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extract from his letter dated January 7th. "I have paid the earliest attention to your request relative to the bones found at Shawangun, and have this day written to a very intelligent friend in that neighborhood. I fear however that till they have finished their search, there will be some difficulty in procuring any part of the bones, because when I first heard of the discovery I made some attempts to possess myself of them, but found they were a kind of common property, the whole town having joined in digging for them till they were stopped by the autumnal rains. They entertain well-grounded hopes of discovering the whole skeleton, since these bones are not, like all those they have hitherto found in that county, placed within the vegetable world, but are covered with a stratum of clay,— that being sheltered from the air and water they are more perfectly preserved. Among the bones I have heard mentioned, are the vertebra, part of the jaw, with two of the grinders, the tusks, which some have called the horns, the sternum, the scapula, the tibia and fibula, the tarsus and metatarsus. Whether any of the phalanges or innominata are found, I have not heard. A part of the head, containing the socket of the tusks, is also discovered. From the bones of the feet, it is evidently a clawfooted animal, and from such parts of the shoulder bones as have been discovered, it appears that the arm or fore-leg, had a greater motion than can possibly belong to the elephant or any of the large quadrupeds with which we are acquainted. Since bog-earth has been used by the farmers of Ulster county for a manure, which is subsequent to the war, fragments of at least eight or ten have been found, but in a very decayed state in the same bog."
From this extract, and the circumstance that the bones belong to the town, you will be sensible of the difficulty of obtaining any considerable portion of them. I refer to yourself to consider whether it would not be better to select such only of which we have no specimens, and to ask them only. It is not unlikely they would with common consent yield a particular bone or bones, provided they may keep the mass for their own
If you will make the selection and communicate it to me, I will forward it to the Chancellor, and the sooner the better.
Accept assurances of my high consideration and attachment.
TO TENCHE COXE.
WASHINGTON, February 11, 1801. DEAR SIR,-Your favor of January the 25th came to hand some days ago, and yesterday a gentleman put into my hand, at the door of the Senate chamber, the volume of the American Museum for 1798. As no letter accompanied it, I took it for granted it was to bring under my eye some of its contents. I have gone over it with satisfaction.
This is the morning of the election by the House of Representatives. For some time past a single individual had declared he would by his vote make up the ninth State. On Saturday last he changed, and it stands at present eight one way, six the other, and two divided. Which of the two will be elected, and whether either, I deem perfectly problematical: and my mind has long been equally made up for either of the three events. If I can find out the person who brought me the volume from you, I shall return it by him, because I presume it makes one of a set. If not by him, I will find some other person who may convey it to Philadelphia if not to Lancaster. Very possibly it may go by a different conveyance from this letter. Very probably you will learn before the receipt of either, the result, or progress at least, of the election. We see already at the threshold, that if it falls on me, I shall be embarrassed by finding the offices vacant, which cannot be even temporarily filled but with advice of Senate, and that body is called on the fourth of March, when it is impossible for the new members of Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina to receive notice in time to be here. The summons for Kentucky, dated, as all were, January the 31st, could
not go hence til. the 5th, and that for Georgia did not go till the 6th. If the difficulties of the election, therefore, are got over, there are more and more behind, until new elections shall have regenerated the constituted authorities. The defects of our Constitution under circumstances like the present, appear very great. Accept assurances of the esteem and respect of, dear Sir, your most obedient servant.
TO DR. B. S. BARTON.
WASHINGTON, February 14, 1801.
DEAR SIR,-Your favor of January 18th is duly received. The subject of it did not need apology. On the contrary, should I be placed in office, nothing would be more desirable to me than the recommendations of those in whom I have confidence, of persons fit for office; for if the good withhold their testimony, we shall be at the mercy of the bad. If the question relative to Mr. Zantzinger had been merely that of remaining in office, your letter would have placed him on very safe ground. Besides that, no man who has conducted himself according to his duties would have anything to fear from me, as those who have done ill would have nothing to hope, be their political principles what they might. The obtaining an appointment presents more difficulties. The republicans have been excluded from all offices from the first origin of the division into Republican and Federalist. They have a reasonable claim to vacancies till they occupy their due share. My hope however is that the distinction will be soon lost, or at most that it will be only of republican and monarchist : that the body of the nation, even that part which French excesses forced over to the federal side, will rejoin the republicans, leaving only those who were pure monarchists, and who will be too few to form a sect. This is the fourth day of the ballot, and nothing done; nor do I see any reason to suppose the six and a half States here will be less firm, as they call it, than your thirteen Senators; if so, and the government should expire on the 3d of
March by the loss of its head, there is no regular provision for reorganizing it, nor any authority but in the people themselves. They may authorize a convention to reorganize and even amend the machine. There are ten individuals in the House of Representatives, any one of whom changing his vote may save us this troublesome operation. Be pleased to present my friendly respects to Mrs. Barton, Mrs. Sarjeant, and Mrs. Waters, and to accept yourself my affectionate salutations.
TO JAMES MONROE.
WASHINGTON, February 15, 1801. DEAR SIR, I have received several letters from you which have not been acknowledged. By the post I dare not, and one or two confidential opportunities have passed me by surprise. I have regretted it the less, because I know you could be more safely and fully informed by others. Mr. Tyler, the bearer of this, will give you a great deal more information personally than can be done by letter. Four days of balloting have produced not a single change of a vote. Yet it is confidently believed by
most that to-morrow there is to be a coalition. I know of no foundation for this belief. However, as Mr. Tyler waits the event of it, he will communicate it to you. If they could have. been permitted to pass a law for putting the government into the hands of an officer, they would certainly have prevented an election. But we thought it best to declare openly and firmly, one and all, that the day such an act passed, the middle States would arm, and that no such usurpation, even for a single day, should be submitted to. This first shook them; and they were completely alarmed at the resource for which we declared, to wit, a convention to re-organize the government, and to amend it. The very word convention gives them the horrors, as in the present democratical spirit of America, they fear they should lose some of the favorite morsels of the Constitution. Many attempts
have been made to obtain terms and promises from me. I have declared to them unequivocally, that I would not receive the government on capitulation, that I would not go into it with my hands tied. Should they yield the election, I have reason to expect in the outset the greatest difficulties as to nominations. The late incumbents running away from their offices and leaving them vacant, will prevent my filling them without the previous advice of Senate. How this difficulty is to be got over I know not. Accept for Mrs. Monroe and yourself my affectionate salutations. Adieu.
TO JAMES MADISON.
WASHINGTON, February 18, 1801 DEAR SIR,-Notwithstanding the suspected infidelity of the post, I must hazard this communication. The minority in the House of Representatives, after seeing the impossibility of electing Burr, the certainty that a legislative usurpation would be resisted by arms, and a recourse to a convention to re-organize and amend the government, held a consultation on this dilemma, whether it would be better for them to come over in a body and go with the tide of the times, or by a negative conduct suffer the election to be made by a bare majority, keeping their body entire and unbroken, to act in phalanx on such ground of opposition as cir cumstances shall offer; and I know their determination on this question only by their vote of yesterday. Morris of Vermont withdrew, which made Lyon's vote that of his State. The Maryland federalists put in four blanks, which made the positive ticket of their colleagues the vote of the State. South Carolina and Delaware put in six blanks. So there were ten States for one candidate, four for another, and two blanks. We consider this, therefore, as a declaration of war, on the part of this band. But their conduct appears to have brought over to us the whole body of federalists, who, being alarmed with the danger of a dissolution of the government, had been made most anxiously to