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whole. And even the eleventh article admits only that we may enjoy our right to the indirect colonial trade, during the present hostilities. If peace is made this year, and war resumed the next, the benefit of this stipulation is gone, and yet we are bound for ten years, to pass no non-importation or non-intercourse laws, nor take any other measures to restrain the unjust pretensions and practices of the British. But on this you will hear from the Secretary of State. If the treaty cannot be put into an acceptable form, then the next best thing is to back out of the negotiation as well as we can, letting that die away insensibly ; but, in the mean time, agreeing informally, that both parties shall act on the principles of the treaty, so as to preserve that friendly understanding which we so sincerely desire, until the one or the other may be disposed to yield the points which divide us. This will leave you to follow your desire of coming home, as soon as you see that the amendment of the treaty is desperate. The power of continuing the negotiations will pass over to Mr. Pinckney, who, by procrastinations, can let it die away, and give us time, the most precious of all things to us. The government of New Orleans is still without such a head as I wish. The salary of five thousand dollars is too small; but I am assured the Orleans legislature would make it adequate, would you accept it. It is the second office in the United States' in importance, and I am still in hopes you will accept it. It is impossible to let you stay at home while the public has so much need of talents. I am writing under a severe indisposition of periodical headach, without scarcely command enough of my mind to know what I write. As a part of this letter concerns Mr. Pinckney as well as yourself, be so good as to communicate so much of it to him ; and with my best respects to him, to Mrs. Monroe, and your daughter, be assured yourself, in all cases, of my constant and affectionate friendship and attachment.
M. LE COMTE DIODATI.
Washington, March 29, 1807. MY DEAR AND ANTIENT FRIEND, Your letter of August the 29th reached me the 18th of February. It enclosed a duplicate of that written from Brunswick five years before, but which I never received, or had notice of, but by this duplicate. Be assured, my friend, that I was incapable of such negligence towards you, as a failure to answer it would have implied. It would illy have accorded with those sentiments of friendship I entertained for you at Paris, and which neither time nor distance has lessened. I often pass in review the many happy hours I spent with Madame Diodati and yourself on the banks of the Seine, as well as at Paris, and I count them among the most pleasing I enjoyed in France. Those were indeed days of tranquillity and happiness. They had begun to cloud a little before I left you ; but I had no apprehension that the tempest, of which I saw the beginning, was to spread over such an extent of space and time. I have often thought of you with anxiety, and wished to know how you weathered the storm, and into what port you had retired. The letters now received give me the first information, and I sincerely felicitate you on your safe and quiet retreat. Were I in Europe, par et panis would certainly be my motto. Wars and contentions, indeed, fill the pages of history with more matter. But more blest is that nation whose silent course of happiness furnishes nothing for history to say. This is what I ambition for my own country, and what it has fortunately enjoyed now upwards of twenty years, while Europe has been in constant volcanic eruption. I again, my friend, repeat my joy that you have escaped the overwhelming torrent of its lava.
At the end of my present term, of which two years are yet to come, I propose to retire from public life, and to close my days on my patrimony of Monticello, in the bosom of my family. I have hitherto enjoyed uniform health ; but the weight of public business begins to be too heavy for me, and I long for the enjoyments of rural life, among my books, my farms, and my family. Having performed my quadragena stipendia, I am entitled to my discharge, and should be sorry, indeed, that others should be sooner sensible than myself when I ought to ask it. I have, therefore, requested my fellow-citizens to think of a successor for me, to whom I shall deliver the public concerns with greater joy than I received them. I have the consolation too of having added nothing to my private fortune, during my public service, and of retiring with hands as clean as they are empty. Pardon me these egoisms, which, if ever excusable, are so when writing to a friend to whom our concerns are not uninteresting. I shall always be glad to hear of your health and happiness, and having been out of the way of hearing of any of our cotemporaries of the corps diplomatique at Paris, any details of their subsequent history, which you will favor me with, will be thankfully received. I pray you to make my friendly respects acceptable to Madame la
Comtesse Diodati, to assure M. Tronchin of my continued esteem, and to accept yourself my affectionate salutations, and assurances of constant attachment and respect.
TO MR. BOWDOIN.
Washington, April 2, 1807. Dear Sir, I wrote you on the 10th of July last ; but neither your letter of October the 20th nor that of November the 15th mentioning the receipt of it, I fear it has miscarried. I therefore now enclose a duplicate. As that was to go under cover of the Secretary of State's despatches by any vessel going from our distant ports, I retained the polygraph therein mentioned for a safer conveyance. None such has occurred till now, that the United States armed brig the Wasp, on her way to the Mediterranean is to touch at Falınouth, with despatches for our ministers at London, and at Brest, with others for yourself and General Armstrong.
You heard in due time from London of the signature of a treaty there between Great Britain and the United States. By a letter we received in January from our ministers at London, we found they were making up their minds to sign a treaty, in which no provision was made against the impressment of our seamen, contenting themselves with a note received in the course of their correspondence, from the British negotiators, assuring them of the discretion with which impressments should be conducted, which could be construed into a covenant only by inferences, against which iis omission in the treaty was a strong inference; and in its terms totally unsatisfactory. By a letter of February the 3rd, they were immediately informed that no treaty, not containing a satisfactory article on that head, would be ratified, and desiring them to resume the negotiations on that point. The treaty having come to as actually in the inadmissible shape apprehended, we, of course, hold it up until we know the result of the instructions of February the 3rd. I have but little expectation that the British government will retire from their habitual wrongs in the impressment of our seamen, and am certain, that without that we will never tie up our hands by treaty, from the right of passing a non-importation or non-intercourse act, to make it her interest to become just. This may bring on a war of commercial restrictions. To show, however, the sincerity of our desire for conciliation, I have suspended the non-importation act. This state of things should be understood at Paris, and every effort used on your part to accommodate our differences with Spain, under the auspices of France, with whom it is all-important that we should stand in terms of the strictest cordiality. In fact, we are to depend on her and Russia for the establishment of neutral rights by the treaty of peace, among which should be that of taking no persons by a belligerent out of a neutral ship, unless they be the soldiers of an enemy. Never did a nation act towards another with more perfidy and injustice than Spain has constantly practised against us : and if we have kept our hands off of her till now, it has been purely out of respect to France, and from the value we set on the friendship of France. We expect, therefore, from the friendship of the Emperor, that he will either compel Spain to do us justice, or abandon her to us. We ask but one month to be in possession of the city of Mexico.
No better proof of the good faith of the United States could have been given, than the vigor with which we have acted, and the expense incurred, in suppressing the enterprise meditated lately by Burr against Mexico. Although at first he proposed a separation of the western country, and on that ground received encouragement and aid from Yrujo, according to the usual spirit of his government towards us, yet he very early saw that the fidelity of the western country was not to be shaken, and turned himself wholly towards Mexico. And so popular is an enterprise on that country in this, that we had only to lie still, and he would have had followers enough to have been in the city of Mexico in six weeks. You have doubtless seen my several messages to Congress, which gave a faithful narrative of that conspiracy. Burr himself, after being disarmed by our endeavors of all his followers, escaped from the custody of the court of Mississippi, but was taken near Fort Stoddart, making his way to Mobile, by some country people, who brought him on as a prisoner to Richmond, where he is now under a course for trial. Hitherto we have believed our law to be, that suspicion on probable grounds was sufficient cause to commit a person for trial, allowing time to collect witnesses till the trial. But the judges here have decided, that conclusive evidence of guilt must be ready in the moment of arrest, or they will discharge the malefactor. If this is still insisted on, Burr will be discharged; because his crimes having been sown from Maine, through the whole line of the western waters, to New Orleans, we cannot bring the witnesses here under four months. The fact is, that the federalists make Burr's cause their own, and exert their whole influence to shield him from punishment, as they did the adherents of Miranda. And it is unfortunate that federalism is still predominent in our judiciary department, which is consequently in opposition to the legislative and executive branches, and is able to baffle their measures often.
Accept my friendly salutations, and assurances of great esteem and respect.
TO WILLIAM B. GILES.
Monticello, April 20, 1807. DEAR SIR, Your favor of the 6th instant, on the subject of Burr's offences, was received only four days ago. That there should be anxiety and doubt in the public mind, in the present defective state of the proof, is not wonderful; and this has been sedulously encouraged by the tricks of the judges to force trials before it is possible to collect the evidence, dispersed through a line of two thousand miles from Maine to Orleans. The federalists, too, give all their aid, making Burr's cause their own, mortified only that he did not separate the union or overturn the government, and proving, that had he had a little dawn of success, they would have joined him to introduce his object, their favorite monarchy, as they would any other enemy, foreign or domestic, who could rid them of this hateful republic for any other government in exchange.
The first ground of complaint was the supine inattention of the administration to a treason stalking through the land in open day. The present one, that they have crushed it before it was ripe for execution, so that no overt acts can be produced. This last may be true; though I believe it is not. Our information having been chiefly by way of letter, we do not know of a certainty yet what will be proved. We have set on foot an inquiry through the whole of the country which has been the scene of these transactions, to be able to prove to the courts, if they will give time, or to the public by way of communication to Congress, what the real facts have been. For obtaining this, we are obliged to appeal to the patriotism of particular persons in different places, of whom we have requested to make the inquiry in their neighborhood, and on