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took any part with him. His partisans were the new emigrants from the United States and elsewhere, fugitives from justice or debt, and adventurers and speculators of all descriptions:
I enclose you a proclamation, which will show you the critical footing on which we stand, at present, with England. Never, since the battle of Lexington, have I seen this country in such a state of exasperation as at present. And even that did not produce such unanimity. The federalists themselves coalesce with us as to the object, although they will return to their old trade of condemning every step we take towards obtaining it. •Reparation for the past, and security for the future,' is our motto. Whether these will be yielded freely, or will require resort to non-intercourse, or to war, is yet to be seen. We have actually near two thousand men in the field, covering the exposed parts of the coast, and cutting off supplies from the British vessels.
I am afraid I have been very unsuccessful in my endeavors to serve Madame de Tessé in her taste for planting. A box of seeds, &c. which I sent her in the close of 1805, was carried with the vessel into England, and discharged so late that I fear she lost their benefit for that season. Another box, which I prepared in the autumn of 1806, has, I fear, been equally delayed from other accidents. However, I will persevere in my endeavors.
Present me respectfully to her, M. de Tessé, Madame de la Fayette, and your family, and accept my affectionate salutations, and assurances of constant esteem and respect.
TO JOHN PAGE.
Washington, July 17, 1807. MY DEAR FRIEND, Yours of the 11th is received. In appointments to public offices of mere profit, I have ever considered faithful service in either our first or second revolution as giving preference of claim, and that appointinents on that principle would gratify the public, and strengthen that confidence so necessary to enable the executive to direct the whole public force to the best advantage of the nation. Of Mr. Bolling Robertson's talents and integrity I have long been apprized, and would gladly use them where talents and integrity are wanting. I had thought of him for the vacant place of
.. apprized. Colling Robertce to the
secretary of the Orleans territory, but supposing the salary of two thousand dollars not more than he makes by his profession, and while remaining with his friends, I have, in despair, not proposed it to him. If he would accept it, I should name him instantly with the greatest satisfaction. Perhaps you could inform me on this point.
With respect to Major Gibbons, I do indeed recollect, that in some casual conversatoin, it was said that the most conspicuous accomplices of Burr were at home at his house ; but it made so little impression on me, that neither the occasion nor the person is now recollected. On this subject, I have often expressed the principles on which I act, with a wish they might be understood by the federalists in office. I have never removed a man merely because he was a federalist : I have never wished them to give a vote at an election, but according to their own wishes. But as no government could discharge its duties to the best advantage of its citizens, if its agents were in a regular course of thwarting instead of executing all its measures, and were employing the patronage and influence of their offices against the government and its measures, I have only requested they would be quiet, and they should be safe : and if their conscience urges them to take an active and zealous part in opposition, it ought also to urge them to retire from a post which they could not conscientiously conduct with fidelity to the trust reposed in them; and on failure to retire, I have removed them; that is to say, those who maintained an active and zealous opposition to the government. Nothing which I have yet heard of Major Gibbons places him in danger from these principles.
I am much pleased with the ardor displayed by our countrymen on the late British outrage. It gives us the more confidence of support in the demand of reparation for the past, and security for the future, that is to say, an end of impressments. If motives of either justice or interest should produce this from Great Britain, it will save a war : but if they are refused, we shall have gained time for getting in our ships and property, and at least twenty thousand seamen now afloat on the ocean, and who may man two hundred and fifty privateers. The loss of these to us would be worth to Great Britain many victories of the Nile and Trafalgar. The mean time may also be importantly employed in preparations to enable us to give quick and deep blows.
Present to Mrs. Page, and receive yourself my affectionate and respectful salutations.
TO WILLIAM DUANE.
Washington, July 20, 1807.
Although I cannot always acknowledge the receipt of communications, yet I merit their continuance by making all the use of them of which they are susceptible. Some of your suggestions had occurred, and others will be considered. The time is coming when our friends must enable us to hear every thing, and expect us to say nothing; when we shall need all their confidence that every thing is doing which can be done, and when our greatest praise shall be, that we appear to be doing nothing. The law for detaching one hundred thousand militia, and the appropriation for it, and that for fortifications, enable us to do every thing for land service, as well as if Congress were here ; and as to naval matters, their opinion is known. The course we have pursued, has gained for our merchants a precious interval to call in their property and our seamen, and the postponing the summons of Congress will aid in avoiding to give too quick an alarm to the adversary. They will be called, however, in good time. Although we demand of England what is merely of right, reparation for the past, security for the future, yet as their pride will possibly, nay probably, prevent their yielding them to the extent we shall require, my opinion is, that the public. mind, which I believe is made up for war, should maintain itself at that point. They have often enough, God knows, given us cause of war before ; but it has been on points which would not have united the nation. But now they have touched a chord which vibrates in every heart. Now then is the time to settle the old and the new.
I have often wished for an occasion of saying a word to you on the subject of the Emperor of Russia, of whose character and value to us, I suspect you are not apprized correctly. A more virtuous man, I believe, does not exist, nor one who is more enthusiastically devoted to better the condition of mankind. He will probably, one day, fall a victim to it, as a monarch of that principle does not suit a Russian noblesse. He is not of the very first order of understanding, but he is of a high one. He has taken a peculiar affection to this country and its government, of which he has given me public as well as personal proofs. Our nation being like his, habitually neutral, our interests as to neutral rights, and our sentiments, agree. And whenever conferences for peace shall take place, we are assured of a friend in him. In fact, although in questions of restitution he will be with England, in those of neutral rights he will be with Bonaparte and every other power in the world, except England : and I do presume that England will never have peace until she subscribes to a just code of marine law. I have gone into this subject, because I am confident that Russia (while her present monarch lives) is the most cordially friendly to us of any power on earth, will go furthest to serve us, and is most worthy of conciliation. And although the source of this information must be a matter of confidence with you, yet it is desirable that the sentiments should become those of the nation. I salute you with esteem and respect.
TO GEORGE HAY.
Monticeo, August 20, 1807. Dear Sir, I received yesterday your favor of the 11th. An error of the post-office had occasioned the delay. Before an impartial jury Burr's conduct would convict himself, were not one word of testimony to be offered against him. But to what a state will our law be reduced by party feelings in those who administer it? Why do not Blannerhasset, Dayton, &c. demand private and comfortable lodgings? In a country where an equal application of law to every condition of man is fundamental, how could it be denied to them? How can it ever be denied to the most degraded malefactor ? The enclosed letter of James Morrison, covering a copy of one from Alston to Blannerhasset, came to hand yesterday. I enclose them, because it is proper all these papers should be in one deposite, and because you should know the case and all its bearings, that you may understand whatever turns up in the cause. Whether the opinion of the letter-writer is sound, may be doubted. For however these, and other circumstances which have come to us, may induce us to believe that the bouncing letter he published, and the insolent one he wrote to me, were intended as blinds, yet they are not sufficient for legal conviction. Blannerhasset and his wife could possibly tell us enough. I commiserate the sufferings you have to go through in such a season, and salute you with great esteem and respect.
TO GEORGE HAY.
Monticello, September 4, 1807. Dear Sir, Yours of the 1st came to hand yesterday. The event has been
* * ; that is to say, not only to clear Burr, but to prevent the evidence from ever going before the world. But this latter case must not take place. It is now, therefore, more than ever indispensable, that not a single witness be paid or permitted to depart until his testimony has been committed to writing, either as delivered in court, or as taken by yourself in the presence of any of Burr's counsel, who may choose to attend to cross-examine. These whole proceedings will be laid before Congress, that they may decide, whether the defect has been in the evidence of guilt, or in the law, or in the application of the law, and that they may provide the proper remedy for the past and the future. I must pray you also to have an authentic copy of the record made out (without saying for what) and to send it to me : if the Judge's opinions make not a part of it, then I must ask a copy of them, either under his hand, if he delivers one signed, or duly proved by affidavit.
This criminal is preserved to become the rallying point of all the disaffected and the worthless of the United States, and to be the pivot on which all the intrigues and the conspiracies which foreign governments may wish to disturb us with, are to turn. If he is convicted of the misdemeanor, the Judge must in decency give us respite by some short confinement of him; but we must expect it to be very short. Be assured yourself, and communicate the same assurances to your colleagues, that your and their zeal and abilities have been displayed in this affair to my entire satisfaction and your own honor. I salute you with great esteem and respect.