« PředchozíPokračovat »
themselves, in such messes as fancied each other; and the whole corps, both officers and men, seem now happy and satisfied with their situation. Having thus found the art of rendering captivity itself comfortable, and carried it into execution, at their own great expense and labor, their spirits sustained by the prospect of gratifications rising before their eyes, does not every sentiment of humanity revolt against the proposition of stripping them of all this, and removing them into new situations, where, from the advanced season of the year, no preparations can be made for carrying themselves comfortably through the heats of summer; and when it is known that the necessary advances for the conveniences already provided, have exhausted their funds and left them unable to make the like exertions anew. Again, review this matter, as it may regard appearances.
A body of troops, after staying a twelvemonth at Boston, are ordered to take a march of seven hundred miles to Virginia, where, it is said, they may be plentifully subsisted. As soon as they are there, they are ordered on some other march, because, in Virginia, it is said, they cannot be subsisted. Indifferent nations will charge this either to ignorance, or to whim and caprice; the parties interested, to cruelty. They now view the proposition in that light, and it is said, there is a general and firm persuasion among them, that they were marched from Boston with no other purpose than to harass and destroy them with eternal marches. Perseverance in object, though not by the most direct way, is often more laudable than perpetual changes, as often as the object shifts light. A character of steadiness in our councils, is worth more than the subsistence of four thousand people.
There could not have been a more unlucky concurrence of circumstances than when these troops first came. The barracks were unfinished for want of laborers, the spell of weather the worst ever known within the memory of man, no stores of bread laid in, the roads, by the weather and number of wagons, soon rendered impassable : not only the troops themselves were greatly disappointed, but the people in the neighborhood were alarmed at the consequences which a total failure of provisions might produce. In this worst state of things, their situation was seen by many and disseminated through the country, so as to occasion a general dissatisfaction, which even seized the minds of reasonable men, who, if not affected by the contagion, must have foreseen that the prospect must brighten, and that great advantages to the people must necessarily arise. It has, accordingly, so happened. The planters, being more generally sellers than buyers, have felt the benefit of their presence in the most vital part about them, their purses, and are now sensible of its source. I have too good an opinion of their love of order to believe that a removal of these troops would produce any irregular proofs of their disapprobation, but I am well assured it would be extremely odious to them.
To conclude. The separation of these troops would be a breach of public faith, therefore I suppose it is impossible ; if they are removed to another State, it is the fault of the commissaries; if they are removed to any other part of the State, it is the fault of the commissaries; and in both cases, the public interest and public security suffer, the comfortable and plentiful subsistence of our own army is lessened, the health of the troops neglected, their wishes crossed, and their comforts torn from them, the character of whim and caprice, or, what is worse, of cruelty, fixed on us as a nation, and, to crown the whole, our own people disgusted with such a proceeding.
I have thus taken the liberty of representing to you the facts and the reasons, which seem to militate against the separation or removal of these troops. I am sensible, however, that the same subject may appear to different persons, in very different lights. What I have urged as reasons, may, to sounder minds, be apparent fallacies. I hope they will appear, at least, so plausible, as to excuse the interposition of
Your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant.
MONTICELLO, April 21, 1779. Dear Sir,-Among the convention prisoners in this neighborhood is a Baron de Geismar of the Germans, brigade major to Genl. Gall, whose situation I would wish to make you acquainted with. He is the only son of a German nobleman, and has I believe an only sister ; his father, now 70 years of age, if living; and excessively anxious to see him before his death. His Patrimonial expectations in danger of being transferred to others in the weak state of his father, or perhaps plundered in the case of his death ; the footing on which he stands with his prince such as might give him reason to hope for protection were he on the spot, but everything of that kind certain of passing by him as long as he is absent. Under the circumstances, captivity is peculiarly injurious to him, & he petitions Congress to exchange him if possible, or otherwise permit him to return home on any parole they will describe. I am satisfied he will carry with him no disposition to injure us; and his personal merit, with which I am become intimately acquainted, entitles him to every indulgence consistent with the indispensable rules of Congress. I take the liberty of recommending his request to your sollicitations, as from a knowledge of the man I am become interested in his happiness. Whatever you can do for him will be considered as a peculiar obligation on Dr. Sir, Your friend & serv't.
* From the original in the possession of Dr. Thomas Addis Emmet, of New York.
TO GABRIEL JONES.'
MONTICELLO, April 29, 1779. Dear Sir,—By Mrs. Harvey I inclose to you the principle and interest of the money you were so kind as to lend me some years ago.
It furnishes me also From The Balance, il, p. 194, 1803. On this matter was founded a very bitter attack on Jefferson. This loan was made in 1773. On Jones pressing for payment in 1779, Jefferson tendered him Continental currency, depreciated to
with an occasion of acknowledging, with this, the many other obligations under which you have laid me, of which I shall always be proud to shew a due sense, whenever opportunities shall offer. I am, dear sir, with much esteem, your friend and servant.
A BILL CONCERNING ESCHEATS AND FORFEITURES FROM BRITISH SUBJECTS.
V. S. A
[May 27, 1779.] Whereas during the connection which subsisted between the now United States of America and the other parts of the British empire, & their subjection to one common prince the inhabitants an extent which made this tender less than one quarter of the amount originally received. Jones preferred to refuse it entirely (though under the law the tender constituted payment) on the ground that in a personal debt such pretended payment was dishonorable and fictitious. Jefferson never replied to Jones' protest, but when in France, several years later, his agent made payment in full. The affair was first made public by J. T. Callender, in The Recorder of Dec. 8, 1802. This led to considerable controversy, and finally induced Jones to write a narrative of the transaction, which is in The Recorder of June 4, 1803. In the National Intelligencer of July 1, 1803 is a piece signed “Timoleon," in defence of Jefferson, which was undoubtedly inspired, if not written, by Jefferson. A broadside, signed Veritas," was written and circulated by Philip Grymes, entitled Letter to Gabriel Jones, a copy of which is in the Library of Congress among the Jefferson pamphlets ; and this produced a pamphlet entitled : A Refutation of the Charges Made by a Writer under the Signature of “ Veritas," against the Character of Gabriel Jones—the Lately Acknowledged Author being the Honorable Philip Grymes, Member of the Council of State,-in Which Every Charge or Insinuation against Him in that Libel is Fully and Clearly Refuted. Winchester : Printed by Richard Bowen, [1803)
· On May 27, 1779, Jefferson was appointed to prepare this bill, and reported it the same day, when it was read for the first time. On the next day it was read for a second time, and committed to the Committee of the Courts of Justice. They reported it back with amendments on June 11th, when it was ordered engrossed, and passed. This is printed from the draft in Jefferson's handwriting, the act as adopted being in the Sessions Acts for May, 1779, and in Hening, x, 66. Another bill dealing with this matter is in the Report of the Revisers, p. 22.