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I procured it to be brought forward elsewhere. It failed there also, and for a time, perhaps, may not prevail : but a militia can never be used for distant service on any other plan ; and Bonaparte will conquer the world, if they do not learn his secret of composing armies of young men only, whose enthusiasm and health enable them to surmount all obstacles. When a gentleman, through zeal for the public service, undertakes to do the public business, we know that we shall hear the cant of backstairs counsellors. But we never heard this while the declaimer was himself a backstairs man, as he calls it, but in the confidence and views of the administration, as may more properly and respectfully be said. But if the members are to know nothing but what is important enough to be put into a public message, and indifferent enough to be made known to all the world ; if the executive is to keep all other information to himself, and the House to plunge on in the dark, it becomes a government of chance and not of design. The imputation was one of those artifices used to despoil an adversary of his most effectual arms; and men of mind will place themselves above a gabble of this order. The last session of Congress was indeed an uneasy one for a time : but as soon as the members penetrated into the views of those who were taking a new course, they rallied in as solid a phalanx as I have ever seen act together. Indeed I have never seen a House of better dispositions. * * * * * Perhaps I am not entitled to speak with so much frankness ; but it proceeds from no motive which has not a right to your forgiveness. Opportunities of candid explanation are so seldom afforded me, that I must not lose them when they occur.
The information I receive from your quarter agrees with that from the south ; that the late schism has made not the smallest impression on the public, and that the seceders are obliged to give to it other grounds than those which we know to be the true ones. All we have to wish is, that, at the ensuing session, every one may take the part openly which he secretly befriends. I recollect nothing new and true, worthy communicating to you. As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers. Among other things, are those perpetual alarms as to the Indians, for no one of which has there ever been the slightest ground. They are the suggestions of hostile traders, always wishing to embroil us with the Indians, to perpetuate their own extortionate commerce. I salute you with esteem and respect.
TO MR. BOWDOIN.
Washington, July 10, 1806. DEAR SIR, I believe that when you left America, the invention of the polygraph had not yet reached Boston. It is for copying with one pen while you write with the other, and without the least additional embarrassment or exertion to the writer. I think it the finest invention of the present age, and so much superior to the copying machine, that the latter will never be continued a day by any one who tries the polygraph. It was invented by a Mr. Hawkins of Frankford, near Philadelphia, who is now in England, turning it to good account. Knowing that you are in the habit of writing much, I have flattered myself that I could add acceptably to your daily convenience by presenting you with one of these delightful machines. I have accordingly had one made, and to be certain of its perfection I have used it myself some weeks, and have the satisfaction to find it the best one I have ever tried ; and in the course of two years' daily use of them, I have had opportunities of trying several. As a secretary, which copies for us what we write without the power of revealing it, I find it a most precious possession to a man in public business. I enclose directions for unpacking and using the machine when you receive it; but the machine itself must await a special and sure conveyance under the care of some person going to Paris. It is ready packed, and shall go by the first proper conveyance.
As we heard two or three weeks ago of the safe arrival of the Hornet at L'Orient, we are anxiously waiting to learn from you the first impressions on her mission. If you can succeed in procuring us Florida, and a good western boundary, it will fill the American mind with joy. It will secure to our fellow-citizens one of their most ardent wishes, a long peace with Spain and France. For be assured, the object of war with them and alliance with England, which, at the last session of Congress, drew off from the republican band about half a dozen of its members, is universally reprobated by our native citizens from north to south. I have never seen the nation stand more firm to its principles, or rally so firmly to its constituted authorities, and in reprobation of the opposition to them. With England, I think we shall cut off the resource of impressing our seamen to fight her battles, and establish the inviolability of our flag in its commerce with her enemies. We shall thus become what we sincerely wish to be, honestly neutral, and truly useful to both belligerents. To the one, by keeping open a market for the consumption of her manufactures, while are excluded from all the countries under the power of her : my ; to the other, by securing for her a safe carriage of all her productions, metropolitan or colonial, while her own means a restrained by her enemy, and may, therefore, be employed other useful pursuits. We are certainly more useful friends France and Spain as neutrals, than as allies. I hope they will I sensible of it, and by a wise removal of all grounds of future mi, understanding to another age, enable you to present us such an arrangement, as will insure to our fellow-citizens long and permanent peace and friendship with them. With respect to our western boundary, your instructions will be your guide. I will only add, as a comment to them, that we are attached to the retaining the Bay of St. Bernard, because it was the first establishment of the unfortunate La Sale, was the cradle of Louisiana, and more incontestibly covered and conveyed to us by France, under that name, than any other spot in the country. This will be secured to us by taking for our western boundary the Guadaloupe, and from its head around the sources of all waters eastward of it, to the highlands embracing the waters running into the Mississippi. However, all these things I presume will be settled before you receive this ; and I hope so settled as to give peace and satisfaction to us all.
Our crops of wheat are greater than have ever been known, and are now nearly secured. A caterpillar gave for a while great alarm, but did little injury. Of tobacco, not half a crop has been planted for want of rain; and even this half, with cotton and Indian corn, has yet many chances to run.
This summer will place our harbors in a situation to maintain peace and order within them. The next, or certainly the one following that, will so provide them with gunboats and common batteries, as to be hors d'insulte. Although our prospect is peace, our policy and purpose is to provide for defence by all those means to which our resources are competent. · I salute you with friendship, and assure you of my high respect and consideration.
e, honestly -ne, by ke eres, whi er of he Tage of 1
TO W. A. BURWELL.
Monticello, September 17, 1806.
wn mes DEAR SIR,
emplours of August the 7th, from Liberty, never got to my hands -fu Prithe 9th instant. About the same time, I received the Enquirer ether which Decius was so judiciously answered. The writer of that of furiser observed, that the matter of Decius consisted, first of facts; at usondly, of inferences from these facts : that he was not well
and sugh informed to affirm or deny his facts, and he therefore exPour fines his inferences, and in a very masterly manner shows that will on en were his facts true, the reasonable inferences from them are retain ry different from those drawn by Decius. But his facts are far men om truth, and should be corrected. It happened that Mr. Madad mon and General Dearborn were here when I received your
und Ater. I therefore, with them, took up Decius and read him debe berately; and our memories aided one another in correcting his hun old and unauthorized assertions. I shall note the most material rd of them in the order of the paper. Vissit 1. It is grossly false that our ministers, as is said in a note, bad
re proposed to surrender our claims to compensation for Spanish Cati spoliations, or even for French. Their instructions were to make
po treaty in which Spanish spoliations were not provided for ; and
although they were permitted to be silent as to French spoliations bile carried into Spanish ports, they were not expressly to abandon has even them. 2. It is not true that our ministers, in agreeing to
restablish the Colorado as our western boundary, had been obliged
to exceed the authority of their instructions. Although we conmorsidered our title good as far as the Rio Bravo, yet in proportion
to what they could obtain east of the Mississippi, they were to com relinquish to the westward, and successive sacrifices were marked
out, of which even the Colorado was not the last. 3. It is not - true that the Louisiana treaty was antedated, lest Great Britain
should consider our supplying her enemies with money as a breach of neutrality. After the very words of the treaty were finally agreed to, it took some time, perhaps some days, to make out all the copies in the very splendid manner of Bonaparte's treaties. Whether the 30th of April, 1803, the date expressed, was the day of the actual compact, or that on which it was signed, our memories do not enable us to say. If the former, then it is strictly conformable to the day of the compact; if the latter, then it was postdated, instead of being antedated. The motive assigned, too, is as incorrect as the fact. It was so far from being thought, by any party, a breach of neutrality, that the British minister congratulated Mr. King on the acquisition, and declared that the King had learned it with great pleasure : and when Baring, the British banker, asked leave of the minister to purchase the debt and furnish the money to France, the minister declared to him, that so far from throwing obstacles in the way, if there were any difficulty in the payment of the money, it was the interest of Great Britain to aid it. 4. He speaks of a double set of opinions and principles; the one ostensible, to go on the journals and before the public, the other efficient, and the real motives to action. But · where are these double opinions and principles ? The executive informed the legislature of the wrongs of Spain, and that preparation should be made to repel them, by force, if necessary. But as it might still be possible to negotiate a settlement, they asked such means as might enable them to meet the negotiation, whatever form it might take. The first part of this system was communicated publicly, the second, privately; but both were equally official, equally involved the responsibility of the executive, and were equally to go on the journals. 5. That the purchase of the Floridas was in direct opposition to the views of the executive, as expressed in the President's official communication. It was not in opposition even to the public part of the communication, which did not recommend war, but only to be prepared for it. It perfectly harmonized with the private part, which asked the means of negotiation in such terms as covered the purchase of Florida as evidently as it was proper to speak it out. He speaks of secret communications between the executive and members, of backstairs influence, &c. But he never spoke of this while he and Mr. Nicholson enjoyed it almost solely. But when he differed from the executive in a leading measure, and the executive, not submitting to him, expressed their sentiments to others, the very sentiments (to wit, for the purchase of Florida), which he acknowledges they expressed to him, then he roars out upon backstairs influence. 6. The committee, he says, forbore to recommend offensive measures. Is this true? Did not they recommend the raising - regiments ? Besides, if it was proper for the committee to forbear recommending offensive measures, was it not proper for the executive and legislature to exercise the same forbearance ? 7. He says Monroe's letter had a most important bearing on our Spanish relations. Monroe's letter related, almost entirely, to our British relations. Of those with Spain he knew nothing particular since he left that country. Accordingly, in his letter he simply expressed an opinion on our affairs with Spain, of which he knew