. 1813)

6821. POWER, Exercise of.—[further continued].

In one sentiment of
[your] speech I particularly concur,—“if we
have a doubt relative to any power, we ought
not to exercise it”.—
To Edward Livingston. Washington ed. vii, 343. Ford ed., x, 300.
(M. 1824)

6822. POWER, Independent.—

It should be remembered, as an axiom of eternal truth
in politics, that whatever power in any government
is independent, is absolute also; in
theory only, at first, while the spirit of the
people is up, but in practice, as fast as that
relaxes. Independence can be trusted nowhere
but with the people in mass. They
are inherently independent of all but moral
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 134. Ford ed., x, 141.

6823. POWER, Limitation.—

In a free
country every power is dangerous which is
not bound up by general rules.—
To Philip Mazzei. Ford ed., iv, 116.
(P. 1785)

6824. POWER, Origin of.—

Hume, the
great apostle of toryism, says [in his History
of England, c. 159] “the Commons established
a principle, which is noble in itself,
and seems specious, but is belied by all
history and experience, that the people are
the origin of all just power”.
And where
else will this degenerate son of science, this
traitor to his fellow men, find the origin of
just power, if not in the majority of the society?
Will it be in the minority? Or in
an individual of that minority?—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 356.
(M. 1824)

6825. POWER, Origin of.—[continued].

All power is inherent in
the people.—
To John Cartwright. Washington ed. vii, 357.
(M. 1824)

6826. POWER, Perpetuation of.—

principles of our Constitution are wisely opposed
to all perpetuations of power, and to
every practice which may lead to hereditary
Reply to Address. Washington ed. v, 473.
(M. 1809)

6827. POWER, Perversion of.—

under the best forms [of government] those
entrusted with power have perverted it into
Diffusion of Knowledge Bill. Ford ed., ii, 221.

6828. POWER, Shifting.—

I have never
been so well pleased as when I could shift
power from my own, on the shoulders of
To M. Destutt Tracy. Washington ed. v, 569. Ford ed., ix, 308.
(M. 1811)

6829. POWER, Use of.—

I hope our wisdom
will grow with our power, and teach
us, that the less we use our power, the greater
will it be.—
To Thomas Leiper. Washington ed. vi, 465. Ford ed., ix, 520.
(M. 1815)

See Authority.

6830. POWERS, Assumed.—

I had rather
ask an enlargement of power from the nation,
where it is found necessary, than to assume
where it is found necessary, than to assume
it by a construction [of the Constitution] which would make our powers boundless.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 506. Ford ed., viii, 247.
(M. 1803)

6831. POWERS, Assumed.—[continued].

If, wherever the Constitution
assumes a single power out of many
which belong to the same subject, we should
consider it as assuming the whole, it would
vest the General Government with a mass
of powers never contemplated. On the contrary,
the assumption of particular powers


Page 709
seems an exclusion of all not assumed.—
To Joseph C. Cabell. Washington ed. vi, 310. Ford ed., ix, 452.
(M. 1814)

6832. POWERS, Assumed.—[further continued].

If the three powers
maintain their mutual independence on each
other our Government may last long, but
not so if either can assume the authorities
of the other.—
To William C. Jarvis. Washington ed. vii, 179. Ford ed., x, 161.
(M. 1820)

6833. POWERS, Civil.—

Civil powers
alone have been given to the President of the
United States, and no authority to direct the
religious exercises of his constituents.—
To Rev. Samuel Millar. Washington ed. v, 237. Ford ed., ix, 175.
(W. 1808)

See Religion.

6834. POWERS, Conflicting.—

The peculiar
happiness of our blessed system is,
that in differences of opinion between these
different sets of servants [in the three departments
of the Federal Government], the
appeal is to neither, but to their employers,
peaceably assembled by their representatives
in convention.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 214. Ford ed., x, 190.
(M. 1821)

6835. POWERS, Constitutional.—

keep in all things within the pale of our constitutional
powers, * * * [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.
(Dec. 1802)

6836. POWERS, Constructive.—

States supposed that by their Tenth Amendment,
they had secured themselves against
constructive powers. They were not lessoned
yet by Cohen's Case, nor aware of the slipperiness
of the eels of the law. I ask for no
straining of words against the General Government,
nor yet against the States. I believe
the States can best govern our home
concerns, and the General Government our
foreign ones. I wish, therefore, to see
maintained that wholesome distribution of
powers established by the Constitution for the
limitation of both; and never to see all offices
transferred to Washington, where,
further withdrawn from the eyes of the people,
they may more secretly be bought and
sold as at market.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 297. Ford ed., x, 232.
(M. 1823)

6837. POWERS, Control by the people.—

Unless the mass retains sufficient control
over those intrusted with the powers of their
government, these will be perverted to their
own oppression, and to the perpetuation of
wealth and power in the individuals and
their families selected for the trust.—
To Mr. Van der Kemp. Washington ed. vi, 45.
(M. 1812)

6838. POWERS, Delegated.—

The Constitution
of the United States * * * [has] delegated to Congress a power to punish
treason, counterfeiting the securities and current
coin of the United States, piracies, and
felonies committed on the high seas, and offences
against the law of nations, and no
other crimes whatsoever; and it being true,
as a general principle, and one of the amend
ments to the Constitution having also declared,
that “the powers not delegated to the
United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited
by it to the States, are reserved to
the States respectively, or to the people”,
* * * the power to create, define, and
punish * * * other crimes is reserved,
and of right, appertains solely and exclusively
to the respective States, each within its own
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 465. Ford ed., vii, 292.

6839. POWERS, Delegated.—[continued].

In case of an abuse of
the delegated powers, the members of the
General Government, being chosen by the
people, a change by the people would be the
constitutional remedy.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 469. Ford ed., vii, 301.

6840. POWERS, Distribution of.—

To preserve the republican form and principles
of our Constitution, and cleave to the salutary
distribution of powers, which that has
established, * * * are the two sheet anchors
of our Union. If driven from either,
we shall be in danger of foundering.—
To William Johnson. Washington ed. vii, 298. Ford ed., x, 232.
(M. 1823)

6841. POWERS, Enlarging.—

It [is] inconsistent
with the principles of civil liberty,
and contrary to the natural rights of the
other members of the society, that any body
of men therein should have authority to enlarge
their own powers * * * without restraint.
Allowance Bill. Ford ed., ii, 165.


A Bill in the Virginia Legislature providing for
increased pay and allowances to members.—Editor.

6842. POWERS, Enlarging.—[continued].

Nothing is more likely
than that their [the framers of the Constitution] enumeration of powers is defective.
This is the ordinary case of all human works.
Let us go on, then, perfecting it by adding,
by way of amendment, to the Constitution
those forms which time and trial show are
still wanting.—
To Wilson C. Nicholas. Washington ed. iv, 506. Ford ed., viii, 248.
(M. 1803)

6843. POWERS, The enumerated.—

take a single step beyond the boundaries
specifically drawn around the powers of
Congress [in the enumerated powers] is to
take possession of a boundless field of power,
no longer susceptible of any definition.—
National Bank Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 556. Ford ed., v, 285.

6844. POWERS, The enumerated.—[continued].

A little difference in the
degree of convenience cannot constitute the
necessity which the Constitution makes the
ground for assuming any non-enumerated
National Bank Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 559. Ford ed., v, 288.

6845. POWERS, The enumerated.—[further continued].

[By] the general phrase
“to make all laws necessary and proper for
carrying into execution the enumerated powers ” * * * the Constitution allows only
the means which are “necessary”, not those
which are merely “convenient” for effecting
the enumerated powers. If such a latitude of
construction be allowed to this phrase as to


Page 710
give any non-enumerated power, it will go to
every one, for there is not one which ingenuity
may not torture into a convenience in some instance or other, to some one of so
long a list of enumerated powers. It would
swallow up all the delegated powers, and reduce
the whole to one power. Therefore it
was that the Constitution restrained them to
the necessary means, that is to say, to those
means without which the grant of power would
be nugatory.—
National Bank Opinion. Washington ed. vii, 558. Ford ed., v, 287.

See Manufactures.

6846. POWERS, Indestructible.—

powers [are] incapable of annihilation.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

6847. POWERS, Nullification.—

powers are assumed which have not been
delegated, a nullification of the act is the
rightful remedy.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 469. Ford ed., vii, 301.

6848. POWERS, Organization.—

any form of government becomes destructive
of these ends [life, liberty and the
pursuit of happiness], it is the right of the
people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute
new government, laying its foundation
on such principles, and organizing its powers
in such form, as to them shall seem most
likely to effect their safety and happiness.—
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.

6849. POWERS, Self-constituted.—

shall not undertake to draw the line of demarcation
between private associations of
laudable views and unimposing numbers, and
those whose magnitude may rivalize and
jeopardize the march of regular government.
Yet such a line does exist. I have seen the
days,—they were those which preceded the
Revolution,—when even this last and perilous
engine became necessary; but they were days
which no man would wish to see a second
time. That was the case where the regular
authorities of the government had combined
against the rights of the people, and no
means of correction remained to them but to
organize a collateral power, which, with
their support, might rescue and secure their
violated rights. But such is not the case
with our government. We need hazard no
collateral power, which, by a change of its
original views, and assumption of others we
know not how virtuous or how mischievous,
would be ready organized and in force sufficient
to shake the established foundations
of society, and endanger its peace and the
principles on which it is based. Is not the
machine [393] now proposed of this gigantic
To Jedediah Morse. Washington ed. vii, 234. Ford ed., x, 204.
(M. 1822)


The “machine” was a society for the civilization
of the Indians, to be composed of nearly all the
officers of the Federal and State Governments, the
clergy of all denominations, and as many citizens as
would pay for membership. Jefferson commended
the object, but condemned so vast an organization
as unnecessary, dangerous and bad as a precedent.—Editor.

6850. POWERS, Self-constituted.—[continued]

Might we not as well
appoint a committee for each department of
the Government, to counsel and direct its
head separately, as volunteer ourselves to
counsel and direct the whole, in mass? And
might we not do it as well for their foreign,
their fiscal, and their military, as for their
Indian affairs? And how many societies,
auxiliary to the Government, may we expect
to see spring up, in imitation of this, offering
to associate themselves in this and that of
its functions? In a word, why not take the
Government out of its constitutional hands,
associate them indeed with us, to preserve a
semblance that the acts are theirs, but ensuring
them to be our own by allowing them
a minor vote only?—
To Jedediah Morse. Washington ed. vii, 236. Ford ed., x, 206.
(M. 1822)

6851. POWERS, Separation of.—

principle of the Constitution is that of a separation
of Legislative, Executive and Judiciary
functions, except in cases specified. If
this principle be not expressed in direct
terms, it is clearly the spirit of the Constitution,
and it ought to be so commented and
acted on by every friend of free government.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 161. Ford ed., vii, 108.
(M. Jan. 1797)

6852. POWERS, Undelegated.—

the General Government assumes undelegated
powers, its acts are unauthoritative,
void, and of no force.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 464. Ford ed., vii, 291.

6853. POWERS, Undelegated.—[continued].

This Commonwealth
[Kentucky] is determined, as it doubts not
its co-States are, to submit to undelegated,
and consequently unlimited powers in no
man, or body of men on earth.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 469. Ford ed., vii, 301.

6854. POWERS, Undelegated.—[further continued].

The power to regulate
commerce does not give a power to build
piers, wharves, open ports, clear the beds of
rivers, dig canals, build warehouses, build
manufacturing machines, set up manufactories,
cultivate the earth, to all of which
the power would go if it went to the first.—
To Albert Gallatin. Washington ed. iv, 449. Ford ed., viii, 174.

6855. POWERS, Unlimited.—

I have no
idea of entering into the contest, whether it
be expedient to delegate unlimited powers to
our ordinary governors? My opinion is
against that expediency; but my occupations
do not permit me to undertake to vindicate
all my opinions, nor have they importance
enough to merit it.—
To Noah Webster. Washington ed. iii, 203. Ford ed., v, 257.
(Pa., 1790)
See Bank (U. S.),

6856. PRADT (Abbe de), Writings of.—

Of the character of M. de Pradt his political
writings furnish a tolerable estimate, but
not so full as you have favored me with. He
is eloquent, and his pamphlet on colonies shows
him ingenious. I was gratified by his Recit
because, pretending, as all men do,
to some character, and he to one of some distinction,


Page 711
I supposed he would not place before the world facts of glaring falsehood, on which
so many living and distinguished witnesses
could convict him.—
To John Quincy Adams. Washington ed. vii, 87.
(M. 1817)

6857. PRAISE, Undeserved.—

To give
praise where it is not due might be well from the
venal, but it would ill beseem those who are asserting
the rights of human nature.—
Rights of British America. Washington ed. i, 141. Ford ed., i, 446.

6858. PRECEDENT. Oppression and.—

For what oppression may not a precedent be
found in this world of the bellum omnium in

Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 371. Ford ed., iii, 235.

6859. PRECEDENT, Power and.—

precedent in favor of power is stronger than an
hundred against it.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 367. Ford ed., iii, 230.

6860. PREEMPTION, Right of.—

If the
country, instead of being altogether vacant, is
thinly occupied by another nation, the right of
the native forms an exception to that of the new
comers; that is to say, these will only have a
right against all other nations except the natives.
Consequently, they have the exclusive
privilege of acquiring the native right by purchase
or other just means. This is called the
right of preemption, and is become a principle
of the law of nations, fundamental with respect
to America. There are but two means of acquiring
the native title. First, war; for even
war may, sometimes, give a just title. Second,
contracts, or treaty.—
Opinion on Georgian Land Grants. Washington ed. vii, 467. Ford ed., v, 166.

6861. PREROGATIVE, Barriers against.—

The privilege of giving or withholding
our moneys is an important barrier
against the undue exertion of prerogative, which
if left altogether without control may be exercised
to our great oppression.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 477.
(July. 1775)

6862. PRESBYTERIAN SPIRIT, Liberty and.—

The Presbyterian spirit is known
to be so congenial with friendly liberty, that
the patriots, after the Restoration, finding
that the humor of the people was running
too strongly to exalt the prerogative of the
crown, promoted the dissenting interest as a
check and balance, and thus was produced
the Toleration Act.—
Notes on Religion. Ford ed., ii, 98.

6863. PRESENTS, Declination of.—

return you my thanks for a bust of the Emperor
Alexander [of Russia]. These are the more
cordial, because of the value the bust derives
from the great estimation in which its original
is held by the world, and by none more than
myself. It will constitute one of the most
valued ornaments of the retreat I am preparing
for myself at my native home. * * * I had laid
it down as a law for my conduct while in
office, and hitherto srcupulously observed, to
accept of no present beyond a book, a pamphlet,
or other curiosity of minor value; as well to
avoid imputation on my motives of action, as
to shut out a practice susceptible to such abuse.
But my particular esteem for the character of
the Emperor, places his image in my mind above
the scope of law. I receive it, therefore, and
shall cherish it with affection. It nourishes the
contemplation of all the good placed in his
power, and of his disposition to do it.—
To Mr. Harris. Washington ed. v, 6.
(W. 1806)

6864. PRESENTS, Declination of.—[continued].

Mr. Granger has sent
me the very elegant ivory staff of which you
wished my acceptance. The motives of your
wish are honorable to me, and gratifying, as
they evidence the approbation of my public conduct
by a stranger who has not viewed it
through the partialities of personal acquaintance.
Be assured, Sir, that I am as grateful
for the testimony, as if I could have accepted
the token of it which you have so kindly offered.
On coming into public office, I laid it
down as a law of my conduct, while I should
continue in it, to accept no present of any
sensible pecuniary value. A pamphlet, a new
book, or an article of new curiosity, have produced
no hesitation, because below suspicion.
But things of sensible value, however innocently
offered in the first examples, may grow at length
into abuse, for which I wish not to furnish a
precedent. The kindness of the motives which
led to this manifestation of your esteem, sufficiently
assures me that you will approve of my
desire, by a perseverance in the rule, to retain
that consciousness of a disinterested administration
of the public trusts, which is essential to
perfect tranquillity of mind.—
To Samuel Hawkins. Washington ed. v, 393.
(W. Nov. 1808)

6865. PRESENTS, Diplomatic.—

As custom
may have rendered some presents necessary in the beginning or progress of this business
[negotiation of a treaty with the Emperor of
Morocco] and before it is concluded, or even in
a way to be concluded, we authorize you to conform
to the custom, confiding in your discretion
to hazard as little as possible before a certainty
of the event. We trust to you also to procure
the best information as to what persons, and in
what form, these presents should be made, and
to make them accordingly.—
To Thomas Barclay. Washington ed. i, 421.
(P. 1785)

6866. PRESENTS, To Foreign Ministers.—

It was proposed that the medal [to be given to recalled foreign ministers] should always
contain 150 dollars' worth of gold; it was
presumed the gentleman would always keep this.
The chain was to contain 365 links always,
but these were to be proportioned in value to
the time the person had been here, making each
link worth 3 dimes for every year of residence.
No expense was to be bestowed on the making
because it was expected they would turn the
chain into money.—
Note by Jefferson. Ford ed., vi, 263.

6867. PRESENTS, To Foreign Ministers.—[continued].

It has become necessary
to determine on a present proper to be given to
diplomatic characters on their taking leave of
us; and it is concluded that a medal and chain
of gold will be the most convenient. I have,
therefore, to ask the favor of you to order the
dies to be engraved with all the dispatch practicable.
The medal must be of thirty lines
diameter, with a loop on the edge to receive the
chain. On one side, must be the arms of the
United States, of which I send you a written description;
* * * round them as a legend must
be “The United States of America”. The device
of the other side we do not decide on. One
suggestion has been a Columbia (a fine female
figure) delivering the emblems of peace and
commerce to a Mercury, and the date of our
republic, to wit, 4th July, MDCCLXXVI.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 142.
(N.Y., 1790)

6868. PRESENTS, To Indians.—

I hope
we shall give the Indians a thorough drubbing
this summer, and I should think it better perhaps
afterwards to take up the plan of liberal


Page 712
and repeated presents to them. This would be
much the cheapest in the end and would save
all the blood which is now being spilt; in time,
too, it would produce a spirit of peace and
friendship between us. The expense of a single
expedition would last very long for presents.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 248. Ford ed., v, 321.
(Pa., 1791)

6869. PRESENTS, To Indians.—[continued].

The giving medals and
marks of distinction to the Indian chiefs * * * has been an ancient custom from time immemorial.
The medals are considered as complimentary
things, as marks of friendship to
those who come to see us, or who do us good
offices, conciliatory of their good will towards
us, and not designed to produce a contrary disposition
towards others. They confer no power,
and seem to have taken their origin in the
European practice, of giving medals or other
marks of friendship to the negotiators of treaties
and other diplomatic characters, or visitors
of distinction. The British government, while
it prevailed here, practiced the giving medals,
gorgets, and bracelets to the savages, invariable.—
To Carmichael and Short. Washington ed. iv, 15. Ford ed., vi, 336.
(Pa., 1793)

6870. PRESENTS, Public.—

The bounties
from one's country, expressions of its approbation,
are honors which it would be arrogance
to refuse, especially where flowing from the
willing only.—
To Thomas Ritchie. Ford ed., x, 382.
(M. 1826)

6871. PRESENTS, Tribute and.—

rely that you will be able to obtain an acknowledgment
of our treaty with Morocco, giving
very moderate presents. As the amount of these
will be drawn into precedent, on future similar
repetitions of them, it becomes important. Our
distance, our seclusion from the ancient world,
its politics and usages, our agricultural occupations
and habits, our poverty, and lastly, our
determination to prefer war in all cases, to
tribute under any form, and to any people whatever,
will furnish you with topics for opposing
and refusing high or dishonorable pretensions.—
To Thomas Barclay. Washington ed. iii, 262.
(Pa., 1791)

— PRESIDENT, Administration and Cabinet.—

See Administration and Cabinet.

6872. PRESIDENT, Depositions by.—

If the defendant supposes there are any facts
within the knowledge of the heads of departments,
or of myself, which can be useful
for his defence, from a desire of doing anything
our situation will permit in furtherance
of justice, we shall be ready to give
him the benefit of it, by way of deposition,
through any persons whom the Court shall
authorize to take our testimony at this place
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 97. Ford ed., ix, 57.
(W. June. 1807)

6873. PRESIDENT, Direct vote for.—

One part of the subject of one of your letters
is of a nature which forbids my interference
altogether. The amendment to the Constitution
of which you speak, would be a remedy
to a certain degree. So will a different
amendment which I know will be proposed,
to wit, to have no electors, but let the people
vote directly, and the ticket which has
a plurality of the votes of any State to be
considered as receiving thereby the vote of
the State.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., viii, 94.
(M. Sep. 1801)

6874. PRESIDENT, Direct vote for.—[continued]

The President is chosen
by ourselves, directly in practice, for we vote
for A as elector only on the condition he will
vote for B.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. vi, 590. Ford ed., x, 23.

6875. PRESIDENT, Election of.—

bill for the election of the President and Vice-President
has undergone much revolution.
Marshall made a dexterous maneuver. He
declares against the constitutionality of the
Senate's bill, and proposed that the right of
decision of their grand committee should be
controllable by the concurrent vote of the two
houses of Congress; but to stand good if not
rejected by a concurrent vote. You will
readily estimate the amount of this sort of
control. The committee of the House of Representatives,
however, took from the committee
the right of giving any opinion, requiring
them to report the facts only, and
that the votes returned by the States should
be counted, unless reported by a concurrent
vote of both houses.—
To E. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 328. Ford ed., vii, 443.
(Pa., April. 1800)

6876. PRESIDENT, Election of.—[continued].

That great opposition is
and will be made by federalists to this
amendment [to the Constitution], is certain.
They know that if it prevails, neither a President
nor Vice-President can ever be made
but by the fair vote of the majority of the nation,
of which they are not. That either their
opposition to the principle of discrimination
now, or their advocation of it formerly was
on party, not moral motives, they cannot
deny. Consequently, they fix for themselves
the place in the scale of moral rectitude to
which they are entitled. I am a friend to
the discriminating principle; and for a reason
more than others have, inasmuch as the discriminated
vote of my constituents will express
unequivocally the verdict they wish to
cast on my conduct.—
To Thomas McKean. Ford ed., viii, 292.
(W. Jan. 1804)

6877. PRESIDENT, The judiciary and.—

The interference of the Executive can
rarely be proper where that of the Judiciary
is so.—
To George Hammond. Ford ed., vi, 298.
(Pa., 1793)

— PRESIDENT, Oath of office.—

See Washington.

6878. PRESIDENT, Petitions to.—

right of our fellow citizens to represent to the
public functionaries their opinion on proceedings
interesting to them, is unquestionably a
constitutional right, often useful, sometimes
necessary, and will always be respectfully acknowledged
by me.—
To the New Haven Committee. Washington ed. iv, 402. Ford ed., viii, 68.
(W. 1801)

6879. PRESIDENT, Polish Kings and.—

The President seems a bad edition of a
Polish King.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. ii, 316.
(P. Nov. 1787)

6880. PRESIDENT, Polish Kings and.—[continued].

What we have lately
read in the history of Holland, in the chapter
on the Stadtholder, [394] would have sufficed to


Page 713
set me against a chief magistrate eligible for
a long duration, if I had ever been disposed
towards one; and what we have always read
of the elections of Polish Kings should have
forever excluded the idea of one continuable
for life.—
To W. S. Smith. Washington ed. ii, 318. Ford ed., iv, 466.
(P. 1787)

See Constitution (Federal)


See “ Holland ” in this volume.—Editor.

6881. PRESIDENT, Reelection.—

I fear
much the effects of the perpetual reeligibility
of the President. But it is not thought of
in America, and I have, therefore, no prospect
of a change of that article [in the Constitution].—
To William Stephens Smith. Ford ed., v, 3.
(P. 1788)

6882. PRESIDENT, Reelection.—[continued].

There is a strong feature
in the new Constitution which I strongly dislike.
That is the perpetual reeligibility of
the President. Of this I expect no amendment
at present because I do not see that
anybody has objected to it on your side of
the water. But it will be productive of cruel
distress to our country, even in your day and
mine. The importance to France and England,
to have our government in the hands
of a friend or a foe, will occasion their interference
by money, and even by arms.
Our President will be of much more consequence
to them than a King of Poland. We
must take care, however, that neither this,
nor any other objection to the new form produces
a schism in our Union.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 355.
(P. 1788)

6883. PRESIDENT, Reelection.—[further continued].

I dislike strongly [in the new Constitution] the perpetual reeligibility
of the President. This, I fear, will
make that an office for life, first, and then
hereditary. * * * However, I shall hope
that before there is danger of this change
taking place in the office of President, the
good sense and free spirit of our countrymen
will make the changes necessary to prevent
To General Washington. Washington ed. ii, 375. Ford ed., v, 8.
(P. 1788)

6884. PRESIDENT, Reelection.—[further continued] .

Reeligibility makes the
President an officer for life, and the disasters
inseparable from an elective monarchy, render
it preferable, if we cannot tread back that
step, that we should go forward and take
refuge in an hereditary one. Of the correction
of this article [in the new Constitution], I
entertain no present hope, because I find it
has scarcely excited an objection in America.
And if it does not take place ere long, it assuredly
never will. The natural progress of
things is for liberty to yield and government
to gain ground. As yet our spirits are free.
Our jealousy is only put to sleep by the unlimited
confidence we all repose in the person
to whom we all look as our President.
After him inferior characters may perhaps
succeed, and awaken us to the danger which
his merit has led us into.—
To E. Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 404. Ford ed., v, 20.
(P. 1788)

6885. PRESIDENT, Reelection.—[further continued].

The perpetual reeligibility
of the same President will probably
not be cured during the life of General Washington.
His merit has blinded our country
men to the danger of making so important an
officer reeligible.—
To William Carmichael. Washington ed. ii, 465.
(P. Aug. 1788)

6886. PRESIDENT, Reelection.—[further continued] .

The convention of Virginia
annexed to their ratification of the new
Constitution * * * propositions for specific
alterations of the Constitution. Among these
was one for rendering the President incapable
of serving more than eight years in any
term of sixteen. New York has followed the
example of Virginia, * * * proposing
amendments, * * * which concur as to
the President, only proposing that he shall
be incapable of being elected more than twice.
But I own I should like better than either
of these, what Luther Martin tells us was
repeatedly voted and adhered to by the Federal
Convention, and only altered about
twelve days before their rising, when some
members had gone off; to wit, that he should
be elected for seven years, and incapable forever
To William Short. Washington ed. ii, 480. Ford ed., v, 48.
(P. 1788)

6887. PRESIDENT, Reelection.—[further continued].

I am glad to see that
three States have at length considered the
perpetual reeligibility of the President, as an
article [of the new Constitution] which
should be amended.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. ii, 506. Ford ed., v, 53.
(P. Nov. 1788)

6888. PRESIDENT, Reelection.—[further continued] .

The general voice * * * has not authorized me to consider as a real
defect [in the new Constitution] what I
thought and still think one, the perpetual reeligibility
of the President. But three States
out of eleven, having declared against this,
we must suppose we are wrong, according to
the fundamental law of every society, the
lex majoris partis, to which we are bound to
submit. And should the majority change
their opinion, and become sensible that this
trait in their Constitution is wrong, I would
wish it to remain uncorrected, as long as we
can avail ourselves of the services of our
great leader, whose talents and whose weight
of character, I consider as peculiarly necessary
to get the government so under way, as
that it may afterwards be carried on by subordinate
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 13. Ford ed., v, 90.
(P. 1789)
See Constitution, (Federal)

6889. PRESIDENT, The senate and.—

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.—
Opinion on the Powers of the Senate. Washington ed. vii, 465. Ford ed., v, 161.

6890. PRESIDENT, The senate and.—[continued].

The Senate is not supposed
by the Constitution to be acquainted
with the concerns of the Executive department.
It was not [395] intended that these should
be communicated to them.—
Opinion on the Powers of the Senate. Washington ed. vii, 466. Ford ed., v, 162.


Page 714

“Not” is omitted in the Ford Edition. It is in
the original MS.—Editor.

6891. PRESIDENT, State executives and.—

I have the honor to enclose you the
draft of a letter to Governor Pinckney, and to
observe, that I suppose it to be proper that
there should, on fit occasions, be a direct correspondence
between the President of the
United States and the Governors of the
States; and that it will probably be grateful
to them to receive from the President, answers
to the letters they address to him. The
correspondence with them on ordinary business,
may still be kept up by the Secretary
of State, in his own name.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 297.

6892. PRESIDENT, State powers and.—

As to the portions of power within each
State assigned to the General Government,
the President is as much the Executive of
the State, as their particular governor is in
relation to State powers.—
To Mr. Goodenow. Washington ed. vii, 251.
(M. 1822)

6893. PRESIDENT, Subpœnas for.—

As to our personal attendance at Richmond, I
am persuaded the Court is sensible, that
paramount duties to the nation at large control
the obligation of compliance with their
summons in [Burr's] case; as they would,
should we receive a similar one, to attend the
trials of Blennerhassett and others in the
Mississippi Territory, those instituted at St.
Louis and other places on the western waters,
or at any place, other than the seat of government.
To comply with such calls would
leave the nation without an Executive branch,
whose agency, nevertheless, is understood to
be so constantly necessary, that it is the sole
branch which the Constitution requires to be
always in function. It could not then mean
that it should be withdrawn from its station
by any coordinate authority.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 97. Ford ed., ix, 57.
(W. June. 1807)

6894. PRESIDENT, Subpœnas for.—[continued].

I did not see till last
night the opinion of the Judge [Marshall] on
the subpæna duces tecum against the President.
Considering the question there as coram non
I did not read his argument with much
attention. Yet I saw readily enough, that, as
is usual where an opinion is to be supported,
right or wrong, he dwells much on smaller objections,
and passes over those which are solid.
Laying down the position generally, that all
persons owe obedience to subpœnas he admits
no exception unless it can be produced in his
law books. But if the Constitution enjoins on
a particular officer to be always engaged in a
particular set of duties imposed on him, does
not this supersede the general law, subjecting
him to minor duties inconsistent with these?
The Constitution enjoins his constant agency
in the concerns of six millions of people. Is
the law paramount to this, which calls on him
on behalf of a single one? Let us apply the
Judge's own doctrine to the case of himself
and his brethren. The sheriff of Henrico summons
him from the bench, to quell a riot somewhere
in his county. The Federal judge is,
by the general law, a part of the posse of the
State sheriff. Would the judge abandon major
duties to perform lesser ones? Again: the
court of Orleans or Maine commands, by subp œnas, the attendance of all the judges of the
Supreme Court. Would they abandon their
posts as judges, and the interests of millions
committed to them, to serve the purposes of a
single individual? The leading principle of our
Constitution is the independence of the Legislature,
Executive, and Judiciary of each other,
and none are more jealous of this than the
Judiciary. But would the Executive be independent
of the Judiciary, if he were subject to
the commands of the latter, and to imprisonment
for disobedience; if the several courts
could bandy him from pillar to post, keep him
constantly trudging from north to south and
east to west, and withdraw him entirely from
his constitutional duties? The intention of the
Constitution, that each branch should be independent
of the others, is further manifested by
the means it has furnished to each, to protect
itself from enterprises of force attempted on
them by the others, and to none has it given
more effectual or diversified means than to the
Executive. Again, because ministers can go
into a court in London as witnesses, without
interruption to their executive duties, it is inferred
that they would go to a court one thousand
or one thousand five hundred miles off,
and that ours are to be dragged from Maine to
Orleans by every criminal who will swear that
their testimony “may be of use to him”. The
Judge says, “it is apparent that the President's
duties as Chief Magistrate do not demand his
whole time, and are not unremitting”. If he alludes
to our annual retirement from the seat of
government, during the sickly season, he should
be told that such arrangements are made for
carrying on the public business, at and between
the several stations we take, that it goes on as
unremittingly there, as if we were at the seat
of government. I pass more hours in public
business at Monticello than I do here, every
day; and it is much more laborious, because all
must be done in writing.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 103. Ford ed., ix, 59.
(W. June. 1807)

6895. PRESIDENT, Subpœnas for.—[further continued].

As I do not believe that
the District Courts have a power of commanding
the Executive government to abandon
superior duties and attend on them, at whatever
distance, I am unwilling, by any notice of
the subpœna, to set a precedent which might
sanction a proceeding so preposterous. I enclose
you, therefore, a letter, public and for
the court, covering substantially all they ought
to desire.—
To George Hay. Washington ed. v, 191.
(M. Sep. 1807)

6896. PRESIDENT, Subpœnas for.—[further continued] .

The enclosed letter is
written in a spirit of conciliation and with the
desire to avoid conflicts of authority between
the high branches of the government, which
would discredit it equally at home and abroad.
That Burr and his counsel should wish to
[struck out “divert the public attention from
him to this battle of giants was to be”] convert
his trial into a contest between the Judiciary
and Executive authorities, was to be expected.
But that the Chief Justice should lend himself
to it, and take the first step to bring it on, was
not expected. Nor can it be now believed that
his prudence or good sense will permit him to
press it. But should he, contrary to expectation,
proceed to issue any process which should
involve any act of force to be committed on the
persons of the Executive or heads of departments,
I must desire you to give me instant notice,
and by express if you find that can be
quicker done than by post; and that, moreover,
you will advise the marshal on his conduct, as
he will be critically placed between us. His
safest way will be to take no part in the exercise
of any act of force ordered in this case. The
powers given to the Executive by the Constitution

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Thomas Jefferson
Age about 78 years

From the painting by Thomas Sully. The last portrait painted of Jefferson. It hangs
in the main corridor, Senate wing of the United States Capitol.

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Page 715
are sufficient to protect the other branches
from Judiciary usurpation of preeminence, and
every individual also from Judiciary vengeance,
and the marshal may be assured of its effective
exercise to cover him. I hope, however, that
the discretion of the Chief Justice will suffer
this question to lie over for the present, and at
the ensuing session of the Legislature he May
have means provided for giving to individuals
the benefit of the testimony of the Executive
functionaries in proper cases, without breaking
up the Government. Will not the associate
judge assume to divide his court and procure
a truce at least in so critical a conjuncture? [396]
Draft of a Letter to George Hay. Ford ed., ix, 62.


A note in the Ford edition says this letter May
have never been sent.—Editor.

6897. PRESIDENCY, Burden.—

I part
with the powers entrusted to me by my country,
as with a burden of heavy bearing.—
R. to A. Citizens of Washington. Washington ed. viii, 158.
(March 4, 1809)

6898. PRESIDENCY, Corruption and.—

I sincerely wish we could see our government
so secured as to depend less on the
character of the person in whose hands it is
trusted. Bad men will sometimes get in,
and with such an immense patronage, May
make great progress in corrupting the public
mind and principles. This is a subject with
which wisdom and patriotism should be occupied.—
To Moses Robinson. Washington ed. iv, 380.
(W. March. 1801)

6899. PRESIDENCY, Electoral college.—

The contrivance in the Constitution for
marking the votes works badly, because it
does not enounce precisely the true expression
of the public will.—
To Tench Coxe. Washington ed. iv, 345. Ford ed., vii, 474.
(W. Dec. 1800)

6900. PRESIDENCY, Electoral college.—[continued].

I have ever considered
the constitutional mode of election ultimately
by the Legislature, voting by States, as the
most dangerous blot in our Constitution, and
one which some unlucky chance will some
day hit, and give us a pope and anti-pope. I
looked, therefore, with anxiety to the amendment
proposed by Colonel Taylor at the last
session of Congress, which I thought would
be a good substitute, if on an equal division
of the electors, after a second appeal to them,
the ultimate decision between the two highest
had been given by it to the Legislature, voting
per capita. But the States are now so
numerous that I despair of ever seeing another
amendment to the Constitution, although
the innovations of time will certainly
call, and now already call, for some, and
especially the smaller States are so numerous
as to render desperate every hope of obtaining
a sufficient number of them in favor
of “Phocion's” proposition. Another general
convention can alone relieve us. What,
then, is the best palliative of the evil in the
meantime? Another short question points to
the answer. Would we rather the choice
should be made by the Legislature voting in
Congress by States, or in caucus per capita?
The remedy is indeed bad, but the disease
To George Hay. Ford ed., x, 264.
(M. Aug. 1823)

6901. PRESIDENCY, Expenses of.—

had hoped to keep the expenses of my office
within the limits of its salary, so as to apply
my private income entirely to the improvement
and enlargement of my estate; but I have not
been able to do it.—
To Rev. Charles Clay. Washington ed. v, 27. Ford ed., ix, 6.
(W. 1807)

6902. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Adams and.—

My letters inform me that Mr. Adams
speaks of me with * * * satisfaction in
the prospect of administering the government
in concurrence with me. * * * If by that
he meant the Executive Cabinet, both duty and inclination will shut that door to me. I
cannot have a wish to see the scenes of 1793
revived as to myself, and to descend daily
into the arena, like a gladiator, to suffer
martyrdom in every conflict. As to duty, the
Constitution will know me only as the member
of a legislative body; and its principle is,
that of a separation of Legislative, Executive,
and Judiciary functions, except in cases
specified. If this principle be not expressed
in direct terms, yet it is clearly the spirit of
the Constitution, and it ought to be so commented
and acted on by every friend to free
To Mr. Madison. Washington ed. iv, 161. Ford ed., vii, 107.
(Jan. 1797)

6903. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Adams and.—[continued].

No arguments were wanting
to reconcile me to a relinquishment of
the first office, or acquiescence under the
second. As to the first it was impossible that
a more solid unwillingness, settled on full
calculation, could have existed in any man's
mind, short of the degree of absolute refusal.
The only view on which I would have gone
into it for awhile was to put our vessel on her
republican tack, before she should be thrown
too much to leeward of her true principles.
As to the second, it is the only office in the
world which I cannot decide in my own
mind, whether I had rather have it or not
have it. Pride does not enter into the
estimate. For I think with the Romans of
old, that the general of to-day should be a
common soldier to-morrow if necessary.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 155. Ford ed., vii, 98.
(Jan. 1797)

6904. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Adams and.—[further continued].

If Mr. Adams could be
induced to administer the government on its
true principles, quitting his bias for an English
constitution, it would be worthy consideration
whether it would not be for the
public good, to come to a good understanding
with him as to his future elections. He is
the only sure barrier against Hamilton's
getting in.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 155. Ford ed., vii, 99.
(Jan. 1797)

6905. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Adams and.—[further continued] .

As to Mr. Adams, particularly,
I could have no feelings which
would revolt at being placed in a secondary
station to him. I am his junior in life, was
his junior in Congress, his junior in the
diplomatic line, his junior lately in the civil


Page 716
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 155. Ford ed., vii, 99.
(Jan. 1797)

See Adams, John.

6906. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Madison and.—

I do not see in the minds of those
with whom I converse, a greater affliction
than the fear of your retirement; but this
must not be, unless to a more splendid and a
more efficacious post. There I should rejoice
to see you; I hope I may say, I shall rejoice
to see you. I have long had much in my
mind to say to you on that subject. But
double delicacies have kept me silent. I
ought perhaps to say, while I would not give
up my own retirement for the empire of the
universe, how I can justify wishing one
whose happiness I have so much at heart as
yours, to take the front of the battle which
is fighting for my security. This would be
easy enough to be done, but not at the heel
of a lengthy epistle.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 112. Ford ed., vi, 519.
(M. Dec. 1794)

6907. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Madison and.—[continued].

In my letter * * * I
expressed my hope of the only change of position
I ever wished to see you make, and
I expressed it with entire sincerity, because
there is not another person in the United
States, who being placed at the helm of our
affairs, my mind would be so completely at
rest for the fortune of our political bark.
The wish, too, was pure, and unmixed with
anything respecting myself personally. For
as to myself, the subject had been thoroughly
weighed and decided on, and my retirement
from office had been meant from all office
high or low, without exception. I can say,
too, with truth, that the subject had not been
presented to my mind by any vanity of my
own. I know myself and my fellow citizens
too well to have ever thought of it. But the
idea was forced upon me by continual insinuations
in the public papers, while I was
in office. As all these came from a hostile
quarter, I knew that their object was to
poison the public mind as to my motives,
when they were not able to charge me with
facts. But the idea being once presented to
me, my own quiet required that I should face
it and examine it. I did so thoroughly, and
had no difficulty to see that every reason which
had determined me to retire from the office
I then held, operated more strongly against
that which was insinuated to be my object.
I decided then on those general grounds
which could alone be present to my mind at
the time, that is to say, reputation, tranquillity,
labor; for as to public duty, it could
not be a topic of consideration in my case.
If these general considerations were sufficient
to ground a firm resolution never to permit
myself to think of the office, or to be thought
of for it, the special ones which have
supervened on my retirement, still more insuperably
bar the door to it. My health is
entirely broken down within the last eight
months; my age requires that I should place
my affairs in a clear state; these are sound
if taken care of, but capable of considerable
dangers if longer neglected; and above all
things, the delights I feel in the society of
my family, and the agricultural pursuits in
which I am so eagerly engaged. The little
spice of ambition which I had in my younger
days has long since evaporated, and I set
still less store by a posthumous than present
name. In stating to you the heads of reasons
which have produced my determination, I do
not mean an opening for future discussion,
or that I may be reasoned out of it. The
question is forever closed with me; my sole
object is to avail myself of the first opening
ever given me from a friendly quarter (and
I could not with decency do it before), of
preventing any division or loss of votes,
which might be fatal to the republican interest.
If that has any chance of prevailing,
it must be by avoiding the loss of a single
vote, and by concentrating all its strength on
one object. Who this should be, is a question
I can more freely discuss with anybody
than yourself. In this I feel painfully the
loss of Monroe. Had he been here, I should
have been at no loss for a channel through
which to make myself understood, if I have
been misunderstood by anybody through the
instrumentality of Mr. Fenno and his abettors.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 116. Ford ed., vii, 8.
(M. April. 1795)

6908. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Madison and.—[further continued].

I think our foreign affairs
never wore so gloomy an aspect since
the year 1783. Let those come to the helm
who think they can steer clear of the difficulties.
I have no confidence in myself for
the undertaking.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iv, 150. Ford ed., vii, 92.
(M. Dec. 1796)

6909. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Madison and.—[further continued] .

The honeymoon would
be as short in that case [election to the
Presidency] as in any other, and its moments
of ecstacy would be ransomed by years of
torment and hatred.—
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 152. Ford ed., vii, 93.
(M. Dec. 1796)

6910. PRESIDENCY, Jefferson, Madison and.—[further continued].

You, who know me,
know that my private gratifications would be
most indulged by that issue, which should
leave me most at home. If anything supersedes
this propensity, it is merely the desire
to see this government brought back to its
republican principles.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. iv, 309. Ford ed., vii, 402.
(Pa., Jan. 1800)

6911. PRESIDENCY, Misery in.—

second office of the [397] government is honorable
and easy; the first is but a splendid misery.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 171. Ford ed., vii, 120.
(Pa., 1797)


“This” government in Ford edition.—Editor.

6912. PRESIDENCY, Reelection to.—

sincerely regret that the unbounded calumnies
of the federal party have obliged me to
throw myself on the verdict of my country
for trial, my great desire having been to retire,
at the end of the present term, to a life
of tranquillity; and it was my decided purpose
when I entered into office. They force my
continuance. If we can keep the vessel of
State as steadily in her course for another
four years, my earthly purposes will be accomplished,
and I shall be free to enjoy


Page 717
* * * my family, my farm, and my books.—
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 536. Ford ed., viii, 297.
(W. March. 1804)

6913. PRESIDENCY, Reputation and.—

No man will ever bring out of the presidency
the reputation which carries him into
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 152. Ford ed., vii, 93.
(M. 1796)

6914. PRESIDENCY, Reputation and.—[continued].

I have learned to expect
that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect
man to retire from this station with the
reputation and the favor which bring him
into it.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 5. Ford ed., viii, 5.

6915. PRESIDENCY, Tired of the.—

am tired of an office where I can do no more
good than many others, who would be glad
to be employed in it. To myself, personally,
it brings nothing but unceasing drudgery and
daily loss of friends. Every office becoming
vacant, every appointment made, me donne
un ingrat, et cent ennemis.
My only consolation
is in the belief that my fellow citizens
at large will give me credit for good
To John Dickinson. Washington ed. v, 31. Ford ed., ix, 10.
(W. Jan. 1807)

6916. PRESIDENCY, Unattractive.—

Neither the splendor, nor the power, nor the
difficulties, nor the fame or defamation, as
may happen, attached to the First Magistracy,
have any attractions for me.—
To James Sullivan. Washington ed. iv, 168. Ford ed., vii, 117.
(M. 1797)

— PRESS (Copying).—

See Copying Press

6917. PRESS (Freedom of the), Abolished.—

The press, the only tocsin of a nation,
is completely silenced in France.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. iv, 452. Ford ed., viii, 177.
(W. Nov. 1802)

6918. PRESS (Freedom of the), Abused.—

The firmness with which the people have
withstood the late abuses of the press, the
discernment they have manifested between
truth and falsehood, show that they May
safely be trusted to hear everything true and
false, and to form a correct judgment between
To Judge Tyler. Washington ed. iv, 549.
(W. 1804)

— PRESS (Freedom of the), Bill of Rights and.—

See Bill of Rights.

6919. PRESS (Freedom of the), Control of.—

While we deny that Congress have a
right to control the freedom of the press, we
have ever asserted the right of the States,
and their exclusive right, to do so. They
have accordingly, all of them, made provisions
for punishing slander. * * * In general,
the State laws appear to have made the
presses responsible for slander as far as is
consistent with its useful freedom. In those
States where they do not admit even the
truth of allegations to protect the printer,
they have gone too far.—
To Mrs. John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 561. Ford ed., viii, 311.
(M. 1804)

6920. PRESS (Freedom of the), The Constitution and.—

It is true as a general
principle, and is also expressly declared by
one of the amendments to the Constitution,
that “the powers not delegated to the United
States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by
it to the States, are reserved to the States
respectively, or to the people; and * * * no power over the freedom of religion, freedom
of speech, or freedom of the press being
delegated to the United States by the Constitution,
nor prohibited by it to the States,
all lawful powers respecting the same did of
right remain, and were reserved to the States
or the people. * * * Thus was manifested
their determination to retain to themselves
the right of judging how far the licentiousness
of speech, and of the press, may be
abridged without lessening their useful freedom,
and how far those abuses which cannot
be separated from their use should be tolerated,
rather than the use be destroyed.
And thus also they guarded against all
abridgment by the United States of the freedom
of religious opinions and exercises, and
retained to themselves the right of protecting
the same, as this State [Kentucky], by a
law passed on the general demand of its citizens,
had already protected them from all
human restraint or interference. * * * In
addition to this general principle and express
declaration, another and more special provision
has been made by one of the amendments
to the Constitution, which expressly declares,
that “Congress shall make no law respecting
an establishment of religion, or prohibiting
the free exercise thereof, or abridging
the freedom of speech, or of the press”,
thereby guarding in the same sentence, and
under the same words, the freedom of religion,
of speech and of the press; insomuch,
that whatever violates either, throws down
the sanctuary which covers the others, and
that libels, falsehood, and defamation, equally
with heresy and false religion, are withheld
from the cognizance of Federal tribunals.
* * * Therefore, the act of Congress of the
United States passed on the 14th day of July,
1798, intituled, “An Act in addition to the
act intituled `An Act for the punishment of
certain crimes against the United States”',
which does abridge the freedom of the press,
is not law, but is altogether void, and of no
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 465. Ford ed., vii, 294.

6921. PRESS (Freedom of the), The Constitution and.—[continued].

I am for freedom of the
press, and against all violations of the Constitution
to silence by force and not by reason
the complaints or criticisms, just or unjust,
of our citizens against the conduct of their
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 269. Ford ed., vii, 328.
(Pa., 1799)

6922. PRESS (Freedom of the), Government and.—

No government ought to be
without censors; and where the press is free,
no one ever will.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iii, 467. Ford ed., vi, 108.
(M. 1792)

6923. PRESS (Freedom of the), Government and.—[continued].

Conscious that there was not a truth on earth which I feared


Page 718
should be known, I have lent myself willingly
as the subject of a great experiment, which
was to prove that an administration, conducting
itself with integrity and common understanding,
cannot be battered down, even by
the falsehoods of a licentious press, and consequently
still less by the press, as restrained
within the legal and wholesome limits of
truth. This experiment was wanting for the
world to demonstrate the falsehood of the
pretext that freedom of the press is incompatible
with orderly government. I have
never, therefore, even contradicted the thousands
of calumnies so industriously propagated
against myself. But the fact being
once established, that the press is impotent
when it abandons itself to falsehood, I leave
to others to restore it to its strength, by recalling
it within the pale of truth. Within
that, it is a noble institution, equally the
friend of science and of civil liberty.—
To Thomas Seymour. Washington ed. v, 43. Ford ed., ix, 30.
(W. Feb. 1807)

6924. PRESS (Freedom of the), Invasions of.—

There are rights which it is useless
to surrender to the government, and
which governments have yet always been
found to invade. [Among] are the rights of
thinking and publishing our thoughts by
* * * writing.—
To David Humphreys. Washington ed. iii, 13. Ford ed., v, 89.
(P. 1789)

6925. PRESS (Freedom of the), Libels.—

Printing presses shall be subject to no
other restraint than liableness to legal prosecution
for false facts printed and published.—
Proposed Constitution for Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 452. Ford ed., iii, 332.

6926. PRESS (Freedom of the), Libels.—[continued].

Printing presses shall
be free except as to false facts published
maliciously, either to injure the reputation of
another, whether followed by pecuniary damages
or not, or to expose him to the punishment
of the law.—
Notes for a Constitution. Ford ed., vi, 521.

6927. PRESS (Freedom of the), Liberty and.—

Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without
being lost.—
To Dr. James Currie. Ford ed., iv, 132.
(P. 1786)

6928. PRESS (Freedom of the), Liberty and.—[continued].

The liberty of speaking
and writing guards our other liberties.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. viii, 129.

6929. PRESS (Freedom of the), Mankind and.—

The press is the best instrument for enlightening the mind of man, and improving
him as a rational, moral, and social
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 324.
(M. 1823)

6930. PRESS (Freedom of the), Principle of government.—

Freedom of the press I deem [one of the] essential principles of
our government and, consequently, [one] which ought to shape its administration.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 4. Ford ed., viii, 5.

6931. PRESS (Freedom of the), Principle of government.—[continued].

There are certain principles
in which the constitutions of our several
States all agree, and which all cherish
as vitally essential to the protection of the
life, liberty, property and safety of the citizen.
[One is] Freedom of the Press, subject
only to liability for personal injuries.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 323.
(M. 1823)

6932. PRESS (Freedom of the), Private injury.—

Printing presses shall be free, except
so far as, by commission of private injury,
cause may be given of private action.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., ii, 27.
(June. 1776)

6933. PRESS (Freedom of the), Reform through.—

This formidable censor of the
public functionaries, by arraigning them at
the tribunal of public opinion, produces reform
peaceably, which must otherwise be
done by revolution.—
To M. Coray. Washington ed. vii, 324.
(M. 1823)

6934. PRESS (Freedom of the), Safety in.—

Where the press is free, and every man
able to read, all is safe.—
To Charles Yancey. Washington ed. vi, 517. Ford ed., x, 4.
(M. 1816)

6935. PRESS (Freedom of the), Security in.—

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

6936. PRESS (Freedom of the), Shackled.—

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 the freedom of the press by the Censure.
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 86. Ford ed., i, 118.

See Editors, Newspapers, and Publicity.

6937. PRICE, Basis of.—

The adequate
price of a thing depends on the capital and labor
necessary 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 bushed of wheat, they
should be expressed by the same price, derived
from the application of a common measure to
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 233. Ford ed., ix, 406.
(M. 1813)


The average
price of wheat on the continent of Europe,
at the commencement of its present war with
England, was about a French crown, of one
hundred and ten cents, the bushel. With us it
was one hundred cents, and consequently we
could send it there in competition with their
own. That ordinary price has now doubled
with us, and more than doubled in England;
and although a part of this augmentation May
proceed from the war demand, yet from the extraordinary
nominal rise in the prices of land
and labor here, both of which have nearly
doubled in that period, and are still rising with
every new bank, it is evident that were a general
peace to take place to-morrow, and time
allowed for the reestablishment of commerce,
justice and order, we could not raise wheat for


Page 719
much less than two dollars, while the continent
of Europe, having no paper circulation, and that
of its specie not being augmented, would raise
it at their former price of one hundred and ten
cents. It follows, then, that with our redundancy
of paper, we cannot, after peace, send a
bushel of wheat to Europe, unless extraordinary
circumstances double its price in particular
places, and that then the exporting countries
of Europe could undersell us.—
To J. W. Eppes. Washington ed. vi, 242. Ford ed., ix, 414.
(M. Nov. 1813)

6939. PRIESTLEY (Joseph), Author.—

The papers of political arithmetic in your
pamphlets * * * are the most precious gifts
that can be made us; for we are running navigation
mad, and commerce mad, and navy mad,
which is worst of all. * * * From the “ Porcupines ” of our country you will receive no
thanks; but the great mass of our nation will
edify and thank you.—
To Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 311. Ford ed., vii, 406.
(Pa., Jan. 1800)
See Government, Works on.

6940. PRIESTLEY (Joseph), Dupont and.—

I have a letter from Mr. Dupont [de
Nemours], since his arrival at New York.
* * * How much it would delight me if a visit
from you at the same time, were to show us
two such illustrious foreigners embracing each
other in my country, as the asylum for whatever
is great and good.—
To Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 317. Ford ed., vii, 415.
(Pa., 1800)

6941. PRIESTLEY (Joseph), Persecuted.—

How deeply have I been chagrined
and mortified at the persecutions which fanaticism
and monarchy have excited against you,
even here. At first I believed it was merely a
continuance of the English persecution. But
I observe that on the demise of “Porcupine”, and division of his inheritance between Fenno
and Brown, the latter (though succeeding only
to the federal portion of Porcupinism, not the
Anglican, which is Fenno's part) serves up for
the palate of his sect, dishes of abuse against
you as high seasoned as “Porcupine's” were.
You have sinned against church and king, and
can, therefore, never be forgiven.—
To Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 311. Ford ed., vii, 406.
(Pa., Jan. 1800)

6942. PRIESTLEY (Joseph), Revered.—

I revered the character of no man living
more than his.—
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. v, 182.
(M. 1807)

6943. PRIESTLEY (Joseph), Services.—

No man living had a more affectionate
respect for Dr. Priestley. In religion, in politics,
in physics, no man has rendered more
To Thomas Cooper. Washington ed. v, 121. Ford ed., ix, 102.
(W. 1807)

6944. PRIESTLEY (Joseph), Welcome to.—

Yours is one of the few lives precious to
mankind, and for the continuance of which
every thinking man is solicitous. Bigots May
be an exception. What an effort, my dear sir,
of bigotry in politics and religion have we gone
through. The barbarians really flattered themselves
they should be able to bring back the
times of Vandalism, when ignorance put everything
into the hands of power and priestcraft.
All advances in science were proscribed as innovations.
They pretended to praise and encourage
education, but it was to be the education
of our ancestors. We were to look backwards,
not forwards, for improvement: the
President himself [John Adams] declaring, in
one of his answers to addresses, that we were
never to expect to go beyond them in real
science. This was the real ground of all the
attacks on you. * * * Our countrymen have
recovered from the alarm into which art and
industry had thrown them; science and honesty
are replaced on their high ground; and you,
as their great apostle, are on its pinnacle. It is
with heartfelt satisfaction that, in the first
moments of my public action, I can hail you
with welcome to our land, tender to you the
homage of its respect and esteem, cover you
under the protection of those laws which were
made for the wise and good like you, and disclaim
the legitimacy of that libel on legislation,
which under the form of a law was for some
time placed among them. [398]
To Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 373. Ford ed., viii, 21.
(W. March. 1801)


Jefferson wrote on the margin “Alien Law”.——Editor.

6945. PRIMOGENITURE, Abolition of law.—

As the law of Descents, and the Criminal
law fell, of course, within my portion [in the
revision of the Virginia Code], I wished the Committee
to settle the leading principles of these,
as a guide for me in framing them; and,
with respect to the first, I proposed to abolish
the law of primogeniture, and to make real
estate descendible in parcenary to the next of
kin, as personal property is, by the statute of
distribution. Mr. Pendleton wished to preserve
the right of primogeniture, but seeing at once
that that could not prevail, he proposed we
should adopt the Hebrew principle, and give
a double portion to the elder son. I observed
that if the eldest son could eat twice as much,
or do double work, it might be a natural evidence
of his right to a double portion; but,
being on a par in his powers and wants with
his brothers and sisters, he should be on a par
also in the partition of the patrimony; and
such was the decision of the other members. [399]
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 43. Ford ed., i, 59.


The preamble to this great law is as follows:
“Whereas, the perpetuation of property in certain
families, by means of gifts made to them in fee taille,
is contrary to good policy, tends to deceive fair
traders, who give credit on the visible possession of
such estates, discourages the holders thereof from
taking care and improving the same, and sometimes
does injury to the morals of youth, by rendering
them independent of, and disobedient to their
parents; and whereas, the former method of docking
such estates taille, by special act of Assembly, formed
for every particular case, employed very much of
the time of the Legislature, and the same, as well as
the method of defeating such estates, when of small
value, was burthensome to the public, and also to
individuals. Be it therefore enacted.”—Editor.

6946. PRIMOGENITURE, Feudal and unnatural.—

The abolition of primogeniture, and equal partition of inheritances, removed
the feudal and unnatural distinctions which
made one member of every family rich, and all
the rest poor, substituting equal partition, the
best of all Agrarian laws. [400]
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 49. Ford ed., i, 69.
(M. 1821)

See Entails.


Page 720

It was an audacious move. From generation to
generation lands and slaves—almost the only valuable
kind of property in Virginia—had been handed
down protected against creditors, even against the
very extravagance of spendthrift owners; and it was
largely by this means that the quasi-nobility of the
colony had succeeded in establishing and maintaining
itself. A great groan seemed to go up from all
respectable society at the terrible suggestion of Jefferson,
a suggestion daringly cast before an Assembly
thickly sprinkled with influential delegates
strongly bound by family ties and self-interest to
defend the present system. * * * Thus was a
great social revolution wrought in a few months by
one man. * * * But his brilliant triumph cost him
a price. That distinguished class, whose existence as
a social caste had been forever destroyed, reviled the
destroyer from this time forth with relentless animosity;
and, even to the second and third generations,
the descendants of many of these patrician
families vindictively cursed the statesman who had
placed them on a level with the rest of their countrymen.—Morse's Life of Jefferson.

6947. PRINCIPLE, Departure from.—

departure from principle in one instance becomes
a precedent for a second; that second
for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society
is reduced to be mere automatons of
misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sin
and suffering. Then begins, indeed, the
bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers
observing to be so general in this
world, have mistaken it for the natural, instead
of the abusive state of man. And the
forehorse of this frightful team is public
debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train
wretchedness and oppression.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 14. Ford ed., x, 42.
(M. 1816)

6948. PRINCIPLE, Doubt and.—

doubtful, we should follow principle.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 12. Ford ed., x, 40.
(M. 1816)

6949. PRINCIPLE, A guide.—

will in * * * most * * * cases open
the way for us to correct conclusion.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 36. Ford ed., x, 45.
(M. 1816)

6950. PRINCIPLE, Opinion and.—

Every difference of opinion is not a difference
of principle. We have called by different
names brethren of the same principle. We
are all republicans: we are all federalists.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 2. Ford ed., viii, 3.

6951. PRINCIPLE, Republican vs. Monarchical.—

The contests of that day
[1793-1800] were contests of principle, between
the advocates of republican and those
of kingly government, and had not the
former made the efforts they did, our government
would have been, even at this early
day (1818) a very different thing from what
the successful issue of those efforts have
made it.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 88. Ford ed., i, 156.

6952. PRINCIPLES, Adherence to.—

adherence to fundamental principles is the
most likely way to save both time and disagreement
[between legislative bodies]; and
[as] a departure from them may at some
time or other be drawn into precedent for
dangerous innovations, * * * it is better
for both Houses, and for those by whom they
are entrusted, to correct error while new,
and before it becomes inveterate by habit and
Conference Report. Ford ed., ii, 135.

6953. PRINCIPLES, Adherence to.—[continued].

I am happy in your approbation
of the principles I avowed on entering
on the government. Ingenious minds,
availing themselves of the imperfections of
language, have tortured the expressions out
of their plain meaning in order to infer departures
from them in practice. If revealed
language has not been able to guard itself
against misinterpretations I could not expect
it. But if an administration, “ quadrating
with the obvious import of my language,
can conciliate the affections of my opposers”,
I will merit that conciliation.—
To the Rev. Isaac Story. Washington ed. iv, 423. Ford ed., viii, 107.
(W. 1802)

6954. PRINCIPLES, Adherence to.—[further continued].

On taking this station
[Presidency] on a former occasion, I declared
the principles on which I believed it
my duty to administer the affairs of our commonwealth.
My conscience tells me that I
have, on every occasion, acted up to that declaration,
according to its obvious import, and
to the understanding of every candid mind.—
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 40. Ford ed., viii, 342.

6955. PRINCIPLES, Adherence to.—[further continued] .

Continue to go straight
forward, pursuing always that which is right,
as the only clue which can lead us out of the
To Cæsar A. Rodney. Washington ed. v, 501. Ford ed., ix, 272.
(M. 1810)

6956. PRINCIPLES, Adherence to.—[further continued].

Lay down true principles,
and adhere to them inflexibly. Do not
be frightened into their surrender by the
alarms of the timid, or the croakings of
wealth against the ascendency of the people.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 11. Ford ed., x, 39.
(M. 1816)

6957. PRINCIPLES, Application of.—

When principles are well understood their application
is less embarrassing.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Ford ed., vi, 149.
(Pa., 1792)

6958. PRINCIPLES, Avowal of.—

I know my own principles to be pure, and
therefore am not ashamed of them. On the
contrary, I wish them known, and therefore
willingly express them to every one. They
are the same I have acted on from the year
1775 to this day, and are the same, I am
sure, with those of the great body of the American
people. I only wish the real principles
of those who censure mine were also known.—
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. iv, 254. Ford ed., vii, 277.
(M. 1798)

6959. PRINCIPLES, Avowal of.—[continued].

I make no secret of my
principles; on the contrary, I wish them
known to avoid the imputation of those which
are not mine.—
To Jeremiah Moor. Ford ed., vii, 454.
(M. Aug. 1800)

6960. PRINCIPLES, Constitutional.—

A part of the Union having held on to the
principles of the Constitution, time has been
given to the States to recover from the temporary
frenzy into which they had been decoyed,
to rally round the Constitution, and to
rescue it from the destruction with which it
had been threatened even at their own hands,—
To Gideon Granger. Washington ed. iv, 332. Ford ed., vii, 452.
(M. 1800)

6961. PRINCIPLES, Independence and.—

The contest which began with us, which
ushered in the dawn of our national existence
and led us through various and trying scenes,
was for everything dear to free-born man.


Page 721
The principles on which we engaged, of
which the charter of our independence is the
record, were sanctioned by the laws of our
being, and we but obeyed them in pursuing
undeviatingly the course they called for. It
issued finally in that inestimable state of freedom
which alone can ensure to man the enjoyment
of his equal rights.—
R. to A. Georgetown Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 159.

6962. PRINCIPLES, Jefferson's in 1799.—

In confutation of * * * all future
calumnies, by way of anticipation, I shall
make to you a profession of my political
faith: in confidence that you will consider
every future imputation on me of a contrary
complexion as bearing on its front the mark
of falsity and calumny. I do then, with sincere
zeal, wish an inviolable preservation of
our Federal Constitution, according to the
true sense in which it was adopted by the
States: that in which it was advocated by its
friends, and not that which its enemies apprehended,
who therefore became its enemies;
and I am opposed to the monarchizing
its features by the forms of its administration,
with a view to conciliate a first transition
to a President and Senate for life, and
from that to an hereditary tenure of these
offices, and thus to worm out the elective
principle. I am for preserving to the States
the powers not yielded by them to the Union,
and to the Legislature of the Union its constitutional
share in the division of powers;
and I am not for transferring all the powers
of the States to the General Government, and
all those of that Government to the Executive
branch. I am for a government rigorously
frugal and simple, applying all the
possible savings of the public revenue to the
discharge of the national debt; and not for
a multiplication of officers and salaries merely
to make partizans, and for increasing, by
every device, the public debt, on the principle
of its being a public blessing. I am for
relying for internal defence on our militia
solely, till actual invasion, and for such a
naval force only as may protect our coasts
and harbors from such depredations as we
have experienced; and not for a standing
army in time of peace, which may overawe
the public sentiment; nor for a navy, which,
by its own expenses and the eternal wars in
which it will implicate us, will grind us with
public burdens and sink us under them. I
am for free commerce with all nations; political
connection with none; and little or
no diplomatic establishment. And I am not
for linking ourselves by new treaties with
the quarrels of Europe; entering that field of
slaughter to preserve their balance, or joining
in the confederacy of kings to war against
the principles of liberty. I am for freedom
of religion, and against all manœuvres to
bring about a legal ascendency of one sect
over another; for freedom of the press, and
against all violations of the Constitution to
silence by force and not by reason the complaints
or criticisms, just or unjust, of our
citizens against the conduct of their agents.
And I am for encouraging the progress of
science in all its branches; and not for raising
a hue and cry against the sacred name
of philosophy; for awing the human mind
by stories of raw-head and bloody bones to a
distrust of its own vision, and to repose implicitly
on that of others; to go backwards instead
of forwards to look for improvement;
to believe that government, religion, morality,
and every other science were in the highest
perfection in the ages of the darkest ignorance,
and that nothing can ever be devised
more perfect than what was established by
our forefathers. To these I will add, that
I was a sincere well-wisher to the success of
the French Revolution, and still wish it May
end in the establishment of a free and well-ordered
republic; but I have not been insensible
under the atrocious depredations they
have committed on our commerce. The first
object of my heart is my country. In that
is embarked my family, my fortune, and my
own existence. I have not one farthing of
interest, nor one fibre of attachment out of it,
nor a single motive of preference of any one
nation to another, but in proportion as they
are more or less friendly to us. * * * These are my principles. They are unquestionably
the principles of the great body of
our fellow-citizens, and I know there is not
one of them which is not yours also. In truth,
we never differed but on one ground, the
Funding System; and as, from the moment
of its being adopted by the constituted authorities,
I became religiously principled in
the sacred discharge of it to the uttermost
farthing, we are united now even on that
single ground of difference. [401]
To Elbridge Gerry. Washington ed. iv, 267. Ford ed., vii, 327.
(Pa., Jan. 1799)

See Administration; also
Inaugural Addresses, in


Jefferson differed from the time-serving politician,
because he staked his individual success upon
the success of what he deemed intrinsically right
principles. He differed even from the statesman who
acts conscientiously upon every measure, inasmuch
as, beyond devising specific measures, he set forth
a broad faith or religion in statesmanship, making
special measures only single blocks in the wide
pavement of his road.—Morse's Life of Jefferson.

6963. PRINCIPLES, Jefferson's in 1799.—[continued].

In the maintenance of
* * * [our] principles * * * I verily
believe the future happiness of our country
essentially depends.—
To Spencer Roane. Washington ed. vii, 136. Ford ed., x, 143.

6964. PRINCIPLES, Not men.—

facts are certainly as true as irreconcilable.
The people of Massachusetts love economy
and freedom, civil and religious. The present
legislative and executive functionaries endeavor
to practice economy, and to strengthen
civil and religious freedom. Yet they are disapproved
by the people of Massachusetts. It
cannot be that these had rather give up
principles than men. However the riddle is
to be solved, our duty is plain, to administer
their interests faithfully, and to overcome evil
with good.—
To John Bacon. Ford ed., viii, 228.
(W. April. 1803)

6965. PRINCIPLES, Not men.—[continued].

If our fellow citizens * * * will sacrifice favoritism towards
men for the preservation of principle, we


Page 722
may hope that no divisions will again endanger
a degeneracy in our government.—
To Richard M. Johnson. Washington ed. v, 526.

6966. PRINCIPLES, Political schism and.—

We ought not to schismatize on either
men or measures. Principles alone can justify
To William Duane. Washington ed. v, 577. Ford ed., ix, 313.
(M. 1811)

6967. PRINCIPLES, Practice and.—

True wisdom does not lie in mere practice
without principles.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 39.
(M. 1816)

6968. PRINCIPLES, Toleration of.—

is time enough, for the rightful purposes of
civil government, for its officers to interfere
when principles break out into overt acts
against peace and good order.—
Statute of Religious Freedom. Ford ed., ii, 239.

6969. PRINTING, Preservative.—

art of printing secures us against the retrogradation
of reason and information; the examples
of its safe and wholesome guidance in
government, which will be exhibited through
the wide-spread regions of the American continent,
will obliterate, in time, the impressions
left by the abortive experiment of France.—
To M. Paganel. Washington ed. v, 582.
(M. 1811)

6970. PRINTING, Progress in.—

the arts which have made great progress
among us is that of printing. Heretofore,
we imported our books, and with them much
political principle from England. We now
print a great deal, and shall soon supply ourselves
with most of the books of considerable
demand. But the foundation of printing, you
know, is the type-foundry, and a material
essential to that is antimony. Unfortunately
that mineral is not among those as yet found in
the United States, and the difficulty and dearness
of getting it from England, will force us
to discontinue our type-founderies, and resort
to her again for our books, unless some new
source of supply can be found.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. v, 457.
(M. June. 1809)
See Editors, Newspapers and Press.


We have seen, indeed, once within the records
of history, a complete eclipse of the
human mind continuing for centuries. And
this, too, by swarms of the same northern
barbarians, conquering and taking possession
of the countries and governments of the
civilized world. Should this be again attempted,
should the same northern hordes, allured
again by the corn, wine, and oil of the
south, be able again to settle their swarms
in the countries of their growth, the art of
printing alone, and the vast dissemination of
books, will maintain the mind where it is,
and raise the conquering ruffians to the level
of the conquered, instead of degrading these
to that of their conquerors. And even should
the cloud of barbarism and despotism again
obscure the science and liberties of Europe,
this country remains to preserve and restore
light and liberty to them.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 218.
(M. 1821)

6972. PRISON, Breaking.—

It is not only
vain, but wicked, in a legislator to frame laws
in opposition to the laws of nature, and to arm
them with the terrors of death. This is truly
creating crimes in order to punish them. The
law of nature impels every one to escape from
confinement; it should not, therefore, be subjected
to punishment. Let the legislator restrain
his criminal by walls, not by parchment.
As to strangers breaking prison to enlarge an
offender, they should, and may be fairly considered
as accessories after the fact.—
Note on Crimes Bill. Washington ed. i, 159. Ford ed., ii, 218.

— PRISON, Plan of.—

See Architecture.


See War.

6973. PRIVACY, Indispensable.—A

room to myself, if it be but a barrack, is indispensable.
To James Madison. Ford ed., iii, 339.
(M. 1783)


From a letter requesting Madison to select a
lodging for him.—Editor.

6974. PRIVATE LIFE, Contentment.—

I thank you * * * for your felicitations
on my present quiet. The difference of my
present and past situation is such as to leave
me nothing to regret, but that my retirement
has been postponed four years too long.
The principles on which I calculated the value
of life, are entirely in favor of my present
To John Adams. Washington ed. iv, 103. Ford ed., vi, 504.
(M. April. 1794)

6975. PRIVATE LIFE, Contentment.—[continued].

As to the concerns of
my own country, I leave them willingly and
safely to those who will have a longer interest
in cherishing them. My books, my family,
my friends, and my farm, furnish more than
enough to occupy me the remainder of my
life, and of that tranquil occupation most
analogous to my physical and moral constitution.—
To M. Odit. Washington ed. iv, 123.
(M. Oct. 1795)

6976. PRIVATE LIFE, Contentment.—[further continued].

My farm, my family, my
books and my building, give me more pleasure
than any public office would, and, especially,
one which would keep me constantly
from them.—
To Mr. Volney. Washington ed. iv, 158.
(M. 1797)

6977. PRIVATE LIFE, Freedom of.—

am now a private man, free to express my
feelings, and their expression will be estimated
at neither more nor less than they
weigh, to wit, the expressions of a private
man. Your struggles for liberty keep alive
the only sparks of sensation which public
affairs now excite in me.—
To M. Odit. Washington ed. iv, 123.
(M. Oct. 1795)

6978. PRIVATE LIFE, Happiness.—

The happiness of the domestic fireside is
the first boon of heaven; and it is well it is
so, since it is that which is the lot of the
mass of mankind—
To General Armstrong. Washington ed. vi, 103.
(M. Feb. 1813)

6979. PRIVATE LIFE, Independence of.—

The independence of private life, under
the protection of republican laws, will I hope
yield me the happiness from which no slave
is so remote as the minister of a commonwealth.—
To Marquis Lafayette. Washington ed. i, 312. Ford ed., iii, 49.
(M. 1781)


Page 723

6980. PRIVATE LIFE, Public duty and.—

You hope I have not abandoned entirely
the service of our country. After five
and twenty years' continual employment in
it, I trust it will be thought I have fulfilled
my tour, like a punctual soldier, and May
claim my discharge. But I am glad of the
sentiment from you, because it gives a hope
you will practice what you preach, and come
forward in aid of the public vessel. I will
not admit your old excuse that you are in
public service though at home. The campaigns
which are fought in a man's own
house are not to be counted. The present
situation of the President, unable to get the
offices filled, really calls with uncommon obligation
on those whom nature has fitted for
To Edward Rutledge. Washington ed. iv, 124. Ford ed., vii, 39.
(M. Nov. 1795)

6981. PRIVATE LIFE, Retirement to.—

My first wish is a restoration of our just
rights; my second, a return of the happy
period, when, consistently with duty, I May
withdraw myself totally from the public stage
and pass the rest of my days in domestic
ease and tranquillity, banishing every desire
of ever hearing what passes in the world.—
To John Randolph. Washington ed. i, 200. Ford ed., i, 482.
(M. 1775)

6982. PRIVATE LIFE, Retirement to.—[continued].

I have laid up my Rosinante
in his stall, before his unfitness for the
road shall expose him faultering to the world.—
To Mann Page. Washington ed. iv, 119. Ford ed., vii, 24.
(M. 1795)

See Retirement.

6983. PRIVATE LIFE, Rural.—

I am
savage enough to prefer the woods, the wilds,
and the independence of Monticello, to all
the brilliant pleasures of this gay capital.—
To Baron Geismer. Washington ed. i, 427.
(P. 1785)
See Life and Monticello.


I had rather be shut up in a very
modest cottage, with my books, my family
and a few old friends, dining on simple
bacon, and letting the world roll on as it
liked, than to occupy the most splendid post
which any human power can give.—
To A. Donald. Washington ed. ii, 356.
(P. 1788)

6985. PRIVATE LIFE vs. PUBLIC LIFE.—[continued].

I ever preferred the pursuits
of private life to those of public life.—
The Anas. Washington ed. ix, 121. Ford ed., i, 203.

6986. PRIVATE LIFE vs. PUBLIC LIFE.—[further continued].

The pomp, the turmoil, the bustle and splendor of office, have drawn
but deeper sighs for the tranquil and irresponsible
occupations of private life.—
To the Inhabitants of Albemarle County, Va. Washington ed. v, 439. Ford ed., ix, 250.
(M. April. 1809)

6987. PRIVATEERING, Abolition of.—

If war should hereafter arise between the
two contracting parties, * * * all merchants
and traders, exchanging the products of different
places, and thereby rendering the necessaries,
conveniences, and comforts of human
life more easy to obtain and more general,
shall be allowed to pass free and unmolested;
and neither of the contracting powers shall
grant or issue any commission to any private
armed vessels, empowering them to take or
destroy such trading ships, or interrupt such
commerce. [403]
Treaty Instructions. Ford ed., iii, 490.
(May. 1784)


Instructions respecting the negotiation of commercial
treaties with European nations.—Editor.

6988. PRIVATEERING, Abolition of.—[continued].

I am to acknowledge
the receipt of your letter, proposing a stipulation
for the abolition of the practice of privateering
in times of war. The benevolence of
this proposition is worthy of the nation
[France] from which it comes, and our sentiments
on it have been declared in the treaty
to which you are pleased to refer, as well as in
some others which have been proposed. There
are in those treaties some other principles
which would probably meet the approbation of
your government, as flowing from the same
desire to lessen the occasions and the calamities
of war. On all these * * * we are ready to
enter into negotiation with you, only proposing
to take the whole into consideration at once.—
To Jean Baptiste Ternant. Washington ed. iii, 477. Ford ed., vi, 122.
(Pa., 1792)

6989. PRIVATEERING, Abolition of.—[further continued].

During the negotiations
for peace [in 1783] with the British Commissioner
David Hartley, our Commissioners had
proposed, on the suggestion of Dr. Franklin, to
insert an article exempting from capture by the
public or private armed ships of either belligerent,
when at war, all merchant vessels and
their cargoes, employed merely in carrying on
the commerce between nations. It was refused
by England, and unwisely in my opinion. For,
in the case of a war with us, their superior
commerce places infinitely more at hazard on
the ocean than ours; and, as hawks abound in
proportion to game, so our privateers would
swarm in proportion to the wealth exposed to
their prize, while theirs would be few for
want of subjects of capture. We [Adams,
Franklin and Jefferson] inserted this article in
our form, with a provision against the molestation
of fishermen, husbandmen, citizens unarmed
and following their occupations in unfortified
places, for the humane treatment of
prisoners of war, the abolition of contraband of
war, which exposes merchant vessels to such
vexations and ruinous detentions and abuses;
and for the principle of free bottoms, free
Autobiography. Washington ed. i, 62. Ford ed., i, 86.

6990. PRIVATEERS, Advantages of.—

Our ships of force will undoubtedly be blockaded
by the enemy, and we shall have no
means of annoying them at sea but by small,
swift-sailing vessels; these will be better managed
and more multiplied in the hands of individuals
than of the government. In short,
they are our true and only weapon in a war
against Great Britain, when once Canada and
Nova Scotia shall have been rescued from
them. The opposition to them in Congress is
merely partial. It is a part of the navy fever,
and proceeds from the desire of securing men
for the public ships by suppressing all other
employments from them. But I do not apprehend
that this ill-judged principle is that of a
majority of Congress. I hope, on the contrary,
they will spare no encouragement to that kind
of enterprise. Our public ships, to be sure, have
done wonders. They have saved our military
reputation sacrificed on the shores of Canada;
but in point of real injury and depredation on
the enemy, our privateers without question
have been most effectual. Both species of force
have their peculiar value.—
To General Bailey. Washington ed. vi, 100.
(M. Feb. 1813)


Page 724

6991. PRIVATEERS, Commerce destroyers.—

I hope we shall confine ourselves
to the conquest of their possessions, and defence
of our harbors, leaving the war on the
ocean to our privateers. These will immediately
swarm in every sea, and do more injury to British
commerce than the regular fleets of all
Europe would do.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. vi, 68. Ford ed., ix, 362.
(M. June. 1812)

6992. PRIVATEERS, Commerce destroyers.—[continued].

Our privateers will eat
out the vitals of British commerce.—
To William Duane. Washington ed. vi, 76. Ford ed., ix, 366.
(M. Aug. 1812)

6993. PRIVATEERS, Commerce destroyers.—[further continued].

Every sea on the globe
where England has any commerce, and where
any port can be found to sell prizes, will be
filled with our privateers.—
To General Kosciusko. Washington ed. vi, 77.
(M. Aug. 1812)

6994. PRIVATEERS, Encouragement of.—

Privateers will find their own men and
money. Let nothing be spared to encourage
them. They are the dagger which strikes at the
heart of the enemy, their commerce.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 409. Ford ed., ix, 498.
(M. 1815)

6995. PRIVATEERS, Exclusion of.—

Measures are taking for excluding, from all
further asylum in our ports, vessels armed in
them to cruise on nations with which we are
at peace.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iv, 56. Ford ed., vi, 408.
(Pa., Sep. 1793)

6996. PRIVATEERS, Fitting out foreign.—

By our treaties with several of the
belligerent powers, which are a part of the laws
of our land, we have established a state of peace
with them. But, without appealing to treaties,
we are at peace with them all by the law of
nature. For by nature's law, man is at peace
with man, till some aggression is committed,
which, by the same law, authorizes one to
destroy another as his enemy. For our citizens,
then, to commit murders and depredations on
the members of nations at peace with us, or
combine to do it, appeared to the Executive,
and to those with whom they consulted, as
much against the laws of the land, as to murder
or rob, or combine to murder or rob its
own citizens; and as much to require punishment,
if done within their limits, where they
have a territorial jurisdiction, or on the high
seas, where they have a personal jurisdiction,
that is to say, one which reaches their own citizens
only, this being an appropriate part of
each nation, on an element where all have a
common jurisdiction. So say our laws, as we
understand them ourselves. To them the appeal
is made; and whether we have construed
them well or ill, the constitutional judges will
decide. Till that decision shall be obtained, the
government of the United States must pursue
what they think right with firmness, as is their
To E. C. Genet. Washington ed. iii, 589. Ford ed., vi, 310.
(Pa., June. 1793)

6997. PRIVATEERS, Fitting out foreign.—[continued].

Besides taking efficacious
measures to prevent the future fitting out
of privateers in the ports of the United States,
they will not give asylum therein to any which
shall have been at any time so fitted out, and
will cause restitution of all such prizes as shall
be hereafter brought within their ports by any
of the said privateers.—
To E. C. Genet. Washington ed. iv, 27. Ford ed., vi, 366.
(Pa., Aug. 1793)

6998. PRIVATEERS, French.—

privateers have been fitted out in Charleston by
French citizens, with their own money, manned
by themselves, and regularly commissioned by
their nation. They have taken several prizes,
and brought them into our ports. Some native
citizens had joined them. These are arrested
and under prosecution, and orders are sent to
all the ports to prevent the equipping privateers
by any persons foreign or native. So
far is right. But the vessels so equipped at
Charleston are ordered to leave the ports of the
United States. This, I think, was not right.
Hammond [British Minister] demanded further
a surrender of the prizes they had taken. This
is refused, on the principle that by the laws
of war the property is transferred to the captors.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. iii, 568. Ford ed., vi, 277.
(June. 1793)

6999. PRIVATEERS, French.—[continued].

The arming and equipping
vessels in the ports of the United States
to cruise against nations with whom they are
at peace, is incompatible with the territorial
sovereignty of the United States. It makes
them instrumental to the annoyance of those
nations and thereby tends to compromit their
To Edmond Charles Genet. Washington ed. iii, 571. Ford ed., vi, 282.
(Pa., June. 1793)

7000. PRIVATEERS, Gulf of Mexico and.—

Our [the Cabinet's] general opinion is
that as soundings on our coast cease at the
beginning of the Gulf Stream, we ought to endeavor
to assume all the waters within the Gulf
Stream as our waters, so far as to exclude
privateers from hovering within them.—
The Anas. Ford ed., i, 308.
(July. 1805)

7001. PRIVATEERS, Merchant vessels and.—

Can it be necessary to say that a
merchant vessel is not a privateer? That
though she has arms to defend herself in time
of war, in the course of her regular commerce,
this no more makes her a privateer, than a husbandman
following his plow, in time of war,
with a knife or pistol in his pocket, is, thereby,
made a soldier? The occupation of a privateer
is attack and plunder, that of a merchant vessel
is commerce and self-preservation.—
To Gouverneur Morris. Washington ed. iv, 41. Ford ed., vi, 385.
(Pa., Aug. 1793)

7002. PRIVATEERS, Prizes.—

the privateers to burn all their prizes, and
let the public pay for them. They will cheat
us enormously. No matter; they will make the
merchants of England feel, and squeal, and cry
out for peace.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 410. Ford ed., ix, 498.
(M. 1815)

7003. PRIVILEGES, Abolition of.—

pecuniary privileges and exemptions, enjoyed
by any description of persons, are abolished.—
French Charter of Rights. Washington ed. iii, 47. Ford ed., v, 102.
(P. 1789)

7004. PRIVILEGES, Unequal.—

To unequal
privileges among members of the same
society the spirit of our nation is, with one
accord, adverse.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. iv, 394.
(W. 1801)

See Equality, Equal Rights, Favoritism and Rights.

7005. PRIZES, Condemnation of.—

condemnation by the consul of France at
Charleston, as legal prize, of a British vessel
captured by a French frigate, is not, as you
justly [observe], a judicial act warranted by
the law of nations, nor by the stipulations existing
between the United States and France.
I observe further that it is not warranted by
any law of the land. It is consequently a mere
nullity; as such it can be respected in no court,
can make no part in the title to the vessel, nor


Page 725
give to the purchaser any other security than
what he would have had without it. In short,
it is so absolutely nothing as to give no foundation
of just concern to any person interested in
the fate of the vessel. * * * The proceeding,
indeed, * * * [if the information be correct],
has been an act of disrespect towards the
United States, to which its government cannot
be inattentive. A just sense of our own rights
and duties, and the obviousness of the principle
are a security that no inconveniences will be
permitted to arise from repetitions of it.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 558. Ford ed., vi, 252.
(Pa., May. 1793)

7006. PRIZES, Consular jurisdiction.—

No particular rules have been established by
the President for the conduct of consuls with
respect to prizes. In one particular case where
a prize is brought into our ports by any of the
belligerent parties, and is reclaimed of the Executive,
the President has hitherto permitted
the consul of the captor to hold the prize until
his determination is known. But in all cases
respecting a neutral nation, their vessels are
placed exactly on the same footing with our
own, entitled to the same remedy from our
courts of justice, and the same protection from
the Executive, as our own vessels in the same
situation. The remedy in the courts of justice,
the only one which they or our own can have
access to, is slower than where it lies with the
Executive, but it is more complete, as damages
can be given by the Court but not by the Executive.—
To Mr. Soderstrom. Washington ed. iv, 83.
(G. Nov. 1793)

7007. PRIZES, Restitution.—

The restitution
of the prizes [which French privateers
might bring into the ports of the United
States], is understood to be inconsistent with
the rules which govern such cases, and would,
therefore, be unjustifiable towards the other
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 573. Ford ed., vi, 286.
(Pa., June. 1793)

7008. PRIZES, Restitution.—[continued].

Restitution of prizes has
been made by the Executive of the United
States only in the two cases: 1, of capture
within their jurisdiction, by armed vessels, originally
constituted such without the limits of
the United States; or, 2, of capture, either
within or without their jurisdiction, by armed
vessels, originally constituted such within the
limits of the United States. Such last have
been called proscribed vessels.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iv, 78. Ford ed., vi, 444.
(G. Nov. 1793)

7009. PRIZES, Restitution.—[further continued].

Can prizes and the proceeds
of them, taken after the date of the
treaty [of peace] with France be restored by
the Executive, or need an act of the Legislature?
The Constitution has authorized the
ordinary Legislature alone to declare war
against any foreign nation. If they may enact
a perfect, they may a qualified war, and appropriate
the proceeds of it. In this state of
things, they may modify the acts of war, and
appropriate the proceeds of it. The act authorizing
the capture of French armed vessels, and
dividing and appropriating their proceeds, was
of this kind. The Constitution has given to the
President and Senate alone the power (with
the consent of the foreign nation) of enacting
peace. Their treaty for this purpose is an
absolute repeal of the declaration of war, and
of all laws authorizing or modifying war measures.
The treaty with France had this effect.
From the moment it was signed all the acts
legalizing war measures ceased ipso facto; and
all subsequent captures became unlawful.
Property wrongfully taken from a friend on the
high sea is not thereby transferred to the
captor. In whatever hands it is found, it remains
the property of those from whom it was
taken; and any person possessed of it, private
or public, has a right to restore it. If it comes
to the hands of the Executive, they may restore
it. If into those of the Legislature (as by formal
payment into the Treasury), they may restore
it. Whoever, private or public, undertakes
to restore it, takes on themselves the risk
of proving that the goods were taken without
authority of law, and consequently that the
captor had no right to them. The Executive,
charged with our exterior relations, seems
bound, if satisfied of the fact, to do right to the
foreign nation, and take on itself the risk of
To James Madison. Ford ed., viii, 73.
(W. July. 1801)

7010. PRIZES, Rules governing.—

doctrine as to the admission of prizes, maintained
by the government from the commencement
of the war between England and France,
&c., to this day, has been this: The treaties
give a right to armed vessels, with their prizes,
to go where they please (consequently into our
ports), and that these prizes shall not be detained,
seized, nor adjudicated; but that the
armed vessel may depart as speedily as may be,
with her prize,
to the place of her commission;
and we are not to suffer their enemies to sell
in our ports the prizes taken by their privateers.
Before the British treaty, no stipulation stood
in the way of permitting France to sell her
prizes here; and we did permit it, but expressly
as a favor, not a right. * * * These
stipulations admit the prizes to put into our
ports in cases of necessity, or perhaps of convenience,
but no right to remain if disagreeable
to us; and absolutely not to be sold.—
To Albert Gallatin. Ford ed., viii, 86.
(M. Aug. 1801)

See Privateers and Neutrality.

7011. PROCRASTINATION, Indolence and.—

My acknowledgments have been delayed
by a blamable spirit of procrastination,
forever suggesting to our indolence that we need
not do to-day what may be done to-morrow.—
To Thomas Pinckney. Washington ed. iv, 176. Ford ed., vii, 127.
(Pa., 1797)

7012. PRODUCTION, National.—

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

7013. PROGRESS, Constant.—

When I
contemplate the immense advances in science
and discoveries in the arts which have been
made within the period of my life, I look
forward with confidence to equal advances by
the present generation, and have no doubt
they will consequently be as much wiser than
we have been as we than our fathers were,
and they than the burners of witches.—
To Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse. Washington ed. vii, 101. Ford ed., x, 103.
(M. 1818)

7014. PROGRESS, Gothic idea of.—

Gothic idea that we were to look backwards
instead of forwards for the improvement of
the human mind, and to recur to the annals
of our ancestors for what is most perfect in
government, in religion and in learning, is
worthy of those bigots in religion and government,


Page 726
by whom it has been recommended, and whose purposes it would answer. But it
is not an idea which this country will endure.—
To Joseph Priestley. Washington ed. iv, 318. Ford ed., vii, 415.
(Pa., 1800)

7015. PROGRESS, In government.—

Laws and institutions must go hand in
hand with the progress of the human mind.
As that becomes more developed, more enlightened,
as new discoveries are made, new
truths disclosed, and manners and opinions
change with the change of circumstances, institutions
must advance also, and keep pace
with the times. We might as well require
a man to wear still the coat which fitted
him when a boy, as civilized society to remain
ever under the regimen of their barbarous
ancestors. It is this preposterous idea
which has lately deluged Europe in blood.
Their monarchs, instead of wisely yielding
to the general change of circumstances, of
favoring progressive accommodation to progressive
improvement, have clung to old
abuses, entrenched themselves behind steady
habits, and obliged their subjects to seek
through blood and violence rash and ruinous
innovations, which, had they been referred to
the peaceful deliberations and collected wisdom
of the nation, would have been put into
acceptable and salutary forms. Let us follow
no such examples, nor weakly believe that
one generation is not as capable as another
of taking care of itself, and of ordering its
own affairs.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 15. Ford ed., x, 42.
(M. 1816)

See Generations.

7016. PROGRESS, Perseverance and.—

In endeavors to improve our situation, we
should never despair.—
To John Quincy Adams. Washington ed. vii, 89.
(M. 1817)

7017. PROGRESS, In Science.—

One of
the questions, you know, on which our parties
took different sides, was on the improvability
of the human mind in science, in ethics, in
government, &c. Those who advocated reformation
of institutions, pari passu with the
progress of science, maintained that no definite
limits could be assigned to that progress.
The enemies of reform, on the other hand,
denied improvement, and advocated steady
adherence to the principles, practices and institutions
of our fathers, which they represented
as the consummation of wisdom, and
acme of excellence, beyond which the human
mind could never advance. Although in the
passage of your answer alluded to, you expressly
disclaim the wish to influence the
freedom of inquiry, you predict that that will
produce nothing more worthy of transmission
to posterity than the principles, institutions
and systems of education received from their
ancestors. I do not consider this as your
deliberate opinion. You possess, yourself, too
much science, not to see how much is still
ahead of you, unexplained and unexplored.
Your own consciousness must place you as far
before our ancestors as in the rear of posterity.—
To John Adams. Washington ed. vi, 126. Ford ed., ix, 387.
(M. 1813)

7018. PROGRESS, Sluggish.—

There is
a snail-paced gait for the advance of new
ideas on the general mind, under which we
must acquiesce. A forty years' experience of
popular assemblies has taught me, that you
must give them time for every step you take.
If too hard pushed, they balk, and the machine
To Joel Barlow. Washington ed. v, 217. Ford ed., ix, 169.
(W. Dec. 1807)

7019. PROGRESS, Time 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)


See Whisky.

7020. PROPERTY, Acquisition of.—

The political institutions of America, its various
soils and climates opened a certain resource
to the unfortunate and to the enterprising
of every country, and insured to them
the acquisition and free possession of property.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 465.
(July. 1775)

7021. PROPERTY, Of aliens.—

that no right be stipulated for aliens
to hold real property within these States, this
being utterly inadmissible by their several
laws and policy; but when on the death of
any person holding real estate within the territories
of one of the contracting parties, such
real estate would by their laws descend on
a subject or citizen of the other, were he not
disqualified by alienage, then he shall be
allowed reasonable time to dispose of the
same, and withdraw the proceeds without
Commercial Treaties Instructions. Ford ed., iii, 492.

7022. PROPERTY, Of aliens.—[continued].

It is reasonable that every one who asks justice should do justice;
and it is usual to consider the property
of a foreigner, in any country, as a fund appropriated
to the payment of what he owes
in that country exclusively. It is a care
which most nations take of their own citizens,
not to let the property, which is to answer
their demands, be withdrawn from its
jurisdiction, and send them to seek it in foreign
countries, and before foreign tribunals.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 395. Ford ed., vi, 37.
(Pa., May. 1792)

7023. PROPERTY, Annihilation of.—

They [Parliament] have interdicted all commerce
to one of our principal towns, thereby
annihilating its property in the hands of the
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 468.
(July. 1775)

7024. PROPERTY, Confiscation of.—

[In Lord North's proposition] our, adversaries
still claim a right of demanding ad
and of taxing us themselves to the
full amount of their demand, if we do not
comply with it. This leaves us without anything
we can call property.—
Reply to Lord North's Proposition. Ford ed., i, 481.
(July. 1775)

7025. PROPERTY, Confiscation of.—[continued].

He has incited treasonable
insurrections of our fellow citizens, with


Page 727
the allurements of forfeiture and confiscation
of our property. [404]
Declaration of Independence as Drawn by Jefferson.


Struck out by Congress.—Editor.

7026. PROPERTY, Defence of.—

In defence
of our persons and properties under actual violation, we took up arms. When
that violence shall be removed, when hostilities
shall cease on the part of the aggressors,
hostilities shall cease on our part also.—
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 475.
(July. 1775)

7027. PROPERTY, Depreciation.—

Money is leaving the remoter parts of the
Union, and flowing to this place [Philadelphia] to purchase paper; and here, a paper
medium supplying its place, it is shipped off
in exchange for luxuries. The value of property
is necessarily falling in the places left
bare of money. In Virginia, for instance,
property has fallen 25 per cent. in the last
twelve months.—
To William Short. Washington ed. iii, 343. Ford ed., v, 459.
(Pa., March. 1792)

7028. PROPERTY, Depreciation.—[continued].

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

See Banks, Money and Paper Money.

7029. PROPERTY, Descent of.—

descent of property of every kind to all the
children, or to all the brothers and sisters,
or other relations, in equal degree, is a politic
measure, and a practicable one.—
To Rev. James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 35.
(P. 1785)

See Descents, Entail and Primogeniture.

7030. PROPERTY, Division of.—

I am
conscious that an equal division of property
is impracticable. But the consequences of
this enormous inequality [in France] producing
so much misery to the bulk of mankind,
legislators cannot invent too many devices for
subdividing property, only taking care to let
their subdivisions go hand in hand with the
natural affections of the human mind.—
To Rev. James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 35.
(P. 1785)

See Descents, Entail and Primogeniture.

7031. PROPERTY, Equal rights and.—

The true foundation of republican govern
ment is the equal right of every citizen, in
his person and property, and in their management.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 11. Ford ed., x, 39.
(M. 1816)

7032. PROPERTY, Federal.—

The property
of the United States can never be questioned
in any court, but in special cases in
which, by some particular law, they delegate
a special power, as to the boards of commissioners,
and in some small fiscal cases.
But a general jurisdiction over the national
demesnes, being more than half the territory
of the United States, has never been by them,
and never ought to be, subjected to any tribunal.—
Batture Case. Washington ed. viii, 521.

7033. PROPERTY, Forfeited.—

All forfeitures
heretofore going to the king, shall go to the State; save only such as the legislature
may hereafter abolish.—
Proposed Va. Constitution. Ford ed., i, 27.
(June. 1776)

7034. PROPERTY, Forfeited.—[continued].

In all cases of petty
treason and murder, one-half of the lands
and goods of the offender shall be forfeited
to the next of kin to the person killed, and
the other half descend and go to his representatives.
Save only, where one shall slay
the challenger in a duel, in which case, no
part of his lands or goods shall be forfeited
to the kindred of the party slain, but instead
thereof, a moiety shall go to the Commonwealth.
Crimes Bill. Washington ed. i, 150. Ford ed., ii, 207.


Quære, if the estates of both parties in a duel,
should not be forfeited? The deceased is equally
guilty with a suicide.—Note by Jefferson.

7035. PROPERTY, Free Press and.—

The functionaries of every government have
propensities to command at will the liberty
and property of their constituents. There is
no safe deposit for these but with the people
themselves; nor can they be safe with them
without information. Where the press is
free, and every man able to read, all is safe.—
To Charles Yancey. Washington ed. vi, 517. Ford ed., x, 4.
(M. 1816)

7036. PROPERTY, Impressing.—

In a
country where means of payment are neither
prompt, nor of the most desirable kind, impressing
property for the public use has been
found indispensable. We have no fears of
complaint under your exercise of those
To Major-General Lafayette. Ford ed., ii, 502.
(R. 1781)

7037. PROPERTY, Industry and.—

wish is that * * * [there be] maintained
that state of property, equal or unequal,
which results to every man from his own industry,
or that of his fathers.—
Second Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 44. Ford ed., viii, 347.

7038. PROPERTY, Inequality of.—

Another means of silently lessening the inequality
of property [in France] is to exempt
all from taxation below a certain
point, and to tax the higher portions of property
in geometrical progression as they rise.—
To Rev. James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 36.
(P. 1785)


Page 728

7039. PROPERTY, Inventions as.—

cannot in nature be a subject of
To Isaac McPherson. Washington ed. vi, 181.
(M. 1813)

See Inventions and Patents.

7040. PROPERTY, Jurisdiction over.—

The functions of the Executive are not competent
to the decision of questions of property
between individuals. They are ascribed
to the Judiciary alone, and when either persons
or property are taken into their custody,
there is no power in this country that
can take them out.—
To Edmond Charles Genet. Washington ed. iii, 586. Ford ed., vi, 312.
(Pa., 17931793)gt;

7041. PROPERTY, Laws of.—

there is in any country, uncultivated lands
and unemployed poor, it is clear that the
laws of property have been so far extended
as to violate natural right.—
To Rev. James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 36.
(P. 1785)

7042. PROPERTY, Life and.—

[Parliament] have deprived us of the inestimable
privilege of trial by a jury of the
vicinage in cases affecting both life and
Declaration on Taking up Arms. Ford ed., i, 468.
(July. 1775)

7043. PROPERTY, Paper money and.—

That paper money has some advantages, is
admitted. But that its abuses also are inevitable,
and, by breaking up the measure of
value, makes a lottery of all private property,
cannot be denied.—
To Dr. Josephus B. Stuart. Washington ed. vii, 65.
(M. May. 1817)
See Banks and Paper Money.

7044. PROPERTY, Protection of.—

persons and property of our citizens are entitled
to the protection of our government
in all places where they may lawfully go.—
Opinion on Ship Passports. Washington ed. vii, 624.
(May. 1793)

7045. PROPERTY, Protection of.—[continued].

We give you [Choctaws] a copy of the law, made by our great
Council, for punishing our people, who May
encroach on your lands, or injure you otherwise.
Carry it with you to your homes, and
preserve it, as the shield which we spread
over you, to protect your land, your property,
and persons.—
Address to the Choctaws. Washington ed. viii, 192.

7046. PROPERTY, Protection of.—[further continued].

When once you [the Indians] have property, you will want laws and magistrates to protect your property and persons,
and to punish those among you who
commit crimes. You will find that our laws
are good for this purpose.—
Address to Delawares. Washington ed. viii, 226.

7047. PROPERTY, Protection of.—[further continued] .

We wish to see you [the
Indians] possessed of property, and protecting
it by regular laws.—
Indian Address. Washington ed. viii, 234.

7048. PROPERTY, Protection of.—[further continued].

The first foundations of
the social compact would be broken up, were
we definitely to refuse to its members the
protection of their persons and property,
while in their lawful pursuits.—
To James Maury. Washington ed. vi, 52. Ford ed., ix, 348.
(M. 1812)

7049. PROPERTY, Public office as.—

The field of public office will not be perverted
by me into a family property.—
To Dr. Horatio Turpin. Washington ed. v, 90.
(W. 1807)
See Relations.

7050. PROPERTY, Recovery of.—

nature's law, every man has a right to seize
and retake by force, his own property. taken
from him by another, by force or fraud.
Nor is this natural right among the first
which is taken into the hands of regular government,
after it is instituted. It was long
retained by our ancestors. It was a part
of their common law, laid down in their
books, recognized by all the authorities, and
regulated as to circumstances of practice.—
Batture Case. Washington ed. viii, 584.

7051. PROPERTY, Representation of.—

In some of the American States, the delegates
and Senators are so chosen as that the
first represent the persons, and the second
the property of the State. But with us
[Virginia] wealth and wisdom have equal
chance for admission into both houses.—
Notes on Virginia. Washington ed. viii, 361. Ford ed., iii, 223.

7052. PROPERTY, Rescue of.—

has given to all men, individual or associated,
the right of rescuing their own property
wrongfully taken. In cases of forcible entry
on individual possessions, special provisions,
both of the common and civil law, have
restrained the right of rescue by private
force, and substituted the aid of the civil
power. But no law has restrained the right
of the nation itself from removing by its own
arm, intruders on its possessions.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. v, 518.
(M. 1810)

7053. PROPERTY, Restitution.—

should immediately and earnestly recommend
to the legislatures of the respective States to provide for the restitution of all
estates, rights and properties which have
been confiscated, belonging to British subjects;
and also of the estates, rights and
properties of persons resident in districts
which were in the possession of his Britannic
Majesty's arms at any time between the 30th
day of November, 1782, and the 14th day of
January, 1784, and who have not borne arms
against the United States, and that persons
of any other description shall have free liberty
to go to any part or parts of any of the
thirteen United States, and therein to remain
twelve months unmolested in their endeavors
to obtain the restitution of such of their estates,
rights and properties as may have
been confiscated.—
Report on Peace Treaty. Ford ed., iii, 349.
(Dec. 1783)

7054. PROPERTY, Restoration.—

I am
not fond of encouraging an intercourse with
the enemy for the recovery of property; however,
I shall not forbid it while conducted on
principles which are fair and general. If the
British commander chooses to discriminate
between the several species of property taken
from the people; if he chooses to say he will
restore all of one kind, and retain all of an


Page 729
other, I am contented that individuals shall
avail themselves of this discrimination; but
no distinctions of persons must be admitted.
The moment it is proposed that the same
species of property shall be restored to one
which is refused to another, let every application
to him for restitution be prohibited.
The principles by which his discrimination
would be governed are but too obvious, and
they are the reverse of what we should approve.—
To Colonel John Nicholas. Ford ed., ii, 409.

7055. PROPERTY, Restoration.—[continued].

A right to take the side,
which every man's conscience approves in a
civil contest, is too precious a right, and too
favorable to the preservation of liberty not
to be protected by all its well informed
friends. The Assembly of Virginia have
given sanction to this right in several of their
laws, discriminating honorably those who
took side against us before the Declaration
of Independence, from those who remained
among us and strove to injure us by their
treacheries. I sincerely wish that you, and
every other to whom this distinction applies
favorably, may find, in the Assembly of Virginia,
the good effects of that justice and
generosity which have dictated to them this
discrimination. It is a sentiment which will
gain strength in their breasts in proportion as
they can forget the savage cruelties committed
on them, and will, I hope, in the end
induce them to restore the property itself
wherever it is unsold, and the price received
for it, where it has been actually sold.—
To Mrs. Sprowle. Ford ed., iv, 66.
(P. 1785)

7056. PROPERTY, Right to.—

A right
to property is founded in our natural wants,
in the means with which we are endowed to
satisfy these wants, and the right to what
we acquire by those means without violating
the similar rights of other sensible beings.—
To Dupont de Nemours. Washington ed. vi, 591. Ford ed., x, 24.

7057. PROPERTY, Sale under execution.—

The immensity of this [Virginia] debt
[to British creditors] was another reason for
forbidding such a mass of property to be
offered for sale under execution at once, as,
from the small quantity of circulating money,
it must have sold for little or nothing,
whereby the creditor would have failed to
receive his money, and the debtor would have
lost his whole estate without being discharged
of his debt. [406]
Report to Congress. Washington ed. ix, 241. Ford ed., iv, 127.
(P. 1785)

See Debts Due British.


Report of Conference with Count de Vergennes,
Foreign Minister of France, respecting commerce.——Editor.

— PROPERTY, At sea.—

See Treaties.

7058. PROPERTY, Seizure in war.—

cannot be denied that a state of war directly
permits a nation to seize the property of its
enemies found within its own limits or taken
in war and in whatever form it exists
whether in action or possession.—
To George Hammond. Washington ed. iii, 369. Ford ed., vi, 15.
(Pa., 17921792)gt;

7059. PROPERTY, Sequestration.—

securing to the citizens of the Commonwealth
[of Virginia] an indemnification out of the
property of British subjects here, * * * in case the sovereign of the latter should
confiscate the property of the former in his
dominions, as well as to prevent that accession
of strength which the enemy might derive
by withdrawing their property * * * hence * * * the lands, slaves, flocks, implements
of industry * * * of British subjects, shall be sequestered.—
British Property Bill. Ford ed., ii, 199.

7060. PROPERTY, Slaves as.—

The cession
of that kind of property [Slaves], for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle which would
not cost me a second thought, if, in that way,
a general emancipation and expatriation
could be effected.—
To John Holmes. Washington ed. vii, 159. Ford ed., x, 157.
(M. 1820)

7061. PROPERTY, Slaves as.—[continued].

Actual property has been
lawfully vested in [negroes] and who can
lawfully take it from the possessors?—
To Jared Sparks. Washington ed. vii, 333. Ford ed., x, 290.
(M. 1824)

7062. PROPERTY, Stable ownership.—

By an universal law, indeed, whatever [property],
whether fixed or movable, belongs to
all men equally and in common, is the property
for the moment of him who occupies it;
but when he relinquishes the occupation, the
property goes with it. Stable ownership is
the gift of social law, and is given late in
the progress of society.—
To Isaac McPherson. Washington ed. vi, 180.
(M. 1813)

7063. PROPERTY, Taxation.—

I am principally afraid that commerce will be overloaded
by the assumption [of the State debts],
believing it would be better that property
should be duly taxed.—
To Mr. Randolph. Washington ed. iii, 185.
(N.Y., 1790)

See Taxation.

7064. PROPERTY, Unequal division.—

The unequal division of property [in France] * * * occasions numberless instances of
wretchedness and is to be observed all over
To Rev. James Madison. Ford ed., vii, 35.
(P. 1785)

7065. PROPERTY, Untaxed.—

clergy and nobles [in France], by their privileges
and influence, have kept their property
in a great measure untaxed.—
To Dr. Price. Washington ed. ii, 556.
(P. Jan. 1789)

7066. PROPHECY, Conditional.—

can withhold looking into futurity on events
which are to change the face of the world, and
the condition of man throughout it, without indulging
himself in the effusions of the holy
spirit of Delphos? I may do it the more safely,
as to my vaticinations I always subjoin the proviso
“that nothing unexpected happen to change
the predicted course of events”.—
To William Short. Ford ed., x, 249.
(M. 1823)

7067. PROPHECY, Fallacious.—

in that super-mundane region, we may be
amused with seeing the fallacy of our own
To John Adams. Washington ed. vii, 105. Ford ed., x, 109.
(M. 1818)


Page 730

7068. PROPHET, Wabash.—

With respect
to the [Wabash] prophet, if those who are
in danger from him would settle it in their own
way, it would be their affair. But we should
do nothing towards it. That kind of policy is
not in the character of our government, and still
less of the paternal spirit we wish to show towards
that people. But could not [General] Harrison gain over the Prophet, who no doubt
is a scoundrel, and only needs his price?—
To General Dearborn. Washington ed. v, 163.
(M. Aug. 1807)


To fill up the measure of irritation,
a proscription of individuals has been substituted
in the room of just trial. Can it be believed
that a grateful people will suffer those to
be consigned to execution whose sole crime has
been the developing and asserting their rights?
Had the Parliament possessed the power of reflection,
they would have avoided a measure as
impotent, as it was inflammatory.—
To Dr. William Small. Washington ed. i, 199. Ford ed., i, 454.
(May. 1775)

7070. PROSPERITY, American.—

is not a nation under the sun enjoying more
present prosperity, nor with more in prospect.—
To C. W. F. Dumas. Washington ed. iii, 260.
(Pa., 17911791)gt;

7071. PROSPERITY, Basis.—

A prosperity
built on the basis of agriculture is that which is most desirable to us, because
to the efforts of labor it adds the efforts of
a greater proportion of soil.—
Circular to Consuls. Washington ed. iii, 431.
(Pa., 1792)

7072. PROSPERITY, Concern for.—

concerns for the prosperity of my
fellow citizens will cease but with life to
animate my breast.—
Reply to Address. Washington ed. v, 262.
(W. 1808)

7073. PROSPERITY, Conditions of.—

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)

7074. PROSPERITY, Pillars of.—

manufactures, commerce, and navigation,
the four pillars of our prosperity, are
the most thriving when left most free to individual
First Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 13. Ford ed., viii, 123.
(Dec. 1801)

7075. PROSPERITY, Stability of.—

the useful pursuits of peace alone, a stable
prosperity can be founded.—
R. to A. Pittsburg Republicans. Washington ed. viii, 142.

7076. PROTECTION, Commerce and navigation.—

We wish [to encourage navigation
and commerce] by throwing open all the doors of commerce, and knocking off
its shackles. But as this cannot be done for
others, unless they will do it for us, and
there is no probability that Europe will do
this, I suppose we shall be obliged to adopt
a system which may shackle them in our
ports, as they do us in theirs.—
To Count Van Hogendorp. Washington ed. i, 465. Ford ed., iv, 105.
(P. 1785)

See Commerce and Navigation.


——. Should any nation, contrary
to our wishes, suppose it may better
find its advantage by continuing its system
of prohibitions, duties and regulations, it behooves
us to protect our citizens, their commerce
and navigation, by counter prohibitions,
duties and regulations, also. Free
commerce and navigation are not to be given
in exchange for restrictions and vexations;
nor are they likely to produce a relaxation
of them.—
Foreign Commerce Report. Washington ed. vii, 647. Ford ed., vi, 480.
(Dec. 1793)
See Duties and Free Trade.

7078. PROTECTION, Manufactures and.—

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.
(Dec. 1802)

7079. PROTECTION, Manufactures and.—[continued].

Little doubt remains that
the [manufacturing] 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
Eighth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 109. Ford ed., ix, 224.
(Nov. 1808)
See Manufactures and Tariff.

7080. PROTECTION, Oppressive.—

I do
not mean to say that it may not be for the
general interest to foster for awhile certain
infant manufactures, until they are strong
enough to stand against foreign rivals; but
when evident that they will never be so, it
is against right to make the other branches
of industry support them.—
To Samuel Smith. Washington ed. vii, 285. Ford ed., x, 252.
(M. 1823)

7081. PROTECTION, Petitions for.—

observe you [Congress] are loaded with petitions
from the manufacturing, commercial
and agricultural interests, each praying you
to sacrifice the others to them. This proves
the egoism of the whole and happily balances
their cannibal appetites to eat one another.
* * * I do not know whether it is any
part of the petitions of the farmers that our
citizens shall be restrained to eat nothing but
bread, because that can be made here. But
this is the common spirit of all their petitions.—
To Hugh Nelson. Ford ed., x, 156.
(M. 1820)

7082. PROTECTION, Printing and.—

None of these [books in foreign living
languages] are printed here, and the duty on
them becomes consequently not a protecting,
but really a prohibitory one.—
To—. Washington ed. vii, 220.
(M. 1821)

See Books.

7083. PROTESTANTS, French edict respecting.—

The long expected edict for the
Protestants at length appears here [Paris].
Its analysis is this: It is an acknowledgment
(hitherto withheld by the laws,) that Protestants
can beget children, and that they can
die, and be offensive unless buried. It does
not give them permission to think, to speak,


Page 731
or to worship. It enumerates the humiliations
to which they shall remain subject, and
the burthens to which they shall continue to
be unjustly exposed. What are we to think
of the condition of the human mind in a
country where such a wretched thing as this
has thrown the State into convulsions, and
how must we bless our own situation in a
country the most illiterate peasant of which is
a Solon compared with the authors of this
To William Rutledge. Washington ed. ii, 350. Ford ed., v, 4.
(P. Feb. 1788)

7084. PROVIDENCE, An approving.—

We remark with special satisfaction those
circumstances which, under the smiles of
Providence, result from the skill, industry
and order of our citizens, managing their
own affairs in their own way and for their
own use, unembarrassed by too much regulations,
unoppressed by fiscal exactions.—
Second Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 15. Ford ed., viii, 182.
(Dec. 1802)

7085. PROVIDENCE, Goodness of.—

Providence in His goodness gave it [the
yellow fever] an early termination * * * and lessened the number of victims which
have usually fallen before it.—
Fifth Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 461. Ford ed., viii, 386.
(Dec. 1805)

7086. PROVIDENCE, Gratitude to.—

Let us bow with gratitude to that kind
Providence which * * * guarded us from
hastily entering into the sanguinary contest
[between France and England].—
Third Annual Message. Washington ed. viii, 28. Ford ed., viii, 272.
(Oct. 1803)

7087. PROVIDENCE, Human happiness and.—

An overruling Providence * * * by all its dispensations proves that it delights
in the happiness of man here and his
greater happiness hereafter.—
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 3. Ford ed., viii, 4.

7088. PROVIDENCE, A just.—

[General Washington] have persevered till
these United States, aided by a magnanimous
king and nation, have been enabled, under
a just Providence, to close the war in freedom,
safety, and independence. * * * We
join you in commending the interests of our
dearest country to the protection of Almighty
God, beseeching Him to dispose the hearts
and minds of its citizens to improve the opportunity
afforded them of becoming a happy
and respectable nation. [407]
Congress to Washington on Surrendering his Commission.
(Dec. 23, 1783)


Thomas Mifflin, the President of Congress, read
the reply of Congress to Washington's address on
surrendering his commission. It was written by
Jefferson, but is not included in the editions of his

7089. PROVIDENCE, Prayers to.—

pray that that Providence in whose hands
are the nations of the earth, may continue
towards ours His fostering care, and bestow
on yourselves the blessings of His protection
and favor.—
R. to A. Massachusetts Legislature. Washington ed. viii, 117.

7090. PROVIDENCE, Slavery and.—

We must await with patience the workings of an overruling Providence, and hope that
that is preparing the deliverance of these,
our suffering brethren [Slaves].—
To M. de Meunier. Washington ed. ix, 279. Ford ed., iv, 185.
(P. 1786)

See Deity and God.

7091. PROVIDENCE, Supplicating.—

supplicate a protecting Providence to watch
over your own and our country's freedom
and welfare.—
R. to A. N. Y. Tammany Society. Washington ed. viii, 127.
(Feb. 1808)

7092. PROVIDENCE, Supplicating.—[continued].

I sincerely supplicate
that overruling Providence which governs
the destinies of men and nations, to dispense
His choicest blessings on yourselves and our
beloved country.—
R. to A. Massachusetts Citizens. Washington ed. viii, 161.


See Frederick The Great.

7093. PSALMS, Estimate of the.—

I acknowledge
all the merit of the hymn of Cleanthes
to Jupiter, which you ascribe to it. It is
as highly sublime as a chaste and correct imagination
can permit itself to go. Yet in the
contemplation of a Being so superlative, the
hyperbolic flights of the Psalmist may often be
followed, with approbation, even with rapture;
and I have no hesitation in giving him the
palm over all the hymnists of every language
and of every time. Turn to the 148th psalm,
in Brady and Tate's version. Have such conceptions
been ever before expressed? Their
version of the 15th psalm is more to be esteemed
for its pithiness than its poetry. Even Sternhold,
the leaden Sternhold, kindles, in a single
instance, with the sublimity of his original, and
expresses the majesty of God descending on
the earth, in terms not unworthy of the subject:

“The Lord descended from above,
And bowed the heav'ns most high,
And underneath His feet He cast,
The darkness of the sky.
On Cherubim and Seraphim
Full royally He rode;
And on the wings of mighty winds
Came flying all abroad.”
—Psalm xviii.

* * * The best collection of these psalms is that of the Octagonian dissenters of Liverpool.
* * * Indeed, bad is the best of the English
versions; not a ray of poetical genius having
ever been employed on them. And how much
depends on this, may be seen by comparing
Brady and Tate's 15th psalm with Blacklock's
Justum et tenacem propositi virum of Horace.
A translation of David in this style, or in that
of Pompei's Cleanthes, might give us some idea
of the merit of the original. The character,
too, of the poetry of these hymns is singular to
us: written in monostichs, each divided into
strophe and anti-strophe, the sentiment of the
first member responded with amplification or
antithesis in the second.—
To John Adams. vi, 220.
(M. 1813)

7094. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Abuse of.—

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

7095. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Acquirement of.—

The energy of the government depending
mainly on the confidence of the people
in the Chief Magistrate makes it his duty


Page 732
to spare nothing which can strengthen him
with that confidence.—
To Dr. Horatio Turpin. Washington ed. v, 90.
(W. 1807)

7096. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Acquirement of.—[continued].

In a government like ours, it is the duty of the Chief Magistrate,
in order to enable himself to do all the good
which his station requires, to endeavor, by all
honorable means, to unite in himself the confidence
of the whole people. This alone, in any
case where the energy of the nation is required,
can produce a union of the powers of the
whole, and point them in a single direction,
as if all constituted but one body and one
mind; and this alone can render a weaker
nation unconquerable by a stronger one. Towards
acquiring the confidence of the people,
the very first measure is to satisfy them of his
disinterestedness, and that he is directing
their affairs with a single eye to their good,
and not to build up fortunes for himself and
To J. Garland Jefferson. Washington ed. v, 498. Ford ed., ix, 270.
(M. 1810)

7097. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Asked for.—

Without pretensions to that high confidence
you reposed in our first and greatest
revolutionary character, * * * I ask so
much confidence only as may give firmness
and effect to the legal administration of your
First Inaugural Address. Washington ed. viii, 5. Ford ed., viii, 5.

7098. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Dangerous.—

It would be a dangerous delusion were
a confidence in the men of our choice to
silence our fears for the safety of our rights.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 470. Ford ed., vii, 303.

7099. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Despotism and.—

Confidence is everywhere the parent
of depotism—free government is founded
in jealousy, and not in confidence.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 470. Ford ed., vii, 304.

7100. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Lack of.—

We do not find it easy to make commercial
arrangements in Europe. There is a want of
confidence in us.—
To Nathaniel Greene. Ford ed., iv, 25.
(P. 1785)

7101. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Limits to.—

Our Constitution has * * * fixed the
limits to which, and no further, our confidence
may go; and let the honest advocate
of confidence read the Alien and Sedition
Acts, and say if the Constitution has not been
wise in fixing limits to the government it
created, and whether we should be wise in
destroying those limits.—
Kentucky Resolutions. Washington ed. ix, 470. Ford ed., vii, 304.

7102. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Limits to.—[continued].

Is confidence or discretion,
or is strict limit, the principle of our Constitution?—
To Jedediah Morse. Washington ed. vii, 235. Ford ed., x, 205.
(M. 1822)

7103. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Perversion of.—

What person, who remembers the
times and tempers we have seen, would have
believed that within so short a period, not
only the jealous spirit of liberty which shaped
every operation of our Revolution, but even
the common principles of English whigism
would be scouted, and the tory principle of
passive obedience under the new-fangled
names of confidence and responsibility, become
entirely triumphant? That the tories,
whom in mercy we did not crumble to dust
and ashes, could so have entwined us in their
scorpion toils, that we cannot now move hand
or foot?—
To Robert R. Livingston. Washington ed. iv, 297. Ford ed., vii, 369.
(Pa., Feb. 1799)

7104. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Preserve.—

Let nothing be spared of either reason
or passion, to preserve the public confidence
entire, as the only rock of our safety.—
To Cæsar A. Rodney. Washington ed. v, 501. Ford ed., ix, 272.
(M. 1810)

7105. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Sacrifices and.—

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

7106. PUBLIC CONFIDENCE, Wisdom and.—

It is not wisdom alone, but public confidence in that wisdom, which can support
an administration.—
To President Monroe. Ford ed., x, 316.
(M. 1824)


See Internal Improvements.


See Office and Offices.

7107. PUBLIC WORKS, Government and.—

The New Orleans Canal Company ask
specifically that we should loan them $50,000,
or take the remaining fourth of their shares
now on hand. This last measure is too much
out of our policy of not embarking the public
in enterprises better managed by individuals,
and which might occupy as much of our
time as those political duties for which the
public functionaries are particularly instituted.
Some money could be lent them, but
only on an assurance that it would be employed
so as to secure the public objects.—
To Governor Claiborne. Washington ed. v, 319.
(W. July. 1808)

7108. PUBLICITY, Adams's administration and.—

Reserve as to all their proceedings
is the fundamental maxim of the
Executive department.—
To Benjamin Hawkins. Washington ed. iv, 326. Ford ed., vii, 435.
(Pa., March. 1800)

7109. PUBLICITY, Complete.—

There is
not a truth existing which I fear, or would
wish unknown to the whole world.—
To Henry Lee. Washington ed. vii, 448. Ford ed., x, 389.
(M. 1826)

7110. PUBLICITY, Darkness and.—

Ours, as you know, is a government which
will not tolerate the being kept entirely in
the dark.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. v, 52. Ford ed., ix, 36.
(W. 1807)

See Convention (Federal).

7111. PUBLICITY, Demanded.—

Journals of Congress not being printed
earlier, gives more uneasiness than I would


Page 733
wish ever to see produced by any act of that
body, from whom alone, I know, our salvation
can proceed. In our [Virginia] Assembly,
even the best affected think it an indignity
to freemen to be voted away, life and
fortune, in the dark.—
To John Adams. Ford ed., ii, 130.
(Wg. 1777)

7112. PUBLICITY, Executive, Congress and.—

I remember Mr. Gallatin expressed
an opinion that our negotiations with
England should not be laid before Congress
at their meeting, but reserved to be communicated
all together with the answer
they should send us, whenever received. I am
not of this opinion. I think, on the meeting of
Congress, we should lay before them everything
that has passed to that day, and place
them on the same ground of information we
are on ourselves.—
To James Madison. Washington ed. v, 174. Ford ed., ix, 131.
(M. 1807)

7113. PUBLICITY, Executive, Congress and.—[continued].

I am desirous that nothing
shall be omitted on my part which May
add to your information on this subject [relations
with France], or contribute to the
correctness of the views which should be
Special Message. Washington ed. viii, 102. Ford ed., ix, 187.

7114. PUBLICITY, Executive support.—

No ground of support for the Executive
will ever be so sure as a complete knowledge
of their proceedings by the people; and it is
only in cases where the public good would
be injured, and because it would be injured,
that proceedings should be secret. In such
cases it is the duty of the Executive to sacrifice
their personal interests (which would
be promoted by publicity) to the public interest.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iv, 89. Ford ed., vi, 461.

7115. PUBLICITY, Expediency of.—

the negotiations with England are at an end,
if not given to the public now, when are
they to be given? and what moment can be so
interesting? If anything amiss should happen
from the concealment, where will the
blame originate at least? It may be said, indeed,
that the President puts it in the power of the Legislature to communicate these
proceedings to their constituents; but is it
more their duty to communicate them to
their constituents, than it is the President's
to communicate them to his constituents? And if they were desirous of communicating
them, ought the President to restrain them
by making the communication confidential?
I think no harm can be done by the publication,
because it is impossible England, after
doing us an injury, should declare war against us, merely because we tell our constituents
of it; and I think good may be
done, because while it puts it in the power
of the Legislature to adopt peaceable measures
of doing ourselves justice, it prepares
the minds of our constituents to go cheerfully
into an acquiescence under these measures,
by impressing them with a thorough and
enlightened conviction that they are founded
in right.—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iv, 89. Ford ed., vi, 461.
(Dec. 1793)


——. On a severe review of
the question, whether the British communication
should carry any such mark of being
confidential as to prevent the Legislature
from publishing them, he is clearly of opinion
they ought not. Will they be kept secret
if secrecy be enjoined? Certainly not, and
all the offence will be given (if it be possible
any should be given) which would follow their
complete publication. If they would be kept
secret, from whom would it be? From our
own constituents only, for Great Britain is
possessed of every title. Why, then, keep it
secret from them?—
To President Washington. Washington ed. iv, 89. Ford ed., vi, 461.
(Dec. 1793)

7117. PUBLICITY, Full.—

I hope that to
preserve this weather-gauge of public opinion,
and to counteract the slanders and
falsehoods disseminated by the English papers,
the government will make it a standing
instruction to their ministers at foreign
courts, to keep Europe truly informed of occurrences
here, by publishing in their papers
the naked truth always, whether favorable or
unfavorable. For they will believe the good,
if we candidly tell them the bad also.—
To James Monroe. Washington ed. vi, 408. Ford ed., ix, 497.
(M. 1815)

7118. PUBLICITY, The people and.—

have not been in the habit of mysterious reserve
on any subject, nor of buttoning up my
opinions within my own doublet. On the
contrary, while in public service especially, I
thought the public entitled to frankness, and
intimately to know whom they employed.—
To Samuel Kerchival. Washington ed. vii, 9. Ford ed., x, 37.
(M. 1816)

7119. PUBLICITY, Preservation of order and.—

The way to prevent these [408] irregular
interpositions of the people is to give
them full information of their affairs through
the channel of the public papers, and to contrive
that those papers should penetrate the
whole mass of the people.—
To Edward Carrington. Washington ed. ii, 99. Ford ed., iv, 359.
(P. 1787)


Jefferson was discussing Shays's rebellion.—Editor.

7120. PUBLICITY, War intelligence.—

When our constituents are called on for considerable
exertions to relieve a part of their
fellow-citizens, suffering from the hand of an
enemy, it is desirable for those entrusted
with the administration of their affairs to
communicate without reserve what they have
done to ward off the evil. [409]
To President Washington. Ford ed., v, 431.


Page 734

The extract is from the draft of a letter written
by Jefferson for President Washington, to be sent
by him to the Secretary of War, as an introduction
to a report on Indian affairs. Hamilton doubted
“whether `our constituents' was a proper phrase to
be used by the President in addressing a subordinate
officer”, and suggested instead of it, “the community ”. Washington adopted it. Hamilton also
suggested that the close of the sentence after “ desirable
” be made to read, “to manifest that due pains
have been taken by those entrusted with the administration
of their affairs to avoid the evil”. Washington
made the change.—Editor.

7121. PUBLICITY, War intelligence.—[continued].

A fair and honest narrative
of the bad, is a voucher for the truth
of the good. In this way the old Congress
set an example to the world, for which the
world amply repaid them, by giving unlimited
credit to whatever was stamped with
the name of Charles Thomson. It is known
that this was never put to an untruth but
once, and that where Congress was misled by
the credulity of their General (Sullivan).
The first misfortune of the Revolutionary
war, induced a motion to suppress or garble
the account of it. It was rejected with indignation.
The whole truth was given in all
its details, and there never was another attempt
in that body to disguise it.—
To Matthew Carr. Washington ed. vi, 133.
(M. 1813)

7122. PUNISHMENT, Excessive.—

excess of punishment is a crime.—
Report on Spanish Convention. Washington ed. iii, 354. Ford ed., v, 484.