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full; and I hope the frigates have left the Capes by this t.me. I have, however, this day, signed warrants of midshipmen for the two young gentlemen you recommended. These will be forwarded by the Secretary of the Navy. He tells me that their first services will be to be performed on board the gun boats.
Accept my friendly salutations, and assurances of great esteem and respect.
TO J. MADISON.
July 5, 1804. We did not collect the sense of our brethren the other day by regular questions, but as far as I could understand from what was said, it appeared to be,-1. That an acknowledgment of our right to the Perdido, is a sine qua non, and no price to be given for it. 2. No absolute and perpetual relinquishment of right is to be made of the country east of the Rio Bravo del Norte, even in exchange for Florida. [I am not quite sure that this was the opinion of all.] 3. That a country may be laid off within which no further settlement shall be made by either party for a given time, say thirty years. This country to be from the North river eastwardly towards the Colorado, or even to, but not beyond the Mexican or Sabine river. To whatever river it be extended, it might from its source run north-west, as the most eligible direction; but a due north line would produce no restraint that we should feel in twenty years. This relinquishment, and two millions of dollars, to be the price of all the Floridas east of the Perdido, or to be apportioned to whatever part they will cede.
But on entering into conferences, both parties should agree that, during their continuance, neither should strengthen their situation between the Iberville, Mississippi, and Perdido, nor interrupt the navigation of the rivers therein. If they will not give such an order instantly, they should be told that we have for peace sake only, forborne till they could have time to give such an order, but that as soon as we receive notice of their refusal to give the order we shall intermit the exercise of our right of navigating the Mobile, and protect it, and increase our force there pari passu with them.
TO GOVERNOR CLAIBORNE.
WASHINGTON, July 7, 1804. DEAR SIR,In a letter of the 17th of April, which I wrote you from Monticello, I observed to you that as the legislative council for the territory of Orleans, was to be appointed by me, and our distance was great, and early communication on the subject was necessary, that it ought to be composed of men of integrity, of understanding, of clear property and influence among the people, well acquainted with the laws, customs, and habits of the country, and drawn from the different parts of the territory, whose population was considerable. And I asked the favor of you to inform me of the proper characters, with short sketches of the material outlines for estimating them; and I observed that a majority should be of sound American characters long established and esteemed there, and the rest of French or Spaniards, the most estimable and well affected. When in daily expectation of an answer from you, I received your favor of May 29th, whereby I perceive that my letter to you has never got to hand. I must therefore, at this late day, repeat my request to you, and ask an early answer, because after receiving it, I may perhaps have occasion to consult you again before a final determination. A letter written any time in August will find me at Monticello, near Milton, and had better be so directed. A blank commission for a Surveyor and Inspector for the port of Bayou St. John, will be forwarded to you to be filled up with any name you approve. I would prefer a native Frenchman, if you can find one proper and disposed to co-operate with us in extirpating that corruption which has prevailed in those offices under the former government, and had so familiarized itself as that men, otherwise honest, could look on that without horror. I pray you to be alive to the suppression of this odious practice, and that you bring to punishment and brand with eternal disgrace every man guilty of it, whatever be his station.
TO P. MAZZEI.
WASHINGTON, July 18, 1804. MY DEAR SIR,---li s very long, I know, since I wrote you. So constant is the prisure of business that there is never a moment, scarcely, that something of public importance is not waiting for me. I have, therefore, on a principle of conscience, thought it my duty to withdraw almost entirely from all private correspondence, and chiefly the trans-Atlantic ; I scarcely write a letter a year to any friend beyond sea. Another consideration has led to this, which is the liability of my letters to miscarry, be opened, and made ill use of. Although the great body of our country are perfectly returned to their ancient principles, yet there remains a phalanx of old tories and monarchists, more envenomed, as all their hopes become more desperate. Every word of mine which they can get hold of, however innocent, however orthodox even, is twisted, tormented, perverted, and, like the words of holy writ, are made to mean everything but what they were intended to mean. I trust little, therefore, unnecessarily in their way, and especially on political subjects. I shall not, therefore, be free to answer all the several articles of
On the subject of treaties, our system is to have none with any nation, as far as can be avoided. The treaty with England has therefore not been renewed, and all overtures for treaty with other nations have been declined. We believe, that with nations as with individuals, dealings may be carried on as advantageously, perhaps more so, while their continuance depends on a voluntary good treatment, as if fixed by a contract, which, when it becomes injurious to either, is made, by forced constructions,
to mean what suits them, and becomes a cause of war instead of a bond of peace. We wish to be on the closest terms of friendship with Naples, and we will prove it by giving to her citizens, vessels and goods all the privileges of the most favored nation ; and while we do this voluntarily, we cannot doubt they will voluntarily do the same for us. Our interests against the Barbaresques being also the same, we have little doubt she will give us every facility to insure them, which our situation may ask and hers admit. It is not, then, from a want of friendship that we do not propose a treaty with Naples, but because it is against our system to embarrass ourselves with treaties, or to entangle ourselves at all with the affairs of Europe. The kind offices we receive from that government are more sensibly felt, as such, than they would be, if rendered only as due to us by treaty.
Five fine frigates left the Chesapeake the 1st instant for Tripoli, which, in addition to the force now there, will, I trust, recover the credit which Commodore Morris' two years' sleep lost us, and for which he has been broke. I think they will make Tripoli sensible, that they mistake their interest in choosing war with us; and Tunis also, should she have declared wai as we expect, and almost wish.
Notwithstanding this little diversion, we pay seven or eight millions of dollars annually of our public debt, and shall completely discharge it in twelve years more. That done, our annual revenue, now thirteen millions of dollars, which by that time will be twenty-five, will pay the expenses of any war we may be forced into, without new taxes or loans. The spirit of republicanism is now in almost all its ancient vigor, five-sixths of the people being with us. Fourteen of the seventeen States are completely with us, and two of the other three will be in one year. We have now got back to the ground on which you left us. I should have retired at the end of the first four years, but that the immense load of tory calumnies which have been manufactured respecting me, and have filled the European market, have obliged me to appeal once more to my country for a justification. I have no fear but that I shall receive honorable testimony by their verdict on those calumnies. At the end of the next four years I shall certainly retire. Age, inclination and principle all dictate this. My health, which at one time threatened an unfavorable turn, is now firm. The acquisition of Louisiana, besides doubling our extent, and trebling our quantity of fertile country, is of incalculable value, as relieving us from the danger of war. It has enabled us to do a handsome thing for Fayette. He had received a grant of between eleven and twelve thousand acres north of Ohio, worth, perhaps, a dollar an acre. We have obtained permission of Congress to locate it in Louisiana. Locations can be found adjacent to the city of New Orleans, in the island of New Orleans and in its vicinity, the value of which cannot be calculated. I hope it will induce him to come over and settle there with his family. Mr. Livingston having asked leave to return, General Armstrong, his brother-inlaw, goes in his place: he is of the first order of talents.
Remarkable deaths lately, are, Samuel Adams, Edmund Pendleton, Alexander Hamilton, Stephens Thompson Mason, Mann Page, Bellini, and Parson Andrews. To these I have the inexpressible grief of adding the name of my youngest daughter, who had married a son of Mr. Eppes, and has left two children. My eldest daughter alone remains to me, and has six children. This loss has increased my anxiety to retire, while it has dreadfully lessened the comfort of doing it. Wythe, Dickinson, and Charles Thompson are all living, and are firm republicans. You informed me formerly of your marriage, and your having a daughter, but have said nothing in your late letters on that subject. Yet whatever concerns your happiness is sincerely interesting to me, and is a subject of anxiety, retaining as I do, cordial sentiments of esteem and affection for you. Accept, I pray you, my sincere assurances of this, with my most friendly salutations.