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Missouri. On this subject a Mr. Rees, of the same nation, established in the western part of Pennsylvania, will write to you. New Orleans was delivered to us on the 20th of December, and our garrisons and government established there. The orders for the delivery of the upper ports were to leave New Orleans on the 28th, and we presume all those ports will be occupied by our troops by the last day of the present month. When your instructions were penned, this new position was not so authentically known as to affect the complexion of your instructions. Being now become sovereigns of the country, without, however, any diminution of the Indian rights of occupancy, we are authorized to propose to them in direct terms the institution of commerce with them. It will now be proper you should inform those through whose country you will pass, or whom you may meet, that their late fathers, the Spaniards, have agreed to withdraw all their troops from all the waters and country of the Mississippi and Missouri? That they have surrendered to us all their subjects, Spanish and French, settled there and all their posts and lands; that henceforward we become their fathers and friends, and that we shall endeavor that they shall have no cause to lament the change; that we have sent you to inquire into the nature of the country and the nations inhabiting it, to know at what places and times we must establish stores of goods among them, to exchange for their peltries; that as soon as you return with the necessary information, we shall prepare supplies of goods and persons to carry them, and make the proper establishments; that in the meantime the same traders who reside among us visit them, and who now are a part of us, will continue to supply them as usual; that we shall endeavor to become acquainted with them as soon as possible; and that they will find in us faithful friends and protectors. Although you will pass through no settlements of the Sioux (except seceders) yet you will probably meet with parties of them. On that nation we wish most particularly to make a friendly impression, because of their immense power, and because we learn that they are very desirous of being on the most friendly terms with us.
I enclose you a letter, which I believe is from some one on the part of the Philosophical Society, They have made you a member, and your diploma is lodged with me; but I suppose it safest to keep it here and not to send it after you. Mr. Harvie departs to-morrow for France, as the bearer of the Louisiana stock to Paris. Captain William Brent takes his place with me. Congress will probably continue in session through the month of March. Your friends here and in Albemarle, as far as I recollect, are well. Trist will be the collector of New Orleans, and his family will go to him in the spring. Dr. Bache is now in Philadelphia, and probably will not return to New Orleans. Accept my friendly salutations, and assurances of affectionate esteem and respect.
TO TIMOTHY BLOODWORTH, ESQ.
WASHINGTON, January 29, 1804.
DEAR SIR,-I thank you for the seed of the fly-trap. It is the first I have ever been able to obtain, and shall take great care of it. I am well pleased to hear of the progress of republicanism with you. To do without a land tax, excise, stamp tax and the other internal taxes, to supply their place by economies, so as still to support the government properly, and to apply $7,300,000 a year steadily to the payment of the public debt; to discontinue a great portion of the expenses on armies and navies, yet protect our country and its commerce with what remains; to purchase a country as large and more fertile than the one we possessed before, yet ask neither a new tax, nor another soldier to be added, but to provide that that country shall by its own income, pay for itself before the purchase money is due; to preserve peace with all nations, and particularly an equal friendship to the two great rival powers France and England, and to maintain the credit and character of the nation in as high a degree as it has ever enjoyed, are measures which I think must reconcile the great body of those who thought themselves our
enemies; but were in truth only the enemies of certain Jacobinical, atheistical, anarchical, imaginary caricatures, which existed only in the land of the raw head and bloody bones, beings created to frighten the credulous. By this time they see enough of us to judge our characters by what we do, and not by what we never did, nor thought of doing, but in the lying chronicles of the newspapers. I know indeed there are some characters who have been too prominent to retract, too proud and impassioned to relent, too greedy after office and profit to relinquish their longings, and who have covered their devotion to monarchism under the mantle of federalism, who never can be cured of their enmities. These are incurable maniacs, for whom the hospitable doors of Bedlam are ready to open, but they are permitted to walk abroad while they refrain from personal assault.
The applications for Louisiana are so numerous that it would be immoral to give a hope to the friends you mention. The rage for going to that country seems universal. Accept my affectionate salutations, and assurances of great esteem and respect.
TO DOCTOR PRIESTLEY.
WASHINGTON, January 29, 1804.
DEAR SIR,-Your favor of December the 12th came duly to hand, as did the second letter to Doctor Linn, and the treatise on Phlogiston, for which I pray you to accept my thanks. The copy for Mr. Livingston has been delivered, together with your letter to him, to Mr. Harvie, my secretary, who departs in a day or two for Paris, and will deliver them himself to Mr. Livingston, whose attention to your matter cannot be doubted. I have also to add my thanks to Mr. Priestley, your son, for the copy of your Harmony, which I have gone through with great satisfaction. It is the first I have been able to meet with, which is clear of those long repetitions of the same transaction, as if it were a different one because related with some different circumstances.
I rejoice that you have undertaken the task of comparing the moral doctrines of Jesus with those of the ancient Philosophers. You are so much in possession of the whole subject, that you will do it easier and better than any other person living. I think you cannot avoid giving, as preliminary to the comparison, a digest of his moral doctrines, extracted in his own words from the Evangelists, and leaving out everything relative to his personal history and character. It would be short and precious. With a view to do this for my own satisfaction, I had sent to Philadelphia to get two testaments (Greek) of the same edition, and two English, with a design to cut out the morsels of morality, and paste them on the leaves of a book, in the manner you describe as having been pursued in forming your Harmony. But I shall now get the thing done by better hands.
I very early saw that Louisiana was indeed a speck in our horizon which was to burst in a tornado; and the public are unapprized how near this catastrophe was. Nothing but a frank and friendly development of causes and effects on our part, and good sense enough in Bonaparte to see that the train was unavoidable, and would change the face of the world, saved us from that storm. I did not expect he would yield till a war took place between France and England, and my hope was to palliate and endure, if Messrs. Ross, Morris, &c. did not force a premature rupture, until that event. I believed the event not very distant, but acknowledge it came on sooner than I had expected. Whether, however, the good sense of Bonaparte might not see the course predicted to be nece sary and unavoidable, even before a war should be imminent, was a chance which we thought it our duty to try; but the immediate prospect of rupture brought the case to immediate decision. The denoument has been happy; and I confess I look to this duplication of area for the extending a government so free and economical as ours, as a great achievement to the mass of happiness which is to ensue. Whether we remain in one confederacy, or form into Atlantic and Mississippi confederacies, I believe not very important to the happiness of either part. Those of the western con
federacy will be as much our children and descendants as those of the eastern, and I feel myself as much identified with that country, in future time, as with this; and did I now foresee a separation at some future day, yet I should feel the duty and the desire to promote the western interests as zealously as the eastern, doing all the good for both portions of our future family which should fall within my power.
Have you seen the new work of Malthus on population? It is one of the ablest I have ever seen. Although his main object is to delineate the effects of redundancy of population, and to test the poor laws of England, and other palliations for that evil, several important questions in political economy, allied to his subject incidentally, are treated with a masterly hand. It is a single octavo volume, and I have been only able to read a borrowed copy, the only one I have yet heard of. Probably our friends in England will think of you, and give you an opportunity of reading it. Accept my affectionate salutations, and assurances of great esteem and respect.
TO MR. SAY.
Washington, February 1, 1804. DEAR SIR, I have to acknowledge the receipt of your obliging letter, and with it, of two very interesting volumes on Political Economy. These found me engaged in giving the leisure moments I rarely find, to the perusal of Malthus' work on population, a work of sound logic, in which some of the opinions of Adam Smith, as well as of the economists, are ably examined. I was pleased, on turning to some chapters where you treat the same questions, to find his opinions corroborated by yours. I shall proceed to the reading of your work with great pleasure. In the meantime, the present conveyance, by a gentlemen of my family going to Paris, is too safe to hazard a delay in making my acknowledgments for this mark of attention, and for having afforded to me a satisfaction, which the ordinary course of liter