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feared to separate even on other subjects: that the republican majority had so greatly diminished in the House of Representatives as to be now quite uncertain: that war with France was the object of the administration in calling Congress together; but that Bonaparte's victories, the Austrian truce, British bankruptcy, (meaning the suspension 'of cash payments by the bank of England,) the mutiny of the seamen, and Mr. King's exhortations to pacific measures cooled them down again to the peace temperature.” He adds: “I had always hoped that the popularity of the late president being once withdrawn from active effect, the natural feelings of the people towards liberty would restore the equilibrium between the executive and legislative departments, which had been destroyed by the superior weight and effect of that popularity; and that their natural feelings of moral obligation would discountenance the ungrateful predilection of the executive in favour of Great Britain. But unfortunately, the preceding measures had already alienated the nation, who were the object of them, had excited reaction from them, and this reaction has, on the minds of our citizens, an effect which supplies that of the Washington popularity." He speaks of the future in a tone of despondency not usual with him, and having remarked that if the people of the eastern states, who are unquestionably republicans, could discover that they have been duped into the support of measures dangerous to their liberties, we might still hope for salvation: he adds, “But will that region ever awake to the true state of things? Can the middle, southern, and western states hold on till they awake? These are painful and doubtful questions: and if, in assuring me of your health, you can give me a comfortable solution of them, it will relieve a mind devoted to the preservation of our republican government in the true form and spirit in which it was established, but almost oppressed with apprehensions that fraud will at length effect what force could not, and that what with currents and counter-currents, we shall, in the end, be driven back to the land from which we launched twenty years ago."

The president, in pursuance of the intention he had from the first declared, of making another trial at negotiation with France, appointed three envoys to that republic: General Pinckney, the acknowledged head of the federal party in South Carolina, who was still at Amsterdam, General Marshall of Virginia, a gentleman of the federal party, in the first rank at the bar of his native state, and as much loved for his private virtues and unostentatious simplicity of manners, as he was admired for his unrivalled powers of argument; and Mr. Gerry of Massachusetts, who had always belonged to the antifederal party, but was in babits of personal intimacy with Mr. Adams. His talents were respectable, and his attachment to republican principles unquestioned. Their names were sent in to the Senate on the 21st of June, and on the following day Mr. Jeffer. son addressed a long letter to Mr. Gerry on the occasion, for the apparent purpose of strengthening his pacific dispositions towards France. “Our countrymen,” he says, “have united themselves by such strong affections to the French and the English, that nothing will serve us internally but a divorce from both nations; and this must be the object of every real American, and its attainment is practicable without much self-denial. But for this, peace is necessary. Be assured of this, my dear sir, that if we engage in a war during our present passions, and our present weakness in some quarters, our Union runs the greatest risk of not coming out of that war in the shape in which it enters it.”

In a letter to Governor Rutledge of the 24th of June, he reiterates the same views as he had previously presented to Colonel Burr. He imputes to the administration an intention to provoke a rupture with France, and attributes their failure to the effect which the French success and other important events in Europe had produced. He remarks that the parties in Congress have charged each other in debate with inconsistency, but he thinks they both have been consistent, those who were for or against war measures towards England, are the same at present towards France. "We had in 1793,” he remarks, "the most respectable character in the universe. What the neutral nations think of us now, I know not; but we are low indeed with the belligerents. Their kicks and cuffs prove their contempt. If we weather the present storm, I hope we shall avail ourselves of the calm of peace to place our foreign connexions under a new and different arrangement. We must make the interest of every nation stand surety for their justice, and their own loss to follow injury to us, as effect follows its cause. As to every thing except commerce, we ought to di. vorce ourselves from them all."

It is impossible to reconcile the expression of such sentiments as these with the charge so generally brought against Mr. Jefferson, during his life, and so frequently repeated since, that he was desirous of making a common cause with France, and was subservient to her views of policy. This imputation of sacrificing the interests of the United States to those of a foreign nation, was indeed habitually made by both parties against their opponents, but as to the great body of the people, and even of the politicians, it was utterly unfounded; yet as each one was persuaded that the policy of our government, and perhaps its character, was likely to be affected according as the power of these nations in Europe, and their influence here prevailed, each was led to take an interest in French or English affairs, on account of the interest they took in their country's welfare; and it is not wonderful that, with many, objects first pursued on other accounts should be afterwards pursued for their own; and that, in a few instances, the secondary consideration became the first in regard and importance.

Mr. Jefferson gives a lively, but not exaggerated picture, of the height to which party spirit had now arrived. “You and 1," he says to Governor Rutledge, “bave formerly seen warm

" debates and high political passions. But gentlemen of different politics would then speak to each other, and separate the business of the Senate from that of society. It is not so now. Men who have bcen intimate all their lives, cross the streets to avoid meeting, and turn their heads another way, lest they should be obliged to touch their bats.” It was not long after this, that the black cockade became the badge of the administration party, and men in the cities, by an unconscious impulse looked to


the hat of every one they met, rather than at his face, to see whether or not he wore this badge, that they might determine whether to regard him as a friend or an enemy.

The contemptuous treatment manifested by France towards General Pinckney, being one of those things which the mass of the nation could fully understand, produced more effect on the republican party among the people than in the legislature, where the motives, both personal and political, for adhering to the ground they have taken are so much more numerous and cogent; and a majority of the nation, forgetting party attachments in the love of country, were ready to vindicate their insulted dignity by war if it should be necessary.

After he returned to Monticello, Mr. Jefferson wrote to consult Mr. Madison about the course he should pursue in consequence of the publication of his letter to Mazzei in the American papers.

He stated that he could not avow the letter as it stood, for there were some material alterations in it, particularly that of the forms of the British government, instead of form; nor could he correct this error without involving himself in a personal difference with every member of the executive, the judiciary, and with General Washington; and that therefore, he suggests, silence would be his best course. It would embroil him also with all those with whom his character is still popular, that is to say, nine-tenths of the people of the United States. He adds that it cannot be fairly inferred from his silence that he is afraid to own the general sentiments of the letter-because he says, "If I am subject to either imputation, it is that of avowing such sentiments too frankly, both in private and public, often where there is no necessity for it, merely because I disdain every thing like duplicity. He entreats Mr. Madison's counsel on the occasion.

He mentions a petition to be offered to the people of the districts in consequence of a recent presentment by a Grand Jury of a circular from Samuel Cabell to his constituents.

At this distance of time we are inclined to smile at the fears which both parties then entertained of the dangers from French and English influence in this country. Neither seemed to foresee

Vol. II.-4

that, supposing its estimate of this influence just at the time, it could not be permanent, but that by the mere circumstance of our very rapid growth, it must gradually diminish, and finally disappear. The era to which Mr. Jefferson fondly looked, when we should, was to every thing except commerce, divorce ourselves from them all," has long since arrived, and no one now even suspects any foreign attachments or antipathies to mingle in American politics. The most embittered state of party feeling which is so prompt and fertile in assigning causes of reproach, never now hear this charge of "foreign influence” by either party against its opponents.

In noticing to Mr. Madison two acts of Parliament, on the subject of our commerce, he observes that, “the merchants here say they would throw American vessels out of employ, as soon as there is peace. The eastern members say nothing but among themselves. But it is said that it is working like gravel in their stomachs."

In the beginning of this year he had been appointed president of the American Philosophical Society, of which he had been more than twenty years a member.

To the secretaries who informed him of his election he returned the following answer:

Monticello, January 28, 1797. “Gentlemen,

“I have duly received your favour of the 7th instant, informing me that the American Philosophical Society have been pleased to name me their president. The suffrage of a body which comprehends whatever the American world has of distinction in philosophy and science in general, is the most flattering incident of my life, and that to which I am the most sensible. My satisfaction would be most complete, were it not for the consciousness that it is far beyond my titles. I feel no qualication for this distinguished post, but a sincere zeal for all the objects of our institution, and an ardent desire to see knowledge so disseminated through the mass of mankind, that it may at length reach the extremes of society, beggars and kings. I pray

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