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of those affected by it can have no views of that kind. It is composed of such of our friends as have a warm sense of the former intolerance and present bitterness of our adversaries, and they are not without excuse. While it is best for our own tranquillity to see and hear with apathy the atrocious calumnies of the presses which our enemies support for the purpose of calumny, it is what we have no right to expect; nor can we consider the indignation they excita in others as unjust, or strongly censure those whose temperament is not proof against it. Nor are they protected in their places by any right they have to more than a just proportion of them, and still less by their own examples while in power ; but by considerations respecting the public mind. This tranquillity seems necessary to predispose the candid part of our fellow-citizens who have erred and strayed from their ways, to return again to them, and to consolidate once more that union of will, without which the nation will not stand firm against foreign force and intrigue. On the subject of the particular schism at Philadelphia, a well-informed friend says, “The fretful, turbulent disposition which has manifested itself in Philadelphia, originated, in some degree, from a sufficient cause, which I will explain when I see you.
A re-union will take place, and in the issue it will be useful. Their resolves will be so tempered as to remove most of the unpleasant feelings which have been experienced.” I shall certainly be glad to receive the explanation and modification of their proceedings; for they were taking a form which could not be approved on true principles. We laid down our line of proceedings on mature inquiry and consideration in 1801, and have not departed from it. Some removals, to wit, sixteen to the end of our first session of Congress were made on political principles alone, in very urgent cases ; and we determined to make no more but for delinquency, or active and bitter opposition to the order of things which the public will had established. On this last ground nine were removed from the end of the first to the end of the second session of Congress; and one since that. So that sixteen only have been removed in the whole for political principles, that is to say, to make room for some participation for the republicans. These were a mere fraud not suffered to go into effect. Pursuing our object of harmonizing all good people of whatever description, we shall steadily adhere to our rule, and it is with sincere pleasure I learn that it is approved by the more moderate part of our friends.
We have received official information that, in the instrument of cession of Louisiana to France, were these words, “ Saving the rights acquired by other powers in virtue of treaties made with them by Spain;" and cordial acknowledgments from this power for our temperate forbearance under the misconduct of her officer. The French prefect too has assured Governor Claiborne that if the suspension is not removed before he takes his place he will remove it. But the Spanish Intendant has before this day received the positive order of his government to do it, sent here by a vessel of war, and forwarded by us to Natchez.
Although there is probably no truth in the stories of war actually commenced, yet I believe it inevitable. England insists on a re-modification of the affairs of Europe, so much changed by Bonaparte since the treaty of Amiens. So that we may soon expect to hear of hostilities. You must have heard of the extraordinary charge of Chace to the Grand Jury at Baltimore. Ought this seditious and official attack on the principles of our Constitution, and on the proceedings of a State, to go unpunished ? and to whom so pointedly as yourself will the public look for the necessary measures ? I ask these questions for your consideration, for myself it is better that I should not interfere. Accept my friendly salutations and assurances of great esteem and respect.
TO GOVERNOR CLAIBORNE.
WASHINGTON, May 24, 1803. DEAR SIR,—The within being for communication to your House of Representatives, when it meets, I enclose it in this which is of a private character. The former I think had better be kept up until the meeting of the Representatives, lest it should have any effect on the present critical state of things beyond the Atlantic. Although I have endeavored to make it as inoffensive there as was compatable with the giving an answer to the Representatives. Pending a negotiation, and with a jealous power, small matters may excite alarm, and repugnance to what we are claiming. I consider war between France and England as unavoidable. The former is much averse to it, but the latter sees her own existence to depend on a remodification of the face of Europe, over which France has extended its sway much farther since than before the treaty of Amiens. That instrument is therefore considered as insufficient for the general security ; in fact, as virtually subverted, by the subsequent usurpations of Bonaparte on the powers of Europe. A remodification is therefore required by England, and evidently cannot be agreed to by Bonaparte, whose power, resting on the transcendent opinion entertained of him, would sink with that on any retrograde movement. In this conflict, our neutrality will be cheaply purchased by a cession of the island of New Orleans and the Floridas; because taking part in the war, we could so certainly seize and securely hold them and more. And although it would be unwise in us to let such an opportunity pass by of obtaining the necessary accession to our territory even by force, if not obtainable otherwise, yet it is infinitely more desirable to obtain it with the blessing of neutrality rather than the curse of war. As a means of increasing the security, and providing a protection for our lower possessions on the Mississippi, I think it also all important to press on the Indians, as steadily and strenuously as they can bear, the extension of our purchases on the Mississippi from the Yazoo upwards; and to encourage a settlement along the whole length of that river, that it may possess on its own banks the means of defending itself, and presenting as strong a frontier on our western as we have on our eastern border. We have therefore recommended to Governor Dickinson taking on the Tombigbee only as much as will cover our actual settlements, to transfer the purchase from the Choctaws to their lands westward of the Big Black, rather than the fork of Tombigbee and Alabama, which has been offered by them in order to pay their debt to Ponton and Leslie. I have confident expectations of purchasing this summer a good breadth on the Mississippi, from the mouth of the Illinois down to the mouth of the Ohio, which would settle immediately and thickly; and we should then have between that settlement and the lower one, only the uninhabited lands of the Chickasaws on the Mississippi; ori which we could be working at both ends. You will be sensible that the preceding views, as well those which respect the European powers as the Indians, are such as should not be formally declared, but be held as a rule of action to govern the conduct of those within whose agency they lie; and it is for this reason that instead of having it said to you in an official letter, committed to records which are open to many, I have thought it better that you should learn my views from a private and confidential letter, and be enabled to act upon them yourself, and guide others into them. The elections which have taken place this spring, prove that the spirit of republicanism has repossessed the whole mass of our country from Connecticut southwardly and westwardly. The three New England States of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut, alone hold out. In these, though we have not gained the last
, year as much as we had expected, yet we are gaining steadily and sensibly. In Massachusetts we have gained three senators more than we had the last year, and it is believed our gain in the lower House will be in proportion. In Connecticut we have rather lost in their Legislature, but in the mass of the people, where we had on the election of Governor the last year, but twenty-nine republican out of every hundred votes, we this year have thirty-five out of every hundred ; with the phalanx of priests and lawyers against us, republicanism works up slowly in that quarter ; but in a year or two more we shall have a majority even there. In the next House of Representatives there will be about forty-two federal and a hundred republican members. Be assured that, excepting in this north-eastern and your south-western corner of the Union, monachism, which has been so falsely miscalled federalism, is dead and buried, and no day of resurrection will ever dawn upon that ; that it has retired to the two extreme and opposite angles of our land, from whence it will have ultimately and shortly to take its final flight. While speaking of the Indians, I omitted to mention that I think it would be good policy in us to take by the hand those of them who have emigrated from ours to the other side of the Mississippi, to furnish them generously with arms, ammunition, and other essentials, with a view to render a situation there desirable to those they have left behind, to toll them in this way across the Mississippi, and thus prepare in time an eligible retreat for the whole. We have not as yet however began to act on this. I believe a considerable number from all the four southern tribes have settled between the St. Francis and Akanza, but mostly from the Cherokees. I presume that with a view to this object we ought to establish a factory on the eastern bank of the Mississippi, where it would be most convenient for them to come and trade. We have an idea of running a path in a direct line from Knoxville to Natchez, believing it would save 200 miles in the carriage of our mail. The consent of the Indians will be necessary, and it will be very important to get individuals among them to take each a white man into partnership, and to establish at every nineteen miles a house of entertainment, and a farm for its support. The profits of this would soon reconcile the Indians to the practice, and extend it, and render the public use of the road as much an object of desire as it is now of fear; and such a horsepath would soon, with their consent, become a wagon-road. I have appointed Isaac Briggs of Maryland, surveyor of the lands south of Tennessee. He is a Quaker, a sound republican, and of a pure and unspotted character. In point of science, in astronomy, geometry and mathematics, he stands in a line with Mr. Ellicot, and second to no man in the United States. He set out yesterday for his destination, and I recommend him to your particular patronage ; the candor, modesty and simplicity of his manners cannot fail to gain your esteem. For the office of surreyor, men of the first order of science in astronomy and mathe