Page images
PDF
EPUB

*

*

*

laws regulating commerce, two-thirds of the votes should be re quisite to pass them. However, it would have been trampled under foot by a triumphant majority.

March 8. My letter has lain by me till now, waiting Mr. Trist's departure. The question has been decided to-day on Livingston's motion respecting Robbins; thirty-five for it, about sixty against it. Livingston, Nicholas, and Gallatin distinguished themselves on one side, and J. Marshall greatly on the other. Still it is believed they will not push Bayard's motion of approbation. We have this day also decided in Senate on the motion for overhauling the editor of the Aurora. It was carried, as usual, by about two to one; H. Marshal voting of course with them, as did, and frequently does *

* of *

*, who is perfectly at market. It happens that the other party are so strong, that they do not think either him or * worth buying. As the conveyance is confidential, I can say something on a subject which, to those who do not know my real dispositions respecting it, might seem indelicate. The federalists begin to be very seriously alarmed about their election next fall. Their speeches in private, as well as their public and private demeanor to me, indicate it strongly. This seems to be the prospect. Keep out Pennsylvania, Jersey, and New York, and the rest of the States are about equally divided ; and in this estimate it is supposed that North Carolina and Maryland added together are equally divided. Then the event depends on the three middle States before mentioned. As to them, Pennsylvania passes no law for an election at the present session. They confide that the next election gives a decided majority in the two Houses, when joined together. M'Kean, therefore, intends to call the legislature to meet immediately after the new election, to appoint electors themselves. Still you may be sensible there may arise a difficulty between the two Houses about voting by heads or by Houses. The republican members here from Jersey are entirely confident that their two Houses, joined together, have a majority of republicans; their Council being republican by six or eight votes, and the lower House federal by only one or two;

and they have no doubt the approaching election will be in favor of the republicans. They appoint electors by the two Houses voting together. In New York all depends on the success of the city election, which is of twelve members, and of course makes a difference of twenty-four, which is sufficient to make the two Houses, joined together, republican in their vote. Governor Clinton, General Gates, and some other old revolutionary characters, have been put on the republican ticket. Burr, Livingston, &c., entertain no doubt on the event of that election. Still these are the ideas of the republicans only in these three States, and we must make great allowance for their sanguine views. Upon the whole, I consider it as rather more doubtful than the last election, in which I was not deceived in more than a vote or two. If Pennsylvania votes, then either Jersey or New York giving a republican vote, decides the election. If Pennsylvania does not vote, then New York determines the election. In any event, we may say that if the city election of New York is in favor of the republican ticket, the issue will be republican; if the federal ticket for the city of New York prevails, the probabilities will be in favor of a federal issue, because it would then require a republican vote both from Jersey and Pennsylvania to preponderate against New York, on which we could not count with any confidence. The election of New York being in April, it becomes an early and interesting object. It is probable the landing of our Envoys in Lisbon will add a month to our session ; because all that the eastern men are anxious about, is to get away before the possibility of a treaty's coming in upon us.

Present my respectful salutations to Mrs. Madison, and be assured of my constant and affectionate esteem.

TO COLONEL HAWKINS.

Philadelphia, March 14, 1800. DEAR SIR, I had twice before attempted to open a correspondence by writing unto you, but receiving no answer, I took

I

a

it for granted my letters did not reach you, and consequently that no communication could be found. Yesterday, however, your nephew put into my hands your favor of January 23d, and informs me that a letter sent by post by way of Fort Wilkinson, will be certain of getting safely to you. Still, I expect your long absence from this part of the States, has rendered occurrences here but little interesting to you. Indeed, things have so much changed their aspect, it is like a new world. Those who know is only from 1775 1793 can form no better idea of us now than of the inhabitants of the moon; I mean as to political matters. Of these, therefore, I shall not say one word, because nothing I could say, would be any more intelligible to you, if said in English, than if said in Hebrew. On your part, however, you have interesting details to give us. I particularly take great interest in whatever respects the Indians, and the present state of the Creeks, mentioned in your letter, is very interesting. But you must not suppose

that
your

official communications will ever be seen or known out of the offices. Reserve as to all their proceedings is the fundamental maxim of the Executive department. I must, therefore, ask from you one communication to be made to me separately, and I am encouraged to it by that part of your letter which promises me something on the Creek language. I have long believed we can never get any information of the ancient history of the Indians, of their descent and filiation, but from a knowledge and comparative view of their languages. I have, therefore, never failed to avail myself of any opportunity which offered of getting their vocabularies. I have now made up a large collection, and afraid to risk it any longer, lest by some accident it might be lost, I am about to print it. But I still want the great southern languages, Cherokee, Creeks, Choctaw, Chickasaw. For the Cherokee, I have written to another, but for the three others, I have no chance but through yourself. I have indeed an imperfect vocabulary of the Choctaw, but it wants all the words marked in the enclosed vocabulary* with either this mark (*) or this (+). I therefore throw myself on you to procure me the Creek, Choctaw, and Chickasaw; and I enclose you a vocabulary of the particular words I want. You need not take the trouble of having any others taken, because all my other vocabularies are confined to these words, and my object is only a comparative view. The Creek column I expect you will be able to fill up at once, and when done I should wish it to come on without waiting for the others. As to the Choctaw and Chickasaw, I know your relations are not very direct, but as I possess no means at all of getting at them, I am induced to pray your aid. All the despatch which can be conveniently used is desirable to me, because this summer I propose to arrange all my vocabularies for the press, and I wish to place every tongue in the column adjacent to its kindred tongues. Your letters, addressed by post to me at Monticello, near Charlottesville, will come safely, and more safely than if put under cover to any of the offices, where they may be mislaid or lost.

* This vocabulary is missing.

Your old friend, Mrs. Trist, is now settled at Charlottesville, within two and a half miles of me. She lives with her son, who married here, and removed there. She preserves her health and spirits fully, and is much beloved with us, as she deserves to be. As I know she is a favorite correspondent of yours, I shall observe that the same channel will be a good one to her as I have mentioned for myself. Indeed, if you find our correspondence worth having, it can now be as direct as if you were in one of these States. Mr. Madison is well. I presume you have long known of his marriage. He is not yet a father. Mr. Giles is happily and wealthily married to a Miss Tabb. This I presume is enough for a first dose ; after hearing from you, and knowing how it agrees with you, it may be repeated. With sentiments of constant and sincere esteem, I am, dear Sir, your affectionate friend and servant.

a

TO P. N. NICHOLAS.

PHILADELPHIA, April 7, 1800. DEAR SIR,—It is too early to think of a declaratory act as yet, but the time is approaching and not distant. Two elections more will give us a solid majority in the House of Representatives, and a sufficient one in the Senate. As soon as it can be depended on, we must have “a Declaration of the principles of the Constitution” in nature of a Declaration of rights, in all the points in which it has been violated. The people in the middle

. States are almost rallied to Virginia already; and the eastern States are commencing the vibration which has been checked by X. Y. Z. North Carolina is at present in the most dangerous state. The lawyers all tories, the people substantially republican, but uninformed and deceived by the lawyers, who are elected of necessity because few other candidates. The medicine for that State must be very mild and secretly administered. But nothing should be spared to give them true information. I am, dear Sir, yours affectionately.

TO E. LIVINGSTON, ESQ.

PHILADELPHIA, April 30, 1800. DEAR SIR, I received with great pleasure your favor of the 11th instant. By this time I presume the result of your labors is known with you, though not here. Whatever it may be, and my experience of the art, industry, and resources of the other party has not permitted me to be prematurely confident, yet I am entirely confident that ultimately the great body of the people are passing over from them. This may require one or two elecțions more; but it will assuredly take place. The madness and extravagance of their career is what ensures it.

The people through all the States are for republican forms, republican principles, simplicity, economy, religious and civil freedom.

I have nothing to offer you but Congressional news. The Judiciary bill is postponed to the next session; so the Militia ; so the Military Academy. The bill for the election of the President and Vice President has undergone much revolution. Marshall made a dexterous manquvre; he declares against the consti

« PreviousContinue »