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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 un 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 niade by a bare majority, keeping their body entire and unbroken, to act in phalanx on such ground of opposition as circumstances 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
wish the very administration they had opposed, and to view it when obtained, as a child of their own. Mr. A. embarrasses us. He keeps the offices of State and War vacant, but has named Bayard Minister Plenipotentiary to France, and has called an unorganized Senate to meet the fourth of March. As you do not like to be here on that day, I wish you would come within a day or two after. I think that between that and the middle of the month we can so far put things under way, as that we may go home to make arrangements for our final removal. Come to Conrad's, where I will bespeak lodgings for you. Yesterday Mr. A. nominated Bayard to be Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to the French repuplic; to-day, Theophilus Parsons, Attorney General of the United States in the room of C. Lee, who, with Keith Taylor cum multis aliis, are appointed judges under the new system. H. G. Otis is nominated a district attorney, A vessel has been waiting for some time in readiness to carry the new minister to France. My affectionate salutations to Mrs. Madison.
TO LIEUTENANT DE ARBORN.
Washington, February 18, 1801. | DEAR SIR,—The House of Representatives having yesterday concluded their choice of a person for the chair of the United States and willed me that office, it now becomes necessary to provide an administration composed of persons whose qualifications and standing have possessed them of the public confidence, and whose wisdom may ensure to our fellow-citizens the advantages they sanguinely expect. On a review of the characters in the different States proper for the different departments, I have had no hesitation in considering you as the person to whom it would be most advantageous to the public to confide the Department of War. May I therefore hope, Sir, that you will give your
. country the aid of yo'ır talents as Secretary of War? The delay
which has attended the election has very much abridged our time, and rendered the call more sudden and pressing than I could have wished. I am in hopes our administration may be assembled during the first week of March, except yourself, and that you can be with us in a few days after. Indeed it is probable we shall be but a few days together (perhaps to the middle of the month) to make some general and pressing arrangements, and then go home, for a short time, to make our final removal hither. I mention these circumstances that you may see the urgency of setting out for this place with the shortest delay possible, which may be the shorter as you can return again to your family, as we shall, to make your final arrangements for removal. I hope we shall not be disappointed in counting on your aid, and that you will favor us with an answer by return of post. Accept assurances of sincere esteem and high respect from, dear Sir, your most obedient, and most humble servant,
TO MAJOR WILLIAM JACKSON.
Washington, February 18, 1801. DEAR SIR-Your favor of the 3d instant has been duly received. I perceive in it that frankness which I ever found in your character, and which honors every character in which it is found. I feel indebted also for the justice you do me as to opinions which others, with less candor, have imputed to me.
I have received many letters stating to me in the spirit of prophesy, caricatures which the writers, it seems, know are to be the principles of my administration. To these no answer has been given, because the prejudiced spirit in which they have been written proved the writers not in a state of mind to yield to truth or reason. To the friendly style of your letter I would gladly answer in detail were it in my power; but I have thought that I ought not to permit myself to form opinions in detail, until I can have the counsel of those, of whose services I wish to avail the public in the administration of their affairs. Till this can be done, you have justly resorted to the only proper ground, that of estimating my future by my past conduct. Upwards of thirty years passed on the stage of public life and under the public eye, may surely enable them to judge whether my future course is likely to be marked with those departures from reason and moderation, which the passions of men have been willing to foresee. One imputation in particular has been remarked till it seems as if some at least believe it: that I am an enemy to commerce. They admit me as a friend to agriculture, and suppose me an enemy to the only means of disposing of its produce. I might appeal too to evidences of my attention to the commerce and navigation of our country in different stations connected with them, but this would lead to details not to be expected. I have deferred answering your letter till this day lest the motives for these explanations should be mistaken. You will be so good as to consider this communication so far confidential as not to put it in the power of any person committing it to the press. I am with great esteem, dear Sir, your most obedient servant.
TO N. R
WASHINGTON, February 19, 1801. After exactly a week's balloting there at length appeared ten States for me, four for Burr, and two voted blanks. This was done without a single vote coming over. Morris of Vermont withdrew, so that Lyon's vote became that of the State. The four Maryland federalists put in blanks, so then the vote of the four Republicans became that of their State. Mr. Hager of South Carolina (who had constantly voted for me) withdrew by agreement, his colleagues agreeing in that case to put in blanks. Bayars, the sole member of Delaware, voted blank. They had before deliberated whether they would come over in a body, when they saw they could not force Burr on the republicans, or keep