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destitution of moral feeling in the country, neither do we see there such striking examples of exalted virtue.
In making the comparison our imagination deceives us. We see the country gentleman dispensing his unbought hospitality with a cordiality and a freedom which have no example in cities. But we forget that this virtne is the more easily practised, in proportion as the occasions of it are more rare; and that if the host appears to be the party on whom the favour is conferred, that this is sometimes really the fact; for he is relieved from his we some sameness, and he gladly exchanges a small portion of that which he has in abundance for the pleasures of society, and of hearing the news; for the means of improving the manners and minds of his children ; and possibly for the gratification of displaying his hospitality, and of conferring a favour. Let, however, the visit be continued or repeated, so as to produce inconvenience, and he probably will show the same unamiable selfishness as the townsman, who, his regular habits being broken upon, had felt the inconvenience from the first. Does the resident of the country show more forbearance to his neighbour, more readiness to yield up his own interest for the benefit of another? Let the disputes about roads, and mill-ponds, and dividing fences, and the depredations of cattle, answer this question. How often do we see their resentment excited by the most trifling injuries, and their pride keep these animosities rankling for years, and even transmitted to the next generation! It may be safely asserted that Mr. Jefferson did not experience more rancorous hostility from the most bigoted of his political adversaries in Philadelphia, than from some of his neighbours in Albemarle, though he lived in as much harmony with them, and had more and warmer friends than falls to the lot of most
And as to party feuds, if they exhibit the same ran
cour and bitterness everywhere, they are more lasting in the country. Thus, while Antimasonry maintained its ground in the western parts of New York, parties changed their name and character perhaps half a dozen times in the city. Upon the whole, then, it seems as if we may console ourselves with the reflection that the growth of cities, which naturally keeps pace with the growing density of population, is not necessarily unfriendly to morality or happiness.
In the same letter Mr. Jefferson speaks of the hostility of the clergy towards him, and imputes to them hopes that the infraction of the constitution in the sedition law would pave the way to a law abridging the freedom of religion, and establishing a particular form of Christianity in the United States. “The returning good sense of our country," he adds,“ threatens abortion to their hopes, and they believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
At the presidential election which took place in November, the parties tried their strength before the nation, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr being the candidates of the republicans, and John Adams and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of the federalists, when the two former obtained each 73 out of the 138 votes; Mr. Adams 65 votes; General Pinckney 64 votes ; and Mr. Jay 1 vote. The vote of South Carolina had long been in suspense, each party being sanguine of obtaining it, as, according to the known distribution of the other votes, it would decide the election. It was eventually given to Jefferson and Burr,* and it is not
* The votes given to Jefferson and Burr were as follows: New York, 12 ; Pennsylvania, 8 out of 15; Maryland, 5 out of 10; Virginia, 21; Kentucky, 4; North Carolina, 8 out of 12; Tennessee, 3 ; South Carolina, 8; and Georgia, 4. The republicans received the unanimous votes of seven states, the federalists of six. Those of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and North Carolina were divided between them.
improbable that it would have been obtained by the federal party, if Alexander Hamilton had not written a pamphlet to prove Mr. Adams's unfitness for the office. But while General Hamilton wished to defeat Mr. Adams's election, he was desirous of promoting General Pinckney's: if so, his object was only half attained.
It is said that his course was dictated by resentment, in consequence of Mr. Adams having resisted the wishes of his cabinet to give the second appointment in the provisional army to Hamilton.
In the month of December, when the issue of the election was ascertained, Mr. Jefferson, not anticipating that equality of votes between Colonel Burr and himself which would carry the election to the House of Representatives, began to look about for the formation of his cabinet, and having concurred with the general voice of the nation in selecting Mr. Madison for the department of state, and Mr. Gallatin for the treasury, he wrote to Mr. Robert R. Livingston, to offer him the place of secretary of the navy. He spoke of the importance of having persons of talent, integrity, and who were known to the people, in the administration, now that the government was to be restored to its truc republican principles, instead of continuing what the French had termed it, a monarchie masque.
Congress met in Washington, the new seat of government, on the 17th of November, and then ascertained that all differences had been settled with France. By a recent revolution of the political wheel, the executive power of that country had lately passed into new hands, and was chiefly directed by him whose will governed the destinies of France for fifteen years afterwards the most extraordinary man of his age, whether we regard the fitness of his talents and energy of purpose to the country and circumstances in which
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he was placed, the singular success which rewarded them, or
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* Jeff. Corr., Vol. IV. p. 520.
in the conduct of the public business. I lose you from the list, and am not sure of all the others. Should the gentlemen who possess the public confidence decline taking a part in their affairs, and force us to take people unknown to the people, the evil genius of this country (meaning Hamilton] may realize his avowal, that he will beat down the administration.'” But surely it is not at all extraordinary that this favourable testimony of Colonel Burr's qualifications, founded quite as much on his popularity as on his talents and integrity, should be at variance with Mr. Jefferson's opinion at a previous or a subsequent period; or that when in 1801 Burr had excited suspicions of his good faith, and in 1806 and 1807 had proved himself undeserving, Mr. Jefferson should have returned to his first unfavourable impressions.
As soon as it was ascertained that between Jefferson and Burr the votes were equal, the federalists began to devise means of turning it to their account, either by defeating the election altogether, as some of the more violent and unprincipled of the party wished, or to effect the election of Burr, partly for the sake of disappointing the wishes of their political rivals, and partly because they considered that, both from his character and his gratitude to them for the unlooked-for and unmerited favour, he would probably be more pliant to their wishes. Mr. Jefferson discloses these schemes in a letter to Mr. Madison of the 19th of December. “This state of things,” he remarked, “ has produced great dismay and gloom on the republican gentlemen here, and exultation in the federalists, who openly declare they will prevent an election, and will name a president of the Senate pro tem., by what they say would only be a stretch of the constitution." He added, that as soon as the state of the election was perfectly ascertained, he should aim at a candid understanding with Mr. Adams, and that he did not expect that either his feelings or his views would be opposed to it.