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Title: Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 2
Author: Jefferson, Thomas, 1743-1826
Language: English
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[Illustration: Book Spines, 1829 set of Jefferson Papers]

MEMOIR, CORRESPONDENCE, AND MISCELLANIES, FROM THE PAPERS OF THOMAS
JEFFERSON.

Edited by Thomas Jefferson Randolph.


[Illustration: Steel engraving by Longacre from painting of G. Stuart]

[Illustration: Titlepage of Volume Two (of four)]



VOLUME TWO



LETTER I.--TO RICHARD HENRY LEE, April 22, 1786


TO RICHARD HENRY LEE.

London, April 22, 1786.

Dear Sir,

In your letter of October the 29th, you desired me to send you one of
the new lamps. I tried at every probable place in Paris, and could not
get a tolerable one. I have been glad of it since I came here, as I find
them much better made here. I now deliver one, with this letter, into
the hands of Mr. Fulwar Skipwith, a merchant from Virginia, settled
here, who promises to send it to you, with one for Mr. C. Thomson. Of
this be pleased to accept, from me. It is now found, that they may be
used with almost any oil.

I expect to leave this place in about three days. Our public letters,
joint and separate, will inform you what has been done, and what could
not be done here. With respect to a commercial treaty with this country,
be assured, that this government not only has it not in contemplation
at present to make any, but that they do not conceive that any
circumstances will arise, which shall render it expedient for them to
have any political connection with us. They think we shall be glad of
their commerce on their own terms. There is no party in our favor here,
either in power or out of power. Even the opposition concur with the
ministry and the nation in this. I can scarcely consider as a party, the
Marquis of Lansdowne, and a half dozen characters about him, such as Dr.
Price, &c. who are impressed with the utility of a friendly connection
with us. The former does not venture this sentiment in parliament, and
the latter are not in situations to be heard. The Marquis of Lansdowne
spoke to me affectionately of your brother, Doctor Lee, and desired his
respects to him, which I beg leave to communicate through you. Were
he to come into the ministry (of which there is not the most distant
prospect), he must adopt the King's system, or go out again, as he did
before, for daring to depart from it. When we see, that through all the
changes of ministry, which have taken place during the present reign,
there has never been a change of system with respect to America, we
cannot reasonably doubt, that this is the system of the King himself.
His obstinacy of character we know; his hostility we have known, and
it is embittered by ill success. If ever this nation, during his life,
enter into arrangements with us, it must be in consequence of events,
of which they do not at present see a possibility. The object of the
present ministry is to buoy up the nation with flattering calculations
of their present prosperity, and to make them believe they are better
without us than with us. This they seriously believe; for what is it
men cannot be made to believe? I dined the other day in a company of the
ministerial party. A General Clark, a Scotchman and ministerialist, sat
next to me. He introduced the subject of American affairs, and in
the course of the conversation told me, that were America to petition
parliament to be again received on their former footing, the petition
would be very generally rejected. He was serious in this, and I think
it was the sentiment of the company, and is the sentiment perhaps of the
nation. In this they are wise, but for a foolish reason. They think they
lost more by suffering us to participate of their commercial privileges,
at home and abroad, than they lose by our political severance. The true
reason, however, why such an application should be rejected, is, that in
a very short time we should oblige them to add another hundred millions
to their debt, in unsuccessful attempts to retain the subjection offered
to them. They are at present in a frenzy, and will not be recovered from
it, till they shall have leaped the precipice they are now so boldly
advancing to. Writing from England, I write you nothing but English
news. The continent, at present, furnishes nothing interesting. I shall
hope the favor of your letters, at times. The proceedings and views of
Congress and of the Assemblies, the opinions and dispositions of
our people in general, which, in governments like ours, must be the
foundation of measures, will always be interesting to me, as will
whatever respects your own health and happiness; being with great
esteem,

Dear Sir, your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson



LETTER II.--TO CHARLES THOMSON, April 22, 1786


TO CHARLES THOMSON.

London, April 22, 1786.

Dear Sir,

In one of your former letters, you expressed a wish to have one of the
newly invented lamps. I find them made here much better than at Paris,
and take the liberty of asking your acceptance of one, which will
accompany this letter. It is now found, that any tolerable oil may be
used in them. The spermaceti oil is best, of the cheap kinds.

I could write you volumes on the improvements which I find made, and
making here, in the arts. One deserves particular notice, because it
is simple, great, and likely to have extensive consequences. It is
the application of steam, as an agent for working grist-mills. I have
visited the one lately made here. It was at that time turning eight pair
of stones. It consumes one hundred bushels of coal a day. It is proposed
to put up thirty pair of stones. I do not know whether the quantity
of fuel is to be increased. I hear you are applying the same agent in
America to navigate boats, and I have little doubt, but that it will
be applied generally to machines, so as to supersede the use of water
ponds, and of course to lay open all the streams for navigation. We
know, that steam is one of the most powerful engines we can employ;
and in America fuel is abundant. I find no new publication here worth
sending to you. I shall set out for Paris within three or four days. Our
public letters will inform you of our public proceedings here.

I am, with sincere esteem, Dear Sir,

your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER III.--TO JOHN JAY, April 23, 1786


TO JOHN JAY.

London, April 23, 1786.

Sir,

In my letter of March the 12th, I had the honor of explaining to you
the motives which had brought me to this place. A joint letter from Mr.
Adams and myself, sent by the last packet, informed you of the result
of our conferences with the Tripoline minister. The conferences with
the minister of Portugal have, been drawn to a greater length than I
expected. However, every thing is now agreed, and the treaty will be
ready for signature the day after to-morrow. I shall set out for Paris
the same day. With this country nothing is done: and that nothing is
intended to be done, on their part, admits not the smallest doubt. The
nation is against any change of measures: the ministers are against it;
some from principle, others from subserviency: and the King, more than
all men, is against it. If we take a retrospect to the beginning of the
present reign, we observe, that amidst all the changes of ministry, no
change of measures with respect to America ever took place; excepting
only at the moment of the peace; and the minister of that moment was
immediately removed. Judging of the future by the past, I do not expect
a change of disposition during the present reign, which bids fair to
be a long one, as the King is healthy and temperate. That he is
persevering, we know. If he ever changes his plan, it will be in
consequence of events, which, at present, neither himself nor his
ministers place among those which are probable. Even the opposition dare
not open their lips in favor of a connection with us, so unpopular would
be the topic. It is not, that they think our commerce unimportant to
them. I find that the merchants here set sufficient value on it. But
they are sure of keeping it on their own terms. No better proof can be
shown of the security in which the ministers think themselves on this
head, than that they have not thought it worth while to give us a
conference on the subject, though, on my arrival, we exhibited to them
our commission, observed to them that it would expire on the 12th of
the next month, and that I had come over on purpose to see if any
arrangements could be made before that time. Of two months which then
remained, six weeks have elapsed without one scrip of a pen, or one word
from a minister, except a vague proposition at an accidental meeting.
We availed ourselves even of that, to make another essay to extort some
sort of declaration from the court. But their silence is invincible.
But of all this, as well as of the proceedings in the negotiation with
Portugal, information will be given you by a joint letter from Mr. Adams
and myself. The moment is certainly arrived, when, the plan of this
court being out of all doubt, Congress and the States may decide what
their own measures should be.

The Marquis of Lansdowne spoke of you in very friendly terms, and
desired me to present his respects to you, in the first letter I should
write. He is thoroughly sensible of the folly of the present measures
of this country, as are a few other characters about him. Dr. Price is
among these, and is particularly disturbed at the present prospect. He
acknowledges, however, that all change is desperate: which weighs the
more, as he is intimate with Mr. Pitt. This small band of friends,
favorable as it is, does not pretend to say one word in public on our
subject.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the highest esteem and
respect,

Sir, your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER IV.--TO JOHN JAY, April 23, 1786


TO JOHN JAY.

London, April 23, 1786.

Sir,

In another letter of this day, I stated to you what had passed with
public characters since my arrival here. Conversations with private
individuals, I thought it best not to mingle with the contents of that
letter. Yet, as some have taken place, which relate to matters within
our instructions, and with persons whose opinions deserve to have some
weight, I will take the liberty of stating them. In a conversation with
an ancient and respectable merchant of this place, such a view of the
true state of the commercial connections of America and Great Britain
was presented to him, as induced him to acknowledge they had been
mistaken in their opinions, and to ask, that Mr. Adams and myself would
permit the chairman of the committee of American merchants to call on
us. He observed, that the same person happened to be also chairman of
the committee of the whole body of British merchants; and that such was
the respect paid to his person and office, that we might consider what
came from him, as coming from the committees themselves. He called on
us at an appointed hour. He was a Mr. Duncan Campbell, formerly much
concerned in the American trade. We entered on the subject of the
non-execution of the late treaty of peace, alleged on both sides.
We observed, that the refusal to deliver the western posts, and the
withdrawing American property, contrary to express stipulation, having
preceded what they considered as breaches on our part, were to be
considered as the causes of our proceedings. The obstructions thrown
by our legislatures in the way of the recovery of their debts, were
insisted on by him. We observed to him, that the great amount of the
debt from America to Great Britain, and the little circulating coin in
the formeer country, rendered an immediate payment impossible; that time
was necessary; that we had been authorized to enter into explanatory
arrangements on this subject; that we had made overtures for the
purpose, which had not been attended to, and that the States had,
therefore, been obliged to modify the article for themselves. He
acknowledged the impossibility of immediate payment, the propriety of
an explanatory convention, and said, that they were disposed to allow
a reasonable time. We mentioned the term of five years, including the
present; but that judgments might be allowed immediately, only dividing
the execution into equal and annual parts, so that the last should be
levied by the close of the year 1790. This seemed to be quite agreeable
to him, and to be as short a term as would be insisted on by them.
Proceeding to the sum to be demanded, we agreed that the principal, with
the interest incurring before and after the war, should be paid; but
as to that incurring during the war, we differed from him. He urged its
justice with respect to themselves, who had laid out of the use of their
money during that period. This was his only topic. We opposed to it all
those which circumstances, both public and private, gave rise to.
He appeared to feel their weight, but said the renunciation of this
interest was a bitter pill, and such a one as the merchants here could
not swallow. He wished, that no declaration should be made as to
this article: but we observed, that if we entered into explanatory
declarations of the points unfavorable to us, we should expect, as a
consideration for this, corresponding declarations on the parts in
our favor. In fact, we supposed his view was to leave this part of the
interest to stand on the general expressions of the treaty, that
they might avail themselves, in individual cases, of the favorable
dispositions of debtors or of juries. We proceeded to the necessity of
arrangements of our future commerce, were it only as a means of
enabling our country to pay its debts. We suggested, that they had been
contracted while certain modes of remittance had existed here, which
had been an inducement to us to contract these debts. He said he was not
authorized to speak on the subject of the future commerce. He appeared
really and feelingly anxious, that arrangements should be stipulated as
to the payment of the old debts, said he would proceed in that moment to
Lord Caermarthen's, and discuss the subject with him, and that we might
expect to hear from him. He took leave, and we have never since heard
from him or any other person on the subject. Congress will judge how far
these conversations should influence their future proceedings, or those
of the States.

I have the honor to be, with the highest respect and esteem, Sir, your
most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER V.--TO JAMES MADISON, April 25, 1786


TO JAMES MADISON.

London, April 25, 1786.

Dear Sir,

Some of the objects of the joint commission, with which we were honored
by Congress, called me to this place about six weeks ago. To-morrow I
set out on my return to Paris. With this nation nothing is done; and it
is now decided, that they intend to do nothing with us.

*****

I wrote you, in a former letter, on the subject of a Mr. Paradise,
who owns an estate in Virginia in right of his wife, and who has a
considerable sum due to him in our loan office. Since I came here, I
have had opportunities of knowing his extreme personal worth, and his
losses by the late war. He is, from principle, a pure republican, while
his father was as warm a tory. His attachment to the American cause,
and his candid warmth, brought him sometimes into altercations on the
subject with his father, and some persons interested in their variance,
artfully brought up this subject of conversation whenever they met. It
produced a neglect in the father. He had already settled on him a sum of
money in the funds: but would do no more, and probably would have undone
that, if he could. When remittances from Virginia were forbidden,
the profits of the Virginia estate were carried into our loan office.
Paradise was then obliged to begin to eat his capital in England: from
that, to part with conveniences, and to run in debt. His situation is
now distressing; and would be completely relieved, could he receive what
is due to him from our State. He is coming over to settle there. His
wife and family will follow him. I never ask unjust preferences for any
body. But if, by any just means, he can be helped to his money, I own
I should be much gratified. The goodness of his heart, his kindness to
Americans before, during, and since the war, the purity of his political
and moral character, interest me in the events impending over him, and
which will infallibly be ruinous, if he fails to receive his money. I
ask of you, on his behalf, that in pursuing the path of right, you will
become active for him, instead of being merely quiescent, as you might
be, were his merit and his misfortunes unknown to you.

I have put into the hands of Mr. Fulwar Skipwith for you, a packet
containing some catalogues, which he will forward. I am, with very
sincere esteem, Dear Sir,

your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER VI.--TO THE COUNT DE VERGENNES, May 3, 1786


TO THE COUNT DE VERGENNES.

Paris, May 3, 1786.

Sir,

After begging leave to present my respects to your Excellency, on my
return to this place, I take the liberty of offering to your attention
some papers, which I found on my arrival here, written by sundry
merchants of L'Orient and others, some of whom are citizens of the
United States, and all of them concerned in the trade between the two
countries. This has been carried on by an exchange of the manufactures
and produce of this country, for the produce of that, and principally
for tobacco, which, though, on its arrival here, confined to a single
purchaser, has been received equally from all sellers. In confidence
of a continuance of this practice, the merchants of both countries were
carrying on their commerce of exchange. A late contract by the Farm has,
in a great measure, fixed in a single mercantile house the supplies of
tobacco wanted for this country. This arrangement found the established
merchants with some tobacco on hand, some on the seas coming to them,
and more still due. By the papers now enclosed, it seems, that there
are six thousand four hundred and eight hogsheads in the single port of
L'Orient. Whether government may interfere, as to articles furnished by
the merchants after they had notice of the contract before mentioned,
must depend on principles of policy. But those of justice seem to urge,
that, for commodities furnished before such notice, they should be so
far protected, as that they may wind up, without loss, the transactions
in which the new arrangement found them actually engaged. Your
Excellency is the best judge, how far it may be consistent with the
rules of government, to interfere for their relief, and with you,
therefore, I beg leave entirely to rest their interests.

Information lately received, relative to the Barbary States, has
suggested, that it might be expedient, and perhaps necessary for us, to
pave the way to arrangements with them, by a previous application to the
Ottoman Porte. Your Excellency's intimate acquaintance with this subject
would render your advice to us equally valuable and desirable. If you
would be pleased to permit me to wait on you, any day or hour which
shall be most convenient to yourself, I should be much gratified by a
little conversation with you on this subject.

I have the honor to be, with great respect, your Excellency's most
obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER VII.--TO JOHN PAGE, May 4, 1786


TO JOHN PAGE.

Paris, May 4, 1786.

Dear Sir,

Your two favors of March the 15th and August the 23, 1785, by Monsieur
de la Croix, came to hand on the 15th of November. His return gives me
an opportunity of sending you a copy of the Nautical Almanacs for 1786,
7, 8, 9. There is no late and interesting publication here, or I would
send it by the same conveyance. With these almanacs, I pack a copy of
some Notes I wrote for Monsieur de Marbois, in the year 1781, of which I
had a few printed here. They were written in haste, and for his private
inspection. A few friends having asked copies, I found it cheaper to
print than to write them. They will offer nothing new to you, not even
as an oblation of my friendship for you, which is as old almost as we
are ourselves. Mazzei brought me your favor of April the 27th. I thank
you much for your communications. Nothing can be more grateful at such
a distance. It is unfortunate, that most people think the occurrences
passing daily under their eyes, are either known to all the world, or
not worth being known. They therefore do not give them place in their
letters. I hope you will be so good as to continue your friendly
information. The proceedings of our public bodies, the progress of the
public mind on interesting questions, the casualties which happen among
our private friends, and whatever is interesting to yourself and family,
will always be anxiously received by me. There is one circumstance in
the work you were concerned in, which has not yet come to my knowledge;
to wit, How far westward from Fort Pitt, does the western boundary of
Pennsylvania pass, and where does it strike the Ohio? The proposition
you mention from Mr. Anderson, on the purchase of tobacco, I would have
made use of, but that I have engaged the abuses of the tobacco trade on
a more general scale. I confess their redress is by no means certain;
but till I see all hope of removing the evil by the roots desperate, I
cannot propose to prune its branches.

I returned but three or four days ago, from a two months' trip to
England. I traversed that country much, and own, both town and country
fell short of my expectations. Comparing it with this, I found a much
greater proportion of barrens, a soil, in other parts, not naturally so
good as this, not better cultivated, but better manured, and therefore
more productive. This proceeds from the practice of long leases there,
and short ones here. The laboring people here, are poorer than in
England. They pay about one half their produce in rent; the English, in
general, about a third. The gardening, in that country, is the article
in which it surpasses all the earth. I mean their pleasure gardening.
This, indeed, went far beyond my ideas. The city of London, though
handsomer than Paris, is not so handsome as Philadelphia. Their
architecture is in the most wretched style I ever saw, not meaning to
except America, where it is bad, nor even Virginia, where it is worse
than in any other part of America which I have seen. The mechanical arts
in London are carried to a wonderful perfection. But of these I need
not speak, because, of them my countrymen have unfortunately too many
samples before their eyes. I consider the extravagance which has seized
them, as a more baneful evil than toryism was during the war. It is the
more so, as the example is set by the best and most amiable characters
among us. Would a missionary appear, who would make frugality the basis
of his religious system, and go through the land, preaching it up as the
only road to salvation, I would join his school, though not generally
disposed to seek my religion out of the dictates of my own reason, and
feelings of my own heart. These things have been more deeply impressed
on my mind, by what I have heard and seen in England. That nation hate
us, their ministers hate us, and their King, more than all other men.
They have the impudence to avow this, though they acknowledge our trade
important to them. But they think, we cannot prevent our countrymen from
bringing that into their laps. A conviction of this determines them
to make no terms of commerce with us. They say, they will pocket
our carrying trade as well as their own. Our overtures of commercial
arrangements have been treated with a derision, which shows their firm
persuasion, that we shall never unite to suppress their commerce, or
even to impede it. I think their hostility towards us is much more
deeply rooted at present, than during the war. In the arts, the most
striking thing I saw there, new, was the application of the principle
of the steam-engine to grist-mills. I saw eight pair of stones which
are worked by steam, and there are to be set up thirty pair in the same
house. A hundred bushels of coal, a day, are consumed at present. I do
not know in what proportion the consumption will be increased by the
additional gear.

Be so good as to present my respects to Mrs. Page and your family, to W.
Lewis, F. Willis, and their families, and to accept yourself assurances
of the sincere regard, with which I am, Dear Sir, your affectionate
friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER VIII.--TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL


TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Paris, May 5, 1786.

Dear Sir,

A visit of two months to England has been the cause of your not hearing
from me during that period. Your letters of February the 3rd, to Mr.
Adams and myself, and of February the 4th, to me, had come to hand
before my departure. While I was in London, Mr. Adams received the
letters giving information of Mr. Lambe's arrival at Algiers. In London,
we had conferences with a Tripoline ambassador, now at that court, named
Abdrahaman. He asked us thirty thousand guineas for a peace with his
court, and as much for Tunis, for which he said he could answer. What we
were authorized to offer, being to this, but as a drop to a bucket,
our conferences were repeated, only for the purpose of obtaining
information. If the demands of Algiers and Morocco should be
proportioned to this, according to their superior power, it is easy to
foresee that the United States will not buy a peace with money. What
principally led me to England was, the information that the Chevalier
del Pinto, Portuguese minister at that court, had received full powers
to treat with us. I accordingly went there, and, in the course of six
weeks, we arranged a commercial treaty between our two countries. His
powers were only to negotiate, not to sign. And as I could not wait, Mr.
Adams and myself signed, and the Chevalier del Pinto expected daily the
arrival of powers to do the same. The footing on which each has placed
the other, is that of the most favored nation. We wished much to have
had some privileges in their American possessions: but this was not
to be effected. The right to import flour into Portugal, though not
conceded by the treaty, we are not without hopes of obtaining.

My journey furnished us occasion to renew our overtures to the court
of London; which it was the more important to do, as our powers to that
court were to expire on the 12th of this month. These overtures were not
attended to, and our commission expiring, we made our final report to
Congress; and I suppose this the last offer of friendship, which will
ever be made on our part. The treaty of peace being unexecuted on either
part, in important points, each will now take their own measures for
obtaining execution. I think the King, ministers, and nation are more
bitterly hostile to us at present, than at any period of the late war.
A like disposition on our part, has been rising for some time. In what
events these things will end, we cannot foresee. Our countrymen are
eager in their passions and enterprise, and not disposed to calculate
their interests against these. Our enemies (for such they are, in fact)
have for twelve years past, followed but one uniform rule, that of doing
exactly the contrary of what reason points out. Having early, during our
contest, observed this in the British conduct, I governed myself by it,
in all prognostications of their measures; and I can say, with truth, it
never failed me but in the circumstance of their making peace with us. I
have no letters from America of later date than the new year. Mr. Adams
had, to the beginning of February. I am in hopes our letters will give a
new spur to the proposition, for investing Congress with the regulation
of our commerce.

This will be handed you by a Baron Waltersdorf, a Danish gentleman,
whom, if you did not already know, I should take the liberty of
recommending to you. You were so kind as to write me, that you would
forward me a particular map, which has not come to hand.

I beg you to be assured of the respect and esteem, with which I have the
honor to be, Dear Sir,

your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER IX.--TO MR. DUMAS, May 6, 1789


TO MR. DUMAS.

Paris, May 6, 1789.

Sir,

Having been absent in England, for some time past, your favors of
February the 27th, March the 28th, and April the 11th, have not been
acknowledged so soon as they should have been. I am obliged to you, for
assisting to make me known to the Rhingrave de Salm and the Marquis de
la Coste, whose reputations render an acquaintance with them desirable.
I have not yet seen either: but expect that honor from the Rhingrave
very soon. Your letters to Mr. Jay and Mr. Van Berkel, received in my
absence, will be forwarded by a gentleman who leaves this place for New
York, within a few days. I sent the treaty with Prussia by a gentleman
who sailed from Havre, the 11th of November. The arrival of that vessel
in America is not yet known here. Though the time is not long enough to
produce despair, it is sufficiently so to give inquietude lest it should
be lost. This would be a cause of much concern to me: I beg the favor
of you to mention this circumstance to the Baron de Thulemeyer, as an
apology for his not hearing from us. The last advices from America bring
us nothing interesting. A principal object of my journey to London was,
to enter into commercial arrangements with Portugal. This has been done
almost in the precise terms of those of Prussia. The English are still
our enemies. The spirit existing there, and rising in America, has
a very lowering aspect. To what events it may give birth, I cannot
foresee. We are young, and can survive them; but their rotten machine
must crush under the trial. The animosities of sovereigns are temporary,
and may be allayed: but those which seize the whole body of a people,
and of a people, too, who dictate their own measures, produce calamities
of long duration. I shall not wonder to see the scenes of ancient Rome
and Carthage renewed in our day; and if not pursued to the same issue,
it may be, because the republic of modern powers will not permit the
extinction of any one of its members. Peace and friendship with all
mankind is our wisest policy: and I wish we may be permitted to pursue
it. But the temper and folly of our enemies may not leave this in our
choice. I am happy in our prospect of friendship with the most estimable
powers of Europe, and particularly with those of the confederacy, of
which yours is. That your present crisis may have a happy issue, is the
prayer and wish of him, who has the honor to be, with great respect and
esteem, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER X.--TO WILLIAM DRAYTON, May 6, 1786


TO WILLIAM DRAYTON.

Paris, May 6, 1786.

Sir,

Your favor of November the 23rd came duly to hand. A call to England,
soon after its receipt, has prevented my acknowledging it so soon as I
should have done. I am very sensible of the honor done me by the South
Carolina society for promoting and improving agriculture and other rural
concerns, when they were pleased to elect me to be of their body: and
I beg leave, through you, Sir, to convey to them my grateful thanks
for this favor. They will find in me, indeed, but a very unprofitable
servant. At present, particularly, my situation is unfavorable to the
desire I feel, of promoting their views. However, I shall certainly
avail myself of every occasion, which shall occur of doing so. Perhaps
I may render some service, by forwarding to the society such new objects
of culture, as may be likely to succeed in the soil and climate of
South Carolina. In an infant country, as ours is, these experiments are
important. We are probably far from possessing, as yet, all the articles
of culture for which nature has fitted our country. To find out
these, will require abundance of unsuccessful experiments. But if in
a multitude of these, we make one useful acquisition, it repays our
trouble. Perhaps it is the peculiar duty of associated bodies, to
undertake these experiments. Under this sense of the views of the
society, and with so little opportunity of being otherwise useful to
them, I shall be attentive to procure for them the seeds of such plants,
as they will be so good as to point out to me, or as shall occur to
myself as worthy their notice. I send at present, by Mr. McQueen, some
seeds of a grass, found very useful in the southern parts of Europe, and
particularly, and almost solely, cultivated in Malta. It is called
by the names of Sulla, and Spanish St. Foin, and is the _Hedysarum
coronarium_ of Linnaeus. It is usually sown early in autumn. I shall
receive a supply of fresher seed this fall, which I will also do myself
the honor of forwarding to you. I expect, in the same season, from the
south of France, some acorns of the cork oak, which I propose for your
society, as I am persuaded they will succeed with you. I observed it
to grow in England, without shelter; not well indeed; but so as to give
hopes that it would do well with you. I shall consider myself as always
honored by the commands of the society, whenever they shall find it
convenient to make use of me, and beg you to be assured, personally, of
the sentiments of respect and esteem, with which I have the honor to be,
Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XI.--TO W. T. FRANKLIN, May 7, 1786


TO W. T. FRANKLIN.

Paris, May 7, 1786.

Dear Sir,

On my return from a two months' visit to England, I found here your favor
of January the 18th. This contains the latest intelligence I have from
America. Your effects not being then arrived, gives me anxiety for them,
as I think they went in a vessel, which sailed from Havre the 11th of
November. In this vessel, went also the two Mr. Fitzhughs of Virginia,
with the Prussian treaty, our papers relative to the Barbary States,
with the despatches for Congress, and letters which I had been writing
to other persons in America for six weeks preceding their departure. I
am obliged to you for the information as to Dr. Franklin's health, in
which I feel a great interest. I concur in opinion with you, that in the
present factious division of your State, an angel from heaven could do
no good. I have been sorry, therefore, from the beginning, to see such
time as Dr. Franklin's wasted on so hopeless a business. You have formed
a just opinion of Monroe. He is a man whose soul might be turned wrong
side outwards, without discovering a blemish to the world. I wish with
all my heart, Congress may call you into the diplomatic line, as that
seems to have attracted your own desires. It is not one in which you
can do any thing more, than pass the present hour agreeably, without any
prospect to future provision. Perhaps the arrangements with Portugal,
by adding to the number of those appointments, may give Congress
an opportunity of doing justice to your own, and to Dr. Franklin's
services. If my wishes could aid you, you have them sincerely. My late
return to this place scarcely enables me to give you any of its news.
I have not yet called on M. La Veillard, or seen any of your
acquaintances. The marriage of the ambassador of Sweden with Miss
Necker, you have heard of. Houdon is about taking a wife also. His bust
of the General has arrived, and meets the approbation of those who know
the original. Europe enjoys a perfect calm, at present. Perhaps it may
be disturbed by the death of the King of Prussia, which is constantly
expected. As yet, we have no information from the Barbary States, which
may enable us to prognosticate the success of our endeavors to effect a
peace in that quarter. Present me respectfully and affectionately to
Dr. Franklin, and accept assurances of the esteem, with which I am, Dear
Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XII.--TO ELBRIDGE GERRY, May 7, 1786


TO ELBRIDGE GERRY.

Paris, May 7, 1786.

Dear Sir,

My last to you was of the 11th of October. Soon after that, your favor
of the 12th of September came to hand. My acknowledgment of this is made
later than it should have been, by my trip to England. Your long silence
I ascribe to a more pleasing cause, that of devoting your spare time to
one more capable of filling it with happiness, and to whom, as well as
to yourself, I wish all those precious blessings which this change of
condition is calculated to give you.

My public letters to Mr. Jay will have apprized you of my journey to
England, and of its motives; and the joint letters of Mr. Adams
and myself, of its effects. With respect to Portugal, it produced
arrangements; with respect to England and Barbary, only information.
I am quite at a loss what you will do with England. To leave her in
possession of our posts, seems inadmissible; and yet to take them,
brings on a state of things, for which we seem not to be in readiness.
Perhaps a total suppression of her trade, or an exclusion of her vessels
from the carriage of our produce, may have some effect; but I believe
not very great. Their passions are too deeply and too universally
engaged in opposition to us. The ministry have found means to persuade
the nation, that they are richer than they were while we participated of
their commercial privileges. We should try to turn our trade into other
channels. I am in hopes this country will endeavor to give it more
encouragement. But what will you do with the piratical States? Buy a
peace at their enormous price; force one; or abandon the carriage into
the Mediterranean to other powers? All these measures are disagreeable.
The decision rests with you. The Emperor is now pressing a treaty with
us. In a commercial view, I doubt whether it is desirable: but in a
political one, I believe it is. He is now undoubtedly the second power
in Europe, and on the death of the King of Prussia, he becomes the first
character. An alliance with him will give us respectability in Europe,
which we have occasion for. Besides, he will be at the head of the
second grand confederacy of Europe, and may at any time serve us with
the powers constituting that. I am pressed on so many hands to recommend
Dumas to the patronage of Congress, that I cannot avoid it. Every body
speaks well of him, and his zeal in our cause. Any thing done for him
will gratify this court, and the patriotic party in Holland, as well as
some distinguished individuals. I am induced, from my own feelings, to
recommend Colonel Humphreys to your care. He is sensible, prudent, and
honest, and may be very firmly relied on, in any office which requires
these talents. I pray you to accept assurance of the sincere esteem and
respect, with which I am,

Dear Sir, your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XIII.--TO JAMES ROSS, May 8, 1786


TO JAMES ROSS.

Paris, May 8, 1786.

Dear Sir,

I have duly received your favor of October the 22nd, and am much
gratified by the communications therein made. It has given me details,
which do not enter into the views of my ordinary correspondents, and
which are very entertaining. I experience great satisfaction at seeing
my country proceed to facilitate the intercommunications of its several
parts, by opening rivers, canals, and roads. How much more rational is
this disposal of public money, than that of waging war.

Before the receipt of your letter, Morris's contract for sixty thousand
hogsheads of tobacco was concluded with the Farmers General. I have been
for some time occupied in endeavoring to destroy the root of the evils,
which the tobacco trade encounters in this country, by making the
ministers sensible, that merchants will not bring a commodity to a
market, where but one person is allowed to buy it; and that so long as
that single purchaser is obliged to go to foreign markets for it, he
must pay for it in coin, and not in commodities. These truths have made
their way to the minds of the ministry, insomuch, as to have delayed
the execution of the new lease of the Farms, six months. It is
renewed, however, for three years, but so as not to render impossible a
reformation of this great evil. They are sensible of the evil, but it is
so interwoven with their fiscal system, that they find it hazardous to
disentangle. The temporary distress, too, of the revenue, they are
not prepared to meet. My hopes, therefore, are weak, though not quite
desperate. When they become so, it will remain to look about for the
best palliative this monopoly can bear. My present idea is, that it will
be found in a prohibition to the Farmers General, to purchase tobacco
any where but in France. You will perceive by this, that my object is to
strengthen the connection between this country and my own in all
useful points. I am of opinion, that twenty-three thousand hogsheads
of tobacco, the annual consumption of this country, do not exceed the
amount of those commodities, which it is more advantageous to us to buy
here than in England, or elsewhere; and such a commerce would powerfully
reinforce the motives for a friendship from this country towards ours.
This friendship we ought to cultivate closely, considering the present
dispositions of England towards us.

I am lately returned from a visit to that country. The spirit of
hostility to us has always existed in the mind of the King, but it
has now extended itself through the whole mass of the people, and the
majority in the public councils. In a country, where the voice of the
people influences so much the measures of administration, and where it
coincides with the private temper of the King, there is no pronouncing
on future events. It is true, they have nothing to gain, and much to
lose, by a war with us. But interest is not the strongest passion in the
human breast. There are difficult points, too, still unsettled between
us. They have not withdrawn their armies out of our country, nor given
satisfaction for the property they brought off. On our part, we have not
paid our debts, and it will take time to pay them. In conferences with
some distinguished mercantile characters, I found them sensible of the
impossibility of our paying these debts at once, and that an endeavor
to force universal and immediate payment, would render debts desperate,
which are good in themselves. I think we should not have differed in the
term necessary. We differed essentially in the article of interest. For
while the principal, and interest preceding and subsequent to the war,
seem justly due from us, that which accrued during the war does not.
Interest is a compensation for the use of money. Their money, in our
hands, was in the form of lands and negroes. Tobacco, the produce of
these lands and negroes (or, as I may call it, the interest for them),
being almost impossible of conveyance to the markets of consumption,
because taken by themselves in its way there, sold during the war at
five or six shillings the hundred. This did not pay taxes, and for
tools, and other plantation charges. A man who should have attempted to
remit to his creditor tobacco, for either principal or interest, must
have remitted it three times before one cargo would have arrived safe:
and this from the depredations of their own nation, and often of the
creditor himself; for some of the merchants entered deeply into the
privateering business. The individuals who did not, say they have lost
this interest: the debtor replies, that he has not gained it, and that
it is a case where, a loss having been incurred, every one tries to
shift it from himself. The known bias of the human mind from motives of
interest should lessen the confidence of each party in the justice of
their reasoning: but it is difficult to say, which of them should
make the sacrifice, both of reason and interest. Our conferences were
intended as preparatory to some arrangement. It is uncertain how far
we should have been able to accommodate our opinions. But the absolute
aversion of the government to enter into any arrangement prevented the
object from being pursued. Each country is left to do justice to itself
and to the other, according to its own ideas as to what is past; and to
scramble for the future as well as they can: to regulate their commerce
by duties and prohibitions, and perhaps by cannons and mortars; in which
event, we must abandon the ocean, where we are weak, leaving to neutral
nations the carriage of our commodities; and measure with them on land,
where they alone can lose. Farewell, then, all our useful improvements
of canals and roads, reformations of laws, and other rational
employments. I really doubt, whether there is temper enough, on either
side, to prevent this issue of our present hatred. Europe is, at this
moment, without the appearance of a cloud. The death of the King of
Prussia, daily expected, may raise one. My paper admonishes me, that,
after asking a continuance of your favors, it is time for me to conclude
with assurances of the esteem with which I am,

Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XIV.--TO T. PLEASANTS, May 8,1786


TO T. PLEASANTS.

Paris, May 8,1786.

Dear Sir,

At the time of the receipt of your favor of October the 24th, the
contract between the Farmers General and Mr. Morris, for tobacco, was
concluded, and in a course of execution. There was no room, therefore,
to offer the proposals which accompanied your letter. I was, moreover,
engaged in endeavors to have the monopoly, in the purchase of this
article, in this country, suppressed. My hopes on that subject are not
desperate, but neither are they flattering. I consider it as the most
effectual means of procuring the full value of our produce, of diverting
our demands for manufactures from Great Britain to this country, to a
certain amount, and of thus producing some equilibrium in our commerce,
which at present lies all in the British scale. It would cement an union
with our friends, and lessen the torrent of wealth which we are pouring
into the laps of our enemies. For my part, I think that the trade with
Great Britain is a ruinous one to ourselves; and that nothing would
be an inducement to tolerate it, but a free commerce with their West
Indies: and that this being denied to us, we should put a stop to
the losing branch. The question is, whether they are right in their
prognostications, that we have neither resolution nor union enough for
this. Every thing I hear from my own country, fills me with despair as
to their recovery from their vassalage to Great Britain. Fashion
and folly are plunging them deeper and deeper into distress: and the
legislators of the country becoming debtors also, there seems no hope
of applying the only possible remedy, that of an immediate judgment and
execution. We should try, whether the prodigal might not be restrained
from taking on credit the gewgaw held out to him in one hand, by seeing
the keys of a prison in the other. Be pleased to present my respects to
Mrs. Pleasants, and to be assured of the esteem with which I am,

Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XV.--TO COLONEL MONROE, May 10,1786


TO COLONEL MONROE.

Paris, May 10,1786.

Dear Sir,

My last to you was of January the 27th. Since that, I have received
yours of January the 19th. Information from other quarters gives me
reason to suspect you have in negotiation a very important change in
your situation. You will carry into its execution all my wishes for your
happiness. I hope it will not detach you from a settlement in your
own country. I had even entertained hopes of your settling in my
neighborhood: but these were determined by your desiring a plan of a
house for Richmond. However reluctantly I relinquish this prospect, I
shall not the less readily obey your commands, by sending you a plan.
Having been much engaged since my return from England, in answering the
letters and despatching other business which had accumulated during my
absence, and being still much engaged, perhaps I may not be able to send
the plan by this conveyance. If I do not send it now, I will surely by
the next conveyance after this. Your _Encyclopédie_, containing eighteen
_livraisons_, went off last night for Havre, from whence it will go in
a vessel bound to New York. It will be under the care of M. la Croix,
a passenger, who, if he does not find you in New York, will carry it to
Virginia, and send it to Richmond. Another copy, in a separate box,
goes for Currie. I pay here all charges to New York. What may occur
afterwards, I desire him to ask either of you or Currie, as either will
pay for the other; or to draw on me for them.

My letters to Mr. Jay will have informed you of the objects which
carried me to England: and that the principal one, the treaty with
Portugal, has been accomplished. Though we were unable to procure any
special advantages in that, yet we thought it of consequence to insure
our trade against those particular checks and discouragements, which it
has heretofore met with there. The information as to the Barbary States,
which we obtained from Abdrahaman the Tripoline ambassador, was also
given to Mr. Jay. If it be right, and the scale of proportion between
those nations, which we had settled, be also right, eight times the sum
required by Tripoli will be necessary to accomplish a peace with the
whole; that is to say, about two hundred and forty thousand guineas.
The continuance of this peace will depend on their idea of our power to
enforce it, and on the life of the particular Dey, or other head of the
government, with whom it is contracted. Congress will, no doubt,
weigh these circumstances against the expense and probable success of
compelling a peace by arms. Count d'Estaing having communicated to me
verbally some information as to an experiment formerly made by this
country, I shall get him to put it into writing, and I will forward it
to Congress, as it may aid them in their choice of measures. However,
which plan is most eligible can only be known to yourselves, who are on
the spot, and have under your view all the difficulties of both. There
is a third measure, that of abandoning the Mediterranean carriage to
other nations.

With respect to England, no arrangements can be taken. The merchants
were certainly disposed to have consented to accommodation, as to the
article of debts. I was not certain, when I left England, that they
would relinquish the interest during the war. A letter received since,
from the first character among the American merchants in Scotland,
satisfies me they would have relinquished it, to insure the capital and
residue of interest. Would to heaven, all the States, therefore, would
settle a uniform plan. To open the courts to them, so that they might
obtain judgments; to divide the executions into so many equal annual
instalments, as that the last might be paid in the year 1790; to have
the payments in actual money; and to include the capital, and interest
preceding and subsequent to the war, would give satisfaction to the
world, and to the merchants in general. Since it is left for each nation
to pursue their own measures, in the execution of the late treaty, may
not Congress, with propriety, recommend a mode of executing that article
respecting the debts, and send it to each State to be passed into law?
Whether England gives up the posts or not, these debts must be paid,
or our character stained with infamy among all nations, and through all
time. As to the satisfaction for slaves carried off, it is a bagatelle,
which, if not made good before the last instalment becomes due, may be
secured out of that.

I formerly communicated the overtures for a treaty, which had been made
by the imperial ambassador. The instructions from Congress being
in their favor, and Mr. Adams's opinion also, I encouraged them. He
expected his full powers when I went to England. Yet I did not think,
nor did Mr. Adams, that this was of importance enough to weigh against
the objects of that journey. He received them soon after my departure,
and communicated it to me on my return, asking a copy of our
propositions. I gave him one, but observed, our commission had then but
a few days to run. He desired I should propose to Congress the giving
new powers to go on with this, and said, that, in the mean time, he
would arrange with us the plan. In a commercial view, no great good is
to be gained by this. But in a political one, it may be expedient. As
the treaty would, of course, be in the terms of those of Prussia and
Portugal, it will give us but little additional embarrassment, in any
commercial regulations we may wish to establish. The exceptions from
these, which the other treaties will require, may take in the treaty
with the Emperor. I should be glad to communicate some answer, as soon
as Congress shall have made up their minds on it. My information to
Congress, on the subject of our commercial articles with this country,
has only come down to January the 27th. Whether I shall say any thing on
it, in my letter to Mr. Jay by this conveyance, depends on its not
being too early for an appointment I expect hourly from the Count de
Vergennes, to meet him on this and other subjects. My last information
was, that the lease was too far advanced to withdraw from it the article
of tobacco, but that a clause is inserted in it, empowering the King
to discontinue it at any time. A discontinuance is, therefore, the
only remaining object, and as even this cannot be effected till the
expiration of the old lease, which is about the end of the present year,
I have wished only to stir the subject, from time to time, so as to keep
it alive. This idea led me into a measure proposed by the Marquis de
la Fayette, whose return from Berlin found the matter at that point, to
which my former report to Congress had conducted it. I communicated to
him what I had been engaged on, what were my prospects, and my purpose
of keeping the subject just open. He offered his services with that zeal
which commands them on every occasion respecting America. He suggested
to me the meeting two or three gentlemen, well acquainted with this
business. We met. They urged me to propose to the Count de Vergennes,
the appointing a committee to take the matter into consideration. I
told them, that decency would not permit me to point out to the Count de
Vergennes the mode by which he should conduct a negotiation, but that
I would press again the necessity of an arrangement, if, whilst that
should be operating on his mind, they would suggest the appointment of
a committee. The Marquis offered his services for this purpose. The
consequence was the appointment of a committee, and the Marquis as a
member of it. I communicated to him my papers. He collected other lights
wherever he could, and particularly from the gentlemen with whom we had
before concerted, and who had a good acquaintance with the subject. The
Marquis became our champion in the committee, and two of its members,
who were of the corps of Farmers General, entered the lists on the other
side. Each gave in memorials. The lease, indeed, was signed while I was
gone to England, but the discussions were, and still are continued in
the committee: from which we derive two advantages; 1. that of showing,
that the object is not to be relinquished; and 2. that of enlightening
government, as to its true interest. The Count de Vergennes is
absolutely for it; but it is not in his department. Calonne is his
friend, and in this instance his principle seems to be, _Amica
veritas, sed magis amicus Plato_. An additional hope is founded in the
expectation of a change of the minister of finance. The present one is
under the absolute control of the Farmers General. The committee's views
have been somewhat different from mine. They despair of a suppression of
the Farm, and therefore wish to obtain palliatives, which would coincide
with the particular good of this country. I think, that so long as the
monopoly in the sale is kept up, it is of no consequence to us, how they
modify the pill for their own internal relief: but, on the contrary, the
worse it remains, the more necessary it will render a reformation. Any
palliative would take from us all those arguments and friends, that
would be satisfied with accommodation. The Marquis, though differing in
opinion from me on this point, has, however, adhered to my principle
of absolute liberty or nothing. In this condition is the matter at this
moment. Whether I say any thing on the subject to Mr. Jay, will depend
on my interview with the Count de Vergennes. I doubt whether that will
furnish any thing worth communicating, and whether it will be in time.
I therefore state thus much to you, that you may see the matter is not
laid aside.

I must beg leave to recommend Colonel Humphreys to your acquaintance and
good offices. He is an excellent man, an able one, and in need of some
provision. Besides former applications to me in favor of Dumas, the
Rhingrave of Salm (the effective minister of the government of Holland,
while their two ambassadors here are ostensible), who is conducting
secret arrangements for them with this court, presses his interests on
us. It is evident the two governments make a point of it. You ask, why
they do not provide for him themselves. I am not able to answer the
question, but by a conjecture, that Dumas's particular ambition prefers
an appointment from us. I know all the difficulty of this application,
which Congress has to encounter. I see the reasons against giving
him the primary appointment at that court, and the difficulty of his
accommodating himself to a subordinate one. Yet I think something must
be done in it, to gratify this court, of which we must be always asking
favors. In these countries, personal favors weigh more than public
interest. The minister who has asked a gratification for Dumas, has
embarked his own feelings and reputation in that demand. I do not
think it was discreet, by any means. But this reflection might perhaps
aggravate a disappointment. I know not really what you can do: but yet
hope something will be done. Adieu, my Dear Sir, and believe me to be

yours affectionately,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XVI.--TO JOHN ADAMS, May 11, 1786


TO JOHN ADAMS.

Paris, May 11, 1786.

Dear Sir,

I do myself the honor of enclosing to you, letters which came to hand
last night, from Mr. Lambe, Mr. Carmichael, and Mr. Barclay. By these
you will perceive, that our peace is not to be purchased at Algiers but
at a price far beyond our powers. What that would be, indeed, Mr. Lambe
does not say, nor probably does he know. But as he knew our ultimatum,
we are to suppose from his letter, that it would be a price infinitely
beyond that. A reference to Congress hereon seems to be necessary. Till
that can be obtained, Mr. Lambe must be idle at Algiers, Carthagena, or
elsewhere. Would he not be better employed in going to Congress?
They would be able to draw from him and Mr. Randall, the information
necessary to determine what they will do. And if they determine to
negotiate, they can re-appoint the same, or appoint a new negotiator,
according to the opinion they shall form on their examination. I suggest
this to you as my first thoughts; an ultimate opinion should not be
formed till we see Mr. Randall, who may be shortly expected. In the mean
time, should an opportunity occur, favor me with your ideas hereon that
we may be maturing our opinions. I shall send copies of these three
letters to Mr. Jay, by the packet which sails from L'Orient the first of
the next month.

*****

I have the honor to be, with great esteem, Dear Sir, your most obedient
and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson



LETTER XVII.--TO LISTER ASQUITH, May 22, 1786


TO LISTER ASQUITH.

Paris, May 22, 1786.

Sir,

When I left this place for England, I had no suspicion that any thing
more would be necessary on my part for your liberation. Being but lately
returned, I could not sooner acknowledge the receipt of your letters of
April the 21st and May the 1st. I this day write to M. Desbordes, to pay
the charges necessary for your enlargement, to furnish you with a guinea
apiece, and to take your draft on Mr. Grand for those sums, and the
others which he has furnished you at my request. This being a new
case, I am unable to say whether you will be held to repay this money.
Congress will decide on that, to whom I shall send a report of the case,
and to whom you should apply on your return to America, to know whether
you are to repay it or not. During the whole of this long transaction,
I have never ceased soliciting your discharge. The evidence furnished by
the Farmers to the ministers, impressed them with a belief that you were
guilty. However, they obtained a remission of all which the King could
remit, which was your condemnation to the galleys, and imprisonment,
and the sum in which you were fined. The confiscation belonged to the
Farmers, and the expenses of subsistence and of prosecution were theirs
also, and so could not be remitted by the King. I wish you to be assured
of my sensibility for your sufferings, and of my wishes to have obtained
an earlier relief, had it been possible. I shall be glad if you can have
an immediate and safe return to your own country, and there find your
families well, and make those who may be authorized to decide on your
case sensible, that these misfortunes have not been brought on you by
any desire of yours, to infringe the laws of the country in which you
have suffered. I enclose herewith your log-book and the other papers
desired by you, and am, Sir,

your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XVIII.--TO JOHN JAY, May 23, 1786


TO JOHN JAY.

Sir,

Paris, May 23, 1786.

Letters received both from Madrid and Algiers, while I was in London,
having suggested that treaties with the States of Barbary would be much
facilitated by a previous one with the Ottoman Porte, it was agreed
between Mr. Adams and myself, that on my return, I should consult
on this subject the Count de Vergennes, whose long residence at
Constantinople rendered him the best judge of its expediency. Various
circumstances have put it out of my power to consult him, till to-day.
I stated to him the difficulties we were likely to meet with at
Algiers; and asked his opinion, what would be the probable expense of a
diplomatic mission to Constantinople, and what its effect at Algiers.
He said that the expense would be very great, for that presents must be
made at that court, and every one would be gaping after them: and that
it would not procure us a peace at Algiers one penny the cheaper. He
observed, that the Barbary States acknowledged a sort of vassalage to
the Porte, and availed themselves of that relation, when any thing was
to be gained by it; but that whenever it subjected them to a demand from
the Porte, they totally disregarded it: that money was the sole agent
at Algiers, except so far as fear could be induced also. He cited the
present example of Spain, which, though having a treaty with the Porte
would probably be obliged to buy a peace at Algiers, at the expense of
upwards of six millions of livres. I told him, we had calculated from
the demands and information of the Tripoline ambassador, at London, that
to make peace with the four Barbary States would cost us between two and
three hundred thousand guineas, if bought with money. The sum did not
seem to exceed his expectations. I mentioned to him, that considering
the uncertainty of a peace, when bought, perhaps Congress might think
it more eligible to establish a cruise of frigates in the Mediterranean,
and even to blockade Algiers. He supposed it would require ten vessels,
great and small. I observed to him that Monsieur de Massiac had formerly
done it with five: he said it was true, but that vessels of relief would
be necessary. I hinted to him that I thought the English capable of
administering aid to the Algerines. He seemed to think it impossible,
on account of the scandal it would bring on. I asked him what had
occasioned the blockade by Monsieur de Massiac: he said, an infraction
of their treaty by the Algerines.

I had a good deal of conversation with him, also, on the situation of
affairs between England and the United States: and particularly, on
their refusal to deliver up our posts. I observed to him, that the
obstructions thrown in the way of the recovery of their debts, were
the effect, and not the cause, as they pretended, of their refusal to
deliver up the posts; that the merchants interested in these debts,
showed a great disposition to make arrangements with us; that the
article of time we could certainly have settled, and probably that
of the interest during the war: but that, the minister showing no
disposition to have these matters arranged, I thought it a sufficient
proof that this was not the true cause of their retaining the posts. He
concurred as to the justice of our requiring time for the payment of
our debts; said nothing which showed a difference of opinion as to the
article of interest, and seemed to believe fully, that their object was
to divert the channel of the fur-trade, before they delivered up the
posts, and expressed a strong sense of the importance of that commerce
to us. I told him I really could not foresee what would be the event of
this detention; that the situation of the British funds, and the desire
of their minister to begin to reduce the national debt, seemed to
indicate that they could not wish a war. He thought so, but that neither
were we in a condition to go to war. I told him, I was yet uninformed
what Congress proposed to do on this subject, but that we should
certainly always count on the good offices of France, and I was sure
that the offer of them would suffice to induce Great Britain to do us
justice. He said that surely we might always count on the friendship
of France. I added, that by the treaty of alliance, she was bound to
guaranty our limits to us, as they should be established at the moment
of peace. He said they were so, '_mais qu'il nous etoit nécessaire de
les constater_.' I told him there was no question what our boundaries
were; that the English themselves admitted they were clear beyond
all question. I feared, however, to press this any further, lest a
reciprocal question should be put to me, and therefore diverted the
conversation to another object. This is a sketch only of a conference
which was long. I have endeavored to give the substance, and sometimes
the expressions, where they were material. I supposed it would be
agreeable to Congress to have it communicated to them, in the present
undecided state in which these subjects are. I should add, that
an explanation of the transaction of Monsieur de Massiac with the
Algerines, before hinted at, will be found in the enclosed letter from
the Count d'Estaing to me, wherein he gives also his own opinion. The
whole is submitted to Congress, as I conceive it my duty to furnish them
with whatever information I can gather, which may throw any light on the
subjects depending before them. I have the honor to be, with the most
perfect esteem and respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XIX.--TO MR. CARMICHAEL, June 20, 1786


TO MR. CARMICHAEL.

Paris, June 20, 1786.

Dear Sir,

My last to you was of the 5th of May, by Baron Waltersdorff. Since that
I have been honored with yours of April the 13th, and May the 16th and
18th. The present covers letters to Mr. Lambe and Mr. Randall, informing
them that the demands of Algiers for the ransom of our prisoners and
also for peace, are so infinitely beyond our instructions, that we must
refer the matter back to Congress, and therefore praying them to come on
immediately. I will beg the favor of you to forward these letters. The
whole of this business, therefore, is suspended till we receive further
orders, except as to Mr. Barclay's mission. Your bills have been
received and honored. The first naming expressly a letter of advice, and
none coming, it was refused till the receipt of your letter to me, in
which you mentioned that you had drawn two bills. I immediately informed
Mr. Grand, who thereupon honored the bill.

I have received no public letters of late date. Through other channels,
I have collected some articles of information, which may be acceptable
to you.

*****

In a letter of March the 20th, from Dr. Franklin to me, is this passage.
'As to public affairs, the Congress has not been able to assemble more
than seven or eight States during the whole winter, so the treaty with
Prussia remains still unratified, though there is no doubt of its being
done soon, as a full Congress is expected next month. The disposition to
furnish Congress with ample powers augments daily, as people become more
enlightened. And I do not remember ever to have seen, during my long
life, more signs of public felicity than appear at present, throughout
these States; the cultivators of the earth, who make the bulk of our
nation, have made good crops, which are paid for at high prices, with
ready money; the artisans, too, receive high wages; and the value of all
real estates is augmented greatly. Merchants and shopkeepers, indeed,
complain that there is not business enough. But this is evidently not
owing to the fewness of buyers, but to the too great number of sellers;
for the consumption of goods was never greater, as appears by the dress,
furniture, and manner of living, of all ranks of the people.' His health
is good, except as to the stone, which does not grow worse. I thank
you for your attention to my request about the books, which Mr. Barclay
writes me he has forwarded from Cadiz.

I have the honor to be with great respect, Dear Sir, your most obedient,
humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XX.--TO MR. LAMBE, June 20,1786


TO MR. LAMBE.

Sir,

Paris, June 20,1786.

Having communicated to Mr. Adams the information received, at different
times, from yourself, from Mr. Randall, and Mr. Carmichael, we find
that the sum likely to be demanded by Algiers for the ransom of our
prisoners, as well as for peace, is so infinitely beyond our powers, and
the expectations of Congress, that it has become our duty to refer the
whole matter back to them. Whether they will choose to buy a peace, to
force one, or to do nothing, will rest in their pleasure. But that
they may have all the information possible to guide them in their
deliberations, we think it important that you should return to them.
No time will be lost by this, and perhaps time maybe gained. It is,
therefore, our joint desire, that you repair immediately to New York,
for the purpose of giving to Congress all the information on this
subject, which your journey has enabled you to acquire. You will
consider this request as coming from Mr. Adams as well as myself, as
it is by express authority from him, that I join him in it. I am of
opinion, it will be better for you to come to Marseilles and by Paris:
because there is a possibility that fresh orders to us, from Congress,
might render it useful that we, also, should have received from you all
possible information on this subject. And perhaps no time may be lost by
this, as it might be long before you would set a passage from Alicant to
America.

I am, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXI.--TO MONSIEUR DE REYNEVAL, June 25, 1786


TO MONSIEUR DE REYNEVAL.

Paris, June 25, 1786.

Sir,

I have received letters from two citizens of the United States, of the
names of Geary and Arnold, informing me, that having for some time past
exercised commerce in London, and having failed, they were obliged to
leave that country; that they came over to Dunkirk, and from thence to
Brest, where, one of them having changed his name, the more effectually
to elude the search of his creditors, they were both imprisoned by order
of the commandant; whether at the suit of their creditors, or because
one of them changed his name, they are uninformed. But they are told,
that the commandant has sent information of his proceedings to your
office. I have some reason to suppose, their creditors are endeavoring
to obtain leave to remove them to England, where their imprisonment
would be perpetual. Unable to procure information elsewhere, I take the
liberty of asking you, whether you know the cause of their imprisonment,
and of soliciting your attention to them, so far as that nothing may
take place against them by surprise, and out of the ordinary course of
the law.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble; servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXII.--TO THE PREVOT DES MARCHANDS, September 27, 1786


TO THE PREVOT DES MARCHANDS ET ECHEVINS DE PARIS.

Paris, September 27, 1786.

Gentlemen,

The commonwealth of Virginia, in gratitude for the services of Major
General the Marquis de la Fayette, have determined to erect his bust in
their Capital. Desirous to place a like monument of his worth, and of
their sense of it, in the country to which they are indebted for his
birth, they have hoped that the city of Paris will consent to become the
depository of this second testimony of their gratitude. Being charged by
them with the execution of their wishes, I have the honor to solicit of
Messieurs le Prevot des Marchands et Echevins, on behalf of the city,
their acceptance of a bust of this gallant officer, and that they will
be pleased to place it where, doing most honor to him, it will most
gratify the feelings of an allied nation.

It is with true pleasure that I obey the call of that commonwealth, to
render just homage to a character so great in its first developements,
that they would honor the close of any other. Their country covered by
a small army against a great one, their exhausted means supplied by his
talents, their enemies finally forced to that spot whither their allies
and confederates were collecting to receive them, and a war which had
spread its miseries into the four quarters of the earth thus reduced
to a single point, where one blow should terminate it, and through the
whole, an implicit respect paid to the laws of the land; these are facts
which would illustrate any character, and which fully justify the warmth
of those feelings, of which I have the honor, on this occasion, to be
the organ.

It would have been more pleasing to me to have executed this office in
person, to have mingled the tribute of private gratitude with that of my
country, and, at the same time, to have had an opportunity of presenting
to your honorable body, the homage of that profound respect which I have
the honor to bear them. But I am withheld from these grateful duties,
by the consequences of a fall, which confine me to my room. Mr. Short,
therefore, a citizen of the State of Virginia, and heretofore a member
of its Council of State, will have the honor of delivering you this
letter, together with the resolution of the General Assembly of
Virginia. He will have that, also, of presenting the bust at such time
and place, as you will be so good as to signify your pleasure to receive
it. Through him, I beg to be allowed the honor of presenting those
sentiments of profound respect and veneration, with which I am,
Gentlemen, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXIII.--TO COLONEL MONROE, July 9, 1786


TO COLONEL MONROE.

Paris, July 9, 1786.

Dear Sir,

I wrote you last on the 10th of May; since which your favor of May the
11th has come to hand. The political world enjoys great quiet here. The
King of Prussia is still living, but like the snuff of a candle, which
sometimes seems out, and then blazes up again. Some think that his death
will not produce any immediate effect in Europe. His kingdom like a
machine, will go on for some time with the winding up he has given it.
The King's visit to Cherbourg has made a great sensation in England
and here. It proves to the world, that it is a serious object to this
country, and that the King commits himself for the accomplishment of
it. Indeed, so many cones have been sunk, that no doubt remains of the
practicability of it. It will contain, as is said, eighty ships of
the line, be one of the best harbors in the world, and by means of two
entrances, on different sides, will admit vessels to come in and go out
with every wind. The effect of this, in another war with England, defies
calculation. Having no news to communicate, I will recur to the subjects
of your letter of May the 11th.

With respect to the new States, were the question to stand simply in
this form, How may the ultramontane territory be disposed of, so as to
produce the greatest and most immediate benefit to the inhabitants of
the maritime States of the Union? the plan would be more plausible, of
laying it off into two or three States only. Even on this view, however,
there would still be something to be said against it, which might render
it at least doubtful. But that is a question, which good faith forbids
us to receive into discussion. This requires us to state the question in
its just form, How may the territories of the Union be disposed of, so
as to produce the greatest degree of happiness to their inhabitants?
With respect to the maritime States, little or nothing remains to
be done. With respect, then, to the ultramontane States, will their
inhabitants be happiest, divided into States of thirty thousand square
miles, not quite as large as Pennsylvania, or into States of one hundred
and sixty thousand square miles each, that is to say, three times as
large as Virginia within the Allegany? They will not only be happier in
States of moderate size, but it is the only way in which they can exist
as a regular society. Considering the American character in general,
that of those people particularly, and the energetic nature of our
governments, a State of such extent as one hundred and sixty thousand
square miles, would soon crumble into little ones. These are the
circumstances, which reduce the Indians to such small societies. They
would produce an effect on our people, similar to this. They would not
be broken into such small pieces, because they are more habituated to
subordination, and value more a government of regular law. But you
would surely reverse the nature of things, in making small States on
the ocean, and large ones beyond the mountains. If we could, in our
consciences, say, that great States beyond the mountains will make the
people happiest, we must still ask, whether they will be contented to be
laid off into large States. They certainly will not: and if they decide
to divide themselves, we are not able to restrain them. They will end by
separating from our confederacy, and becoming its enemies. We had better
then look forward, and see what will be the probable course of things.
This will surely be a division of that country into States, of a small,
or, at most, of a moderate size. If we lay them off into such, they will
acquiesce; and we shall have the advantage of arranging them, so as to
produce the best combinations of interest. What Congress have already
done in this matter, is an argument the more, in favor of the revolt of
those States against a different arrangement, and of their acquiescence
under a continuance of that. Upon this plan, we treat them as
fellow-citizens; they will have a just share in their own government;
they will love us, and pride themselves in an union with us. Upon
the other, we treat them as subjects; we govern them, and not they
themselves; they will abhor us as masters, and break off from us in
defiance. I confess to you, that I can see no other turn that these two
plans would take. But I respect your opinion, and your knowledge of the
country, too much, to be over-confident in my own.

I thank you sincerely for your communication, that my not having sooner
given notice of the _Arrêts_ relative to fish, gave discontent to some
persons. These are the most friendly offices you can do me, because they
enable me to justify myself, if I am right, or correct myself, if wrong.
If those who thought I might have been remiss, would have written to me
on the subject, I should have admired them for their candor, and thanked
them for it: for I have no jealousies nor resentments at things of this
kind, where I have no reason to believe they have been excited by a
hostile spirit; and I suspect no such spirit in a single member of
Congress. You know there were two _Arrêts_; the first of August the
30th, 1784, the second of the 18th and 25th of September, 1785. As to
the first, it would be a sufficient justification of myself, to say,
that it was in the time of my predecessor, nine months before I came
into office, and that there was no more reason for my giving information
of it, when I did come into office, than of all the other transactions,
which preceded that period. But this would seem to lay a blame on Dr.
Franklin for not communicating it, which I am confident he did not
deserve. This government affects a secrecy in all its transactions
whatsoever, though they be of a nature not to admit a perfect secrecy.
Their _Arrêts_ respecting the islands go to those islands, and are
unpublished and unknown in France, except in the bureau where they are
formed. That of August, 1784, would probably be communicated to the
merchants of the seaport towns also. But Paris having no commercial
connections with them, if any thing makes its way from a seaport town
to Paris, it must be by accident. We have, indeed, agents in these
seaports; but they value their offices so little, that they do not
trouble themselves to inform us of what is passing there. As a proof
that these things do not transpire here, nor are easily got at,
recollect that Mr. Adams, Dr. Franklin, and myself were all here on the
spot together, from August, 1784, to June, 1785, that is to say, ten
months, and yet not one of us knew of the _Arrêt_ of August, 1784.
September the 18th and 25th, 1785, the second was passed. And here alone
I became responsible. I think it was about six weeks before I got notice
of it, that is, in November. On the 20th of that month, writing to Count
de Vergennes on another subject, I took occasion to remonstrate to him
on that. But from early in November, when the Fitzhughs went to America.
I had never a confidential opportunity of writing to Mr. Jay from hence,
directly, for several months. In a letter of December the 14th, to
Mr. Jay, I mentioned to him the want of an opportunity to write to him
confidentially, which obliged me at that moment to write by post via
London, and on such things only, as both post-offices were welcome to
see. On the 2nd of January, Mr. Bingham setting out for London, I wrote
to Mr. Jay, sending him a copy of my letter to Count de Vergennes, and
stating something, which had passed in conversation on the same subject.
I prayed Mr. Bingham to take charge of the letter, and either to send it
by a safe hand, or carry it himself, as circumstances should render most
advisable. I believe he kept it, to carry himself. He did not sail from
London till about the 12th of March, nor arrive in America till the
middle of May. Thus you see, that causes had prevented a letter, which
I had written on the 20th of November, from getting to America till the
month of May. No wonder, then, if notice of this _Arrêt_ came first to
you by the way of the West Indies: and, in general, I am confident, that
you will receive notice of the regulations of this country, respecting
their islands, by the way of those islands, before you will from hence.
Nor can this be remedied, but by a system of bribery, which would end
in the corruption of your own ministers, and produce no good adequate
to the expense. Be so good as to communicate these circumstances to the
persons who you think may have supposed me guilty of remissness on this
occasion.

I will turn to a subject more pleasing to both, and give you my sincere
congratulations on your marriage. Your own dispositions, and the
inherent comforts of that state, will insure you a great addition of
happiness. Long may you live to enjoy it, and enjoy it in full measure.
The interest I feel in every one connected with you, will justify my
presenting my earliest respects to the lady, and of tendering her the
homage of my friendship. I shall be happy at all times to be useful to
either of you, and to receive your commands. I enclose you the bill of
lading of your _Encyclopédie_. With respect to the remittance for it,
of which you make mention, I beg you not to think of it. I know, by
experience, that on proceeding to make a settlement in life, a man has
need of all his resources; and I should be unhappy, were you to lessen
them by an attention to this trifle. Let it lie till you have nothing
else to do with your money. Adieu, my Dear Sir, and be assured of the
esteem with which I am your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXIV.--TO JOHN ADAMS, July 11, 1786


TO JOHN ADAMS.

Paris, July 11, 1786.

Dear Sir,

Our instructions relative to the Barbary States having required us to
proceed by way of negotiation to obtain their peace, it became our
duty to do this to the best of our power. Whatever might be our private
opinions, they were to be suppressed, and the line marked out to us
was to be followed. It has been so, honestly and zealously. It was,
therefore, never material for us to consult together on the best plan
of conduct towards these States. I acknowledge I very, early thought it
would be best to effect a peace through the medium of war. Though it
is a question with which we have nothing to do, yet as you propose
some discussion of it, I shall trouble you with my reasons. Of the four
positions laid down in your letter of the 3rd instant, I agree to the
three first, which are, in substance, that the good offices of our
friends cannot procure us a peace, without paying its price, that they
cannot materially lessen that price; and that paying it, we can have the
peace in spite of the intrigues of our enemies. As to the fourth, that
the longer the negotiation is delayed, the larger will be the demand;
this will depend on the intermediate captures: if they are many and
rich, the price may be raised; if few and poor, it will be lessened.
However, if it is decided, that we shall buy a peace, I know no reason
for delaying the operation, but should rather think it ought to be
hastened: but I should prefer the obtaining it by war.

1. Justice is in favor of this opinion. 2. Honor favors it. 3. It will
procure us respect in Europe; and respect is a safeguard to interest. 4.
It will arm the federal head with the safest of all the instruments of
coercion over its delinquent members, and prevent it from using what
would be less safe. I think, that so far you go with me. But in the
next steps we shall differ. 5. I think it least expensive. 6. Equally
effectual. I ask a fleet of one hundred and fifty guns, the one half
of which shall be in constant cruise. This fleet, built, manned, and
victualled for six months, will cost four hundred and fifty thousand
pounds sterling. Its annual expense will be three hundred pounds
sterling a gun, including every thing: this will be forty-five thousand
pounds sterling a year. I take British experience for the basis of my
calculation: though we know, from our own experience, that we can do in
this way for pounds lawful, what costs them pounds sterling. Were we to
charge all this to the Algerine war, it would amount to little more than
we must pay if we buy peace. But as it is proper and necessary, that we
should establish a small marine force (even were we to buy a peace from
the Algerines), and as that force, laid up in our dock-yard, would cost
us half as much annually as if kept in order for service, we have a
right to say, that only twenty-two thousand and five hundred pounds
sterling, per annum, should be charged to the Algerine war. 6. It will
be as effectual. To all the mismanagements of Spain and Portugal, urged
to show that war against those people is ineffectual, I urge a single
fact to prove the contrary, where there is any management. About forty
years ago, the Algerines having broke their treaty with France, this
court sent Monsieur de Massiac, with one large and two small frigates:
he blockaded the harbor of Algiers three months, and they subscribed
to the terms he proposed. If it be admitted, however, that war, on the
fairest prospects, is still exposed to uncertainties, I weigh against
this the greater uncertainty of the duration of a peace bought with
money, from such a people, from a Dey eighty years old, and by a nation
who, on the hypothesis of buying peace, is to have no power on the sea
to enforce an observance of it.

So far I have gone on the supposition, that the whole weight of this war
would rest on us. But, 1. Naples will join us. The character of their
naval minister (Acton), his known sentiments with respect to the peace
Spain is officiously trying to make for them, and his dispositions
against the Algerines, give the best grounds to believe it. 2. Every
principle of reason assures,us, that Portugal will join us. I state this
as taking for granted, what all seem to believe, that they will not
be at peace with Algiers. I suppose, then, that a convention might be
formed between Portugal, Naples, and the United States, by which
the burthen of the war might be quotaed on them, according to their
respective wealth; and the term of it should be, when Algiers should
subscribe to a peace with all three on equal terms. This might be left
open for other nations to accede to, and many, if not most of the powers
of Europe (except France, England, Holland, and Spain, if her peace be
made), would sooner or later enter into the confederacy, for the sake of
having their peace with the piratical States guarantied by the whole.
I suppose, that, in this case, our proportion of force would not be the
half of what I first calculated on.

These are the reasons, which have influenced my judgment on this
question. I give them to you, to show you that I am imposed on by a
semblance of reason at least; and not with an expectation of their
changing your opinion. You have viewed the subject, I am sure, in
all its bearings. You have weighed both questions, with all their
circumstances. You make the result different from what I do. The same
facts impress us differently. This is enough to make me suspect an error
in my process of reasoning, though I am not able to detect it. It is of
no consequence; as I have nothing to say in the decision, and am ready
to proceed heartily on any other plan, which may be adopted, if my
agency should be thought useful. With respect to the dispositions of the
States, I am utterly uninformed. I cannot help thinking, however, that
on a view of all the circumstances, they might be united in either of
the plans.

Having written this on the receipt of your letter, without knowing
of any opportunity of sending it, I know not when it will go: I add
nothing, therefore, on any other subject, but assurances of the sincere
esteem and respect, with which I am,

Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXV.--TO JOHN JAY, August 11, 1786


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, August 11, 1786.

Sir,

Since the date of my last, which was of July the 8th, I have been
honored with the receipt of yours of June the 16th. I am to thank you,
on the part of the minister of Geneva, for the intelligence it contained
on the subject of Gallatin, whose relations will be relieved by the
receipt of it.

The enclosed intelligence, relative to the instructions of the court of
London to Sir Guy Carleton, came to me through the Count de la Touche
and Marquis de la Fayette. De la Touche is a director under the Marechal
de Castries, minister for the marine department, and possibly receives
his intelligence from him, and he from their ambassador at London.
Possibly, too, it might be fabricated here. Yet weighing the characters
of the ministry of St. James's and Versailles, I think the former more
capable of giving such instructions, than the latter of fabricating them
for the small purposes the fabrication could answer.

The Gazette of France, of July the 28th, announces the arrival of
Peyrouse at Brazil, that he was to touch at Otaheite, and proceed to
California, and still further northwardly. This paper, as you well
know, gives out such facts as the court are willing the world should
be possessed of. The presumption is, therefore, that they will make an
establishment of some sort on the northwest coast of America.

I trouble you with the copy of a letter from Schweighauser and Dobree,
on a subject with which I am quite unacquainted. Their letter to
Congress of November the 30th, 1780, gives their state of the matter.
How far it be true and just, can probably be ascertained from Dr.
Franklin, Dr. Lee, and other gentlemen now in America. I shall be glad
to be honored with the commands of Congress on this subject. I have
inquired into the state of the arms, mentioned in their letter to
me. The principal articles were about thirty thousand bayonets, fifty
thousand gunlocks, thirty cases of arms, twenty-two cases of sabres, and
some other things of little consequence. The quay at Nantes having been
overflowed by the river Loire, the greatest part of these arms was under
water, and they are now, as I am informed, a solid mass of rust, not
worth the expense of throwing them out of the warehouse, much less that
of storage. Were not their want of value a sufficient reason against
reclaiming the property of these arms, it rests with Congress to decide,
whether other reasons are not opposed to this reclamation. They were the
property of a sovereign body, they were seized by an individual, taken
cognizance of by a court of justice, and refused, or at least not
restored by the sovereign, within whose State they had been arrested.
These are circumstances which have been mentioned to me. Doctor
Franklin, however, will be able to inform Congress, with precision, as
to what passed on this subject. If the information I have received be
any thing like the truth, the discussion of this matter can only be with
the court of Versailles. It would be very delicate, and could have but
one of two objects; either to recover the arms, which are not worth
receiving, or to satisfy us on the point of honor. Congress will judge
how far the latter may be worth pursuing against a particular ally, and
under actual circumstances. An instance, too, of acquiescence on our
part under a wrong, rather than disturb our friendship by altercations,
may have its value in some future case. However, I shall be ready to do
in this what Congress shall be pleased to direct.

I enclose the despatches relative to the Barbary negotiation, received
since my last. It is painful to me to overwhelm Congress and yourself
continually with these voluminous papers. But I have no right to
suppress any part of them, and it is one of those cases, where, from
a want of well digested information, we must be contented to examine a
great deal of rubbish, in order to find a little good matter.

The gazettes of Leyden and France, to the present date, accompany this,
which, for want of direct and safe opportunities, I am obliged to send
by an American gentleman, by the way of London. The irregularity of the
French packets has diverted elsewhere the tide of passengers who used to
furnish me occasions of writing to you, without permitting my letters
to go through the post-office. So that when the packets go now, I can
seldom write by them.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the highest esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

     [The annexed is a translation of the paper referred to in
     the preceding letter, on the subject of the instructions
     given to Sir Guy Carleton.]

_An extract of English political news, concerning North America, July
14th, 1786_.

General Carleton departs in a few days with M. de la Naudiere, a
Canadian gentleman. He has made me acquainted with the Indian Colonel
Joseph Brandt. It is certain that he departs with the most positive
instructions to distress the Americans as much as possible, and to
create them enemies on all sides.

Colonel Brandt goes loaded with presents for himself, and for several
chiefs of the tribes bordering on Canada. It would be well for the
Americans to know in time, that enemies are raised against them, in
order to derange their system of government, and to add to the confusion
which already exists in it. The new possessions of England will not only
gain what America shall lose, but will acquire strength in proportion to
the weakening of the United States.

Sooner or later, the new States which are forming will place themselves
under the protection of England, which can always communicate with them
through Canada; and which, in case of future necessity, can harass the
United States on one side, by her shipping, and on the other, by her
intrigues. This system has not yet come to maturity, but it is unfolded,
and we may rely upon the instructions given to Colonel Brandt.



LETTER XXVI.--TO COLONEL MONROE, August 11, 1786


TO COLONEL MONROE.

Paris, August 11, 1786.

Dear Sir,

I wrote you last on the 9th of July; and since that, have received yours
of the 16th of June, with the interesting intelligence it contained.
I was entirely in the dark as to the progress of that negotiation, and
concur entirely in the views you have taken of it The difficulty on
which it hangs, is a _sine qua non_ with us. It would be to deceive them
and ourselves, to suppose that an amity can be preserved, while this
right is withheld. Such a supposition would argue, not only an ignorance
of the people to whom this is most interesting, but an ignorance of the
nature of man, or an inattention to it. Those who see but halfway into
our true interest, will think that that concurs with the views of the
other party. But those who see it in all its extent, will be sensible
that our true interest will be best promoted, by making all the just
claims of our fellow-citizens, wherever situated, our own, by urging and
enforcing them with the weight of our whole influence, and by exercising
in this, as in every other instance, a just government in their
concerns, and making common cause, even where our separate interest
would seem opposed to theirs. No other conduct can attach us together;
and on this attachment depends our happiness.

The King of Prussia still lives, and is even said to be better. Europe
is very quiet at present. The only germ of dissension which shows itself
at present, is in the quarter of Turkey. The Emperor, the Empress, and
the Venetians seem all to be picking at the Turks. It is not probable,
however, that either of the two first will do any thing to bring on an
open rupture, while the King of Prussia lives.

You will perceive by the letters I enclose to Mr. Jay, that Lambe, under
the pretext of ill health, declines returning either to Congress, Mr.
Adams, or myself. This circumstance makes me fear some malversation.
The money appropriated to this object being in Holland, and having been
always under the care of Mr. Adams, it was concerted between us that all
the drafts should be on him. I know not, therefore, what sums may have
been advanced to Lambe; I hope, however, nothing great. I am persuaded
that an angel sent on this business, and so much limited in his terms,
could have done nothing. But should Congress propose to try the line of
negotiation again, I think they will perceive that Lambe is not a proper
agent. I have written to Mr. Adams on the subject of a settlement with
Lambe. There is little prospect of accommodation between the Algerines,
and the Portuguese and Neapolitans. A very valuable capture too, lately
made by them on the Empress of Russia, bids fair to draw her on them.
The probability is therefore, that these three nations will be at war
with them, and the possibility is that could we furnish a couple of
frigates, a convention might be formed with those powers, establishing
a perpetual cruise on the coast of Algiers, which would bring them to
reason. Such a convention being left open to all powers willing to come
into it, should have for its object a general peace, to be guarantied
to each, by the whole. Were only two or three to begin a confederacy of
this kind, I think every power in Europe would soon fall into it, except
France, England, and perhaps Spain and Holland. Of these there is only
England who would give any real aid to the Algerines. Morocco, you
perceive, will be at peace with us. Were the honor and advantage of
establishing such a confederacy out of the question, yet the necessity
that the United States should have some marine force, and the happiness
of this, as the ostensible cause for beginning it, would decide on its
propriety. It will be said, there is no money in the treasury. There
never will be money in the treasury till the confederacy shows its
teeth. The States must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some
one of them. I am persuaded, all of them would rejoice to see every
one obliged to furnish its contributions. It is not the difficulty of
furnishing them, which beggars the treasury, but the fear that others
will not furnish as much. Every rational citizen must wish to see an
effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other
element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties,
nor occasion bloodshed: a land force would do both. It is not in the
choice of the States, whether they will pay money to cover their trade
against the Algerines. If they obtain a peace by negotiation, they must
pay a great sum of money for it; if they do nothing, they must pay a
great sum of money, in the form of insurance; and in either way, as
great a one as in the way of force, and probably less effectual.

I look forward with anxiety to the approaching moment of your departure
from Congress. Besides the interest of the confederacy and of the State,
I have a personal interest in it. I know not to whom I may venture
confidential communications, after you are gone. I take the liberty of
placing here my respects to Mrs. Monroe, and assurances of the sincere
esteem with which I am, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXVII.--TO MR. WYTHE, August 13,1786


TO MR. WYTHE.

Paris, August 13,1786.

Dear Sir

Your favors of January the 10th and February the 10th, came to hand
on the 20th and 23rd of May. I availed myself of the first opportunity
which occurred, by a gentleman going to England, of sending to
Mr. Joddrel a copy of the Notes on our country! with a line informing him,
that it was you who had emboldened me to take that liberty. Madison, no
doubt, informed you of the reason why I had sent only a single copy to
Virginia. Being assured by him, that they will not do the harm I had
apprehended, but on the contrary may do some good, I propose to send
thither the copies remaining on hand, which are fewer than I had
intended. But of the numerous corrections they need, there are one or
two so essential, that I must have them made, by printing a few new
leaves, and substituting them for the old. This will be done while
they are engraving a map which I have constructed, of the country from
Albemarle sound to Lake Erie, and which will be inserted in the book. A
bad French translation which is getting out here, will probably oblige
me to publish the original more freely; which it did not deserve,
nor did I intend. Your wishes, which are laws to me, will justify my
destining a copy for you, otherwise, I should as soon have thought
of sending you a horn-book; for there is no truth in it which is not
familiar to you, and its errors I should hardly have proposed to treat
you with.

Immediately on the receipt of your letter, I wrote to a correspondent at
Florence to inquire after the family of Tagliaferro, as you desired.
I received his answer two days ago, a copy of which I now enclose.
The original shall be sent by some other occasion. I will have the
copper-plate immediately engraved. This may be ready within a few days,
but the probability is, that I shall be long getting an opportunity of
sending it to you, as these rarely occur. You do not mention the size
of the plate, but presuming it is intended for labels for the inside of
books, I shall have it made of a proper size for that. I shall omit the
word _agisos_, according to the license you allow me, because I think
the beauty of a motto is to condense much matter in as few words as
possible. The word omitted will be supplied by every reader.

The European papers have announced, that the Assembly of Virginia were
occupied on the revisal of their code of laws. This, with some other
similar intelligence, has contributed much to convince the people of
Europe, that what the English papers are constantly publishing of our
anarchy, is false; as they are sensible that such a work is that of a
people only, who are in perfect tranquillity. Our act for freedom of
religion is extremely applauded. The ambassadors and ministers of the
several nations of Europe, resident at this court, have asked of me
copies of it, to send to their sovereigns, and it is inserted at full
length in several books now in the press; among others, in the new
_Encyclopédie_. I think it will produce considerable good even in these
countries, where ignorance, superstition, poverty, and oppression of
body and mind, in every form, are so firmly settled on the mass of the
people, that their redemption from them can never be hoped. If all the
sovereigns of Europe were to set themselves to work, to emancipate the
minds of their subjects from their present ignorance and prejudices, and
that, as zealously as they now endeavor the contrary, a thousand years
would not place them on that high ground, on which our common people
are now setting out. Ours could not have been so fairly placed under the
control of the common sense of the people, had they not been separated
from their parent stock, and kept from contamination, either from them,
or the other people of the old world, by the intervention of so wide an
ocean. To know the worth of this, one must see the want of it here. I
think by far the most important bill in our whole code, is that for the
diffusion of knowledge among the people. No other sure foundation can
be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness. If any body
thinks, that kings, nobles, or priests are good conservators of the
public happiness, send him here. It is the best school in the universe
to cure him of that folly. He will see here, with his own eyes, that
these descriptions of men are an abandoned confederacy against the
happiness of the mass of the people. The omnipotence of their effect
cannot be better proved, than in this country particularly, where,
notwithstanding the finest soil upon earth, the finest climate under
heaven, and a people of the most benevolent, the most gay and amiable
character of which the human form is susceptible; where such a people, I
say, surrounded by so many blessings from nature, are loaded with misery
by kings, nobles, and priests, and by them alone. Preach, my dear Sir,
a crusade against ignorance; establish and improve the law for educating
the common people. Let our countrymen know, that the people alone can
protect us against these evils, and that the tax which will be paid for
this purpose, is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid
to kings, priests, and nobles, who will rise up among us if we leave the
people in ignorance. The people of England, I think, are less oppressed
than here. But it needs but half an eye to see, when among them, that
the foundation is laid in their dispositions for the establishment of
a despotism. Nobility, wealth, and pomp are the objects of their
admiration. They are by no means the free-minded people, we suppose
them in America. Their learned men, too, are few in number, and are less
learned, and infinitely less emancipated from prejudice, than those
of this country. An event, too, seems to be preparing, in the order of
things, which will probably decide the fate of that country. It is no
longer doubtful, that the harbor of Cherbourg will be complete, that
it will be a most excellent one, and capacious enough to hold the whole
navy of France. Nothing has ever been wanting to enable this country
to invade that, but a naval force conveniently stationed to protect the
transports. This change of situation must oblige the English to keep up
a great standing army, and there is no King, who, with sufficient force,
is not always ready to make himself absolute. My paper warns me, it is
time to recommend myself to the friendly recollection of Mrs. Wythe, of
Colonel Taliaferro and his family, and particularly of Mr. R. T. and to
assure you of the affectionate esteem, with which I am,

Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXVIII.--TO MRS. COSWAY, October 12, 1786

TO MRS. COSWAY.

Paris, October 12, 1786.

My Dear Madam,

Having performed the last sad office of handing you into your carriage,
at the pavillion de St. Denis, and seen the wheels get actually into
motion, I turned on my heel and walked, more dead than alive, to the
opposite door, where my own was awaiting me. Mr. Danquerville was
missing. He was sought for, found, and dragged down stairs. We were
crammed into the carriage, like recruits for the Bastille, and not
having soul enough to give orders to the coachman, he presumed Paris our
destination, and drove off. After a considerable interval, silence was
broke, with a '_Je suis vraiment affligé du depart de ces bons
gens._' This was a signal for mutual confession of distress. We began
immediately to talk of Mr. and Mrs. Cosway, of their goodness, their
talents, their amiability; and though we spoke of nothing else, we
seemed hardly to have entered into the matter, when the coachman
announced the rue St. Denis, and that we were opposite Mr.
Danquerville's. He insisted on descending there, and traversing a short
passage to his lodgings. I was carried home. Seated by my fire-side,
solitary and sad, the following dialogue took place between my Head and
my Heart.

Head. Well, friend, you seem to be in a pretty trim.

Heart. I am indeed the most wretched of all earthly beings. Overwhelmed
with grief, every fibre of my frame distended beyond its natural powers
to bear, I would willingly meet whatever catastrophe should leave me no
more to feel, or to fear.

Head. These are the eternal consequences of your warmth and
precipitation. This is one of the scrapes into which you are ever
leading us. You confess your follies, indeed; but still you hug and
cherish them; and no reformation can be hoped, where there is no
repentance.

Heart. Oh, my friend! this is no moment to upbraid my foibles. I am rent
into fragments by the force of my grief! If you have any balm, pour it
into my wounds; if none, do not harrow them by new torments. Spare me
in this awful moment! At any other, I will attend with patience to your
admonitions.

Head. On the contrary, I never found that the moment of triumph, with
you, was the moment of attention to my admonitions. While suffering
under your follies, you may perhaps be made sensible of them; but, the
paroxysm over, you fancy it can never return. Harsh, therefore, as the
medicine may be, it is my office to administer it. You will be pleased
to remember, that when our friend Trumbull used to be telling us of the
merits and talents of these good people, I never ceased whispering to
you that we had no occasion for new acquaintances; that the greater
their merit and talents, the more dangerous their friendship to our
tranquillity, because the regret at parting would be greater.

Heart. Accordingly, Sir, this acquaintance was not the consequence of my
doings. It was one of your projects, which threw us in the way of it.
It was you, remember, and not I, who desired the meeting at Legrand and
Motinos. I never trouble myself with domes nor arches. The _Halle aux
bleds_ might have rotted down, before I should have gone to see it. But
you, forsooth, who are eternally getting us to sleep with your diagrams
and crotchets, must go and examine this wonderful piece of architecture;
and when you had seen it, oh! it was the most superb thing on earth!
What you had seen there was worth all you had yet seen in Paris! I
thought so too. But I meant it of the lady and gentleman to whom we had
been presented; and not of a parcel of sticks and chips put together
in pens. You then, Sir, and not I, have been the cause of the present
distress.

Head. It would have been happy for you, if my diagrams and crotchets
had gotten you to sleep on that day, as you are pleased to say they
eternally do. My visit to Legrand and Motinos, had public utility for
its object. A market is to be built in Richmond. What a commodious plan
is that of Legrand and Motinos; especially, if we put on it the noble
dome of the _Halle aux bleds_. If such a bridge as they showed us, can
be thrown across the Schuylkill, at Philadelphia, the floating bridges
taken up, and the navigation of that river opened, what a copious
resource will be added of wood and provisions, to warm and feed the poor
of that city? While I was occupied with these objects, you were dilating
with your new acquaintances, and contriving how to prevent a separation
from them. Every soul of you had an engagement for the day. Yet all
these were to be sacrificed, that you might dine together. Lying
messengers were to be despatched into every quarter of the city, with
apologies for your breach of engagement. You, particularly, had the
effrontery to send word to the Duchess Danville, that on the moment
we were setting out to dine with her, despatches came to hand, which
required immediate attention. You wanted me to invent a more ingenious
excuse; but I knew you were getting into a scrape, and I would have
nothing to do with it. Well; after dinner to St. Cloud, from St. Cloud
to Ruggieri's, from Ruggieri's to Krumfoltz; and if the day had been as
long as a Lapland summer day, you would still have contrived means among
you to have filled it.

Heart. Oh! my dear friend, how you have revived me, by recalling to mind
the transactions of that day! How well I remember them all, and that
when I came home at night, and looked back to the morning, it seemed to
have been a month agone. Go on, then, like a kind comforter, and paint
to me the day we went to St. Germains. How beautiful was every object!
the _Port de Reuilly_, the hills along the Seine, the rainbows of the
machine of Marly, the terras of St. Germains, the chateaux, the gardens,
the statues of Marly, the pavillion of Lucienne. Recollect, too, Madrid,
Bagatelle, the King's garden, the Desert. How grand the idea excited by
the remains of such a column. The spiral staircase, too, was beautiful.
Every moment was filled with something agreeable. The wheels of time
moved on with a rapidity, of which those of our carriage gave but a
faint idea. And yet, in the evening, when one took a retrospect of the
day, what a mass of happiness had we travelled over! Retrace all those
scenes to me, my good companion, and I will forgive the unkindness with
which you were chiding me. The day we went to St. Germains was a little
too warm, I think; was it not?

Head. Thou art the most incorrigible of all the beings that ever sinned!
I reminded you of the follies of the first day, intending to deduce from
thence some useful lessons for you, but instead of listening to them,
you kindle at the recollection, you retrace the whole series with a
fondness, which shows you want nothing but the opportunity, to act
it over again. I often told you, during its course, that you were
imprudently engaging your affections, under circumstances that must cost
you a great deal of pain; that the persons, indeed, were of the greatest
merit, possessing good sense, good humor, honest hearts, honest manners,
and eminence in a lovely art; that the lady had, moreover, qualities and
accomplishments belonging to her sex, which might form a chapter
apart for her; such as music, modesty, beauty, and that softness of
disposition, which is the ornament of her sex, and charm of ours: but
that all these considerations would increase the pang of separation,
that their stay here was to be short; that you rack our whole system
when you are parted from those you love, complaining that such a
separation is worse than death, inasmuch as this ends our sufferings,
whereas that only begins them; and that the separation would, in this
instance, be the more severe, as you, would probably never see them
again.

Heart. But they told me, they would come back again the next year.

Head. But in the mean time, see what you surfer: and their return, too,
depends on so many circumstances, that, if you had a grain of prudence,
you would not count upon it. Upon the whole, it is improbable, and
therefore you should abandon the idea of ever seeing them again.

Heart. May Heaven abandon me, if I do!

Head. Very well. Suppose, then, they come back. They are to stay two
months, and when these are expired, what is to follow? Perhaps you
flatter yourself they may come to America?

Heart. God only knows what is to happen. I see nothing impossible in
that supposition: and I see things wonderfully contrived sometimes to
make us happy. Where could they find such objects as in America, for
the exercise of their enchanting art; especially the lady, who paints
landscapes so inimitably? She wants only subjects worthy of immortality,
to render her pencil immortal. The Falling Spring, the Cascade of
Niagara, the Passage of the Potomac through the Blue Mountains, the
Natural Bridge; it is worth a voyage across the Atlantic to see these
objects; much more to paint, and make them, and thereby ourselves, known
to all ages. And our own dear Monticello; where has nature spread so
rich a mantle under the eye?--mountains, forests rocks, rivers. With
what majesty do we there ride above the storms! How sublime to look
down into the workhouse of nature to see her clouds, hail, snow, rain,
thunder, all fabricated at our feet! and the glorious sun when rising as
if out of a distant water, lust gilding the tops of the mountains, and
giving life to all nature! 1 hope in God, no circumstance may ever make
either seek an asylum from grief! With what sincere sympathy I would
open every cell of my composition, to receive the effusion of their
woes!

I would pour my tears into their wounds; and if a drop of balm could be
found on the top of the Cordilleras, or at the remotest sources of the
Missouri, I would go thither myself to seek and to bring it. Deeply
practised in the school of affliction, the human heart knows no joy
which I have not lost, no sorrow of which I have not drank! Fortune can
present no grief of unknown form to me! Who, then, can so softly bind
up the wound of another, as he who has felt the same wound himself? But
Heaven forbid, they should ever know a sorrow! Let us turn over another
leaf, for this has distracted me.

Head. Well. Let us put this possibility to trial, then, on another
point. When you consider the character which is given of our country
by the lying newspapers of London, and their credulous copyers in other
countries; when you reflect, that all Europe is made to believe we are a
lawless banditti, in a state of absolute anarchy, cutting one another's
throats, and plundering without distinction, how could you expect, that
any reasonable creature would venture among us?

Heart. But you and I know, that all this is false: that there is not a
country on earth, where there is greater tranquillity; where the laws
are milder, or better obeyed; where every one is more attentive to his
own business, or meddles less with that of others; where strangers
are better received, more hospitably treated, and with a more sacred
respect.

Head. True, you and I know this, but your friends do not know it.

Heart. But they are sensible people, who think for themselves. They will
ask of impartial foreigners, who have been among us, whether they saw or
heard on the spot any instance of anarchy. They will judge, too, that a
people occupied, as we are, in opening rivers, digging navigable canals,
making roads, building public schools, establishing academies, erecting
busts and statues to our great men, protecting religious freedom,
abolishing sanguinary punishments, reforming and improving our laws in
general; they will judge, I say, for themselves, whether these are not
the occupations of a people at their ease; whether this is not better
evidence of our true state, than a London newspaper, hired to lie, and
from which no truth can ever be extracted, but by reversing every thing
it says.

Head. I did not begin this lecture, my friend, with a view to learn from
you what America is doing. Let us return, then, to our point. I wish to
make you sensible how imprudent it is to place your affections without
reserve on objects you must so soon lose, and whose loss, when it comes,
must cost you such severe pangs. Remember the last night. You knew your
friends were to leave Paris to-day. This was enough to throw you into
agonies. All night you tossed us from one side of the bed to the other;
no sleep, no rest. The poor Crippled wrist, too, never left one moment
in the same position; now up, now down, now here, now there; was it
to be wondered at, if its pains returned? The surgeon then was to be
called, and to be rated as an ignoramus, because he could not divine the
cause of this extraordinary change. In fine, my friend, you must mend
your manners. This is not a world to live at random in, as you do. To
avoid those eternal distresses, to which you are for ever exposing
us, you must learn to look forward before you take a step, which may
interest our peace. Every thing in this world is matter of calculation.
Advance, then, with caution, the balance in your hand. Put into one
scale the pleasures which any object may offer; but put fairly into the
other the pains which are to follow, and see which preponderates. The
making an acquaintance is not a matter of indifference. When a new
one is proposed to you, view it all round. Consider what advantages it
presents, and to what inconveniences it may expose you. Do not bite at
the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it. The
art of life is the art of avoiding pain; and he is the best pilot, who
steers clearest of the rocks and shoals with which it is beset. Pleasure
is always before us; but misfortune is at our side: while running after
that, this arrests us. The most effectual means of being secure
against pain, is to retire within ourselves, and to suffice for our own
happiness. Those which depend on ourselves, are the only pleasures a
wise man will count on; for nothing is ours, which another may deprive
us of. Hence the inestimable value of intellectual pleasures. Ever in
our power, always leading us to something new, never cloying, we
ride serene and sublime above the concerns of this mortal world,
contemplating truth and nature, matter and motion, the laws which bind
up their existence, and that Eternal Being, who made and bound them up
by those laws. Let this be our employ. Leave the bustle and tumult of
society to those who have not talents to occupy themselves without them.
Friendship is but another name for an alliance with the follies and
the misfortunes of others. Our own share of miseries is sufficient: why
enter then as volunteers into those of another? Is there so little
gall poured into our cup, that we must heed help to drink that of our
neighbor? A friend dies, or leaves us: we feel as if a limb was cut off.
He is sick: we must watch over him, and participate of his pains. His
fortune is shipwrecked: ours must be laid under contribution. He loses a
child, a parent, or a partner: we must mourn the loss as if it were our
own.

Heart. And what more sublime delight, than to mingle tears with one whom
the hand of Heaven hath smitten! to watch over the bed of sickness, and
to beguile its tedious and its painful moments! to share our bread with
one to whom misfortune has left none! This world abounds indeed with
misery: to lighten its burthen, we must divide it with one another. But
let us now try the virtue of your mathematical balance, and as you have
put into one scale the burthens of friendship, let me put its comforts
into the other. When languishing then under disease, how grateful is the
solace of our friends! how are we penetrated with their assiduities and
attentions! how much are we supported by their encouragements and kind
offices! When Heaven has taken from us some object of our love, how
sweet is it to have a bosom whereon to recline our heads, and into which
we may pour the torrent of our tears! Grief, with such a comfort, is
almost a luxury! In a life where we are perpetually exposed to want and
accident, yours is a wonderful proposition, to insulate ourselves,
to retire from all aid, and to wrap ourselves in the mantle of
self-sufficiency! For assuredly nobody will care for him, who cares for
nobody. But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the
sunshine of life: and thanks to a benevolent arrangement of things, the
greater part of life is sunshine. I will recur for proof to the days we
have lately passed. On these, indeed, the sun shone brightly! How
gay did the face of nature appear! Hills, valleys, chateaux, gardens,
rivers, every object wore its liveliest hue! Whence did they borrow it?
From the presence of our charming companion. They were pleasing, because
she seemed pleased. Alone, the scene would have been dull and insipid:
the participation of it with her gave it relish. Let the gloomy monk,
sequestered from the world, seek unsocial pleasures in the bottom of his
cell! Let the sublimated philosopher grasp visionary happiness, while
pursuing phantoms dressed in the garb of truth! Their supreme wisdom is
supreme folly: and they mistake for happiness the mere absence of pain.
Had they ever felt the solid pleasure of one generous spasm of the
heart, they would exchange for it all the frigid speculations of their
lives, which you have been vaunting in such elevated terms. Believe
me, then, my friend, that that is a miserable arithmetic, which could
estimate friendship at nothing, or at less than nothing. Respect for
you has induced me to enter into this discussion, and to hear principles
uttered, which I detest and abjure. Respect for myself now obliges me to
recall you into the proper limits of your office. When nature assigned
us the same habitation, she gave us over it a divided empire. To you she
allotted the field of science; to me that of morals.

When the circle is to be squared, or the orbit of a comet to be traced;
when the arch of greatest strength, or the solid of least resistance is
to be investigated, take up the problem; it is yours; nature has given
me no cognizance of it. In like manner, in denying to you the feelings
of sympathy, of benevolence, of gratitude, of justice, of love, of
friendship, she has excluded you from their control. To these she has
adapted the mechanism of the heart. Morals were too essential to the
happiness of man, to be risked on the uncertain combinations of the
head. She laid their foundation, therefore, in sentiment, not in
science. That she gave to all, as necessary to all: this to a few only,
as sufficing with a few. I know indeed, that you pretend authority to
the sovereign control of our conduct, in all its parts: and a respect
for your grave saws and maxims, a desire to do what is right, has
sometimes induced me to conform to your counsels. A few facts, however,
which I can readily recall to your memory, will suffice to prove to you,
that nature has not organized you for our moral direction. When the poor
wearied soldier, whom we overtook at Chickahominy, with his pack on
his back, begged us to let him get up behind our chariot, you began to
calculate that the road was full of soldiers, and that if all should be
taken up, our horses would fail in their journey. We drove on therefore.
But soon becoming sensible you had made me do wrong, that though we
cannot relieve all the distressed, we should relieve as many as we can,
I turned about to take up the soldier; but he had entered a by-path,
and was no more to be found: and from that moment to this, I could never
find him out to ask his forgiveness. Again, when the poor woman came
to ask a charity in Philadelphia, you whispered, that she looked like
a drunkard, and that half a dollar was enough to give her for the
ale-house. Those who want the dispositions to give, easily find reasons
why they ought not to give. When I sought her out afterwards, and did
what I should have done at first, you know, that she employed the money
immediately towards placing her child at school. If our country, when
pressed with wrongs at the point of the bayonet, had been governed by
its heads instead of its' hearts, where should we have been now? Hanging
on a gallows as high as Hainan's. You began to calculate, and to compare
wealth and numbers: we threw up a few pulsations of our blood; we
supplied enthusiasm against wealth and numbers; we put our existence to
the hazard, when the hazard seemed against us, and we saved our country:
justifying, at the same time, the ways of Providence, whose precept is,
to do always what is right, and leave the issue to him. In short, my
friend, as far as my recollection serves me, I do not know that I ever
did a good thing on your suggestion, or a dirty one without it. I do for
ever, then, disclaim your interference in my province. Fill paper as you
please with triangles and squares: try how many ways you can hang and
combine them together. I shall never envy nor control your sublime
delights. But leave me to decide when and where friendships are to be
contracted. You say I contract them at random. So you said the woman at
Philadelphia was a drunkard. I receive none into my esteem, till I know
they are worthy of it. Wealth, title, office, are no recommendations to
my friendship. On the contrary, great good qualities are requisite to
make amends for their having wealth, title, and office. You confess,
that, in the present case, I could not have made a worthier choice.
You only object, that I was so soon to lose them. We are not immortal
ourselves, my friend; how can we expect our enjoyments to be so? We have
no rose without its thorn; no pleasure without alloy. It is the law of
our existence; and we must acquiesce. It is the condition annexed to all
our pleasures, not by us who receive, but by him who gives them. True,
this condition is pressing cruelly on me at this moment. I feel more fit
for death than life. But when I look back on the pleasures of which
it is the consequence, I am conscious they were worth the price I am
paying. Notwithstanding your endeavors, too, to damp my hopes, I comfort
myself with expectations of their promised return. Hope is sweeter than
despair; and they were too good to mean to deceive me. 'In the summer,'
said the gentleman; but 'In the spring,' said the lady; and I should
love her for ever, were it only for that! Know, then, my friend, that I
have taken these good people into my bosom; that I have lodged them in
the warmest cell I could find; that I love them, and will continue to
love them through life; that if fortune should dispose them on one side
the globe, and me on the other, my affections shall pervade its whole
mass to reach them. Knowing then my determination, attempt not to
disturb it. If you can at any time furnish matter for their amusement,
it will be the office of a good neighbor to do it. I will, in like
manner, seize any occasion which may offer, to do the like good turn for
you with Condorcet, Rittenhouse, Madison, La Cretelle, or any other of
those worthy sons of science, whom you so justly prize.


I thought this a favorable proposition whereon to rest the issue of the
dialogue. So I put an end to it by calling for my nightcap. Methinks, I
hear you wish to Heaven I had called a little sooner, and so spared you
the _ennui_ of such a sermon. I did not interrupt them sooner, because
I was in a mood for hearing sermons. You, too, were the subject; and on
such a thesis, I never think the theme long; not even if I am to write
it, and that slowly and awkwardly, as now, with the left hand. But
that you may not be discouraged from a correspondence, which begins
so formidably, I will promise you, on my honor, that my future letters
shall be of a reasonable length. I will even agree to express but half
my esteem for you, for fear of cloying you with too full a dose. But on
your part, no curtailing. If your letters are as long as the Bible,
they will appear short to me. Only let them be brim full of affection. I
shall read them with the dispositions with which Arlequin, in _Les
Deux Billets_, spelt the words '_Je t'aime,_' and wished that the whole
alphabet had entered into their composition.

We have had incessant rains since your departure. These make me fear for
your health, as well as that you had an uncomfortable journey. The same
cause has prevented me from being able to give you any account of your
friends here. This voyage to Fontainebleau will probably send the Count
de Moutier and the Marquis de Brehan to America. Danquerville promised
to visit me, but has not done it as yet. De la Tude comes sometimes to
take family soup with me, and entertains me with anecdotes of his five
and thirty years' imprisonment. How fertile is the mind of man, which
can make the Bastille and dungeon of Vincennes yield interesting
anecdotes! You know this was for making four verses on Madame de
Pompadour. But I think you told me you did not know the verses. They
were these.

     'Sans esprit, sans sentiment,
     Sans etre belle, ni neuve,
     En France on peut avoir le premier amant:
     Pompadour en est Tepreuve.'

I have read the memoir of his three escapes. As to myself, my health is
good, except my wrist, which mends slowly, and my mind, which mends not
at all, but broods constantly over your departure. The lateness of
the season obliges me to decline my journey into the south of France.
Present me in the most friendly terms to Mr. Cosway, and receive me into
your own recollection with a partiality and warmth, proportioned not
to my own poor merit, but to the sentiments of sincere affection and
esteem, with which I have the honor to be, my Dear Madam,

Your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXIX.--TO MRS. COSWAY, October 13, 1786


TO MRS. COSWAY.

Paris, October 13, 1786.

My Dear Madam,

Just as I had sealed the enclosed, I received a letter of a good length,
dated Antwerp, with your name at the bottom. I prepared myself for a
feast. I read two or three sentences: looked again at the signature, to
see if I had not mistaken it. It was visibly yours. Read a sentence or
two more. Diable! Spelt your name distinctly. There was not a letter of
it omitted. Began to read again. In fine, after reading a little, and
examining the signature alternately, half a dozen times, I found that
your name was to four lines only, instead of four pages. I thank you
for the four lines, however, because they prove you think of me; little,
indeed, but better little than none. To show how much I think of you, I
send you the enclosed letter of three sheets of paper, being a history
of the evening I parted with you. But how expect you should read a
letter of three mortal sheets of paper? I will tell you. Divide it into
six doses of half a sheet each, and every day, when the toilette begins,
take a dose, that is to say, read half a sheet. By this means, it
will have the only merit its length and dulness can aspire to, that of
assisting your coiffeuse to procure you six good naps of sleep. I will
even allow you twelve days to get through it, holding you rigorously to
one condition only, that is, that at whatever hour you receive this, you
do not break the seal of the enclosed till the next toilette. Of this
injunction I require a sacred execution. I rest it on your friendship,
and that in your first letter, you tell me honestly, whether you have
honestly performed it. I send you the song I promised. Bring me in
return the subject, _Jours heureux!_ Were I a songster, I should sing it
all to these words; '_Dans ces lieux qu'elle tarde à se rendre!_' Learn
it, I pray you, and sing it with feeling. My right hand presents its
devoirs to you, and sees with great indignation the left supplanting it
in a correspondence so much valued. You will know the first moment it
can resume its rights. The first exercise of them shall be addressed to
you, as you had the first essay of its rival. It will yet, however, be
many a day. Present my esteem to Mr. Cosway, and believe me to be yours
very affectionately,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXX.--M. LE ROY DE L'ACADEMIE DES SCIENCES, November 13, 1786


M. LE ROY DE L'ACADEMIE DES SCIENCES.

Paris, November 13, 1786.

Sir,

I received the honor of yours of September the 18th, a day or two after
the accident of a dislocated wrist had disabled me from writing. I have
waited thus long in constant hope of recovering its use. But finding
that this hope walks before me like my shadow, I can no longer oppose
the desire and duty of answering your polite and learned letter. I
therefore employ my left hand in the office of scribe, which it performs
indeed slowly, awkwardly, and badly.

The information given by me to the Marquis de Chastellux, and alluded to
in his book and in your letter, was, that the sea breezes which prevail
in the lower parts of Virginia, during the summer months, and in the
warm parts of-the day, had made a sensible progress into the interior
country: that formerly, within the memory of persons living, they
extended but little above Williamsburg; that afterwards they became
sensible as high as Richmond; and that, at present, they penetrate
sometimes as far as the first mountains, which are above an hundred
miles further from the sea coast, than Williamsburg is. It is very rare,
indeed, that they reach those mountains, and not till the afternoon is
considerably advanced. A light northwesterly breeze is, for the most
part, felt there, while an easterly or northeasterly wind is blowing
strongly in the lower country. How far northward and southward of
Virginia, this easterly breeze Takes place, I am not informed. I must,
therefore, be understood as speaking of that State only, which extends
on the sea coast from 36 1/2 to 38° of latitude.

This is the fact. We know too little of the operations of nature in the
physical world, to assign causes with any degree of confidence. Willing
always, however, to guess at what we do not know, I have sometimes
indulged myself with conjectures on the causes of the phenomena above
stated. I will hazard them on paper, for your amusement, premising for
their foundation some principles believed to be true.

Air resting on a heated and reflecting surface, becomes warmer, rarer,
and lighter: it ascends therefore, and the circumjacent air, which is
colder and heavier, flows into its place, becomes warmed and lightened
in its turn, ascends, and is succeeded as that which went before. If the
heated surface be circular, the air flows to it from every quarter,
like the rays of a circle to its centre. If it be a zone of determinate
breadth and indefinite length, the air will flow from each side
perpendicularly on it. If the currents of air flowing from opposite
sides, be of equal force, they will meet in equilibrio, at a line
drawn longitudinally through the middle of the zone. If one current be
stronger than the other, the stronger one will force back the line of
equilibrium, towards the further edge of the zone, or even beyond it:
the motion it has acquired causing it to overshoot the zone, as the
motion acquired by a pendulum in its descent, causes it to vibrate
beyond the point of its lowest descent.

Earth, exposed naked to the sun's rays, absorbs a good portion of them;
but, being an opaque body, those rays penetrate to a small depth only.
Its surface, by this accumulation of absorbed rays, becomes considerably
heated. The residue of the rays are reflected into the air resting on
that surface. This air, then, is warmed, 1. by the direct rays of the
sun; 2. by its reflected rays; 3. by contact with the heated surface.
A forest receiving the sun's rays, a part of them enters the intervals
between the trees, and their reflection upwards is intercepted by the
leaves and boughs. The rest fall on the trees, the leaves of which being
generally inclined towards the horizon, reflect the rays downwards. The
atmosphere here, then, receives little or no heat by reflection. Again,
these leaves having a power of keeping themselves cool by their own
transpiration, they impart no heat to the air by contact. Reflection
and contact, then, two of the three modes before-mentioned, of
communicating heat, are wanting here; and, of course, the air over
a country covered by forest must be colder than that over cultivated
grounds.

The sea being pellucid, the sun's rays penetrate it to a considerable
depth. Being also fluid, and in perpetual agitation, its parts are
constantly mixed together; so that instead of its heat being all
accumulated in its surface, as in the case of a solid, opaque body,
it is diffused through its whole mass. Its surface, therefore, is
comparatively cool, for these reasons; to which may be added that of
evaporation. The small degree of reflection which might otherwise take
place, is generally prevented by the rippled state of its surface. The
air resting on the sea, then, like that resting on a forest, receives
little or no heat by reflection or contact; and is therefore colder than
that which lies over a cultivated country.

To apply these observations to the phenomena under consideration. The
first settlements of Virginia were made along the sea coast, bearing
from the south, towards the north, a little eastwardly. These
settlements formed a zone, in which, though every point was not cleared
of its forest, yet a good proportion was cleared and cultivated. The
cultivated earth, as the sun advances above the horizon in the morning,
acquires from it an intense heat, which is retained and increased
through the warm parts of the day. The air resting on it becomes warm
in proportion, and rises. On one side is a country still covered with
forest: on the other is the ocean. The colder air from both of these,
then rushes towards the heated zone, to supply the place left vacant
there by the ascent of its warm air. The breeze from the west is light
and feeble; because it traverses a country covered with mountains and
forests, which retard its current. That from the east is strong; as
passing over the ocean, wherein there is no obstacle to its motion.
It is probable, therefore, that this easterly breeze forces itself far
into, or perhaps beyond, the zone which produces it. This zone is,
by the increase of population, continually widening into the interior
country. The line of equilibrium between the easterly and westerly
breezes is, therefore, progressive.

Did no foreign causes intervene, the sea breezes would be a little
southwardly of the east, that direction being perpendicular to our
coast. But within the tropics, there are winds which blow continually
and strongly from the east. This current affects the course of the air,
even without the tropics. The same cause, too, which produces a strong
motion of the air, from east to west, between the tropics, to wit, the
sun, exercises its influence without those limits, but more feebly, in
proportion as the surface of the globe is there more obliquely presented
to its rays. This effect, though not great, is not to be neglected when
the sun is in or near our summer solstice, which is the season of these
easterly breezes. The northern air, too, flowing towards the equatorial
parts, to supply the vacuum made there by the ascent of their heated
air, has only the small rotary motion of the polar latitudes from which
it comes. Nor does it suddenly acquire the swifter rotation of the parts
into which it enters. This gives it the effect of a motion opposed to
that of the earth, that is to say, of an easterly one. And all these
causes together are known to produce currents of air in the Atlantic,
varying from east to northeast, as far as the fortieth degree of
latitude. It is this current which presses our sea breeze out of its
natural southeasterly direction, to an easterly, and sometimes almost a
northeasterly one.

We are led naturally to ask, where the progress of our sea breezes will
ultimately be stopped? No confidence can be placed in any answer to
this question. If they should ever pass the mountainous country which
separates the waters of the ocean from those of the Mississippi, there
may be circumstances which might aid their further progress, as far as
the Mississippi. That mountainous country commences about two hundred
miles from the sea coast, and consists of successive ranges passing
from northeast to southwest, and rising the one above the other to the
Allegany Ridge, which is the highest of all. From that, lower and lower
ridges succeed one another again, till having covered, in the whole, a
breadth of two hundred miles from southeast to northwest, they subside
into a plain, fertile country, extending four hundred miles to the
Mississippi, and probably much further on the other side, towards the
heads of the western waters. When this country shall become cultivated,
it will, for the reasons before explained, draw to it winds from
the east and west. In this case, should the sea breezes pass the
intermediate mountains, they will rather be aided than opposed in their
further progress to the Mississippi. There are circumstances, however,
which render it possible that they may not be able to pass those
intermediate mountains. 1. These mountains constitute the highest lands
within the United States. The air on them must consequently be very cold
and heavy, and have a tendency to flow both to the east and west. 2.
Ranging across the current of the sea breezes, they are in themselves,
so many successive barriers opposed to their progress. 3. The country
they occupy is covered with trees, which assist to weaken and spend
the force of the breezes. 4. It will remain so covered; a very small
proportion of it being capable of culture. 5. The temperature of its
air, then, will never be softened by culture.

Whether in the plain country between the Mississippi and Allegany
mountains, easterly or westerly winds prevail at present, I am not
informed. I conjecture, however, that they must be westerly: and I
think with you, Sir, that if those mountains were to subside into
plain country, as their opposition to the westerly winds would then be
removed, they would repress more powerfully those from the east, and of
course would remove the line of equilibrium nearer to the sea coast for
the present.

Having had occasion to mention the course of the tropical winds from
east to west, I will add some observations connected with them. They are
known to occasion a strong current in the ocean, in the same direction.
This current breaks on that wedge of land of which Saint Roque is the
point; the southern column of it probably turning off and washing the
coast of Brazil. I say probably, because I have never heard the fact,
and conjecture it from reason only. The northern column, having its
western motion diverted towards the north, and reinforced by the
currents of the great rivers Orinoko, Amazons, and Tocantin, has
probably been the agent which formed the Gulf of Mexico, cutting the
American continent nearly in two, in that part. It re-issues into the
ocean at the northern end of the Gulf, and passes by the name of the
Gulf Stream, all along the coast of the United States, to its northern
extremity. There it turns off eastwardly, having formed by its eddy, at
this turn, the Banks of Newfoundland. Through the whole of its course,
from the Gulf to the Banks, it retains a very sensible warmth. The
Spaniards are, at this time, desirous of trading to their Philippine
Islands, by the way of the Cape of Good Hope: but opposed in it by the
Dutch, under authority of the treaty of Munster, they are examining the
practicability of a common passage through the Straits of Magellan, or
round Cape Horn. Were they to make an opening through the Isthmus of
Panama, a work much less difficult than some even of the inferior canals
of France, however small this opening should be in the beginning, the
tropical current entering it with all its force, would soon widen it
sufficiently for its own passage, and thus complete in a short time,
that work which otherwise will still employ it for ages. Less country,
too, would be destroyed by it in this way. These consequences would
follow. 1. Vessels from Europe or the western coast of Africa, by
entering the tropics, would have a steady wind and tide to carry them
through the Atlantic, through America and the Pacific ocean, to every
part of the Asiatic coast, and of the eastern coast of Africa: thus
performing with speed and safety the tour of the whole globe, to within
about twenty-four degrees of longitude, or one fifteenth part of its
circumference; the African continent, under the line, occupying about
that space. 2. The Gulf of Mexico, now the most dangerous navigation in
the world on account of its currents and moveable sands, would become
stagnant and safe. 3. The Gulf Stream on the coast of the United States
would cease, and with that, those derangements of course and reckoning,
which now impede and endanger the intercourse with those States. 4. The
fogs on the Banks of Newfoundland,* supposed to be the vapors of the
Gulf Stream rendered turbid by cold air, would disappear. 5. Those Banks
ceasing to receive supplies of sand, weeds, and warm water, by the Gulf
Stream, it might become problematical what effect changes of pasture and
temperatures would have on the fisheries. However it is time to
relieve you from this long lecture. I wish its subject may have been
sufficiently interesting to make amends for its details. These are
submitted with entire deference to your better judgment. I will only
add to them, by assuring you of the sentiments of perfect esteem and
respect, with which I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient and
most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

     [* This ingenious and probable conjecture, I found in a
     letter from Dr. Franklin to yourself, published in the late
     volume of the American Philosophical Transactions.]



LETTER XXXI.--TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, November 14, 1786


TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Paris, November 14, 1786.

Sir,

The house of Le Coulteux, which for some centuries has been the
wealthiest of this place, has it in contemplation to establish a great
company for the fur trade. They propose that partners interested
one half in the establishment, should be American citizens, born and
residing in the United States. Yet if I understood them rightly, they
expect that the half of the company which resides here, should make the
greatest part, or perhaps the whole of the advances, while those on
our side the water should superintend the details. They had, at first,
thought of Baltimore as the centre of their American transactions. I
have pointed out to them the advantages of Alexandria for this purpose.
They have concluded to take information as to Baltimore, Philadelphia,
and New York, for a principal deposit, and having no correspondent at
Alexandria, have asked me to procure a state of the advantages of that
place, as also to get a recommendation of the best merchant there, to be
adopted as partner and head of the business there. Skill, punctuality,
and integrity are the requisites in such a character. They will decide
on their whole information, as to the place for their principal factory.
Being unwilling that Alexandria should lose its pretensions, I have
undertaken to procure them information as to that place. If they
undertake this trade at all, it will be on so great a scale as to decide
the current of the Indian-trade to the place they adopt. I have no
acquaintance at Alexandria or in its neighborhood; but believing you
would feel an interest in the matter, from the same motives which I do,
I venture to ask the favor of you to recommend to me a proper merchant
for their purpose, and to engage some well informed person to send me a
representation of the advantages of Alexandria, as the principal deposit
of the fur trade.

The author of the political part of the _Encyclopédie Méthodique_
desired me to examine his article, _Etats Unis_. I did so. I found it
a tissue of errors; for in truth they know nothing about us here.
Particularly, however, the article Cincinnati was a mere philippic
against that institution: in which it appeared that there was an utter
ignorance of facts and motives. I gave him notes on it. He reformed
it, as he supposed, and sent it again to me to revise. In this reformed
state, Colonel Humphreys saw it.

I found it necessary to write that article for him. Before I gave it to
him, I showed it to the Marquis de la Fayette, who made a correction or
two. I then sent it to the author. He used the materials, mixing a great
deal of his own with them. In a work which is sure of going down to the
latest posterity, I thought it material to set facts to rights, as much
as possible. The author was well disposed; but could not entirely get
the better of his original bias. I send you the article as ultimately
published. If you find any material errors in it, and will be so good
as to inform me of them, I shall probably have opportunities of setting
this author to rights. What has heretofore passed between us on this
institution, makes it my duty to mention to you, that I have never heard
a person in Europe, learned or unlearned, express his thoughts on this
institution, who did not consider it as dishonorable and destructive
to our governments; and that every writing which has come out since
my arrival here, in which it is mentioned, considers it, even as now
reformed, as the germ whose developement is one day to destroy the
fabric we have reared. I did not apprehend this, while I had American
ideas only. But I confess that what I have seen in Europe, has brought
me over to that opinion; and that though the day may be at some
distance, beyond the reach of our lives perhaps, yet it will certainly
come, when a single fibre left of this institution will produce an
hereditary aristocracy, which will change the form of our governments
from the best to the worst in the world. To know the mass of evil which
flows from this fatal source, a person must be in France; he must see
the finest soil, the finest climate, the most compact state, the most
benevolent character of people, and every earthly advantage combined,
insufficient to prevent this scourge from rendering existence a curse to
twenty-four out of twenty-five parts of the inhabitants of this country.
With us, the branches of this institution cover all the states. The
southern ones, at this time, are aristocratical in their dispositions:
and that that spirit should grow and extend itself, is within the
natural order of things. I do not flatter myself with the immortality
of our governments: but I shall think little also of their longevity,
unless this germ of destruction be taken out. When the society
themselves shall weigh the possibility of evil, against the
impossibility of any good to proceed from this institution, I cannot
help hoping they will eradicate it. I know they wish the permanence of
our governments, as much as any individuals composing them.

An interruption here, and the departure of the gentleman by whom I send
this, oblige me to conclude it with assurances of the sincere respect
and esteem, with which I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, your most
obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXII.--TO JAMES MADISON, December 16, 1786


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, December 16, 1786.

Dear Sir,

After a very long silence, I am at length able to write to you. An
unlucky dislocation of my right wrist has disabled me from using that
hand, three months. I now begin to use it a little, but with great pain;
so that this letter must be taken up at such intervals as the state of
my hand will permit, and will probably be the work of some days. Though
the joint seems to be well set, the swelling does not abate, nor the use
of it return. I am now, therefore, on the point of setting out, to
the south of France, to try the use of some mineral waters there, by
immersion. This journey will be of two or three months.

I enclose you herein a copy of the letter from the minister of finance
to me, making several advantageous regulations for our commerce. The
obtaining this has occupied us a twelvemonth. I say us, because I find
the Marquis de la Fayette so useful an auxiliary, that acknowledgements
for his co-operation are always due. There remains still something to do
for the articles of rice, turpentine, and ship duties. What can be done
for tobacco when the late regulation expires, is very uncertain. The
commerce between the United States and this country being put on a good
footing, we may afterwards proceed to try if any thing can be done to
favor our intercourse with her colonies. Admission into them for our
fish and flour, is very desirable: but, unfortunately, both those
articles would raise a competition against their own.

I find by the public papers, that your commercial convention failed in
point of representation. If it should produce a full meeting in May, and
a broader reformation, it will still be well. To make us one nation as
to foreign concerns, and keep us distinct in domestic ones, gives
the outline of the proper division of powers between the general and
particular governments. But to enable the federal head to exercise
the powers given it, to best advantage, it should be organized, as the
particular ones are, into legislative, executive, and judiciary. The
first and last are already separated. The second should be. When last
with Congress, I often proposed to members to do this, by making of
the committee of the States an executive committee during the recess of
Congress, and during its sessions to appoint a committee to receive and
despatch all executive business, so that Congress itself should meddle
only with what should be legislative. But I question if any Congress
(much less all successively) can have self-denial enough to go, through
with this distribution. The distribution, then, should be imposed
on them. I find Congress have reversed their division of the western
States, and proposed to make them fewer and larger. This is reversing
the natural order of things. A tractable people may be governed in large
bodies: but in proportion as they depart from this character, the extent
of their government must be less. We see into what small divisions the
Indians are obliged to reduce their societies. This measure, with the
disposition to shut up the Mississippi, gives me serious apprehensions
of the severance of the eastern and western parts of our confederacy. It
might have been made the interest of the western States to remain united
with us, by managing their interests honestly, and for their own good.
But the moment we sacrifice their interests to our own, they will see
it better to govern themselves. The moment they resolve to do this,
the point is settled. A forced connection is neither our interest,
nor within our power. The Virginia act for religious freedom has been
received with infinite approbation in Europe, and propagated with
enthusiasm. I do not mean by the governments, but by the individuals who
compose them. It has been translated into French and Italian, has been
sent to most of the courts of Europe, and has been the best evidence of
the falsehood of those reports, which stated us to be in anarchy. It
is inserted in the new _Encyclopédie_, and is appearing in most of the
publications respecting America. In fact, it is comfortable to see the
standard of reason at length erected, after so many ages, during which
the human mind has been held in vassalage by kings, priests, and nobles:
and it is honorable for us to have produced the first legislature who
had the courage to declare, that the reason of man may be trusted with
the formation of his own opinions.

*****

I thank you for your communications in Natural History. The several
instances of trees, &c. found far below the surface of the earth, as in
the case of Mr. Hay's well, seem to set the reason of man at defiance.

I am, Dear Sir, with sincere esteem, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXIII.--TO CHARLES THOMSON, December 17,1780


TO CHARLES THOMSON.

Paris, December 17,1780.

Dear Sir,

A dislocation of my right wrist has for three months past disabled me
from writing, except with my left hand, which was too slow and awkward
to be employed often. I begin to have so much use of my wrist as to be
able to write, but it is slowly, and in pain. I take the first moment
I can, however, to acknowledge the receipt of your letters of April the
6th, July the 8th and 30th. In one of these, you say you have not
been able to learn, whether, in the new mills in London, steam is the
immediate mover of the machinery, or raises water to move it. It is the
immediate mover. The power of this agent, though long known, is but
now beginning to be applied to the various purposes of which it is
susceptible. You observe, that Whitehurst supposes it to have been the
agent, which bursting the earth, threw it up into mountains and vallies.
You ask me what I think of this book. I find in it many interesting
facts brought together, and many ingenious commentaries on them. But
there are great chasms in his facts, and consequently in his reasoning,
These he fills up by suppositions, which may be as reasonably denied
as granted. A sceptical reader, therefore, like myself, is left in the
lurch. I acknowledge, however, he makes more use of fact, than any other
writer on a theory of the earth. But I give one answer to all these
theorists. That is as follows. They all suppose the earth a created
existence. They must suppose a creator then; and that he possessed
power and wisdom to a great degree. As he intended the earth for the
habitation of animals and vegetables, is it reasonable to suppose, he
made two jobs of his creation, that he first made a chaotic lump,
and set it into rotatory motion, and then waited the millions of ages
necessary to form itself? That when it had done this, he stepped in a
second time, to create the animals and plants which were to inhabit it?
As the hand of a creator is to be called in, it may as well be called
in at one stage of the process as another. We may as well suppose he
created the earth at once, nearly in the state in which we see it, fit
for the preservation of the beings he placed on it. But it is said, we
have a proof that he did not create it in its present solid form, but in
a state of fluidity: because its present shape of an oblate spheroid is
precisely that, which a fluid mass revolving on its axis would assume.

I suppose, that the same equilibrium between gravity and centrifugal
force, which would determine a fluid mass into the form of an oblate
spheroid, would determine the wise creator of that mass, if he made it
in a solid state, to give it the same spheroidical form. A revolving
fluid will continue to change its shape, till it attains that in which
its principles of contrary motion are balanced. For if you suppose them
not balanced, it will change its form. Now the same balanced form
is necessary for the preservation of a revolving solid. The creator,
therefore, of a revolving solid, would make it an oblate spheroid, that
figure alone admitting a perfect equilibrium. He would make it in that
form, for another reason; that is, to prevent a shifting of the axis of
rotation. Had he created the earth perfectly spherical, its axis might
have been perpetually shifting, by the influence of the other bodies
of the system; and by placing the inhabitants of the earth successively
under its poles, it might have been depopulated; whereas, being
spheroidical, it has but one axis on which it can revolve in equilibrio.
Suppose the axis of the earth to shift forty-five degrees; then cut it
into one hundred and eighty slices, making every section in the plane
of a circle of latitude, perpendicular to the axis: every one of these
slices, except the equatorial one, would be unbalanced, as there would
be more matter on one side of its axis than on the other. There could be
but one diameter drawn through such a slice, which would divide it into
two equal parts. On every other possible diameter, the parts would hang
unequal. This would produce an irregularity in the diurnal rotation.
We may, therefore, conclude it impossible for the poles of the earth
to shift, if it was made spheroidical; and that it would be made
spheroidical, though solid, to obtain this end. I use this reasoning
only on the supposition, that the earth has had a beginning. I am sure I
shall read your conjectures on this subject with great pleasure, though
I bespeak beforehand, a right to indulge my natural incredulity and
scepticism. The pain in which I write, awakens me here from my reverie,
and obliges me to conclude with compliments to Mrs. Thomson, and
assurances to yourself of the esteem and affection with which I am
sincerely, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.

P. S. Since writing the preceding, I have had a conversation on the
subject of the steam-mills, with the famous Boulton, to whom those of
London belong, and who is here at this time. He compares the effect of
steam with that of horses, in the following manner. Six horses, aided
with the most advantageous combination of the mechanical powers hitherto
tried, will grind six bushels of flour in an hour; at the end of which
time they are all in a foam, and must rest. They can work thus six hours
in the twenty-four, grinding thirty-six bushels of flour, which is
six to each horse, for the twenty-four hours. His steam-mill in London
consumes one hundred and twenty bushels of coal in twenty-four hours,
turns ten pair of stones, which grind eight bushels of flour an hour
each, which is nineteen hundred and twenty bushels in the twenty-four
hours. This makes a peck and a half of coal perform exactly as much as a
horse in one day can perform.



LETTER XXXIV.--TO COLONEL MONROE, December 18, 1786


TO COLONEL MONROE.

Paris, December 18, 1786.

Dear Sir,

Your letters of August the 19th and October the 12th have come duly to
hand. My last to you was of the 11th of August. Soon after that date I
got my right wrist dislocated, which has till now deprived me of the use
of that hand; and even now I can use it but slowly, and with pain. The
revisal of the Congressional intelligence contained in your letters,
makes me regret the loss of it on your departure. I feel, too, the
want of a person there to whose discretion I can trust confidential
communications, and on whose friendship I can rely against the unjust
designs of malevolence. I have no reason to suppose I have enemies in
Congress; yet it is too possible, to be without that fear. Some
symptoms make me suspect, that my proceedings to redress the abusive
administration of tobacco by the Farmers General have indisposed towards
me a powerful person in Philadelphia, who was profiting from that abuse.
An expression in the enclosed letter of M. de Calonne, would seem to
imply, that I had asked the abolition of Mr. Morris's contract. I never
did. On the contrary, I always observed to them, that it would be unjust
to annul that contract. I was led to this, by principles both of justice
and interest. Of interest, because that contract would keep up the price
of tobacco here to thirty-four, thirty-six, and thirty-eight livres,
from which it will fall when it shall no longer have that support.
However, I have done what was right, and I will not so far wound my
privilege of doing that, without regard to any man's interest, as to
enter into any explanations of this paragraph with him. Yet I esteem him
highly, and suppose that hitherto he had esteemed me. You will see by
Calonne's letter, that we are doing what we can to get the trade of the
United States put on a good footing. I am now about setting out on
a journey to the south of France, one object of which is to try the
mineral waters there for the restoration of my hand; but another is,
to visit all the seaports where we have trade, and to hunt up all the
inconveniences under which it labors, in order to get them rectified.
I shall visit, and carefully examine too, the canal of Languedoc. On
my return, which will be early in the spring, I shall send you several
_livraisons_ of the _Encyclopédie_, and the plan of your house. I wish
to Heaven, you may continue in the disposition to fix it in Albemarle.
Short will establish himself there, and perhaps Madison may be tempted
to do so. This will be society enough, and it will be the great
sweetener of our lives. Without society, and a society to our taste,
men are never contented. The one here supposed, we can regulate to our
minds, and we may extend our regulations to the sumptuary department,
so as to set a good example to a country which needs it, and to preserve
our own happiness clear of embarrassment. You wish not to engage in the
drudgery of the bar. You have two asylums from that. Either to accept
a seat in the Council, or in the judiciary department. The latter,
however, would require a little previous drudgery at the bar, to qualify
you to discharge your duty with satisfaction to yourself. Neither of
these would be inconsistent with a continued residence in Albemarle. It
is but twelve hours drive in a sulky from Charlottesville to Richmond,
keeping a fresh horse always at the half-way, which would be a small
annual expense. I am in hopes, that Mrs. M. will have in her domestic
cares occupation and pleasure sufficient to fill her time, and insure
her against the _tedium vitæ_: that she will find, that the distractions
of a town, and the waste of life under these, can bear no comparison
with the tranquil happiness of domestic life. If her own experience has
not yet taught her this truth, she has in its favor the testimony of
one, who has gone through the various scenes of business, of bustle, of
office, of rambling, and of quiet retirement, and who can assure her,
that the latter is the only point upon which the mind can settle at
rest. Though not clear of inquietudes, because no earthly situation
is so, they are fewer in number, and mixed with more objects of
contentment, than in any other mode of life. But I must not philosophize
too much with her, lest I give her too serious apprehensions of a
friendship I shall impose on her. I am with very great esteem, Dear Sir,
your sincere friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXV.--TO MR. CARMICHAEL, December 26,1786


TO MR. CARMICHAEL.

Paris, December 26,1786.

Dear Sir,

A note from me of the 22nd of September apprized you it would be some
time before I should be able to answer your letters. I did not then
expect it would have been so long.

I enclose herein a resolution of Congress recalling Mr. Lambe, which I
will beg the favor of you to have delivered him. I have written to Mr.
Adams on the subject of directing him to settle with Mr. Barclay, and
attend his answer. In the mean time, I am not without hopes Mr. Barclay
has done the business. I send also a note desiring Mr. Lambe to deliver
you his cipher: and a copy of a letter from the minister of finance here
to me, announcing several regulations in favor of our commerce.

My Notes on Virginia, having been hastily written, need abundance of
corrections. Two or three of these are so material, that I am reprinting
a few leaves to substitute for the old. As soon as these shall be ready,
I will beg your acceptance of a copy. I shall be proud to be permitted
to send a copy also to the Count de Campomanes, as a tribute to his
science and his virtues. You will find in them, that the Natural Bridge
has found an admirer in me also. I should be happy to make with you the
tour of the curiosities you will find therein mentioned. That kind of
pleasure surpasses much, in my estimation, whatever I find on this side
the Atlantic. I sometimes think of building a little hermitage at the
Natural Bridge (for it is my property), and of passing there a part of
the year at least.

I have received American papers to the 1st of November. Some tumultuous
meetings of the people have taken place in the eastern States; i.e. one
in Massachusetts, one in Connecticut, and one in New Hampshire. Their
principal demand was a respite in the judiciary proceedings. No injury
was done, however, in a single instance, to the person or property
of any one, nor did the tumult continue twenty-four hours in any one
instance. In Massachusetts this was owing to the discretion which the
malcontents still preserved; in Connecticut and New Hampshire the body
of the people rose in support of government, and obliged the malcontents
to go to their homes. In the last mentioned State they seized about
forty, who were in jail for trial. It is believed this incident will
strengthen our government. Those people are not entirely without excuse.
Before the war these States depended on their whale-oil and fish.
The former was consumed in England, and much of the latter in the
Mediterranean. The heavy duties on American whale-oil, now required in
England, exclude it from that market: and the Algerines exclude them
from bringing their fish into the Mediterranean. France is opening
her ports for their oil, but in the mean while their ancient debts are
pressing them, and they have nothing to pay with. The Massachusetts
Assembly, too, in their zeal for paying their public debt, had laid
a tax too heavy to be paid, in the circumstances of their State. The
Indians seem disposed, too, to make war on us. These complicated causes
determined Congress to increase their forces to two thousand men. The
latter was the sole object avowed, yet the former entered for something
into the measure. However, I am satisfied the good sense of the people
is the strongest army our governments can ever have, and that it will
not fail them. The commercial convention at Annapolis was not full
enough to do business. They found, too, their appointments too narrow,
being confined to the article of commerce. They have proposed a meeting
at Philadelphia in May, and that it may be authorized to propose
amendments of whatever is defective in the federal constitution.

When I was in England, I formed a portable copying press, on the
principles of the large one they make there, for copying letters. I had
a model made there, and it has answered perfectly. A workman here has
made several from that model. The itinerant temper of your court will, I
think, render one of these useful to you. You must, therefore, do me the
favor to accept of one. I have it now in readiness, and shall send it
by the way of Bayonne, to the care of Mr. Alexander there, unless Don
Miguel de Lardi-zabal can carry it with him.

My hand admonishes me it is time to stop, and that I must defer writing
to Mr. Barclay till to-morrow.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the highest esteem and
respect,

Dear Sir, your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXVI.--TO MR. VAUGHAN, December 29, 1786


TO MR. VAUGHAN.

Paris, December 29, 1786.

Sir,

When I had the honor of seeing you in London, you were so kind as to
permit me to trouble you, sometimes with my letters, and particularly
on the subject of mathematical or philosophical instruments. Such a
correspondence will be too agreeable to me, and at the same time too
useful, not to avail myself of your permission. It has been an opinion
pretty generally received among philosophers, that the atmosphere of
America is more humid than that of Europe. Monsieur de Buffon makes this
hypothesis one of the two pillars whereon he builds his system of the
degeneracy of animals in America. Having had occasion to controvert this
opinion of his, as to the degeneracy of animals there, I expressed a
doubt of the fact assumed, that our climates are more moist. I did not
know of any experiments, which might authorize a denial of it. Speaking
afterwards on the subject with Dr. Franklin, he mentioned to me the
observations he had made on a case of magnets, made for him by Mr.
Nairne in London. Of these you will see a detail in the second volume of
the American Philosophical Transactions, in a letter from Dr. Franklin
to Mr. Nairne, wherein he recommends to him to take up the principle
therein explained, and endeavor to make an hygrometer, which, taking
slowly the temperature of the atmosphere, shall give its mean degree of
moisture, and enable us thus to make with more certainty a comparison
between the humidities of different climates. May I presume to trouble
you with an inquiry of Mr. Nairne, whether he has executed the
Doctor's idea; and if he has, to get him to make for me a couple of
the instruments he may have contrived. They should be made of the same
piece, and under like circumstances, that sending one to America, I may
rely on its indications there, compared with those of the one I shall
retain here. Being in want of a set of magnets also, I would be glad
if he would at the same time send me a set, the case of which should be
made as Dr. Franklin describes his to have been, so that I may repeat
his experiment. Colonel Smith will do me the favor to receive these
things from Mr. Nairne, and to pay him for them.

I think Mr. Rittenhouse never published an invention of his in this
way, which was a very good one. It was of an hygrometer, which, like
the common ones, was to give the actual moisture of the air. He has
two slips of mahogany about five inches long, three fourths of an inch
broad, and one tenth of an inch thick, the one having the grain running
lengthwise, and the other crosswise. These are glued together by their
faces, so as to form a piece five inches long, three fourths of an inch
broad, and one third of an inch thick, which is stuck by its lower end
into a little plinth of wood, presenting their edge to the view. The
fibres of the wood you know are dilated, but not lengthened by moisture.
The slip, therefore, whose grain is lengthwise, becomes a standard,
retaining always the same precise length. That which has its grain
crosswise, dilates with moisture, and contracts for the want of it.
If the right hand piece be the cross-grained one, when the air is very
moist, it lengthens, and forces its companion to form a kind of interior
annulus of a circle on the left. When the air is dry, it contracts,
draws its companion to the right, and becomes itself the interior
annulus. In order to show this dilation and contraction, an index is
fixed on the upper end of the two slips; a plate of metal or wood is
fastened to the front of the plinth, so as to cover the two slips from
the eye. A slit, being nearly the portion of a circle, is cut in this
plate, so that the shank of the index may play freely through its whole
range. On the edge of the slit is a graduation. The objection to this
instrument is, that it is not fit for comparative observations, because
no two pieces of wood being of the same texture exactly, no two will
yield exactly alike to the same agent. However, it is less objectionable
on this account, than most of the substances used. Mr. Rittenhouse had
a thought of trying ivory: but I do not know whether he executed it. All
these substances not only vary from one another at the same time, but
from themselves at different times. All of them, however, have some
peculiar advantages, and I think this, on the whole, appeared preferable
to any other I had ever seen. Not knowing whether you had heard of this
instrument, and supposing it would amuse you, I have taken the liberty
of detailing it to you.

I beg you to be assured of the sentiments of perfect esteem and respect
with which I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXVII.--TO JOHN JAY, December 31, 1786


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, December 31, 1786

Sir,

I had the honor of addressing you on the 12th of the last month; since
which your favor of October the 12th has been received, enclosing a copy
of the resolution of Congress for recalling Mr. Lambe. My letter by Mr.
Randall informed you, that we had put an end to his powers, and required
him to repair to Congress. I lately received a letter from him, dated
Alicant, October the 10th, of which I have the honor to enclose you a
copy: by which you will perceive, that the circumstance of ill health,
either true or false, is urged for his not obeying our call. I shall
immediately forward the order of Congress. I am not without fear, that
some misapplication of the public money may enter into the causes of
his declining to return. The moment that I saw a symptom of this in
his conduct, as it was a circumstance which did not admit the delay
of consulting Mr. Adams, I wrote to Mr. Carmichael, to stop any monies
which he might have in the hands of his banker. I am still unable to
judge whether he is guilty of this or not, as by the arrangements with
Mr. Adams, who alone had done business with the bankers of the United
States, in Holland, Mr. Lambe's drafts were to be made on him, and
I know not what their amount has been. His drafts could not have been
negotiated, if made on us both, at places so distant. Perhaps it may be
thought, that the appointment of Mr. Lambe was censurable in the moment
in which it was made. It is a piece of justice, therefore, which I owe
to Mr. Adams, to declare that the proposition went first from me to him.
I take the liberty of enclosing you a copy of my letter to Mr. Adams,
of September the 24th, 1785, in which that proposition was made. It
expresses the motives operating on my mind in that moment, as well as
the cautions I thought it necessary to take. To these must be added the
difficulty of finding an American in Europe fit for the business, and
willing to undertake it. I knew afterwards, that Dr. Bancroft (who is
named in the letter) could not, on account of his own affairs, have
accepted even a primary appointment. I think it evident, that no
appointment could have succeeded without a much greater sum of money.

I am happy to find that Mr. Barclay's mission has been attended with
complete success. For this we are indebted, unquestionably, to the
influence and good offices of the court of Madrid. Colonel Franks, the
bearer of this, will have the honor to put into your hands the original
of the treaty, with other papers accompanying it. It will appear
by these, that Mr. Barclay has conducted himself with a degree of
intelligence and of good faith which reflects the highest honor on him.

A copy of a letter from Captain O'Bryan to Mr. Carmichael is also
herewith enclosed. The information it contains will throw farther light
on the affairs of Algiers. His observations on the difficulties which
arise from the distance of Mr. Adams and myself from that place, and
from one another, and the delays occasioned by this circumstance, are
certainly just. If Congress should propose to revive the negotiations,
they will judge whether it will not be more expedient to send a person
to Algiers, who can be trusted with full powers: and also whether a
mission to Constantinople may not be previously necessary. Before I quit
this subject, I must correct an error in the letter of Captain O'Bryan.
Mr. Lambe was not limited, as he says, to one hundred, but to two
hundred dollars apiece for our prisoners. This was the price which had
been just paid for a large number of French prisoners, and this was our
guide.

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem and respect, Sir,
your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXVIII.--TO SAMUEL OSGOOD, January 5, 1787


TO SAMUEL OSGOOD.

Paris, January 5, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I am desired to forward to you the enclosed queries, and to ask the
favor of you to give such an answer to them, as may not give you too
much trouble. Those which stand foremost on the paper, can be addressed
only to your complaisance; but the last may possibly be interesting to
your department, and to the United States. I mean those which suggest
the possibility of borrowing money in Europe, the principal of which
shall be ultimately payable in land, and in the mean time, a good
interest. You know best whether the suggestion can be turned to any
profit, and whether it will be worth while to introduce any proposition
to Congress thereon. Among the possible shapes into which a matter of
this kind may be formed, the following is one. Let us suppose the public
lands to be worth a dollar, hard money, the acre. If we should ask of a
monied man a loan of one hundred dollars, payable with one hundred
acres of land at the end of ten years, and in the mean time, carrying
an interest of five per cent., this would be more disadvantageous to the
lender than a common loan, payable ultimately in cash. But if we should
say, we will deliver you the one hundred acres of land immediately,
which is in fact an immediate payment of the principal, and will
nevertheless pay your interest of five per cent., for ten years, this
offers a superior advantage, and might tempt money-holders. But what
should we in fact receive, in this way, for our lands? Thirty-seven
dollars and one fourth, being left in Europe, on an interest of five per
cent., would pay annually the interest of the one hundred dollars for
ten years. There would remain then only sixty-two dollars and three
quarters, for the one hundred acres of land; that is to say, about
two thirds of its price. Congress can best determine, whether any
circumstances in our situation, should induce us to get rid of any of
our debts in that way. I beg you to understand, that I have named rates
of interest, term of payment and price of land, merely to state the
case, and without the least knowledge that a loan could be obtained on
these terms. It remains to inform you, from whom this suggestion comes.
The person from whom I receive it, is a Monsieur Claviere, connected
with the monied men of Amsterdam. He is, on behalf of a company there,
actually treating with the Comptroller General here, for the purchase of
our debt to this country, at a considerable discount. Whether he has an
idea of offering a loan to us, on terms such as I have above spoken of,
I know not; nor do I know that he is authorized to make the suggestion
he has made. If the thing should be deemed worthy the attention of
Congress, they can only consider it as a possibility, and take measures
to avail themselves of it, if the possibility turns out in their favor,
and not to be disappointed if it does not. Claviere's proposition not
being formal enough for me to make an official communication of it, you
will make what use of it you see best.

I am, with very sincere esteem and attachment, Dear Sir, your most
obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XXXIX.--TO JOHN JAY, January 9, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, January 9, 1787.

Sir,

My last, of December the 31st, acknowledged the receipt of yours of
October the 12th, as the present does those of October the 3rd, 9th, and
27th, together with the resolution of Congress of October the 16th,
on the claim of Schweighaeuser. I will proceed in this business on
the return of Mr. Barclay, who being fully acquainted with all the
circumstances, will be enabled to give me that information, the want of
which might lead me to do wrong on the one side or the other.

Information of the signature of the treaty with Morocco has been long on
its passage to you. I will beg leave to recur to dates, that you may see
that no part of it has been derived from me. The first notice I had
of it, was in a letter from Mr. Barclay, dated, Daralbeyda, August the
11th. I received this on the 13th of September. No secure conveyance
offered till the 26th of the same month, being thirteen days after
my receipt of it. In my letter of that date, which went by the way of
London, I had the honor to enclose you a copy of Mr. Barclay's letter.
The conveyance of the treaty itself is suffering a delay here at
present, which all my anxiety cannot prevent. Colonel Franks' baggage,
which came by water from Cadiz to Rouen, has been long and hourly
expected. The moment it arrives, he will set out to London, to have
duplicates of the treaty signed by Mr. Adams, and from thence he will
proceed to New York.

The Chevalier del Pinto, who treated with us on behalf of Portugal,
being resident at London, I have presumed that causes of the delay of
that treaty had been made known to Mr. Adams, and by him communicated
to you. I will write to him by Colonel Franks, in order that you may be
answered on that subject.

The publication of the enclosed extract from my letter of May the 27th,
1786, will, I fear, have very mischievous effects. It will tend to
draw on the Count de Vergennes the formidable phalanx of the Farms; to
prevent his committing himself to me in any conversation which he does
not mean for the public papers; to inspire the same diffidence into all
other ministers, with whom I might have to transact business; to defeat
the little hope, if any hope existed, of getting rid of the Farm on the
article of tobacco; and to damp that freedom of, communication which
the resolution of Congress of May the 3rd, 1784, was intended to
re-establish. Observing by the proceedings of Congress, that they are
about to establish a coinage, I think it my duty to inform them, that a
Swiss, of the name of Drost, established here, has invented a method of
striking the two faces and the edge of a coin, at one stroke. By this,
and other simplifications of the process of coinage, he is enabled to
coin from twenty-five thousand to thirty thousand pieces a day, with
the assistance of only two persons, the pieces of metal being first
prepared. I send you by Colonel Franks three coins of gold, silver, and
copper, which you will perceive to be perfect medals: and I can assure
you, from having seen him coin many, that every piece is as perfect as
these. There has certainly never yet been seen any coin, in any country,
comparable to this. The best workmen in this way acknowledge that his
is like a new art. Coin should always be made in the highest perfection
possible, because it is a great guard against the danger of false
coinage. This man would be willing to furnish his implements to
Congress, and if they please, he will go over and instruct a person to
carry on the work: nor do I believe he would ask any thing unreasonable.
It would be very desirable, that in the institution of a new coinage,
we could set out on so perfect a plan as this, and the more so, as while
the work is so exquisitely done, it is done cheaper.

I will certainly do the best I can for the reformation of the consular
convention, being persuaded that our States would be very unwilling to
conform their laws either to the convention, or to the scheme. But it
is too difficult and too delicate, to form sanguine hopes. However, that
there may be room to reduce the convention, as much as circumstances
will admit, will it not be expedient for Congress to give me powers,
in which there shall be no reference to the scheme? The powers sent
me, oblige me to produce that scheme, and certainly, the moment it is
produced, they will not abate a tittle from it. If they recollect the
scheme, and insist on it, we can but conclude it; but if they have
forgotten it (which may be), and are willing to reconsider the whole
subject, perhaps we may get rid of something the more of it. As the
delay is not injurious to us, because the convention, whenever and
however made, is to put us in a worse state than we are in now, I shall
venture to defer saying a word on the subject, till I can hear from
you in answer to this. The full powers may be sufficiently guarded, by
private instructions to me, not to go beyond the former scheme. This
delay may be well enough ascribed (whenever I shall have received new
powers) to a journey, I had before apprized the minister that I should
be obliged to take, to some mineral waters in the south of France, to
see if by their aid I may recover the use of my right hand, of which a
dislocation about four months ago, threatens to deprive me in a great
measure. The surgeons have long insisted on this measure. I shall return
by Bordeaux, Nantes, and L'Orient, to get the necessary information for
finishing our commercial regulations here. Permit me, however, to ask,
as immediately as possible, an answer, either affirmative or negative,
as Congress shall think best, and to ascribe the delay on which I
venture, to my desire to do what is for the best.

I send you a copy of the late marine regulations of this country. There
are things in it, which may become interesting to us. Particularly,
what relates to the establishment of a marine militia, and their
classification.

You will have seen in the public papers, that the King has called an
Assembly of the Notables of this country. This has not been done for one
hundred and sixty years past. Of course, it calls up all the attention
of the people. The objects of this Assembly are not named: several are
conjectured. The tolerating the Protestant religion; removing all the
internal Custom-houses to the frontier; equalizing the _gabelles_ on
salt through the kingdom; the sale of the King's domains, to raise
money; or, finally, the effecting this necessary end by some other
means, are talked of. But, in truth, nothing is known about it. This
government practises secrecy so systematically, that it never publishes
its purposes or its proceedings, sooner or more extensively than
necessary. I send you a pamphlet, which, giving an account of the last
_Assemblée des Notable_, may give an idea of what the present will be.

A great desire prevails here of encouraging manufactures. The famous
Boulton and Watt, who are at the head of the plated manufactures
of Birmingham, the steam mills of London, copying presses and other
mechanical works, have been here. It is said, also, that Wedgewood has
been here, who is famous for his steel manufactories, and an earthen
ware in the antique style; but as to this last person, I am not certain.
It cannot, I believe be doubted, but that they came at the request
of government, and that they will be induced to establish similar
manufactures here.

The transferring hither those manufactures, which contribute so much to
draw our commerce to England, will have a great tendency to strengthen
our connections with this country, and loosen them with that.

The enfranchising the port of Honfleur at the mouth of the Seine, for
multiplying the connections with us, is at present an object. It meets
with opposition in the ministry; but I am in hopes it will prevail.
If natural causes operate, uninfluenced by accidental circumstances,
Bordeaux and Honfleur, or Havre, must ultimately take the greatest part
of our commerce. The former, by the Garonne and canal of Languedoc,
opens the southern provinces to us; the latter, the northern ones and
Paris. Honfleur will be peculiarly advantageous for our rice and whale
oil, of which the principal consumption is at Paris. Being free, they
can be re-exported when the market here shall happen to be overstocked.

The labors of the ensuing summer will close the eastern half of the
harbor of Cherbourg, which will contain and protect forty sail of the
line. It has from fifty to thirty-five feet of water next to the
cones, shallowing gradually to the shore. Between this and Dunkirk, the
navigation of the channel will be rendered much safer in the event of a
war with England, and invasions on that country become more practicable.

The gazettes of France and Leyden, to the present date, accompany this.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect respect,
Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XL.--TO JOHN ADAMS, January 11, 1787


TO JOHN ADAMS.

Paris, January 11, 1787.

Dear Sir,

Mr. Jay, in his last letter to me, observes they hear nothing further of
the treaty with Portugal. I have taken the liberty of telling him that
I will write to you on the subject, and that he may expect to hear from
you on it, by the present conveyance. The Chevalier del Pinto being at
London, I presume he has, or can inform you why it is delayed on their
part. I will thank you also for the information he shall give you.

There is here an order of priests called the Mathurins, the object
of whose institution is, the begging of alms for the redemption of
captives. About eighteen months ago, they redeemed three hundred,
which cost them about fifteen hundred livres a piece. They have agents
residing in the Barbary States, who are constantly employed in searching
and contracting for the captives of their nation, and they redeem at
a lower price than any other people can. It occurred to me, that
their agency might be engaged for our prisoners at Algiers. I have had
interviews with them, and the last night a long one with the General
of the order. They offer their services with all the benignity and
cordiality possible. The General told me, he could not expect to redeem
our prisoners as cheap as their own, but that he would use all the means
in his power to do it on the best terms possible, which will be the
better, as there shall be the less suspicion that he acts for our
public. I told him I would write to you on the subject, and speak to him
again. What do you think of employing them, limiting them to a certain
price, as three hundred dollars, for instance, or any other sum you
think proper? He will write immediately to his instruments there, and
in two or three months we can know the event. He will deliver them
at Marseilles, Cadiz, or where we please, at our expense. The money
remaining of the fund destined to the Barbary business, may, I suppose,
be drawn on for this object. Write me your opinion, if you please, on
this subject, finally, fully, and immediately, that, if you approve the
proposition, I may enter into arrangements with the General before my
departure to the waters of Aix, which will be about the beginning of
February,

I have the honor to be, with very sincere esteem and respect, Dear Sir,
your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLI.--TO MONSIEUR LE DUC D'HARCOURT, January 14, 1787


TO MONSIEUR LE DUC D'HARCOURT, GOUVERNEUR DU DAUPHIN.

Paris, January 14, 1787.

Sir,

In the conversation with which you were pleased to honor me a few days
ago, on the enfranchisement of the port of Honfleur, I took the liberty
of observing, that I was not instructed by my constituents to make
any proposition on that subject. That it would be agreeable to them,
however, I must suppose, because it will offer the following advantages.

1. It is a convenient _entrepôt_ for furnishing us with the manufactures
of the northern parts of France, and particularly of Paris, and for
receiving and distributing the productions of our country in exchange.

2. Cowes, on the opposite side of the channel, has heretofore been the
deposite for a considerable part of our productions, landed in Great
Britain in the first instance, but intended for re-exportation. From
thence our rice, particularly, has been distributed to France and other
parts of Europe. I am not certain, whether our tobaccos were deposited
there, or carried to London to be sorted for the different markets.
To draw this business from Cowes, no place is so favorably situated as
Honfleur.

3. It would be a convenient deposite for our whale-oil, of which, after
the supply of Paris, there will be a surplus for re-exportation.

4. Should our fur-trade be recovered out of the hands of the English, it
will naturally come to Honfleur, as the out-port of Paris.

5. Salt is an important article in all our return cargoes; because,
being carried as ballast, its freight costs nothing. But on account
of some regulations, with which I am not well acquainted, it cannot at
present be shipped to advantage from any port on the Seine.

6. Our vessels being built sharp, for swift sailing, suffer extremely
in most of the western ports of France, in which they are left on dry
ground at every ebb of the tide. But at Honfleur, I am told, they can
ride in bold water, on a good bottom, and near the shore, at all times.

These facts may, perhaps, throw some light on the question in which, for
the good of both countries, you are pleased to interest yourself. I take
the liberty, therefore, of barely mentioning them, and with the more
pleasure, as it furnishes me an occasion of assuring you of those
sentiments of respect and esteem, with which I have the honor to be your
most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLII.--TO MONSIEUR DE CREVE-COEUR, January 15,1787


TO MONSIEUR DE CREVE-COEUR.

Paris, January 15,1787.

Dear Sir,

I see by the Journal of this morning, that they are robbing us of
another of our inventions, to give it to the English. The writer,
indeed, only admits them to have revived what he thinks was known to the
Greeks, that is, the making the circumference of a wheel of one single
piece. The farmers in New Jersey were the first who practised it, and
they practised it commonly. Dr. Franklin, in one of his trips to London,
mentioned this practice to the man now in London, who has the patent for
making those wheels. The idea struck him. The Doctor promised to go to
his shop, and assist him in trying to make the wheel of one piece. The
Jersey farmers do it by cutting a young sapling, and bending it, while
green and juicy, into a circle; and leaving it so until it becomes
perfectly seasoned. But in London there are no saplings. The difficulty
was, then, to give to old wood the pliancy of young. The Doctor and the
workman labored together some weeks, and succeeded; and the man obtained
a patent for it, which has made his fortune. I was in his shop in
London; he told me the whole story himself, and acknowledged not only
the origin of the idea, but how much the assistance of Dr. Franklin had
contributed to perform the operation on dry wood. He spoke of him
with love and gratitude. I think I have had a similar account from
Dr. Franklin, but cannot be quite certain. I know, that being in
Philadelphia when the first set of patent wheels arrived from London,
and were spoken of, by the gentleman (an Englishman) who brought them,
as a wonderful discovery, the idea of its being a new discovery was
laughed at by the Philadelphians, who, in their Sunday parties across
the Delaware, had seen every farmer's cart mounted on such wheels.
The writer in the paper supposes the English workman got his idea from
Homer. But it is more likely the Jersey farmer got his idea from thence,
because ours are the only farmers who can read Homer; because, too, the
Jersey practice is precisely that stated by Homer: the English practice
very different. Homer's words are (comparing a young hero killed by Ajax
to a poplar felled by a workman) literally thus: 'He fell on the ground,
like a poplar, which has grown smooth, in the west part of a
great meadow; with its branches shooting from its summit. But the
chariot-maker, with his sharp axe, has felled it, that he may bend
a wheel for a beautiful chariot. It lies drying on the banks of the
river.' Observe the circumstances, which coincide with the Jersey
practice. 1. It is a tree growing in a moist place, full of juices,
and easily bent. 2. It is cut while green. 3. It is bent into the
circumference of a wheel. 4. It is left to dry in that form. You, who
write French well and readily, should write a line for the Journal, to
reclaim the honor of our farmers. Adieu. Yours affectionately,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLIII.--TO COLONEL EDWARD CARRINGTON, January 16, 1787


TO COLONEL EDWARD CARRINGTON.

Paris, January 16, 1787.

Dear Sir,

Uncertain whether you might be at New York at the moment of Colonel
Franks' arrival, I have enclosed my private letters for Virginia, under
cover to our delegation in general, which, otherwise, I would have taken
the liberty to enclose particularly to you, as best acquainted with the
situation of the persons to whom they are addressed. Should this find
you at New York, I will still ask your attention to them.

In my letter to Mr. Jay, I have mentioned the meeting of the Notables,
appointed for the 29th instant. It is now put off to the 7th or 8th
of next month. This event, which will hardly excite any attention in
America, is deemed here the most important one, which has taken place in
their civil line during the present century. Some promise their country
great things from it, some nothing. Our friend De la Fayette was placed
on the list originally. Afterwards his name disappeared; but finally was
reinstated. This shows, that his character here is not considered as
an indifferent one; and that it excites agitation. His education in
our school has drawn on him a very jealous eye, from a court whose
principles are the most absolute despotism. But I hope he has nearly
passed his crisis. The King, who is a good man, is favorably disposed
towards him; and he is supported by powerful family connections, and
by the public good will. He is the youngest man of the Notables, except
one, whose office placed him on the list.

The Count de Vergennes has, within these ten days, had a very severe
attack of what is deemed an unfixed gout. He has been well enough,
however, to do business to-day. But anxieties for him are not yet
quieted. He is a great and good minister, and an accident to him might
endanger the peace of Europe.

The tumults in America I expected would have produced in Europe an
unfavorable opinion of our political state. But it has not. On the
contrary, the small effect of these tumults seems to have given more
confidence in the firmness of our governments. The interposition of the
people themselves on the side of government, has had a great effect
on the opinion here. I am persuaded myself, that the good sense of the
people will always be found to be the best army. They may be led astray
for a moment, but will soon correct themselves. The people are the only
censors of their governors; and even their errors will tend to keep
these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these
errors too severely, would be to suppress the only safeguard of the
public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the
people, is to give them full information of their affairs through the
channel of the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should
penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments
being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep
that right; and were it left to me to decide, whether we should have
a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I
should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean,
that every man should receive those papers, and be capable of reading
them. I am convinced that those societies (as the Indians), which live
without government, enjoy in their general mass an infinitely greater
degree of happiness, than those who live under the European governments.
Among the former, public opinion is in the place of law, and restrains
morals as powerfully as laws ever did any where. Among the latter, under
pretence of governing, they have divided their nations into two classes,
wolves and sheep. I do not exaggerate. This is a true picture of Europe.
Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their
attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them
by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public
affairs, you, and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges and Governors,
shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature,
in spite of individual exceptions: and experience declares, that man is
the only animal which devours his own kind; for I can apply no milder
term to the governments of Europe, and to the general prey of the rich
on the poor. The want of news has led me into disquisition instead of
narration, forgetting you have every day enough of that. I shall be
happy to hear from you sometimes, only observing, that whatever passes
through the post is read, and that when you write what should be read
by myself only, you must be so good as to confide your letter to some
passenger, or officer of the packet. I will ask your permission to write
to you sometimes, and to assure you of the esteem and respect with which
I have the honor to be,

Dear Sir, your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLIV--TO JAMES MADISON, January 30, 1787 *


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, January 30, 1787.

     [* The latter part of this letter is in cipher; but appended
     to the copy preserved, are explanatory notes, which have
     enabled us to publish it entire, except a few words, to
     which they afford no key. These are either marked thus * * *,
     or the words, which the context seemed to require, inserted
     in italics.]

Dear Sir,

My last to you was of the 16th of December; since which I have received
yours of November the 25th and December the 4th, which afforded me,
as your letters always do, a treat on matters public, individual and
economical. I am impatient to learn your sentiments on the late troubles
in the Eastern States. So far as I have yet seen, they do not appear
to threaten serious consequences. Those States have suffered by the
stoppage of the channels of their commerce, which have not yet found
other issues. This must render money scarce, and make the people uneasy.
This uneasiness has produced acts absolutely unjustifiable: but I hope
they will provoke no severities from their governments. A consciousness
of those in power, that their administration of the public affairs has
been honest, may, perhaps, produce too great a degree of indignation:
and those characters wherein fear predominates over hope, may apprehend
too much from these instances of irregularity. They may conclude
too hastily, that nature has formed man insusceptible of any other
government than that of force, a conclusion not founded in truth
nor experience. Societies exist under three forms, sufficiently
distinguishable. 1. Without government, as among our Indians. 2. Under
governments, wherein the will of every one has a just influence; as is
the case in England, in a slight degree, and in our States, in a
great one. 3. Under governments of force; as is the case in all other
monarchies, and in most of the other republics. To have an idea of
the curse of existence under these last, they must be seen. It is a
government of wolves over sheep. It is a problem, not clear in my
mind, that the first condition is not the best. But I believe it to be
inconsistent with any great degree of population. The second state has
a great deal of good in it. The mass of mankind under that enjoys a
precious degree of liberty and happiness. It has its evils too: the
principal of which is the turbulence to which it is subject. But weigh
this against the oppressions of monarchy, and it becomes nothing. _Malo
periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem_. Even this evil is
productive of good. It prevents the degeneracy of government, and
nourishes a general attention to the public affairs. I hold it, that a
little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the
political world, as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions,
indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the
people, which have produced them. An observation of this truth should
render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of
rebellions, as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine
necessary for the sound health of government.

If these transactions give me no uneasiness, I feel very differently
at another piece of intelligence, to wit, the possibility that the
navigation of the Mississippi may be abandoned to Spain. I never had any
interest westward of the Allegany; and I never will have any. But I
have had great opportunities of knowing the character of the people
who inhabit that country; and I will venture to say, that the act which
abandons the navigation of the Mississippi, is an act of separation
between the eastern and western country. It is a relinquishment of five
parts out of eight of the territory of the United States; an abandonment
of the fairest subject for the payment of our public debts, and the
chaining those debts on our own necks, _in perpetuum_. I have the utmost
confidence in the honest intentions of those who concur in this measure;
but I lament their want of acquaintance with the character and physical
advantages of the people, who, right or wrong, will suppose their
interests sacrificed on this occasion to the contrary interests of that
part of the confederacy in possession of present power. If they declare
themselves a separate people, we are incapable of a single effort to
retain them. Our citizens can never be induced, either as militia or as
soldiers, to go there to cut the throats of their own brothers and sons,
or rather, to be themselves the subjects, instead of the perpetrators,
of the parricide. Nor would that country quit the cost of being retained
against the will of its inhabitants, could it be done. But it cannot be
done. They are able already to rescue the navigation of the Mississippi
out of the hands of Spain, and to add New Orleans to their own,
territory. They will be joined by the inhabitants of Louisiana. This
will bring on a war between them and Spain; and that will produce the
question with us, whether it will not be worth our while to become
parties with them in the war, in order to re-unite them with us, and
thus correct our error. And were I to permit my forebodings to go one
step further, I should predict, that the inhabitants of the United
States would force their rulers to take the affirmative of that
question. I wish I may be mistaken in all these opinions.

We have for some time expected, that the Chevalier de la Luzerne would
obtain a promotion in the diplomatic line, by being appointed to some
of the courts where this country keeps an ambassador. But none of the
vacancies taking place, which had been counted on, I think the present
disposition is to require his return to his station in America. He told
me himself, lately, that he should return in the spring. I have never
pressed this matter on the court, though I knew it to be desirable and
desired on our part; because if the compulsion on him to return had been
the work of Congress, he would have returned in such ill temper with
them, as to disappoint them in the good they expected from it. He would
for ever have laid at their door his failure of promotion. I did not
press it for another reason, which is, that I have great reason to
believe, that the character of the Count de Moutier, who would go, were
the Chevalier to be otherwise provided for, would give the most perfect
satisfaction in America.

As you have now returned into Congress, it will become of importance,
that you should form a just estimate of certain public characters; on
which, therefore, I will give you such notes as my knowledge of them
has furnished me with. You will compare them with the materials you are
otherwise possessed of, and decide on a view of the whole.

You know the opinion I formerly entertained of my friend, Mr. Adams. *
* * and the Governor were the first who shook that opinion. I afterwards
saw proofs, which convicted him of a degree of vanity, and of a
blindness to it, of which no germ appeared in Congress. A seven months'
intimacy with him here and as many weeks in London, have given me
opportunities of studying him closely. He is vain, irritable, and a bad
calculator of the force and probable effect of the motives which govern
men. This is all the ill which can possibly be said of him. He is as
disinterested as the Being who made him: he is profound in his views;
and accurate in his judgment, except where knowledge of the world is
necessary to form a judgment. He is so amiable, that I pronounce you
will love him, if ever you become acquainted with him. He would be, as
he was, a great man in Congress.

Mr. Carmichael is, I think, very little known in America. I never saw
him, and while I was in Congress I formed rather a disadvantageous idea
of him. His letters received then showed him vain, and more attentive to
ceremony and etiquette, than we suppose men of sense should be. I
have now a constant correspondence with him, and find him a little
hypochondriac and discontented. He possesses a very good understanding,
though not of the first order. I have had great opportunities of
searching into his character, and have availed myself of them. Many
persons of different nations, coming from Madrid to Paris, all speak of
him as in high esteem, and I think it certain that he has more of the
Count de Florida Blanca's friendship, than any diplomatic character at
that court. As long as this minister is in office, Carmichael can do
more than any other person who could be sent there.

You will see Franks, and doubtless he will be asking some appointment. I
wish there may be any one for which he is fit. He is light, indiscreet,
active, honest, affectionate. Though Bingham is not in diplomatic
office, yet as he wishes to be so, I will mention such circumstances of
him, as you might otherwise be deceived in. He will make you believe he
was on the most intimate footing with the first characters in Europe,
and versed in the secrets of every cabinet. Not a word of this is true.
He had a rage for being presented to great men, and had no * * * in the
methods by which he could effect it. * * * * *

The Marquis de la Fayette is a most valuable auxiliary to me. His zeal
is unbounded, and his weight with those in power, great. His education
having been merely military, commerce was an unknown field to him.
But his good sense enabling him to comprehend perfectly whatever is
explained to him, his agency has been very efficacious. He has a great
deal of sound genius, is well remarked by the King, and rising in
popularity. He has nothing against him, but the suspicion of republican
principles. I think he will one day be of the ministry. His foible is
a canine appetite for popularity and fame; but he will get above this.
_The Count de Vergennes is ill_. The possibility of his _recovery_
renders it dangerous for us to express a doubt of it; but he is in
danger. He is a great minister in European affairs, but has very
imperfect ideas of our institutions, and no confidence in them. His
devotion to the principles of pure despotism, renders him unaffectionate
to our governments. But his fear of England makes him value us as a
make-weight. He is cool, reserved in political conversations, but free
and familiar on other subjects, and a very attentive, agreeable person
to do business with. It is impossible to have a, clearer, better
organized head; but age has chilled his heart,

Nothing should be spared on our part, to attach this country to us. It
is the only one on which we can rely for support, under every event.
Its inhabitants love us more, I think, than they do any other nation on
earth. This is very much the effect of the good dispositions with which
the French officers returned. In a former letter, I mentioned to you the
dislocation of my wrist. I can make not the least use of it, except for
the single article of writing, though it is going on five months since
the accident happened. I have great anxieties, lest I should never
recover any considerable use of it. I shall, by the advice of my
surgeons, set out in a fortnight for the waters of Aix, in Provence. I
chose these out of several they proposed to me, because if they fail to
be effectual, my journey will not be useless altogether. It will give
me an opportunity of examining the canal of Languedoc, and of acquiring
knowledge of that species of navigation, which may be useful hereafter:
but, more immediately, it will enable me to make the tour of the ports
concerned in commerce with us, to examine, on the spot, the defects
of the late regulations, respecting our commerce, to learn the further
improvements which may be made in it, and, on my return, to get this
business finished. I shall be absent between two and three months,
unless anything happens to recall me here sooner, which may always be
effected in ten days, in whatever part of my route I may be.

In speaking of characters, I omitted those of Reyneval and Hennin,
the two eyes of Count de Vergennes. The former is the most important
character, because possessing the most of the confidence of the Count.
He is rather cunning than wise, his views of things being neither great
nor liberal. He governs himself by principles which he has learned
by rote, and is fit only for the details of execution. His heart
is susceptible of little passions, but not of good ones. He is
brother-in-law to M. Gerard, from whom he received disadvantageous
impressions of us, which cannot be effaced. He has much duplicity.
Hennin is a philosopher, sincere, friendly, liberal, learned, beloved by
every body: the other by nobody. I think it a great misfortune that the
United States are in the department of the former. As particulars
of this kind may be useful to you, in your present situation, I may
hereafter continue the chapter. I know it will be safely lodged in your
discretion. Feb. 5. Since writing thus far, Franks has returned from
England. I learn that Mr. Adams desires to be recalled, and that Smith
should be appointed _Chargé des Affaires_ there. It is not for me to
decide whether any diplomatic character should be kept at a court, which
keeps none with us. You can judge of Smith's abilities by his letters.
They are not of the first order, but they are good. For his honesty, he
is like our friend Monroe; turn his soul wrong side outwards, and there
is not a speck on it. He has one foible, an excessive inflammability of
temper, but he feels it when it comes on, and has resolution enough to
suppress it, and to remain silent till it passes over.

I send you, by Colonel Franks, your pocket telescope, walking stick, and
chemical box. The two former could not be combined together. The latter
could not be had in the form you referred to. Having a great desire
to have a portable copying machine, and being satisfied from some
experiment, that the principle of the large machine might be applied in
a small one, I planned one when in England, and had it made. It answers
perfectly. I have since set a workman to making them here, and they are
in such demand that he has his hands full. Being assured that you will
be pleased to have one, when you shall have tried its convenience, I
send you one by Colonel Franks. The machine costs ninety-six livres, the
appendages twenty-four livres, and I send you paper and ink for twelve
livres; in all, one hundred and thirty-two livres. There is a printed
paper of directions: but you must expect to make many essays before
you succeed perfectly. A soft brush, like a shaving-brush, is more
convenient than the sponge. You can get as much ink and paper as you
please, from London. The paper costs a guinea a ream. I am, Dear Sir,
with sincere esteem and affection, your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLV.--TO JOHN JAY, February 1, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Sir,

Paris, February 1, 1787.

My last letters were of the 31st of December and 9th of January; since
which last date, I have been honored with yours of December the 13th and
14th. I shall pay immediate attention to your instructions relative
to the South Carolina frigate. I had the honor of informing you of
an improvement in the art of coining, made here by one Drost, and of
sending you, by Colonel Franks, a specimen of his execution in gold and
silver. I expected to have sent also a coin of copper. The enclosed note
from Drost will explain the reason why this was not sent. It will let
you see also, that he may be employed; as I suppose he is not so certain
as he was of being engaged here. Mr. Grand, who knows him, gives me
reason to believe he may be engaged reasonably. Congress will decide
whether it be worth their attention.

In some of my former letters, I suggested an opportunity of obliging the
court, by borrowing as much money in Holland as would pay the debt due
here, if such a loan could be obtained; as to which, I was altogether
ignorant. To save time, I wrote to Mr. Dumas, to know whether he thought
it probable a loan could be obtained, enjoining on him the strictest
secrecy, and informing him I was making the inquiry merely of my own
motion, and without instruction. I enclose you his answer. He thinks
purchasers of the debt could be found, with a sacrifice of a small part
of the capital, and a postponement be obtained of some of the first
reimbursements. The proposition by him, for an immediate adoption of
this measure by me, was probably urged, on his mind by a desire to serve
our country, more than a strict attention to my duty, and the magnitude
of the object. I hope, on the contrary, that if it should be thought
worth a trial, it may be put into the hands of Mr. Adams, who knows the
ground, and is known there, and whose former successful negotiations in
this line would give better founded hopes of success on this occasion.

I formerly mentioned to you the hopes of preferment, entertained by the
Chevalier de la Luzerne. They have been baffled by events; none of the
vacancies taking place which had been expected. Had I pressed his being
ordered back, I have reason to believe the order would have been given.
But he would have gone back in ill humor with Congress, he would have
laid for ever at their door the failure of a promotion then viewed
as certain; and this might have excited dispositions that would have
disappointed us of the good we hoped from his return. The line I have
observed with him has been, to make him sensible that nothing was more
desired by Congress than his return, but that they would not willingly
press it, so as to defeat him of a personal advantage. He sees his
prospects fail, and will return in the approaching spring unless
something unexpected should turn up in his favor. In this case, the
Count de Moutier has the promise of succeeding to him, and if I do not
mistake his character, he would give great satisfaction. So that I think
you may calculate on seeing one or the other, by midsummer.

It had been suspected that France and England might adopt those
concerted regulations of commerce for their West Indies, of which your
letter expresses some apprehensions. But the expressions in the
4th, 5th, 7th, 11th, 18th, and other articles of their treaty, which
communicate to the English the privileges of the most favored European
nation only, has lessened, if not removed those fears. They have clearly
reserved a right of favoring, specially, any nation not European; and
there is no nation out of Europe, who could so probably have been
in their eye at that time, as ours. They are wise. They must see it
probable, at least, that any concert with England will be but of
short duration; and they could hardly propose to sacrifice for that, a
connection with us, which may be perpetual.

We have been for some days, in much inquietude for the Count de
Vergennes. He is very seriously ill. Nature seems struggling to decide
his disease into a gout. A swelled foot, at present gives us a hope-of
this issue. His loss would at all times have been great; but it would be
immense during the critical poise of European affairs, existing at
this moment. I enclose you a letter from one of the foreign officers,
complaining of the non-payment of their interest. It is only one out
of many I have received. This is accompanied by a second copy of the
Moorish declaration sent me by Mr. Barclay. He went to Alicant to settle
with Mr. Lambe; but on his arrival there, found he was gone to Minorca.
A copy of his letter will inform you of this circumstance, and of some
others relative to Algiers, with his opinion on them. Whatever the
States may enable Congress to do for obtaining the peace of that
country, it is a separate question whether they will redeem our
captives, how, and at what price. If they decide to redeem them, I will
beg leave to observe, that it is of great importance that the first
redemption be made at as low a price as possible, because it will form
the future tariff. If these pirates find that they can have a very great
price for Americans, they will abandon proportionably their pursuits
against other nations, to direct them towards ours. That the choice
of Congress may be enlarged, as to the instruments they may use for
effecting the redemption, I think it my duty to inform them, that there
is here an order of priests called the Mathurins, the object of whose
institution is to beg alms for the redemption of captives. They keep
members always in Barbary, searching out the captives of their country,
and redeem, I believe, on better terms than any other body, public or
private. It occurred to me, that their agency might be obtained for the
redemption of our prisoners at Algiers. I obtained conferences with the
General, and with some members of the order. The General, with all
the benevolence and cordiality possible, undertook to act for us if we
should, desire it. He told me that their last considerable redemption
was of about three hundred prisoners, who cost them somewhat upwards
of fifteen hundred livres apiece. But that they should not be able
to redeem ours, as cheap as they do their own; and that it must be
absolutely unknown that the public concern themselves in the operation,
or the price would be greatly enhanced. The difference of religion was
not once mentioned, nor did it appear to me to be thought of. It was
a silent reclamation and acknowledgment of fraternity, between two
religions of the same family, which historical events of ancient
date had rendered more hostile to one another, than to their common
adversaries. I informed the General, that I should communicate the
good dispositions of his order, to those who alone had the authority to
decide whatever related to our captives. Mr. Carmichael informs me, that
monies have been advanced for the support of our prisoners at Algiers,
which ought to be replaced. I infer from the context of his letter,
that these advances have been made by the court of Madrid. I submit the
information to Congress.

A treaty of commerce is certainly concluded between France and Russia.
The particulars of it are yet secret.

I enclose the gazettes of France and Leyden to this date, and have the
honor of assuring you of those sentiments of perfect esteem and respect,
with which I am, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLVI.--TO MRS. BINGHAM, February 7, 1787


TO MRS. BINGHAM.

Paris, February 7, 1787.

I know, Madam, that the twelve-month is not yet expired; but it will be,
nearly, before this will have the honor of being put into your hands.
You are then engaged to tell me, truly and honestly, whether you do not
find the tranquil pleasures of America, preferable to the empty bustle
of Paris. For to what does that bustle tend? At eleven o'clock, it is
day, _chez madame_, the curtains are drawn. Propped on bolsters and
pillows, and her head scratched into a little order, the bulletins of
the sick are read, and the billets of the well. She writes to some of
her acquaintance, and receives the visits of others. If the morning is
not very thronged, she is able to get out and hobble round the cage of
the Palais Royal; but she must hobble quickly, for the coiffeurs turn is
come; and a tremendous turn it is! Happy, if he does not make her arrive
when dinner is half over! The torpitude of digestion a little passed,
she flutters half an hour through the streets, by way of paying visits,
and then to the spectacles. These finished; another half hour is devoted
to dodging in and out of the doors of her very sincere friends, and away
to supper. After supper, cards and after cards, bed; to rise at noon the
next day, and to tread, like a mill-horse, the same trodden circle over
again. Thus the days of life are consumed, one by one, without an object
beyond the present moment; ever flying from the ennui of that, yet
carrying it with us; eternally in pursuit of happiness, which keeps
eternally before us. If death or bankruptcy happen to trip us out of
the circle, it is matter for the buzz of the evening, and is completely
forgotten by the next morning. In America, on the other hand,
the society of your husband, the fond cares for the children, the
arrangements of the house, the improvements of the grounds, fill
every moment with a healthy and an useful activity. Every exertion is
encouraging, because to present amusement it joins the promise of some
future good. The intervals of leisure are filled by the society of real
friends, whose affections are not thinned to cobweb, by being spread
over a thousand objects. This is the picture, in the light it is
presented to my mind; now let me have it in yours. If we do not concur
this year, we shall the next; or if not then, in a year or two more. You
see I am determined not to suppose myself mistaken.

To let you see that Paris is not changed in its pursuits, since it was
honored with your presence, I send you its monthly history. But this
relating only to the embellishments of their persons, I must add, that
those of the city go on well also. A new bridge, for example, is begun
at the _Place Louis Quinze_; the old ones are clearing of the rubbish
which encumbered them in the form of houses 5 new hospitals erecting;
magnificent walls of inclosure, and Custom-houses at their entrances,
&c. &c. &c. I know of no interesting change among those whom you honored
with your acquaintance, unless Monsieur de Saint James was of that
number. His bankruptcy, and taking asylum in the Bastille, have
furnished matter of astonishment. His garden, at the Pont de Neuilly,
where, on seventeen acres of ground he had laid out fifty thousand
louis, will probably sell for somewhat less money. The workmen of Paris
are making rapid strides towards English perfection. Would you believe,
that in the course of the last two years, they have learned even to
surpass their London rivals in some articles? Commission me to have you
a phaeton made, and if it is not as much handsomer than a London one,
as that is than a fiacre, send it back to me. Shall I fill the box with
caps, bonnets, &c.? Not of my own choosing, but I was going to say,
of Mademoiselle Bertin's, forgetting for the moment, that she too is
bankrupt. They shall be chosen then by whom you please; or, if you are
altogether nonplused by her eclipse, we will call an _Assemblées des
Notables_, to help you out of the difficulty, as is now the fashion.
In short, honor me with your, commands of any kind, and they shall be
faithfully executed. The packets now established from Havre to New York
furnish good opportunities of sending whatever you wish.

I shall end where I began, like a Paris day, reminding you of your
engagement to write me a letter of respectable length, an engagement
the more precious to me, as it has furnished me the occasion, after
presenting my respects to Mr. Bingham, of assuring you of the sincerity
of those sentiments of esteem and respect, with which I have the honor
to be, Dear Madam, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson,



LETTER XLVII.--TO GOVERNOR RANDOLPH, February 7, 1787

TO GOVERNOR RANDOLPH.

Paris, February 7, 1787.

I have the honor of enclosing to your Excellency a report of the
proceedings on the inauguration of the bust of the Marquis de la
Fayette, in this city. This has been attended with a considerable, but
a necessary delay. The principle that the King is the sole fountain
of honor in this country, opposed a barrier to our desires, which
threatened to be insurmountable. No instance of a similar proposition
from a foreign power, had occurred in their history. The admitting it
in this case, is a singular proof of the King's friendly dispositions
towards the States of America, and of his personal esteem for the
character of the Marquis de la Fayette.

I take this, the earliest occasion, of congratulating my country on your
excellency's appointment to the chair of government, and of assuring
you, with great sincerity, of those sentiments of perfect esteem and
respect, with which I have the honor to be your. Excellency's most
obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLVIII.--TO JOHN JAY, February 8, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, February 8, 1787.

Sir,

The packet being to sail the day after to-morrow, I have awaited the
last possible moment of writing by her, in hopes I might be able
to announce some favorable change in the situation of the Count de
Vergennes. But none has occurred, and in the mean time he has become
weaker by the continuance of his illness. Though not desperately ill, he
is dangerously so. The Comptroller General, M. de Calonne, has been very
ill also, but he is getting well. These circumstances have occasioned
the postponement of the Assemblée des Notables to the 14th instant, and
will probably occasion a further postponement. As I shall set out this
day se'nnight for the waters of Aix, you will probably hear the issue
of the Count de Vergennes illness through some other channel, before I
shall have the honor of addressing you again. I may observe the same as
to the final decision for the enfranchisement of Honfleur, which is in
a fair way of being speedily concluded. The exertions of Monsieur de
Creve-coeur, and particularly his influence with the Duke d'Harcourt,
the principal instrument in effecting it, have been of chief consequence
in this matter.

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem and respect, Sir,
your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XLIX.--TO MR. DUMAS, February 9, 1787


TO MR. DUMAS.

Paris, February 9, 1787.

Sir,

My last to you was dated December the 25th; since which I have been
honored with your several favors of December the 29th, January the 5th,
9th, and 23rd. I thought that your affairs could not be more interesting
than they have been for a considerable time. Yet in the present moment
they are become more so, by the apparent withdrawing of so considerable
a personage in the drama, as the King of Prussia. To increase this
interest, another person, whose importance scarcely admits calculation,
is in a situation which fills us with alarm. Nature is struggling to
relieve him by a decided gout; she has my sincere prayers to aid her, as
I am persuaded she has yours. I have letters and papers from America
as late as the 15th of December. The government of Massachusetts had
imprisoned three of the leaders of their insurgents. The insurgents,
being collected to the number of three or four hundred, had sent in
their petition to the government, praying another act of pardon for
their leaders and themselves, and on this condition offering to go every
man home, and conduct himself dutifully afterwards. This is the latest
intelligence.

I thank you for your attention to the question I had taken the liberty
of proposing to you. I think with you, that it would be advisable to
have our debt transferred to individuals of your country. There could
and would be no objection to the guarantee remaining as you propose;
and a postponement of the first payments of capital would surely be a
convenience to us. For though the resources of the United States are
great and growing, and their dispositions good, yet their machine is
new, and they have not got it to go well. It is the object of their
general wish at present, and they are all in movement, to set it in a
good train; but their movements are necessarily slow. They will surely
effect it in the end, because all have the same end in view; the
difficulty being only to get all the thirteen States to agree on the
same means. Divesting myself of every partiality, and speaking from that
thorough knowledge which I have of the country, their resources, and
their principles, I had rather trust money in their hands, than in that
of any government on earth; because, though for a while the payments of
the interest might be less regular, yet the final reimbursement of the
capital would be more sure.

I set out next week for the south of France, to try whether some mineral
waters in that quarter, much recommended, will restore the use of my
hand. I shall be absent from Paris two or three months; but I take
arrangements for the regular receipt of your favors, as if I were here.
It will be better, however, for you to put your letters to Mr. Jay under
cover to Mr. Short, who remains here, and will forward them.

I have thought it my duty to submit to Congress the proposition about
the French debt, and may expect their answer in four months.

I have the honor to be, with sincere esteem and respect, Sir, your most
obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER L.--TO JOHN JAY, February 14, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, February 14, 1787.

Sir,

In the letter of the 8th instant, which I had the honor of writing you,
I informed you that the Count de Vergennes was dangerously ill. He
died yesterday morning, and the Count de Montmorin is appointed
his successor. Your personal knowledge of this gentleman renders it
unnecessary for me to say any thing of him.

Mr. Morris, during his office, being authorized to have the medals
and swords executed, which had been ordered by Congress, he authorized
Colonel Humphreys to take measures here for the execution. Colonel
Humphreys did so; and the swords were finished in time for him to carry
them. The medals not being finished, he desired me to attend to them.
The workman who was to make that of General Greene, brought me yesterday
the medal in gold, twenty-three in copper, and the die. Mr. Short,
during my absence, will avail himself of the first occasion which shall
offer, of forwarding the medals to you. I must beg leave, through you,
to ask the pleasure of Congress as to the number they would choose
to have struck. Perhaps they might be willing to deposite one of each
person in every college of the United States. Perhaps they might choose
to give a series of them to each of the crowned heads of Europe, which
would be an acceptable present to them. They will be pleased to decide.
In the mean time I have sealed up the die, and shall retain it till I
am honored with their orders as to this medal, and the others also when
they shall be finished.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect,

Sir, your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LI.--TO JOHN JAY, February 23, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, February 23, 1787.

Sir,

The _Assemblée des Notables_ being an event in the history of
this country which excites notice, I have supposed it would not be
disagreeable to you to learn its immediate objects, though no way
connected with our interests. The Assembly met yesterday: the King, in a
short but affectionate speech, informed them of his wish to consult
with them on the plans he had digested, and on the general good of his
people, and his desire to imitate the head of his family, Henry IV.,
whose memory is so dear to the nation. The _Garde des Sceaux_ then spoke
about twenty minutes, chiefly in compliment to the orders present. The
Comptroller General, in a speech of about an hour, opened the budget,
and enlarged on the several subjects which will be under their
deliberation. He explained the situation of the finances at his
accession to office, the expenses which their arrangement had rendered
necessary, their present state with the improvements made in them, the
several plans which had been proposed for their further improvement, a
change in the form of some of their taxes, the removal of the interior
Custom-houses to the frontiers, and the institution of Provincial
Assemblies. The Assembly was then divided into committees, with a prince
of the blood at the head of each. In this form they are to discuss
separately the subjects which will be submitted to them. Their decision
will be reported by two members to the minister, who, on view of the
separate decisions of all the committees, will make such changes in his
plans, as will best accommodate them to their views, without too much
departing from his own, and will then submit them to the vote (but
I believe not to the debate) of the General Assembly, which will
be convened for this purpose one day in every week, and will vote
individually.

The event ©f the Count de Vergennes'death, of which I had the honor to
inform you in a letter of the 14th instant, the appointment of the Count
Montmorin, and the propriety of my attending at his first audience,
which will be on the 27th, have retarded the journey I had proposed a
few days.

I shall hope, on my return, to meet here new powers for the consular
convention, as, under those I have, it will be impossible to make the
changes in the convention, which may be wished for.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LII.--TO THE MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE, February 28, 1787


TO THE MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE.

Paris, February 28, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I am just now in the moment of my departure. Monsieur de Montmorin
having given us audience at Paris yesterday, I missed the opportunity
of seeing you once more. I am extremely pleased with his modesty, the
simplicity of his manners, and his dispositions towards us. I promise
myself a great deal of satisfaction in doing business with him. I hope
he will not give ear to any unfriendly suggestions. I flatter myself I
shall hear from you sometimes. Send your letters to my hotel as usual,
and they will be forwarded to me. I wish you success in your meeting.
I should form better hopes of it, if it were divided into two Houses
instead of seven. Keeping the good model of your neighboring country
before your eyes, you may get on, step by step, towards a good
constitution. Though that model is not perfect, yet, as it would unite
more suffrages than any new one which could be proposed, it is better to
make that the object. If every advance is to be purchased by filling the
royal coffers with gold, it will be gold well employed. The King, who
means so well, should be encouraged to repeat these Assemblies. You see
how we republicans are apt to preach, when we get on politics. Adieu, my
dear friend.

Yours affectionately,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LIII.--TO MADAME LA COMTESSE DE TESSE, March 20, 1787


TO MADAME LA COMTESSE DE TESSE.

Nismes, March 20, 1787.

Here I am, Madam, gazing whole hours at the _Maison Quarrée_, like a
lover at his mistress. The stocking-weavers and silk-spinners around it,
consider me as a hypochondriac Englishman, about to write with a pistol
the last chapter of his history. This is the second time I have been in
love since I left Paris. The first was with a Diana at the Chateau de
Lay-Epinaye in Beaujolois, a delicious morsel of sculpture, by M. A.
Slodtz. This, you will say, was in rule, to fall in love with a female
beauty: but with a house! It is out of all precedent. No, Madam, it
is not without a precedent, in my own history. While in Paris, I
was violently smitten with the Hotel de Salm, and used to go to the
Tuileries almost daily to look at it. The _loueuse des chaises_,
inattentive to my passion, never had the complaisance to place a chair
there, so that, sitting on the parapet, and twisting my neck round to
see the object of my admiration, I generally left it with a torticollis.

From Lyons to Nismes I have been nourished with the remains of Roman
grandeur. They have always brought you to my mind, because I know your
affection for whatever is Roman and noble. At Vienne I thought of you.
But I am glad you were not there; for you would have seen me more
angry than I hope you will ever see me. The Praetorian palace, as it is
called, comparable, for its fine proportions, to the _Maison Quarrée_,
defaced by the barbarians who have converted it to its present purpose,
its beautiful fluted Corinthian columns cut out in part to make space
for Gothic windows, and hewed down in the residue to the plane of
the building, was enough, you must admit, to disturb my composure. At
Orange, too, I thought of you. I was sure you had seen with pleasure
the sublime triumphal arch of Marius at the entrance of the city. I went
then to the Arena. Would you believe, Madam, that in this eighteenth
century, in France, under the reign of Louis XVI., they are at this
moment pulling down the circular wall of this superb remain to pave a
road? And that too from a hill which is itself an entire mass of stone,
just as fit, and more accessible? A former intendant, a M. de Basville,
has rendered his memory dear to the traveller and amateur, by the
pains he took to preserve and restore these monuments of antiquity. The
present one (I do not know who he is) is demolishing the object to make
a good road to it. I thought of you again, and I was then in great good
humor, at the _Pont du Gard_, a sublime antiquity, and well preserved.
But most of all here, where Roman taste, genius, and magnificence excite
ideas analogous to yours at every step. I could no longer oppose the
inclination to avail myself of your permission to write to you, a
permission given with too much complaisance by you, and used by me with
too much indiscretion. Madame de Tott did me the same honor.

But she being only the descendant of some of those puny heroes who
boiled their own kettles before the walls of Troy, I shall write to her
from a Grecian, rather than a Roman canton: when I shall find myself,
for example, among her Phocæan relations at Marseilles.

Loving, as you do, Madam, the precious remains of antiquity, loving
architecture, gardening, a warm sun, and a clear sky, I wonder you have
never thought of moving Chaville to Nismes. This, as you know, has
not always been deemed impracticable; and, therefore, the next time a
_Surintendant des bailments du roi_, after the example of M. Colbert,
sends persons to Nismes to move the _Maison Quarrée_ to Paris, that they
may not come empty-handed, desire them to bring Chaville with them to
replace it. _A propos_ of Paris. I have now been three weeks from there,
without knowing any thing of what has passed. I suppose I shall meet
it all at Aix, where I have directed my letters to be lodged, _poste
restante_. My journey has given me leisure to reflect on this _Assemblée
des Notables_. Under a good and a young King, as the present, I think
good may be made of it. I would have the deputies, then, by all means,
so conduct themselves as to encourage him to repeat the calls of this
Assembly. Their first step should be to get themselves divided into two
chambers instead of seven; the Noblesse and the Commons separately. The
second, to persuade the King, instead of choosing the deputies of the
Commons himself, to summon those chosen by the people for the Provincial
administrations. The third, as the Noblesse is too numerous to be all
of the Assemblée, to obtain permission for that body to choose its own
deputies. Two Houses, so elected, would contain a mass of wisdom, which
would make the people happy, and the King great; would place him in
history where no other act can possibly place him. They would thus put
themselves in the track of the best guide they can follow, they would
soon overtake it, become its guide in turn, and lead to the wholesome
modifications wanting in that model, and necessary to constitute a
rational government. Should they attempt more than the established
habits of the people are ripe for, they must lose all, and retard
indefinitely the ultimate object of their aim. These, Madam, are my
opinions; but I wish to know yours, which I am sure will be better.

From a correspondent at Nismes you will not expect news. Were I to
attempt to give you news, I should tell you stories one thousand years
old. I should detail to you the intrigues of the courts of the Cæsars,
how they affect us here, the oppressions of their praetors, prefects,
&c. I am immersed in antiquities from morning to night. For me the city
of Rome is actually existing in all the splendor of its empire. I am
filled with alarms for the event of the irruptions daily making on us
by the Goths, the Visigoths, Ostrogoths, and Vandals, lest they should
re-conquer us to our original barbarism. If I am sometimes induced to
look forward to the eighteenth century, it is only when recalled to
it by the recollection of your goodness and friendship, and by those
sentiments of sincere esteem and respect, with which I have the honor to
be,

Madam, your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LIV.--TO THE MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE, April 11, 1787


TO THE MARQUIS DE LA FAYETTE.

Nice, April 11, 1787.

Your head, my dear friend, is full of _Notable_ things; and being better
employed, therefore, I do not expect letters from you. I am constantly
roving about to see what I have never seen before, and shall never see
again. In the great cities, I go to see what travellers think alone
worthy of being seen; but I make a job of it, and generally gulp it
all down in a day. On the other hand, I am never satiated with rambling
through the fields and farms, examining the culture and cultivators with
a degree of curiosity, which makes some take me to be a fool, and others
to be much wiser than I am. I have been pleased to find among the people
a less degree of physical misery than I had expected. They are generally
well clothed, and have a plenty of food, not animal indeed, but
vegetable, which is as wholesome. Perhaps they are over-worked, the
excess of the rent required by the landlord obliging them to too many
hours of labor in order to produce that, and wherewith to feed and
clothe themselves. The soil of Champagne and Burgundy I have found more
universally good than I had expected, and as I could not help making a
comparison with England, I found that comparison more unfavorable to
the latter than is generally admitted. The soil, the climate, and the
productions are superior to those of England, and the husbandry as
good, except in one point; that of manure. In England, long leases for
twenty-one years, or three lives, to wit, that of the farmer, his wife,
and son, renewed by the son as soon as he comes to the possession, for
his own life, his wife's, and eldest child's, and so on, render the
farms there almost hereditary, make it worth the farmer's while to
manure the lands highly, and give the landlord an opportunity of
occasionally making his rent keep pace with the improved state of the
lands. Here the leases are either during pleasure, or for three, six, or
nine years, which does not give the farmer time to repay himself for the
expensive operation of well manuring, and therefore, he manures ill,
or not at all. I suppose, that could the practice of leasing for three
lives be introduced in the whole kingdom, it would, within the term of
your life, increase agricultural productions fifty per cent.; or were
any one proprietor to do it with his own lands, it would increase his
rents fifty per cent, in the course of twenty-five years. But I am told
the laws do not permit it. The laws then, in this particular, are
unwise and unjust, and ought to give that permission. In the southern
provinces, where the soil is poor, the climate hot and dry, and there
are few animals, they would learn the art, found so precious in England,
of making vegetable manure, and thus improving the provinces in the
article in which nature has been least kind to them. Indeed, these
provinces afford a singular spectacle. Calculating on the poverty of
their soil, and their climate by its latitude only, they should have
been the poorest in France. On the contrary, they are the richest, from
one fortuitous circumstance. Spurs or ramifications of high mountains,
making down from the Alps, and, as it were, reticulating these
provinces, give to the vallies the protection of a particular inclosure
to each, and the benefit of a general stagnation of the northern winds
produced by the whole of them, and thus countervail the advantage of
several degrees of latitude. From the first olive fields of Pierrelatte,
to the orangeries of Hieres, has been continued rapture to me. I have
often wished for you. I think you have not made this journey. It is a
pleasure you have to come, and an improvement to be added to the many
you have already made. It will be a great comfort to you, to know, from
your own inspection, the condition of all the provinces of your own
country, and it will be interesting to them at some future day, to be
known to you. This is, perhaps, the only moment of your life in which
you can acquire that knowledge. And to do it most effectually, you must
be absolutely incognito, you must ferret the people out of their hovels
as I have done, look into their kettles, eat their bread, loll on their
beds under pretence of resting yourself, but in fact to find if they
are soft. You will feel a sublime pleasure in the course of this
investigation, and a sublimer one hereafter, when you shall be able to
apply your knowledge to the softening of their beds, or the throwing a
morsel of meat into their kettle of vegetables.

You will not wonder at the subjects of my letter: they are the only ones
which have been presented to my mind for some time past; and the waters
must always be what are the fountains from which they flow. According
to this, indeed, I should have intermixed, from beginning to end, warm
expressions of friendship to you. But, according to the ideas of our
country, we do not permit ourselves to speak even truths, when they may
have the air of flattery. I content myself, therefore, with saying once
for all, that I love you, your wife, and children. Tell them so, and
adieu.

Yours affectionately,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LV.--TO WILLIAM SHORT, April 12, 1787


TO WILLIAM SHORT.

Nice, April 12, 1787,

Dear Sir,

At Marseilles, they told me I should encounter the rice fields of
Piedmont soon after crossing the Alps. Here they tell me there are none
nearer than Vercelli and Novara, which is carrying me almost to Milan. I
fear that this circumstance will occasion me a greater delay than I
had calculated on. However, I am embarked in the project, and shall go
through with it. To-morrow, I set out on my passage over the Alps, being
to pursue it ninety-three miles to Coni, on mules, as the snows are
not yet enough melted to admit carriages to pass. I leave mine here,
therefore, proposing to return by water from Genoa. I think it will
be three weeks before I get back to Nice. I find this climate quite
as delightful as it has been represented. Hieres is the only place in
France, which may be compared with it. The climates are equal. In favor
of this place, are the circumstances of gay and dissipated society,
a handsome city, good accommodations, and some commerce. In favor of
Hieres, are environs of delicious and extensive plains, a society more
contracted, and therefore more capable of esteem, and the neighborhood
of Toulon, Marseilles, and other places, to which excursions may be
made. Placing Marseilles in comparison with Hieres, it has extensive
society, a good theatre, freedom from military control, and the most
animated commerce. But its winter climate is far inferior. I am now in
the act of putting my baggage into portable form for my bat-mule; after
praying you, therefore, to let my daughter know I am well, and that I
shall not be heard of again in three weeks, I take my leave of you for
that time, with assurances of the sincere esteem with which I am, Dear
Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LVI.--TO JOHN JAY, May 4, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Marseilles, May 4, 1787.

Sir,

I had the honor of receiving at Aix, your letter of February the 9th,
and immediately wrote to the Count de Montmorin, explaining the delay
of the answer of Congress to the King's letter, and desired Mr. Short to
deliver that answer, with my letter, to Monsieur de Montmorin, which he
informs me he has accordingly done.

My absence prevented my noting to you, in the first moment, the
revolution which has taken place at Paris, in the department of finance,
by the substitution of Monsieur de Fourqueux in the place of Monsieur
de Calonne; so that you will have heard of it through other channels,
before this will have the honor of reaching you.

Having staid at Aix long enough to prove the inefficacy of the waters,
I came on to this place, for the purpose of informing myself here, as I
mean to do at the other seaport towns, of whatever may be interesting to
our commerce. So far as carried on in our own bottoms, I find it almost
nothing; and so it must probably remain, till something can be done with
the Algerines. Though severely afflicted with the plague, they have
come out within these few days, and showed themselves in force along the
coast of Genoa, cannonading a little town and taking several vessels.

Among other objects of inquiry, this was the place to learn something
more certain on the subject of rice, as it is a great emporium for that
of the Levant, and of Italy. I wished particularly to know, whether it
was the use of a different machine for cleaning, which brought European
rice to market less broken than ours, as had been represented to me, by
those who deal in that article in Paris. I found several persons who had
passed through the rice country of Italy, but not one who could explain
to me the nature of the machine. But I was given to believe, that I
might see it myself immediately on entering Piedmont. As this would
require but about three weeks, I determined to go, and ascertain this
point; as the chance only of placing our rice above all rivalship in
quality, as it is in color, by the introduction of a better machine, if
a better existed, seemed to justify the application of that much time to
it. I found the rice country to be in truth Lombardy, one hundred miles
further than had been represented, and that though called Piedmont rice,
not a grain is made in the country of Piedmont. I passed through the
rice-fields of the Vercellese and Milanese, about sixty miles, and
returned from thence last night, having found that the machine is
absolutely the same as ours, and of course, that we need not listen more
to that suggestion. It is a difference in the species of grain; of which
the government of Turin is so sensible, that, as I was informed, they
prohibit the exportation of rough rice, on pain of death. I have taken
measures, however, which I think will not fail, for obtaining a quantity
of it, and I bought on the spot a small parcel, which I have with me.
As further details on this subject to Congress would be misplaced, I
propose, on my return to Paris, to communicate them, and send the rice
to the society at Charleston for promoting agriculture, supposing that
they will be best able to try the experiment of cultivating the rice of
this quality, and to communicate the species to the two States of South
Carolina and Georgia, if they find it answers. I thought the staple of
these two States was entitled to this attention, and that it must be
desirable to them, to be able to furnish rice of the two qualities
demanded in Europe, especially, as the greater consumption is in the
forms for which the Lombardy quality is preferred. The mass of our
countrymen being interested in agriculture, I hope I do not err in
supposing, that in a time of profound peace, as the present, to enable
them to adapt their productions to the market, to point out markets for
them, and endeavor to obtain favorable terms of reception, is within the
line of my duty.

My journey into this part of the country has procured me information,
which I will take the liberty of communicating to Congress. In October
last, I received a letter, dated Montpelier, October the 2nd, 1786,
announcing to me that the writer was a foreigner, who had a matter
of very great consequence to communicate to me, and desired I would
indicate the channel through which it might pass safely. I did so.

I received soon after, a letter in the following words, omitting only
the formal parts. [_A translation of it is here given._]

'I am a native of Brazil. You are not ignorant of the frightful
slavery under which my country groans. This continually becomes more
insupportable, since the epoch of your glorious independence; for
the cruel Portuguese omit nothing which can render our condition more
wretched, from an apprehension that we may follow your example. The
conviction, that these usurpers against the laws of nature and humanity
only meditate new oppressions, has decided us to follow the guiding
light which you have held out to us, to break our chains, to revive
our almost expiring liberty, which is nearly overwhelmed by that force,
which is the sole foundation of the authority that Europeans exercise
over America. But it is necessary that some power should extend
assistance to the Brazilians, since Spain would certainly unite herself
with Portugal; and in spite of our advantages for defence, we could not
make it effectual, or, at least, it would be imprudent to hazard the
attempt, without some assurance of success. In this state of affairs,
Sir, we can, with propriety, look only to the United States, not only
because we are following her example, but, moreover, because nature, in
making us inhabitants of the same continent, has in some sort united
us in the bonds of a common patriotism. On our part, we are prepared to
furnish the necessary supplies of money, and at all times to acknowledge
the debt of gratitude due to our benefactors. I have thus, Sir, laid
before you a summary of my views. It is in discharge of this commission
that I have come to France, since I could not effect it in America
without exciting suspicion. It now remains for you to decide whether
those views can be accomplished. Should you desire to consult your
nation on them, it is in my power to give you all the information you
may require.'

As by this time, I had been advised to try the waters of Aix, I wrote
to the gentleman my design, and that I would go off my road as far as
Nismes, under the pretext of seeing the antiquities of that place, if
he would meet me there. He met me, and the following is the sum of the
information I received from him. 'Brazil contains as many inhabitants
as Portugal. They are, 1. Portuguese. 2. Native whites. 3. Black and
mulatto slaves. 4. Indians, civilized and savage. 1. The Portuguese are
few in number, mostly married there, have lost sight of their native
country, as well as the prospect of returning to it, and are disposed to
become independent. 2. The native whites form the body of their nation.
3. The slaves are as numerous as the free. 4. The civilized Indians have
no energy, and the savage would not meddle. There are twenty thousand
regular troops. Originally these were Portuguese. But as they died off,
they were replaced by natives, so that these compose at present the
mass of the troops, and may be counted on by their native country. The
officers are partly Portuguese, partly Brazilians: their bravery is not
doubted, and they understand the parade, but not the science of their
profession. They have no bias for Portugal, but no energy either for any
thing. The priests are partly Portuguese, partly Brazilians, and will
not interest themselves much. The Noblesse are scarcely known as such.
They will, in no manner, be distinguished from the people. The men of
letters are those most desirous of a revolution. The people are not
much under the influence of their priests, most of them read and write,
possess arms, and are in the habit of using them for hunting. The slaves
will take the side of their masters. In short, as to the question of
revolution, there is but one mind in that Country. But there appears no
person capable of conducting a revolution, or willing to venture himself
at its head, without the aid of some powerful nation, as the people of
their own might fail them. There is no printing press in Brazil. They
consider the North American revolution as a precedent for theirs. They
look to the United States as most likely to give them honest support,
and, from a variety of considerations, have the strongest prejudices in
our favor. This informant is a native and inhabitant of Rio Janeiro,
the present metropolis, which contains fifty thousand inhabitants, knows
well St. Salvador, the former one, and the _mines d'or_, which are
in the centre of the country. These are all for a revolution; and,
constituting the body of the nation, the other parts will follow them,
The King's fifth of the mines, yields annually thirteen millions of
crusadoes or half dollars. He has the sole right of searching for
diamonds and other precious stones, which yield him about half as much.
His income from those two resources alone, then, is about ten millions
of dollars annually; but the remaining part of the produce of the
mines, being twenty-six millions, might be counted on for effecting
a revolution. Besides the arms in the hands of the people, there are
public magazines. They have abundance of horses, but only a part of
their country would admit the service of horses. They would want cannon,
ammunition, ships, sailors, soldiers, and officers, for which they are
disposed to look to the United States, it being always understood, that
every service and furniture will be well paid. Corn costs about
twenty livres the one hundred pounds. They have flesh in the greatest
abundance, insomuch, that in some parts, they kill beeves for the skin
only. The whale fishery is carried on by Brazilians altogether, and not
by Portuguese; but in very small vessels, so that the fishermen know
nothing of managing a large ship. They would want of us; at all times,
shipping, corn, and salt fish. The latter is a great article, and they
are at present supplied with it from Portugal. Portugal being without
either army or navy, could not attempt an invasion under a twelvemonth.
Considering of what it would be composed, it would not be much to be
feared, and if it failed, they would probably never attempt a second.
Indeed, this source of their wealth being intercepted, they are scarcely
capable of a first effort. The thinking part of the nation are so
sensible of this, that they consider an early separation inevitable.
There is an implacable hatred between the Brazilians and Portuguese;
to reconcile which, a former minister adopted the policy of letting
the Brazilians into a participation of public offices; but subsequent
administrations have reverted to the ancient policy of keeping the
administrations in the hands of native Portuguese. There is a mixture
of natives, of the old appointments, still remaining in office. If Spain
should invade them on their southern extremities, these are so distant
from the body of their settlements, that they could not penetrate
thence; and Spanish enterprise is not formidable. The _mines d'or_ are
among mountains, inaccessible to any army; and Rio Janeiro is considered
the strongest port in the world after Gibraltar. In case of a successful
revolution, a republican government in a single body would probably be
established.'

I took care to impress on him, through the whole of our conversation,
that I had neither instructions nor authority to say a word to any
body on this subject, and that I could only give him my own ideas, as
a single individual: which were, that we were not in a condition at
present to meddle nationally in any war; that we wished particularly to
cultivate the friendship of Portugal, with whom we have an advantageous
commerce. That yet, a successful revolution in Brazil could not be
uninteresting to us. That prospects of lucre might possibly draw numbers
of individuals to their aid, and purer motives our officers, among whom
are many excellent. That our citizens being free to leave their own
country individually, without the consent of their governments, are
equally free to go to any other.

A little before I received the first letter of the Brazilian, a
gentleman informed me there was a Mexican in Paris, who wished to have
some conversation with me. He accordingly called on me. The substance of
the information I drew from him, was as follows. He is himself a native
of Mexico, where his relations are, principally. He left it about
seventeen years of age, and seems now to be about thirty-three or
thirty-four. He classes and characterizes the inhabitants of that
country, as follows. 1. The natives of Old Spain, possessed of most of
the offices of government, and firmly attached to it. 2. The clergy,
equally attached to the government. 3. The natives of Mexico, generally
disposed to revolt, but without instruction, without energy, and much
under the dominion of their priests. 4. The slaves, mulatto and black;
the former enterprising and intelligent, the latter brave, and of very
important weight, into whatever scale they throw themselves; but he
thinks they will side with their masters. 5. The conquered Indians,
cowardly, not likely to take any side, nor important which they take. 6.
The free Indians, brave and formidable, should they interfere, but not
likely to do so, as being at a great distance. I asked him the numbers
of these several classes, but he could not give them. The first, he
thought very inconsiderable; that the second formed the body of the
freemen; the third equal to the two first; the fourth, to all the
preceding: and as to the fifth, he could form no idea of their
proportion. Indeed, it appeared to me, that his conjectures as to the
others were on loose grounds. He said he knew from good information,
there were three hundred thousand inhabitants in the city of Mexico. I
was still more cautious with him than with the Brazilian, mentioning
it as my private opinion (unauthorized to say a word on the subject,
otherwise), that a successful revolution was still at a distance with
them; that I feared they must begin by enlightening and emancipating
the minds of their people; that as to us, if Spain should give us
advantageous terms of commerce, and remove other difficulties, it was
not probable that we should relinquish certain and present advantages,
though smaller, for uncertain and future ones, however great. I was led
into this caution by observing, that this gentleman was intimate at the
Spanish ambassador's, and that he was then at Paris, employed by Spain
to settle her boundaries with France, on the Pyrenees. He had much
the air of candor, but that can be borrowed; so that I was not able to
decide about him in my own mind.

Led by a unity of subject, and a desire to give Congress as general a
view of the disposition of our southern countrymen, as my information
enables me, I will add an article which, old and insulated, I did not
think important enough to mention at the time I received it. You will
remember, Sir, that during the late war, the British papers often
gave details of a rebellion in Peru. The character of those papers
discredited the information. But the truth was, that the insurrections
were so general, that the event was long on the poise. Had Commodore
Johnson, then expected on that coast, touched and landed there two
thousand men, the dominion of Spain in that country would have been at
an end. They only wanted a point of union, which this body would have
constituted. Not having this, they acted without concert, and were are
length subdued separately. This conflagration was quenched in blood;
two hundred thousand souls, on both sides, having perished; but the
remaining matter is very capable of combustion. I have this information
from a person who was on the spot at the time, and whose good faith,
understanding, and means of information leave no doubt of the facts. He
observed, however, that the numbers above supposed to have perished were
on such conjectures only as he could collect.

I trouble Congress with these details, because, however distant we may
be, both in condition and dispositions, from taking an active part in
any commotions in that country, nature has placed it too near us to
make its movements altogether indifferent to our interests, or to our
curiosity.

I hear of another _Arrêt_ of this court, increasing the duties on
foreign stock-fish, and the premium on their own imported into their
islands; but not having yet seen it, I can say nothing certain on it. I
hope the effect of this policy will be defeated by the practice which,
I am told, takes place on the Banks of Newfoundland, of putting our
fish into the French fishing-boats, and the parties sharing the premium,
instead of ours paying the duty.

I am in hopes Mr. Short will be able to send you the medals of General
Gates by this packet. I await a general instruction as to these medals.
The academies of Europe will be much pleased to receive each a set.

I propose to set out the day after to-morrow for Bordeaux (by the canal
of Languedoc), Mantes, L'Orient, and Paris.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LVII.--TO M. GUIDE, May 6, 1787


TO M. GUIDE.

Marseilles, May 6, 1787.

Sir,

A desire of seeing a commerce commenced between the dominions of his
Majesty, the King of Sardinia, and the United States of America, and a
direct exchange of their respective productions, without passing through
a third nation, led me into the conversation which I had the honor of
having with you on that subject, and afterwards with Monsieur Tallon at
Turin, to whom I promised that I would explain to you, in writing, the
substance of what passed between us. The articles of your produce wanted
with us are brandies, wines, oil, fruits, and manufactured silks:
those with which we can furnish you are indigo, potash, tobacco, flour,
salt-fish, furs and peltries, ships and materials for building them.
The supply of tobacco, particularly, being in the hands of government
solely, appeared to me to offer an article for beginning immediately the
experiment of direct commerce. That of the first quality can be had at
first hand only from James river in Virginia; those of the second and
third from the same place, and from Baltimore in Maryland. The first
quality is delivered in the ports of France at thirty-eight livres
the quintal, the second at thirty-six livres, the third at thirty-four
livres, weight and money of France, by individuals generally. I send you
the copy of a large contract, wherein the three qualities are averaged
at thirty-six livres. They may be delivered at Nice for those prices.
Indeed, it is my opinion, that by making shipments of your own produce
to those places, and buying the tobaccos on the spot, they may be had
more advantageously. In this case, it would be expedient that merchants
of Nice, Turin, and America, should form a joint concern for conducting
the business in the two countries. Monsieur Tallon desired me to point
out proper persons in America who might be addressed for this purpose.
The house of the most extensive reputation, concerned in the tobacco
trade, and on the firmest funds, is that of Messrs. Ross and Pleasants
at Richmond, in Virginia. If it should be concluded on your part to make
any attempt of this kind, and to address yourselves to these gentlemen,
or any others, it would be best to write them your ideas, and receive
theirs, before you make either purchases or shipments. A more hasty
conduct might occasion loss, and retard, instead of encouraging, the
establishment of this commerce. I would undertake to write, at the same
time, to these or any other merchants whom you should prefer, in order
to dispose them favorably, and as disinterestedly as possible, for the
encouragement of this essay. I must observe to you, that our vessels are
fearful of coming into the Mediterranean on account of the Algerines:
and that if you should freight vessels, those of the French will be most
advantageous for you, because received into our ports without paying
any duties on some of those articles, and lighter than others on all of
them. English vessels, on the other hand, are distinguished by paying
heavier duties than those of any other nation. Should you desire any
further information, or to pass letters with certainty to any mercantile
house in America, do me the favor to address yourselves to me at Paris,
and I shall do whatever depends on me for this object.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of high esteem and respect, Sir,
your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



MEMORANDA TAKEN ON A JOURNEY FROM PARIS IN 1787


_Memoranda taken on a Journey from Paris into the Southern Parts of
France, and Northern of Italy, in the year 1787_.


CHAMPAGNE. March 3. _Sens_ to _Vermanton_. The face of the country is in
large hills, not too steep for the plough, somewhat resembling the Elk
hill and Beaver-dam hills of Virginia. The soil is generally a rich
mulatto loam, with a mixture of coarse sand, and some loose stone. The
plains of the Yonne are of the same color. The plains are in corn, the
hills in vineyard, but the wine not good. There are a few apple-trees,
but none of any other kind, and no enclosures. No cattle, sheep, or
swine; fine mules.

Few _chateaux_; no farm-houses, all the people being gathered in
villages. Are they thus collected by that dogma of their religion, which
makes them believe, that to keep the Creator in good humor with his own
works, they must mumble a mass every day? Certain it is, that they are
less happy and less virtuous in villages, than they would be insulated
with their families on the grounds they cultivate. The people are illy
clothed. Perhaps they have put on their worst clothes at this moment, as
it is raining. But I observe women and children carrying heavy burthens,
and laboring with the hoe. This is an unequivocal indication of extreme
poverty. Men, in a civilized country, never expose their wives and
children to labor above their force and sex, as long as their own labor
can protect them from it. I see few beggars. Probably this is the effect
of a police.


BURGUNDY. March 4. _Lucy-le-Bois. Cussy-les-Forges. Rouvray.
Maison-neuve. Vitieaux. La Chaleure. Pont de Panis. Dijon_. The hills
are higher, and more abrupt. The soil a good red loam and sand, mixed
with more or less grit, small stone, and sometimes rock. All in corn.
Some forest wood here and there, broom, whins, and holly, and a few
enclosures of quick-hedge. Now and then a flock of sheep.

The people are well clothed, but it is Sunday. They have the appearance
of being well fed. The Chateau de Sevigny, near Cussy-les-Forges, is
a charming situation. Between Maison-neuve and Vitteaux the road leads
through an avenue of trees, eight American miles long, in a right line.
It is impossible to paint the ennui of this avenue. On the summits of
the hills, which border the valley in which Vitteaux is, there is a
parapet of rock, twenty, thirty, or forty feet perpendicular, which
crowns the hills. The tops are nearly level, and appear to be covered
with earth. Very singular. Great masses of rock in the hills between La
Chaleure and Pont de Panis, and a conical hill in the approach to the
last place.

_Dijon_. The tavern price of a bottle of the best wine (e. g. of Vaune)
is four livres. The best round potatoes here, I ever saw. They have
begun a canal thirty feet wide, which is to lead into the Saone at
---------. It is fed by springs. They are not allowed to take any water
out of the riviere d'Ouche, which runs through this place, on account of
the mills on that river. They talk of making a canal to the Seine, the
nearest navigable part of which, at present, is fifteen leagues from
hence. They have very light wagons here for the transportation of their
wine. They are long and narrow; the fore-wheels as high as the hind. Two
pieces of wine are drawn by one horse in one of these wagons. The road
in this part of the country is divided into portions of forty or fifty
feet by stones, numbered, which mark the task of the laborers.

March 7 and 8. From _La Baraque_ to _Chagny_. On the left are plains,
which extend to the Saone; on the right the ridge of mountains, called
the Cote. The plains are of a reddish-brown, rich loam, mixed with much
small stone. The Cote has for its basis a solid rock, on which is about
a foot of soil and small stone, in equal quantities, the soil red, and
of middling quality. The plains are in corn; the Cote in vines. The
former have no enclosures, the latter is in small ones, of dry stone
wall. There is a good deal of forest. Some small herds of small cattle
and sheep. Fine mules, which come from Provence, and cost twenty louis.
They break them at two years old, and they last to thirty.

The corn-lands here rent for about fifteen livres the arpent. They are
now planting, pruning, and sticking their vines. When a new vineyard
is made, they plant the vines in gutters about four feet apart. As the
vines advance, they lay them down. They put out new shoots, and fill
all the intermediate space, till all trace of order is lost. They have
ultimately about one foot square to each vine. They begin to yield good
profit at five or six years old, and last one hundred, or one hundred
and fifty years. A vigneron at Volnay carried me into his vineyard,
which was of about ten arpents. He told me, that some years it produced
him sixty pieces of wine, and some not more than three pieces. The
latter is the most advantageous produce, because the wine is better in
quality, and higher in price, in proportion as less is made; and the
expenses, at the same time, diminish in the same proportion. Whereas,
when much is made, the expenses are increased, while the quality and
price become less. In very plentiful years, they often give one half the
wine for casks to contain the other half. The cask for two hundred and
fifty bottles costs six livres in scarce years, and ten in plentiful.
The feuillette is of one hundred and twenty-five bottles, the piece of
two hundred and fifty, and the queue or botte of five hundred. An arpent
rents at from twenty to sixty livres. A farmer of ten arpents has about
three laborers engaged by the year. He pays four louis to a man, and
half as much to a woman, and feeds them. He kills one hog, and salts it,
which is all the meat used in the family during the year. Their ordinary
food is bread and vegetables. At Pomard and Volnay, I observed them
eating good wheat bread; at Meursault, rye. I asked the reason of the
difference. They told me, that the white wines fail in quality much
oftener than the red, and remain on hand. The farmer, therefore, cannot
afford to feed his laborers so well. At Meursault only white wines
are made, because there is too much stone for the red. On such slight
circumstances depends the condition of man! The wines which have given
such celebrity to Burgundy grow only on the Cote, an extent of about
five leagues long, and half a league wide. They begin at Chambertin,
and go through Vougeau, Romanie, Veaune, Nuits, Beaune, Pomard, Volnay,
Meursault, and end at Monrachet. Those of the two last are white; the
others red. Chambertin, Vougeau, and Beaune are the strongest, and will
bear transportation and keeping. They sell, therefore, on the spot for
twelve hundred livres the queue, which is forty-eight sous the bottle.
Volnay is the best of the other reds, equal in flavor to Chambertin,
&c., but being lighter, will not keep, and therefore sells for not more
than three hundred livres the queue, which is twelve sous the bottle.
It ripens sooner than they do, and consequently is better for those who
wish to broach at a year old. In like manner of the white wines, and
for the same reason, Monrachet sells for twelve hundred livres the queue
(forty-eight sous the bottle), and Meursault of the best quality, viz.
the _Goutte d'or_, at only one hundred and fifty livres (six sous the
bottle). It is remarkable, that the best of each kind, that is, of
the red and white, is made at the extremities of the line, to wit, at
Chambertin and Monrachet. It is pretended, that the adjoining vineyards
produce the same qualities, but that, belonging to obscure individuals,
they have not obtained a name, and therefore sell as other wines. The
aspect of the Cote is a little south of east. The western side is also
covered with vines, and is apparently of the same soil; yet the wines
are only of the coarsest kinds. Such, too, are those which are produced
in the plains; but there the soil is richer, and less strong. Vougeau
is the property of the monks of Citeaux, and produces about two hundred
pieces. Monrachet contains about fifty arpents, and produces, one year
with another, about one hundred and twenty pieces. It belongs to
two proprietors only, Monsieur de Clarmont, who leases to some
wine-merchants, and the Marquis de Sarsnet, of Dijon, whose part is
farmed to a Monsieur de la Tour, whose family, for many generations,
have had the farm. The best wines are carried to Paris by land. The
transportation costs thirty-six livres the piece. The more indifferent
go by water. Bottles cost four and a half sous each.

March 9. _Chalons. Sennecey. Tournus. St. Albin. Macon._ On the left are
the fine plains of the Saone; on the right high lands, rather waving
than hilly, sometimes sloping gently to the plains, sometimes dropping
down in precipices, and occasionally broken into beautiful vallies[sp.]
by the streams which run into the Saone. The plains are a dark rich
loam, in pasture and corn; the heights more or less red or reddish,
always gritty, of middling quality only, their sides in vines, and their
summits in corn. The vineyards are enclosed with dry stone-walls, and
there are some quick-hedges in the corn-grounds. The cattle are few and
indifferent. There are some good oxen, however. They draw by the head.
Few sheep, and small. A good deal of wood-lands.

I passed three times the canal called Le Charollois, which they are
opening from Chalons on the Saone to Dijon on the Loire. It passes near
Chagny, and will be twenty-three leagues long. They have worked on it
three years, and will finish it in four more. It will reanimate the
languishing commerce of Champagne and Burgundy, by furnishing a water
transportation for their wines to Nantes, which also will receive new
consequence by becoming the emporium of that commerce. At some distance
on the right are high mountains, which probably form the separation
between the waters of the Saone and Loire. Met a malefactor in the hands
of one of the Marichausee; perhaps a dove in the talons of the hawk. The
people begin now to be in separate establishments, and not in villages.
Houses are mostly covered with tile.


BEAUJOLOIS.[Sp.] _Maison Blanche. St. George. Chateau de Laye-Epinaye_.
The face of the country is like that from Chalons to Macon. The plains
are a dark rich loam, the hills a red loam of middling quality, mixed
generally with more or less coarse sand and grit, and a great deal of
small stone. Very little forest. The vineyards are mostly enclosed with
dry stone-wall. A few small cattle and sheep. Here, as in Burgundy, the
cattle are all white. This is the richest country I ever beheld. It
is about ten or twelve leagues in length, and three, four, or five
in breadth; at least that part of it, which is under the eye of a
traveller. It extends from the top of a ridge of mountains, running
parallel with the Saone, and sloping down to the plains of that river,
scarce any where too steep for the plough. The whole is thick set with
farm-houses, chateaux, and the bastides of the inhabitants of Lyons. The
people live separately, and not in villages. The hill-sides are in vine
and corn: the plains in corn and pasture. The lands are farmed either
for money, or on half-stocks. The rents of the corn-lands, farmed for
money, are about ten or twelve livres the arpent. A farmer takes perhaps
about one hundred and fifty arpents, for three, six, or nine years. The
first year they are in corn; the second in other small grain, with
which he sows red clover. The third is for the clover. The spontaneous
pasturage is of greensward, which they call fromenteau. When lands
are rented on half-stocks, the cattle, sheep, &c. are furnished by the
landlord. They are valued, and must be left of equal value. The increase
of these, as well as the produce of the farm is divided equally.
These leases are only from year to year. They have a method of mixing
beautifully the culture of vines, trees, and corn. Rows of fruit-trees
are planted about twenty feet apart. Between the trees, in the row, they
plant vines four feet apart, and espalier them. The intervals are sowed
alternately in corn, so as to be one year in corn, the next in pasture,
the third in corn, the fourth in pasture, &c. One hundred toises of
vines in length, yield generally about four pieces of wine. In Dauphine,
I am told, they plant vines only at the roots of the trees, and let
them cover the whole trees. But this spoils both the wine and the fruit.
Their wine, when distilled, yields but one-third its quantity in brandy.
The wages of a laboring man here are five louis; of a woman, one half.
The women do not work with the hoe: they only weed the vines, the corn,
&c, and spin. They speak a patois very difficult to understand. I
passed some time at the Chateau de Laye-Epinaye. Monsieur de Laye has a
seignory of about fifteen thousand arpents, in pasture, corn, vines,
and wood. He has over this, as is usual, a certain jurisdiction,
both criminal and civil. But this extends only to the first crude
examination, which is before his judges. The subject is referred,
for final examination and decision, to the regular judicatures of the
country. The Seigneur is keeper of the peace on his domains. He
is therefore subject to the expenses of maintaining it. A criminal
prosecuted to sentence and execution costs M. de Laye about five
thousand livres. This is so burthensome to the Seigneurs, that they are
slack in criminal prosecutions. A good effect from a bad cause. Through
all Champagne, Burgundy, and the Beaujolois, the husbandry seems good,
except that they manure too little. This proceeds from the shortness of
their leases. The people of Burgundy and Beaujolois are well clothed,
and have the appearance of being well fed. But they experience all the
oppressions which result from the nature of the general government, and
from that of their particular tenures, and of the seignorial government
to which they are subject. What a cruel reflection, that a rich country
cannot long be a free one. M. de Laye has a Diana and Endymion, a very
superior morsel of sculpture by Michael Angelo Slodtz, done in 1740. The
wild gooseberry is in leaf; the wild pear and sweet-briar in bud.

_Lyons_. There are some feeble remains here of an amphitheatre of two
hundred feet diameter, and of an aqueduct in brick. The Pont d'Ainay has
nine arches of forty feet from centre to centre. The piers are of six
feet. The almond is in bloom.


DAUPHINE. From _St. Fond_ to _Mornant_. March 15, 16, 17, 18. The Rhone
makes extensive plains, which lie chiefly on the eastern side, and are
often in two stages. Those of Montelimart are three,or four miles wide,
and rather good. Sometimes, as in the neighborhood of Vienne, the
hills come in precipices to the river, resembling then very much our
Susquehanna and its hill, except that the Susquehanna is ten times as
wide as the Rhone. The highlands are often very level. The soil both of
hill and plain, where there is soil, is generally tinged, more or less,
with red. The hills are sometimes mere masses of rock, sometimes a
mixture of loose stone and earth. The plains are always stony, and as
often as otherwise covered perfectly with a coat of round stones, of
the size of the fist, so as to resemble the remains of inundations, from
which all the soil has been carried away. Sometimes they are middling
good, sometimes barren. In the neighborhood of Lyons there is more corn
than wine. Towards Tains more wine than corn. From thence the plains,
where best, are in corn, clover, almonds, mulberries, walnuts: where
there is still some earth, they are in corn, almonds, and oaks. The
hills are in vines. There is a good deal of forest-wood near Lyons,
but not much afterwards. Scarcely any enclosures. There are a few small
sheep before we reach Tains; there the'number increases.

Nature never formed a country of more savage aspect, than that on
both sides the Rhone. A huge torrent rushes like an arrow between high
precipices, often of massive rock, at other times of loose stone, with
but little earth. Yet has the hand of man subdued this savage scene, by
planting corn where there is a little fertility, trees where there is
still less, and vines where there is none. On the whole, it assumes a
romantic, picturesque, and pleasing air. The hills on the opposite
side of the river, being high, steep, and laid up in terraces, are of
a singular appearance. Where the hills are quite in waste, they are
covered with broom, whins, box, and some clusters of small pines. The
high mountains of Dauphine and Languedoc are now covered with snow. The
almond is in general bloom, and the willow putting out its leaf. There
were formerly olives at Tain; but a great cold, some years ago, killed
them, and they have not been replanted. I am told at Montelimart, that
an almond tree yields about three livres profit a year. Supposing them
three toises apart, there will be one hundred to the arpent, which
gives three hundred livres a year, besides the corn growing on the same
ground. A league below Vienne, on the opposite side of the river, is
Cote Rotie. It is a string of broken hills, extending a league on the
river, from the village of Ampuis to the town of Condrieu. The soil
is white, tinged a little, sometimes, with yellow, sometimes with red,
stony, poor, and laid up in terraces. Those parts of the hills only,
which look to the sun at mid-day, or the earlier hours of the afternoon,
produce wines of the first quality. Seven hundred vines, three feet
apart, yield a _feuillette_, which is about two and a half _pièces_,
to the arpent. The best red wine is produced at the upper end, in the
neighborhood of Ampuis; the best white, next to Condrieu. They sell of
the first quality and last vintage, at one hundred and fifty livres the
_pièce_, equal to twelve sous the bottle. Transportation to Paris is
sixty livres, and the bottle four sous; so it may be delivered at Paris
in bottles, at twenty sous. When old, it costs ten or eleven louis the
_pièce_. There is a quality which keeps well, bears transportation, and
cannot be drunk under four years. Another must be drunk at a year old.
They are equal in flavor and price.

The wine called Hermitage, is made on the hills impending over the
village of Tain; on one of which is the hermitage which gives name to
the hills for about two miles, and to the wine made on them. There are
but three of those hills which produce wine of the first quality, and
of these, the middle regions only. They are about three hundred feet
perpendicular height, three quarters of a mile in length, and have a
southern aspect. The soil is scarcely tinged red, consists of small
rotten stone, and is, where the best wine is made, without any
perceptible mixture of earth. It is in sloping terraces. They use a
little dung. An _homme de vignes_, which consists of seven hundred
plants, three feet apart, yields generally about three quarters of a
_pièce_, which is nearly four _pièces_ to the arpent. When new, the
pièce is sold at about two hundred and twenty-five livres; when old, at
three hundred. It cannot be drunk under four years, and improves fastest
in a hot situation. There is so little white made in proportion to the
red, that it is difficult to buy it separate. They make the white sell
the red. If bought separately, it is from fifteen to sixteen louis the
pièce, new, and three livres the bottle, old. To give quality to
the red, they mix one eighth of white grapes. Portage to Paris is
seventy-two livres the pièce, weighing six hundred pounds. There are but
about one thousand _pièces_ of both red and white, of the first quality,
made annually. Vineyards are never rented here, nor are laborers in the
vineyard hired by the year. They leave buds proportioned to the strength
of the vine, sometimes as much as fifteen inches. The last hermit died
in 1751.

In the neighborhood of Montelimart, and below that, they plant vines in
rows, six, eight, or ten feet apart, and two feet asunder in the row,
filling the intervals with corn. Sometimes the vines are in double rows,
two feet apart. I saw single asses in ploughs proportioned to their
strength. There are few chateaux in this province. The people, too,
are mostly gathered into villages. There are, however, some scattering
farm-houses. These are made either of mud, or of round stone and mud.
They make enclosures also, in both those ways. Day-laborers receive,
sixteen or eighteen sous the day, and feed themselves. Those by the year
receive, men three louis, women half that, and are fed. They rarely eat
meat; a single hog, salted, being the year's stock for a family. But
they have plenty of cheese, eggs, potatoes, and other vegetables, and
walnut oil with their salad. It is a trade here, to gather dung along
the road for their vines. This proves they have few cattle. I have seen
neither hares nor partridges since I left Paris, nor wild fowl on any
of the rivers. The roads from Lyons to St. Rambert are neither paved
nor gravelled. After that, they are coated with broken flint. The
ferry-boats on the Rhone and the Isere, are moved by the stream, and
very rapidly. On each side of the river is a moveable stage, one end of
which is on an axle and two wheels, which, according to the tide, can
be advanced or withdrawn, so as to apply to the gunwale of the boat. The
Praetorian Palace at Vienne, is forty-four feet wide, of the Corinthian
order, four columns in front, and four in flank. It was begun in the
year 400, and finished by Charlemagne.

The sepulchral Pyramid, a little way out of the town, has an order for
its basement, the pedestal of which, from point to point of its cap,
is twenty-four feet, one inch. At each angle, is a column, engaged one
fourth in the wall. The circumference of the three fourths disengaged,
is four feet four inches; consequently, the diameter is twenty-three
inches. The base of the column indicates it to be Ionic, but the
capitals are not formed. The cornice, too, is a bastard Ionic, without
modillions or dentils. Between the columns, on each side, is an arch of
eight feet, four inches, opening with a pilaster on each side of it. On
the top of the basement is a zocle, in the plane of the frieze below.
On that is the pyramid, its base in the plane of the collarins of the
pilaster below. The pyramid is a little truncated on its top. This
monument is inedited.

March 18. _Principality of Orange_. The plains on the Rhone here, are
two or three leagues wide, reddish, good, in corn, clover, almonds,
olives. No forests. Here begins the country of olives, there being very
few till we enter this principality. They are the only tree which I see
planted among vines. Thyme grows wild here on the hills. Asses, very
small, sell here for two or three louis. The high hills in Dauphine are
covered with snow. The remains of the Roman aqueduct are of brick: a
fine pièce of Mosaic, still on its bed, forming the floor of a cellar.
Twenty feet of it still visible. They are taking down the circular wall
of the Amphitheatre to pave a road.


March 19 to 23. LANGUEDOC. _Pont-St.-Esprit. Bagnols. Connaux.
Valignitres. Remoulins. St. Gervasy. Vismes. Pont d'Aries._ To
Remoulins, there is a mixture of hill and dale. Thence to Nismes, hills
on the right, on the left, plains extending to the Rhone and the sea.
The hills are rocky. Where there is soil, it is reddish and poor. The
-plains generally reddish and good, but stony. When you approach the
Rhone, going to Arles, the soil becomes a dark gray loam with some sand,
and very good. The culture is corn, clover, saintfoin, olives, vines,
mulberries, willow, and some almonds. There is no forest. The hills are
enclosed in dry stone-wall. Many sheep.

From the summit of the first hill, after leaving Pont-St.-Esprit, there
is a beautiful view of the bridge at about two miles' distance, and a
fine landscape of the country both ways. From thence, an excellent
road, judiciously conducted, through very romantic scenes. In one part,
descending the face of a hill, it is laid out in serpentine, and not
zigzag, to ease the descent. In others, it passes through a winding
meadow, from fifty to one hundred yards wide, walled, as it were, on
both sides, by hills of rock; and at length issues into plain country.
The waste hills are covered with thyme, box, and chene-vert. Where the
body of the mountains has a surface of soil, the summit has sometimes a
crown of rock, as observed in Champagne. At Nismes, the earth is full of
lime-stone. The horses are shorn. They are now pruning the olive. A very
good tree produces sixty pounds of olives, which yield fifteen pounds of
oil: the best quality selling at twelve sous the pound, retail, and ten
sous, wholesale. The high hills of Languedoc still covered with snow.
The horse-chestnut and mulberry are leafing; apple trees and peas
blossoming. The first butterfly I have seen. After the vernal equinox,
they are often six or eight months without rain. Many separate
farm-houses, numbers of people in rags, and abundance of beggars. The
_mine_ of wheat, weighing thirty pounds, costs four livres and ten
sous. Wheat bread, three sous the pound. _Vin ordinaire_, good, and of
a strong body, two or three sous the bottle. Oranges, one sous
apiece. They are nearly finishing at Nismes a great mill, worked by a
steam-engine, which pumps water from a lower into an upper cistern, from
whence two overshot wheels are supplied, each of which turns two pair
of stones. The upper cistern being once filled with water, it passes
through the wheels into the lower one, from whence it is returned to the
upper by the pumps. A stream of water of one quarter or one half inch
diameter, supplies the waste of evaporation, absorption, fee. This is
furnished from a well by a horse. The arches of the Pont-St.-Esprit
are of eighty-eight feet. Wild figs, very flourishing, grow out of the
joints of the Pont-du-Gard. The fountain of Nismes is so deep, that a
stone was thirteen seconds descending from the surface to the bottom.

March 24. From Nismes to Arles. The plains extending from Nismes to the
Rhone, in the direction of Aries, are broken in one place by a skirt
of low hills. They are red and stony at first, but as you approach the
Rhone, they are of a dark gray mould, with a little sand, and very good.
They are in corn and clover, vines, olives, almonds, mulberries, and
willow. There are some sheep, no wood, no enclosures.

The high hills of Languedoc are covered with snow. At an ancient church,
in the suburbs of Aries, are some hundreds of ancient stone coffins,
along the road-side. The ground is thence called _Les Champs Elysees_.
In a vault in a church, are some curiously wrought, and in a back yard
are many ancient statues, inscriptions, &c. Within the town are a part
of two Corinthian columns, and of the pediment with which they were
crowned, very rich, having belonged to the ancient capitol of the place.

But the principal monument here, is an amphitheatre, the external
portico of which is tolerably complete. How many porticoes there were,
cannot be seen; but at one of the principal gates there are still five,
measuring, from out to in, seventy-eight feet, ten inches, the vault
diminishing inwards. There are sixty-four arches, each of which is, from
centre to centre, twenty feet, six inches. Of course, the diameter is of
four hundred and thirty-eight feet; or of four hundred and fifty feet,
if we suppose the four principal arches a little larger than the rest.
The ground floor is supported on innumerable vaults. The first story,
externally, has a tall pedestal, like a pilaster, between every two
arches; the upper story, a column, the base of which would indicate it
Corinthian. Every column is truncated as low as the impost of the arch,
but the arches are all entire. The whole of the upper entablature is
gone, and of the Attic, if there was one. Not a single seat of the
internal is visible. The whole of the inside, and nearly the whole
of the outside, is masked by buildings. It is supposed there are one
thousand inhabitants within the amphitheatre. The walls are more entire
and firm than those of the _ampitheatre_ at Nismes. I suspect its plan and
distribution to have been very different from that.

_Terrasson_. The plains of the Rhone from Arles to this place, are
a league or two wide; the mould is of a dark gray, good, in corn and
lucerne. Neither wood, nor enclosures. Many sheep.

_St. Remy_. From Terrasson to St. Remy, is a plain of a league or two
wide, bordered by broken hills of massive rock. It is gray and stony,
mostly in olives. Some almonds, mulberries, willows, vines, corn, and
lucerne. Many sheep. No forest, nor enclosures.

A laboring man's wages here, are one hundred and fifty livres, a woman's
half, and fed. Two hundred and eighty pounds of wheat sell for forty-two
livres. They make no butter here. It costs, when brought, fifteen sous
the pound. Oil is ten sous the pound. Tolerably good olive trees yield,
one with another, about twenty pounds of oil. An olive tree must be
twenty years old before it has paid its own expenses. It lasts for ever.
In 1765, it was so cold, that the Rhone was frozen over at Aries for two
months. In 1767, there was a cold spell of a week, which killed all the
olive trees. From being fine weather, in one hour there was ice hard
enough to bear a horse. It killed people on the road. The old roots of
the olive trees put out again. Olive grounds sell for twenty-four livres
a tree, and lease at twenty-four sous the tree. The trees are fifteen
pieds apart. But lucerne is a more profitable culture. An arpent yields
one hundred quintals of hay a year, worth three livres the quintal.
It is cut four or five times a year. It is sowed in the broadcast, and
lasts five or six years. An arpent of ground for corn rents at from
thirty to thirty-six livres. Their leases are for six or nine years.
They plant willow for fire-wood, and for hoops to their casks. It
seldom rains here in summer. There are some chateaux, many separate
farm-houses, good, and ornamented in the small way, so as to show
that the tenant's whole time is not occupied in procuring physical
necessaries.

March 25. _Orgon. Pontroyal. St. Cannat_. From Orgon to Pontroyal, after
quitting the plains of the Rhone, the country seems still to be a plain,
cut into compartments by chains of mountains of massive rock, running
through it in various directions. From Pontroyal to St. Cannat, the land
lies rather in basins. The soil is very various, gray and clay, gray and
stony, red and stony; sometimes good, sometimes middling, often barren.
We find some golden willows. Towards Pontroyal, the hills begin to be
in vines and afterwards in some pasture of greensward and clover. About
Orgon are some enclosures of quick-set, others of conical yews planted
close. Towards St. Cannat, they begin to be of stone.

The high mountains are covered with snow. Some separate farm-houses of
mud. Near Pontroyal is a canal for watering the country; one branch goes
to Terrasson, the other to Arles.

March 25, 26, 27, 28. _Aix_. The country is waving, in vines, pasture
of greensward and clover, much enclosed with stone, and abounding with
sheep.

On approaching Aix, the valley which opens from thence towards the mouth
of the Rhone and the sea, is rich and beautiful; a perfect grove of
olive trees, mixed among which are corn, lucerne, and vines. The waste
grounds throw out thyme and lavender. Wheat bread is three sous the
pound. Cow's milk sixteen sous the quart, sheep's milk six sous, butter
of sheep's milk twenty sous the pound. Oil, of the best quality, is
twelve sous the pound, and sixteen sous if it be virgin oil. This
is what runs from the olive when put into the press, spontaneously;
afterwards they are forced by the press and by hot water. Dung costs ten
sous the one hundred pounds. Their fire-wood is chene-vert and willow.
The latter is lopped every three years. An ass sells for from one to
three louis; the best mules for thirty louis. The best asses will carry
two hundred pounds; the best horses three hundred pounds; the best mules
six hundred pounds. The temperature of the mineral waters of Aix is 90°
of Fahrenheit's thermometer, at the spout. A mule eats half as much as
a horse. The allowance to an ass for the day, is a handful of bran mixed
with straw. The price of mutton and beef, about six and a half sous the
pound. The beef comes from Auvergne, and is poor and bad. The mutton
is small, but of excellent flavor. The wages of a laboring man are one
hundred and fifty livres the year, a woman's sixty to sixty-six livres,
and fed. Their bread is half wheat, half rye, made once in three or four
weeks, to prevent too great a consumption. In the morning they eat bread
with an anchovy, or an onion. Their dinner in the middle of the day
is bread, soup, and vegetables. Their supper the same. With their
vegetables, they have always oil and vinegar. The oil costs about eight
sous the pound. They drink what is called _piquette_. This is made after
the grapes are pressed, by pouring hot water on the pumice. On Sunday
they have meat and wine. Their wood for building comes mostly from the
Alps, down the Durance and Rhone. A stick of pine, fifty feet long,
girting six feet and three inches at one end, and three feet three
inches at the other, costs, delivered here, from fifty-four to sixty
livres. Sixty pounds of wheat cost seven livres. One of their little
asses will travel with his burthen about five or six leagues a day, and
day by day; a mule from six to eight leagues.*

     * It is twenty American miles from Aix to Marseilles, and
     they call it five leagues. Their league, then, is of four
     American miles.

March 29. Marseilles. The country is hilly, intersected by chains of
hills and mountains of massive rock. The soil is reddish, stony, and
indifferent where best. Wherever there is any soil, it is covered
with olives. Among these are corn, vines, some lucerne, mulberry, some
almonds, and willow. Neither enclosures, nor forest. A very few sheep.

On the road I saw one of those little whirlwinds which we have in
Virginia, also some gullied hill-sides. The people are in separate
establishments. Ten morning observations of the thermometer, from the
20th to the 31st of March inclusive, made at Nismes, St. Remy, Aix,
and Marseilles, give me an average of 52 1/2°, and 46° and 61°, for the
greatest and least morning heats. Nine afternoon observations, yield an
average of 62 2/3°, and 57° and 66°, the greatest and least. The longest
day here, from sunrise to sunset, is fifteen hours and fourteen minutes;
the shortest is eight hours and forty-six minutes; the latitude being
---------.

There are no tides in the Mediterranean. It is observed to me, that the
olive tree grows nowhere more than thirty leagues distant from that sea.
I suppose, however, that both Spain and Portugal furnish proofs to the
contrary, and doubt its truth as to Asia, Africa, and America. They are
six or eight months at a time, here, without rain. The most delicate
figs known in Europe, are those growing about this place, called _figues
Marseilloises_, or _les veritables Marseilloises_, to distinguish them
from others of inferior quality growing here. These keep any length of
time. All others exude a sugar in the spring of the year, and become
sour. The only process for preserving them, is drying them in the sun,
without putting any thing to them whatever. They sell at fifteen sous
the pound, while there are others as cheap as five sous the pound. I
meet here a small dried grape from Smyrna, without a seed. There are few
of the plants growing in this neighborhood. The best grape for drying,
known here, is called _des Panses_. They are very large, with a thick
skin and much juice. They are best against a wall of southern aspect, as
their abundance of juice requires a great deal of sun to dry it. Pretty
good fig trees are about the size of the apricot tree, and yield about
twenty pounds of figs when dry, each. But the largest will yield the
value of a louis. They are sometimes fifteen inches in diameter. It is
said that the Marseilles fig degenerates when transported into any other
part of the country. The leaves of the mulberry tree will sell for about
three livres, the purchaser gathering them. The caper is a creeping
plant. It is killed to the roots every winter. In the spring it puts out
branches, which creep to the distance of three feet from the centre. The
fruit forms on the stem, as that extends itself, and must be gathered
every day, as it forms. This is the work of women. The pistache grows in
this neighborhood also, but not very good. They eat them in their milky
state. Monsieur de Bergasse has a wine-cellar two hundred and forty
_pieds_ long, in which are one hundred and twenty tons, of from fifty to
one hundred _pièces_ each. These tons are twelve _pieds_ diameter, the
staves four inches thick, the heading two and a half _pouces_ thick. The
temperature of his cellar is of 9 1/2° of Reaumur. The best method of
packing wine, when bottled, is to lay the bottles on their side, and
cover them with sand. The 2d of April, the young figs are formed; the
4th we have Windsor beans. They have had asparagus ever since the middle
of March. The 5th, I see strawberries and the Guelder rose in blossom.
To preserve the raisin, it is first dipped into ley, and then dried in
the sun. The aloe grows in the open ground. I measure a mule, not
the largest, five feet and two inches high. Marseilles is in an
amphitheatre, at the mouth of the Veaune, surrounded by high mountains
of naked rock, distant two or three leagues. The country within that
amphitheatre is a mixture of small hills, vallies, and plains. The
latter are naturally rich. The hills and vallies are forced into
production. Looking from the _Chateau de Notre Dame de la Garde_, it
would seem as if there was a _bastide_ for every arpent. The plain-lands
sell for one hundred louis the _carterelle_, which is less than an acre.
The ground of the arsenal in Marseilles sold for from fifteen to forty
louis the square verge, being nearly the square yard English. In the
fields open to the sea, they are obliged to plant rows of canes, every
here and there, to break the force of the wind. Saw at the Chateau
Borelli pumps worked by the wind.

April 6. From _Marseilles_ to _Aubagne_. A valley on the Veaune,
bordered on each side by high mountains of massive rock, on which
are only some small pines. The interjacent valley is of small hills,
vallies, and plains, reddish, gravelly, and originally poor, but
fertilized by art, and covered with corn, vines, olives, figs, almonds,
mulberries, lucerne, and clover. The river is twelve or fifteen feet
wide, one or two feet deep, and rapid.

From _Aubagne_ to _Cuges, Beausset, Toulon_. The road, quitting the
Veaune and its wealthy valley, a little after Aubagne, enters those
mountains of rock, and is engaged with them about a dozen miles. Then it
passes six or eight miles through a country still very hilly and stony,
but laid up in terraces, covered with olives, vines, and corn. It
then follows for two or three miles a hollow between two of those
high mountains, which has been, found or made by a small stream.
The mountains then reclining a little from their perpendicular, and
presenting a coat of soil, reddish, and tolerably good, have given place
to the little village of Olioules, in the gardens of which are oranges
in the open ground. It continues hilly till we enter the plain of
Toulon. On different parts of this road there are figs in the open
fields. At Cuges is a plain of about three fourths of a mile diameter,
surrounded by high mountains of rock. In this the caper is principally
cultivated. The soil is mulatto, gravelly, and of middling quality, or
rather indifferent. The plants are set in _quincunx_, about eight feet
apart. They have been covered during winter by a hill of earth a foot
high. They are now enclosing, pruning, and ploughing them.

_Toulon_. From Olioules to Toulon the figs are in the open fields. Some
of them have stems of fifteen inches diameter. They generally fork near
the ground, but sometimes have a single stem of five feet long. They
are as large as apricot trees. The olive trees of this day's journey
are about the size of large apple trees. The people are in separate
establishments. Toulon is in a valley at the mouth of the Goutier, a
little river of the size of the Veaune; surrounded by high mountains of
naked rock, leaving some space between them and the sea. This space is
hilly, reddish, gravelly, and of middling quality, in olives, vines,
corn, almonds, figs, and capers. The capers are planted eight feet
apart. A bush yields, one year with another, two pounds, worth twelve
sous the pound. Every plant, then, yields twenty-four sous, equal to
one shilling sterling. An acre, containing six hundred and seventy-six
plants, would yield thirty-three pounds sixteen shillings sterling. The
fruit is gathered by women, who can gather about twelve pounds a day.
They begin to gather about the last of June, and end about the middle of
October. Each plant must be picked every day. These plants grow equally
well in the best or worst soil, or even in the walls, where there is no
soil. They will last the life of a man, or longer. The heat is so great
at Toulon in summer, as to occasion very great cracks in the earth.
Where the caper is in a soil that will admit it, they plough it. They
have pease here through the winter, sheltering them occasionally; and
they have had them ever since the 25th of March, without shelter.

April 6. _Hieres_. This is a plain of two or three miles diameter,
bounded by the sea on one side, and mountains of rock on the other. The
soil is reddish, gravelly, tolerably good, and well watered. It is in
olives, mulberries, vines, figs, corn, and some flax. There are also
some cherry trees. From Hieres to the sea, which is two or three miles,
is a grove of orange trees, olives, and mulberries. The largest orange
tree is of two feet diameter one way, and one foot the other (for the
section of all the larger ones would be an oval, not a round), and about
twenty feet high. Such a tree will yield about six thousand oranges a
year. The garden of M. Fille has fifteen thousand six hundred orange,
trees. Some years they yield forty thousand livres, some only ten
thousand; but generally about twenty-five thousand. The trees are from
eight to ten feet apart. They are blossoming and bearing, all the year,
flowers and fruit in every stage at the same time. But the best fruit
is that which is gathered in April and May. Hieres is a village of about
five thousand inhabitants, at the foot of a mountain, which covers it
from the north, and from which extends a plain of two or three miles to
the sea-shore. It has no port. Here are palm trees twenty or thirty feet
high, but they bear no fruit. There is also a botanical garden kept by
the King. Considerable salt-ponds here. Hieres is six miles from the
public road. It is built on a narrow spur of the mountain. The streets
in every direction are steep, in steps of stairs, and about eight feet
wide. No carriage of any kind can enter it. The wealthier inhabitants
use _chaises à porteurs_. But there are few wealthy, the bulk of the
inhabitants being laborers of the earth. At a league's distance in the
sea is an island, on which is the Chateau de Géans, belonging to the
Marquis de Pontoives: there is a causeway leading to it. The cold of the
last November killed the leaves of a great number of the orange-trees,
and some of the trees themselves.

From Hieres to _Cuers, Pignans, Luc_, is mostly a plain, with mountains
on each hand at a mile or two distance. The soil is generally reddish,
and the latter part very red and good. The growth is olives, figs,
vines, mulberries, corn, clover, and lucerne. The olive trees are
from three to four feet in diameter. There are hedges of pomegranates,
sweet-briar, and broom. A great deal of thyme growing wild. There are
some enclosures of stone; some sheep and goats.

April 9. From Luc to _Vidavban, Muy, Frejus_, the road leads through
vallies, and crosses occasionally the mountains which separate them. The
vallies are tolerably good, always red and stony, gravelly or gritty.
Their produce as before. The mountains are barren.

_Lesterelle, Napoule_. Eighteen miles of ascent and descent of a very
high mountain. Its growth, where capable of any, two-leaved pine, very
small, and some chêne vert.

_Antibes, Nice_. From Napoule the road is generally near the sea,
passing over little hills or strings of vallies, the soil stony, and
much below mediocrity in its quality. Here and there is a good plain.

There is snow on the high mountains. The first frogs I have heard are
of this day (the 9th). At Antibes are oranges in the open ground, but
in small enclosures; palm trees also. From thence to the Var are
the largest fig trees and olive trees I have seen. The fig trees are
eighteen inches in diameter, and six feet stem; the olives sometimes
six feet in diameter, and as large heads as the largest low-ground apple
trees. This tree was but a shrub where I first fell in with it, and
has become larger and larger to this place. The people are mostly in
villages. The several provinces, and even cantons, are distinguished
by the form of the women's hats, so that one may know of what canton a
woman is by her hat.

_Nice_. The pine-bur is used here for kindling fires. The people are in
separate establishments. With respect to the orange, there seems to
be no climate on this side of the Alps sufficiently mild in itself
to preserve it without shelter. At Olioules they are between two high
mountains; at Hieres covered on the north by a very high mountain;
at Antibes and Nice covered by mountains, and also within small, high
enclosures. _Quære_. To trace the true line from east to west, which
forms the northern and natural limit of that fruit? Saw an elder tree
(sambucus) near Nice, fifteen inches in diameter, and eight feet stem.
The wine made in this neighborhood is good, though not of the first
quality. There are one thousand mules, loaded with merchandise, which
pass every week between Nice and Turin, counting those coming as well as
going.

April 13. _Scarena. Sospello_. There are no orange trees after we leave
the environs of Nice. We lose the olive after rising a little above the
village of Scarena, on Mount Braus, and find it again on the other side,
a little before we get down to Sospello. But wherever there is soil
enough it is terraced, and in corn. The waste parts are either in
two-leaved pine and thyme, or of absolutely naked rock. Sospello is on
a little torrent, called Bevera, which runs into the river Roia, at the
mouth of which is Ventimiglia. The olive trees on the mountain are now
loaded with fruit; while some at Sospello are in blossom. Fire-wood here
and at Scarena costs fifteen sous the quintal.

April 14. _Ciandola. Tende_. In crossing Mount Brois we lose the olive
tree after getting to a certain height, and find it again on the other
side at the village of Breglio. Here we come to the river Roia, which,
after receiving the branch on which is Sospello, leads to the sea at
Ventimiglia. The Roia is about twelve yards wide, and abounds with
speckled trout. Were a road made from Breglio, along the side of the
Roia to Ventimiglia, it might turn the commerce of Turin to this last
place instead of Nice; because it would avoid the mountains of Braus and
Brois, leaving only that of Tende; that is to say, it would avoid more
than half the difficulties of the passage. Further on, we come to the
Chateau di Saorgio, where a scene is presented the most singular and
picturesque I ever saw. The castle and village seem hanging to a cloud
in front. On the right is a mountain cloven through, to let pass
a gurgling stream; on the left, a river, over which is thrown a
magnificent bridge. The whole forms a basin, the sides of which are
shagged with rocks, olive trees, vines, herds, &c. Near here I saw
a tub-wheel without a ream; the trunk descended from the top of
the water-fall to the wheel in a direct line, but with the usual
inclination. The produce along this passage is most generally olives,
except on the heights as before observed; also corn, vines, mulberries,
figs, cherries, and walnuts. They have cows, goats, and sheep. In
passing on towards Tende, olives fail us ultimately at the village of
Fontan, and there the chestnut trees begin in good quantity.
Ciandola consists of only two houses, both taverns. Tende is a very
inconsiderable village, in which they have not yet the luxury of glass
windows: nor in any of the villages on this passage have they yet
the fashion of powdering the hair. Common stone and limestone are so
abundant, that the apartments of every story are vaulted with stone to
save wood.

April 15. _Limone. Coni_. I see abundance of lime-stone as far as the
earth is uncovered with snow; i.e. within half or three quarters of an
hour's walk of the top. The snows descend much lower on the eastern
than western side. Wherever there is soil, there is corn quite to the
commencement of the snows, and I suppose under them also. The waste
parts are in two-leaved pine, lavender, and thyme. From the foot of
the mountain to Coni the road follows a branch of the Po, the plains of
which begin narrow, and widen at length into a general plain country,
bounded on one side by the Alps. They are good, dark-colored, sometimes
tinged with red, and in pasture, corn, mulberries, and some almonds. The
hill-sides bordering these plains are reddish, and where they admit of
it are in corn; but this is seldom. They are mostly in chestnut, and
often absolutely barren. The whole of the plains are plentifully watered
from the river, as is much of the hill-side. A great deal of golden
willow all along the rivers on the whole of this passage through the
Alps. The southern parts of France, but still more the passage through
the Alps, enable one to form a scale of the tenderer plants, arranging
them according to their several powers of resisting cold. Ascending
three different mountains, Braus, Brois, and Tende, they disappear one
after another: and descending on the other side, they show themselves
again one after another. This is their order, from the tenderest to the
hardiest. Caper, orange, palm, aloe, olive, pomegranate, walnut, fig,
almond. But this must be understood of the plant; for as to the
fruit, the order is somewhat different. The caper, for example, is the
tenderest plant, yet being so easily protected, it is the most certain
in its fruit. The almond, the hardiest plant, loses its fruit the
oftenest on account of its forwardness. The palm, hardier than the caper
and the orange, never produces perfect fruit in these parts. Coni is a
considerable town, and pretty well built. It is walled.

April 16. _Centale. Savigliano. Racconigi. Poirino. Turin_. The Alps,
as far as they are in view from north to south, show the gradation of
climate by the line which terminates the snows lying on them. This
line begins at their foot northwardly, and rises as they pass on to
the south, so as to be half way up their sides on the most southern
undulations of the mountain now in view. From the mountains to Turin we
see no tree tenderer than the walnut. Of these, as well as of almonds
and mulberries, there are a few: somewhat more of vines, but most
generally willows and poplars. Corn is sowed with all these. They mix
with them also clover and small grass. The country is a general plain;
the soil dark, and sometimes, though rarely, reddish. It is rich, and
much infested with wild onions. At Racconigi I see the tops and shocks
of maize, which prove it is cultivated here: but it can be in small
quantities only, because I observe very little ground but what has
already something else in it. Here and there are small patches prepared,
I suppose, for maize. They have a method of planting the vine, which I
have not seen before. At intervals of about eight feet they plant from
two to six plants of vine in a cluster At each cluster they fix a forked
staff, the plane of the prongs of the fork at a right angle with the
row of vines. Athwart these prongs they lash another staff, like a
handspike, about eight feet long, horizontally, seven or eight feet from
the ground. Of course, it crosses the rows at right angles. The vines
are brought from the foot of the fork up to this cross-piece, turned
over it, and conducted along over the next, the next, and so on, as far
as they will extend, the whole forming an arbor eight feet wide and high
and of the whole length of the row, little interrupted by the stems of
the vines, which being close around the fork, pass up through hoops, so
as to occupy a space only of small diameter. All the buildings in this
country are of brick, sometimes covered with plaister, sometimes not.
There is a very large and handsome bridge, of seven arches, over the
torrent of Sangone. We cross the Po in swinging batteaux. Two are placed
side by side, and kept together by a plank-floor, common to both, and
lying on the gunwales. The carriage drives on this, without taking out
any of the horses. About one hundred and fifty yards up the river is a
fixed stake, and a rope tied to it, the other end of which is made fast
to one side of the batteaux, so as to throw them oblique to the current.
The stream then acting on them, as on an inclined plane, forces them
across the current in the portion of a circle, of which the rope is
the radius. To support the rope in its whole length, there are two
intermediate canoes, about fifty yards apart, in the heads of which are
short masts. To the top of these the rope is lashed, the canoes being
free otherwise to concur with the general vibration in their smaller
arcs of circles. The Po is there about fifty yards wide, and about one
hundred in the neighborhood of Turin.

April 17, 18. _Turin_. The first nightingale I have heard this year is
to-day (18th). There is a red wine of Nebiule made in this neighborhood,
which is very singular. It is about as sweet as the silky Madeira, as
astringent on the palate as Bordeaux, and as brisk as Champagne. It is a
pleasing wine. At Moncaglieri, about six miles from Turin, on the right
side of the Po, begins a ridge of mountains, which, following the Po
by Turin, after some distance, spreads wide, and forms the duchy of
Montferrat. The soil is mostly red, and in vines, affording a wine
called Montferrat, which is thick and strong.

April 19. _Settimo. Chivasso. Ciliano. S. Germano. Vercelli_. The
country continues plain and rich, the soil black. The culture, corn,
pasture, maize, vines, mulberries, walnuts, some willow, and poplar.
The maize bears a very small proportion to the small grain. The earth is
formed into ridges from three to four feet wide, and the maize sowed in
the broad-cast, on the higher parts of the ridge, so as to cover a third
or half of the whole surface. It is sowed late in May. This country
is plentifully and beautifully watered at present. Much of it is by
torrents, which are dry in summer. These torrents make a great deal
of waste ground, covering it with sand and stones. These wastes are
sometimes planted in trees, sometimes quite unemployed. They make hedges
of willows, by setting the plants from one to three feet apart. When
they are grown to the height of eight or ten feet, they bend them down,
and interlace them one with another. I do not see any of these, however,
which are become old. Probably, therefore, they soon die. The women here
smite on the anvil, and work with the maul and spade. The people of this
country are ill dressed in comparison with those of France, and there
are more spots of uncultivated ground. The plough here is made with a
single handle, which is a beam twelve feet long, six inches in diameter
below, and tapered to about two inches at the upper end. They use goads
for the oxen, not whips. The first swallows I have seen are to-day.
There is a wine called Gatina, made in the neighborhood of Vercelli,
both red and white. The latter resembles Calcavallo. There is also a
red wine of Salusola, which is esteemed. It is very light. In the
neighborhood of Vercelli begin the rice-fields. The water with which
they are watered is very dear. They do not permit rice to be sown within
two miles of the cities, on account of the insalubrity. Notwithstanding
this, when the water is drawn off the fields, in August, the whole
country is subject to agues and fevers. They estimate, that the same
measure of ground yields three times as much rice as wheat, and with
half the labor. They are now sowing. As soon as sowed, they let on the
water two or three inches deep. After six weeks, or two months, they
draw it off to weed; then let it on again, and it remains till August,
when it is drawn off, about three or four weeks before the grain is
ripe. In September they cut it. It is first threshed; then beaten in
the mortar to separate the husk; then, by different siftings, it is
separated into three qualities. Twelve rupes, equal to three hundred
pounds of twelve ounces each, sell for sixteen livres, money of
Piedmont, where the livre is exactly the shilling of England. Twelve
rupes of maize sell for nine livres. The machine for separating the
husk is thus made. In the axis of a water-wheel are a number of arms
inserted, which, as they revolve, catches each the cog of a pestle,
lifts it to a certain height, and lets it fall again. These pestles are
five and a quarter inches square, ten feet long, and at their lower end
formed into a truncated cone of three inches diameter, where cut off.
The conical part is covered with iron. The pestles are ten and a half
inches apart in the clear. They pass through two horizontal beams, which
string them, as it were, together, and while the mortises in the beams
are so loose, as to let the pestles work vertically, it restrains them
to that motion. There is a mortar of wood, twelve or fifteen inches
deep, under each pestle, covered with a board, the hole of which is only
large enough to let the pestle pass freely. There are two arms in the
axis for every pestle, so that the pestle gives two strokes for every
revolution of the wheel. Poggio, a muleteer, who passes every week
between Vercelli and Genoa, will smuggle a sack of rough rice for me to,
Genoa; it being death to export it in that form. They have good cattle,
and in good number, mostly cream-colored; and some middle-sized sheep.
The streams furnish speckled trout.

April 20. _Novara. Buffalora. Sedriano. Milan_. From Vercelli to
Novara the fields are all in rice, and now mostly under water. The
dams separating the several water-plats or ponds, are set in willow. At
Novara there are some figs in the gardens in situations well protected.
From Novara to the Ticino it is mostly stony and waste, grown up in
broom. From Ticino to Milan it is all in corn. Among the corn are
willows, principally, a good many mulberries, some walnuts, and here
and there an almond. The country still a plain, the soil black and rich,
except between Novara and the Ticino, as before mentioned. There is very
fine pasture round Vercelli and Novara to the distance of two miles,
within which rice is not permitted. We cross the Sisto on the same
kind of vibrating or pendulum boat as on the Po. The river is eighty
or ninety yards wide; the rope fastened to an island two hundred yards
above, and supported by five intermediate canoes. It is about one and a
half inches in diameter. On these rivers they use a short oar of twelve
feet long, the flat end of which is hooped with iron, shooting out
a prong at each corner, so that it may be used occasionally as a
setting-pole. There is snow on the Apennines, near Genoa. They have
still another method here of planting the vine. Along rows of trees,
they lash poles from tree to tree. Between the trees, are set vines,
which, passing over the pole, are carried on to the pole of the,
next tree, whose vines are in like manner brought to this, and twined
together; thus forming the intervals between the rows of trees,
alternately, into arbors and open space. They have another method also
of making quick-set hedges. Willows are planted from one to two feet
apart, and interlaced, so that every one is crossed by three or four
others.

April 21, 22. _Milan_. Figs and pomegranates grow here, unsheltered,
as I am told. I saw none, and therefore suppose them rare. They had
formerly olives; but a great cold, in 1709, killed them, and they have
not been replanted. Among a great many houses painted _al fresco_, the
Casa Roma and Casa Candiani, by Appiani, and Casa Belgioiosa, by Martin,
are superior. In the second, is a small cabinet, the ceiling of which
is in small hexagons, within which are cameos and heads painted
alternately, no two the same. The _salon_ of the Casa-Belgioiosa is
superior to any thing 1 have ever seen. The mixture called _scagliuola_,
of which they make their walls and floors, is so like the finest marble,
as to be scarcely distinguishable from it. The nights of the 20th and
21st instant, the rice ponds froze half an inch thick. Droughts of two
or three months are not uncommon here, in summer. About five years ago,
there was such a hail as to kill cats. The Count del Verme tells me of
a pendulum odometer for the wheel of a carriage. Leases here are mostly
for nine years. Wheat costs a louis d'or the one hundred and forty
pounds. A laboring man receives sixty livres, and is fed and lodged. The
trade of this country is principally rice, raw silk, and cheese.

April 23. _Casino_, five miles from Milan. I examined another
rice-beater of six pestles. They are eight feet nine inches long. Their
ends, instead of being a truncated cone, have nine teeth of iron, bound
closely together. Each tooth is a double pyramid, joined at the base.
When put together, they stand with the upper ends placed in contact, so
as to form them into one great cone, and the lower ends diverging. The
upper are socketed into the end of the pestle, and the lower, when a
little blunted by use, are not unlike the jaw-teeth of the mammoth, with
their studs. They say here, that pestles armed with these teeth, clean
the rice faster, and break it less. The mortar, too, is of stone, which
is supposed as good as wood, and more durable. One half of these
pestles are always up. They rise about twenty-one inches; and each makes
thirty-eight strokes in a minute; one hundred pounds of rough rice is
put into the six mortars, and beaten somewhat less than a quarter of
an hour. It is then taken out, put into a sifter of four feet diameter,
suspended horizontally; sifted there; shifted into another of the same
size; sifted there; returned to the mortars; beaten a little more than
a quarter of an hour; sifted again; and it is finished. The six pestles
will clear four thousand pounds in twenty-four hours. The pound here
is twenty-eight ounces: the ounce equal to that of Paris. The best rice
requires half an hour's boiling; a more indifferent kind, somewhat less.
To sow the rice, they first plough the ground, then level it with a
drag-harrow, and let on the water; when the earth has become soft, they
smooth it with a shovel under the water, and then sow the rice in the
water.

_Rozzano_. Parmesan cheese. It is supposed this was formerly made at
Parma, and took its name thence; but none is made there now. It is made
through all the country extending from Milan, for one hundred and fifty
miles. The most is made about Lodi. The making of butter being connected
with that of making cheese, both must be described together. There are,
in the stables I saw, eighty-five cows, fed on hay and grass, not on
grain. They are milked twice in twenty-four hours, ten cows yielding
at the two milkings a _brenta_ of milk, which is twenty-four of our
gallons. The night's milk is scummed in the morning at daybreak, when
the cows are milked again, and the new milk mixed with the old. In three
hours, the whole mass is scummed a second time, the milk remaining in
a kettle for cheese, and the cream being put into a cylindrical churn,
shaped like a grind-stone, eighteen inches radius, and fourteen inches
thick. In this churn, there are three staves pointing inwardly, endwise,
to break the current of the milk. Through its centre passes an iron
axis, with a handle at each end. It is turned, about an hour and an
half, by two men, till the butter is produced. Then they pour off the
butter-milk, and put in some water which they agitate backwards and
forwards about a minute, and pour it off. They take out the butter,
press it with their hands into loaves, and stamp it. It has no other
washing. Sixteen American gallons of milk yield fifteen pounds of
butter, which sell at twenty-four sous the pound.

The milk, which, after being scummed as before, had been put into
a copper kettle, receives its due quantity of rennet, and is gently
warmed, if the season requires it. In about four hours, it becomes a
slip. Then the whey begins to separate. A little, of it is taken out.
The curd is then thoroughly broken by a machine like a chocolate-mill. A
quarter of an ounce of saffron is put to seven brentas of milk, to
give color to the cheese. The kettle is then moved over the hearth, and
heated by a quick fire till the curd is hard enough, being broken into
small lumps by continued stirring. It is moved off the fire, most of the
whey taken out, the curd compressed into a globe by the hand, a linen
cloth slipped under it, and it is drawn out in that. A loose hoop is
then laid on a bench, and the curd, as wrapped in the linen, is put into
the hoop: it is a little pressed by the hand, the hoop drawn tight,
and made fast. A board, two inches thick, is laid on it, and a stone on
that, of about twenty pounds weight. In an hour, the whey is run off,
and the cheese finished. They sprinkle a little salt on it every other
day in summer, and every day in winter, for six weeks. Seven _brentas_
of milk make a cheese of fifty pounds, which requires six months to
ripen, and is then dried to forty-five pounds. It sells on the spot for
eighty-eight livres, the one hundred pounds. There are now one hundred
and fifty cheeses in this dairy. They are nineteen inches diameter, and
six inches thick. They make a cheese a day, in summer, and two in three
days, or one in two days, in winter.

The whey is put back into the kettle, the butter-milk poured into it,
and of this, they make a poor cheese for the country people. The whey of
this is given to the hogs. Eight men suffice to keep the cows, and to do
all the business of this dairy. _Mascarponi_, a kind of curd, is made
by pouring some butter-milk into cream, which is thereby curdled, and is
then pressed in a linen cloth.

The ice-houses at Rozzano are dug about fifteen feet deep, and twenty
feet diameter, and poles are driven down all round. A conical thatched
roof is then put over them, fifteen feet high, and pieces of wood are
laid at bottom, to keep the ice out of the water which drips from it,
and goes off by a sink. Straw is laid on this wood, and then the house
filled with ice, always putting straw between the ice and the walls, and
covering ultimately with straw. About a third is lost by melting. Snow
gives the most delicate flavor to creams; but ice is the most
powerful congealer, and lasts longest. A tuft of trees surrounds these
ice-houses.

Round Milan, to the distance of five miles, are corn, pasture, gardens,
mulberries, willows, and vines. For, in this state, rice ponds are not
permitted within five miles of the cities.

_Binasco. Pavia_. Near Casino the rice-ponds begin, and continue to
within five miles of Pavia, the whole ground being in rice, pasture, and
willows. The pasture is in the rice grounds which are resting. In the
neighborhood of Pavia, again, are corn, pasture, &c. as round Milan.
They gave me green pease at Pavia.

April 24. _Voghera. Tortona. Novi_. From Pavia to Novi corn, pasture,
vines, mulberries, willows; but no rice. The country continues plain,
except that the Apennines are approaching on the left. The soil, always
good, is dark till we approach Novi, and then red. We cross the Po where
it is three hundred yards wide, in a pendulum boat. The rope is fastened
on one side of the river, three hundred yards above, and supported by
eight intermediate canoes, with little masts in them to give a greater
elevation to the rope. We pass in eleven minutes. Women, girls, and boys
are working with the hoe, and breaking the clods with mauls.

April 25. _Voltaggio. Campo-Marone. Genoa_. At Novi, the Apennines begin
to rise. Their growth of timber is oak, tall, small, and knotty, and
chestnut. We soon lose the walnut, ascending, and find it again, about
one fourth of the way down, on the south side. About halfway down, we
find figs and vines, which continue fine and in great abundance. The
Apennines are mostly covered with soil, and are in corn, pasture,
mulberries and figs, in the parts before indicated. About half way from
their foot to Genoa, at Campo-Marone, we find again the olive tree.
Hence the produce becomes mixed, of all the kinds before mentioned. The
method of sowing the Indian corn at Campo-Marone, is as follows. With
a hoe shaped like the blade of a trowel, two feet long, and six inches
broad at its upper end, pointed below, and a little curved, they make
a trench. In that, they drop the grains six inches apart. Then two feet
from that, they make another trench, throwing the earth they take out of
that on the grain of the last one, with a singular slight and quickness;
and so through the whole piece. The last trench is filled with the earth
adjoining.

April 26. _Genoa_. Strawberries at Genoa. Scaffold poles for the upper
parts of a wall, as for the third story, rest on the window sills of the
story below. Slate is used here for paving, for steps, for stairs (the
rise as well as tread), and for fixed Venetian blinds. At the Palazzo
Marcello Durazzo, benches with straight legs, and bottoms of cane. At
the Palazzo del Prencipe Lomellino, at Sestri, a phaeton with a canopy.
At the former, tables folding into one plane. At Nervi they have pease,
strawberries, &c. all the year round. The gardens of the Count Durazzo
at Nervi, exhibit as rich a mixture of the _utile dulci_, as I ever
saw. All the environs in Genoa are in olives, figs, oranges, mulberries,
corn, and garden-stuff. Aloes in many places, but they never flower.

April 28. _Noli_. The Apennine and Alps appear to me to be one and the
same continued ridge of mountains, separating every where the waters
of the Adriatic Gulf from those of the Mediterranean. Where it forms an
elbow, touching the Mediterranean, as a smaller circle touches a larger,
within which it is inscribed, in the manner of a tangent, the name
changes from Alps to Apennine. It is the beginning of the Apennine which
constitutes the state of Genoa, the mountains there generally falling
down in barren, naked precipices into the sea. Wherever there is soil
on the lower parts, it is principally in olives and figs, in vines also,
mulberries, and corn. Where there are hollows well protected, there
are oranges. This is the case at Golfo della Spezia, Sestri, Bugiasco,
Nervi, Genoa, Pegli, Savona, Finale, Oneglia (where there are
abundance), St. Rerno, Ventimiglia, Mentone, and Monaco. Noli, into
which I was obliged to put, by a change of wind, is forty miles from
Genoa. There are twelve hundred inhabitants in the village, and many
separate houses round about. One of the precipices hanging over the sea,
is covered with aloes. But neither here, nor any where else I have been,
could I procure satisfactory information that they ever flower. The
current of testimony is to the contrary. Noli furnishes many fishermen.
Paths penetrate up into the mountains in several directions, about three
fourths of a mile; but these are practicable only for asses and mules. I
saw no cattle nor sheep in the settlement. The wine they make, is white
and indifferent. A curious cruet for oil and vinegar in one piece, I saw
here. A bishop resides here, whose revenue is two thousand livres, equal
to sixty-six guineas. I heard a nightingale here.

April 29. _Albenga_. In walking along the shore from Louano to this
place, I saw no appearance of shells. The tops of the mountains are
covered with snow, while there are olive trees, &c. on the lower parts.
I do not remember to have seen assigned any where, the cause of the
apparent color of the sea. Its water is generally clear and colorless,
if taken up and viewed in a glass. That of the Mediterranean is
remarkably so. Yet in the mass, it assumes, _by reflection_, the color
of the sky or atmosphere, black, green, blue, according to the state of
the weather. If any person wished to retire from his acquaintance, to
live absolutely unknown, and yet in the midst of physical enjoyments,
it should be in some of the little villages of this coast, where air,
water, and earth concur to offer what each has, most precious. Here are
nightingales, beccaficas, ortolans, pheasants, partridges, quails, a
superb climate, and the power of changing it from summer to winter at
any moment, by ascending the mountains. The earth furnishes wine, oil,
figs, oranges, and every production of the garden, in every season. The
sea yields lobsters, crabs, oysters, tunny, sardines, anchovies, &c.
Ortolans sell, at this time, at thirty sous, equal to one shilling
sterling, the dozen. At this season, they must be fattened. Through the
whole of my route from Marseilles, I observe they plant a great deal
of cane or reed, which is convenient while growing, as a cover from
the cold and boisterous winds, and when cut, it serves for espaliers to
vines, pease, &c. Through Piedmont, Lombardy, the Milanese, and Genoese,
the garden bean is a great article of culture; almost as much so as
corn. At Albenga, is a rich plain opening from between two ridges of
mountains, triangularly, to the sea, and of several miles extent. Its
growth is olives, figs, mulberries, vines, corn, and beans. There is
some pasture. A bishop resides here, whose revenue is forty thousand
livres. This place is said to be rendered unhealthy in summer, by the
river which passes through the valley.

April 30. _Oneglia_. The wind continuing contrary, I took mules at
Albenga for Oneglia. Along this tract are many of the tree called
_caroubier_, being a species of locust. It is the _ceratonia siliqua_
of Linnaeus. Its pods furnish food for horses, and also for the poor,
in time of scarcity. It abounds in Naples and Spain. Oneglia and Port
Maurice, which are within a mile of each other, are considerable places,
and in a rich country. At St. Remo, are abundance of oranges and lemons,
and some palm trees.

May 1. _Ventimiglia. Mentone. Monaco. Nice_. At Bordighera, between
Ventimiglia and Mentone, are extensive plantations of palms, on the
hill as well as in the plain. They bring fruit, but it does not ripen.
Something is made of the midrib which is in great demand at Rome, on the
Palm Sunday, and which renders this tree profitable here. From Mentone
to Monaco, there is more good land, and extensive groves of oranges and
lemons. Orange water sells here at forty sous, equal to sixteen pence
sterling, the American quart. The distances on this coast are, from
La Spezia, at the eastern end of the territories of Genoa, to Genoa,
fifty-five miles, geometrical; to Savona, thirty; Albenga, thirty;
Oneglia, twenty; Ventimiglia, twenty-five; Monaco, ten; Nice, ten; in
the whole, one hundred and eighty miles. A superb road might be made
along the margin of the sea from La Spezai, where the champaign country
of Italy opens, to Nice, where the Alps go off northwardly, and the post
roads of France begin; and it might even follow the margin of the sea
quite to Cette. By this road, travellers would enter Italy without
crossing the Alps, and all the little insulated villages of the Genoese
would communicate together, and in time, form one continued village
along that road.

May 3. _Luc, Brignoles. Tourves. Pourcieux. La Galiniere_. Long, small
mountains, very rocky, the soil reddish, from bad to middling; in
olives, grapes, mulberries, vines, and corn. Brignolles is an extensive
plain, between two ridges of mountains, and along a water-course which
continues to Tourves. Thence to Pourcieux we cross a mountain, low and
easy. The country is rocky and poor. To La Galiniere are waving grounds,
bounded by mountains of rock at a little distance. There are some
enclosures of dry wall from Luc to La Galiniere; also, sheep and hogs.
There is snow on the high mountains. I see no plums in the vicinities
of Brignoles; which makes me conjecture that the celebrated plum of that
name is not derived from this place.

May 8. _Orgon. Avignon. Vaucluse_. Orgon is on the Durance. From thence,
its plain opens till it becomes common with that of the Rhone; so that
from Orgon to Avignon is entirely a plain of rich dark loam, which is in
willows, mulberries, vines, corn, and pasture. A very few figs. I see no
olives in this plain. Probably the cold winds have too much power here.
From the Bac de Nova (where we cross the Durance) to Avignon, is about
nine American miles; and from the same Bac to Vaucluse, eleven miles.
In the valley of Vaucluse, and on the hills impending over it, are olive
trees. The stream issuing from the fountain of Vaucluse is about twenty
yards wide, four or five feet deep, and of such rapidity that it could
not be stemmed by a canoe. They are now mowing hay, and gathering
mulberry leaves. The high mountains just back of Vaucluse, are covered
with snow. Fine trout in the stream of Vaucluse, and the valley abounds
peculiarly with nightingales. The _vin blanc_ de M. de Rochequde of
Avignon, resembles dry Lisbon. He sells it, at six years old, for
twenty-two sous the bottle, the price of the bottle, &c. included.

_Avignon. Remoulins_. Some good plains, but generally hills, stony and
poor. In olives, mulberries, vines, and corn. Where it is waste the
growth is _chéne-vert_, box, furze, thyme, and rosemary.

May 10. _Lismes. Lunel_. Hills on the right, plains on the left. The
soil reddish, a little stony, and of middling quality. The produce,
olives, mulberries, vines, corn, saintfoin. No wood and few enclosures.
Lunel is famous for its _vin de muscat blanc_, thence called Lunel,
or _vin muscat de Lunel_. It is made from the raisin muscat, without
fermenting the grain in the hopper. When fermented, it makes a red
muscat, taking the tinge from the dissolution of the skin of the grape,
which injures the quality. When a red muscat is required, they prefer
coloring it with a little Alicant wine. But the white is best. The
_pièce_ of two hundred and forty bottles, after being properly drawn off
from its lees, and ready for bottling, costs from one hundred and twenty
to two hundred livres, the first, quality and last vintage. It cannot be
bought old, the demand being sufficient to take it all the first year.
There are not more than from fifty to one hundred _pièces_ a year, made
of this first quality. A _setterie_ yields about one _pièce_, and my
informer supposes there are about two _setteries_ in an arpent. Portage
to Paris, by land, is fifteen livres the quintal. The best _récoltes_
are those of M. Bouquet and M. Tremoulet. The vines are in rows four
feet apart, every way.

May 11. _Montpelier_. Snow on the Cevennes, still visible from here.
With respect to the muscat grape, of which the wine is made, there are
two kinds, the red and the white. The first has a red skin, but a white
juice. If it be fermented in the _cuve_, the coloring matter which
resides in the skin, is imparted to the wine. If not fermented in the
_cuve_, the wine is white. Of the white grape, only a white wine can
be made. The species of saintfoin cultivated here by the name of
_sparsette_, is the _hedysarum onobrychis_. They cultivate a great
deal of madder (_garance_) _rubia tinctorum_ here, which is said to
be immensely profitable. Monsieur de Gouan tells me, that the pine,
of which they use the burs for fuel, is the _pinus sativus_, being
two-leaved. They use-for an edging to the borders of their gardens, the
santolina, which they call _garderobe_. I find the yellow clover here,
in a garden, and the large pigeon succeeding well, confined in a house.

May 12. _Frontignan_. Some tolerably good plains in olives, vines, corn,
saintfoin, and lucerne. A great proportion of the hills are waste. There
are some enclosures of stone, and some sheep. The first four years of
madder are unproductive; the fifth and sixth yield the whole value of
the land. Then it must be renewed. The _sparsette_ is the common or true
saintfoin. It lasts about five years: in the best land it is cut twice,
in May and September, and yields three thousand pounds of dry hay to the
setterie, the first cutting, and five hundred pounds, the second. The
_setterie_ is of seventy-five _dextres en tout sens_, supposed about
two arpents. Lucerne is the best of all forage; it is sowed herein the
broad-cast, and lasts about twelve or fourteen years. It is cut four
times a year, and yields six thousand pounds of dry hay, at the four
cuttings, to the setterie. The territory in which the _vin muscat de
Frontignan_ is made, is about a league of three thousand _toises_ long,
and one fourth of a league broad. The soil is reddish and stony, often
as much stone as soil. On the left, it is a plain, on the right hills.
There are made about one thousand _pièces_ (of two hundred and fifty
bottles each) annually, of which six hundred are of the first quality,
made on the _coteaux_. Of these, Madame Soubeinan makes two hundred,
Monsieur Reboulle ninety, Monsieur Lambert, _medecin de la faculte
de Montpelier_, sixty, Monsieur Thomas, _notaire_, fifty, Monsieur
Argilliers fifty, Monsieur Audibert forty; equal to four hundred and
ninety; and there are some small proprietors who make small quantities.
The first quality is sold, _brut_, for one hundred and twenty livres the
_pièce_; but it is then thick, and must have a winter and the
_fouet_, to render it potable and brilliant. The _fouet_ is like a
chocolate-mill, the handle of iron, the brush of stiff hair. In bottles,
this wine costs twenty-four sous, the bottle, &c. included. It is
potable the April after it is made, is best that year, and after ten
years begins to have a pitchy taste, resembling it to Malaga. It is not
permitted to ferment more than half a day, because it would not be so
liquorish. The best color, and its natural one, is the amber. By force
of whipping, it is made white, but loses flavor. There are but two or
three _pièces_ a year of red Muscat made; there being but one vineyard
of the red grape, which belongs to a baker called Pascal. This sells
in bottles at thirty sous, the bottle included. Rondelle, _négociant
en vin, Porte St. Bernard, fauxbourg St. Germain, Paris_, buys three
hundred pieces of the first quality every year. The _coteaux_ yield
about half a piece to the _setterie_, the plains a whole piece. The
inferior quality is not at all esteemed. It is bought by the merchants
of Cette, as is also the wine of Beziers, and sold by them for
Frontignan of the first quality. They sell thirty thousand _pièces_ a
year under that name. The town of Frontignan marks its casks with a hot
iron: an individual of that place, having two casks emptied, was offered
forty livres for the empty cask by a merchant of Cette. The town of
Frontignan contains about two thousand inhabitants; it is almost on
the level of the ocean. Transportation to Paris is fifteen livres the
quintal, and takes fifteen days. The price of packages is about eight
livres eight sous the one hundred bottles. A _setterie_ of good vineyard
sells for from three hundred and fifty to five hundred livres, and rents
for fifty livres. A laboring man hires at one hundred and fifty livres
the year, and is fed and lodged; a woman at half as much. Wheat sells
at ten livres the _settier_, which weighs one hundred pounds, _poids de
table_. They make some Indian corn here, which is eaten by the poor. The
olives do not extend northward of this into the country above twelve
or fifteen leagues. In general, the olive country in Languedoc is about
fifteen leagues broad. More of the waste lands between Frontignan and
Mirval are capable of culture; but it is a marshy country, very subject
to fever and ague, and generally unhealthy. Thence arises, as is said, a
want of hands.

_Cette_. There are in this town about ten thousand inhabitants.
Its principal commerce is wine; it furnishes great quantities of
grape-pumice for making _verdigrise_. They have a very growing commerce;
but it is kept under by the privileges of Marseilles.

May 13. _Agde_. On the right of the Etang de Thau are plains of some
width, then hills, in olives, vines, mulberry, corn, and pasture. On the
left a narrow sand-bar, separating the Etang from the sea, along which
it is proposed to make a road from Cette to Agde. In this case, the post
would lead from Montpelier by Cette and Agde to Beziers, being leveller,
and an hour or an hour and a half nearer. Agde contains six or eight
thousand inhabitants.

May 14. _Beziers_. Rich plains in corn, saintfoin, and pasture; hills
at a little distance to the right in olives; the soil both of hill and
plain is red going from Agde to Beziers. But at Beziers the country
becomes hilly, and is in olives, corn, saintfoin, pasture, some vines,
and mulberries.

May 15. _Beziers. Argilies. Le Saumal_. From Argilies to Saumal are
considerable plantations of vines. Those on the red hills, to the right,
are said to produce good wine. No wood, no enclosures. There are sheep
and good cattle. The Pyrenees are covered with snow. I am told they are
so in certain parts all the year. The canal of Languedoc, along which
I now travel, is six _toises_ wide at bottom, and ten _toises_ at
the surface of the water, which is one _toise_ deep. The barks which
navigate it are seventy and eighty feet long, and seventeen or eighteen
feet wide. They are drawn by one horse, and worked by two hands, one of
which is generally a woman. The locks are mostly kept by women, but the
necessary operations are much too laborious for them. The encroachments
by the men, on the offices proper for the women, is a great derangement
in the order of things. Men are shoemakers, tailors, upholsterers,
staymakers, mantua-makers, cooks, housekeepers, house-cleaners,
bed-makers, they _coiffe_ the ladies, and bring them to bed: the women,
therefore, to live, are obliged to undertake the offices which they
abandon. They become porters, carters, reapers, sailors, lock-keepers,
smiters on the anvil, cultivators of the earth, &c. Can we wonder, if
such of them as have a little beauty, prefer easier courses to get their
livelihood, as long as that beauty lasts? Ladies who employ men in the
offices which should be reserved for their sex, are they not bawds in
effect? For every man whom they thus emply, some girl, whose place he
has thus taken, is driven to whoredom. The passage of the eight locks
at Beziers, that is, from the opening of the first to the last gate
took one hour and thirty-three minutes. The bark in which I go is about
thirty-five feet long, drawn by one horse, and goes from two to three
geographical miles an hour. The canal yields abundance of carp and eel.
I see also small fish, resembling our perch and chub. Some plants
of white clover, and some of yellow, on the banks of the canal near
Capestan; santolina also, and a great deal of yellow iris. Met a raft
of about three hundred and fifty beams, forty feet long, and twelve
or thirteen inches in diameter, formed into fourteen rafts, tacked
together. The extensive and numerous fields of saintfoin, in general
bloom, are beautiful.

May 16. _Le Saumal. Marseillette_. May 17. _Marseilleite. Carcassonne_.
From Saumal to Carcassonne we have always the river Aube close on our
left. This river runs in the valley between the Cevennes and Pyrenees,
serving as the common receptacle for both their waters. It is from
fifty to one hundred and fifty yards wide, always rapid, rocky, and
insusceptible of navigation. The canal passes in the side of hills made
by that river, overlooks the river itself, and its plains, and has
its prospect ultimately terminated on one side by mountains of rock,
overtopped by the Pyrenees, on the other by small mountains, sometimes
of rock, sometimes of soil, overtopped by the Cevennes. Marseillette
is on a ridge, which separates the river Aube from the Etang de
Marseillette. The canal, in its approach to this village, passes the
ridge, and rides along the front, overlooking the Etang, and the plains
on its border; and having passed the village, re-crosses the ridge, and
resumes its general ground in front of the Aube. The land is in corn,
saintfoin, pasture, vines, mulberries, willows, and olives.

May 18. _Carcassonne. Castelnaudari_. Opposite to Carcassonne the canal
receives the river Fresquel, about thirty yards wide, which is its
substantial supply of water from hence to Beziers. From Beziers to Agde
the river Orb furnishes it, and the Eraut, from Agde to the Etang de
Thau. By means of the _écluse ronde_ at Agde, the waters of the Eraut
can be thrown towards Beziers, to aid those of the Orb, as far as the
_écluse de Porcaraigne_, nine geometrical miles. Where the Fresquel
enters the canal, there is, on the opposite side, a waste, to let off
the superfluous waters. The horse-way is continued over this waste, by a
bridge of stone of eighteen arches. I observe them fishing in the canal,
with a skimming net of about fifteen feet diameter, with which they tell
me they catch carp. Flax in blossom. Neither strawberries nor peas yet
at Carcassonne. The Windsor-bean just come to table. From the _écluse de
la Lande_ we see the last olive trees near a _metairée_, or farm-house-,
called _La Lande_. On a review of what I have seen and heard of this
tree, the following seem to be its northern limits. Beginning on the
Atlantic, at the Pyrenees, and along them to the meridian of La Lande,
or of Carcassonne; up that meridian to the Cevennes, as they begin just
there to raise themselves high enough to afford it shelter. Along the
Cevennes, to the parallel of forty-five degrees of latitude, and along
that parallel (crossing the Rhone near the mouth of the Isere) to the
Alps; thence along the Alps and Apennines, to what parallel of
latitude I know not. Yet here the tracing of the line becomes the most
interesting. For from the Atlantic, so far we see this production the
effect of shelter and latitude combined. But where does it venture to
launch forth unprotected by shelter, and by the mere force of latitude
alone? Where, for instance, does its northern limit cross the Adriatic?
I learn, that the olive tree resists cold to eight degrees of Reaumur
below the freezing-point, which corresponds to fourteen above zero of
Fahrenheit: and that the orange resists to four degrees below freezing
of Reaumur, which is twenty-three degrees above zero of Fahrenheit.

May 19. _Castelnaudari. St. Feriol. Escamaze. Lampy_. Some sheep and
cattle; no enclosures. St. Feriol, Escamaze, and Lampy are in the
montagnes noires. The country almost entirely waste. Some of it in
shrubbery. The _voute d'Escamaze_ is of one hundred and thirty-five
yards. Round about Castelnaudari the country is hilly, as it has been
constantly from Beziers; it is very rich. Where it is plain, or nearly
plain, the soil is black: in general, however, it is hilly and reddish,
and in corn. They cultivate a great deal of Indian corn here, which they
call millet; it is planted, but not yet up.

May 20. _Castelnaudari. Naurouze. Villefranche. Baziege_. At Naurouze is
the highest ground which the canal had to pass between the two seas. It
became necessary, then, to find water still higher to bring it here. The
river Fresquel heading by its two principal branches in the _montagnes
noires_, a considerable distance off to the eastward, the springs of the
most western one were brought together, and conducted to Naurouze, where
its waters are divided, part furnishing the canal towards the ocean,
the rest towards the Mediterranean, as far as the _écluse de Fresquel_,
where, as has been before noted, the Lampy branch and the Alzau, under
the name of the Fresquel, enter.

May 20. They have found that a lock of six _pieds_ is best; however,
eight _pieds_ is well enough. Beyond this, it is bad. Monsieur Pin tells
me of a lock of thirty _pieds_ made in Sweden, of which it is impossible
to open the gates. They therefore divided it into four locks. The small
gates of the locks of this canal have six square _pieds_ of surface.
They tried the machinery of the jack for opening them. They were more
easily opened, but very subject to be deranged, however strongly
made. They returned, therefore, to the original wooden screw, which is
excessively slow and laborious. I calculate that five minutes are lost
at every basin by this screw, which, on the whole number of basins, is
one eighth of the time necessary to navigate the canal: and of course,
if a method of lifting the gate at one stroke could be found, it would
reduce the passage from eight to seven days, and the freight equally.
I suggested to Monsieur Pin and others a quadrantal gate, turning on a
pivot, and lifted by a lever like a pump-handle, aided by a windlass and
cord, if necessary. He will try it, and inform me of the success. The
price of transportation from Cette to Bordeaux, through the canal and
Garonne is ------ the quintal: round by the straits of Gibraltar is
------. Two hundred and forty barks, the largest of twenty-two hundred
quintals (or say, in general, of one hundred tons), suffice to perform
the business of this canal, which is stationary, having neither
increased nor diminished for many years. When pressed, they can pass and
repass between Toulouse and Beziers in fourteen days; but sixteen is the
common period. The canal is navigated ten and a half months of the year:
the other month and a half being necessary to lay it dry, cleanse it,
and repair the works. This is done in July and August, when there would
perhaps be a want of water.

May 21. _Baziège. Toulouse_. The country continues hilly, but very rich.
It is in mulberries, willows, some vines, corn, maize, pasture, beans,
flax. A great number of chateaux and good houses in the neighborhood
of the canal. The people partly in farm-houses, partly in villages.
I suspect that the farm-houses are occupied by the farmers, while the
laborers (who are mostly by the day) reside in the villages. Neither
strawberries nor pease yet at Baziege or Toulouse. Near the latter are
some fields of yellow clover.

At Toulouse the canal ends. It has four communications with the
Mediterranean. 1. Through the ponds of Thau, Frontignan, Palavas,
Maguelone, and Manjo, the _canal de la Radela Aigues-mortes, le canal
des Salines de Pecair,_ and the arm of the Rhone called _Bras de Fer_,
which ends at Fourgues, opposite to Arles, and thence down the Rhone. 2.
At Cette, by a canal of a few hundred _toises_, leading out of the Etang
de Thau into the sea. The vessels pass the Etang, though a length of
nine thousand _toises_, with sails. 3. At Agde, by the river Eraut,
twenty-five hundred _toises_. It has but five or six _pieds_ of water
at its mouth. It is joined to the canal at the upper part of this
communication, by a branch of a canal two hundred and seventy _toises_
long. 4. At Narbonne, by a canal they are now opening, which leads from
the great canal near the aqueduct of the river Cesse, twenty-six hundred
_toises_, into the Aude. This new canal will have five lock-basins,
of about twelve _pieds_ fall each. Then you are to cross the Aude very
obliquely, and descend a branch of it six thousand _toises_, through
four lock-basins to Narbonne, and from Narbonne down the same branch,
twelve hundred _toises_ into the _Etang de Sigen_, across that Etang
four thousand _toises_, issuing at an inlet, called _Grau de la
Nouvelle_, into the Gulf of Lyons. But only vessels of thirty or forty
tons can enter this inlet. Of these four communications, that of Cette
only leads to a deep sea-port, because the exit is there by a canal, and
not a river. Those by the Rhone, Eraut, and Aude, are blocked up by bars
at the mouths of those rivers. It is remarkable, that all the rivers
running into the Mediterranean are obstructed at their entrance by bars
and shallows, which often change their position. This is the case with
the Nile, Tiber, the Po, the Lez, le Lyoron, the Orbe, the Gly, the
Tech, the Tet, he. Indeed, the formation of these bars seems not
confined to the mouths of the rivers, though it takes place at them more
certainly. Along almost the whole of the coast, from Marseilles towards
the Pyrenees, banks of sand are thrown up parallel with the coast, which
have insulated portions of the sea, that is, formed them into etangs,
ponds, or sounds, through which here and there narrow and shallow inlets
only are preserved by the currents of the rivers. These sounds fill up
in time, with the mud and sand deposited in them by the rivers. Thus the
Etang de Vendres, navigated formerly by vessels of sixty tons, is
now nearly filled up by the mud and sand of the Aude. The Vistre and
Vidourle, which formerly emptied themselves into the Gulf of Lyons, are
now received by the _Etangs de Manjo_ and Aiguesmortes, that is to
say, the part of the Gulf of Lyons, which formerly received, and still
receives those rivers, is now cut off from the sea by a bar of sand,
which has been thrown up in it, and has formed it into sounds. Other
proofs that the land gains there on the sea, are, that the towns of
St. Giles and Notre Dame d'Asposts, formerly seaports, are no far from
the sea, and that Aiguesmortes, where are still to be seen the iron
rings to which vessels were formerly moored, and where St. Louis
embarked for Palestine, has now in its vicinities only ponds, which
cannot be navigated, and communicates with the sea by an inlet, called
_Grau du Roy_, through which only fishing-barks can pass. It is pretty
well established, that all the Delta of Egypt has been formed by
the depositions of the Nile, and the alluvions of the sea, and it is
probable that that operation is still going on. Has this peculiarity
of the Mediterranean any connection with the scantiness of its tides,
which, even at the equinoxes, are of two or three feet only? The
communication from the western end of the canal to the ocean, is by
the river Garonne. This is navigated by flat boats of eight hundred
quintals, when the water is well; but when it is scanty, these boats
carry only two hundred quintals, till they get to the mouth of the Tarn.
It has been proposed to open a canal that far from Toulouse, along the
right side of the river.

May 22. _Toulouse_. 23. _Agen_. 24. _Castres. Bordeaux_. The Garonne,
and rivers emptying into it, make extensive and rich plains, which are
in mulberries, willows, corn, maize, pasture, beans, and flax. The hills
are in corn, maize, beans, and a considerable proportion of vines. There
seems to be as much maize as corn in this country. Of the latter, there
is more rye than wheat. The maize is now up, and about three inches
high. It is sowed in rows two feet or two and a half feet apart, and
is pretty thick in the row. Doubtless they mean to thin it. There is
a great deal of a forage they call _farouche_. It is a species of red
trefoil, with few leaves, a very coarse stalk, and a cylindrical blossom
of two inches in length, and three quarters of an inch in diameter,
consisting of floscules, exactly as does that of the red clover. It
seems to be a coarse food, but very plentiful. They say it is for their
oxen. These are very fine, large, and cream-colored. The services of the
farm and of transportation are performed chiefly by them. There are a
few horses and asses, but no mules. Even in the city of Bordeaux we see
scarcely any beasts of draught but oxen. When we cross the Garonne
at Langon, we find the plains entirely of sand and gravel, and they
continue so to Bordeaux. Where they are capable of any thing, they
are in vines, which are in rows, four, five, or six feet apart, and
sometimes more. Near Langon is Sauterne, where the best white wines of
Bordeaux are made. The waste lands are in fern, furze, shrubbery,
and dwarf trees. The farmers live on their farms. At Agen, Castres,
Bordeaux, strawberries and pease are now brought to table; so that the
country on the canal of Languedoc seems to have later seasons than
that east and west of it. What can be the cause? To the eastward, the
protection of the Cevennes makes the warm season advance sooner. Does
the neighborhood of the Mediterranean co-operate? And does that of the
ocean mollify and advance the season to the westward? There are ortolans
at Agen, but none at Bordeaux. The buildings on the canal and the
Garonne are mostly of brick, the size of the bricks the same with that
of the ancient Roman brick, as seen in the remains of their buildings in
this country. In those of a circus at Bordeaux, considerable portions
of which are standing, I measured the bricks, and found them nineteen
or twenty inches long, eleven or twelve inches wide, and from one and a
half to two inches thick; their texture as fine, compact, and solid as
that of porcelain. The bricks now made, though of the same dimensions,
are not so fine. They are burnt in a kind of furnace, and make excellent
work. The elm tree shows itself at Bordeaux peculiarly proper for
being spread flat for arbors. Many are done in this way on the Quay des
Charterons. Strawberries, pease, and cherries at Bordeaux.

May 24, 25, 26, 27, 28. Bordeaux. The cantons in which the most
celebrated wines of Bordeaux are made, are Medoc down the river, Grave
adjoining the city, and the parishes next above; all on the same side of
the river. In the first, is made red wine principally, in the two last,
white. In Medoc they plant the vines in cross-rows of three and a half
_pieds_. They keep them so low, that poles extended along the rows one
way, horizontally, about fifteen or eighteen inches above the ground,
serve to tie the vines to, and leave the cross row open to the plough.
In Grave they set the plants in quincunx, i.e. in equilateral triangles
of three and a half pieds every side; and they stick a pole of six or
eight feet high to every vine, separately. The vine-stock is sometimes
three or four feet high. They find these two methods equal in culture,
duration, quantity, and quality. The former, however, admits the
alternative of tending by hand or with the plough. The grafting of the
vine, though a critical operation, is practised with success. When the
graft has taken, they bend it into the earth, and let it take root above
the scar. They begin to yield an indifferent wine at three years old,
but not a good one till twenty-five years, nor after eighty, when they
begin to yield less, and worse, and must be renewed. They give three or
four workings in the year, each worth seventy or seventy-five livres the
journal, which is of eight hundred and forty square ioises, and contains
about three thousand plants. They dung a little in Medoc and Grave,
because of the poverty of the soil; but very little; as more would
affect the wine. The _journal_ yields, _communions annis_, about three
_pièces_ (of two hundred and forty, or two hundred and fifty bottles
each). The vineyards of first quality are all worked by their
proprietors. Those of the second, rent for three hundred livres the
journal: those of third, at two hundred livres. They employ a kind of
overseer at four or five hundred livres the year, finding him lodging
and drink: but he feeds himself. He superintends and directs, though
he is expected to work but little. If the proprietor has a garden, the
overseer tends that. They never hire laborers by the year. The day wages
for a man are thirty sous, a woman's fifteen sous, feeding themselves.
The women make the bundles of sarment, weed, pull off the snails, tie
the vines, and gather the grapes. During the vintage they are paid high,
and fed well.

Of Red wines, there are four vineyards of the first quality; viz. 1.
_Chateau Margau_, belonging to the Marquis d'Agincourt, who makes about
one hundred and fifty tons, of one thousand bottles each. He has
engaged to Jernon, a merchant. 2. _La Tour de Segur, en Saint Lambert_,
belonging to Monsieur Miresmenil, who makes one hundred and twenty-five
tons. 3. _Hautbrion_, belonging two-thirds to M. le Comte de Femelle,
who has engaged to Barton, a merchant: the other third to the Comte de
Toulouse, at Toulouse. The whole is seventy-five tons. 4. _Chateau de
la Fite_, belonging to the President Pichard, at Bordeaux, who makes one
hundred and seventy-five tons. The wines of the three first, are not in
perfection till four years old: those of _de la Fite_, being somewhat
lighter, are good at three years; that is, the crop of 1786 is good in
the spring of 1789. These growths, of the year 1783, sell now at two
thousand livres the ton; those of 1784, on account of the superior
quality of that vintage, sell at twenty-four hundred livres; those of
1785, at eighteen hundred livres; those of 1786, at eighteen hundred
livres, though they had sold at first for only fifteen hundred livres.
Red wines of the second quality, are Rozan, Dabbadie or Lionville, la
Rose, Qui-rouen, Durfort; in all eight hundred tons, which sell at
one thousand livres, new. The third class, are Galons, Mouton, Gassie,
Arboete, Pontette, de Ferme, Candale; in all two thousand tons, at eight
or nine hundred livres. After these, they are reckoned common wines, and
sell from five hundred livres, down to one hundred and twenty livres,
the ton. All red wines decline after a certain age, losing color,
flavor, and body. Those of Bordeaux begin to decline at about seven
years old.

Of White wines, those made in the canton of Grave, are most esteemed at
Bordeaux. The best crops are, 1. _Pontac_, which formerly belonged to M.
de Pontac, but now to M. de Lamont. He makes forty tons, which sell at
four hundred livres, new. 2. _St. Brise_, belonging to M. de Pontac;
thirty tons, at three hundred and fifty livres. 3. _De Carbonius_,
belonging to the Benedictine monks, who make fifty tons, and never
selling till three or four years old, get eight hundred livres the ton.
Those made in the three parishes next above Grave, and more esteemed
at Paris, are, 1. _Sauterne_. The best crop belongs to M. Diquem at
Bordeaux, or to M. de Salus, his son-in-law; one hundred and fifty tons,
at three hundred livres, new, and six hundred livres, old. The next best
crop is M. de Fillotte's, one hundred tons, sold at the same price. 2.
_Prignac_. The best is the President du Roy's, at Bordeaux. He makes one
hundred and seventy-five tons, which sell at three hundred livres, new,
and six hundred livres, old. Those of 1784, for their extraordinary
quality, sell at eight hundred livres. 3. _Barsac_. The best belongs
to the President Pichard, who makes one hundred and fifty tons, at two
hundred and eighteen livres, new, and six hundred livres, old. Sauterne
is the pleasantest; next Prignac, and lastly Barsac: but Barsac is the
strongest; next Prignac, and lastly Sauterne; and all stronger than
Grave. There are other good crops made in the same parishes of Sauterne,
Prignac, and Barsac; but none as good as these. There is a virgin wine,
which, though made of a red grape, is of a light rose color, because,
being made without pressure, the coloring matter of the skin does not
mix with the juice. There are other white wines, from the preceding
prices down to seventy-five livres. In general, the white wines keep
longest. They will be in perfection till fifteen or twenty years of age.
The best vintage now to be bought, is of 1784; both of red and white.
There has been no other good year since 1779. The celebrated vineyards
before mentioned, are plains, as is generally the canton of Medoc,
and that of the Grave. The soil of Hautbrion, particularly, which I
examined, is a sand, in which is near as much round gravel or small
stone, and very little loam: and this is the general soil of Medoc. That
of Pontac, which I examined also, is a little different. It is clayey,
with a fourth or fifth of fine rotten stone; and at two feet depth,
it becomes all a rotten stone. M. de Lamont tells me, he has a kind of
grape without seeds, which I did not formerly suppose to exist; but I
saw at Marseilles dried raisins from Smyrna without seeds. I see in his
farm at Pontac, some plants of white clover, and a good deal of yellow:
also some small peach trees in the open ground. The principal English
wine merchants at Bordeaux, are Jernon, Barton, Johnston, Foster,
Skinner, Copinger, and M'Cartey: the chief French wine merchants, are
Feger, Nerac, Bruneaux Jauge, and Du Verget. Desgrands, a wine-broker,
tells me they never mix the wines of first quality: but that they mix
the inferior ones to improve them. The smallest wines make the best
brandy. They yield about a fifth or sixth.

May 28, 29. From Bordeaux to Blaye, the country near the river is hilly,
chiefly in vines, some corn, some pasture: further out, are plains,
boggy and waste. The soil, in both cases, clay and grit. Some sheep
on the waste. To Etauliers, we have sometimes boggy plains, sometimes
waving grounds and sandy, always poor, generally waste, in fern and
furze, with some corn however, interspersed. To Mirambeau and St. Genis,
it is hilly, poor, and mostly waste. There are some corn and maize
however, and better trees than usual. Towards Pons, it becomes a little
red, mostly rotten stone. There are vines, corn, and maize, which is up.
At Pons we approach the Charente; the country becomes better, a blackish
mould mixed with a rotten chalky stone: a great many vines, corn, maize,
and farouche. From Lajart to Saintes and Rochefort, the soil is reddish,
its foundation a chalky rock, at about a foot depth; in vines, corn,
maize, clover, lucerne, and pasture. There are more and better trees
than I have seen in all my journey; a great many apple and cherry trees:
fine cattle and many sheep.

May 30. From Rochefort to La Rochelle, it is sometimes hilly and red,
with a chalky foundation, middling good; in corn, pasture, and some
waste: sometimes it is reclaimed marsh, in clover and corn, except the
parts accessible to the tide, which are in wild grass. About Rochelle,
it is a low plain. Towards Usseau, and halfway to Marans, level
highlands, red, mixed with an equal quantity of broken chalk; mostly
in vines, some corn, and pasture: then to Marans and halfway to St.
Hermine, it is reclaimed marsh, dark, tolerably good, and all in
pasture: there we rise to plains a little higher, red, with a chalky
foundation, boundless to the eye, and altogether in corn and maize.

May 31. At St. Hermine, the country becomes very hilly, a red clay
mixed with chalky stone, generally waste, in furze and broom, with some
patches of corn and maize; and so it continues to Chantonay, and St.
Fulgent. Through the whole of this road from Bordeaux, are frequent
hedge rows, and small patches of forest wood, not good, yet better than
I had seen in the preceding part of my journey. Towards Montaigu, the
soil mends a little; the cultivated parts in corn and pasture, the
uncultivated in broom. It is in very small enclosures of ditch and
quickset. On approaching the Loire to Nantes, the country is leveller:
the soil from Rochelle to this place may be said to have been sometimes
red, but oftener gray, and always on a chalky foundation. The last
census, of about 1770, made one hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants
at Nantes. They conjecture there are now one hundred and fifty thousand,
which equals it to Bordeaux.

June 1,2. The country from Nantes to L'Orient is very hilly and poor,
the soil gray; nearly half is waste, in furze and broom, among which is
some poor grass. The cultivated parts are in corn, some maize, a good
many apple trees; no vines. All is in small enclosures of quick hedge
and ditch. There are patches and hedge-rows of forest-wood, not quite
deserving the name of timber. The people are mostly in villages; they
eat rye-bread, and are ragged. The villages announce a general poverty,
as does every other appearance. Women smite on the anvil, and work with
the hoe, and cows are yoked to labor. There are great numbers of cattle,
insomuch that butter is their staple. Neither asses nor mules: yet it
is said that the fine mules I have met with on my journey, are raised
in Poictou. There are but few _chateaux_ here. I observe mill-ponds, and
hoes with long handles. Have they not, in common with us, derived
these from England, of which Bretagne is probably a colony? L'Orient is
supposed to contain twenty-five thousand inhabitants. They tell me here,
that to make a reasonable profit on potash and pearlash, as bought in
America, the former should sell at thirty livres, the latter thirty-six
livres, the quintal. Of turpentine they make no use in their vessels.
Bayonne furnishes pitch enough; but tar is in demand, and ours sells
well. The tower of L'Orient is sixty-five _pieds_ above the level of
the sea, one hundred and twenty _pieds_ high, twenty-five _pieds_ in
diameter; the stairs four feet radius, and cost thirty thousand livres,
besides the materials of the old tower.

June 3, 4, 5. The country and productions from L'Orient to Rennes, and
from Rennes to Nantes, are precisely similar to those from Nantes to
L'Orient. About Rennes, it is somewhat leveller, perhaps less poor, and
almost entirely in pasture. The soil always gray. Some small, separate
houses, which seem to be the residence of laborers, or very small
farmers; the walls frequently of mud, and the roofs generally covered
with slate. Great plantations of walnut, and frequently of pine. Some
apple trees and sweet-briar still in bloom, and broom generally so. I
have heard no nightingale since the last day of May. There are gates
in this country made in such a manner, that the top rail of the gate
overshoots backwards the hind post, so as to counterpoise the gate, and
prevent its swagging.

_Nantes_. Vessels of eight feet draught only can come to Nantes. Those
which are larger, lie at Painboeuf, ten leagues below Nantes, and five
leagues above the mouth of the river. There is a continued navigation
from Nantes to Paris, through the Loire, the canal de Briare and the
Seine. Carolina rice is preferred to that of Lombardy for the Guinea
trade, because it requires less water to boil it.

June 6, 7, 8. _Nantes. Ancenis. Angers. Tours_. Ascending the Loire
from Nantes, the road, as far as Angers, leads over the hills, which are
gray, oftener below than above mediocrity, and in corn, pasture, vines,
some maize, flax, and hemp. There are no waste lands. About the limits
of Bretagne and Anjou, which are between Loriottiere and St. George, the
lands change for the better. Here and there, we get views of the plains
on the Loire, of some extent, and good appearance, in corn and
pasture. After passing Angers, the road is raised out of the reach of
inundations, so as at the same time to ward them off from the interior
plains. It passes generally along the river side; but sometimes leads
through the plains, which, after we pass Angers, become extensive and
good, in corn, pasture, some maize, hemp, flax, pease, and beans; many
willows, also poplars and walnuts. The flax is near ripe. Sweet-briar
in general bloom. Some broom here still, on which the cattle and sheep
browse in winter and spring, when they have no other green food; and
the hogs eat the blossoms and pods, in spring and summer. This blossom,
though disagreeable when smelt in a small quantity, is of delicious
fragrance when there is a whole field of it. There are some considerable
vineyards in the river plains, just before we reach Les Trois Volets
(which is at the one hundred and thirty-sixth milestone), and after
that, where the hills on the left come into view, they are mostly in
vines. Their soil is clayey and stony, a little reddish, and of southern
aspect. The hills on the other side of the river, looking to the north,
are not in vines. There is very good wine made on these hills; not equal
indeed to the Bordeaux of best quality, but to that of good quality, and
like it. It is a great article of exportation from Anjou and Touraine,
and probably is sold abroad, under the name of Bordeaux. They are now
mowing the first crop of hay. All along both hills of the Loire, is a
mass of white stone, not durable, growing black with time, and so
soft, that the people cut their houses out of the solid, with all the
partitions, chimnies, doors, &c. The hill sides resemble cony burrows,
full of inhabitants. The borders of the Loire are almost a continued
village. There are many chateaux: many cattle, sheep, and horses; some
asses.

Tours is at the one hundred and nineteenth mile-stone. Being desirous
of inquiring here into a fact stated by Voltaire, in his _Questions
Encylopédiques_, article _Coquilles_, relative to the growth of shells
unconnected with animal bodies at the _Chateau_ of Monsieur de la
Sauvagiere, near Tours, I called on Monsieur Gentil, _premier sécrétaire
de l'ntendance_, to whom the Intendant had written on my behalf, at the
request of the Marquis de Chastellux.

I stated to him the fact as advanced by Voltaire, and found he was, of
all men, the best to whom I could have addressed myself. He told me he
had been in correspondence with Voltaire on that very subject, and was
perfectly acquainted with Monsieur de la Sauvagiere, and the Faluniere
where the fact is said to have taken place. It is at the Chateau de
Grillemont, six leagues from Tours, on the road to Bordeaux, belonging
now to Monsieur d'Orcai. He says, that De la Sauvagiere was a man of
truth, and might be relied on for whatever facts he stated as of his
own observation; but that he was overcharged with imagination, which, in
matters of opinion and theory, often led him beyond his facts; that this
feature in his character had appeared principally in what he wrote on
the antiquities of Touraine; but that as to the fact in question,
he believed him. That he himself, indeed, had not watched the same
identical shells, as Sauvagiere had done, growing from small to great;
but that he had often seen such masses of those shells of all sizes,
from a point to a full size, as to carry conviction to his mind that
they were in the act of growing; that he had once made a collection
of shells for the Emperor's cabinet, reserving duplicates of them
for himself; and that these afforded proofs of the same fact; that he
afterwards gave those duplicates to a Monsieur du Verget, a physician
of Tours, of great science and candor, who was collecting on a
larger scale, and who was perfectly in sentiment with Monsieur de la
Sauvagiere, and not only the Faluniere, but many other places about
Tours, would convince any unbiassed observer, that shells are a fruit
of the earth, spontaneously produced; and he gave me a copy of De la
Sauvagiere's _Recueil de Dissertations_, presented him by the author,
wherein is one _Sur la vegetation spontanée des coquilles du Chateau
des Places_. So far, I repeat from him. What are we to conclude? That we
have not materials enough yet, to form any conclusion. The fact stated
by Sauvagiere is not against any law of nature, and is therefore
possible; but it is so little analogous to her habitual processes,
that, if true, it would be extraordinary: that to command our belief,
therefore, there should be such a suite of observations, as that their
untruth would be more extraordinary than the existence of the fact they
affirm. The bark of trees, the skin of fruits and animals, the
feathers of birds, receive their growth and nutriment from the internal
circulation of a juice through the vessels of the individual they cover.
We conclude from analogy, then, that the shells of the testaceous tribe
receive also their growth from a like internal circulation. If it be
urged, that this does not exclude the possibility of a like shell being
produced by the passage of a fluid through the pores of the circumjacent
body, whether of earth, stone, or water; I answer, that it is not within
the usual economy of nature, to use two processes for one species of
production. While I withhold my assent, however, from this hypothesis,
I must deny it to every other I have ever seen, by which their authors
pretend to account for the origin of shells in high places. Some of
these are against the laws of nature, and therefore impossible; and
others are built on positions more difficult to assent to, than that
of De la Sauvagiere. They all suppose these shells to have covered
submarine animals, and have then to answer the question, How came they
fifteen thousand feet above the level of the sea? And they answer it, by
demanding what cannot be conceded. One, therefore, who had rather have
no opinion than a false one, will suppose this question one of those
beyond the investigation of human sagacity; or wait till further and
fuller observations enable him to decide it.

_Chanteloup_. I heard a nightingale to-day at Chanteloup. The gardener
says it is the male, who alone sings, while the female sits; and
that when the young are hatched, he also ceases. In the boudoir at
Chanteloup, is an ingenious contrivance to hide the projecting steps of
a staircase. Three steps were of necessity to project into the boudoir:
they are therefore made triangular steps; and instead of being rested on
the floor, as usual, they are made fast at their broad end to the stair
door, swinging out and in, with that. When it shuts, it runs them under
the other steps; when open it brings them out to their proper place. In
the kitchen garden, are three pumps, worked by one horse. The pumps
are placed in an equilateral triangle, each side of which is of about
thirty-five feet. In the centre is a post, ten or twelve feet high,
and one foot in diameter. In the top of this, enters the bent end of a
lever, of about twelve or fifteen feet long, with a swingle-tree at the
other end. About three feet from the bent end, it receives, on a pin,
three horizontal bars of iron, which at their other end lay hold of one
corner of a quadrantal crank (like a bell crank) moving in a vertical
plane, to the other corner of which is hooked the vertical handle of
the pump. The crank turns on its point as a centre, by a pin or pivot
passing through it. The horse moving the lever horizontally in a circle,
every point of the lever describes a horizontal circle. That which
receives the three bars, describes a circle of six feet in diameter.
It gives a stroke then of six feet to the handle of each pump, at each
revolution.

_Blois. Orleans_. June 9, 10. At Blois, the road leaves the river, and
traverses the hills, which are mostly reddish, sometimes gray, good
enough, in vines, corn, saintfoin. From Orleans to the river Juines, at
Etampes, it is a continued plain of corn, and saintfoin, tolerably good,
sometimes gray, sometimes red. From Etampes to Etrechy, the country is
mountainous and rocky, resembling that of Fontainebleau. _Quere_. If it
may not be the same vein?



LETTER LVIII.--TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL, June 14, 1787


TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Paris, June 14, 1787.

Dear Sir,

Having got back to Paris three days ago, I resume immediately the
correspondence with which you have been pleased to honor me. I wish I
could have begun it with more agreeable information than that furnished
me by Mr. Grand, that the funds of the United States here are exhausted,
and himself considerably in advance; and by the board of treasury at New
York, that they have no immediate prospect of furnishing us supplies. We
are thus left to shift for ourselves, without previous warning. As soon
as they shall replenish Mr. Grand's hands, I will give you notice, that
you may recommence your usual drafts on him; unless the board should
provide a separate fund for you, dependant on yourself alone, which I
have strongly and repeatedly pressed on them, in order to remove the
indecency of suffering your drafts to pass through any intermediate hand
for payment.

My letters from America came down to the 24th of April. The disturbances
in the Eastern States were entirely settled. I do not learn that
the government had made any examples. Mr. Hancock's health being
re-established, the want of which had occasioned him to resign the
government of Massachusetts, he has been re-elected to the exclusion of
Governor Bowdoin. New York still refuses to pass the impost in any form,
and were she to pass it, Pennsylvania will not uncouple it from the
supplementary funds. These two States and Virginia, are the only ones,
my letters say, which have paid any thing into the Continental treasury,
for a twelvemonth past. I send you a copy of a circular letter from
Congress to the several States, insisting on their removing all
obstructions to the recovery of British debts. This was hurried, that it
might be delivered to the Assembly of New York before they rose. It was
delivered, but they did nothing in consequence of it. The convention to
be assembled at Philadelphia will be an able one. Ten States were known
to have appointed delegates. Maryland was about to appoint; Connecticut
was doubtful; and Rhode Island had refused. We are sure, however, of
eleven States. South Carolina has prohibited the importation of slaves
for three years; which is a step towards a perpetual prohibition.
Between six and seven hundred thousand acres of land are actually
surveyed into townships, and the sales are to begin immediately.
They are not to be sold for less than a dollar the acre, in public
certificates. I wrote you from Bordeaux on the subject of Colonel Smith.
I was sorry I missed him there, for other reasons as well as from a
curiosity to know his errand. The Notables have laid the foundation
of much good here: you have seen it detailed in the public papers. The
Prince of Wales is likely to recover from his illness, which was very
threatening. It is feared, that three powers have combined to lift the
Prince of Orange out of his difficulties. Have you yet the cipher of
which I formerly wrote to you, or any copy of it?

I am, with sincere esteem, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LIX.--TO J. BANNISTER, JUNIOR, June 19, 1787


TO J. BANNISTER, JUNIOR.

Paris, June 19, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I have received your favor of April the 23d, from New York, and am sorry
to find you have had a relapse. Time and temperance, however, will cure
you; to which add exercise. I hope you have long ago had a happy meeting
with your friends, with whom a few hours would be to me an ineffable
feast. The face of Europe appears a little turbid, but all will subside.
The Empress has endeavored to bully the Turk, who laughed at her,
and she is going back. The Emperor's reformations have occasioned the
appearance of insurrection in Flanders, and he, according to character,
will probably tread back his steps. A change of system here with respect
to the Dutch, is suspected; because the Kings of Prussia and England
openly espouse the cause of the Stadtholder, and that of the Patriots is
likely to fall. The American acquaintances whom you left here, not being
stationary, you will hardly expect news of them. Mrs. Barrett, lately
dead, was, I think, known to you. I had a letter from Ledyard lately,
dated at St. Petersburg. He had but two shirts, and yet more shirts than
shillings. Still he was determined to obtain the palm of being the first
circumambulator of the earth. He says, that having no money, they kick
him from place to place, and thus he expects to be kicked round the
globe. Are you become a great walker? You know I preach up that kind
of exercise. Shall I send you a _conte-pas_? It will cost you a dozen
louis, but be a great stimulus to walking, as it will record your steps.
I finished my tour a week or ten days ago. I went as far as
Turin, Milan, Genoa; and never passed three months and a half more
delightfully. I returned through the canal of Languedoc, by Bordeaux,
Nantes, L'Orient, and Rennes; then returned to Nantes, and came up the
Loire to Orleans. I was alone through the whole, and think one travels
more usefully when alone, because he reflects more.

Present me in the most friendly terms to Mrs. Bannister and to your
father, and be assured of the sincere esteem of, Dear Sir, your friend
and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LX.--TO JAMES MADISON, June 20, 1787*


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, June 20, 1787.

     [* Much of this letter is in cipher: but the notes annexed
     to it, have enabled the Editor to decipher and publish it.]

Dear Sir,

I wrote you last on the 30th of January, with a Postscript of February
the 5th. Having set out the last day of that month to try the waters
of Aix, and been journeying since, till the 10th instant, I have been
unable to continue my correspondence with you. In the mean time, I have
received your several favors of February the 15th, March the 18th and
19th, and April the 23d. The last arrived here about the 25th of May,
while those of March the 18th and 19th, though written, five weeks
earlier, arrived three weeks later. I mention this, to show you how
uncertain is the conveyance through England.

The idea of separating the executive business of the confederacy from
Congress, as the judiciary is already, in some degree, is just and
necessary. I had frequently pressed on the members individually, while
in Congress, the doing this by a resolution of Congress for appointing
an executive committee, to act during the sessions of Congress, as
the committee of the States was to act during their vacations. But the
referring to this committee all executive business, as it should present
itself, would require a more persevering self-denial than I suppose
Congress to possess. It will be much better to make that separation by
a federal act. The negative proposed to be given them on all the acts
of the several legislatures, is now, for the first time, suggested to
my mind. _Prima facie_, I do not like it. It fails in an essential
character; that the hole and the patch should be commensurate. But this
proposes to mend a small hole, by covering the whole garment. Not more
than one out of one hundred State acts, concern the confederacy. This
proposition, then, in order to give them one degree of power, which
they ought to have, gives them ninety-nine more, which they ought not
to have, upon a presumption that they will not exercise the ninety-nine.
But upon every act there will be a preliminary question, Does this act
concern the confederacy? And was there ever a proposition so plain, as
to pass Congress without a debate? Their decisions are almost always
wise; they are like pure metal. But you know of how much dross this is
the result. Would not an appeal from the State judicature to a federal
court, in all cases where the act of Confederation controlled the
question, be as effectual a remedy, and exactly commensurate to the
defect. A British creditor, for example, sues for his debt in Virginia;
the defendant pleads an act of the State, excluding him from their
courts; the plaintiff urges the confederation, and the treaty made under
that, as controlling the State law; the judges are weak enough to decide
according to the views of their legislature. An appeal to a federal
court gets all to rights. It will be said, that this court may encroach
on the jurisdiction of the State courts. It may. But there will be a
power, to wit, Congress, to watch and restrain them. But place the same
authority in Congress itself, and there will be no power above them
to perform the same office. They will restrain within due bounds a
jurisdiction exercised by others, much more rigorously than if exercised
by themselves.

I am uneasy at seeing that the sale of our western lands is not yet
commenced. That valuable fund for the immediate extinction of our debt
will, I fear, be suffered to slip through our fingers. Every day exposes
it to events, which no human foresight can guard against. When we
consider the temper of the people of that country, derived from the
circumstances which surround them, we must suppose their separation
possible, at every moment. If they can be retained till their
governments become settled and wise, they will remain with us always,
and be a precious part of our strength and our virtue. But this affair
of the Mississippi, by showing that Congress is capable of hesitating
on a question, which proposes a clear sacrifice of the western to the
maritime States, will with difficulty be obliterated. The proposition
of my going to Madrid, to try to recover there the ground which has
been lost at New York, by the concession of the vote of seven States, I
should think desperate. With respect to myself, weighing the pleasure of
the journey and bare possibility of success in one scale, and the strong
probability of failure and the public disappointment directed on me, in
the other, the latter preponderates. Add to this, that jealousy might be
excited in the breast of a person, who could find occasions of making me
uneasy.

The late changes in the ministry here, excite considerable hopes. I
think we gain in them all. I am particularly happy at the reentry of
Malesherbes into the Council. His knowledge and integrity render his
value inappreciable, and the greater to me, because, while he had
no views of office, we had established together the most unreserved
intimacy. So far, too, I am pleased with Montmorin. His honesty proceeds
from the heart as well as the head, and therefore may be more surely
counted on. The King loves business, economy, order, and justice, and
wishes sincerely the good of his people; but he is irascible, rude, very
limited in his understanding, and religious bordering on bigotry. He has
no mistress, loves his queen, and is too much governed by her. She is
capricious, like her brother, and governed by him; devoted to pleasure
and expense; and not remarkable for any other vices or virtues.
Unhappily the King shows a propensity for the pleasures of the table.
That for drink has increased lately, or at least it has become more
known.

For European news in general, I will refer you to my letter to Mr. Jay.
Is it not possible, that the occurrences in Holland may excite a desire
in many of leaving that country, and transferring their effects out of
it, and thus make an opening for shifting into their hands the debts
due to this country, to its officers, and Farmers? It would be surely
eligible. I believe Dumas, if put on the watch, might alone suffice; but
he surely might, if Mr. Adams should go when the moment offers. Dumas
has been in the habit of sending his letters open to me, to be forwarded
to Mr. Jay. During my absence, they passed through Mr. Short's hands,
who made extracts from them, by which I see he has been recommending
himself and me for the money-negotiations in Holland. It might be
thought, perhaps, that I have encouraged him in this. Be assured, my
Dear Sir, that no such idea ever entered my head. On the contrary, it is
a business which would be the most disagreeable to me of all others,
and for which I am the most unfit person living. I do not understand
bargaining, nor possess the dexterity requisite for the purpose. On the
other hand, Mr. Adams, whom I expressly and sincerely recommend, stands
already on ground for that business, which I could not gain in years.
Pray set me to rights in the minds of those, who may have supposed me
privy to this proposition. _En passant_, I will observe with respect to
Mr. Dumas, that the death of the Count de Vergennes places Congress more
at their ease, how to dispose of him. Our credit has been ill treated
here in public debate, and our debt here deemed apocryphal. We should
try to transfer this debt elsewhere, and leave nothing capable of
exciting ill thoughts between us. I shall mention in my letter to Mr.
Jay, a disagreeable affair which Mr. Barclay has been thrown into,
at Bordeaux. An honester man cannot be found, nor a slower, nor more
decisive one. His affairs, too, are so embarrassed and desperate, that
the public reputation is, every moment, in danger of being
compromitted with him. He is perfectly amiable and honest, with all his
embarrassments.

By the next packet, I shall be able to send you some books, as also your
watch and pedometer. The two last are not yet done. To search for books,
and forward them to Havre, will require more time than I had between
my return and the departure of this packet. Having been a witness,
heretofore, to the divisions in Congress on the subject of their foreign
ministers, it would be a weakness in me to suppose none with respect to
myself, or to count with any confidence on the renewal of my commission,
which expires on the 10th day of March next; and the more so, as instead
of requiring the disapprobation of seven States, as formerly, that of
one suffices for a recall, when Congress consists of only seven States,
two, when of eight, &c. which I suppose to be habitually their numbers
at present. Whenever I leave this place, it will be necessary to begin
my arrangements six months before my departure; and these, once fairly
begun and under way, and my mind set homewards, a change of purpose
could hardly take place. If it should be the desire of Congress that I
should continue still longer, I could wish to know it, at farthest, by
the packet which will sail from New York in September. Because, were
I to put off longer the quitting my house, selling my furniture, he,
I should not have time left to wind up my affairs; and having once
quitted, and sold off my furniture, I could not think of establishing
myself here again. I take the liberty of mentioning this matter to you,
not with a desire to change the purpose of Congress, but to know it in
time. I have never fixed in my mind, the epoch of my return, so far as
shall depend on myself, but I never supposed it very distant. Probably
I shall not risk a second vote on this subject. Such trifling things may
draw on me the displeasure of one or two States, and thus submit me to
the disgrace of a recall.

I thank you for the paccan nuts, which accompanied your letter of March.
Could you procure me a copy of the bill for proportioning crimes and
punishments, in the form in which it was ultimately rejected by the
House of Delegates? Young Mr. Bannister desired me to send him regularly
the _Mercure de France_. I will ask leave to do this through you, and
that you will adopt such method of forwarding them to him, as will save
him from being submitted to postage, which they would not be worth. As
a compensation for your trouble, you will be free to keep them till you
shall have read them. I am, with sentiments of the most sincere esteem,
Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXI.--TO JOHN JAY, June 21,1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, June 21,1787.

Sir,

I had the honor of addressing you in a letter of May the 4th, from
Marseilles, which was to have gone by the last packet. Bat it arrived
a few hours too late for that conveyance, and has been committed to a
private one, passing through England, with a promise that it should go
through no post-office.

I was desirous, while at the sea-ports, to obtain a list of the American
vessels which have come to them since the peace, in order to estimate
their comparative importance to us, as well as the general amount of our
commerce with this country, so far as carried on in our own bottoms.
At Marseilles, I found there had been thirty-two, since that period; at
Cette, not a single one; at Bayonne, one of our free ports, only one.
This last fact I learned from other information, not having visited that
place; as it would have been a deviation from my route, too considerable
for the importance of the object. At Bordeaux, Nantes, and L'Orient, I
could not obtain lists in the moment; but am in hopes I shall be able
to get them ere long. Though more important to us, they will probably be
more imperfect than that of Marseilles. At Nantes, I began with Monsieur
Dobrée an arrangement of his claims. I visited the military stores,
which have been detained there so long, opened some boxes of each
kind, and found the state of their contents much better than had been
represented. An exact list of the articles is to be sent me.

The importations into L'Orient of other fish-oils, besides those of the
whale, brought to my notice there a defect in the letter of Monsieur de
Calonne, of October the 22nd, which letter was formerly communicated to
you. In that, whale oil only was named. The other fish-oils, therefore,
have continued to pay the old duties. In a conference with Monsieur de
Villedeuil, the present Comptroller General, since my return, I proposed
the extending the exemption to all fish-oils, according to the letter
of the Hanseatic treaty, which had formed the basis of the regulations
respecting us. I think this will be agreed to. The delays of office
first, then the illness of Monsieur de Colonne, and lastly, his removal
and the throng of business occasioned by the _Assemblée des Notables_,
have prevented the reducing the substance of the letter into the form
of an _Arrêt_, as yet though I have continued soliciting it as much
as circumstances would bear. I am now promised that it shall be done
immediately, and it shall be so far retrospective to the date of the
letter, as that all duties paid since that, shall be refunded.

The new accessions of the ministry are valued here. Good is hoped from
the Archbishop of Toulouse, who succeeds the Count de Vergennes as _Chef
du Conseil de finance_. Monsieur de Villedeuil, the Comptroller General,
has been approved by the public, in the offices he has heretofore
exercised. The Duke de Nivernois, called to the Council, is reckoned
a good and able man; and Monsieur de Malesherbes, called also to the
Council, is unquestionably the first character in the kingdom, for
integrity, patriotism, knowledge, and experience in business. There is a
fear that the Marechal de Castries is disposed to retire.

The face of things in Europe is a little turbid, at present; but
probably all will subside. The Empress of Russia, it is supposed, will
not push her pretensions against the Turks to actual war. Weighing
the fondness of the Emperor for innovation, against his want of
perseverance, it is difficult to calculate what he will do with his
discontented subjects in Brabant and Flanders. If those provinces alone
were concerned, he would probably give back; but this would induce an
opposition to his plan, in all his other dominions. Perhaps he may be
able to find a compromise. The cause of the Patriots in Holland is a
little clouded at present.

England and Prussia seem disposed to interpose effectually. The former
has actually ordered a fleet of six sail of the line, northwardly, under
Gore; and the latter threatens to put her troops into motion. The
danger of losing such a weight in their scale, as that of Prussia, would
occasion this court to prefer conciliation to war. Add to this, the
distress of their finances, and perhaps not so warm a zeal in the new
ministry for the innovations in Holland. I hardly believe they will
think it worth while to purchase the change of constitution proposed
there, at the expense of a war. But of these things, you will receive
more particular and more certain details from Mr. Dumas, to whom they
belong.

Mr. Eden is appointed ambassador from England to Madrid. To the hatred
borne us by his court and country, is added a recollection of the
circumstances of the unsuccessful embassy to America, of which he made a
part. So that I think he will carry to Madrid, dispositions to do us all
the ill he can.

The late change in the ministry is very favorable to the prospects
of the Chevalier de la Luzerne. The Count de Montmorin, Monsieur de
Malesherbes, and Monsieur de Lamoignon, the _Garde des Sceaux_, are his
near relations. Probably something will be done for him, and without
delay. The promise of the former administration to the Count de Moutier,
to succeed to this vacancy, should it take place, will perhaps be
performed by the present one.

Mr. Barclay has probably informed you of his having been arrested
in Bordeaux, for a debt contracted in the way of his commerce. He
immediately applied to the parliament of that place, who ordered his
discharge. This took place after five days' actual imprisonment. I
arrived at Bordeaux a few days after his liberation. As the Procureur
General of the King had interested himself to obtain it, with uncommon
zeal, and that too on public principles, I thought it my duty to wait
on him and return him my thanks. I did the same to the President of the
parliament, for the body over which he presided; what would have been an
insult in America, being an indispensable duty here. You will see by the
enclosed printed paper, on what grounds the Procureur insisted on Mr.
Barclay's liberation. Those on which the parliament ordered it, are not
expressed. On my arrival here, I spoke with the minister on the subject.
He observed, that the character of Consul is no protection in this
country, against process for debt: that as to the character with
which Mr. Barclay had been invested at the court of Morocco, it was
questionable whether it would be placed on the diplomatic line, as it
had not been derived immediately from Congress; that if it were,
it would have covered him to Paris only, where he had received his
commission, had he proceeded directly thither, but that his long stay at
Bordeaux, must be considered as terminating it there. I observed to him,
that Mr. Barclay had been arrested almost immediately on his arrival at
Bordeaux. But, says he, the arrest was made void by the parliament, and
still he has continued there several weeks. True, I replied, but his
adversaries declared they would arrest him again, the moment he should
be out of the jurisdiction of the parliament of Bordeaux, and have
actually engaged the _Maréchausée_ on the road, to do it. This seemed
to impress him. He said he could obtain a letter of safe conduct which
would protect him to Paris, but that immediately on his arrival here,
he would be liable to arrest. I asked him, if such a letter could not
be obtained to protect him to Paris, and back to Bordeaux, and even to
America? He said, that for that, the consent of the greater part of his
creditors would be necessary; and even with this, it was very doubtful
whether it could be obtained: still, if I would furnish him with that
consent, he would do what should depend on him. I am persuaded he will,
and have written to Mr. Barclay to obtain the consent of his creditors.
This is the footing on which this matter stands at present. I have
stated it thus particularly, that you may know the truth, which will
probably be misrepresented in the English papers, to the prejudice
of Mr. Barclay. This matter has been a great affliction to him, but no
dishonor where its true state is known. Indeed he is incapable of doing
any thing not strictly honorable.

In a letter of August the 30th, 1785, I had the honor of mentioning
to you what had passed here, on the subject of a convention for the
regulation of the two post offices. I now inclose you a letter from the
Baron D'Ogny, who is at the head of that department, which shows that
he still expects some arrangement. I have heard it said, that M. de
Creve-coeur is authorized to treat on this subject. You doubtless know
if this be true. The articles may certainly be better adjusted there,
than here. This letter from the Baron D'Ogny was in consequence of an
application from a servant of mine, during my absence, which would not
have been made had I been here. Nor will it be repeated; it being my
opinion and practice to pay small sums of money, rather than to ask
favors.

I have the honor to inclose you also, copies of a letter and papers
from the Marechal de Castries, on the claim of an individual against the
State of South Carolina, for services performed on board the Indian;
and the petition of another, on a like claim: also copies of letters
received from O'Bryan at Algiers, and from Mr. Lambe. A letter of the
26th of May, from Mr. Montgomery, at Alicant, informs me, that by a
vessel arrived at Carthagena from Algiers, they learn the death of the
Dey of that republic. Yet, as we hear nothing of it through any other
channel, it may be doubted. It escaped me at the time of my departure to
Aix, to make arrangements for sending you the gazettes regularly, by the
packets. The whole are now sent, though a great part of them are so old
as to be not worth perusal. Your favor of April the 24th, has been duly
received.

I have the honor,to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect. Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXII.--TO MADAME DE CORNY, June 30,1787


TO MADAME DE CORNY.

Paris, June 30,1787.

On my return to Paris, it was among my first attentions to go to the rue
Chaussée d'Antin, No. 17, and inquire after my friends whom I had left
there. I was told they were in England. And how do you like England,
Madam? I know your taste for the works of art gives you little
disposition to Anglomania. Their mechanics certainly exceed all others
in some lines. But be just to your own nation. They have not patience,
it is true, to set rubbing a piece of steel from morning to night, as a
lethargic Englishman will do, full charged with porter. But do not their
benevolence, their cheerfulness, their amiability, when compared with
the growling temper and manners of the people among whom you are,
compensate their want of patience? I am in hopes that when the splendor
of their shops, which is all that is worth seeing in London, shall
have lost the charm of novelty, you will turn a wishful eye to the good
people of Paris, and find that you cannot be so happy with any others.
The Bois de Boulogne invites you earnestly to come and survey its
beautiful verdure, to retire to its umbrage from the heats of the
season. I was through it to-day, as I am every day. Every tree charged
me with this invitation to you. Passing by la Muette, it wished for you
as a mistress. You want a country-house. This is for sale; and in the
Bois de Boulogne, which I have always insisted to be most worthy of
your preference. Come then, and buy it. If I had had confidence in your
speedy return, I should have embarrassed you in earnest with my little
daughter. But an impatience to have her with me, after her separation
from her friends, added to a respect for your ease, has induced me to
send a servant for her.

I tell you no news, because you have correspondents infinitely more _au
fait_ of the details at Paris than I am. And I offer you no services,
because I hope you will come as soon as the letter could, which should
command them. Be assured, however, that nobody is more disposed to
render them, nor entertains for you a more sincere and respectful
attachment, than him, who, after charging you with his compliments to
Monsieur de Corny, has the honor of offering you the homage of those
sentiments of distinguished esteem and regard, with which he is, Dear
Madam, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXIII.--TO JOHN ADAMS, July 1, 1787


TO JOHN ADAMS.

Paris, July 1, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I returned about three weeks ago from a very useless voyage; useless,
I mean, as to the object which first suggested it, that of trying the
effect of the mineral waters of Aix, in Provence, on my hand. I
tried these, because recommended among six or eight others as equally
beneficial, and because they would place me at the beginning of a tour
to the seaports of Marseilles, Bordeaux, Nantes, and L'Orient, which I
had long meditated, in hopes that a knowledge of the places and persons
concerned in our commerce, and the information to be got from them,
might enable me sometimes to be useful. I had expected to satisfy myself
at Marseilles, of the causes of the difference of quality between the
rice of Carolina, and that of Piedmont, which is brought in quantities
to Marseilles. Not being able to do it, I made an excursion of three
weeks into the rice country beyond the Alps, going through it from
Vercelli to Pavia, about sixty miles. I found the difference to be, not
in the management, as had been supposed both here and in Carolina, but
in the species of rice; and I hope to enable them in Carolina, to begin
the cultivation of the Piedmont rice, and carry it on, hand in hand,
with their own, that they may supply both qualities which is absolutely
necessary at this market. I had before endeavored to lead the depot of
rice from Cowes to Honfleur, and hope to get it received there on such
terms, as may draw that branch of commerce from England to this country.
It is an object of two hundred and fifty thousand guineas a year. While
passing through the towns of Turin, Milan, and Genoa, I satisfied
myself of the practicability of introducing our whale-oil for their
consumption, and suppose it would be equally so in the other great
cities of that country. I was sorry that I was not authorized to set the
matter on foot. The merchants with whom I chose to ask conferences met
me freely, and communicated fully, knowing I was in a public character.
I could, however, only prepare a disposition to meet our oil-merchants.
On the article of tobacco, I was more in possession of my ground; and
put matters into a train for inducing their government to draw their
tobaccos directly from the United States, and not, as heretofore, from
Great Britain. I am now occupied with the new ministry here, to put
the concluding hand to the new regulations for our commerce with this
country, announced in the letter of Monsieur de Calonne, which I
sent you last fall. I am in hopes, in addition to those, to obtain
a suppression of the duties on tar, pitch, and turpentine, and, an
extension of the privileges of American _whale oil_, to their _fish
oils_ in general. I find that the quantity of cod-fish oil brought to
L'Orient is considerable. This being got off hand (which will be in a
few days), the chicaneries and vexations of the Farmers on the article
of tobacco, and their elusions of the order of Bernis, call for the next
attention. I have reasons to hope good dispositions in the new ministry
towards our commerce with this country. Besides endeavoring, on all
occasions, to multiply the points of contact and connection with this
country, which I consider as our surest mainstay under every event, I
have had it much at heart to remove from between us every subject of
misunderstanding or irritation. Our debts to the King, to the Officers,
and the Farmers, are of this description. The having complied with no
part of our engagements in these, draws on us a great deal of censure,
and occasioned a language in the _Assemblée des Notables_, very likely
to produce dissatisfaction between us. Dumas being on the spot in
Holland, I had asked of him some time ago, in confidence, his opinion of
the practicability of transferring these debts from France to Holland,
and communicated his answer to Congress, pressing them to get you to go
over to Holland, and try to effect this business. Your knowledge of the
ground, and former successes, occasioned me to take this liberty without
consulting you, because I was sure you would not weigh your personal
trouble against public good. I have had no answer from Congress; but
hearing of your journey to Holland, have hoped that some money operation
had led you there. If it related to the debts of this country, I
would ask a communication of what you think yourself at liberty to
communicate, as it might change the form of my answers to the eternal
applications I receive. The debt to the officers of France, carries an
interest of about two thousand guineas, so we may suppose its principal
is between thirty and forty thousand. This makes more noise against us,
than all our other debts put together.

I send you the _Arrêts_ which begin the reformation here, and some
other publications respecting America; together with copies of letters
received from O'Bryan and Lambe. It is believed, that a naval armament
has been ordered at Brest, in correspondence with that of England.
We know, certainly, that orders are given to form a camp in the
neighborhood of Brabant, and that Count Rochambeau has the command of
it. Its amount I cannot assert. Report says fifteen thousand men. This
will derange the plans of economy. I take the liberty of putting under
your cover a letter for Mrs. Kinloch, of South Carolina, with a packet,
and will trouble you to inquire for her, and have them delivered. The
packet is of great consequence, and therefore referred to her care, as
she will know the safe opportunities of conveying it. Should you not be
able to find her, and can forward the packet to its address, by any very
safe conveyance, I will beg you to do it.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect friendship
and esteem, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXIV.--TO DAVID HARTLEY, July 2,1787

TO DAVID HARTLEY.

Paris, July 2,1787.

Dear Sir,

I received lately your favor of April the 23d, on my return from a
journey of three or four months; and am always happy in an occasion of
recalling myself to your memory. The most interesting intelligence from
America, is that respecting the late insurrection in Massachusetts. The
cause of this has not been developed to me to my perfect satisfaction.
The most probable is, that those individuals were of the imprudent
number of those who have involved themselves in debt beyond their
abilities to pay, and that a vigorous effort in that government to
compel the payment of private debts, and raise money for public ones,
produced the resistance. I believe you may be assured, than an idea or
desire of returning to any thing like their ancient government, never
entered into their heads. I am not discouraged by this. For thus I
calculate. An insurrection in one of thirteen States, in the course of
eleven years that they have subsisted, amounts to one in any particular
state, in one hundred and forty-three years, say a century and a
half. This would not be near as many as have happened in every other
government that has ever existed. So that we shall have the difference
between a light and a heavy government as clear gain. I have no fear,
but that the result of our experiment will be, that men may be trusted
to govern themselves without a master. Could the contrary of this be
proved, I should conclude, either that there is no God, or that he is a
malevolent being. You have heard of the federal convention, now sitting
at Philadelphia, for the amendment of the Confederation. Eleven States
appointed delegates certainly; it was expected that Connecticut would
also appoint, the moment its Assembly met. Rhode Island had refused. I
expect they will propose several amendments; that that relative to our
commerce will probably be adopted immediately, but that the others must
wait to be adopted, one after another, in proportion as the minds of the
States ripen for them. Dr. Franklin enjoys good health. I shall always
be happy to hear from you, being, with sentiments of very sincere esteem
and respect, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXV.--TO B. VAUGHAN, July 2, 1787


TO B. VAUGHAN.

Paris, July 2, 1787.

Dear Sir,

Your favor of February the 16th came to my hands in the moment I was
setting out on a tour through the southern parts of France and northern
of Italy, from which I am but just now returned. I avail myself of the
earliest moment to acknowledge its receipt, and to thank you for the box
of magnets which I found here. Though I do not know certainly by or from
whom they come, I presume they came by Colonel Smith, who was here in my
absence, and from Messrs. Nairne and Blunt, through your good offices. I
think your letter of February the 16th flatters me with the expectation
of another, with observations on the hygrometers I had proposed. I value
what comes from you too much, not to remind you of it. Your favor by Mr.
Garnett also came during my absence. I presume he has left Paris, as
I can hear nothing of him. I have lost the opportunity, therefore,
of seeing his method of resisting friction, as well as of showing, by
attentions to him, respect for yourself and your recommendations. Mr.
Paine (Common Sense) is here on his way to England. He has brought the
model of an iron bridge, with which he supposes a single arch of four
hundred feet may be made. It has not yet arrived in Paris. Among other
projects, with which we begin to abound in America, is one for finding
the longitude by the variation of the magnetic needle. The author
supposes two points, one near each pole, through the northern of which
pass all the magnetic meridians of the northern hemisphere, and through
the southern those of the southern hemisphere. He determines their
present position and periodical revolution. It is said his publication
is plausible. I have not seen it.

What are you going to do with your naval armament on your side the
channel. Perhaps you will ask me, what they are about to do here. A
British navy and Prussian army hanging over Holland on one side, a
French navy and army hanging over it on the other, looks as if they
thought of fighting. Yet I think both parties too wise for that, too
laudably intent on economizing, rather than on further embarrassing
their finances. May they not propose to have a force on the spot to
establish some neutral form of a constitution, which these powers will
cook up among themselves, without consulting the parties for whom it
is intended? The affair of Geneva shows such combinations possible.
Wretched, indeed, is the nation, in whose affairs foreign powers are
once permitted to intermeddle. Lord Wycombe is with us at present. His
good sense, information, and discretion are much beyond his years, and
promise good things for your country.

I beg you to accept assurances of the esteem/and respect, with which
I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXVI.--TO M. L'ABBE MORELLET, July 2, 1787


TO M. L'ABBE MORELLET.

Paris, July 2, 1787.

I am sorry, my Dear Sir, that your interest should be affected by the
ill behavior of Barrois. But when you consider the facts, you will be
sensible that I could not have indulged his indolence further, without
increasing the injury to a more punctual workman. Stockdale, of London,
had asked leave to print my Notes. I agreed to it; and promised he
should have the plate of the map as soon as it should be corrected,
and the copies struck off for you and myself. He thereupon printed his
edition completely in three weeks. The printer, who was to strike off
two hundred and fifty maps for me, kept the plate but five days. It was
then delivered to Barrois, with notice that it could not be left
longer with him, than should suffice to strike off his number. Repeated
applications for it, by Mr. Short and my servant, were only answered
by repeated promises, and times of delivery fixed, no one of which was
performed. When I returned, he had been possessed of the plate upwards
of two months. I was astonished and confounded, to be told it had not
been sent to Stockdale, and that his edition had been lying dead on his
hands three months. I sent to Barrois the very day of my return, to let
him know, that justice to Stockdale did not permit me to defer sending
him the plate any longer: yet I would wait five days, at the end of
which he must deliver me the plate, whether his maps were done or not. I
received no answer, but waited ten days. I then sent for the plate. The
answer was, he was not at home. I sent again the next day. Answer, he
was not at home. I sent the third day. Not at home. I then ordered the
messenger to go back, and wait till he should come home. This produced
an answer of two lines, _qu'il alloit soigner son ouvrier?_ I wrote him
word in return, to deliver the plate instantly. This I think was on a
Saturday or Sunday. He told the messenger he would let me have it the
Thursday following. I took patience, and sent on the Friday, but telling
the messenger, if he refused to deliver it, to inform him I would be
plagued no more with sending messages, but apply to the police. He then
delivered it, and I sent it off immediately to London. He had kept it
three months, of which three weeks were after my return. I think, Sir,
you will be satisfied that justice to Stockdale, justice to myself,
who had passed my word for sending on the plate, and sensibility to the
shuffling conduct of Barrois, permitted me to act no otherwise. But no
matter. Let his ill behavior make no odds between you and me. It will
affect your interest, and that suffices to determine me to order back
the plate, as soon as Stockdale has done with it. He will not require
more days, than Barrois months. So that it will be here before you can
want it. But it must never go into Barrois' hands again, nor of any
person depending on him, or under his orders. The workman who struck off
the two hundred and fifty for me, seems to have been diligent enough.
Either he, or any other workman you please of that description, shall
have it, to strike what number you wish. I forgot to observe, in its
proper place, that when I was in the midst of my difficulties, I did
myself the honor of calling on you, as well to have that of asking after
your health on my return, as of asking your assistance to obtain the
plate. Unluckily you were gone to Versailles; so I was obliged to
proceed as well as I could. It is no excuse for Barrois, to say, he
could not get his _imprimeur_ to proceed. He should have applied to
another. But as to you, it shall be set to rights in the manner I
have before stated. Accept my regret that you were in the hands of so
underserving a workman, and one who placed me under the necessity of
interrupting a work which interested you. Be assured, at the same time,
of the sincerity of those sentiments of esteem and respect with which
I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



OBSERVATIONS ON THE LETTER OF MONSIEUR DE CALONNE

     [The following observations appear to have been addressed to
     the Count de Montmorin, about the 6th of July, 1787.]

Observations on the Letter of Monsieur de Calonne to Monsieur Jefferson,
dated, Fontainbleau, October 22, 1786.

A committee was appointed, in the course of the last year, to take a
view of the subjects of commerce which might be brought from the United
States of America, in exchange for those of France, and to consider what
advantages and facilities might be offered to encourage that commerce.
The letter of Monsieur de Calonne was founded on their report. It was
conclusive as to the articles on which satisfactory information had been
then obtained, and reserved, for future consideration, certain others,
needing further inquiry. It is proposed now to review those unfinished
articles, that they may also be comprehended in the _Arrêt_, and the
regulations on this branch of commerce be rendered complete.

1. The letter promised to diminish the _Droits du Roi et d'amirautè_,
payable by an American vessel entering into a port at France, and to
reduce what should remain into a single duty, which shall be regulated
by the draught of the vessel, or her number of masts. It is doubted
whether it will be expedient to regulate the duty, in either of these
ways. If by the draught,of water, it will fall unequally on us as a
nation; because we build our vessels sharp-bottomed, for swift sailing,
so that they draw more water than those of other nations, of the
same burthen. If by the number of masts, it will fall unequally on
individuals; because we often see ships of one hundred and eighty tons,
and brigs of three hundred and sixty. This, then, would produce an
inequality among individuals, of six to one. The present principle is
the most just, to regulate by the burthen. It is certainly desirable,
that these duties should be reduced to a single one. Their names and
numbers perplex and harass the merchant, more than their amount; subject
him to imposition, and to the suspicion of it when there is none. An
intention of general reformation in this article has been accordingly
announced, with augmentation as to foreigners. We are in hopes, that
this augmentation is not to respect us; because it is proposed as a
measure of reciprocity, whereas, in some of our States, no such duties
exist, and in others they are extremely light; because we have been
made to hope a diminution, instead of augmentation; and because this
distinction cannot draw on France any just claims from other nations;
the _jura gentis amicissima_, conferred by her late treaties, having
reference expressly to the nations of Europe only; and those
conferred by the more ancient ones not being susceptible of any other
interpretation, nor admitting a pretension of reference to a nation
which did not then exist, and which has come into existence under
circumstances distinguishing its commerce from that of all other
nations. Merchandise received from them, takes employment from the
poor of France; ours gives it: theirs is brought in, the last stage of
manufacture; ours in the first: we bring our tobaccos to be manufactured
into snuff, our flax and hemp into linen and cordage, our furs into
hats, skins into saddlery, shoes, and clothing; we take nothing till it
has received the last hand.

2. Fish-oils. The Hanseatic treaty was the basis, on which the
diminution of duty on this article was asked and granted. It is
expressly referred to as such, in the letter of Monsieur de Calonne.
Instead, however, of the expression, _huile et graisse de baleine et
d'autres poisons_, used in that treaty, the letter uses the terms,
'_huiles de baleine, spermaceti, et tout ce qui est compris sous
ces denominations._' And the Farmers have availed themselves of this
variation, to refuse the diminution of duty on the oils of the _vache
marine, chien de mer, esturgeon_, and other fish. It is proposed,
therefore, to re-establish in the _Arrêt_, the expression of the
Hanseatic treaty, and to add, from the same treaty, the articles
'_baleine coupée et fanon de baleine_.'

The letter states these regulations as finally made by the King. The
merchants, on this supposition, entered into speculations. But they
found themselves called on for the old duties, not only on other
fish-oils, but on the whale-oil. Monsieur de Calonne always promised,
that the _Arrêt_ should be retrospective to the date of the letter, so
as to refund to them the duties they had thus been obliged to pay. To
this, attention is prayed in forming the _Arrêt_. His majesty having
been pleased, as an encouragement to the importation of our fish-oils,
to abolish the _Droits de fabrication_, it is presumed that the purpose
announced, of continuing those duties on foreign oils, will not be
extended to us.

3. Rice. The duty on this, is only seven and a half deniers the quintal,
or about one quarter per cent, on its first cost. While this serves to
inform a government of the quantities imported, it cannot discourage
that importation. Nothing further, therefore, is necessary on this
article.

4. _Potasse_. This article is of principal utility to France, in her
bleacheries of linen, glass-works, and soap-works; and the potash of
America, being made of green wood, is known to be the best in the world.
All duty on it was, therefore, abolished by the King. But the city of
Rouen levies on it a duty of twenty sols the quintal, which is very
sensible in its price, brings it dearer to the bleacheries near Paris,
to those of Beauvais, Laval, &c. and to the glass-works, and encourages
them to give a preference to the potash or soude of other nations. This
is a counteraction of the views of the King, expressed in the letter,
which it is hoped will be prevented.

5. Turpentine, tar, and pitch were not decided on, on the former
occasion. Turpentine (_térébenthine_) pays ten sols the quintal, and ten
sols the livre, making fifteen sols the quintal; which is ten per cent,
on its prime cost. Tar (_goudron, braigras_) pays eight livres the
_leth_ of twelve barrels, and ten sols the livre, amounting to twenty
sols the barrel; which is twelve and a half per cent, on its prime cost.
Pitch (_brai sec_) pays ten sols the quintal, and ten sols the livre,
making fifteen sols the quintal; which is twenty per cent, on its prime
cost. Duties of from ten to twenty per cent., on articles of heavy
carriage, prevent their importation. They eat up all the profits of the
merchant, and often subject him to loss. This has been much the case
with respect to turpentine, tar, and pitch, which are principal articles
of remittance for the State of North Carolina. It is hoped, that it
will coincide with the views of government, in making the present
regulations, to suppress the duties on these articles, which, of all
others, can bear them least.



LETTER LXVII.--TO T. M. RANDOLPH, JUNIOR, July 6, 1787


TO T. M. RANDOLPH, JUNIOR.

Paris, July 6, 1787.

Dear Sir,

Your favor of April the 14th came here during my absence on a journey
through the southern parts of France and northern of Italy, from which I
am but lately returned. This cause alone, has prevented your receiving
a more early answer to it. I am glad to find, that among the various
branches of science presenting themselves to your mind, you have fixed
on that of politics as your principal pursuit. Your country will derive
from this a more immediate and sensible benefit. She has much for you
to do. For though we may say with confidence, that the worst of the
American constitutions, is better than the best which ever existed
before, in any other country, and that they are wonderfully perfect for
a first essay, yet every human essay must have defects. It will remain,
therefore, to those now coming on the stage of public affairs, to
perfect what has been so well begun by those, going off it. Mathematics,
Natural Philosophy, Natural History, Anatomy, Chemistry, Botany, will
become amusements for your hours of relaxation, and auxiliaries to your
principal studies. Precious and delightful ones they will be. As soon
as such a foundation is laid in them, as you may build on as you please,
hereafter, I suppose you will proceed to your main objects, Politics,
Law, Rhetoric, and History. As to these, the place where you study them
is absolutely indifferent. I should except Rhetoric, a very essential
member of them, and which I suppose must be taught to advantage where
you are. You would do well, therefore, to attend the public exercises
in this branch also, and to do it with very particular diligence.
This being done, the question arises, where you shall fix yourself for
studying Politics, Law, and History. I should not hesitate to decide
in favor of France, because you will, at the same time, be learning to
speak the language of that country, become absolutely essential under
our present circumstances. The best method of doing this, would be
to fix yourself in some family where there are women and children, in
Passy, Auteuil, or some other of the little towns in reach of Paris. The
principal hours of the day you will attend to your studies, and in those
of relaxation associate with the family. You will learn to speak better
from women and children in three months, than from men in a year. Such a
situation, too, will render more easy a due attention to economy of time
and money. Having pursued your main studies here about two years, and
acquired a facility in speaking French, take a tour of four or five
months through this country and Italy, return then to Virginia, and pass
a year in Williamsburg, under the care of Mr. Wythe; and you will be
ready to enter on the public stage, with superior advantages. I have
proposed to you to carry on the study of the law, with that of politics
and history. Every political measure will, for ever, have an intimate
connection with the laws of the land; and he who knows nothing of these,
will always be perplexed, and often foiled by adversaries having
the advantage of that knowledge over him. Besides, it is a source of
infinite comfort to reflect, that under every change of fortune, we
have a resource in ourselves, from which we may be able to derive an
honorable subsistence. I would, therefore, propose not only the study,
but the practice of the law for some time, to possess yourself of the
habit of public speaking. With respect to modern languages, French, as
I have before observed, is indispensable. Next to this, the Spanish
is most important to an American. Our connection with Spain is already
important, and will become daily more so. Besides this, the ancient part
of American history is written chiefly in Spanish. To a person who would
make a point of reading and speaking French and Spanish, I should
doubt the utility of learning Italian. These three languages, being all
degeneracies from the Latin, resemble one another so much, that I doubt
the probability of keeping in the head a distinct knowledge of them
all. I suppose that he who learns them all, will speak a compound of the
three, and neither perfectly. The journey which I propose to you,
need not be expensive, and would be very useful. With your talents
and industry, with science, and that steadfast honesty which eternally
pursues right, regardless of consequences, you may promise yourself
every thing--but health, without which there is no happiness. An
attention to health, then, should take place of every other object. The
time necessary to secure this by active exercises, should be devoted
to it, in preference to every other pursuit. I know the difficulty with
which a studious man tears himself from his studies, at any given moment
of the day. But his happiness, and that of his family, depend on it.
The most uninformed mind with a healthy body, is happier than the wisest
valetudinarian. I need not tell you, that if I can be useful to you in
any part of this, or any other plan you shall adopt, you will make me
happy by commanding my services.

Will you be so good, Sir, as to return my most respectful thanks for the
diploma with which I am honored by the society instituted with you, for
the encouragement of the study of Natural History. I am afraid it
will never be in my power to contribute any thing to the object of the
institution. Circumstances have thrown me into a very different line of
life; and not choice, as I am happy to find in your case. In the year
1781, while confined to my room by a fall from my horse, I wrote some
Notes, in answer to the inquiries of M. de Marbois, as to the natural
and political state of Virginia. They were hasty and undigested: yet as
some of these touch slightly on some objects of its natural history, I
will take the liberty of asking the society to accept a copy of them.
For the same reason, and because too, they touch on the political
condition of our country, I will beg leave to present you with a copy,
and ask the favor of you to find a conveyance for them, from London to
Edinburgh. They are printed by Stockdale, bookseller, Piccadilly, and
will be ready in three or four weeks from this time. I will direct him
to deliver two copies to your order. Repeating, constantly, the
proffer of my services, I shall only add assurances of the esteem and
attachment, with which I am, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXVIII.--TO STEPHEN CATHALAN, JUNIOR, July 21,1787

TO STEPHEN CATHALAN, JUNIOR.

Paris, July 21,1787.

Sir,

I received your favor of May the 9th, just as I was stepping into the
barge on my departure from Cette; which prevented my answering it from
that place. On my arrival here, I thought I would avail myself of the
opportunity of paying your balance, to make a little acquaintance with
Sir John Lambert. One or two unsuccessful attempts to find him at home,
with the intermediate procrastinations well known to men of business,
prevented my seeing him till yesterday, and have led me on to this
moment, through a perpetual remorse of conscience for not writing
to you, and in the constant belief that it would be to morrow and to
morrow. At length, I have seen him, paid him the eighty-five livres
which you have been so kind as to advance for me, and am actually at my
writing table, returning you thanks for this kindness, and to yourself
and the family for the thousand others I received at their hands,
at Marseilles. My journey, after leaving you, wanted nothing but
the company of Madame Cathalan and yourself, to render it perfectly
agreeable. I felt the want of it peculiarly on the _canal de Languedoc_,
where, with society, the mode of travelling would have been charming. I
was much indebted to M. Minaudier, for a good equipment from Agde, and
unceasing attentions to that place; for which I was indebted to your
recommendations as well as to his goodness.

I am honored with your father's letters of June the 30th; and as he does
not read English, and I cannot write French, I must beg leave to answer
him through you. I thank him for his hints on the subject of tobacco.
I am now pressing for arrangements as to that article, to take place on
the expiration of Mr. Morris's contract, and the order of Bernis.
What form this business will take, or what will be the nature of the
arrangements, or whether there will be any, I am as yet unable to say. I
will take care to inform you the moment there is a decision.

The public business with which Mr. Barclay has been charged rendering
it necessary for him to repair to Congress, and the interest of his
creditors, his family, and himself requiring his return to America, he
has departed for that country. I know nothing of Mr. Barclay's affairs
in this country. He has good possessions in America, which, he assured
me, were much more than sufficient to satisfy all the demands against
him. He went, determined to convert those immediately into money, and to
collect the debts due to him there, that he might be enabled to pay his
debts. My opinion of his integrity is such, as to leave no doubt in my
mind, that he will do every thing in his power to render justice to his
creditors; and I know so well his attachment to M. Cathalan, as to be
satisfied, that if he makes any difference among his creditors, he will
be among the most favored. Mr. Barclay is an honest and honorable man,
and is more goaded towards the payment of his debts by his own feelings,
than by all the processes of law, which could be set on foot against
him.

No arrangements having ever been made as yet, for cases like that of
the carpenter of the American ship Sally, I am unable to answer on that
subject. I am in hopes, his money will last till he recovers his senses,
or till we can receive instructions what to do in that and similar
cases.

M. Cathalan wishes a copy of my Notes on Virginia. If you will be so
good as to advise me by what channel they will go safely, I will do
myself the honor of sending a copy, either of the original or of the
translation. Present me affectionately to Mrs. Cathalan, the mother and
daughter; tell the latter I feed on the hopes of seeing her one day at
Paris. My friendly respects wait also on your father; and on yourself,
assurances of the esteem and consideration with which I have the honor
to be, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXIX.--TO THE DELEGATES OF RHODE ISLAND, July 22,1787


TO THE DELEGATES OF RHODE ISLAND.

Paris, July 22,1787.

Gentlemen,

I was honored, in the month of January last, with a letter from the
honorable the Delegates of Rhode Island in Congress, enclosing a letter
from the corporation of Rhode Island College to his Most Christian
Majesty, and some other papers. I was then in the hurry of a preparation
for a journey into the south of France, and therefore unable, at that
moment, to make the inquiries which the object of the letter rendered
necessary. As soon as I returned, which was in the last month, I
turned my attention to that object, which was the establishment of a
professorship of the French language in the College, and the obtaining
a collection of the best French authors, with the aid of the King.
That neither the College nor myself might be compromitted uselessly, I
thought it necessary to sound, previously, those who were able to inform
me what would be the success of the application. I was assured, so as to
leave no doubt, that it would not be complied with; that there had
never been an instance of the King's granting such a demand in a foreign
country, and that they would be cautious of setting the precedent: that
in this moment, too, they were embarrassed with the difficult operation
of putting down all establishments of their own, which could possibly be
dispensed with, in order to bring their expenditures down to the level
of their receipts. Upon such information I was satisfied, that it was
most prudent not to deliver the letter, and spare to both parties the
disagreeableness of giving and receiving a denial. The King did give
to two colleges in America copies of the works printing in the public
press. But were this to be obtained for the College of Rhode Island,
it would extend only to a volume or two of Buffon's works, still to
be printed, Manilius's Astronomicon, and one or two other works in the
press, which are of no consequence. I did not think this an object for
the College worth being pressed. I beg the favor of you, gentlemen,
to assure the corporation, that no endeavors of mine should have been
spared, could they have effected their wish: and that they have been
faithfully used in making the preliminary inquiries which are necessary,
and which ended in an assurance, that nothing could be done. These
papers having been transmitted to me through your delegation, will,
I hope, be an apology for my availing myself of the same channel for
communicating the result.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Gentlemen, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXX.--TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN, July 23, 1787

TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN.

Paris, July 23, 1787.

Sir,

I had the honor, a few days ago, of putting into the hands of your
Excellency, some observations on the other articles of American produce,
brought into the ports of this country. That of our tobaccos, from the
particular form of their administration here, and their importance to
the King's revenues, has been placed on a separate line, and considered
separately. I will now ask permission to bring that subject under your
consideration.

The mutual extension of their commerce was among the fairest advantages
to be derived to France and the United States, from the independence of
the latter. An exportation of eighty millions, chiefly in raw materials,
is supposed to constitute the present limits of the commerce of the
United States with the nations of Europe; limits, however, which extend
as their population increases. To draw the best proportion of this into
the ports of France, rather than of any other nation, is believed to
be the wish and interest of both. Of these eighty millions, thirty are
constituted by the single article of tobacco. Could the whole of this
be brought into the ports of France, to satisfy its own demands, and the
residue to be re-vended to other nations, it would be a powerful link
of commercial connection. But we are far from this. Even her own
consumption, supposed to be nine millions, under the administration
of the monopoly to which it is farmed, enters little, as an article of
exchange, into the commerce of the two nations. When this article was
first put into Farm, perhaps it did not injure the commercial interests
of the kingdom; because nothing but British manufactures were then
allowed to be given in return for American tobaccos. The laying the
trade open, then, to all the subjects of France, could not have relieved
her from a payment in money. Circumstances are changed; yet the old
institution remains. The body to which this monopoly was given, was
not mercantile. Their object is to simplify, as much as possible, the
administration of their affairs. They sell for cash; they purchase,
therefore, with cash. Their interest, their principles, and their
practice seem opposed to the general interest of the kingdom, which
would require, that this capital article should be laid open to a free
exchange for the productions of this country. So far does the spirit of
simplifying their operations govern this body, that, relinquishing the
advantages to be derived from a competition of sellers, they contracted
some time ago with a single person (Mr. Morris) for three years'
supplies of American tobacco, to be paid for in cash. They obliged
themselves, too, expressly, to employ no other person to purchase in
America, during that term. In consequence of this, the mercantile houses
of France, concerned in sending her productions to be exchanged for
tobacco, cut off for three years from the hope of selling these tobaccos
in France, were of necessity to abandon that commerce. In consequence of
this, too, a single individual, constituted sole purchaser of so great a
proportion of the tobaccos made, had the price in his own power. A great
reduction in it took place, and that not only on the quantity he bought,
but on the whole quantity made. The loss to the States producing the
article, did not go to cheapen it for their friends here. Their price
was fixed. What was gained on their consumption, was to enrich the
person purchasing it; the rest, the monopolists and merchants of other
countries. The effect of this operation was vitally felt by every farmer
in America, concerned in the culture of this plant. At the end of the
year, he found he had lost a fourth or a third of his revenue; the
State, the same proportion of its subjects of exchange with other
nations: the manufactures of this country, too, were either not to go
there at all, or go through the channel of a new monopoly, which, freed
from the control of competition in prices and qualities, was not likely
to extend their consumption. It became necessary to relieve the two
countries from the fatal effects of this double monopoly. I had the
honor of addressing a letter, on the 15th day of August, 1785, to his
late Excellency, the Count de Vergennes, upon this subject, a copy of
which I do myself the honor herein to enclose. The effectual mode of
relief was to lay the commerce open. But the King's interest was also
to be guarded. A committee was appointed to take this matter into
consideration; and the result was, an order to the Farmers General, that
no such contract should be made again. And to furnish such aliment as
might keep that branch of commerce alive, till the expiration of the
present contract, they were required to put the merchants in general on
a level with Mr. Morris, for the quantity of twelve or fifteen thousand
hogsheads a year. That this relief, too, might not be intercepted from
the merchants of the two suffering nations, by those of a neighboring
one, and that the transportation of so bulky an article might go to
nourish their own shipping, no tobaccos were to be counted of this
purchase, but those brought in French or American vessels. Of this
order, made at Bernis, his Excellency, Count de Vergennes, was pleased
to honor me with a communication, by a letter of the 30th of May, 1786;
desiring that I would publish it as well in America as to the American
merchants in France. I did so; communicating it to Congress at the same
time. This order, thus viewed, with the transactions which produced
it, will be seen to have been necessary; and its punctual and candid
execution has been rendered still more so, by the speculations of the
merchants, entered into on the faith of it. Otherwise it would become
the instrument of their ruin instead of their relief. A twelvemonth
has elapsed some time since; and it is questioned, whether the Farmers
General have purchased, within that time, the quantity prescribed, and
on the conditions prescribed. It would be impossible for the merchants
to prove the negative; it will be easy for the Farmers General to show
the affirmative, if it exists. I hope that a branch of commerce of this
extent, will be thought interesting enough to both nations to render it
the desire of your Excellency to require, as I deem it my duty to ask,
a report of the purchases they have made, according to the conditions
of the order of Bernis, specifying in that report, 1. The quantities
purchased; 2. the prices paid; 3. the dates of the purchase and payment;
4. the flag of the vessel in which imported; 5. her name; 6. her port
of delivery; and 7. the name of the seller. The four first articles make
part of the conditions required by the order of Bernis; the three last
may be necessary for the correction of any errors, which should happen
to arise in the report.

But the order of Bernis was never considered but as a temporary relief.
The radical evil will still remain. There will be but one purchaser in
the kingdom, and the hazard of his refusal will damp every mercantile
speculation. It is very much to be desired, that before the expiration
of this order, some measure may be devised, which may bring this great
article into free commerce between the two nations. Had this been
practicable at the time it was put into Farm, that mode of collecting
the revenue would probably never have been adopted: now that it has
become practicable, it seems reasonable to discontinue this mode, and to
substitute some of those practised on other imported articles, on which
a revenue is levied, without absolutely suppressing them in commerce.
If the revenue can be secured, the interests of a few individuals will
hardly be permitted to weigh against those of as many millions, equally
subjects of his Majesty, and against those, too, of a nation allied
to him by all the ties of treaty, of interest, and of affection. The
privileges of the most favored nation have been mutually exchanged by
treaty. But the productions of other nations, which do not rival those
of France, are suffered to be bought and sold freely within the kingdom.
By prohibiting all his Majesty's subjects from dealing in tobacco,
except with a single company, one third of the exports of the United
States are rendered uncommerciable here. This production is so
peculiarly theirs, that its shackles affect no other nation. A relief
from these shackles will form a memorable epoch in the commerce of
the two nations. It will establish at once a great basis of exchange
serving, like a point of union, to draw to it other members of our
commerce. Nature, too, has conveniently assorted our wants and our
superfluities to each other. Each nation has exactly to spare the
articles which the other wants. We have a surplus of rice, tobacco,
furs, peltry, potash, lamp-oils, timber, which France wants; she has a
surplus of wines, brandies, esculent oils, fruits, and manufactures of
all kinds, which we want. The governments have nothing to do, but not
to hinder their merchants from making the exchange. The difference of
language, laws, and customs, will be some obstacle for a time; but the
interest of the merchants will surmount them. A more serious obstacle
is our debt to Great Britain. Yet, since the treaty between this country
and that, I should not despair of seeing that debt paid, in part, with
the productions of France, if our produce can obtain here a free course
of exchange for them. The distant prospect is still more promising. A
century's experience has shown, that we double our numbers every twenty
or twenty-five years. No circumstance can be foreseen, at this moment,
which will lessen our rate of multiplication for centuries to come. For
every article of the productions and manufactures of this country, then,
which can be introduced into habit there, the demand will double every
twenty or twenty-five years. And to introduce the habit, we have only to
let the merchants alone. Whether we may descend, by a single step,
from the present state to that of perfect freedom of commerce in this
article; whether any, and what, intermediate operation may be necessary
to prepare the way to this; what cautions must be observed for the
security of his Majesty's revenue, which we do not wish to impair, will
rest with the wisdom of his ministers, whose knowledge of the subject
will enable them to devise the best plans, and whose patriotism and
justice will dispose them to pursue them. To the friendly dispositions
of your Excellency, of which we have had such early and multiplied
proofs, I take the liberty of committing this subject, particularly,
trusting that some method may be devised of reconciling the collection
of his Majesty's revenues with the interests of the two nations; and
have the honor of assuring you of those sincere sentiments of esteem and
respect, with which I am your Excellency's most obedient and most humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXI.--TO MR. SKIPWITH, July 28, 1787


TO MR. SKIPWITH.

Paris, July 28, 1787.

Dear Sir,

A long journey has prevented me from writing to any of my friends for
some time past. This was undertaken with a view to benefit a dislocated
and ill-set wrist, by the mineral waters of Aix, in Provence. Finding
this hope vain, I was led from other views to cross the Alps as far as
Turin, Milan, Genoa; to follow the Mediterranean as far as Cette, the
canal of Languedoc, the Garonne, &c, to Paris. A most pleasing journey
it proved; arts and agriculture offering something new at every step,
and often things worth our imitation. But the accounts from our country
give me to believe, that we are not in a condition to hope for the
imitation of any thing good. All my letters are filled with details of
our extravagance. From these accounts, I look back to the time of the
war, as a time of happiness and enjoyment, when amidst the privation
of many things not essential to happiness, we could not run in debt,
because nobody would trust us; when we practised, of necessity, the
maxim of buying nothing but what we had money in our pockets to pay
for; a maxim, which, of all others, lays the broadest foundation for
happiness. I see no remedy to our evils, but an open course of law.
Harsh as it may seem, it would relieve the very patients who dread it,
by stopping the course of their extravagance, before it renders their
affairs entirely desperate. The eternal and bitter strictures on our
conduct, which teem in every London paper, and are copied from them into
others, fill me with anxiety on this subject. The state of things in
Europe is rather threatening at this moment. The innovations of the
Emperor in his dominions, have excited a spirit of resistance. His
subjects in Brabant and Flanders are arming, and he has put forty-five
thousand troops in motion towards that country. I believe they will come
to blows. The parties in Holland have already spilt too much blood to be
easily stopped. If left to themselves, I apprehend the Stadtholderians
will be too strong; and if foreign powers interfere, the weight is still
on their side. England and Prussia will be too much for France. As it is
certain that neither of these powers wish for war, and that England and
France are particularly averse to it, perhaps the matter may end in an
armed mediation. If the mediators should not agree, they will draw their
negotiations into length, and trust to the chapter of accidents for
their final solution. With respect to our country, it stands well with
the present ministry here. The non-payment of our debt is against us. We
are occupied in procuring favorable terms of reception for our produce.

*****

Adieu, my Dear Sir, and be assured of the sentiments of sincere esteem
of your affectionate friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXII.--TO J. W. EPPES, July 28,1787


TO J. W. EPPES.

Paris, July 28,1787.

Dear Jack,

The letter which you were so kind as to write to me the 22nd of May,
1786, was not delivered to me till the 3rd of May, 1787, when it found
me in the neighborhood of Marseilles. Before that time you must have
taken your degree, as mentioned in your letter. Those public testimonies
which are earned by merit, and not by solicitation, may always be
accepted without the imputation of vanity. Of this nature is the
degree which your masters proposed to confer on you. I congratulate you
sincerely on it. It will be a pleasing event to yourself; it will be the
same to your parents and friends, and to none more than myself. Go on
deserving applause, and you will be sure to meet with it: and the way to
deserve it, is to be good, and to be industrious. I am sure you will be
good, and hope you will be industrious. As to your future plan, I am
too distant from you, to advise you on sure grounds. In general, I am
of opinion that till the age of about sixteen, we are best employed on
languages; Latin, Greek, French, and Spanish, or such of them as we can.
After this, I think the College of William and Mary the best place to
go through courses of Mathematics, Natural Philosophy in its different
branches, and Law. Of the languages I have mentioned, I think Greek the
least useful. Write me word, from time to time, how you go on. I shall
always be glad to assist you with any books you may have occasion for,
and you may count with certainty on every service I can ever render you,
as well as on the sincere esteem of, Dear Jack, yours affectionately,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXIII.--TO A. DONALD, July 28, 1787


TO A. DONALD.

Paris, July 28, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I received with infinite satisfaction your letter of the 1st of March:
it was the first information I had of your being in America. There is no
person whom I shall see again with more cordial joy, whenever it shall
be my lot to return to my native country; nor any one whose prosperity,
in the mean time, will be more interesting to me. I find as I grow
older, that I set a higher value on the intimacies of my youth, and am
more afflicted by whatever loses one of them to me. Should it be in my
power to render any service, in your shipment of tobacco to Havre de
Grace, I shall do it with great pleasure. The order of Bernis has, I
believe, been evaded by the Farmers General as much as possible. At
this moment, I receive information from most of the seaports, that they
refuse taking any tobacco, under the pretext, that they have purchased
their whole quantity. From Havre I have heard nothing, and believe you
will stand a better chance there than any where else. Being one of the
ports of manufacture, too, it is entitled to a higher price. I have now
desired that the Farmers may make a distinct return of their purchases,
which are conformable to the order of Bernis. If they have really bought
their quantity, on those terms, we must be satisfied: if they have not,
I shall propose their being obliged to make it up instantly. There is a
considerable accumulation of tobacco in the ports.

Among many good qualities which my countrymen possess, some of a
different character unhappily mix themselves. The most remarkable are
indolence, extravagance, and infidelity to their engagements. Cure the
two first, and the last would disappear, because it is a consequence
of them, and not proceeding from a want of morals. I know of no remedy
against indolence and extravagance, but a free course of justice. Every
thing else is merely palliative: but unhappily, the evil has gained
too generally the mass of the nation, to leave the course of justice
unobstructed. The maxim of buying nothing without the money in our
pockets to pay for it, would make of our country one of the happiest
upon earth. Experience during the war proved this; as I think every man
will remember, that under all the privations it obliged him to submit
to, during that period, he slept sounder, and awaked happier than he
can do now. Desperate of finding relief from a free course of justice,
I look forward to the abolition of all credit, as the only other
remedy which can take place. I have seen, therefore, with pleasure, the
exaggerations of our want of faith, with which the London papers
teem. It is, indeed, a strong medicine for sensible minds, but it is a
medicine. It will prevent their crediting us abroad, in which case, we
cannot be credited at home. I have been much concerned at the losses
produced by the fire of Richmond. I hope you have escaped them. It will
give me much pleasure to hear from you, as often as you can spare a
moment to write. Be assured that nobody entertains for you sentiments of
more perfect and sincere esteem than, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXIV.--TO WILLIAM DRAYTON, July 30, 1787


TO WILLIAM DRAYTON.

Paris, July 30, 1787.

Sir,

Having observed that the consumption of rice in this country, and
particularly in this capital, was very great, I thought it my duty
to inform myself from what markets they draw their supplies, in what
proportion from ours, and whether it might not be practicable to
increase that proportion. This city being little concerned in foreign
commerce, it is difficult to obtain information on particular branches
of it in the detail. I addressed myself to the retailers of rice, and
from them received a mixture of truth and error, which I was unable to
sift apart in the first moment. Continuing, however, my inquiries, they
produced at length this result; that the dealers here, were in the habit
of selling two qualities of rice, that of Carolina, with which they were
supplied chiefly from England, and that of Piedmont: that the Carolina
rice was long, slender, white, and transparent, answers well when
prepared with milk, sugar, &ic. but not so well when prepared _au gras_;
that that of Piedmont was shorter, thicker, and less white, but that it
presented its form better when dressed _au gras_, was better tasted,
and therefore preferred by good judges for those purposes: that the
consumption of rice, in this form, was much the most considerable, but
that the superior beauty of the Carolina rice, seducing the eye of those
purchasers who are attached to appearances, the demand for it was
upon the whole as great as for that of Piedmont. They supposed this
difference of quality to proceed from a difference of management; that
the Carolina rice was husked with an instrument which broke it more,
and that less pains were taken to separate the broken from the unbroken
grains; imagining that it was the broken grains which dissolved in oily
preparations: that the Carolina rice costs somewhat less than that
of Piedmont; but that being obliged to sort the whole grains from the
broken, in order to satisfy the taste of their customers, they ask and
receive as much for the first quality of Carolina, when sorted, as for
the rice of Piedmont; but the second and third qualities, obtained by
sorting, are sold much cheaper. The objection to the Carolina rice
then, being, that it crumbles in certain forms of preparation, and
this supposed to be the effect of a less perfect machine for husking, I
flattered myself I should be able to learn what might be the machine of
Piedmont, when I should arrive at Marseilles, to which place I was to
go in the course of a tour through the seaport towns of this country.
At Marseilles, however, they differed as much in the account of the
machine, as at Paris they had differed about other circumstances. Some
said it was husked between mill-stones, others between rubbers of wood
in the form of mill-stones, others of cork. They concurred in one fact,
however, that the machine might be seen by me, immediately on crossing
the Alps. This would be an affair of three weeks. I crossed them, and
went through the rice country from Vercelli to Pavia, about sixty
miles. I found the machine to be absolutely the same with that used
in Carolina, as well as I could recollect a description which Mr. E.
Rutledge had given me of it. It is on the plan of a powder-mill. In some
of them, indeed, they arm each pestle with an iron tooth, consisting of
nine spikes hooped together, which I do not remember in the description
of Mr. Rutledge. I therefore had a tooth made, which I have the honor
of forwarding you with this letter; observing, at the same time, that
as many of their machines are without teeth as with them, and of course,
that the advantage is not very palpable. It seems to follow, then, that
the rice of Lombardy (for though called Piedmont rice, it does not grow
in that country, but in Lombardy) is of a different species from that of
Carolina; different in form, in color, and in quality. We know that in
Asia they have several distinct species of this grain. Monsieur Poivre,
a former Governor of the Isle of France, in travelling through several
countries of Asia, observed with particular attention the objects of
their agriculture, and he tells us, that in Cochin-China they cultivate
six several kinds of rice, which he describes, three of them requiring
water, and three growing on highlands. The rice of Carolina is said to
have come from Madagascar, and De Poivre tells us, it is the white rice
which is cultivated there. This favors the probability of its being of a
different species originally, from that of Piedmont; and time, culture,
and climate may have made it still more different. Under this idea, I
thought it would be well to furnish you with some of the Piedmont rice,
unhusked, but was told it was contrary to the laws to export it in
that form. I took such measures as I could, however, to have a quantity
brought out, and lest these should fail, I brought, myself, a few
pounds. A part of this I have addressed to you by the way of London;
a part comes with this letter; and I shall send another parcel by some
other conveyance, to prevent the danger of miscarriage. Any one of them
arriving safe, may serve to put in seed, should the society think it
an object. This seed, too, coming from Vercelli, where the best rice is
supposed to grow, is more to be depended on, than what may be sent me
hereafter. There is a rice from the Levant, which is considered as of a
quality still different, and some think it superior to that of Piedmont.
The troubles which have existed in that country for several years back,
have intercepted it from the European market, so that it is become
almost unknown. I procured a bag of it, however, at Marseilles, and
another of the best rice of Lombardy, which are on their way to
this place, and when arrived, I will forward you a quantity of each,
sufficient to enable you to judge of their qualities when prepared for
the table. I have also taken measures to have a quantity of it brought
from the Levant, unhusked. If I succeed, it shall be forwarded in
like manner. I should think it certainly advantageous to cultivate, in
Carolina and Georgia, the two qualities demanded at market; because the
progress of culture, with us, may soon get beyond the demand for the
white rice; and because, too, there is often a brisk demand for the one
quality, when the market is glutted with the other. I should hope there
would be no danger of losing the species of white rice, by a confusion
with the other. This would be a real misfortune, as I should not
hesitate to pronounce the white, upon the whole, the most precious of
the two, for us.

The dry rice of Cochin-China has the reputation of being the whitest to
the eye, best flavored to the taste, and most productive. It seems then
to unite the good qualities of both the others known to us. Could it
supplant them, it would be a great happiness, as it would enable us to
get rid of those ponds of stagnant water, so fatal to human health and
life. But such is the force of habit, and caprice of taste, that
we could not be sure beforehand, it would produce this effect. The
experiment, however, is worth trying, should it only end in producing
a third quality, and increasing the demand. I will endeavor to procure
some to be brought from Cochin-China. The event, however, will be
uncertain and distant.

I was induced, in the course of my journey through the south of France,
to pay very particular attention to the objects of their culture,
because the resemblance of their climate to that of the southern parts
of the United States authorizes us to presume we may adopt any of their
articles of culture, which we would wish for. We should not wish for
their wines, though they are good and abundant. The culture of the vine
is not desirable in lands capable of producing any thing else. It is a
species of gambling, and of desperate gambling too, wherein, whether you
make much or nothing, you are equally ruined. The middling crop alone is
the saving point, and that the seasons seldom hit. Accordingly, we see
much wretchedness among this class of cultivators. Wine, too, is so
cheap in these countries, that a laborer with us, employed in the
culture of any other article, may exchange it for wine, more and better
than he could raise himself. It is a resource for a country, the whole
of whose good soil is otherwise employed, and which still has some
barren spots, and a surplus of population to employ on them. There the
vine is good, because it is something in the place of nothing. It may
become a resource to us at a still earlier period: when the increase of
population shall increase our productions beyond the demand for them,
both at home and abroad. Instead of going on to make an useless surplus
of them, we may employ our supernumerary hands on the vine. But that
period is not yet arrived.

The almond tree is also so precarious, that none can depend for
subsistence on its produce, but persons of capital.

The caper, though a more tender plant, is more certain in its produce,
because a mound of earth of the size of a cucumber hill, thrown over the
plant in the fall, protects it effectually against the cold of winter.
When the danger of frost is over in the spring, they uncover it, and
begin its culture. There is a great deal of this in the neighborhood of
Toulon. The plants are set about eight feet apart, and yield, one year
with another, about two pounds of caper each, worth on the spot six
pence sterling the pound. They require little culture, and this may
be performed either with the plough or hoe. The principal work is the
gathering of the fruit as it forms. Every plant must be picked every
other day, from the last of June till the middle of October. But this is
the work of women and children. This plant does well in any kind of soil
which is dry, or even in walls where there is no soil, and it lasts the
life of a man. Toulon would be the proper port to apply for them. I must
observe, that the preceding details cannot be relied on with the fullest
certainty, because, in the canton where this plant is cultivated, the
inhabitants speak no written language, but a medley, which I could
understand but very imperfectly.

The fig and mulberry are so well known in America, that nothing need
be said of them. Their culture, too, is by women and children, and
therefore earnestly to be desired in countries where there are
slaves. In these, the women and children are often employed in labors
disproportioned to their sex and age. By presenting to the master
objects of culture, easier and equally beneficial, all temptation to
misemploy them would be removed, and the lot of this tender part of our
species be much softened. By varying too the articles of culture, we
multiply the chances for making something, and disarm the seasons, in a
proportionable degree, of their calamitous effects.

The olive is a tree the least known in America, and yet the most worthy
of being known. Of all the gifts of heaven to man, it is next to the
most precious, if it be not the most precious. Perhaps it may claim
a preference even to bread; because there is such an infinitude of
vegetables, which it renders a proper and comfortable nourishment. In
passing the Alps at the Col de Tende, where they are mere masses of
rock, wherever there happens to be a little soil, there are a number of
olive trees, and a village supported by them. Take away these trees, and
the same ground, in corn, would not support a single family. A pound of
oil, which can be bought for three or four pence sterling, is equivalent
to many pounds of flesh, by the quantity of vegetables it will prepare,
and render fit and comfortable food. Without this tree, the country of
Provence and territory of Genoa, would not support one half, perhaps
not one third, their present inhabitants. The nature of the soil is of
little consequence, if it be dry. The trees are planted from fifteen to
twenty feet apart, and when tolerably good, will yield fifteen or twenty
pounds of oil yearly, one with another. There are trees which yield much
more. They begin to render good crops at twenty years old, and last till
killed by cold, which happens at some time or other, even in their best
positions in France. But they put out again from their roots. In Italy,
I am told, they have trees of two hundred years old. They afford an
easy but constant employment through the year, and require so little
nourishment, that if the soil be fit for any other production, it may
be cultivated among the olive trees, without injuring them. The northern
limits of this tree, are the mountains of the Cevennes, from about the
meridian of Carcassonne to the Rhone, and from thence, the Alps and
Apennines as far as Genoa, I know, and how much farther I am not
informed. The shelter of these mountains may be considered as equivalent
to a degree and a half of latitude, at least; because westward of the
commencement of the Cevennes, there are no olive trees in 43 1/2°
or even 43° of latitude, whereas, we find them now on the Rhone at
Pierrelatte, in 44 1/2°, and formerly they were at Tains, above the
mouth of the Isere, in 45°, sheltered by the near approach of the
Cevennes and Alps, which only leave there a passage for the Rhone.
Whether such a shelter exists or not, in the States of South Carolina
and Georgia, I know not. But this we may say, either that it exists, or
that it is not necessary there; because we know that they produce
the orange in open air; and wherever the orange will stand at all,
experience shows that the olive will stand well; being a hardier tree.
Notwithstanding the great quantities of oil made in France, they have
not enough for their own consumption, and therefore import from other
countries. This is an article, the consumption of which will always keep
pace with its production. Raise it; and it begets its own demand. Little
is carried to America, because Europe has it not to spare. We therefore
have not learned the use of it. But cover the southern States with it,
and every man will become a consumer of oil, within whose reach it can
be brought, in point of price. If the memory of those persons is held
in great respect in South Carolina, who introduced there the culture
of rice, a plant which sows life and death with almost equal hand, what
obligations would be due to him who should introduce the olive tree, and
set the example of its culture! Were the owner of slaves to view it
only as the means of bettering their condition, how much would he better
that, by planting one of those trees for every slave he possessed!
Having been myself an eye-witness to the blessings which this tree sheds
on the poor, I never had my wishes so kindled for the introduction of
any article of new culture into our own country. South Carolina and
Georgia appear to me to be the States, wherein its success, in favorable
positions at least, could not be doubted, and I flattered myself, it
would come within the views of the society for agriculture, to begin the
experiments which are to prove its practicability. Carcassonne is the
place from which the plants may be most certainly and cheaply obtained.
They can be sent from thence by water to Bordeaux, where they may be
embarked on vessels bound to Charleston. There is too little intercourse
between Charleston and Marseilles, to propose this as the port of
exportation. I offer my services to the society, for the obtaining and
forwarding any number of plants which may be desired.

Before I quit the subject of climates, and the plants adapted to them,
I will add, as a matter of curiosity, and of some utility too, that
my journey through the southern parts of France, and the territory of
Genoa, but still more the crossing of the Alps, enabled me to form a
scale of the tenderer plants, and to arrange them according to their
different powers of resisting cold. In passing the Alps at the Col de
Tende, we cross three very high mountains, successively. In ascending,
we lose these plants, one after another, as we rise, and find them again
in the contrary order, as we descend on the other side; and this is
repeated three times. Their order, proceeding from the tenderest to the
hardiest, is as follows. Caper, orange, palm, aloe, olive, pomegranate,
walnut, fig, almond. But this must be understood of the plant only;
for as to the fruit, the order is somewhat different. The caper, for
example, is the tenderest plant; yet, being so easily protected, it is
among the most certain in its fruit. The almond, the hardiest plant,
loses its fruit the oftenest, on account of its forwardness. The palm,
hardier than the caper and orange, never produces perfect fruit here.

I had the honor of sending you, the last year, some seeds of the sulla
of Malta, or Spanish saintfoin. Lest they should have miscarried, I
now pack with the rice a canister of the same kind of seed, raised
by myself. By Colonel Franks, in the month of February last, I sent a
parcel of acorns of the cork-oak, which I desired him to ask the favor
of the Delegates of South Carolina in Congress, to forward to you.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXV.--TO JAMES MADISON, August 2, 1787


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, August 2, 1787.

Dear Sir,

My last was of June the 20th. Yours, received since that date, are of
May the 15th, and June the 6th. In mine, I acknowledged the receipt of
the paccan nuts which came sealed up. I have reason to believe those in
the box have arrived at L'Orient. By the Mary, Captain Howland, lately
sailed from Havre to New York, I shipped three boxes of books, one
marked J. M. for yourself, one marked B. F. for Dr. Franklin, and one
marked W. H. for William Hay in Richmond. I have taken the liberty of
addressing them all to you, as you will see by the enclosed bill of
lading, in hopes you will be so good as to forward the other two. You
will have opportunities of calling on the gentlemen for the freight,
&c. In yours, you will find the books, noted in the account enclosed
herewith. You have now Mably's works complete, except that on Poland,
which I have never been able to get, but shall not cease to search
for. Some other volumes are wanting too, to complete your collection of
Chronologies. The fourth volume of D'Albon was lost by the bookbinder,
and I have not yet been able to get one to replace it. I shall continue
to try. The _Memoires sur les Droits et Impositions en Europe_ (cited by
Smith) was a scarce and excessively dear book. They are now reprinting
it. I think it will be in three or four quartos, of from nine to twelve
livres a volume. When it is finished, I shall take a copy for you.
Amelot's Travels into China, I can learn nothing of. I put among the
books sent you, two somewhat voluminous, and the object of which
will need explanation; these are the _Tableau de Paris_ and _L'Espion
Anglois_. The former is truly a picture of private manners in Paris, but
presented on the dark side, and a little darkened moreover. But there
is so much truth in its groundwork, that it will be well worth your
reading. You will then know Paris (and probably the other large cities
of Europe) as well as if you had been there for years. _L'Espion
Anglois_ is no caricature. It will give you a just idea of the wheels by
which the machine of government is worked here. There are in it, also,
many interesting details of the last war, which, in general, may be
relied on. It may be considered as the small history of great events.
I am in hopes, when you shall have read them, you will not think I have
misspent your money for them. My method for making out this assortment
was, to revise the list of my own purchases since the invoice of 1785,
and to select such as I had found worth your having. Besides this,
I have casually met with, and purchased, some few curious and cheap
things.

I must trouble you on behalf of a Mr. Thomas Burke, at Loughburke near
Loughrea in Ireland, whose brother, James Burke, is supposed to have
died, in 1785, on his passage from Jamaica, or St. Eustatius, to New
York. His property on board the vessel is understood to have come to the
hands of Alderman Groom at New York. The enclosed copy of a letter
to him will more fully explain it. A particular friend of mine here,
applies to me for information, which I must ask the favor of you to
procure, and forward to me.

Writing news to others, much pressed in time, and making this letter one
of private business, I did not intend to have said any thing to you on
political subjects. But I must press one subject. Mr. Adams informs me
he has borrowed money in Holland, which, if confirmed by Congress,
will enable them to pay, not only the interest due here to the foreign
officers, but the principal. Let me beseech you to reflect on the
expediency of transferring this debt to Holland. All our other debts
in Europe do not injure our reputation so much as this. These gentlemen
have connections both in and out of office, and these again their
connections, so that our default on this article is further known,
more blamed, and excites worse dispositions against us, than you can
conceive. If you think as I do, pray try to procure an order for paying
off their capital. Mr. Adams adds, that if any certain tax is provided
for the payment of interest, Congress may borrow enough in Holland to
pay off their whole debts in France, both public and private, to the
crown, to the Farmers, and to Beaumarchais. Surely it will be better
to transfer these debts to Holland. So critical is the state of that
country, that I imagine the monied men of it, would be glad to place
their money in foreign countries, and that Mr. Adams could borrow there
for us, without a certain tax for the interest, and saving our faith
too, by previous explanations on that subject. This country is really
supposed on the eve of a * * * *. Such a spirit has risen within a few
weeks, as could not have been believed. They see the great deficit in
their revenues, and the hopes of economy lessen daily. The parliament
refuse to register any act for a new tax, and require an Assembly of
the States. The object of this Assembly is evidently to give law to the
King, to fix a constitution, to limit expenses. These views are said to
gain upon the nation.*

*****

     [ * The parts of this letter marked by asterisks, are in
     cipher, and unintelligible.]

A final decision of some sort, should be made on Beaumarchais' affairs.

I am, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem, Dear Sir, your friend
and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXVI.--TO THOMAS BARCLAY, August 3, 1787


TO THOMAS BARCLAY.

Paris, August 3, 1787,

Dear Sir,

I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your several favors of June the
29th, and July the 6th and 8th.

I am of opinion that the affair of Geraud and Roland in Holland, had
better be committed to Mr. Dumas in Holland, as lawsuits must always
be attended to by some person on the spot. For the same reason, I
think that of La Vayse and Puchilberg should be managed by the agent at
L'Orient, and Gruel's by the agent at Nantes. I shall always be ready
to assist the agents of L'Orient and Nantes, in any way in my power; but
were the details to be left to me, they would languish, necessarily, on
account, of my distance from the place, and perhaps suffer too, for want
of verbal consultations with the lawyers entrusted with them. You are
now with Congress, and can take their orders on the subject. I shall
therefore, do nothing in these matters, in reliance that you will
put them into such channel as they direct, furnishing the necessary
documents and explanations.

*****

With respect to French's affair, being perfectly satisfied myself, I
have not ceased, nor shall I 'cease, endeavoring to satisfy others, that
your conduct has been that of an honest and honorable debtor, and
theirs the counterpart of Shylock in the play. I enclose you a letter
containing my testimony on your general conduct, which I have written to
relieve a debt of justice pressing on my mind, well knowing at the same
time, you will not stand in need of it in America. Your conduct is too
well known to Congress, your character to all the world, to need any
testimonials.

The moment I close my despatches for the packet, which will be the
9th instant, I shall with great pleasure go to pay my respects to
Mrs. Barclay at St. Germain, to satisfy her on the subject of your
transactions, and to assure her that my resources shall be hers, as long
as I have any. A multitude of letters to write, prevents my entering
into the field of public news, further than to observe, that it is
extremely doubtful whether the affairs of Holland will, or will not
produce a war between France, on one side, and England and Prussia, on.
the other.

I beg you to accept assurances of the sincere esteem and respect, with
which I have the honor to be, Dear Sir, your friend

and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXVII.--TO E. CARRINGTON, August 4,1787


TO E. CARRINGTON.

Paris, August 4,1787.

Dear Sir,

Since mine of the 16th of January, I have been honored by your favors of
April the 24th and June the 9th. I am happy to find that the States have
come so generally into the scheme of the federal convention, from which,
I am sure, we shall see wise propositions. I confess, I do not go as
far in the reforms thought necessary, as some of my correspondents in
America; but if the convention should adopt such propositions, I shall
suppose them necessary. My general plan would be, to make the States
one as to every thing connected with foreign nations, and several as
to every thing purely domestic. But with all the imperfections of our
present government, it is, without comparison, the best existing, or
that ever did exist. Its greatest defect is the imperfect manner in
which matters of commerce have been provided for. It has been so often
said, as to be generally believed, that Congress have no power by the
Confederation to enforce any thing; for example, contributions of money.
It was not necessary to give them that power expressly; they have it
by the law of nature. When two parties make a compact, there results to
each a power of compelling the other to execute it. Compulsion was never
so easy as in our case, where a single frigate would soon levy on the
commerce of any State the deficiency of its contributions; nor more
safe than in the hands of Congress, which has always shown that it
would wait, as it ought to do, to the last extremities, before it
would execute any of its powers which are disagreeable. I think it
very material, to separate, in the hands of Congress, the executive and
legislative powers, as the judiciary already are, in some degree. This,
I hope, will be done. The want of it has been the source of more
evil, than we have experienced from any other cause. Nothing is so
embarrassing nor so mischievous, in a great assembly, as the details
of execution. The smallest trifle of that kind, occupies as long as the
most important act of legislation, and takes place of every thing else.
Let any man recollect, or look over, the files of Congress: he will
observe the most important propositions hanging over, from week to week,
and month to month, till the occasions have passed them, and the things
never done. I have ever viewed the executive details as the greatest
cause of evil to us, because they in fact place us as if we had no
federal head, by diverting the attention of that head from great to
small objects; and should this division of power not be recommended by
the convention, it is my opinion, Congress should make it, itself, by
establishing an executive committee.

*****

I have the honor to be, with sincere esteem and respect, Dear Sir, your
most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson,



LETTER LXXVIII.--TO DR. CURRIE, August 4, 1787


TO DR. CURRIE.

Paris, August 4, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I am favored with your letter of May the 2nd, and most cordially
sympathize in your late immense losses. It is a situation in which a man
needs the aid of all his wisdom and philosophy. But as it is better
to turn from the contemplation of our misfortunes, to the resources
we possess for extricating ourselves, you will, of course, have found
solace in your vigor of mind, health of body, talents, habits of
business, in the consideration that you have time yet to retrieve every
thing, and a knowledge that the very activity necessary for this, is a
state of greater happiness than the unoccupied one, to which you had a
thought of retiring. I wish the bulk of my extravagant countrymen had as
good prospects and resources as you. But with many of them, a feebleness
of mind makes them afraid to probe the true state of their affairs, and
procrastinate the reformation which alone can save something, to those
who may yet be saved. How happy a people were we during the war, from
the single circumstance that we could not run in debt! This counteracted
all the inconveniences we felt, as the present facility of ruining
ourselves overweighs all the blessings of peace. I know no condition
happier than that of a Virginia farmer might be, conducting himself as
he did during the war. His estate supplies a good table, clothes itself
and his family with their ordinary apparel, furnishes a small surplus to
buy salt, sugar, coffee, and a little finery for his wife and daughters,
enables him to receive and to visit his friends, and furnishes him
pleasing and healthy occupation. To secure all this, he needs but one
act of self-denial, to put off buying any thing till he has the money to
pay for it. Mr. Ammonett did not come. He wrote to me, however, and I am
making inquiry for the town and family he indicated. As yet, neither
can be heard of, and were they to be found, the length of time would
probably bar all claims against them. I have seen no object present
so many desperate faces. However, if inquiry can lighten our way, that
shall not be wanting, and I will write to him as soon as we discover
any thing, or despair of discovering. Littlepage has succeeded well in
Poland. He has some office, it is said, worth five hundred guineas a
year. The box of seeds you were so kind as to forward me, came safe to
hand. The arrival of my daughter, in good health, has been a source
of immense comfort to me. The injury of which you had heard, was a
dislocated wrist, and though it happened eleven months ago, was a simple
dislocation, and immediately aided by the best surgeon in Paris, it is
neither well, nor ever will be, so as to render me much service. The
fingers remain swelled and crooked, the hand withered, and the joint
having a very confined motion. You ask me when I shall return. My
commission expires next spring, and if not renewed, I shall return then.
If renewed, I shall stay somewhat longer: how much, will not depend on
me altogether. So far as it does, I cannot fix the epoch of my return,
though I always flatter myself it is not very distant. My habits are
formed to those of my own country. I am past the time of changing them,
and am, therefore, less happy any where else than there.

I shall always be happy to hear from you, being with very sincere
esteem, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXIX.--TO MR. HAWKINS, August 4, 1787


TO MR. HAWKINS.

Paris, August 4, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of March the 8th and
June the 9th, and to give you many thanks for the trouble you have taken
with the _dionæa muscipula_. I have not yet heard any thing of them,
which makes me fear they have perished by the way. I believe the most
effectual means of conveying them hither will be by the seed. I must add
my thanks too for the vocabularies. This is an object I mean to pursue,
as I am persuaded that the only method of investigating the filiation of
the Indian nations, is by that of their languages.

I look up with you to the federal convention, for an amendment of our
federal affairs; yet I do not view them in so disadvantageous a light
at present, as some do. And above all things, I am astonished at some
people's considering a kingly government as a refuge. Advise such to
read the fable of the frogs, who solicited Jupiter for a king. If that
does not put them to rights, send them to Europe, to see something of
the trappings of monarchy, and I will undertake, that every man shall go
back thoroughly cured. If all the evils which can arise among us, from
the republican form of our government, from this day to the day of
judgment, could be put into a scale against what this country suffers
from its monarchical form, in a week, or England, in a month, the latter
would preponderate. Consider the contents of the Red Book in England, or
the Almanac Royale of France, and say what a people gain by monarchy.
No race of kings has ever presented above one man of common, sense, in
twenty generations. The best they can do is, to leave things to their
ministers; and what are their ministers, but a committee, badly chosen?
If the king ever meddles, it is to do harm. Adieu, my Dear Sir, and be
assured of the esteem of your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXX.--TO COLONEL MONROE, August 5, 1787


TO COLONEL MONROE.

Paris, August 5, 1787.

Dear Sir,

A journey of between three and four months, into the southern parts of
France and northern of Italy, has prevented my writing to you. In
the mean time, you have changed your ground, and engaged in different
occupations, so that I know not whether the news of this side the water
will even amuse you. However, it is all I have for you. The storm which
seemed to be raised suddenly in Brabant, will probably blow over.
The Emperor, on his return to Vienna, pretended to revoke all the
concessions which had been made by his Governors General, to his
Brabantine subjects; but he, at the same time, called for deputies from
among them to consult with. He will use their agency to draw himself out
of the scrape, and all there I think will be quieted. Hostilities go on
occasionally in Holland. France espouses the cause of the Patriots, as
you know, and England and Prussia that of the Stadtholder. France and
England are both unwilling to bring on a war, but a hasty move of the
King of Prussia will perplex them. He has thought the stopping his
sister sufficient cause for sacrificing a hundred or two thousand of his
subjects, and as many Hollanders and French. He has therefore ordered
twenty thousand men to march, without consulting England, or even his
own ministers. He may thus drag England into a war, and of course this
country, against their will. But it is certain they will do every thing
they can, to prevent it; and that in this, at least, they agree.

Though such a war might be gainful to us, yet it is much to be
deprecated by us at this time. In all probability, France would be
unequal to such a war by sea and by land, and it is not our interest or
even safe for us, that she should be weakened. The great improvements
in their constitution, effected by the _Assemblée des Notables_, you
are apprized of. That of partitioning the country into a number
of subordinate governments, under the administration of Provincial
Assemblies, chosen by the people, is a capital one. But to the delirium
of joy which these improvements gave the nation, a strange reverse of
temper has suddenly succeeded. The deficiencies of their revenue
were exposed, and they were frightful. Yet there was an appearance
of intention to economize and reduce the expenses of government. But
expenses are still very, inconsiderately incurred, and all reformation
in that point despaired of. The public credit is affected; and such a
spirit of discontent has arisen, as has never been seen. The parliament
refused to register the edict for a stamp tax, or any other tax, and
call for the States General, who alone, they say, can impose a new
tax. They speak with a boldness unexampled. The King has called them to
Versailles to-morrow, where he will hold a _lit de justice_ and compel
them to register the tax. How the chapter will finish, we must wait to
see. By a vessel lately sailed from Havre to New York, I have sent
you some more _livraisons_ of the _Encyclopédie_, down to the 22nd
inclusive. They were in a box with Dr. Currie's, and addressed to Mr.
Madison, who will forward them to Richmond. I have heard you are in the
Assembly. I will beg the favor of you, therefore, to give me, at the
close of the session, a history of the most remarkable acts passed,
the parties and views of the House, &c. This, with the small news of
my country, crops and prices, furnish you abundant matter to treat
me, while I have nothing to give you in return, but the history of
the follies of nations in their dotage. Present me in respectful and
friendly terms to Mrs. Monroe, and be assured of the sincere sentiments
of esteem and attachment, with which I am Dear Sir, your friend and
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXXI.--TO JOHN JAY, August 6,1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, August 6,1787.

The last letter I had the honor of addressing you was dated June
the 21st. I have now that of enclosing you a letter from the Swedish
ambassador, praying that inquiry may be made for a vessel of his nation,
piratically carried off, and measures taken relative to the vessel,
cargo, and crew. Also a letter from William Russell and others, citizens
of America, concerned in trade to the island of Guadaloupe, addressed
to the Marechal de Castries, and complaining of the shutting to them the
port of Point a Pitre, and receiving them only at Basse-terre. This was
enclosed to me by the subscribers, to be delivered to the Marechal de
Castries. But the present is not the moment to move in that business:
and moreover, I suppose, that whenever parties are within the reach of
Congress, they should apply to them, and my instructions come through
that channel. Matters, arising within the kingdom of France, to which
my commission is limited, and not admitting time to take the orders
of Congress, I suppose I may move in originally. I also enclose you
the copy of a letter from Mr. Barclay, closing his proceedings in our
affairs with Morocco. Before this reaches you, he will have had the
honor of presenting himself to you in person. After his departure, the
parliament of Bordeaux decided that he was liable to arrest. This was
done on a letter from the minister, informing them that Mr. Barclay
was invested with no character which privileged him from arrest. His
constant character of consul was no protection, and they did not explain
whether his character to Morocco was not originally diplomatic, or
was expired. Mr. Barclay's proceedings under this commission being now
closed, it would be incumbent on me to declare with respect to them, as
well as his consular transactions, my opinion of the judgment, zeal, and
disinterestedness with which he has conducted himself; were it not that
Congress has been so possessed of those transactions from time to time,
as to judge for themselves. I cannot but be uneasy, lest my delay of
entering on the subject of the consular convention, may be disapproved.
My hope was and is, that more practicable terms might be obtained: in
this hope, I do nothing till further orders, observing by an extract
from the journals you were pleased to send me, that Congress have
referred the matter to your consideration, and conscious that we are not
suffering in the mean time, as we have not a single consul in France,
since the departure of Mr. Barclay. I mentioned to you in my last, the
revival of the hopes of the Chevalier de la Luzerne. I thought it
my duty to remind the Count de Montmorin, the other day, of the long
absence of their minister from Congress. He told me, the Chevalier de
la Luzerne would not be sent back, but that we might rely, that in the
month of October a person would be sent, with whom we should be content.
He did not name the person, though there is no doubt that it is the
Count de Mourtier. It is an appointment, which, according to the opinion
I have formed of him, bids as fair to give content, as any one which
could be made.

I also mentioned in my last letter, that I had proposed the reducing the
substance of Monsieur de Calonne's letter into the form of an _Arrêt_,
with some alterations, which, on consultation with the merchants at the
different ports I visited, I had found to be necessary. I received soon
after a letter from the Comptroller General, informing me, that the
letter of Monsieur de Calonne was in a course of execution. Of this, I
enclose you a copy. I was, in that moment, enclosing to him my general
observations on that letter, a copy of which is also enclosed. In these
I stated all the alterations I wished to have made. It became expedient
soon after, to bring on the article of tobacco; first, to know whether
the Farmers had executed the order of Bernis, and also to prepare some
arrangements to succeed the expiration of this order. So that I am
now pursuing the whole subject of our commerce, 1. to have necessary
amendments made in Monsieur de Calonne's letter; 2. to put it into a
more stable form; 3. to have full execution of the order of Bernis; 4.
to provide arrangements for the article of tobacco, after that order
shall be expired. By the copy of my letter on the two last points,
you will perceive that I again press the abolition of the Farm of this
article. The conferences on that subject give no hope of effecting that.
Some poor palliative is probably all we shall obtain. The Marquis de la
Fayette goes hand in hand with me in all these transactions, and is
an invaluable auxiliary to me. I hope it will not be imputed either
to partiality or affectation, my naming this gentleman so often in my
despatches. Were I not to do it, it would be a suppression of truth, and
the taking to myself the whole merit where he has the greatest share.

The Emperor, on his return to Vienna, disavowed the concessions of
his Governors General to his subjects of Brabant. He at the same time
proposed their sending deputies to him, to consult on their affairs.
They refused in the first moment; but afterwards nominated deputies;
without giving them any power, however, to concede any thing. In the
mean time, they are arming and training themselves. Probably the Emperor
will avail himself of the aid of these deputies, to tread back his
steps. He will be the more prompt to do this, that he may be in
readiness to act freely, if he finds occasion, in the new scenes
preparing in Holland. What these will be, cannot be foreseen. You
well know, that the original party-divisions of that country were into
Stadtholderians, Aristocrats, and Democrats. There was a subdivision
of the Aristocrats, into violent and moderate, which was important.
The violent Aristocrats would have wished to preserve all the powers
of government in the hands of the Regents, and that these should remain
self-elective: but choosing to receive a modification of these powers
from the Stadtholder, rather than from the people, they threw themselves
into his scale. The moderate Aristocrats would have consented to a
temperate mixture of democracy, and particularly, that the Regents
should be elected by the people. They were the declared enemies of the
Stadtholder, and acted in concert with the Democrats, forming with them
what was called the Patriots. It is the opinion of dispassionate
people on the spot, that their views might have been effected. But the
democratic party aimed at more. They talked of establishing tribunes of
the people, of annual accounts, of depriving the magistrates at the will
of the people, &c.; of enforcing all this with the arms in the hands of
the _corps francs_; and in some places, as at Heusden, Sprang, &c.
began the execution of these projects. The moderate Aristocrats found it
difficult to strain their principles to this pitch. A schism took place
between them and the Democrats, and the former have for some time been
dropping off from the latter into the scale of the Stadtholder. This
is the fatal coalition which governs without obstacle in Zealand,
Friesland, and Guelderland, which constitutes the States of Utrecht, at
Amersfort, and, with their aid, the plurality in the States General.
The States of Holland, Groningen, and Overyssel, vote as yet in the
opposition. But the coalition gains ground in the States of Holland, and
has been prevalent in the Council of Amsterdam. If its progress be not
stopped by a little moderation in the Democrats, it will turn the scale
decidedly in favor of the Stadtholder, in the event of their being left
to themselves without foreign interference. If foreign powers interfere,
their prospect does not brighten. I see no sure friends to the Patriots
but France, while Prussia and England are their assured enemies. Nor is
it probable, that characters so greedy, so enterprising, as the Emperor
and Empress, will be idle during such a struggle. Their views have long
shown which side they would take. That France has engaged to interfere,
and to support the Patriots, is beyond doubt. This engagement was
entered into during the life of the late King of Prussia, whose eye was
principally directed on the Emperor, and whose dispositions towards the
Prince of Orange would have permitted him to be clipped a little close.
But the present King comes in with warmer dispositions towards the
Princess his sister. He has shown decidedly, that he will support her,
even to the destruction of the balance of Europe, and the disturbance
of its peace. The King of England has equally decided to support that
house, at the risk of plunging his nation into another war. He supplies
the Prince with money at this moment. A particular remittance of one
hundred and twenty thousand guineas is known of. But his ministry is
divided. Pitt is against the King's opinion, the Duke of Richmond and
the rest of the ministers for it. Or, at least, such is the belief here.
Mr. Adams will have informed you more certainly. This division in the
English ministry, with the ill condition of their finances for war,
produces a disposition even in the King, to try first every pacific
measure: and that country and this were laboring jointly to stop
the course of hostilities in Holland, to endeavor to effect an
accommodation, and were scarcely executing at all the armaments ordered
in their ports; when all of a sudden an inflammatory letter, written
by the Princess of Orange to the King of Prussia, induces him, without
consulting England, without consulting even his own Council, to issue
orders by himself to his generals, to march twenty thousand men to
revenge the insult supposed to be offered to his sister. With a pride
and egotism planted in the heart of every King, he considers her being
stopped in the road, as a sufficient cause to sacrifice a hundred or two
thousand of his own subjects, and as many of his enemies, and to spread
fire, sword, and desolation over the half of Europe. This hasty measure
has embarrassed England, undesirous of war, if it can be avoided,
yet unwilling to separate from the power who is to render its success
probable. Still you may be assured, that that court is going on in
concurrence with this, to prevent extremities, if possible; always
understood, that if the war cannot be prevented, they will enter into
it as parties, and in opposition to one another. This event is, in my
opinion, to be deprecated by the friends of France. She never was equal
to such a war by land, and such a one by sea; and less so now, than in
any moment of the present reign. You remember that the nation was in a
delirium of joy on the convocation of the _Notables_, and on the various
reformations agreed on between them and the government. The picture of
the distress of their finances was indeed frightful, but the intentions
to reduce them to order seemed serious. The constitutional reformations
have gone on well, but those of expenses make little progress. Some
of the most obviously useless have indeed been lopped off, but the
remainder is a heavy mass, difficult to be reduced. Despair has seized
every mind, and they have passed from an extreme of joy to one of
discontent. The parliament, therefore, oppose the registering any new
tax, and insist on an Assembly of the States General. The object of
this is to limit expenses, and dictate a constitution. The edict for
the stamp tax has been the subject of reiterated orders and refusals to
register. At length, the King has summoned the parliament to Versailles
to hold a bed of justice, in which he will order them, in person,
to register the edict. At the moment of my writing, they are gone to
Versailles for this purpose. There will yet remain to them, to protest
against the register, as forced, and to issue orders against its
execution on pain of death. But as the King would have no peaceable mode
of opposition left, it remains to be seen, whether they will push the
matter to this extremity. It is evident, I think, that the spirit of
this country is advancing towards a revolution in their constitution.
There are not wanting persons at the helm, friends to the progress
of this spirit. The Provincial Assemblies will be the most probable
instrument of effecting it.

Since writing thus far, I have received an intimation, that it will be
agreeable not to press our commercial regulations at this moment, the
ministry being too much occupied with the difficulties surrounding them,
to spare a moment on any subject which will admit of delay. Our business
must, therefore, be suspended for a while. To press it out of season,
would be to defeat, it. It would be felt as a vital benefit here, could
we relieve their finances, by paying what we owe. Congress will judge
by Mr. Adams's letters, how far the transferring all our debts in this
country to Holland is practicable. On the replenishing their treasury
with our principal and interest, I should not be afraid to ask
concessions in favor of our West India trade. It would produce a great
change of opinion as to us and our affairs. In the _Assemblée des
Notables_, hard things were said of us. They were induced, however,
in committing us to writing, to smother their ideas a little. In their
votes, now gone to be printed, our debt is described in these words.
The twenty-first article of the account, formed of the interest of the
claims of his Majesty on the United States of America, cannot be drawn
out for the present, except as a document. The recovery of these claims,
as well principal as perhaps even interest, although they appear to
rest on the most solid security, may, nevertheless, be long delayed, and
should not, consequently, be taken into account in estimating the annual
revenue. This article amounts to one million and six hundred thousand
livres.' Above all things, it is desirable to hush the foreign officers
by payment. Their wants, the nature of their services, their access
to high characters, and connections with them, bespeak the reasons for
this. I hear also that Mr. Beaumarchais means to make himself heard,
if a memorial which he sends by an agent in the present packet is not
attended to, as he thinks it ought to be. He called on me with it,
and desired me to recommend his case to a decision, and to note in my
despatch, that it was the first time he had spoken to me on the
subject. This is true, it being the first time I ever saw him; but my
recommendations would be as displaced as unnecessary. I assured him
Congress would do in that business what justice should require, and
their means enable them. The information sent me by Mr. Montgomery
from Alicant, of the death of the Dey of Algiers, was not true. I had
expressed my doubt of it in my last, when I communicated it. I send
herewith the newspapers to this date, and a remonstrance of the
parliament, to show you in what language the King can be addressed at
this day. I have received no journal of Congress since the beginning of
November last, and will thank you for them, if printed.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

P. S. August 7. The parliament were received yesterday very harshly
by the King. He obliged them to register the two edicts for the _impôt
territorial_ and stamp tax. When speaking in my letter of the reiterated
orders and refusals to register, which passed between the King and
parliament, I omitted to insert the King's answer to a deputation of
parliament, which attended him at Versailles. It may serve to show
the spirit which exists between them. It was in these words, and these
only:--'_Je vous ferai savoir mes intentions. Allez-vous-en. Qu'on ferme
la porte._'



LETTER LXXXII.--TO JOHN CHURCHMAN, August 8, 1787


TO JOHN CHURCHMAN.

Paris, August 8, 1787.

Sir,

I have duly received your favor of June the 6th, and immediately
communicated its contents to a member of the Academy. He told me that
they had received the other copy of your memorial, which you mention to
have sent through another channel; that your ideas were not conveyed so
explicitly, as to enable them to decide finally on their merit, but that
they had made an entry in their journals, to preserve to you the claim
of the original idea. As far as we can conjecture it here, we imagine
you make a table of variations of the needle, for all the different
meridians whatever. To apply this table to use in the voyage between
America and Europe, suppose the variation to increase a degree in every
one hundred and sixty miles. Two difficulties occur; 1. a ready and
accurate method of finding the variation of the place; 2. an instrument
so perfect, as that (though the degree on it shall represent one hundred
and sixty miles) it shall give the parts of the degree so minutely, as
to answer the purpose of the navigator. The variation of the needle
at Paris, actually, is 21° west. I make no question you have provided
against the doubts entertained here, and I shall be happy that our
country may have the honor of furnishing the old world, what it has so
long sought in vain.

I am with much respect, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXXIII.--TO MONSIEUR L HOMMANDE, August 9, 1787


TO MONSIEUR L HOMMANDE.

Paris, August 9, 1787.

Sir,

At the time you honored me with your letter of May the 31st, I was not
returned from a journey I had taken into Italy. This circumstance,
with the mass of business which had accumulated during my absence, must
apologize for the delay of my answer. Every discovery, which multiplies
the subsistence of man, must be a matter of joy to every friend to
humanity. As such, I learn with great satisfaction, that you have
found the means of preserving flour more perfectly than has been done
hitherto. But I am not authorized to avail my country of it, by making
any offer for its communication. Their policy is to leave their citizens
free, neither restraining nor aiding them in their pursuits. Though the
interposition of government in matters of invention has its use, yet it
is in practice so inseparable from abuse, that they think it better
not to meddle with it. We are only to hope, therefore, that those
governments, who are in the habit of directing all the actions of their
subjects by particular law, may be so far sensible of the duty they
are under of cultivating useful discoveries, as to reward you amply for
yours, which is among the most interesting to humanity.

I have the honor to be, with great consideration and respect, Sir, your
most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXXIV.--TO PETER CARR, August 10, 1787


TO PETER CARR.

Paris, August 10, 1787.

Dear Peter,

I have received your two letters of December the 30th and April the
18th, and am very happy to find by them, as well as by letters from Mr.
Wythe, that you have been so fortunate as to attract his notice and
good will: I am sure you will find this to have been one of the most
fortunate events of your life, as I have ever been sensible it was of
mine. I enclose you a sketch of the sciences to which I would wish you
to apply, in such order as Mr. Wythe shall advise: I mention also the
books in them worth your reading, which submit to his correction. Many
of these are among your father's books, which you should have brought
to you. As I do not recollect those of them not in his library, you must
write to me for them, making out a catalogue of such as you think you
shall have occasion for in eighteen months from the date of your letter,
and consulting Mr. Wythe on the subject. To this sketch I will add a few
particular observations.

1. Italian. I fear the learning this language will confound your French
and Spanish. Being all of them degenerated dialects of the Latin, they
are apt to mix in conversation. I have never seen a person speaking the
three languages, who did not mix them. It is a delightful language, but
late events having rendered the Spanish more useful, lay it aside to
prosecute that.

2. Spanish. Bestow great attention on this, and endeavor to acquire an
accurate knowledge of it. Our future connections with Spain and Spanish
America, will render that language a valuable acquisition. The ancient
history of a great part of America, too, is written in that language. I
send you a dictionary.

3. Moral Philosophy. I think it lost time to attend lectures on this
branch. He who made us would have been a pitiful bungler, if he had
made the rules of our moral conduct a matter of science. For one man
of science, there are thousands who are not. What would have become of
them? Man was destined for society. His morality, therefore, was to be
formed to this object. He was endowed with a sense of right and wrong,
merely relative to this. This sense is as much a part of his nature,
as the sense of hearing, seeing, feeling; it is the true foundation of
morality, and not the [Greek: no alon]

[Illustration: Greek phrase page216]

truth, &c, as fanciful writers have imagined. The moral sense, or
conscience, is as much a part of man, as his leg or arm. It is given to
all human beings, in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members
is given them in a greater or less degree. It may be strengthened
by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body. This sense is
submitted, indeed, in some degree, to the guidance of reason; but it is
a small stock which is required for this: even a less one than what we
call common sense. State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor.
The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter,
because he has not been led astray by artificial rules. In this branch,
therefore, read good books, because they will encourage, as well as
direct your feelings. The writings of Sterne, particularly, form the
best course of morality that ever was written. Besides these, read the
books mentioned in the enclosed paper: and, above all things, lose no
occasion of exercising your dispositions to be grateful, to be generous,
to be charitable, to be humane, to be true, just, firm, orderly,
courageous, &c. Consider every act of this kind, as an exercise which
will strengthen your moral faculties, and increase your worth.

4. Religion, Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object.
In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty and
singularity of opinion. Indulge them in any other subject rather than
that of religion. It is too important, and the consequences of error may
be too serious. On the other hand, shake off all the fears and servile
prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason
firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion.
Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be
one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded
fear. You will naturally examine, first, the religion of your own
country. Read the Bible, then, as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The
facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe
on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy
and Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one
scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh
against them. But those facts in the Bible, which contradict the laws of
nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces.
Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from
God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and
whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more
improbable than a change of the laws of nature, in the case he relates.
For example, in the book of Joshua we are told the sun stood still
several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus, we should
class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c.
But it is said, that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine,
therefore, candidly, what evidence there is of his having been inspired.
The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it.
On the other hand, you are astronomer enough to know, how contrary it
is to the law of nature, that a body revolving on its axis, as the earth
does, should have stopped, should not, by that sudden stoppage, have
prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain
time have resumed its revolution, and that without a second general
prostration. Is this arrest of the earth's motion, or the evidence which
affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the
New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in
your eye the opposite pretensions, 1. of those who say he was begotten
by God, born of a virgin, suspended, and reversed the laws of nature at
will, and ascended bodily into heaven: and, 2. of those who say he was
a man, of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind,
who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them,
and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according
to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by
whipping, and the second by exile or death _in furca_. See this law in
the Digest, Lib. 48, tit. 19, § 28. 3. and Lipsius, Lib. 2. _De Cruce_,
cap. 2. These questions are examined in the books I have mentioned,
under the head of Religion, and several others. They will assist you in
your inquiries; but keep your reason firmly on the watch in reading
them all. Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its
consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find
incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its
exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find
reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting
under his eye, and that he approves you, will be a vast additional
incitement: if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy
existence in that, increases the appetite to deserve it: if that Jesus
was also a God, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love.
In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides,
and neither believe nor reject any thing, because any other person, or
description of persons, have rejected or believed it. Your own reason is
the only oracle given you by Heaven, and you are answerable not for the
rightness, but uprightness of the decision. I forgot to observe, when
speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories
of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided
for us to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists.
Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration as much as the
others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and
not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost. There
are some, however, still extant, collected by Fabricius, which I will
endeavor to get and send you.

5. Travelling. This makes men wiser, but less happy. When men of sober
age travel, they gather knowledge, which they may apply usefully for
their country; but they are subject ever after to recollections mixed
with regret; their affections are weakened by being extended over more
objects; and they learn new habits, which cannot be gratified when
they return home. Young men who travel are exposed to all these
inconveniences in a higher degree, to others still more serious, and do
not acquire that wisdom for which a previous foundation is requisite, by
repeated and just observations at home. The glare of pomp and pleasure
is analogous to the motion of the blood; it absorbs all their affection
and attention; they are torn from it as from the only good in this
world, and return to their home as to a place of exile and condemnation.
Their eyes are for ever turned back to the object they have lost, and
its recollection poisons the residue of their lives. Their first and
most delicate passions are hackneyed on unworthy objects here, and they
carry home the dregs, insufficient to make themselves or any body else
happy. Add to this, that a habit of idleness, an inability to apply
themselves to business is acquired, and renders them useless to
themselves and their country. These observations are founded in
experience. There is no place where your pursuit of knowledge will be
so little obstructed by foreign objects, as in your own country, nor any
wherein the virtues of the heart will be less exposed to be weakened. Be
good, be learned, and be industrious, and you will not want the aid
of travelling, to render you precious to your country, dear to your
friends, happy within yourself. I repeat my advice, to take a great deal
of exercise, and on foot. Health is the first requisite after morality.
Write to me often, and be assured of the interest I take in your
success, as well as the warmth of those sentiments of attachment with
which I am, Dear Peter, your affectionate friend,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXXV.--TO DR. GILMER, August 11, 1787


TO DR. GILMER.

Paris, August 11, 1787.

Dear Doctor,

Your letter of January the 9th, 1787, came safely to hand in the month
of June last. Unluckily you forgot to sign it, and your hand-writing is
so Protean, that one cannot be sure it is yours. To increase the causes
of incertitude, it was dated Pen-Park, a name which I only know, as the
seat of John Harmer. The hand-writing, too, being somewhat in his style,
made me ascribe it hastily to him, indorse it with his name, and let
it lie in my bundle to be answered at leisure. That moment of leisure
arriving, I sat down to answer it to John Harmer, and now, for the
first time, discover marks of its being yours, and particularly those
expressions of friendship to myself and family, which you have ever been
so good as to entertain, and which are to me among the most precious
possessions. I wish my sense of this, and my desires of seeing you rich
and happy, may not prevent my seeing any difficulty in the case you
state of George Harmer's wills; which, as you state them, are thus.

1. A will, dated December the 26th, 1779, written in his own hand, and
devising to his brother the estates he had received from him.

2. Another will, dated June the 25th, 1782, written also in his own
hand, devising his estate to trustees, to be conveyed to such of his
relations, I. H., I. L., or H. L., as should become capable of acquiring
property, or, on failure of that, to be sold, and the money remitted
them.

3. A third will, dated September the 12th, 1786, devising all his estate
at Marrowbone, and his tracts at Horse-pasture and Poison-field to you;
which will is admitted to record, and of course has been duly executed.

You say the learned are divided on these wills. Yet I see no cause of
division, as it requires little learning to decide, that 'the first
deed and last will must always prevail.' I am afraid, therefore, the
difficulty may arise on the want of words of inheritance in the devise
to you: for you state it as a devise to 'George Gilmer'(without adding
'and to his heirs') of 'all the _estate_ called Marrowbone,' 'the
_tract_ called Horse-pasture,' and 'the tract called Poison-field.' If
the question is on this point, and you have copied the words of the will
exactly, I suppose you take an estate in fee simple in Marrowbone, and
for life only in Horse-pasture and Poison-field; the want of words of
inheritance in the two last cases, being supplied as to the first, by
the word 'estate,' which has been repeatedly decided to be descriptive
of the quantum of interest devised, as well as of its locality. I am in
hopes, however, you have not copied the words exactly, that there are
words of inheritance to all the devises, as the testator certainly
knew their necessity, and that the conflict only will be between the
different wills, in which case, I see nothing which can be opposed to
the last. I shall be very happy to eat at Pen-park some of the good
mutton and beef of Marrowbone, Horse-pasture, and Poison-field, with
yourself and Mrs. Gilmer, and my good old neighbors. I am as happy no
where else, and in no other society, and all my wishes end, where I hope
my days will end, at Monticello. Too many scenes of happiness mingle
themselves with all the recollections of my native woods and fields, to
suffer them to be supplanted in my affection by any other. I consider
myself here as a traveller only, and not a resident. My commission
expires next spring, and if not renewed, I shall of course return then.
If renewed, I shall remain here some time longer. How much, I cannot
say; yet my wishes shorten the period. Among the strongest inducements,
will be that of your society and Mrs. Gilmer's, which I am glad to find
brought more within reach, by your return to Pen-park. My daughters are
importunate to return also. Patsy enjoys good health, and is growing
to my stature. Maria arrived here about a month ago, after a favorable
voyage, and in perfect health. My own health has been as good as ever,
after the first year's probation. If you knew how agreeable to me are
the details of the small news of my neighborhood, your charity would
induce you to write frequently. Your letters lodged in the post-office
at Richmond (to be forwarded to New York) come with certainty. We are
doubtful yet, whether there will be war or not. Present me with warm
affection to Mrs. Gilmer, and be assured yourself of the unvarying
sentiments of esteem and attachment, with which I am, Dear Doctor, your
sincere friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXXVI.--TO JOSEPH JONES, August 14, 1787


TO JOSEPH JONES.

Paris, August 14, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I have never yet thanked you, but with the heart, for the act of
Assembly confirming the agreement with Maryland, the pamphlet, and
papers, I received from you a twelvemonth ago. Very soon after their
receipt, I got my right wrist dislocated, which prevented me long from
writing, and as soon as that was able to bear it, I took a long journey,
from which I am but lately returned. I am anxious to hear what
our federal convention recommends, and what the States will do in
consequence of their recommendation. * * * * With all the defects of
our constitution, whether general or particular, the comparison of our
governments with those of Europe, is like a comparison of heaven and
hell. England, like the earth, may be allowed to take the intermediate
station. And yet I hear there are people among you, who think the
experience of our governments has already proved, that republican
governments will not answer. Send those gentry here, to count the
blessings of monarchy. A king's sister, for instance, stopped in the
road, and on a hostile journey, is sufficient cause for him to march
immediately twenty thousand men to revenge this insult, when he had
shown himself little moved by the matter of right then in question.

*****

From all these broils we are happily free, and that God may keep us long
so, and yourself in health and happiness, is the prayer of,

Dear Sir, your most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXXVII.--TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, August 14, 1787


TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Paris, August 14, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I was happy to find, by the letter of August the 1st, 1786, which you
did me the honor to write to me, that the modern dress for your statue,
would meet your approbation. I found it strongly the sentiment of
West, Copely, Trumbull, and Brown, in London; after which it would be
ridiculous to add, that it was my own. I think a modern in an antique
dress, as just an object of ridicule, as a Hercules or Marius with a
periwig and chapeau bras.

I remember having written to you, while Congress sat at Annapolis, on
the water communication between ours and the western country, and to
have mentioned, particularly, the information I had received of
the plain face of the country between the sources of Big-beaver and
Cayohoga, which made me hope that a canal, of no great expense, might
unite the navigation of Lake Erie and the Ohio. You must since have had
occasion of getting better information on this subject, and if you have,
you would oblige me by a communication of it. I consider this canal, if
practicable, as a very important work.

I remain in hopes of great and good effects from the decision of the
Assembly over which you are presiding. To make our States one as to all
foreign concerns, preserve them several as to all merely domestic,
to give to the federal head some peaceable mode of enforcing its just
authority, to organize that head into legislative, executive, and
judiciary departments, are great desiderata in our federal constitution.
Yet with all its defects, and with all those of our particular
governments, the inconveniences resulting from them are so light, in
comparison with those existing in every other government on earth, that
our citizens may certainly be considered as in the happiest political
situation which exists.

The _Assemblée des Notables_ has been productive of much good in this
country. The reformation of some of the most oppressive laws has taken
place, and is taking place. The allotment of the State into subordinate
governments, the administration of which is committed to persons chosen
by the people, will work in time a very beneficial change in their
constitution. The expense of the trappings of monarchy, too, is
lightening. Many of the useless officers, high and low, of the King,
Queen, and Princes, are struck off. Notwithstanding all this, the
discovery of the abominable abuses of public money by the late
Comptroller General, some new expenses of the court, not of a piece with
the projects of reformation, and the imposition of new taxes, have, in
the course of a few weeks, raised a spirit of discontent in this nation,
so great and so general, as to threaten serious consequences. The
parliaments in general, and particularly that of Paris, put themselves
at the head of this effervescence, and direct its object to the calling
the States General, who have not been assembled since 1614. The object
is to fix a constitution, and to limit expenses. The King has been
obliged to hold a bed of justice, to enforce the registering the new
taxes: the parliament, on their side, propose to issue a prohibition
against their execution. Very possibly this may bring on their exile.
The mild and patriotic character of the new ministry is the principal
dependence against this extremity.

The turn which the affairs of Europe will take, is not yet decided.

A war, wherein France, Holland, and England should be parties, seems,
_primâ facie_, to promise much advantage to us. But, in the first place,
no war can be safe for us, which threatens France with an unfavorable
issue. And, in the next, it will probably embark us again into the
ocean of speculation, engage us to overtrade ourselves, convert us into
sea-rovers, under French and Dutch colors, divert us from agriculture,
which is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute
most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness. The wealth acquired by
speculation and plunder, is fugacious in its nature, and fills society
with the spirit of gambling. The moderate and sure income of husbandry
begets permanent improvement, quiet life, and orderly conduct, both
public and private. We have no occasion for more commerce than to
take off our superfluous produce, and the people complain that some
restrictions prevent this; yet the price of articles with us, in
general, shows the contrary. Tobacco, indeed, is low, not because we
cannot carry it where we please, but because we make more than the
consumption requires. Upon the whole, I think peace advantageous to
us, necessary for Europe, and desirable for humanity. A few days will
decide, probably, whether all these considerations are to give way to
the bad passions of Kings, and those who would be Kings.

I have the honor to be, with very sincere esteem and respect, Dear Sir,
your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

P. S. August 15. The parliament is exiled to Troyes this morning. T. J.



LETTER LXXXVIII.--TO COLONEL HUMPHREYS, August 14, 1787


TO COLONEL HUMPHREYS.

Paris, August 14, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I remember when you left us, it was with a promise to supply all the
defects of correspondence in our friends, of which we complained, and
which you had felt in common with us. Yet I have received but one letter
from you, which was dated June the 5th, 1786, and I answered it August
the 14th, 1786. Dropping that, however, and beginning a new account,
I will observe to you, that wonderful improvements are making here in
various lines. In architecture, the wall of circumvallation round
Paris, and the palaces by which we are to be let out and in, are
nearly completed; four hospitals are to be built instead of the old
_hôtel-dieu_; one of the old bridges has all its houses demolished, and
a second nearly so; a new bridge is begun at the Place Louis XV.; the
Palais Royal is gutted, a considerable part in the centre of the
garden being dug out, and a subterranean circus begun, wherein will be
equestrian exhibitions, &c. In society, the _habit habille_ is almost
banished, and they begin to go even to great suppers in frock: the court
and diplomatic corps, however, must always be excepted. They are too
high to be reached by any improvement. They are the last refuge from
which etiquette, formality, and folly will be driven. Take away these,
and they would be on a level with other people.

     [After describing the unsettled state of Europe, as in some
     of the preceding letters, the writer proceeds.]

So much for the blessings of having Kings, and magistrates who would be
Kings. From these events our young republics may learn useful lessons,
never to call on foreign powers to settle their differences, to guard
against hereditary magistrates, to prevent their citizens from becoming
so established in wealth and power, as to be thought worthy of alliance
by marriage with the nieces, sisters, &c. of Kings, and, in short, to
besiege the throne of Heaven with eternal prayers, to extirpate from
creation this class of human lions, tigers, and mammoths, called Kings;
from whom, let him perish who does not say, 'Good Lord, deliver us;' and
that so we may say, one and all, or perish, is the fervent prayer of
him who has the honor to mix with it sincere wishes for your health and
happiness, and to be, with real attachment and respect, Dear Sir, your
affectionate friend and humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER LXXXIX.--TO JOHN JAY, August 15, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Sir,

Paris, August 15, 1787.

An American gentleman leaving Paris this afternoon, to go by the way
of L'Orient to Boston, furnishes me the rare occasion of a conveyance,
other than the packet, sure and quick. My letter by the packet informed
you of the bed of justice, for enregistering the stamp tax and land
tax. The parliament, on their return came to an _Arrêtée_ (a resolution)
which, besides protesting against the enregistering, as done by force,
laid the foundation for an _Arrêt de defence_ (an act) against the
execution of the two new laws. The question on the final _Arrêt_ was
adjourned to the day before yesterday. It is believed they did not
conclude on this _Arrêt_, as it has not appeared. However, there was a
concourse of about ten thousand people at the parliament house, who, on
their adjournment, received them with acclamations of joy, loosened
the horses of the most eminent speakers against the tax from their
carriages, and drew them home. This morning, the parliament is exiled
to Troyes. It is believed to proceed, principally, from the fear of a
popular commotion here.

The officer charged by this court, to watch the English squadron, which
was under sailing orders, returned about a week ago with information
that it had sailed, having shaped its course west-wardly. This is
another step towards war. It is the more suspicious, as their minister
here denies the fact. Count Adhemar is here from London, by leave from
his court. The Duke of Dorset, the British ambassador here, has lately
gone to London on leave. Neither of these ambassadors has the confidence
of his court, on the point of abilities. The latter merits it for his
honesty. The minister of the British court, resident here, remains; but
Mr. Eden, their ambassador to Spain, under pretence of taking this
in his route, is in truth their _fac-totum_ in the present emergency.
Nothing worth noting has occurred since my last, either in the Dutch or
Austrian Netherlands.

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem and respect, Sir,
your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XC.--TO JOHN ADAMS, August 30, 1787


TO JOHN ADAMS.

Paris, August 30, 1787.

Dear Sir,

Since your favor of July the 10th, mine have been of July the 17th,
23rd, and 28th. The last enclosed a bill of exchange from Mr. Grand, on
Tessier, for £46. 17s. 10d. sterling, to answer General Sullivan's bill
for that sum. I hope it got safe to hand, though I have been anxious
about it, as it went by post, and my letters through that channel
sometimes miscarry.

From the separation of the _Notables_ to the present moment, has been
perhaps the most interesting interval ever known in this country.
The propositions of the government, approved by the _Notables_, were
precious to the nation, and have been in an honest course of execution,
some of them being carried into effect, and others preparing. Above all,
the establishment of the Provincial Assemblies, some of which have begun
their sessions, bid fair to be the instrument for circumscribing the
power of the crown, and raising the people into consideration. The
election given to them, is what will do this. Though the minister, who
proposed these improvements, seems to have meant them as the price
of the new supplies, the game has been so played, as to secure the
improvements to the nation, without securing the price. The _Notables_
spoke softly on the subject of the additional supplies. But the
parliament took them up roundly, refused to register the edicts for the
new taxes, till compelled in a bed of justice, and suffered themselves
to be transferred to Troyes, rather than withdraw their opposition. It
is urged principally against the King, that his revenue is one hundred
and thirty millions more than that of his predecessor was, and yet he
demands one hundred and twenty millions further. You will see this well
explained in the '_Conference entre un Ministre d'etat et un Conseiller
au parliament,_' which I send you with some small pamphlets. In the
mean time, all tongues in Paris (and in France as it is said) have been
let loose, and never was a license of speaking against the government,
exercised in London more freely or more universally. Caricatures,
placards, _bons-mots_, have been indulged in by all ranks of people,
and I know of no well attested instance of a single punishment. For some
time, mobs of ten, twenty, and thirty thousand people collected daily,
surrounded the Parliament house, huzzaed the members, even entered
the doors and examined into their conduct, took the horses out of the
carriages of those who did well, and drew them home. The government
thought it prudent to prevent these, drew some regiments into the
neighborhood, multiplied the guards, had the streets constantly
patrolled by strong parties, suspended privileged places, forbade all
clubs, &c. The mobs have ceased: perhaps this may be partly owing to the
absence of Parliament. The Count d'Artois, sent to hold a bed of justice
in the _Cour des Aides_, was hissed and hooted without reserve, by the
populace; the carriage of Madame de (I forget the name), in the Queen's
livery, was stopped by the populace, under a belief that it was Madame
de Polignac, whom they would have insulted; the Queen, going to the
theatre at Versailles with Madame de Polignac, was received with a
general hiss. The King, long in the habit of drowning his cares in
wine, plunges deeper and deeper. The Queen cries, but sins on. The Count
d'Artois is detested, and Monsieur, the general favorite. The Archbishop
of Toulouse is made minister principal, a virtuous, patriotic, and able
character. The Marechal de Castries retired yesterday, notwithstanding
strong solicitations to remain in office. The Marechal de Segur retired
at the same time, prompted to it by the court. Their successors are not
yet known. Monsieur de St. Priest goes ambassador to Holland, in the
room of Verac, transferred to Switzerland, and the Count de Moustier
goes to America, in the room of the Chevalier de la Luzerne, who has
a promise of the first vacancy. These nominations are not yet made
formally, but they are decided on, and the parties are ordered to
prepare for their destination.

As it has been long since I have had a confidential conveyance to you,
I have brought together the principal facts from the adjournment of the
Notables, to the present moment, which, as you will perceive from their
nature, required a confidential conveyance. I have done it the rather,
because, though you will have heard many of them, and seen them in the
public papers, yet, floating in the mass of lies which constitute the
atmosphere of London and Paris, you may not have been sure of their
truth; and I have mentioned every truth of any consequence, to enable
you to stamp as false, the facts pretermitted. I think that in the
course of three months, the royal authority has lost, and the rights
of the nation gained, as much ground by a revolution of public opinion
only, as England gained in all her civil wars under the Stuarts. I
rather believe, too, they will retain the ground gained, because it
is defended by the young and the middle-aged, in opposition to the old
only. The first party increases, and the latter diminishes daily, from
the course of nature. You may suppose, that in this situation, war would
be unwelcome to France. She will surely avoid it, if not forced into it
by the courts of London and Berlin. If forced, it is probable she
will change the system of Europe totally, by an alliance with the two
empires, to whom nothing would be more desirable. In the event of such
a coalition, not only Prussia, but the whole European world must receive
from them their laws. But France will probably endeavor to preserve the
present system, if it can be done, by sacrificing, to a certain degree,
the pretensions of the patriotic party in Holland. But of all these
matters, you can judge, in your position, where less secrecy is
observed, better than I can.

I have news from America as late as July the 19th. Nothing had
transpired from the federal convention. I am sorry they began their
deliberations by so abominable a precedent, as that of tying up the
tongues of their members. Nothing can justify this example, but the
innocence of their intentions, and ignorance of the value of public
discussions. I have no doubt that all their other measures will be good
and wise. It is really an assembly of demigods. General Washington was
of opinion, that they should not separate till October.

I have the honor to be, with every sentiment of friendship and respect,
Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XCI.--TO MR. WYTHE, September 16,1787


TO MR. WYTHE.

Paris, September 16,1787.

Dear Sir,

I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of December the 13th
and 22nd, 1786, and of January, 1787. These should not have been so
long unanswered, but that they arrived during my absence on a journey of
between three and four months, through the southern parts of France and
northern of Italy. In the latter country, my time allowed me to go no
further than Turin, Milan, and Genoa: consequently, I scarcely got
into classical ground. I took with me some of the writings, in which
endeavors have been made to investigate the passage of Annibal over the
Alps, and was just able to satisfy myself, from a view of the
country, that the descriptions given of his march are not sufficiently
particular, to enable us, at this day, even to guess at his track across
the Alps. In architecture, painting, sculpture, I found much amusement:
but more than all, in their agriculture, many objects of which might be
adopted with us to great advantage. I am persuaded, there are many parts
of our lower country where the olive tree might be raised, which is
assuredly the richest gift of Heaven. I can scarcely except bread. I see
this tree supporting thousands among the Alps, where there is not soil
enough to make bread for a single family. The caper, too, might be
cultivated with us. The fig we do raise. I do not speak of the vine,
because it is the parent of misery. Those who cultivate it are always
poor, and he who would employ himself with us in the culture of corn,
cotton, &c. can procure, in exchange for them, much more wine, and
better, than he could raise by its direct culture.

I sent you formerly copies of the documents on the Tagliaferro family,
which I had received from Mr. Febroni. I now send the originals. I have
procured for you a copy of Polybius, the best edition; but the best
edition of Vitruvius which is with the commentaries of Ficinus, is not
to be got here. I have sent to Holland for it. In the mean time, the
Polybius comes in a box containing books for Peter Carr, and for some of
my friends in Williamsburg and its vicinities. I have taken the liberty
of addressing the box to you. It goes to New York in the packet-boat
which carries this letter, and will be forwarded to you by water, by Mr.
Madison. Its freight to New York is paid here. The transportation from
thence to Williamsburg, will be demanded of you, and shall stand as the
equivalent to the cost of Polybius and Vitruvius, if you please. The
difference either way, will not be worth the trouble of raising and
transmitting accounts. I send you herewith a state of the contents of
the box, and for whom each article is. Among these are some, as you will
perceive, of which I ask your acceptance. It is a great comfort to me,
that while here, I am able to furnish some amusement to my friends, by
sending them such productions of genius, ancient and modern, as might
otherwise escape them; and I hope they will permit me to avail myself of
the occasion, while it lasts.

This world is going all to war. I hope ours will remain clear of it. It
is already declared between the Turks and Russians, and considering the
present situation of Holland, it cannot fail to spread itself all over
Europe. Perhaps it may not be till next spring, that the other powers
will be engaged in it: nor is it as yet clear, how they will arrange
themselves. I think it not impossible, that France and the two empires
may join against all the rest. The Patriotic party in Holland will
be saved by this, and the Turks sacrificed. The only thing which can
prevent the union of France and the two empires, is the difficulty of
agreeing about the partition of the spoils. Constantinople is the key of
Asia. Who shall have it, is the question. I cannot help looking forward
to the re-establishment of the Greeks as a people, and the language of
Homer becoming again a living language, as among possible events. You
have now with you Mr. Paradise, who can tell you how easily the modern
may be improved into the ancient Greek.

You ask me in your letter, what ameliorations I think necessary in our
federal constitution. It is now too late to answer the question, and
it would always have been presumption in me to have done it. Your own
ideas, and those of the great characters who were to be concerned with
you in these discussions, will give the law, as they ought to do, to us
all. My own general idea was, that the States should severally preserve
their sovereignty in whatever concerns themselves alone, and that
whatever may concern another State, or any foreign nation, should be
made a part of the federal sovereignty: that the exercise of the federal
sovereignty should be divided among three several bodies, legislative,
executive, and judiciary, as the State sovereignties are: and that
some peaceable means should be contrived, for the federal head to force
compliance on the part of the States. I have reflected on your idea of
wooden or ivory diagrams, for the geometrical demonstrations. I should
think wood as good as ivory; and that in this case, it might add to the
improvement of the young gentlemen, that they should make the figures
themselves. Being furnished by a workman with a piece of vineer, no
other tool than a penknife and a wooden rule would be necessary. Perhaps
pasteboards, or common cards, might be still more convenient. The
difficulty is, how to reconcile figures which must have a very sensible
breadth, to our ideas of a mathematical line, which, as it has neither
breadth nor thickness, will revolt more at these, than at simple lines
drawn on paper or slate. If, after reflecting on this proposition, you
would prefer having them made here, lay your commands on me, and they
shall be executed.

I return you a thousand thanks for your goodness to my nephew. After my
debt to you for whatever I am myself, it is increasing it too much,
to interest yourself for his future fortune. But I know that to you, a
consciousness of doing good is a luxury ineffable. You have enjoyed it
already, beyond all human measure, and that you may long live to enjoy
it, and to bless your country and friends, is the sincere prayer of him,
who is, with every possible sentiment of esteem and respect, Dear Sir,
your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XCII.--TO JOHN JAY, September 19, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Sir,

Paris, September 19, 1787.

My last letters to you were of the 6th and 15th of August; since which,
I have been honored with yours of July the 24th, acknowledging the
receipt of mine of the 14th and 23d of February. I am anxious to hear
you have received that also of May the 4th, written from Marseilles.
According to the desires of Congress, expressed in their vote confirming
the appointments of Francisco Giuseppa and Girolamo Chiappi, their
agents in Morocco, I have written letters to these gentlemen, to begin a
correspondence with them. To the first, I have enclosed the ratification
of the treaty with the Emperor of Morocco, and shall send it either by
our agent at Marseilles, who is now here, or by the Count Daranda, who
sets out for Madrid in a few days, having relinquished his embassy here.
I shall proceed on the redemption of our captives at Algiers, as soon as
the commissioners of the treasury shall enable me, by placing the money
necessary under my orders. The prisoners redeemed by the religious order
of Mathurins, cost about four hundred dollars each, and the General of
the order told me, that they had never been able to redeem foreigners on
so good terms as their own countrymen. Supposing that their redemption,
clothing, feeding, and transportation should amount to five hundred
dollars each, there must be, at least, a sum of ten thousand dollars set
apart for this purpose. Till this is done, I shall take no other step
than the preparatory one, of destroying at Algiers all idea of our
intending to redeem the prisoners. This, the General of the Mathurins
told me, was indispensably necessary, and that it must not, on any
account, transpire, that the public would interest themselves for their
redemption. This was rendered the more necessary, by the declaration of
the Dey to the Spanish consul, that he should hold him responsible, at
the Spanish price, for our prisoners, even for such as should die. Three
of them have died of the plague. By authorizing me to redeem at the
prices usually paid by the European nations, Congress, I suppose, could
not mean the Spanish price, which is not only unusual but unprecedented,
and would make our vessels the first object with those pirates. I
shall pay no attention, therefore, to the Spanish price, unless further
instructed. Hard as it may seem, I should think it necessary, not to
let it be known even to the relations of the captives, that we mean to
redeem them.

I have the honor to inclose you a paper from the admiralty of
Guadaloupe, sent to me as a matter of form, and to be lodged, I suppose,
with our marine records. I enclose, also, a copy of a letter from the
Count de Florida Blanca to Mr. Carmichael, by which you will perceive,
they have referred the settlement of the claim of South Carolina for
the use of their frigate, to Mr. Gardoqui, and to the Delegates of South
Carolina in Congress.

I had the honor to inform you in my last letter, of the parliament's
being transferred to Troyes. To put an end to the tumults in Paris,
some regiments were brought nearer, the patroles were strengthened and
multiplied, some mutineers punished by imprisonment: it produced the
desired effect. It is confidently believed, however, that the parliament
will be immediately recalled, the stamp tax and land tax repealed, and
other means devised of accommodating their receipts and expenditures.
Those supposed to be in contemplation, are, a rigorous levy of the old
tax of the _deux vingtiemes_, on the rich, who had, in a great measure,
withdrawn their property from it, as well as on the poor, on whom it had
principally fallen. This will greatly increase the receipts: while they
are proceeding on the other hand, to reform their expenses far beyond
what they had promised. It is said these reformations will amount to
eighty millions. Circumstances render these measures more and more
pressing. I mentioned to you in my last letter, that the officer
charged by the ministry to watch the motion of the British squadron, had
returned with information that it had sailed westwardly. The fact was
not true. He had formed his conclusion too hastily, and thus led the
ministry into error. The King of Prussia, urged on by England, has
pressed more and more the affairs of Holland and lately has given to the
States General of Holland four days only to comply with his demand.
This measure would, of itself, have rendered it impossible for France
to proceed longer in the line of accommodation with Prussia. In the
same moment, an event takes place, which seems to render all attempt at
accommodation idle. The Turks have declared war against the Russians,
and that under circumstances which exclude all prospect of preventing
its taking place. The King of Prussia having deserted his ancient
friends, there remain only France and Turkey, perhaps Spain also,
to oppose the two empires, Prussia and England. By such a piece of
Quixotism, France might plunge herself into ruin with the Turks and
Dutch, but would save neither. But there is certainly a confederacy
secretly in contemplation, of which the public have not yet the smallest
suspicion; that is between France and the two empires. I think it
sure that Russia has desired this, and that the Emperor, after some
hesitation, has acceded. It rests on this country to close. Her
indignation against the King of Prussia will be some spur. She will
thereby save her party in Holland, and only abandon the Turks to that
fate she cannot ward off, and which their precipitation has brought on
themselves, by the instigation of the English ambassador at the Porte,
and against the remonstrances of the French ambassador. Perhaps this
formidable combination, should it take place, may prevent the war of the
western powers, as it would seem that neither England nor Prussia would
carry their false calculations so far, as, with the aid of the Turks
only, to oppose themselves to such a force. In that case, the Patriots
of Holland would be peaceably established in the powers of their
government, and the war go on against the Turks only, who would probably
be driven from Europe. This new arrangement would be a total change
of the European system, and a favorable one for our friends. The
probability of a general war, in which this country would be engaged
on one side, and England on the other, has appeared to me sufficient to
justify my writing to our agents in the different ports of France, to
put our merchants on their guard, against risking their property in
French or English bottoms. The Emperor, instead of treading back his
steps in Brabant, as was expected, has pursued the less honorable plan
of decoying his subjects thence by false pretences, to let themselves
be invested by his troops, and this done, he dictates to them his own
terms. Yet it is not certain the matter will end with that.

The Count De Moustier is nominated Minister Plenipotentiary to America;
and a frigate is ordered to Cherbourg, to carry him over. He will
endeavor to sail by the middle of the next month, but if any delay
should make him pass over the whole of October, he will defer his voyage
to the spring, being unwilling to undertake a winter passage. Monsieur
de St. Priest is sent ambassador to Holland, in the room of Monsieur
de Verac, appointed to Switzerland. The Chevalier de Luzerne might,
I believe,have gone to Holland, but he preferred a general promise of
promotion, and the possibility that it might be to the court of London.
His prospects are very fair. His brother, the Count de la Luzerne, (now
Governor in the West Indies) is appointed minister of the marine, in
the place of Monsieur de Castries, who has resigned. The Archbishop of
Toulouse is appointed ministre principal, and his brother Monsieur
de Brienne, minister of war, in the place of Monsieur de Segur. The
department of the Comptroller has had a very rapid succession of
tenants. From Monsieur de Calonne it passed to Monsieur de Forqueux,
from him to Villedeuil, and from him to Lambert, who holds it at
present, but divided with a Monsieur Cabarrus (whom I believe you knew
in Spain), who is named _Directeur du tresor royal_, the office into
which M. Necker came at first. I had the honor to inform you, that
before the departure of the Count de Luzerne to his government in the
West Indies, I had pressed on him the patronage of our trade with the
French islands; that he appeared well disposed, and assured me he would
favor us as much as his instructions, and the laws of the colonies,
would permit. I am in hopes, these dispositions will be strengthened by
his residence in the islands, and that his acquaintance among the people
there will be an additional motive to favor them. Probably they will
take advantage of his appointment, to press indulgences in commerce with
us. The ministry is of a liberal complexion, and well disposed to
us. The war may add to the motives for opening their islands to other
resources for their subsistence, and for doing what may be agreeable to
us. It seems to me at present, then, that the moment of the arrival of
the Count de la Luzerne will be the moment for trying to obtain a
freer access to their islands. It would be very material to do this, if
possible, in a permanent way, that is to say, by treaty. But I know of
nothing we have to offer in equivalent. Perhaps the payment of our
debt to them might be made use of as some inducement, while they are
so distressed for money. Yet the borrowing the money in Holland will
be rendered more difficult by the same event, in proportion as it will
increase the demand for money by other powers.

The gazettes of Ley den and France, to this date, are enclosed, together
with some pamphlets on the internal affairs of this country.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XCIII.--TO CHARLES THOMSON, September 20, 1787


TO CHARLES THOMSON.

Paris, September 20, 1787.

Dear Sir,

Your favor of April the 28th did not come to my hands till the 1st
instant. Unfortunately, the boxes of plants, which were a day too late
to come by the April packet, missed the packet of June the 10th also,
and only came by that of July the 25th. They are not yet arrived at
Paris, but I expect them daily. I am sensible of your kind attention to
them, and that as you were leaving New York, you took the course which
bade fair to be the best. That they were forgotten in the hands in
which you placed them, was probably owing to much business, and more
important. I have desired Mr. Madison to refund to you the money,
you were so kind as to advance for me. The delay of your letter will
apologize for this delay of the repayment. I thank you also, for the
extract of the letter you were so kind as to communicate to me, on the
antiquities found in the western country. I wish that the persons who
go thither, would make very exact descriptions of what they see of that
kind, without forming any theories. The moment a person forms a theory,
his imagination sees in every object, only the traits which favor that
theory. But it is too early to form theories on those antiquities.
We must wait with patience till more facts are collected. I wish your
Philosophical Society would collect exact descriptions of the several
monuments as yet known, and insert them naked in their Transactions, and
continue their attention to those hereafter to be discovered. Patience
and observation may enable us, in time, to solve the problem, whether
those who formed the scattering monuments in our western country, were
colonies sent off from Mexico or the founders of Mexico itself; whether
both were the descendants or the progenitors of the Asiatic red men.
The Mexican tradition, mentioned by Dr. Robertson, is an evidence, but
a feeble one, in favor of the one opinion. The number of languages
radically different, is a strong evidence in favor of the contrary one.
There is an American by the name of Ledyard, he who was with Captain
Cook on his last voyage, and wrote an account of that voyage, who has
gone to St. Petersburg; from thence he was to go to Kamtschatka; to
cross over thence to the northwest coast of America, and to penetrate
through the main continent, to our side of it. He is a person of
ingenuity and information. Unfortunately, he has too much imagination.
However, if he escapes safely, he will give us new, curious, and useful
information. I had a letter from him, dated last March, when he was
about to leave St. Petersburg on his way to Kamtschatka.

With respect to the inclination of the strata of rocks, I had observed
them between the Blue Ridge and North Mountains in Virginia, to be
parallel with the pole of the earth. I observed the same thing in most
instances in the Alps, between Cette and Turin: but in returning along
the precipices of the Apennines, where they hang over the Mediterranean,
their direction was totally different and various: and you mention, that
in our western country, they are horizontal. This variety proves they
have not been formed by subsidence, as some writers of theories of the
earth have pretended; for then they should always have been in circular
strata, and concentric. It proves, too, that they have not been formed
by the rotation of the earth on its axis, as might have been suspected,
had all these strata been parallel with that axis. They may, indeed,
have been thrown up by explosions, as Whitehurst supposes, or have been
the effect of convulsions. But there can be no proof of the explosion,
nor is it probable that convulsions have deformed every spot of the
earth. It is now generally agreed that rock grows, and it seems that it
grows in layers in every direction, as the branches of trees grow in
all directions. Why seek further the solution of this phenomenon? Every
thing in nature decays. If it were not reproduced then by growth, there
would be a chasm.

I remember you asked me in a former letter, whether the steam-mill
in London was turned by the steam immediately, or by the intermediate
agency of water raised by the steam. When I was in London, Boulton
made a secret of his mill. Therefore, I was permitted to see it only
superficially. I saw no water-wheels, and therefore supposed none.
I answered you, accordingly, that there were none. But when I was at
Nismes, I went to see the steam-mill there, and they showed it to me in
all its parts. I saw that their steam raised water, and that this
water turned a wheel. I expressed my doubts of the necessity of the
inter-agency of water, and that the London mill was without it. But they
supposed me mistaken; perhaps I was so: I have had no opportunity since
of clearing up the doubt.

*****

I had a letter from Mr. Churchman, but not developing his plan of
knowing the longitude, fully. I wrote him what was doubted about it, so
far as we could conjecture what it was.

I am with very great and sincere esteem, Dear Sir, your friend and
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XCIV.--TO JOHN JAY, September 22,1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, September 22,1787.

Sir,

The letters of which the inclosed are copies, are this moment received,
and as there is a possibility that they may reach Havre before the
packet sails, I have the honor of enclosing them to you. They contain a
promise of reducing the duties on tar, pitch, and turpentine, and that
the government will interest itself with the city of Rouen, to reduce
the local duty on potash. By this you will perceive, that we are getting
on a little in this business, though under their present embarrassments,
it is difficult to procure the attention of the ministers to it. The
parliament has enregistered the edict for a rigorous levy of the _deux
vingtièmes_. As this was proposed by the King in lieu of the _impôt
territorial_, there is no doubt now, that the latter, with the stamp
tax, will be immediately repealed. There can be no better proof of the
revolution in the public opinion, as to the powers of the monarch,
and of the force, too, of that opinion. Six weeks ago, we saw the King
displaying the plenitude of his omnipotence, as hitherto conceived, to
enforce these two acts. At this day, he is forced to retract them by the
public voice; for as to the opposition of the parliamemt, that body is
too little esteemed to produce this effect in any case, where the public
do not throw themselves into the same scale.

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem and respect, Sir,
your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XCV.--TO JOHN JAY, September 22, 1787

TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, September 22, 1787.

Sir,

When I had the honor of addressing you this morning, intelligence
was handing about, which I did not think well enough authenticated to
communicate to you. As it is now ascertained, I avail myself of the
chance that another post may yet reach Havre, before the departure of
the packet. This will depend on the wind, which has for some days
been unfavorable. I must premise that this court, about ten days
ago, declared, by their _Chargé des Affaires_ in Holland, that if
the Prussian troops continued to menace Holland with an invasion, his
Majesty was determined, in quality of ally, to succor that province. An
official letter from the Hague, of the 18th instant, assures that the
Prussian army entered the territory of Holland on the 15th, that most
of the principal towns had submitted, some after firing a gun or two,
others without resistance: that the Rhingrave de Salm had evacuated
Utrecht, with part of the troops under his command, leaving behind him
one hundred and forty-four pieces of cannon, with great warlike stores:
that the standard of Orange was hoisted every where: that no other
cockade could be worn at the Hague: that the States General were to
assemble that night for reinstating the Stadtholder in all his rights.
The letter concludes, 'We have this moment intelligence that Woerden
has capitulated; so that Amsterdam remains without defence.' So far the
letter. We know, otherwise, that Monsieur de St. Priest, who had set
out on his embassy to the Hague, has stopped at Antwerp, not choosing
to proceed further till new orders. This Court has been completely
deceived, first by its own great desire to avoid a war, and secondly by
calculating that the King of Prussia would have acted on principles
of common sense, which would surely have dictated, that a power, lying
between the jaws of Russia and Austria, should not separate itself from
France, unless, indeed, he had assurances of dispositions in those
two powers, which are not supposed to exist. On the contrary, I am
persuaded that they ask the alliance of France, whom we suppose to
be under hesitations between her reluctance to abandon the Turks, her
jealousy of increasing by their spoils the power of the two empires, and
her inability to oppose them. If they cannot obtain her alliance, they
will surely join themselves to England and Prussia.

Official advices are received, that the first division of the Russian
army has passed the Borysthenes into the Polish Ukraine, and is marching
towards the frontiers of Turkey. Thus, we may consider the flames of
war as completely kindled in two distinct parts of this quarter of
the globe, and that though France and England have not yet engaged
themselves in it, the probabilities are that they will do it.

I have the honor to be, with the most perfect esteem and respect, Sir,
your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XCVI.--TO MR. CARNES, September 22, 1787


TO MR. CARNES.

Paris, September 22, 1787.

Sir,

I am honored by your favor of the 17th instant. A war between France and
England does not necessarily engage America in it; and I think she
will be disposed rather to avail herself of the advantages of a neutral
power. By the former usage of nations, the goods of a friend were safe,
though taken in an enemy bottom, and those of an enemy were lawful
prize, though found in a free bottom. But in our treaties with France,
&c. we have established the simpler rule, that a free bottom makes free
goods, and an enemy bottom, enemy goods. The same rule has been adopted
by the treaty of armed neutrality between Russia, Sweden, Denmark,
Holland, and Portugal, and assented to by France and Spain. Contraband
goods, however, are always excepted, so that they may still be
seized; but the same powers have established that naval stores are not
contraband: and this may be considered now as the law of nations. Though
England acquiesced under this during the late war, rather than draw on
herself the neutral powers, yet she never acceded to the new principle,
and her obstinacy on this point is what has prevented the late renewal
of her treaty with Russia. On the commencement of a new war, this
principle will probably be insisted on by the neutral powers, whom we
may suppose to be Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, America, and perhaps Spain.
_Quere_; if England will again acquiesce. Supposing these details
might be useful to you, I have taken the liberty of giving them, and
of assuring you of the esteem with which I am, Sir, your very humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XCVII.--TO JOHN JAY, September 24, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, September 24, 1787.

Sir,

The times are now so critical, that every day brings something new
and important, not known the day before. Observing the wind still
unfavorable, I am in hopes the packet may not sail to-morrow, and that
this letter may be at Havre in time for that conveyance. Mr. Eden has
waited on Count Montmorin to inform him, officially, that England must
consider its convention with France, relative to the giving notice of
its naval armaments, as at an end, and that they are arming generally.
This is considered here as a declaration of war. The Dutch ambassador
told me yesterday, that he supposed the Prussian troops probably in
possession of the Hague. I asked him if it would interrupt the course of
business, commercial or banking, in Amsterdam; and particularly, whether
our depot of money there was safe. He said, the people of Amsterdam
would be surely so wise as to submit, when they should see that they
could not oppose the Stadtholder: therefore he supposed our depot safe,
and that there would be no interruption of business. It is the hour of
the departure of the post: so I have only time to add assurances of the
respect and esteem, with which I have the honor to be, Sir, your most
obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER XCVIII,--TO JOHN ADAMS, September 28, 1787


TO JOHN ADAMS.

Paris, September 28, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I received your favor by Mr. Cutting, and thank you sincerely for the
copy of your book. The departure of a packet-boat, which always gives me
full employment for some time before, has only permitted me to look into
it a little. I judge of it from the first volume, which I thought formed
to do a great deal of good. The first principle of a good government,
is certainly a distribution of its powers into executive, judiciary, and
legislative, and a subdivision of the latter into two or three
branches. It is a good step gained, when it is proved that the English
constitution, acknowledged to be better than all which have preceded
it, is only better, in proportion as it has approached nearer to this
distribution of powers. From this, the last step is easy, to show by
a comparison of our constitutions with that of England, how much more
perfect they are. The article of Confederations is certainly worthy of
your pen. It would form a most interesting addition, to show, what has
been the nature of the Confederations which have existed hitherto, what
were their excellencies, and what their defects.

A comparison of ours with them would be to the advantage of ours,
and would increase the veneration of our countrymen for it. It is
a misfortune, that they do not sufficiently know the value of their
constitutions, and how much happier they are rendered by them, than any
other people on earth, by the governments under which they live.

You know all that has happened in the United Netherlands. You know
also that our friends, Van Staphorsts, will be among the most likely to
become objects of severity, if any severities should be exercised. Is
the money in their hands entirely safe? If it is not, I am sure you have
already thought of it. Are we to suppose the game already up, and that
the Stadtholder is to be reestablished, perhaps erected into a monarch,
without the country lifting a finger in opposition to it? If so, it is a
lesson the more for us. In fact, what a crowd of lessons do the present
miseries of Holland teach us? Never to have an hereditary officer of any
sort: never to let a citizen ally himself with kings: never to call in
foreign nations to settle domestic differences: never to suppose that
any nation will expose itself to war for us, &c. Still I am not without
hopes, that a good rod is in soak for Prussia, and that England will
feel the end of it. It is known to some, that Russia made propositions
to the Emperor and France, for acting in concert; that the Emperor
consents, and has disposed four camps of one hundred and eighty
thousand men, from the limits of Turkey to those of Prussia. This court
hesitates, or rather its Premier hesitates; for the Queen, Montmorin,
and Breteuil are for the measure. Should it take place, all may yet come
to rights, except for the Turks, who must retire from Europe, and this
they must do, were France Quixotic enough to undertake to support them.
We, I hope, shall be left free to avail ourselves of the advantages of
neutrality: and yet, much I fear, the English, or rather their stupid
King, will force us out of it. For thus I reason. By forcing us into the
war against them, they will be engaged in an expensive land war, as well
as a sea war. Common sense dictates, therefore, that they should let
us remain neuter: ergo, they will not let us remain neuter. I never yet
found any other general rule for foretelling what they will do, but that
of examining what they ought not to do.

*****

I have the honor to be, with my best respects to Mrs. Adams, and
sentiments of perfect esteem and regard to yourself, Sir, your most
obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson



LETTER XCIX.--TO COLONEL SMITH, September 28,1787


TO COLONEL SMITH.

Paris, September 28,1787.

Dear Sir,

I have duly received your favor by Mr. Cutting. I had before had a
transient acquaintance with him, and knew him to be sensible. Your
recommendation is always a new merit. I really think, and had taken the
liberty some time ago of hinting to Congress, that they would do well
to have a diplomatic character at Lisbon. There is no country whose
commerce is more interesting to us. I wish Congress would correspond
to the wishes of that court, in sending a person there, and to mine,
in sending yourself. For I confess, I had rather see you there than at
London, because I doubt whether it be honorable for us to keep any body
at London, unless they keep some person at New York. Of all nations on
earth, they require to be treated with the most hauteur. They require to
be kicked into common good manners. You ask, if you shall say any thing
to Sullivan about the bill. No. Only that it is paid. I have, within
these two or three days, received letters from him explaining the
matter. It was really for the skin and bones of the moose, as I had
conjectured. It was my fault, that I had not given him a rough idea
of the expense I would be willing to incur for them. He had made the
acquisition an object of a regular campaign, and that too of a winter
one. The troops he employed sallied forth, as he writes me, in the month
of March--much snow--a herd attacked--one killed--in the wilderness--a
road to cut twenty miles--to be drawn by hand from the frontiers to his
house--bones to be cleaned, &c. &c. &c. In fine, he put himself to
an infinitude of trouble, more than I meant: he did it cheerfully, and I
feel myself really under obligations to him. That the tragedy might not
want a proper catastrophe, the box, bones, and all are lost: so that
this chapter of Natural History will still remain a blank. But I have
written to him not to send me another. I will leave it for my successor
to fill up, whenever I shall make my bow here. The purchase for Mrs.
Adams shall be made, and sent by Mr. Cutting. I shall always be happy
to receive her commands. Petit shall be made happy by her praises of his
last purchase for her. I must refer you to Mr. Adams for the news. Those
respecting the Dutch you know as well as I. Nor should they be written
but with the pen of Jeremiah. Adieu, mon ami! Yours affectionately,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER C.--TO MONSIEUR LE COMTE DE BUFFON, October 3, 1787


TO MONSIEUR LE COMTE DE BUFFON.

Paris, October 3, 1787.

Sir,

I had the honor of informing you, some time ago, that I had written to
some of my friends in America, desiring they would send me such of the
spoils of the moose, caribou, elk, and deer, as might throw light on
that class of animals; but more particularly, to send me the complete
skeleton, skin, and horns of the moose, in such condition as that the
skin might be sewed up and stuffed, on its arrival here. I am happy to
be able to present to you at this moment, the bones and skin of a moose,
the horns of another individual of the same species, the horns of the
caribou, the elk, the deer, the spiked-horned buck, and the roebuck of
America. They all come from New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and were
received by me yesterday. I give you their popular names, as it rests
with yourself to decide their real names. The skin of the moose was
dressed with the hair on, but a great deal of it has come off, and the
rest is ready to drop off. The horns of the elk are remarkably small. I
have certainly seen some of them, which would have weighed five or six
times as much. This is the animal which we call elk in the southern
parts of America, and of which I have given some description in the
Notes on Virginia, of which I had the honor of presenting you a copy. I
really doubt, whether the flat-horned elk exists in America: and I think
this may be properly classed with the elk, the principal difference
being in the horns. I have seen the _daim_, the _cerf_, the _chevreuil_,
of Europe. But the animal we call elk, and which may be distinguished as
the round-horned elk, is very different from them. I have never seen the
_brand-hirtz_ or _cerf d'Ardennes_, nor the European elk. Could I get
a sight of them, I think I should be able to say which of them the
American elk resembles most, as I am tolerably well acquainted with
that animal. I must observe, also, that the horns of the deer, which
accompany these spoils, are not of the fifth or sixth part of the weight
of some that I have seen. This individual has been of three years
of age, according to our method of judging. I have taken measures,
particularly, to be furnished with large horns of our elk and our deer,
and therefore beg of you not to consider those now sent, as furnishing a
specimen of their ordinary size. I really suspect you will find that
the moose, the round-horned elk, and the American deer are species not
existing in Europe. The moose is, perhaps, of a new class. I wish these
spoils, Sir, may have the merit of adding any thing new to the treasures
of nature, which have so fortunately come under your observation, and
of which she seems to have given you the key: they will in that case
be some gratification to you, which it will always be pleasing to me
to have procured; having the honor to be, with sentiments of the most
perfect esteem and respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CI.--TO MR. DUMAS, October 4,1787


TO MR. DUMAS.

Paris, October 4,1787.

Sir,

I received your favor of the 23rd of September two days ago. That of the
28th and 29th was put in my hands this morning. I immediately waited on
the ambassadors, ordinary and extraordinary, of the United Netherlands,
and also on the envoy of Prussia, and asked their good offices to have
an efficacious protection extended to your person, your family, and your
effects, observing, that the United States know no party, but are the
friends and allies of the United Netherlands as a nation, and would
expect from their friendship, that the person who is charged with their
affairs, until the arrival of a minister, should be covered from all
insult and injury, which might be offered him by a lawless mob; well
assured that their minister, residing with Congress, would on all
occasions receive the same. They have been so good as to promise me,
each, that he will in his first despatches press this matter on the
proper power, and give me reason to hope that it will be efficacious
for your safety. I will transmit your letter to Mr. Jay by the Count
de Moustier, who sets out within a week for New York, as Minister
Plenipotentiary for France, in that country. I sincerely sympathize in
your sufferings, and wish that what I have done may effect an end to
them; being with much respect and esteem, Sir, your most obedient and
most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CII.--TO JOHN JAY, October 8, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, October 8, 1787.

Sir,

I had the honor of writing you on the 19th of September, twice on the
22nd, and again on the 24th. The two first went by the packet, the
third by a vessel bound to Philadelphia. I have not yet learned by what
occasion the last went. In these several letters, I communicated to
you the occurrences of Europe, as far as they were then known.
Notwithstanding the advantage which the Emperor seemed to have gained
over his subjects of Brabant, by the military arrangements he had been
permitted to make under false pretexts, he has not obtained his ends. He
certainly wished to enforce his new regulations; but he wished more to
be cleared of all domestic difficulties, that he might be free to act
in the great scenes which are preparing for the theatre of Europe.
He seems, therefore, to have instructed his Governor General of the
Netherlands to insist on compliance as far as could be insisted, without
producing resistance by arms; but at the same time, to have furnished
him with a sufficiently complete recantation, to prevent the effects of
insurrection. The Governor pressed; the people were firm; a small act of
force was then attempted, which produced a decided resistance, in which
the people killed several of the military: the last resource was
then used, which was the act of recantation; this produced immediate
tranquillity, and every thing there is now finally settled, by the
Emperor's relinquishment of his plans.

My letter of the evening of September the 22nd informed you that the
Prussian troops had entered Holland, and that of the 24th, that England
had announced to this court that she was arming generally. These two
events being simultaneous, proved that the two sovereigns acted in
concert. Immediately after, the court of London announced to the other
courts of Europe, that if France entered Holland with armed force, she
would consider it as an act of hostility, and declare war against her;
sending Mr. Grenville here, at the same time, to make what she called a
conciliatory proposition. This proposition was received as a new insult,
Mr. Grenville very coolly treated, and he has now gone back. It is said,
he has carried the ultimatum of France. What it is, particularly, has
not transpired; it is only supposed, in general, to be very firm. You
will see, in one of the Leyden gazettes, one of the letters written by
the ministers of England to the courts of their respective residence,
communicating the declaration before mentioned. In the mean time,
Holland has been sooner reduced by the Prussian troops, than could have
been expected. The abandonment of Utrecht by the Rhingrave of Salm,
seems to have thrown the people under a general panic, during which
every place submitted, except Amsterdam. That had opened conferences
with the Duke of Brunswick; but as late as the 2nd instant, no
capitulation was yet concluded. The King of Prussia, on his first move,
demanded categorically of the King of Poland, what part he intended to
act in the event of war. The latter answered, he should act as events
should dictate; and is, in consequence of this species of menace from
Prussia, arming himself. He can bring into the field about seventy
thousand good cavalry. In the mean time, though nothing transpires
publicly of the confederation between France and the two empires,
mentioned in my letter of September the 19th, it is not the less sure
that it is on the carpet, and will take place. To the circumstances
before mentioned, may be added, as further indications of war, the
naming as Generalissimo of their marine on the Atlantic, Monsieur de
Suffrein, on the Mediterranean, Monsieur Albert de Rioms, the recalling
Monsieur de St. Priest, their ambassador, from Antwerp, before he had
reached the Hague, and the activity of their armies by sea. On the other
hand, the little movement by land would make one suppose they expected
to put the King of Prussia into other hands. They too, like the
Emperor, are arranging matters at home. The rigorous levy of the _deux
vingtiemes_ is enregistered, the stamp act and _impot territorial_ are
revoked, the parliament recalled, the nation soothed by these acts, and
inspired by the insults of the British court. The part of the Council
still leaning towards peace are become unpopular, and perhaps may feel
the effects of it. No change in the administration has taken place since
my last, unless we may consider as such, Monsieur Cabarrus's refusal
to stand in the lines. Thinking he should be forced to follow, too
seriously, plans formed by others, he has declined serving.

Should this war take place, as is quite probable, and should it be as
general as it threatens to be, our neutrality must be attended with
great advantages. Whether of a nature to improve our morals or our
happiness, is another question. But is it sure that Great Britain, by
her searches, her seizures, and other measures for harassing us, will
permit us to preserve our neutrality? I know it may be argued, that the
land-war, which she would superadd to her sea-war, by provoking us to
join her enemies, should rationally hold her to her good behavior with
us. But since the accession of the present monarch, has it not been
passion, and not reason, which, nine times out of ten, has dictated her
measures? Has there been a better rule of prognosticating what he
would do, than to examine what he ought not to do? When I review
his dispositions and review his conduct, I have little hope of his
permitting our neutrality. He will find subjects of provocation in
various articles of our treaty with France, which will now come into
view, in all their consequences, and in consequences very advantageous
to the one, and injurious to the other country. I suggest these doubts,
on a supposition that our magazines are not prepared for war, and in the
opinion that provisions for that event should be thought of.

The enclosed letter from Mr. Dumas came to me open, though directed
to you. I immediately waited on the ambassadors, ordinary and
extraordinary, of Holland, and the envoy of Prussia, and prayed them
to interest themselves to have his person, his family, and his
goods protected. They promised me readily to do it, and have written
accordingly; I trust it will be with effect. I could not avoid enclosing
you the letter from Monsieur Bouebe, though I have satisfied him he is
to expect nothing from Congress for his inventions. These are better
certified than most of those things are; but if time stamps their worth,
time will give them to us. He expects no further answer. The gazettes of
Leyden and France to this date accompany this, which will be delivered
you by the Count de Moustier, Minister Plenipotentiary from this
country.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CIII.--TO JAMES MADISON, October 8, 1787


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, October 8, 1787.

Dear Sir,

The bearer hereof, the Count de Moustier, successor to Monsieur de la
Luzerne, would, from his office, need no letter of introduction to you
or to any body. Yet I take the liberty of recommending him to you, to
shorten those formal approaches, which the same office would otherwise
expose him to, in making your acquaintance. He is a great enemy to
formality, etiquette, ostentation, and luxury. He goes with the best
dispositions to cultivate society, without poisoning it by ill example.
He is sensible, disposed to view things favorably, and being well
acquainted with the constitution of England, her manners, and language,
is the better prepared for his station with us. But I should have
performed only the lesser, and least pleasing half of my task, were
I not to add my recommendations of Madame de Brehan. She is goodness
itself. You must be well acquainted with her. You will find her well
disposed to meet your acquaintance, and well worthy of it. The way to
please her, is to receive her as an acquaintance of a thousand years'
standing. She speaks little English. You must teach her more, and learn
French from her. She hopes, by accompanying Monsieur de Moustier, to
improve her health, which is very feeble, and still more, to improve
her son in his education, and to remove him to a distance from the
seductions of this country. You will wonder to be told, that there are
no schools in this country to be compared to ours in the sciences. The
husband of Madame de Brehan is an officer, and obliged by the times to
remain with the army. Monsieur de Moustier brings your watch. I have
worn it two months, and really find it a most incomparable one. It will
not want the little re-dressing, which new watches generally do, after
going about a year. It costs six hundred livres. To open it in all its
parts, press the little pin on the edge with the point of your nail;
that opens the crystal; then open the dial-plate in the usual way; then
press the stem, at the end within the loop, and it opens the back for
winding up or regulating.

De Moustier is remarkably communicative. With adroitness he may
be pumped of any thing. His openness is from character, not from
affectation. An intimacy with him may, on this account, be politically
valuable.

I am, Dear Sir, your affectionate friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CIV.--TO JOHN JAY, October 8, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

(Private.) Paris, October 8, 1787.

Dear Sir,

The Count de Moustier, Minister Plenipotentiary from the court of
Versailles to the United States, will have the honor of delivering you
this. The connection of your offices will necessarily connect you in
acquaintance; but I beg leave to present him to you, on account of
his personal as well as his public character. You will find him open,
communicative, candid, simple in his manners, and a declared enemy to
ostentation and luxury. He goes with a resolution to add no aliment
to it by his example, unless he finds that the dispositions of our
countrymen require it indispensably. Permit me, at the same time, to
solicit your friendly notice, and through you, that also of Mrs. Jay, to
Madame la Marquise de Brehan, sister-in-law to Monsieur de Moustier. She
accompanies him, in hopes that a change of climate may assist her feeble
health, and also, that she may procure a more valuable education for
her son, and safer from seduction, in America than in France. I think
it impossible to find a better woman, more amiable, more modest, more
simple in her manners, dress, and way of thinking. She will deserve the
friendship of Mrs. Jay, and the way to obtain hers, is to receive her
and treat her without the shadow of etiquette.

The Count d'Aranda leaves us in a day or two. He desired me to recall
him to your recollection, and to assure you of his friendship. In a
letter which I mean as a private one, I may venture details too minute
for a public one, yet not unamusing, or unsatisfactory. I may venture
names too, without the danger of their getting into a newspaper. There
has long been a division in the Council here, on the question of war
and peace. Monsieur de Montmorin and Monsieur de Breteuil have been
constantly for war. They are supported in this by the Queen. The King
goes for nothing. He hunts one half the day, is drunk the other, and
signs whatever he is bid. The Archbishop of Toulouse desires peace.
Though brought in by the Queen, he is opposed to her in this capital
object, which would produce an alliance with her brother. Whether the
Archbishop will yield or not, I know not. But an intrigue is already
begun for ousting him from his place, and it is rather probable it will
succeed. He is a good and patriotic minister for peace, and very capable
in the department of finance. At least he is so in theory. I have heard
his talents for execution censured.

Can I be useful here to Mrs. Jay or yourself, in executing any
commissions, great or small? I offer you my services with great
cordiality. You know whether any of the wines of this country may
attract your wishes. In my tour, last spring, I visited the best
vineyards of Burgundy, Cote-rotie, Hermitage, Lunelle, Frontignan, and
white and red Bordeaux, got acquainted with the proprietors, and can
procure for you the best crops from the vigneron himself. Mrs. Jay knows
if there is any thing else here, in which I could be useful to her.
Command me without ceremony, as it will give me real pleasure to serve
you; and be assured of the sincere attachment and friendship, with which
I am, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CV.--TO MONSIEUR LE COMTE DE MOUSTIER, October 9,1787


TO MONSIEUR LE COMTE DE MOUSTIER.

Paris, October 9,1787.

Mr. Jefferson has the honor of presenting his respects to Monsieur le
Comte de Moustier, and of taking leave of him by letter, which he is
prevented doing in person, by an unexpected visit to Versailles to-day.
He will hope to have the pleasure of sometimes hearing from him, and
will take the liberty occasionally, of troubling him with a letter.
He considers the Count de Moustier as forming with himself the two end
links of that chain which holds the two nations together, and is happy
to have observed in him dispositions to strengthen rather than to
weaken it. It is a station of importance, as on the cherishing good
dispositions and quieting bad ones, will depend in some degree the
happiness and prosperity of the two countries. The Count de Moustier
will find the affections of the Americans with France, but their habits
with England. Chained to that country by circumstances, embracing what
they loathe, they realize the fable of the living and the dead bound
together. Mr. Jefferson troubles the Count de Moustier with two letters,
to gentlemen whom he wishes to recommend to his particular acquaintance,
and to that of Madame de Brehan. He bids Monsieur de Moustier a most
friendly adieu, and wishes him every thing which may render agreeable
his passage across the water, and his residence beyond it.



LETTER CVI.--TO MADAME DE BREHAN, October 9, 1787


TO MADAME DE BREHAN.

Paris, October 9, 1787.

Persuaded, Madam, that visits at this moment must be troublesome I beg
you to accept my adieus, in this form. Be assured, that no one mingles
with them more regret at separating from you. I will ask your permission
to inquire of you by letter sometimes, how our country agrees with your
health and your expectations, and will hope to hear it from yourself.
The imitation of European manners, which you will find in our towns,
will, I fear, be little pleasing. I beseech you to practise still your
own, which will furnish them a model of what is perfect. Should you be
singular, it will be by excellence, and after a while you will see the
effect of your example.

Heaven bless you, Madam, and guard you under all circumstances; give you
smooth waters, gentle breezes, and clear skies, hushing all its elements
into peace, and leading with its own hand the favored bark, till it
shall have safely landed its precious charge on the shores of our new
world.

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CVII.--TO MR. DUMAS, October 14, 1787


TO MR. DUMAS.

Paris, October 14, 1787.

Sir,

I have duly received your favors of October the 23rd and 26th. With
respect to the mission you suggest, in the former, no powers are lodged
in the hands of Mr. Adams and myself. Congress commissioned Mr. Adams,
Doctor Franklin, and myself, to treat with the Emperor on the subjects
of amity and commerce: at the same time, they gave us the commission to
Prussia, with which you are acquainted. We proposed treating through the
Imperial ambassador here. It was declined on their part, and our powers
expired, having been given but for two years. Afterwards, the same
ambassador here was instructed to offer to treat with us. I informed
him our powers were expired, but that I would write to Congress on the
subject. I did so, but have never yet received an answer. Whether this
proceeds from a change of opinion in them, or from the multiplicity
of their occupations, I am unable to say: but this state of facts will
enable you to see that we have no powers, in this instance, to take the
measures you had thought of. I sincerely sympathize with you in your
sufferings. Though forbidden by my character to meddle in the internal
affairs of an allied State, it is the wish of my heart that their
troubles may have such an issue, as will secure the greatest degree
of happiness to the body of the people: for it is with the mass of the
nation we are allied, and not merely with their governors. To inform
the minds of the people, and to follow their will, is the chief duty of
those placed at their head. What party in your late struggles was most
likely to do this, you are more competent to judge than I am. Under
every event, that you maybe safe and happy, is the sincere wish of him,
who has the honor to be, with sentiments of great esteem, Sir, your most
obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CVIII.--TO MADAME DE CORNY, October 18, 1787


TO MADAME DE CORNY.

Paris, October 18, 1787.

I now have the honor, Madam, to send you the Memoire of M. de Calonne.
Do not injure yourself by hurrying its perusal. Only, when you shall
have read it at your ease, be so good as to send it back, that it may be
returned to the Duke of Dorset. You will read it with pleasure. It has
carried comfort to my heart, because it must do the same to the King and
the nation. Though it does not prove M. de Calonne to be more innocent
than his predecessors, it shows him not to have been that exaggerated
scoundrel, which the calculations and the clamors of the public
have supposed. It shows that the public treasures have not been so
inconceivably squandered, as the parliaments of Grenoble, Toulouse, &c.
had affirmed. In fine, it shows him less wicked, and France less badly
governed, than I had feared. In examining my little collection of books,
to see what it could furnish you on the subject of Poland, I find a
small piece which may serve as a supplement to the history I had sent
you. It contains a mixture of history and politics, which I think you
will like--How do you do this morning? I have feared you exerted and
exposed yourself too much yesterday. I ask you the question, though I
shall not await its answer. The sky is clearing, and I shall away to my
hermitage. God bless you, my Dear Madam, now and always. Adieu.

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CIX.--TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN, October 23, 1787


TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN.

Paris, October 23, 1787.

Sir,

I take the liberty of troubling your Excellency on the subject of the
_Arrêt_, which has lately appeared, for prohibiting the importation
of whale-oils and spermaceti, the produce of foreign fisheries. This
prohibition, being expressed in general terms, seems to exclude the
whale-oils of the United States of America, as well as of the nations
of Europe. The uniform disposition, however, which his Majesty and his
ministers have shown to promote the commerce between France and the
United States, by encouraging our productions to come hither, and
particularly those of our fisheries, induces me to hope, that these were
not within their view, at the passing of this _Arrêt_. I am led the more
into this opinion, when I recollect the assiduity exercised for several
months, in the year 1785, by the committee appointed by government to
investigate the objects of commerce of the two countries, and to report
the encouragements of which it was susceptible; the result of that
investigation, which his Majesty's Comptroller General did me the
honor to communicate, in a letter of the 22nd of October, 1786, stating
therein the principles which should be established for the future
regulation of that commerce, and particularly distinguishing the article
of whale-oils by an abatement of the duties on them for the present,
and a promise of farther abatement after the year 1790; the thorough
re-investigation with which Monsieur de Lambert honored this subject
when the letter of 1786 was to be put into the form of an _Arrêt_; that
_Arrêt_ itself, bearing date the 29th of December last, which ultimately
confirmed the abatements of duty present and future, and declared
that his Majesty reserved to himself to grant other favors to that
production, if, on further information, he should find it for the
interest of the two nations; and finally, the letter in which Monsieur
de Lambert did me the honor to enclose the _Arrêt_, and to assure me,
that the duties which had been levied on our whale-oils, contrary to the
intention of the letter of 1786, should be restored. On a review, then,
of all these circumstances, I cannot but presume, that it has not
been intended to reverse, in a moment, views so maturely digested, and
uniformly pursued; and that the general expressions of the _Arrêt_ of
September the 28th had within their contemplation the nations of Europe
only. This presumption is further strengthened by having observed, that
in the treaties of commerce, made since the epoch of our independence,
the _jura gentis amicissimcæ_ conceded to other nations, are expressly
restrained to those of the 'most favored European nation': his Majesty
wisely foreseeing that it would be expedient to regulate the commerce of
a nation, which brings nothing but raw materials to employ the industry
of his subjects, very differently from that of the European nations,
who bring mostly what has already passed through all the stages of
manufacture.

On these circumstances, I take the liberty of asking information from
your Excellency, as to the extent of the late _Arrêt_: and if I have not
been mistaken in supposing it did not mean to abridge that of December
the 29th, I would solicit an explanatory _Arrêt_, to prevent the
misconstruction of it, which will otherwise take place. It is much to be
desired too, that this explanation could be given as soon as possible,
in order that it may be handed out with the _Arrêt_ of September the
28th. Great alarm may otherwise be spread among the merchants, and
adventurers in the fisheries, who, confiding in the stability of
regulations, which his Majesty's wisdom had so long and well matured,
have embarked their fortunes in speculations in this branch of business.

The importance of the subject to one of the principal members of our
Union, induces me to attend with great anxiety the re-assurance from
your Excellency, that no change has taken place in his Majesty's views
on this subject; and that his dispositions to multiply, rather than
diminish, the combinations of interest between the two people, continue
unaltered.

Commerce is slow in changing its channel. That between this country
and the United States is as yet but beginning; and this beginning has
received some checks. The _Arrêt_ in question would be a considerable
one, without the explanation I have the honor to ask. I am persuaded,
that a continuation of the dispositions which have been hitherto
manifested towards us, will insure effects, political and commercial, of
value to both nations.

I have had too many proofs of the friendly interest your Excellency is
pleased to take in whatever may strengthen the bands and connect the
views of the two countries, to doubt your patronage of the present
application; or to pretermit any occasion of repeating assurances of
those sentiments of high respect and esteem, with which I have the honor
to be

your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CX.--TO JOHN JAY, November 3, 1787


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, November 3, 1787.

Sir,

My last letters to you were of the 8th and 27th of October. In the
former? I mentioned to you the declaration of this country, that they
would interpose with force, if the Prussian troops entered Holland; the
entry of those troops into Holland; the declaration of England, that if
France did oppose force, they would consider it as an act of war; the
naval armaments on both sides; the nomination of the Bailli de Suffrein
as Generalissimo on the ocean; and the cold reception of Mr. Grenville
here, with his conciliatory propositions, as so many symptoms which
seemed to indicate a certain and immediate rupture. It was indeed
universally and hourly expected. But the king of Prussia, a little
before these last events, got wind of the alliance on the carpet between
France and the two empires: he awaked to the situation in which
that would place him: he made some application to the court of St.
Petersburg, to divert the Empress from the proposed alliance, and
supplicated the court of London not to abandon him. That court had also
received a hint of the same project; both seemed to suspect, for the
first time, that it would be possible for France to abandon the Turks,
and that they were likely to get more than they had played for at
Constantinople: for they had meant nothing more there, than to divert
the Empress and Emperor from the affairs of the west, by employing them
in the east, and, at the same time, to embroil them with France as
the patroness of the Turks. The court of London engaged not to
abandon Prussia: but both of them relaxed a little the tone of their
proceedings. The King of Prussia sent a Mr. Alvensleben here, expressly
to explain and soothe: the King of England, notwithstanding the cold
reception of his propositions by Grenville, renewed conferences here
through Eden and the Duke of Dorset. The minister, in the affection of
his heart for peace, readily joined in conference, and a declaration and
counter-declaration were cooked up at Versailles, and sent to London for
approbation. They were approved, arrived here at one o'clock the 27th,
were signed that night at Versailles, and on the next day, I had the
honor of enclosing them to you, under cover to the Count de Moustier,
whom I supposed still at Brest, dating my letter as of the 27th, by
mistake for the 28th. Lest, however, these papers should not have got to
Brest before the departure of the Count de Moustier, I now enclose you
other copies. The English declaration states a notification of this
court, in September, by Barthelemy, their minister at London, 'that
they would send succors into Holland,' as the first cause of England's
arming; desires an explanation of the intentions of this court, as to
the affairs of Holland, and proposes to disarm; on condition, however,
that the King of France shall not retain any hostile views in any
quarter, for what has been done in Holland. This last phrase was to
secure Prussia, according to promise. The King of France acknowledges
the notification by his minister at London, promises he will do nothing
in consequence of it, declares he has no intention to intermeddle with
force in the affairs of Holland, and that he will entertain hostile
views in no quarter, for what has been done there. He disavows having
ever had any intention to interpose with force in the affairs of that
republic. This disavowal begins the sentence, which acknowledges he had
notified the contrary to the court of London, and it includes no apology
to soothe the feelings which may be excited in the breasts of the
Patriots of Holland, at hearing the King declare he never did intend to
aid them with force, when promises to do this were the basis of those
very attempts to better their constitution, which have ended in its
ruin, as well as their own.

I have analyzed these declarations, because, being somewhat wrapped up
in their expressions, their full import might escape, on a transient
reading; and it is necessary it should not escape. It conveys to us the
important lesson, that no circumstances of morality, honor, interest, or
engagement, are sufficient to authorize a secure reliance on any nation,
at all times, and in all positions. A moment of difficulty, or a moment
of error, may render for ever useless the most friendly dispositions
in the King, in the major part of his ministers, and the whole of his
nation. The present pacification is considered by most, as only a short
truce. They calculate on the spirit of the nation, and not on the aged
hand which guides its movements. It is certain, that from this moment
the whole system of Europe changes. Instead of counting together
England, Austria, and Russia, as heretofore, against France, Spain,
Holland, Prussia, and Turkey, the division will probably be, England,
Holland, and Prussia, against France, Austria, Russia, and perhaps
Spain. This last power is not sure, because the dispositions of its heir
apparent are not sure. But whether the present be truce or peace, it
will allow time to mature the conditions of the alliance between France
and the two empires, always supposed to be on the carpet. It is thought
to be obstructed by the avidity of the Emperor, who would swallow a good
part of Turkey, Silesia, Bavaria, and the rights of the Germanic body.
To the two or three first articles, France might consent, receiving in
gratification a well rounded portion of the Austrian Netherlands, with
the islands of Candia, Cyprus, Rhodes, and perhaps Lower Egypt. But
all this is in embryo, uncertainly known, and counterworked by the
machinations of the courts of London and Berlin. The following solution
of the British armaments is supposed in a letter of the 25th ultimo,
from Colonel Blachden of Connecticut, now at Dunkirk, to the Marquis
de la Fayette. I will cite it in his own words. "A gentleman who left
London two days ago, and came to this place to-day, informs me that
it is now generally supposed that Mr. Pitt's great secret, which has
puzzled the whole nation so long, and to accomplish which design, the
whole force of the nation is armed, is to make a vigorous effort for
the recovery of America. When I recollect the delay they have made in
delivering the forts in America, and that little more than a year ago,
one of the British ministry wrote to the King a letter, in which were
these remarkable words, 'If your Majesty pleases, America may yet be
yours;' add to this, if it were possible for the present ministry in
England to effect such a matter, they would secure their places and
their power for a long time, and should they fail in the end, they would
be certain of holding them during the attempt, which it is in their
power to prolong as much as they please, and at all events, they would
boast of having endeavored the recovery of what a former ministry had
abandoned, it is possible." A similar surmise has come in a letter from
a person in Rotterdam to one at this place. I am satisfied that the
King of England believes the mass of our people to be tired of their
independence, and desirous of returning under his government; and that
the same opinion prevails in the ministry and nation. They have hired
their news-writers to repeat this lie in their gazettes so long, that
they have become the dupes of it themselves. But there is no occasion
to recur to this, in order to account for their arming. A more rational
purpose avowed, that purpose executed, and when executed, a solemn
agreement to disarm, seem to leave no doubt, that the re-establishment
of the Stadtholder was their object. Yet it is possible, that having
found that this court will not make war in this moment for any ally, new
views may arise, and they may think the moment favorable for executing
any purposes they may have, in our quarter. Add to this, that reason is
of no aid in calculating their movements. We are, therefore, never safe
till our magazines are filled with arms. The present season of truce, or
peace, should, in my opinion, be improved without a moment's respite,
to effect this essential object, and no means be omitted, by which money
may be obtained for the purpose. I say this, however, with due deference
to the opinion of Congress, who are better judges of the necessity and
practicability of the measure.

I mentioned to you, in a former letter, the application I had made to
the Dutch ambassadors and Prussian envoy, for the protection of Mr.
Dumas. The latter soon after received an assurance, that he was put
under the protection of the States of Holland; and the Dutch ambassador
called on me a few days ago, to inform me, by instruction from
his constituents, 'that the States General had received a written
application from Mr. Adams, praying their protection of Dumas: that they
had instructed their greffier, Fagel, to assure Mr. Adams, by letter,
that he was under the protection of the States of Holland; but to inform
him, at the same time, that Mr. Dumas's conduct, out of the line of
his office, had been so extraordinary, that they would expect _de
l'honnêteté de Mr. Adams_, that he would charge some other person with
the affairs of the United States, during his absence.'

Your letter, of September the 8th, has been duly received. I shall pay
due attention to the instructions relative to the medals, and give any
aid I can, in the case of Boss's vessel. As yet, however, my endeavors
to find _Monsieur Pauly, avocat au conseil d'état, rue Coquilliere_,
have been ineffectual. There is no such person living in that street.
I found a _Monsieur Pauly, avocat au parlement_, in another part of
the town; he opened the letter, but said it could not mean him. I shall
advertise in the public papers. If that fails, there will be no other
chance of finding him. Mr. Warnum will do well, therefore, to send some
other description by which the person may be found. Indeed some friend
of the party interested should be engaged to follow up this business,
as it will require constant attention, and probably a much larger sum of
money than that named in the bill inclosed in Mr. Warnum's letter.

I have the honor to enclose you a letter from O'Bryan to me, containing
information from Algiers, and one from Mr. Montgomery at Alicant.
The purpose of sending you this last, is to show you how much the
difficulties of ransom are increased since the Spanish negotiations.
The Russian captives have cost about eight thousand livres apiece, on an
average. I certainly have no idea that we should give any such sum; and,
therefore, if it should be the sense of Congress to give such a price, I
would be glad to know it by instruction. My idea is, that we should not
ransom but on the footing of the nation which pays least, that it may be
as little worth their while to go in pursuit of us, as any nation. This
is cruelty to the individuals now in captivity, but kindness to the
hundreds that would soon be so, were we to make it worth the while of
those pirates to go out of the Streights, in quest of us. As soon as
money is provided, I shall put this business into train. I have taken
measures to damp, at Algiers, all expectations of our proposing to
ransom, at any price. I feel the distress which this must occasion to
our countrymen there, and their connections; but the object of it is
their ultimate good, by bringing down their holders to such a price as
we ought to pay, instead of letting them remain in such expectations as
cannot be gratified. The gazettes of France and Leyden accompany this.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.

     [The annexed are translations of the declaration and
     counter-declaration, referred to in the preceding letter.]

DECLARATION.

The events which have taken place in the republic of the United
Provinces appearing no longer to leave any subject of discussion, and
still less of dispute, between the two courts, the undersigned are
authorized to ask, if it be the intention of his Most Christian Majesty
to act in pursuance of the notification given, on the 16th of last
month, by the Minister Plenipotentiary of his Most Christian Majesty,
which, announcing his purpose of aiding Holland, has occasioned maritime
armaments on the part of his Majesty, which armaments have become
reciprocal.

If the court of Versailles is disposed to explain itself on this
subject, and on the conduct adopted towards the republic, in a manner
conformably to the desire, evinced by each party, to preserve a good
understanding between the two courts, it being also understood, at
the same time, that no hostile view is entertained, in any quarter,
in consequence of the past; his Majesty, always eager to manifest his
concurrence in the friendly sentiments of his Most Christian Majesty,
agrees forthwith that the armaments, and, in general, all preparations
for war, shall be mutually discontinued, and that the marines of the two
nations shall be placed on the footing of a peace establishment, such as
existed on the first of January of the present year.

Signed. Dorset Wm. Eden.

At Versailles, the 27th of October, 1787.


COUNTER-DECLARATION.

It neither being, nor ever having been, the intention of his Majesty
to interpose by force in the affairs of the republic of the United
Provinces, the communication made to the court of London by M.
Barthelemy having had no other object than to announce to that court an
intention, the motives of which no longer-exist, especially since the
King of Prussia has made known his resolution, his Majesty makes no
difficulty in declaring, that he has no wish to act in pursuance of the
communication aforesaid, and that he entertains no hostile view in any
quarter, relative to what has passed in Holland.

Consequently, his Majesty, desiring to concur in the sentiments of his
Britannic Majesty, for the preservation of a good understanding between
the two courts, consents with pleasure to the proposition of his
Britannic Majesty, that the armaments, and, in general, all preparations
for war, shall be mutually discontinued, and that the marines of the two
nations shall be replaced upon the footing of the peace establishment,
as it existed on the first day of January of the present year.

Signed. Montmorin.

At Versailles, the 27th of October, 1787.



LETTER CXI.--TO JOHN JAY, November 3, 1787

TO JOHN JAY.

(Private.) Paris, November 3, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I shall take the liberty of confiding sometimes to a private letter,
such details of the small history of the court or cabinet, as may be
worthy of being known, and yet not proper to be publicly communicated.
I doubt whether the administration is yet in a permanent form. The Count
de Montmorin and Baron de Breteuil are, I believe, firm enough in their
places. It was doubted whether they would wait for the Count de la
Luzerne, if the war had taken place: but at present I suppose they will.
I wish it also, because M. de Hector, his only competitor, has on some
occasions shown little value for the connection with us. Lambert, the
Comptroller General, is thought to be very insecure. I should be sorry
also to lose him. I have worked several days with him, the Marquis de
la Fayette, and Monsieur du Pont (father of the young gentleman gone to
America with the Count de Moustier), to reduce into one _Arrêt_ whatever
concerned our commerce. I have found him a man of great judgment and
application, possessing good general principles on subjects of commerce,
and friendly dispositions towards us. He passed the _Arrêt_ in a very
favorable form, but it has been opposed in the Council, and will,
I fear, suffer some alteration in the article of whale-oil. That
of tobacco, which was put into a separate instrument, experiences
difficulties also, which do not come from him. M. du Pont has rendered
us essential services on these occasions. I wish his son could be so
well noticed, as to make a favorable report to his father; he would, I
think, be gratified by it, and his good dispositions be strengthened,
and rendered further useful to us. Whether I shall be able to send you
these regulations by the present packet, will depend on their getting
through the Council in time. The Archbishop continues well with his
patroness. Her object is, a close connection with her brother. I suppose
he convinces her, that peace will furnish the best occasion of cementing
that connection.

It may not be uninstructive to give you the origin and nature of
his influence with the Queen. When the Duke de Choiseul proposed the
marriage of the Dauphin with this lady, he thought it proper to send a
person to Vienna, to perfect her in the language. He asked his friend,
the Archbishop of Toulouse, to recommend to him a proper person. He
recommended a certain Abbe. The Abbe, from his first arrival at Vienna,
either tutored by his patron, or prompted by gratitude, impressed on
the Queen's mind the exalted talents and merit of the Archbishop, and
continually represented him as the only man fit to be placed at the helm
of affairs. On his return to Paris, being retained near the person of
the Queen, he kept him constantly in her view. The Archbishop was named
of the _Assembly des Notables_, had occasion enough there to prove his
talents, and Count de Vergennes, his great enemy, dying opportunely, the
Queen got him into place. He uses the Abbe even yet, for instilling all
his notions into her mind. That he has imposing talents and patriotic
dispositions, I think is certain. Good judges think him a theorist only,
little acquainted with the details of business, and spoiling all his
plans by a bungled execution. He may perhaps undergo a severe trial. His
best actions are exciting against him a host of enemies, particularly
the reduction of the pensions, and reforms in other branches of economy.
Some think the other ministers are willing he should stay in, till he
has effected this odious, yet necessary work, and that they will then
make him the scape-goat of the transaction. The declarations too, which
I send you in my public letter, if they should become public, will
probably raise an universal cry. It will all fall on him, because
Montmorin and Breteuil say, without reserve, that the sacrifice of the
Dutch has been against their advice. He will, perhaps, not permit these
declarations to appear in this country. They are absolutely unknown:
they were communicated to me by the Duke of Dorset, and I believe no
other copy has been given here. They will be published doubtless in
England, as a proof of their triumph, and may from thence make their way
into this country. If the Premier can stem a few months, he may remain
long in office, and will never make war if he can help it. If he should
be removed, the peace will probably be short. He is solely chargeable
with the loss of Holland. True, they could not have raised money by
taxes to supply the necessities of war; but could they do it were their
finances ever so well arranged? No nation makes war now-a-days, but by
the aid of loans: and it is probable, that in a war for the liberties
of Holland, all the treasures of that country would have been at their
service. They have now lost the cow which furnishes the milk of war.
She will be on the side of their enemies, whenever a rupture shall
take place: and no arrangement of their finances can countervail this
circumstance.

I have no doubt, you permit access to the letters of your foreign
ministers, by persons only of the most perfect trust. It is in the
European system to bribe the clerks high, in order to obtain copies
of interesting papers. I am sure you are equally attentive to the
conveyance of your letters to us, as you know that all are opened that
pass through any post-office of Europe. Your letters which come by the
packet, if put into the mail at New York, or into the post-office at
Havre, wear proofs that they have been opened. The passenger to whom
they are confided, should be cautioned always to keep them in his own
hands, till he can deliver them personally in Paris.

I have the honor to be, with very sincere esteem and respect, Dear Sir,
your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXII.--TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN, November 6, 1787

TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN.


Sir,

Paris, November 6, 1787.

I take the liberty of asking your Excellency's perusal of the enclosed
case of an American hostage, confined in the prisons of Dunkirk. His
continuance there seems to be useless, and yet endless. Not knowing how
far the government can interfere for his relief, as it is a case wherein
private property is concerned, I do not presume to ask his liberation
absolutely: but I will solicit from your Excellency such measures in his
behalf, as the laws and usages of the country may permit.

The Comptroller General having been so good as to explain to me in a
conversation, that he wished to know what duties were levied in England
on American whale-oil, I have had the honor of informing him by letter,
that the ancient duties on that article are seventeen pounds, six
shillings, and six pence, sterling, the ton, and that some late
additional duties make them amount to about eighteen pounds sterling.
That the common whale-oil sells there but for about twenty pounds
sterling, the ton, and of course the duty amounts to a prohibition. This
duty was originally laid on all foreign fish-oil, with a view to favor
the British and American fisheries. When we became independent, and of
course foreign to Great Britain, we became subject to the foreign
duty. No duty, therefore, which France may think proper to lay on this
article, can drive it to the English market. It could only oblige the
inhabitants of Nantucket to abandon their fishery. But the poverty
of their soil offering them no other resource, they must quit their
country, and either establish themselves in Nova Scotia, where, as
British fishermen, they may participate of the British premium, in
addition to the ordinary price of their whale-oil, or they must accept
the conditions which this government offers, for the establishment they
have proposed at Dunkirk. Your Excellency will judge, what conditions
may counterbalance, in their minds, the circumstances of the vicinity
of Nova Scotia, sameness of langague,[sp.] laws, religion, customs,
and kindred. Remaining in their native country, to which they are most
singularly attached, excluded from commerce with England, taught to look
to France as the only country from which they can derive sustenance,
they will, in case of war, become useful rovers against its enemies.
Their position, their poverty, their courage, their address, and their
hatred, will render them formidable scourges on the British commerce.
It is to be considered then, on the one hand, that the duty which M. de
Calonne had proposed to retain on their oil, may endanger the shifting
this useful body of seamen out of our joint scale into that of the
British; and also may suppress a considerable subject of exchange for
the productions of France: on the other hand, that it may produce an
addition to his Majesty's revenue. What I have thus far said, is on
the supposition, that the duty may operate a diminution of the price
received by the fishermen. If it act in the contrary direction, and
produce an augmentation of price to the consumer, it immediately brings
into competition a variety of other oils, vegetable and animal, a good
part of which France receives from abroad, and the fisherman, thus
losing his market, is compelled equally to change either his calling or
country. When M. de Calonne first agreed to reduce the duties to what he
has declared, I had great hopes the commodity could bear them, and
that it would become a medium of commerce between France and the United
States. I must confess, however, that my expectations have not been
fulfilled, and that but little has come here as yet. This induces me
to fear, that it is so poor an article, that any duty whatever will
suppress it. Should this take place, and the spirit of emigration once
seize those people, perhaps an abolition of all duty might then come too
late to stop, what it would now easily prevent. I fear there is danger
in the experiment; and it remains for the wisdom of his Majesty and his
ministers to decide, whether the prospect of gain to the revenue, or
establishing a national fishery, may compensate this danger. If the
government should decide to retain the duty, I shall acquiesce in it
cheerfully, and do every thing in my power to encourage my countrymen
still to continue their occupation.

The actual session of our several legislatures would render it
interesting to forward immediately the regulations proposed on our
commerce; and the expiration of the order of Bernis, at the close of
this month, endangers a suspension and derangement in the commerce of
tobacco, very embarrassing to the merchants of the two countries.
Pardon me therefore, Sir, if I appear solicitous to obtain the ultimate
decision of his Majesty's Council on these subjects, and to ask as early
a communication of that decision, as shall be convenient.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most profound esteem and
respect, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXIII.--TO JOHN ADAMS, November 13, 1787


TO JOHN ADAMS.

Paris, November 13, 1787.

Dear Sir,

This will be delivered you by young Mr. Rutledge. Your knowledge of his
father will introduce him to your notice. He merits it, moreover, on his
own account.

I am now to acknowledge your favors of October the 8th and 26th. That of
August the 25th was duly received, nor can I recollect by what accident
I was prevented from acknowledging it in mine of September the 28th. It
has been the source of my subsistence hitherto, and must continue to
be so, till I receive letters on the affairs of money from America. Van
Staphorsts and Willinks have answered my drafts. Your books for Marquis
de la Fayette are received here. I will notify it to him, who is at
present with his Provincial Assembly in Auvergne.

Little is said lately of the progress of the negotiations between
the courts of Petersburg, Vienna, and Versailles. The distance of the
former, and the cautious, unassuming character of its minister here,
is one cause of delays: a greater one is, the greediness and instable
character of the Emperor. Nor do I think that the Principal here,
will be easily induced to lend himself to any connection, which shall
threaten a war within a considerable number of years. His own reign
will be that of peace only, in all probability; and were any accident
to tumble him down, this country would immediately gird on its sword and
buckler, and trust to occurrences for supplies of money. The wound their
honor has sustained, festers in their hearts; and it may be said with
truth, that the Archbishop and a few priests, determined to support his
measures, because proud to see their order come again into power, are
the only advocates for the line of conduct which has been pursued. It is
said, and believed through Paris literally, that the Count de
Montmorin '_pleuroit comme un enfant_,' when obliged to sign the
counter-declaration. Considering the phrase as figurative, I believe it
expresses the distress of his heart. Indeed, he has made no secret of
his individual opinion. In the mean time, the Principal goes on with
a firm and patriotic spirit in reforming the cruel abuses of the
government, and preparing a new constitution, which will give to this
people as much liberty as they are capable of managing. This, I think,
will be the glory of his administration, because, though a good theorist
in finance, he is thought to execute badly. They are about to open a
loan of one hundred millions to supply present wants, and it is said,
the preface of the _Arrêt_ will contain a promise of the convocation of
the States General during the ensuing year. Twelve or fifteen Provincial
Assemblies are already in action, and are going on well: and I think,
that, though the nation suffers in reputation, it will gain infinitely
in happiness under the present administration. I enclose to Mr. Jay a
pamphlet, which I will beg of you to forward. I leave it open for your
perusal. When you shall have read it, be so good as to stick a wafer in
it. It is not yet published, nor will be for some days. This copy has
been ceded to me as a favor.

How do you like our new constitution? I confess there are things in it,
which stagger all my dispositions to subscribe to what such an Assembly
has proposed. The House of federal representatives will not be adequate
to the management of affairs, either foreign or federal. Their President
seems a bad edition of a Polish King. He may be elected from four years
to four years, for life. Reason and experience prove to us, that a
chief magistrate, so continuable, is an office for life. When one or
two generations shall have proved, that this is an office for life, it
becomes, on every succession, worthy of intrigue, of bribery, of force,
and even of foreign interference. It will be of great consequence to
France and England, to have America governed by a Galloman or Angloman.
Once in office, and possessing the military force of the Union, without
the aid or check of a council, he would not be easily dethroned, even
if the people could be induced to withdraw their votes from him. I wish
that at the end of the four years, they had made him for ever ineligible
a second time. Indeed, I think all the good of this new constitution
might have been couched in three or four new articles to be added to the
good, old, and venerable fabric, which should have been preserved even
as a religious relique. Present me and my daughters affectionately to
Mrs. Adams. The younger one continues to speak of her warmly. Accept
yourself assurances of the sincere esteem and respect, with which I have
the honor to be, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXIV.--TO COLONEL SMITH, November 13, 1787


TO COLONEL SMITH.

Paris, November 13, 1787.

Sir,

I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of October the
4th, 8th, and 26th. In the last, you apologize for your letters of
introduction to Americans coming here. It is so far from needing apology
on your part, that it calls for thanks on mine. I endeavor to show
civilities to all the Americans who come here, and who will give me
opportunities of doing it: and it is a matter of comfort to know, from
a good quarter, what they are, and how far I may go in my attentions to
them.

Can you send me Woodmason's bills for the two copying presses, for the
Marquis de la Fayette and the Marquis de Chastellux? The latter makes
one article in a considerable account, of old standing, and which I
cannot present for want of this article. I do not know whether it is
to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new
constitution. I beg leave, through you, to place them where due. It will
yet be three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There
are very good articles in it; and very bad. I do not know which
preponderate. What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in
the chapter on the Stadtholder, would have sufficed to set me against
a chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been
disposed towards one: and what we have always read of the elections of
Polish Kings, should have for ever excluded the idea of one continuable
for life. Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying.
The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat, and
model into every form, lies about our being in anarchy, that the world
has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them,
the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more
wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy
exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of
Massachusetts? And can history produce an instance of rebellion so
honorably conducted? I say nothing of its motives. They were founded in
ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid, we should ever be twenty years
without such a rebellion. The people cannot be all, and always, well
informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to
the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under
such misconceptions, it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the
public liberty. We have had thirteen States independent for eleven
years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a
century and a half for each State. What country before ever existed a
century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve
its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this
people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy
is to set them right as to facts, pardon, and pacify them. What signify
a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be
refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It
is its natural manure. Our convention has been too much impressed by the
insurrection of Massachusetts: and on the spur of the moment, they are
setting up a kite to keep the hen-yard in order. I hope in God, this
article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted. You
ask me, if any thing transpires here on the subject of South America?
Not a word. I know that there are combustible materials there, and
that they wait the torch only. But this country probably will join
the extinguishers. The want of facts worth communicating to you,
has occasioned me to give a little loose to dissertation. We must be
contented to amuse, when we cannot inform.

Present my respects to Mrs. Smith, and be assured of the sincere esteem
of, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXV.--TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL, December 11, 1787


TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Paris, December 11, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I am later in acknowledging the receipt of your favors of October the
15th, and November the 5th and 15th, because we have been long expecting
a packet, which I hoped would bring communications worth detailing to
you; and she arrived only a few days ago, after a very long passage
indeed. I am very sorry you have not been able to make out the cipher
of my letter of September the 25th, because it contained things which
I wished you to know at that time. They have lost now a part of their
merit; * but still I wish you could decipher them, as there remains
a part, which it might yet be agreeable to you to understand. I have
examined the cipher, from which it was written. It as precisely a copy
of those given to Messrs. Barclay and Lambe. In order that you may
examine whether yours corresponds, I will now translate into cipher, the
three first lines of my letter of June the 14th.

*****

This will serve to show, whether your cipher corresponds with mine, as
well as my manner of using it. But I shall not use it in future, till I
know from you the result of your re-examination of it. I have the honor
now, to return you the letter you had been so good as to enclose to me.
About the same time of Liston's conversation with you, similar ones were
held with me by Mr. Eden. He particularly questioned me on the effect
of our treaty with France, in the case of a war, and what might be our
dispositions. I told him without hesitation, that our treaty obliged
us to receive the armed vessels of France, with their prizes, into our
ports, and to refuse the admission of prizes made on her by her enemies;
that there was a clause by which we guarantied to France her American
possessions, and which might, perhaps, force us into the war, if these
were attacked. 'Then it will be war,' said he, 'for they will assuredly
be attacked.' I added, that our dispositions would be to be neutral, and
that I thought it the interest of both those powers that we should be
so, because it would relieve both from all anxiety as to the feeding
their West India islands, and England would, moreover, avoid a heavy
land war on our continent, which would cripple all her proceedings
elsewhere. He expected these sentiments from me personally, and he knew
them to be analogous to those of our country. We had often before had
occasions of knowing each other: his peculiar bitterness towards us
had sufficiently appeared, and I had never concealed from him, that I
considered the British as our natural enemies, and as the only nation
on earth, who wished us ill from the bottom of their souls. And I am
satisfied, that were our continent to be swallowed up by the ocean,
Great Britain would be in a bonfire from one end to the other. Mr.
Adams, as you know, has asked his recall. This has been granted, and
Colonel Smith is to return too; Congress having determined to put an end
to their commission at that court. I suspect and hope they will make no
new appointment.

Our new constitution is powerfully attacked in the American newspapers.
The objections are, that its effect would be to form the thirteen States
into one; that, proposing to melt all down into one general government,
they have fenced the people by no declaration of rights; they have not
renounced the power of keeping a standing army; they have not secured
the liberty of the press; they have reserved the power of abolishing
trials by jury in civil cases; they have proposed that the laws of the
federal legislatures shall be paramount the laws and constitutions of
the States; they have abandoned rotation in office; and particularly
their President may be re-elected from four years to four years, for
life, so as to render him a King for life, like a King of Poland; and
they have not given him either the check or aid of a council. To these,
they add calculations of expense, &c. &.c. to frighten the people. You
will perceive that those objections are serious and some of them not
without foundation. The constitution, however, has been received with
a very general enthusiasm, and as far as can be judged from external
demonstrations, the bulk of the people are eager to adopt it. In the
eastern States, the printers will print nothing against it, unless the
writer subscribes his name. Massachusetts and Connecticut have called
conventions in January, to consider of it. In New York, there is a
division. The Governor (Clinton) is known to be hostile to it. Jersey,
it is thought, will certainly accept it. Pennsylvania is divided; and
all the bitterness of her factions has been kindled anew on it. But the
party in favor of it is strongest, both in and out of the legislature.
This is the party anciently of Morris, Wilson, &c., Delaware will do
what Pennsylvania shall do. Maryland is thought favorable to it; yet it
is supposed Chase and Paca will oppose it. As to Virginia, two of her
Delegates, in the first place, refused to sign it. These were Randolph,
the Governor, and George Mason. Besides these, Henry, Harrison, Nelson,
and the Lees are against it. General Washington will be for it, but it
is not in his character to exert himself much in the case. Madison
will be its main pillar; but though an immensely powerful one, it is
questionable whether he can bear the weight of such a host. So that the
presumption is, that Virginia will reject it. We know nothing of the
dispositions of the States south of this. Should it fall through, as is
possible, notwithstanding the enthusiasm with which it was received in
the first moment, it is probable that Congress will propose, that, the
objections which the people shall make to it being once known, another
convention shall be assembled, to adopt the improvements generally
acceptable, and omit those found disagreeable. In this way, union may
be produced under a happy constitution, and one which shall not be too
energetic, as are the constitutions of Europe. I give you these details,
because, possibly, you may not have received them all. The sale of our
western lands is immensely successful. Five millions of acres have been
sold at private sale, for a dollar an acre, in certificates; and at the
public sales, some of them had sold as high as two dollars and forty
cents the acre. The sales had not been begun two months. By these
means, taxes, &c. our domestic debt, originally twenty-eight millions
of dollars, was reduced, by the 1st day of last October, to twelve
millions, and they were then in treaty-for two millions of acres more,
at a dollar, private sale. Our domestic debt will thus be soon paid off,
and that done, the sales will go on for money, at a cheaper rate, no
doubt, for the payment of our foreign debt. The _petite guerre_, always
waged by the Indians, seems not to abate the ardor of purchase or
emigration. Kentucky is now counted at sixty thousand. Frankland is also
growing fast.

I have been told, that the cutting through the Isthmus of Panama, which
the world has so often wished, and supposed practicable, has at times
been thought of by the government of Spain, and that they once proceeded
so far, as to have a survey and examination made of the ground; but
that the result was, either impracticability or too great difficulty.
Probably the Count de Campomanes, or Don Ulloa, can give you information
on this head. I should be exceedingly pleased to get as minute details
as possible on it, and even copies of the survey, report, &c. if they
could be obtained at a moderate expense. I take the liberty of asking
your assistance in this.

I have the honor to be, with great respect and esteem, Sir, your most
obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXVI.--TO JOHN ADAMS


TO JOHN ADAMS.

Paris, December 12, 1787.

Dear Sir,

In the month of July, I received from Fiseaux & Co. of Amsterdam, a
letter notifying me that the principal of their loan to the United
States would become due the first day of January. I answered them that
I had neither powers nor information on the subject, but would transmit
their letter to the board of treasury. I did so, by the packet which
sailed from Havre, August the 10th. The earliest answer possible would
have been by the packet which arrived at Havre three or four days ago.
But by her I do not receive the scrip of a pen from any body. This makes
me suppose, that my letters are committed to Paul Jones, who was to sail
a week after the departure of the packet; and that possibly, he may be
the bearer of orders from the treasury, to repay Fiseaux' loan, with the
money you borrowed. But it is also possible, he may bring no order on
the subject. The slowness with which measures are adopted on our side
the water, does not permit us to count on punctual answers; but, on the
contrary, renders it necessary for us to suppose, in the present case,
that no orders will arrive in time, and to consider whether any thing,
and what, should be done. As it may be found expedient to transfer all
our foreign debts to Holland, by borrowing there, and as it may always
be prudent to preserve a good credit in that country, because we may
be forced into wars, whether we will or not, I should suppose it very
imprudent to suffer our credit to be annihilated, for so small a sum
as fifty-one thousand guelders. The injury will be greater too, in
proportion to the smallness of the sum; for they will ask, 'How can a
people be trusted for large sums, who break their faith for such small
ones?' You know best what effect it will have on the minds of the
money-lenders of that country, should we fail in this payment. You know
best also, whether it is practicable and prudent for us, to have this
debt paid without orders. I refer the matter, therefore, wholly to
your consideration, willing to participate with you in any risk and any
responsibility, which may arise. I think it one of those cases, where
it is a duty to risk one's self. You will perceive, by the enclosed, the
necessity of an immediate answer, and that, if you think any thing
can and should be done, all the necessary authorities from you should
accompany your letter. In the mean time, should I receive any orders
from the treasury by Paul Jones, I will pursue them, and consider
whatever you shall have proposed or done, as _non avenue_.

I am, with much affection, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXVII.--TO JAMES MADISON, December 20, 1787


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, December 20, 1787.

Dear Sir,

My last to you was of October the 8th, by the Count de Moustier.
Yours of July the 18th, September the 6th, and October the 24th, were
successively received, yesterday, the day before, and three or four
days before that. I have only had time to read the letters; the printed
papers communicated with them, however interesting, being obliged to lie
over till I finish my despatches for the packet, which despatches must
go from hence the day after to-morrow. I have much to thank you for;
first and most for the ciphered paragraph respecting myself. These
little informations are very material towards forming my own decisions.
I would be glad even to know, when any individual member thinks I have
gone wrong in any instance. If I know myself, it would not excite ill
blood in me, while it would assist to guide my conduct, perhaps to
justify it, and to keep me to my duty, alert. I must thank you too, for
the information in Thomas Burke's case; though you will have found by a
subsequent letter, that I have asked of you a further investigation of
that matter. It is to gratify the lady who is at the head of the convent
wherein my daughters are, and who, by her attachment and attention to
them, lays me under great obligations, I shall hope, therefore, still
to receive from you the result of all the further inquiries my
second letter had asked. The parcel of rice which you informed me had
miscarried, accompanied my letter to the Delegates of South Carolina.
Mr. Bourgoin was to be the bearer of both, and both were delivered
together into the hands of his relation here, who introduced him to
me, and who, at a subsequent moment, undertook to convey them to Mr.
Bourgoin. This person was an engraver, particularly recommended to
Dr. Franklin and Mr. Hopkinson. Perhaps he may have mislaid the little
parcel of rice among his baggage. I am much pleased, that the sale
of western lands is so successful. I hope they will absorb all the
certificates of our domestic debt speedily, in the first place, and that
then, offered for cash, they will do the same by our foreign ones.

The season admitting only of operations in the cabinet, and these
being in a great measure secret, I have little to fill a letter, I
will therefore make up the deficiency, by adding a few words on the
constitution proposed by our convention.

I like much the general idea of framing a government, which should go on
of itself, peaceably, without needing continual recurrence to the
State legislatures. I like the organization of the government into
legislative, judiciary, and executive. I like the power given the
legislature to levy taxes, and for that reason solely, I approve of the
greater House being chosen by the people directly. For though I think
a House, so chosen, will be very far inferior to the present Congress,
will be very illy qualified to legislate for the Union, for foreign
nations, &c.; yet this evil does not weigh against the good of
preserving inviolate the fundamental principle, that the people are
not to be taxed but by representitives[sp.] chosen immediately by
themselves. I am captivated by the compromise of the opposite claims of
the great and little States, of the latter to equal, and the former to
proportional influence. I am much pleased, too, with the substitution
of the method of voting by persons, instead of that of voting by States:
and I like the negative given to the Executive, conjointly with a third
of either House; though I should have liked it better, had the judiciary
been associated for that purpose, or invested separately with a similar
power. There are other good things of less moment.

I will now tell you what I do not like. First, the omission of a bill of
rights, providing clearly, and without the aid of sophism, for freedom
of religion, freedom of the press, protection against standing armies,
restriction of monopolies, the eternal and unremitting force of the
_habeas corpus_ laws, and trials by jury in all matters of fact triable
by the laws of the land, and not by the laws of nations. To say, as Mr.
Wilson does, that a bill of rights was not necessary, because all is
reserved in the case of the general government which is not given, while
in the particular ones, all is given which is not reserved, might do
for the audience to which it was addressed: but it is surely a _gratis
dictum_, the reverse of which might just as well be said; and it is
opposed by strong inferences from the body of the instrument, as well as
from the omission of the clause of our present Confederation, which had
made the reservation in express terms. It was hard to conclude, because
there has been a want of uniformity among the States as to the cases
triable by jury, because some have been so incautious as to dispense
with this mode of trial in certain cases, therefore the more prudent
States shall be reduced to the same level of calamity. It would have
been much more just and wise to have concluded the other way, that as
most of the States had preserved with jealousy this sacred palladium of
liberty, those who had wandered, should be brought back to it: and to
have established general right rather than general wrong. For I consider
all the ill as established, which maybe established. I have a right to
nothing, which another has a right to take away; and Congress will have
a right to take away trials by jury in all civil cases. Let me add,
that a bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every
government on earth, general or particular; and what no just government
should refuse, or rest on inference.

The second feature I dislike, and strongly dislike, is the abandonment,
in every instance, of the principle of rotation in office, and most
particularly in the case of the President. Reason and experience tell
us, that the first magistrate will always be re-elected if he may be
re-elected. He is then an officer for life.

This once observed, it becomes of so much consequence to certain
nations, to have a friend or a foe at the head of our affairs, that they
will interfere with money and with arms. A Galloman, or an Angloman,
will be supported by the nation he befriends. If once elected, and at a
second or third election outvoted by one or two votes, he will pretend
false votes, foul play, hold possession of the reins of government,
be supported by the States voting for him, especially if they be the
central ones, lying in a compact body themselves, and separating their
opponents; and they will be aided by one nation in Europe, while the
majority are aided by another. The election of a President of America,
some years hence, will be much more interesting to certain nations of
Europe, than ever the election of a King of Poland was. Reflect on all
the instances in history, ancient and modern, of elective monarchies,
and say, if they do not give foundation for my fears; the Roman
Emperors, the Popes while they were of any importance, the German
Emperors till they became hereditary in practice, the Kings of Poland,
the Deys of the Ottoman dependencies. It may be said, that if elections
are to be attended with these disorders, the less frequently they
are repeated the better. But experience says, that to free them from
disorder, they must be rendered less interesting by a necessity of
change. No foreign power, nor domestic party, will waste their blood and
money to elect a person, who must go out at the end of a short period.
The power of removing every fourth year by the vote of the people, is
a power which they will not exercise, and if they were disposed
to exercise it, they would not be permitted. The King of Poland is
removable every day by the diet. But they never remove him. Nor would
Russia, the Emperor, &c. permit them to do it. Smaller objections are,
the appeals on matters of fact as well as law; and the binding all
persons, legislative, executive, and judiciary, by oath, to maintain
that constitution. I do not pretend to decide, what would be the best
method of procuring the establishment of the manifold good things in
this constitution, and of getting rid of the bad. Whether by adopting
it, in hopes of future amendment; or, after it shall have been duly
weighed and canvassed by the people, after seeing the parts they
generally dislike, and those they generally approve, to say to them,
'We see now what you wish. You are willing to give to your federal
government such and such powers: but you wish, at the same time, to have
such and such fundamental rights secured to you, and certain sources of
convulsion taken away. Be it so. Send together your deputies again. Let
them establish your fundamental rights by a sacrosanct declaration, and
let them pass the parts of the constitution you have approved. These
will give powers to your federal government sufficient for your
happiness.' This is what might be said, and would probably produce a
speedy, more perfect, and more permanent form of government. At all
events, I hope you will not be discouraged from making other trials, if
the present one should fail. We are never permitted to despair of
the commonwealth. I have thus told you freely what I like, and what I
dislike, merely as a matter of curiosity; for I know it is not in my
power to offer matter of information to your judgment, which has been
formed after hearing and weighing every thing which the wisdom of
man could offer on these subjects. I own, I am not a friend to a very
energetic government. It is always oppressive. It places the governors
indeed more at their ease, at the expense of the people. The late
rebellion in Massachusetts has given more alarm, than I think it should
have done. Calculate that one rebellion in thirteen States in the course
of eleven years, is but one for each State in a century and a half. No
country should be so long without one. Nor will any degree of power in
the hands of government prevent insurrections. In England, where the
hand of power is heavier than with us, there are seldom half a dozen
years without an insurrection. In France, Where it is still heavier, but
less despotic, as Montesquieu supposes, than in some other countries,
and where there are always two or three hundred thousand men ready to
crush insurrections, there have been three in the course of the three
years I have been here, in every one of which greater numbers were
engaged than in Massachusetts, and a great deal more blood was spilt. In
Turkey, where the sole nod of the despot is death, insurrections are the
events of every day. Compare again the ferocious depredations of
their insurgents, with the order, the moderation, and the almost
self-extinguishment of ours. And say, finally, whether peace is best
preserved by giving energy to the government, or information to the
people. This last is the most certain and the most legitimate engine of
government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them
to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they
will preserve them. And it requires no very high degree of education
to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the
preservation of our liberty. After all, it is my principle that the
will of the majority should prevail. If they approve the proposed
constitution in all its parts, I shall concur in it cheerfully, in
hopes they will amend it, whenever they shall find it works wrong. This
reliance cannot deceive us, as long as we remain virtuous; and I think
we shall be so, as long as agriculture is our principal object, which
will be the case, while there remain vacant lands in any part of
America. When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in
Europe, we shall become corrupt as in Europe, and go to eating
one another as they do there. I have tired you by this time with
disquisitions which you have already heard repeated by others, a
thousand and a thousand times; and, therefore, shall only add assurances
of the esteem and attachment, with which I have the honor to be, Dear
Sir, your affectionate friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.


P. S. The instability of our laws is really an immense evil. I think it
would be well to provide in our constitutions, that there shall always
be a twelvemonth between the engrossing a bill and passing it: that it
should then be offered to its passage without changing a word: and that
if circumstances should be thought to require a speedier passage, it
should take two thirds of both Houses, instead of a bare majority.



LETTER CXVIII.--TO E. CARRINGTON, December 21, 1787


TO E. CARRINGTON

Paris, December 21, 1787.

Dear Sir,

I have just received your two favors of October the 23rd and November
the 10th. I am much obliged to you for your hints in the Danish
business. They are the only information I have on that subject, except
the resolution of Congress, and warn me of a rock on which I should most
certainly have split. The vote plainly points out an agent, only leaving
it to my discretion to substitute another. My judgment concurs with that
of Congress as to his fitness. But I shall inquire for the surest banker
at Copenhagen to receive the money, not because I should have had any
doubts, but because I am informed others have them. Against the failure
of a banker, were such an accident, or any similar one to happen, I
cannot be held accountable in a case, where I act without particular
interest. My principal idea in proposing the transfer of the French
debt, was, to obtain on the new loans a much longer day for the
reimbursement of the principal, hoping that the resources of the United
States could have been equal to the article of interest alone. But I
shall endeavor to quiet, as well as I can, those interested. A part of
them will probably sell out at any rate: and one great claimant may be
expected to make a bitter attack on our honor. I am very much pleased
to hear, that our western lands sell so successfully. I turn to this
precious resource, as that which will, in every event, liberate us from
our domestic debt, and perhaps too from our foreign one: and this, much
sooner than I had expected. I do not think any thing could have been
done with them in Europe. Individual speculators and sharpers had duped
so many with their unlocated land-warrants, that every offer would have
been suspected.

As to the new constitution, I find myself nearly a neutral. There is a
great mass of good in it, in a very desirable form; but there is also,
to me, a bitter pill or two. I have written somewhat lengthily to Mr.
Madison on this subject, and will take the liberty to refer you to that
part of my letter to him. I will add one question to what I have said
there. Would it not have been better to assign to Congress exclusively,
the article of imposts for federal purposes, and to have left direct
taxation exclusively to the States? I should suppose the former fund
sufficient for all probable events, aided by the land office.

The form which the affairs of Europe may assume, is not yet decipherable
by those out of the cabinet. The Emperor gives himself, at present,
the airs of a mediator. This is necessary to justify a breach with the
Porte. He has his eye at the same time on Germany, and particularly on
Bavaria, the Elector of which has, for a long time, been hanging over
the grave. Probably, France would now consent to the exchange of the
Austrian Netherlands, to be created into a kingdom for the Duke de
Deux-ponts, against the electorate of Bavaria. This will require a
war. The Empress longs for Turkey, and viewing France as her principal
obstacle, would gladly negotiate her acquiescence. To spur on this, she
is coquetting it with England. The King of Prussia, too, is playing
a double game between France and England. But I suppose the former
incapable of forgiving him, or of ever reposing confidence in him.
Perhaps the spring may unfold to us the final arrangement, which will
take place among the powers of this continent.

I often doubt whether I should trouble Congress or my friends with these
details of European politics. I know they do not excite that interest
in America, of which it is impossible for one to divest himself here. I
know too, that it is a maxim with us, and I think it is a wise one, not
to entangle ourselves with the affairs of Europe. Still, I think,
we should know them. The Turks have practised the same maxim of not
meddling in the complicated wrangles of this continent. But they have
unwisely chosen to be ignorant of them also, and it is this total
ignorance of Europe, its combinations, and its movements, which exposes
them to that annihilation possibly about taking place. While there are
powers in Europe which fear our views, or have views on us, we should
keep an eye on them, their connections, and oppositions, that in a
moment of need, we may avail ourselves of their weakness with respect to
others as well as ourselves, and calculate their designs and movements,
on all the circumstances under which they exist. Though I am persuaded,
therefore, that these details are read by many with great indifference,
yet I think it my duty to enter into them, and to run the risk of giving
too much, rather than too little information.

I have the honor to be, with perfect esteem and respect, Dear Sir, your
most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.


P. S. The resolution of Congress, relative to the prize money received
here, speaks of that money as paid to me. I hope this matter is properly
understood. The treasury board desired me to receive it, and apply it to
such and such federal purposes; and they would pay the dividends of
the claimants in America. This would save the expense of remittance. I
declined, however, receiving the money, and ordered it into the hands
of their banker, who paid it away for the purposes to which they had
destined it. I should be sorry an idea should get abroad, that I had
received the money of those poor fellows, and applied it to other
purposes. I shall, in like manner, order the Danish and Barbary money
into the hands of bankers, carefully avoiding ever to touch a sou of
it, or having any other account to make out than what the banker will
furnish. T. J.



LETTER CXIX.--TO MONSIEUR LIMOZIN, December 22, 1787


TO MONSIEUR LIMOZIN.

Paris, December 22, 1787.

Sir,

I have the honor now to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of the
18th and 19th of November, and two of the 18th of the present month.
I did not write to you immediately on the receipt of the two first,
because the observation they contained were to be acted on here. I
was much obliged to you for them, as I have been frequently before for
others, and you will find that I have profited by them in the _Arrêt_
which is to come out for the regulation of our commerce, wherein most
of the things are provided for, which you have from time to time
recommended. With respect to the article of yellow wax, I think there
is a general clause in the _Arrêt_, which will take it in; but I am not
sure of it. If there be not, it is now too late to get any alteration
made. You shall receive the _Arrêt_ the moment it is communicated to me.

I have examined the case of Captain Thomas, with all the dispositions
possible, to interpose for him. But on mature reflection, I find it is
one of those cases wherein my solicitation would be ill received. The
government of France, to secure to its subjects the carrying trade
between her colonies and the mother country, have made a law, forbidding
any foreign vessels to undertake to carry between them. Notwithstanding
this, an American vessel has undertaken, and has brought a cargo. For me
to ask that this vessel shall be received, would be to ask a repeal of
the law, because there is no more reason for receiving her, than there
will be for receiving the second, third, &c, which shall act against the
same law, nor for receiving an American vessel, more than the vessels of
other nations. Captain Thomas has probably engaged in this business, not
knowing the law; but ignorance of the law is no excuse, in any country.
If it were, the laws would lose their effect, because it can be always
pretended. Were I to make this application to the Comptroller General,
he might possibly ask me, whether, in a like case, of a French vessel in
America acting through ignorance, against law, we would suspend the law
as to her? I should be obliged honestly to answer, that with us there
is no power which can suspend the law for a moment; and Captain Thomas
knows that this answer would be the truth. The Senegal company seems to
be as much engaged in it as he is. I should suppose his most probable
means of extrication, would be with their assistance, and availing
himself of their privileges, and the apparent authority he has received
from the officers of government there. I am sorry his case is such a
one, as I cannot present to the minister. A jealousy of our taking
away their carrying trade, is the principal reason which obstructs our
admission into their West India islands. It would not be right for me to
strengthen that jealousy.

I have the honor to be, with much esteem, Sir, your most obedient,
humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXX.--TO JOHN JAY, December 31, 1787

TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, December 31, 1787.

Sir,

Since the receipt of the letter of Monsieur de Calonne, of October the
22nd, 1786, I have several times had the honor of mentioning to you,
that I was endeavoring to get the substance of that letter reduced into
an _Arrêt_, which, instead of being revocable by a single letter of a
Comptroller General, would require an _Arrêt_ to repeal or alter it, and
of course must be discussed in full Council, and so give time to prevent
it. This has been pressed as much as it could be with prudence. One
cause of delay has been the frequent changes of the Comptroller General;
as we had always our whole work to begin again, with every new one.
Monsieur Lambert's continuance in office for some months has enabled us,
at length, to get through the business; and I have just received from
him a letter, and the _Arrêt_ duly authenticated; of which I have the
honor to send you a number of printed copies. You will find, that the
several alterations and additions are made, which, on my visit, to the
seaports, I had found to be necessary, and which my letters of June the
21st and August the 6th particularly mentioned to you. Besides these,
we have obtained some new articles of value, for which openings arose
in the course of the negotiation. I say we have done it, because
the Marquis de la Fayette has gone hand in hand with me through this
business, and has been a most invaluable aid. I take the liberty of
making some observations on the articles of the _Arrêt_, severally, for
their explanation, as well as for the information of Congress.

Article 1. In the course of our conferences with the Comptroller
General, we had prevailed on him to pass this article with a suppression
of all duty. When he reported the _Arrêt_, however, to the Council, this
suppression was objected to, and it was insisted to re-establish the
duties of seven livres and ten sous, and of ten sous the livre, reserved
in the letter of M. de Calonne. The passage of the _Arrêt_ was stopped,
and the difficulty communicated to me. I urged every thing I could,
in letters and in conferences, to convince them that whale-oil was an
article which could bear no duty at all. That if the duty fell on the
consumer, he would choose to buy vegetable oils; if on the fisherman, he
could no longer live by his calling, remaining in his own country;
and that if he quitted his own country, the circumstances of vicinity,
sameness of language, laws, religion, and manners, and perhaps the
ties of kindred, would draw him to Nova Scotia, in spite of every
encouragement which could be given at Dunkirk; and that thus those
fishermen would be shifted out of a scale friendly to France, into one
always hostile. Nothing, however, could prevail. It hung on this article
alone, for two months, during which we risked the total loss of the
_Arrêt_ on the stability in office of Monsieur Lambert; for if he had
gone out, his successor might be less favorable; and if Monsieur Necker
were the successor, we might lose the whole, as he never set any
store by us, or the connection with us. About ten days ago, it became
universally believed that Monsieur Lambert was to go out immediately.
I therefore declined further insisting on the total suppression, and
desired the _Arrêt_ might pass, leaving the duties on whale-oil, as
Monsieur de Calonne had promised them; but with a reservation, which
may countenance our bringing on this matter again, at a more favorable
moment.

Article 2. The other fish-oils are placed in a separate article;
because, whatever encouragements we may hereafter obtain for whale-oils,
they will not be extended to those which their own fisheries produce.

Article 3. A company had silently, and by unfair means, obtained a
monopoly for the making and selling spermaceti candles: as soon as we
discovered it, we solicited its suppression, which is effected by this
clause.

Article 4. The duty of an eighth per cent, is merely to oblige the
masters of vessels to enter their cargoes, for the information of
government; without inducing them to attempt to smuggle.

Article 6. Tar, pitch, and turpentine of America, coming in competition
with the same articles produced in the southwestern parts of France,
we could obtain no greater reduction, than two and a half per cent. The
duties before were from four to six times that amount.

Article 10. The right of _entrepôt_, given by this article, is almost
the same thing, as the making all their ports, free ports for us. The
ships are indeed subject to be visited, and the cargoes must be reported
in ports of _entrepôt_, which need not be done in the free ports.
But the communication between the _entrepôt_ and the country is not
interrupted by continual search of all persons passing into the country,
which has proved so troublesome to the inhabitants of our free ports,
as that a considerable proportion of them have wished to give back the
privilege of their freedom.

Article 13. This article gives us the privileges and advantages of
native subjects, in all their possessions in Asia, and in the scales
leading thereto. This expression means, at present, the isles of France
and Bourbon, and will include the Cape of Good Hope, should any future
event put it into the hands of France. It was with a view to this, that
I proposed the expression, because we were then in hourly expectation
of a war, and it was suspected that France would take possession of
that place. It will, in no case, be considered as including any thing
westward of the Cape of Good Hope. I must observe further, on this
article, that it will only become valuable, on the suppression of their
East India Company; because, as long as their monopoly continues, even
native subjects cannot enter their Asiatic ports, for the purposes of
commerce. It is considered, however, as certain, that this Company will
be immediately suppressed.

The article of tobacco could not be introduced into the _Arrêt_; because
it was necessary to consider the Farmers General as parties to that
arrangement. It rests, therefore, of necessity, on the basis of a letter
only. You will perceive that this is nothing more than a continuation of
the order of Bernis, only leaving the prices unfixed; and like that, it
will require a constant and vexatious attention, to have its execution
enforced.

The States who have much to carry, and few carriers, will observe,
perhaps, that the benefits of these regulations are somewhat narrowed,
by confining them to articles brought hither in French or American
bottoms. But they will consider, that nothing in these instruments moves
from us. The advantages they hold out are all given by this country to
us, and the givers will modify their gifts as they please. I suppose it
to be a determined principle of this court not to suffer our carrying
business, so far as their consumption of our commodities extends,
to become a nursery for British seamen. Nor would this, perhaps, be
advantageous to us, considering the dispositions of the two nations
towards us. The preference which our shipping will obtain on this
account, may counterpoise the discouragements it experiences from the
aggravated dangers of the Barbary States. Nor is the idea unpleasing,
which shows itself in various parts of these papers, of naturalizing
American bottoms, and American citizens in France and in its foreign
possessions. Once established here, and in their eastern settlements,
they may revolt less at the proposition to extend it to those westward.
They are not yet, however, at that point; we must be contented to go
towards it a step at a time, and trust to future events for hastening
our progress.

With respect to the alliance between this and the two imperial courts,
nothing certain transpires. We are enabled to conjecture its progress,
only from facts which now and then show themselves. The following may be
considered as indications of it. 1. The Emperor has made an attempt to
surprise Belgrade. The attempt failed, but will serve to plunge him into
the war, and to show that he had assumed the character of mediator, only
to enable himself to gain some advantage by surprise. 2. The mediation
of France is probably at an end, and their abandonment of the Turks
agreed on; because they have secretly ordered their officers to quit the
Turkish service. This fact is known to but few, and not intended to be
known: but I think it certain. 3. To the offer of mediation lately made
by England and Prussia, the court of Petersburg answered, that having
declined the mediation of a friendly power (France), she could not
accept that of two courts, with whose dispositions she had reason to be
dissatisfied. 4. The States General are said to have instructed their
ambassador here, lately, to ask of M. de Montmorin, whether the inquiry
had been made, which they had formerly desired; 'By what authority the
French engineers had been placed in the service of Holland?' And that he
answered, that the inquiry had not been made, nor should be made.
Though I do not consider the channel through which I get this fact,
as absolutely sure, yet it is so respectable, that I give credit to it
myself. 5. The King of Prussia is withdrawing his troops from Holland.
Should this alliance show itself it would seem that France, thus
strengthened, might dictate the re-establishment of the affairs of
Holland, in her own form. For it is not conceivable, that Prussia would
dare to move, nor that England would alone undertake such a war, and
for such a purpose. She appears, indeed, triumphant at present; but the
question is, Who will triumph last?

I enclose you a letter from Mr. Dumas. I received one from him myself,
wherein he assures me, that no difficulties shall be produced, by what
he had suggested relative to his mission to Brussels. The gazettes of
France and Leyden to this date accompany this letter, which, with the
several papers put under your cover, I shall send to M. Limozin, our
agent at Havre, to be forwarded by the Juno, Captain Jenkins, which
sails from that port for New York, on the 3d of January.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXI.--TO MONSIEUR LAMBERT, January 3, 1788


TO MONSIEUR LAMBERT.

Paris, January 3, 1788.

Sir,

I am honored with your Excellency's letter of the 29th of December,
enclosing the _Arrêt_ on the commerce between France and the United
States. I availed myself of the occasion of a vessel sailing this day
from Havre for New York, to forward it to Congress. They will receive
with singular satisfaction, this new testimony of his Majesty's
friendship for the United States, of his dispositions to promote their
interest, and to strengthen the bands which connect the two nations.

Permit me, Sir, to return you, personally, my sincere thanks for the
great attention you have paid to this subject, for the sacrifices you
have kindly made of a time so precious as yours, every moment of which
is demanded and is occupied by objects interesting to the happiness of
millions; and to proffer you the homage of those sincere sentiments
of attachment and respect, with which I have the honor to be, your
Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXII.--TO LE COMTE BERNSTORFF, January 21, 1788


TO LE COMTE BERNSTORFF, _Minister of Foreign Affairs, Copenhagen_.

Paris, January 21, 1788.

Sir,

I am instructed by the United States of America, in Congress assembled,
to bring again under the consideration of his Majesty, the King of
Denmark, and of his ministers, the case of the three prizes taken from
the English during the late war, by an American squadron under the
command of Commodore Paul Jones, put into Bergen in distress, there
rescued from our possession by orders from the court of Denmark,
and delivered back to the English. Dr. Franklin, then Minister
Plenipotentiary from the United States at the court of Versailles, had
the honor of making applications to the court of Denmark, for a just
indemnification to the persons interested, and particularly by a letter
of the 22nd of December, 1779, a copy of which I have now the honor of
enclosing to your Excellency. In consequence of this, the sum of ten
thousand pounds was proposed to him, as an indemnification, through
the Baron de Waltersdorff, then at Paris. The departure of both those
gentlemen from this place, soon after, occasioned an intermission in
the correspondence on this subject. But the United States continue to
be very sensibly affected by this delivery of their prizes to Great
Britain, and the more so, as no part of their conduct had forfeited
their claim to those rights of hospitality, which civilized nations
extend to each other. Not only a sense of justice due to the individuals
interested in those prizes, but also an earnest desire that no subject
of discontent may check the cultivation and progress of that friendship,
which they wish may subsist and increase between the two countries,
prompt them to remind his Majesty of the transaction in question; and
they flatter themselves, that his Majesty will concur with them in
thinking, that as restitution of the prizes is not practicable, it is
reasonable and just that he should render, and that they should accept,
a compensation equivalent to the value of them. And the same principles
of justice towards the parties, and of amity to the United States,
which influenced the breast of his Majesty to make, through the Baron de
Waltersdorff, the proposition of a particular sum, will surely lead him
to restore their full value, if that were greater, as is believed, than
the sum proposed. In order to obtain, therefore, a final arrangement of
this demand, Congress have authorized me to depute a special agent to
Copenhagen, to attend the pleasure of his Majesty. No agent could be so
adequate to this business, as the Commodore Paul Jones, who commanded
the squadron which took the prizes. He will therefore have the honor
of delivering this letter to your Excellency, in person; of giving such
information as may be material, relative to the whole transaction; of
entering into conferences for its final adjustment; and being himself
principally interested, not only in his own right, but as the natural
patron of those who fought under him, whatever shall be satisfactory
to him, will have a great right to that ultimate approbation, which
Congress have been pleased to confide to me.

I beg your Excellency to accept the homage of that respect, which your
exalted station, talents, and merit impress, as well as those sentiments
of esteem and regard, with which I have the honor to be

Your Excellency's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXIII.--TO WILLIAM RUTLEDGE, February 2, 1788


TO WILLIAM RUTLEDGE.

Paris, February 2, 1788.

Dear Sir,

I should have sooner answered your favor of January the 2nd, but that we
have expected for some time, to see you here. I beg you not to think of
the trifle I furnished you with, nor to propose to return it, till you
shall have that sum more than you know what to do with. And on every
other occasion of difficulty, I hope you will make use of me freely.
I presume you will now remain at London, to see the trial of Hastings.
Without suffering yourself to be imposed on by the pomp in which it
will be enveloped, I would recommend to you to consider and decide for
yourself these questions. If his offence is to be decided by the law of
the land, why is he not tried in that court in which his fellow citizens
are tried, that is, the King's Bench? If he is cited before another
court, that he may be judged, not according to the law of the land, but
by the discretion of his judges, is he not disfranchised of his most
precious right, the benefit of the laws of his country, in common
with his fellow citizens? I think you will find, in investigating this
subject, that every solid argument is against the extraordinary court,
and that every one in its favor is specious only. It is a transfer from
a judicature of learning and integrity, to one, the greatness of which
is both illiterate and unprincipled. Yet such is the force of prejudice
with some, and of the want of reflection in others, that many of our
constitutions have copied this absurdity, without suspecting it to be
one. I am glad to hear that our new constitution is pretty sure of being
accepted by States enough to secure the good it contains, and to meet
with such opposition in some others, as to give us hopes it will be
accommodated to them, by the amendment of its most glaring faults,
particularly the want of a declaration of rights.

The long expected edict for the Protestants at length appears here.
Its analysis is this. It is an acknowledgment (hitherto withheld by the
laws) that Protestants can beget children, and that they can die, and be
offensive unless buried. It does not give them permission to think, to
speak, or to worship. It enumerates the humiliations to which they shall
remain subject, and the burthens to which they shall continue to be
unjustly exposed. What are we to think of the condition of the human
mind in a country, where such a wretched thing as this has thrown the
State into convulsions, and how must we bless our own situation in a
country, the most illiterate peasant of which is a Solon, compared
with the authors of this law. There is modesty often, which does
itself injury; our countrymen possess this. They do not know their own
superiority. You see it; you are young, you have time and talents to
correct them. Study the subject while in Europe, in all the instances
which will present themselves to you, and profit your countrymen of
them, by making them to know and value themselves.

Adieu, my dear Sir, and be assured of the esteem with which I am your
friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXIV.--TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY, Feb. 7, 1788


TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY.

Paris, February 7, 1788.

Gentlemen,

Your favors of November the 10th and 13th, and December the 5th, have
been duly received. Commodore Jones left this place for Copenhagen,
the 5th instant, to carry into execution the resolution of Congress, of
October the 25th. Whatever monies that court shall be willing to allow,
shall be remitted to your bankers, either in Amsterdam or Paris, as
shall be found most beneficial, allowing previously to be withdrawn
Commodore Jones's proportion, which will be necessary for his
subsistence. I desired him to endeavor to prevail on the Danish
minister, to have the money paid in Amsterdam or Paris, by their banker
in either of those cities, if they have one.

M. Ast (secretary to the consulate) is at L'Orient. Whether he comes up
with the papers, or sends them, they shall be received, sealed up, and
taken care of. I will only ask the favor of you, that I may never be
desired to break the seals, unless very important cause for it should
arise.

I have just received from Messrs. Willincks and Van Staphorsts, a
letter of January the 31st, in which are these words: 'The official
communication we have of the actual situation and prospect of the
finances of the United States, would render such a partial payment as
that to Fiseaux's house of no avail towards the support of the public
credit, unless effectual measures shall be adopted, to provide funds for
the two hundred and seventy thousand florins, interest, that will be due
the first of June next; a single day's retard in which would ground a
prejudice of long duration.' They informed me, at the same time, that
they have made to you the following communication; that Mr. Stanitski,
our principal broker, and holder of thirteen hundred and forty thousand
dollars, of certificates of our domestic debt, offers to have our loan
of a million of guilders (of which six hundred and twenty-two thousand
eight hundred and forty are still unfilled) immediately made up, on
condition that he may retain thereout one hundred and eighty thousand
guilders, being one year's interest on his certificates, allowing a
deduction of ten per cent, from his said interest, as a compensation
for his receiving it in Amsterdam instead of America, and not pretending
that this shall give him any title to ask any payment of future interest
in Europe. They observe, that this will enable them to face the demands
of Dutch interest, till the 1st of June, 1789, pay the principal of
Fiseaux' debt, and supply the current expenses of your legation in
Europe. On these points, it is for you to decide. I will only take the
liberty to observe, that if they shall receive your acceptance of the
proposition, some days credit will still be to be given for producing
the cash, and that this must be produced fifteen days before it is
wanting, because that much previous notice is always given to the
creditors, that their money is ready. It is, therefore, but three months
from this day, before your answer should be in Amsterdam. It might
answer a useful purpose also, could I receive a communication of that
answer ten days earlier than they. The same stagnation attending our
passage from the old to the new form of government, which stops the
feeble channel of money hitherto flowing towards our treasury, has
suspended also what foreign credit we had. So that, at this moment, we
may consider the progress of our loan as stopped. Though much an
enemy to the system of borrowing, yet I feel strongly the necessity of
preserving the power to borrow. Without this, we might be overwhelmed by
another nation, merely by the force of its credit. However, you can best
judge whether the payment of a single year's interest on Stanitski's
certificates, in Europe, instead of America, may be more injurious to
us than the shock of our credit in Amsterdam, which may be produced by a
failure to pay our interest.

I have only to offer any services which I can render in this business,
either here or by going to Holland, at a moment's warning, if that
should be necessary.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Gentlemen, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXV.--TO DOCTOR PRICE, February 7, 1788


TO DOCTOR PRICE.

Paris, February 7, 1788.

Dear Sir,

It is rendering mutual service to men of virtue and understanding,
to make them acquainted with one another. I need no other apology for
presenting to your notice the bearer hereof, Mr. Barlow. I know you
were among the first who read the "Vision of Columbus," while yet in
manuscript: and think the sentiments I heard you express of that poem,
will induce you to be pleased with the acquaintance of their author. He
comes to pass a few days only at London, merely to know something of it.
As I have little acquaintance there, I cannot do better for him than to
ask you to be so good as to make him known to such persons, as his turn
and his time might render desirable to him.

I thank you for the volume you were so kind as to send me some time
ago. Every thing you write is precious, and this volume is on the most
precious of all our concerns. We may well admit morality to be the child
of the understanding rather than of the senses, when we observe that
it becomes dearer to us as the latter weaken, and as the former grows
stronger by time and experience, till the hour arrives in which all
other objects lose all their value. That that hour may be distant with
you, my friend, and that the intermediate space may be filled with
health and happiness, is the sincere prayer of him who is, with
sentiments of great respect and friendship, Dear Sir, your most
obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXVI.--TO A. DONALD, February.7, 1788

TO A. DONALD.

Paris, February.7, 1788.

Dear Sir,

I received duly your friendly letter of November the 12th. By this time,
you will have seen published by Congress, the new regulations obtained
from this court, in favor of our commerce. You will observe, that the
arrangement relative to tobacco is a continuation of the order of Berni
for five years, only leaving the price to be settled between the
buyer and seller. You will see too, that all contracts for tobacco are
forbidden, till it arrives in France. Of course, your proposition for a
contract is precluded.

I fear the prices here will be low, especially if the market be crowded.
You should be particularly attentive to the article, which requires that
the tobacco should come in French or American bottoms, as this article
will, in no instance, be departed from.

I wish with all my soul, that the nine first conventions may accept the
new constitution, because this will secure to us the good it contains,
which I think great and important. But I equally wish, that the four
latest conventions, which ever they be, may refuse to accede to it,
till a declaration of rights be annexed. This would probably command the
offer of such a declaration, and thus give to the whole fabric, perhaps,
as much perfection as any one of that kind ever had. By a declaration of
rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom
of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries
in all cases, no suspensions of the _habeas corpus_, no standing armies.
These are fetters against doing evil, which no honest government should
decline. There is another strong feature in the new constitution, which
I as strongly dislike. That is, the perpetual re-eligibility of the
President. Of this I expect no amendment at present, because I do not
see that any body has objected to it on your side the water. But it will
be productive of cruel distress to our country, even in your day and
mine. The importance to France and England, to have our government in
the hands of a friend or foe, will occasion their interference by money,
and even by arms. Our President will be of much more consequence to them
than a King of Poland. We must take care, however, that neither this,
nor any other objection to the new form, produces a schism in our Union.
That would be an incurable evil, because near friends falling out, never
re-unite cordially; whereas, all of us going together, we shall be sure
to cure the evils of our new constitution, before they do great harm.
The box of books I had taken the liberty to address to you, is but just
gone from Havre for New York. I do not see, at present, any symptoms
strongly indicating war. It is true, that the distrust existing between
the two courts of Versailles and London, is so great, that they can
scarcely do business together. However, the difficulty and doubt
of obtaining money make both afraid to enter into war. The little
preparations for war, which we see, are the effect of distrust, rather
than of a design to commence hostilities. And in such a state of mind,
you know, small things may produce a rupture: so that though peace is
rather probable, war is very possible.

Your letter has kindled all the fond recollections of ancient times;
recollections much dearer to me than any thing I have known since. There
are minds which can be pleased by honors and preferments; but I see
nothing in them but envy and enmity. It is only necessary to possess
them, to know how little they contribute to happiness, or rather how
hostile they are to it. No attachments soothe the mind so much as those
contracted in early life; nor do I recollect any societies which have
given me more pleasure, than those of which you have partaken with me.
1 had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage, with my books, my
family, and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the
world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post, which
any human power can give. I shall be glad to hear from you often. Give
me the small news as well as the great. Tell Dr. Currie, that I believe
I am indebted to him a letter, but that like the mass of our countrymen,
I am not, at this moment, able to pay all my debts; the post being to
depart in an hour, and the last stroke of a pen I am able to send by it,
being that which assures you of the sentiments of esteem and attachment,
with which I am, Dear Sir, your affectionate friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXVII.--TO M. WARVILLE, February 12, 1888

TO M. WARVILLE.

Paris, February 12, 1888.

Sir,

I am very sensible of the honor you propose to me, of becoming a member
of the society for the abolition of the slave-trade. You know that
nobody wishes more ardently, to see an abolition, not only of the trade,
but of the condition of slavery: and certainly nobody will be more
willing to encounter every sacrifice for that object. But the influence
and information of the friends to this proposition in France will be
far above the need of my association. I am here as a public servant,
and those whom I serve, having never yet been able to give their
voice against the practice, it is decent for me to avoid too public
a demonstration of my wishes to see it abolished. Without serving the
cause here, it might render me less able to serve it beyond the water. I
trust you will be sensible of the prudence of those motives, therefore,
which govern my conduct on this occasion, and be assured of my wishes
for the success of your undertaking, and the sentiments of esteem and
respect, with which I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient,
humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXVIII.--TO JOHN ADAMS, March 2, 1788


TO JOHN ADAMS.

Paris, March 2, 1788.--Sunday.

Dear Sir,

I received this day, a letter from Mrs. Adams, of the 26th ultimo,
informing me you would set out on the 29th for the Hague. Our affairs at
Amsterdam press on my mind like a mountain. I have no information to
go on, but that of Willincks and Van Staphorsts, and according to that,
something seems necessary to be done. I am so anxious to confer with
you on this subject, and to see you and them together, and get some
effectual arrangement made in time, that I determine to meet you at the
Hague. I will set out the moment some repairs are made to my carriage:
it is promised me at three o'clock to-morrow; but probably they will
make it night, and that I may not set out till Tuesday morning. In that
case, I shall be at the Hague on Friday night: in the mean time, you
will perhaps have made all your bows there. I am sensible how irksome
this must be to you, in the moment of your departure. But it is a great
interest of the United States, which is at stake, and I am sure you will
sacrifice to that your feelings and your interest. I hope to shake you
by the hand within twenty-four hours after you receive this; and in
the mean time, I am, with much esteem and respect, Dear Sir, your
affectionate friend and humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXIX.--TO JOHN JAY, March 16, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Amsterdam, March 16, 1788.

Sir,

In a letter of the 13th instant, which I had the honor of addressing you
from this place, I mentioned in general terms, the object of my journey
hither, and that I should enter into more particular details, by the
confidential conveyance which would occur through Mr. Adams and Colonel
Smith.

The board of treasury had, in the month of December, informed me and
our bankers here, that it would be impossible for them to make any
remittances to Europe for the then ensuing year, and that they must,
therefore, rely altogether on the progress of the late loan. But this,
in the mean time, after being about one third filled, had ceased to
get forward. The bankers who had been referred to me for advice, by Mr.
Adams, stated these circumstances, and pressed their apprehension for
the ensuing month of June, when two hundred and seventy thousand florins
would be wanting for interest. In fine, they urged an offer of the
holders of the former bonds, to take all those remaining on hand,
provided they might receive out of them the interest on a part of our
domestic debt, of which they had also become the holders. This would
have been one hundred and eighty thousand florins. To this proposition,
I could not presume any authority to listen. Thus pressed between the
danger of failure on one hand, and this proposition on the other, I
heard of Mr. Adams being gone to the Hague to take leave. His knowledge
of the subject was too valuable to be neglected under the present
difficulty, and it was the last moment in which we could be availed of
it. I set out immediately, therefore, for the Hague, and we came on to
this place together, in order to see what could be done. It was easier
to discover, than to remove, the causes which obstructed the progress
of the loan. Our affairs here, like those of other nations, are in the
hands of particular bankers. These employ particular, and they have
their particular circle of money-lenders. These moneylenders, as I have
before mentioned, while placing a part of their money in our
foreign loans, had at the same time employed another part in a joint
speculation, to the amount of eight hundred and forty thousand dollars,
in our domestic debt. A year's interest was becoming due on this, and
they wished to avail themselves of our want of money for the foreign
interest, to obtain payment of the domestic. Our first object was to
convince our bankers, that there was no power on this side the Atlantic
which could accede to this proposition, or give it any countenance. They
at length, therefore, but with difficulty, receded from this ground, and
agreed to enter into conferences with the brokers and lenders, and to
use every exertion to clear the loan from the embarrassment in which
this speculation had engaged it. What will be the result of these
conferences, is not yet known. We have hopes, however, that it is not
desperate, because the bankers consented yesterday, to pay off the
capital of fifty-one thousand florins, which had become due on the first
day of January, and which had not yet been paid. We have gone still
further. The treasury board gives no hope of remittances, till the new
government can procure them. For that government to be adopted, its
legislature assembled, its system of taxation and collection arranged,
the money gathered from the people into the treasury, and then remitted
to Europe, must extend considerably into the year 1790. To secure our
credit then, for the present year only, is but to put off the evil day
to the next. What remains of the last loan, when it shall be filled up,
will little more than clear us of present demands, as may be seen by the
estimate enclosed. We thought it better, therefore, to provide at once
for the years 1789 and 1790 also; and thus to place the government at
its ease, and her credit in security, during that trying interval.
The same estimate will show, that another million of florins will be
necessary to effect this. We stated this to our bankers, who concurred
in our views, and that to ask the whole sum at once would be better than
to make demands from time to time, so small, as that they betray to
the money-holders the extreme feebleness of our resources. Mr. Adams,
therefore, has executed bonds for another million of florins; which,
however, are to remain unissued till Congress shall have ratified
the measure that this transaction is something or nothing, at their
pleasure. We suppose its expediency so apparent, as to leave little
doubt of its ratification. In this case, much time will have been saved
by the execution of the bonds at this moment, and the proposition will
be presented here under a more favorable appearance, according to the
opinion of the bankers. Mr. Adams is under a necessity of setting out
to-morrow morning, but I shall stay two or three days longer, to attend
to and encourage the efforts of the bankers; though it is yet doubtful
whether they will ensure us a safe passage over the month of June. Not
having my letters here to turn to, I am unable to say whether the last I
wrote, mentioned the declaration of the Emperor that he should take part
in the war against the Turks. This declaration appeared a little before,
or a little after that letter, I do not recollect which. Some little
hostilities have taken place between them. The court of Versailles seems
to pursue immoveably its pacific system, and from every appearance in
the country from which I write, we must conclude that its tragedy is
wound up. The triumph appears complete, and tranquillity perfectly
established. The numbers who have emigrated are differently estimated,
from twenty to forty thousand. A little before I left Paris, I received
a piece of intelligence, which should be communicated, leaving you to
lay what stress on it, it may seem to deserve. Its authenticity may be
surely relied on. At the time of the late pacification, Spain had about
fifteen ships of the line nearly ready for sea. The convention
for disarming did not extend to her, nor did she disarm. This gave
inquietude to the court of London, and they demanded an explanation.
One was given, they say, which is perfectly satisfactory. The Russian
minister at Versailles, getting knowledge of this, became suspicious
on his part. He recollected that Spain, during the late war, had been
opposed to the entrance of a Russian fleet into the Mediterranean, and
concluded, if England was not the object of this armament, Russia
might be. It is known that that power means to send a fleet of about
twenty-four ships into the Mediterranean this summer. He sent to the
Count de Montmorin, and expressed his apprehensions. The Count de
Montmorin declared, that the object of Spain in that armament was
totally different; that he was not sure she would succeed; but that
France and Spain were to be considered as one, and that the former would
become guarantee for the latter, that she would make no opposition to
the Russian fleet. If neither England nor Russia be the object, the
question recurs, Who is it for? You know best, if our affairs with Spain
are in a situation to give jealousy to either of us. I think it very
possible, that the satisfaction of the court of London may have been
pretended or premature. It is possible also, that the affairs of Spain
in South America may require them to assume a threatening appearance. I
give you the facts, however, and you will judge whether they are objects
of attention or of mere curiosity.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of sincere esteem and respect,
Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.


P. S. I enclose herewith an extract of a letter from the Count de
Vergennes to the French ambassador at the Hague, which will make a
remarkable chapter in the history of the late revolution here. It is not
public, nor should be made so by us. Probably those who have been the
victims of it, will some day publish it.



LETTER CXXX.--TO MR. DUMAS, March 29, 1788


TO MR. DUMAS.

Amsterdam, March 29, 1788.

Sir,

I have now to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of the 14th, 18th,
and 23rd instant. I would have preferred doing it in person, but the
season, and the desire of seeing what I have not yet seen, invite me to
take the route of the Rhine. I shall leave this place to-morrow morning,
and probably not reach Paris till the latter end of April. In the moment
we were to have conferred on the subject of paying the arrears due to
you, a letter of the 20th of February, from the board of treasury, was
received, forbidding the application of money to any purpose, (except
our current claims,) till the June interest should be actually in hand.
Being by the letter, tied up from giving an order in your favor, I
return you the letter you had written to Mr. Jay, on the supposition
that the order for your arrears was given. It has been suggested,
however, that if you could receive bonds of the loan, you could make
them answer your purpose, and the commissioners say, this would in no
wise interfere with the views of the treasury board, nor the provision
for the June interest. I have, therefore, recommended to them in
writing, to give you bonds to the amount of your balance, if you choose
to take them, rather than to wait. I wish this may answer your purpose.
I remember that in the conversation which I had the honor of having with
you, on the evening I was at the Hague, you said that your enemies had
endeavored to have it believed, that Congress would abandon you, and
withdraw your appointments. An enemy generally says and believes what
he wishes, and your enemies, particularly, are not those who are most in
the counsels of Congress, nor the best qualified to tell what Congress
will do. From the evidences you have received of their approbation, and
from their well known steadiness and justice, you must be assured of
a continuance of their favor, were they to continue under the present
form. Nor do I see any thing in the new government which threatens us
with less firmness. The Senate, who will make and remove their foreign
officers, must, from its constitution, be a wise and steady body.
Nor would a new government begin its administration by discarding old
servants; servants who have put all to the risk, and when the risk was
great, to obtain that freedom and security under which themselves
will be what they shall be. Upon the whole, my Dear Sir, tranquillize
yourself and your family upon this subject. All the evidence, which
exists as yet, authorizes you to do this, nor can I foresee any cause
of disquiet in future. That none may arise, that yourself and family may
enjoy health, happiness, and the continued approbation of those by whom
you wish most to be approved, is the sincere wish of him, who has the
honor to be, with sentiments of sincere esteem and attachment, your most
obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXXI.--TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY, March 29, 1788


TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY.

Gentlemen,

Amsterdam, March 29, 1788.

*****

I cannot close my letter, without some observations on the transfer of
our domestic debt to foreigners. This circumstance, and the failure to
pay off Fiseaux' loan, were the sole causes of the stagnation of our
late loan. For otherwise our credit would have stood on more hopeful
grounds than heretofore. There was a condition in the last loan, that,
the lenders furnishing one third of the money, the remaining two thirds
of the bonds should remain eighteen months unsold, and at their option
to take or not, and that in the mean time, the same bankers should
open no other loan for us. These same lenders became purchasers of our
domestic debt, and they were disposed to avail themselves of the power
they had thus acquired over us as to our foreign demands, to make us
pay the domestic one. Should the present necessities have obliged you
to comply with their proposition for the present year, I should be of
opinion it ought to be the last instance. If the transfer of these debts
to Europe meet with any encouragement from us, we can no more borrow
money here, let our necessities be what they will. For who will give
ninety-six per cent, for the foreign obligations of the same nation,
whose domestic ones can be bought at the same market for fifty-five
per cent.; the former, too, bearing an interest of only five per cent.,
while the latter yields six. If any discouragements can be honestly
thrown on this transfer, it would seem advisable, in order to keep the
domestic debt at home. It would be a very effectual one, if, instead of
the title existing in our treasury books alone, it was made to exist
in loose papers, as our loan office debts do. The European holder would
then be obliged to risk the title paper of his capital, as well as his
interest, in the hands of his agent in America, whenever the interest
was to be demanded; whereas, at present, he trusts him with the interest
only. This single circumstance would put a total stop to all future
sales of domestic debt at this market. Whether this, or any other
obstruction, can or should be thrown in the way of these operations,
is not for me to decide; but I have thought the subject worthy your
consideration.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Gentlemen, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXXII.--TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, May 2, 1788


TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Paris, May 2, 1788.

Dear Sir,

I am honored with your Excellency's letter by the last packet, and thank
you for the information it contains on the communication between the
Cayahoga and Big Beaver. I have ever considered the opening a canal
between those two water courses, as the most important work in that
line, which the state of Virginia could undertake. If will infallibly
turn through the Potomac all the commerce of Lake Erie, and the country
west of that, except what may pass down the Mississippi; and it is
important that it be soon done, lest that commerce should, in the mean
time, get established in another channel. Having, in the spring of the
last year, taken a journey through the southern parts of France, and
particularly examined the canal of Languedoc, through its whole course,
I take the liberty of sending you the notes I made on the spot, as you
may find in them something perhaps, which may be turned to account, some
time or other, in the prosecution of the Potomac canal. Being merely a
copy from my travelling notes, they are undigested and imperfect, but
may still, perhaps, give hints capable of improvement in your mind.

The affairs of Europe are in such a state still, that it is impossible
to say what form they will take ultimately. France and Prussia, viewing
the Emperor as their most dangerous and common enemy, had heretofore
seen their common safety as depending on a strict connection with
one another. This had naturally inclined the Emperor to the scale
of England, and the Empress also, as having views in common with the
Emperor, against the Turks. But these two powers would, at any time,
have gladly quitted England, to coalesce with France, as being the power
which they met every where, opposed as a barrier to all their schemes
of aggrandizement. When, therefore, the present King of Prussia took
the eccentric measure of bidding defiance to France, by placing his
brother-in-law on the throne of Holland, the two empires immediately
seized the occasion of soliciting an alliance with France. The motives
for this appeared so plausible, that it was believed the latter would
have entered into this alliance, and that thus the whole political
system of Europe would have taken a new form. What has prevented this
court from coming into it, we know not. The unmeasurable ambition of the
Emperor, and his total want of moral principle and honor, are suspected.
A great share of Turkey, the recovery of Silesia, the consolidation of
his dominions by the Bavarian exchange, the liberties of the Germanic
body, all occupy his mind together; and his head is not well enough
organized, to pursue so much only of all this, as is practicable.
Still it was thought that France might safely have coalesced with these
powers, because Russia and herself holding close together, as their
interests would naturally dictate, the Emperor could never stir, but
with their permission. France seems, however, to have taken the worst
of all parties, that is, none at all. She folds her arms, lets the
two empires go to work to cut up Turkey as they can, and holds Prussia
aloof, neither as a friend nor foe. This is withdrawing her opposition
from the two empires, without the benefit of any condition whatever. In
the mean time, England has clearly overreached herself. She excited
the war between the Russians and Turks, in hopes that France, still
supporting the Turks, would be embarrassed with the two empires. She did
not foresee the event which has taken place, of France abandoning the
Turks, and that which may take place, of her union with the two empires.
She allied herself with Holland, but cannot obtain the alliance of
Prussia. This latter power would be very glad to close again the breach
with France, and therefore, while there remains an opening for this,
holds off from England, whose fleets could not enter into Silesia, to
protect that from the Emperor. Thus you see, that the old system is
unhinged, and no new one hung in its place. Probabilities are rather
in favor of a connection between the two empires, France, and Spain.
Several symptoms show themselves, of friendly dispositions between
Russia and France, unfriendly ones between Russia and England, and such
as are barely short of hostility between England and France. But into
real hostilities, this country would with difficulty be drawn. Her
finances are too deranged, her internal union too much dissolved, to
hazard a war. The nation is pressing on fast, to a fixed constitution.
Such a revolution in the public opinion has taken place, that the crown
already feels its powers bounded, and is obliged, by its measures, to
acknowledge limits.

A States-General will be called at some epoch not distant; they will
probably establish a civil list, and leave the government to temporary
provisions of money, so as to render frequent assemblies of the national
representative necessary. How that representative will be organized, is
yet uncertain. Among a thousand projects, the best seems to me, that of
dividing them into two Houses, of Commons and Nobles; the Commons to be
chosen by the Provincial Assemblies, who are chosen themselves by the
people, and the Nobles by the body of _Noblesse_, as in Scotland. But
there is no reason to conjecture, that this is the particular scheme
which will be preferred.

The war between the Russians and Turks has made an opening for our
Commodore Paul Jones. The Empress has invited him into her service.
She insures to him the rank of rear-admiral; will give him a separate
command, and it is understood, that he is never to be commanded. I think
she means to oppose him to the Captain Pacha, on the Black Sea. He is by
this time, probably, at St. Petersburg. The circumstances did not permit
his awaiting the permission of Congress, because the season was close at
hand for opening the campaign. But he has made it a condition, that he
shall be free at all times to return to the orders of Congress, whenever
they shall please to call for him; and also, that he shall not, in any
case be expected to bear arms against France. I believe Congress had it
in contemplation to give him the grade of admiral, from the date of
his taking the Serapis. Such a measure now, would greatly gratify him,
second the efforts of fortune in his favor, and better the opportunities
of improving him for our service, whenever the moment shall come in
which we may want him.

The danger of our incurring something like a bankruptcy in Holland,
which might have been long, and even fatally felt in a moment of crisis,
induced me to take advantage of Mr. Adams's journey to take leave at
the Hague, to meet him there, get him to go on to Amsterdam, and try to
avert the impending danger. The moment of paying a great sum of annual
interest was approaching. There was no money on hand; the board of
treasury had notified that they could not remit any; and the progress
of the loan, which had been opened there, had absolutely stopped.
Our bankers there gave me notice of all this; and that a single day's
failure in the payment of interest, would have the most fatal effect
on our credit. I am happy to inform you, we were able to set the loan
a going again, and that the evil is at least postponed. Indeed, I am
tolerably satisfied, that if the measures we proposed, are ratified
by Congress, all European calls for money (except the French debt)
are secure enough, till the end of the year 1790; by which time, we
calculated that the new government might be able to get money into
the treasury. Much conversation with the bankers, brokers, and
money-holders, gave me insight into the state of national credit there,
which I had never before been able satisfactorily to get. The English
credit is the first, because they never open a loan, without laying and
appropriating taxes for the payment of the interest, and there has never
been an instance of their failing one day, in that payment. The Emperor
and Empress have good credit, because they use it little, and have
hitherto been very punctual. This country is among the lowest, in point
of credit. Ours stands in hope only. They consider us as the surest
nation on earth for the repayment of the capital; but as the punctual
payment of interest is of absolute necessity in their arrangements,
we cannot borrow but with difficulty and disadvantage. The monied
men, however, look towards our new government with a great degree of
partiality, and even anxiety. If they see that set out on the English
plan, the first degree of credit will be transferred to us. A favorable
occasion will arise to our new government of asserting this ground to
themselves. The transfer of the French debt, public and private,
to Amsterdam, is certainly desirable. An act of the new government,
therefore, for opening a loan in Holland for the purpose, laying taxes
at the same time for paying annually the interest and a part of the
principal, will answer the two valuable purposes, of ascertaining the
degree of our credit, and of removing those causes of bickering and
irritation, which should never be permitted to subsist with a nation,
with which it is so much our interest to be on cordial terms as with
France. A very small portion of this debt, I mean that part due to the
French officers, has done us an injury, of which those in office in
America cannot have an idea. The interest is unpaid for the last three
years; and these creditors, highly connected, and at the same time
needy, have felt and communicated hard thoughts of us. Borrowing, as we
have done, three hundred thousand florins a year, to pay our interest
in Holland, it would have been worth while to have added twenty thousand
more, to suppress those clamors. I am anxious about every thing which
may affect our credit. My wish would be, to possess it in the highest
degree, but to use it little. Were we without credit, we might be
crushed by a nation of much inferior resources, but possessing higher
credit. The present system of war renders it necessary to make exertions
far beyond the annual resources of the State, and consume in one year
the efforts of many. And this system we cannot change. It remains, then,
that we cultivate our credit with the utmost attention.

I had intended to have written a word to your Excellency on the subject
of the new constitution, but I have already spun out my letter to an
immoderate length. I will just observe, therefore, that according to
my ideas, there is a great deal of good in it. There are two things,
however, which I dislike strongly, 1. The want of a declaration of
rights. I am in hopes the opposition in Virginia will remedy this,
and produce such a declaration. 2. The perpetual re-eligibility of the
President. This, I fear, will make that an office for life, first, and
then hereditary. I was much an enemy to monarchies before I came to
Europe. I am ten thousand times more so, since I have seen what they
are. There is scarcely an evil known in these countries, which may not
be traced to their king, as its source, nor a good, which is not derived
from the small fibres of republicanism existing among them. I can
further say, with safety, there is not a crowned head in Europe, whose
talents or merits would entitle him to be elected a vestryman by the
people of any parish in America. However, I shall hope, that before
there is danger of this change taking place in the office of President,
the good sense and free spirit of our countrymen will make the changes
necessary to prevent it. Under this hope, I look forward to the general
adoption of the new constitution with anxiety, as necessary for us under
our present circumstances. I have so much trespassed on your patience
already, by the length of this letter, that I will add nothing further,
than those assurances of sincere esteem and attachment, with which I
have the honor to be, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXXIII.--TO JAMES MADISON, May 3,1788


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, May 3,1788.

Dear Sir,

Mine of February the 6th acknowledged the receipt of yours of December
the 9th and 20th; since that, those of February the 19th and 20th have
come to hand. The present will be delivered you by Mr. Warville, whom
you will find truly estimable, and a great enthusiast for liberty. His
writings will have shown you this.

For public news, I must refer you to my letters to Mr. Jay. Those
I wrote to him from Amsterdam will have informed you of my journey
thither. While there, I endeavored to get, as well as I could, into the
state of national credit there; for though I am an enemy to the using
our credit but under absolute necessity, yet the possessing a good
credit I consider as indispensable, in the present system of carrying on
war. The existence of a nation having no credit, is always precarious.
The credit of England is the best. Their paper sells at par on the
exchange of Amsterdam, the moment any of it is offered, and they can
command there any sum they please. The reason is, that they never
borrow, without establishing taxes for the payment of the interest, and
they never yet failed one day in that payment. The Emperor and Empress
have good credit enough. They use it little and have been ever punctual.
This country cannot borrow at all there; for though they always pay
their interest within the year, yet it is often some months behind. It
is difficult to assign to our credit its exact station in this scale.
They consider us as the most certain nation on earth for the principal;
but they see that we borrow of themselves to pay the interest, so that
this is only a conversion of their interest into principal. Our paper,
for this reason, sells for from four to eight per cent, below par, on
the exchange, and our loans are negotiated with the Patriots only.
But the whole body of money-dealers, Patriot and Stadtholderian, look
forward to our new government with a great degree of partiality and
interest. They are disposed to have much confidence in it, and it was
the prospect of its establishment, which enabled us to set the loan of
last year into motion again. They will attend steadfastly to its first
money operations. If these are injudiciously begun, correction, whenever
they shall be corrected, will come too late. Our borrowings will always
be difficult and disadvantageous. If they begin well, our credit will
immediately take the first station. Equal provision for the interest,
adding to it a certain prospect for the principal, will give us a
preference to all nations, the English not excepted. The first act of
the new government should be some operation, whereby they may assume to
themselves this station. Their European debts form a proper subject for
this. Digest the whole, public and private, Dutch, French, and Spanish,
into a table, showing the sum of interest due every year, and the
portions of principal payable the same year. Take the most certain
branch of revenue, and one which shall suffice to pay the interest, and
leave such a surplus as may accomplish all the payments of the capital,
as terms somewhat short of those, at which they will become due. Let the
surpluses of those years, in which no reimbursement of principal falls,
be applied to buy up our paper on the exchange of Amsterdam, and thus
anticipate the demands of principal. In this way our paper will be kept
up at par; and this alone will enable us to command in four and twenty
hours, at any time, on the exchange of Amsterdam, as many millions as
that capital can produce. The same act which makes this provision for
the existing debts, should go on to open a loan to their whole amount;
the produce of that loan to be applied, as fast as received, to the
payment of such parts of the existing debts as admit of payment. The
rate of interest to be as the government should privately instruct their
agent, because it must depend on the effect these measures would have on
the exchange. Probably it could be lowered from time to time. Honest and
annual publications of the payments made, will inspire confidence, while
silence would conceal nothing from those interested to know.

You will perceive by the _comte rendu_ which I send you, that this
country now calls seriously for its interest at least. The nonpayment
of this, hitherto, has done our credit little injury, because the
government here, saying nothing about it, the public have supposed they
wished to leave us at our ease as to the payment. It is now seen that
they call for it, and they will publish annually the effect of that
call. A failure here, therefore, will have the same effect on our credit
hereafter, as a failure at Amsterdam. I consider it, then, as of a
necessity not to be dispensed with, that these calls be effectually
provided for. If it shall be seen, that the general provision before
hinted at cannot be in time, then it is the present government which
should take on itself to borrow in Amsterdam what may be necessary. The
new government should by no means be left by the old to the necessity of
borrowing a stiver, before it can tax for its interest. This will be
to destroy the credit of the new government in its birth. And I am of
opinion, that if the present Congress will add to the loan of a million
(which Mr. Adams and myself have proposed this year) what may be
necessary for the French calls to the year 1790, the money can be
obtained at the usual disadvantage. Though I have not at this
moment received such authentic information from our bankers as I may
communicate to Congress, yet I know privately from one of them (Mr.
Jacob Van Staphorst, who is here), that they had on Hand a fortnight ago
four hundred thousand florins, and the sale going on well. So that the
June interest, which had been in so critical a predicament, was already
secured. If the loan of a million on Mr. Adams's bonds of this year be
ratified by Congress, the applications of the money on hand may go on
immediately, according to the statement I sent to Mr. Jay. One article
in this I must beg you to press on the treasury board; that is, an
immediate order for the payment of the three years' arrearages to the
French officers. They were about holding a meeting to take desperate
measures on this subject, when I was called to Holland. I desired them
to be quiet till my return, and since my return I have pressed a further
tranquillity till July, by which time I have given them reason to hope I
may have an answer from the treasury board to my letters of March. Their
ill humor can be contained no longer; and as I know no reason why
they may not be paid at that time, I shall have nothing to urge in our
defence after that.

*****

You remember the report, drawn by Governor Randolph, on the navigation
of the Mississippi. When I came to Europe, Mr. Thomson was so kind as to
have me a copy of it made out. I lent it to Dr. Franklin, and he mislaid
it, so that it could never be found. Could you make interest with him
to have me another copy made, and send it to me? By Mr. Warville I send
your pedometer. To the loop at the bottom of it you must sew a tape, and
at the other end of the tape a small hook (such as we use under the
name of hooks and eyes), cut a little hole in the bottom of your left
watch-pocket, pass the hook and tape through it, and down between the
breeches and drawers, and fix the hook on the edge of your knee-band,
an inch from the knee-buckle; then hook the instrument itself by its
swivel-hook on the upper edge of the watch-pocket. Your tape being well
adjusted in length, your double steps will be exactly counted by the
instrument, the shortest hand pointing out the thousands, the flat hand
the hundreds, and the long hand the tens and units. Never turn the hands
backward; indeed, it is best not to set them to any given place, but to
note the number they stand at when you begin to walk. The adjusting the
tape to its exact length is a critical business, and will cost you many
trials. But once done, it is done for ever. The best way is to have a
small buckle fixed on the middle of the tape, by which you can take
it up, and let it out at pleasure. When you choose it should cease to
count, unhook it from the top of the watch-pocket, and let it fall down
to the bottom of the pocket.

*****

I am, with sentiments of the most sincere esteem and attachment, Dear
Sir, your affectionate friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXXIV.--TO JOHN JAY, May 4, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, May 4, 1788.

Sir,

I had the honor of addressing you in two letters of the 13th and 16th of
March from Amsterdam, and have since received Mr. Ramson's of February
the 20th. I staid at Amsterdam about ten or twelve days after the
departure of Mr. Adams, in hopes of seeing the million of the last year
filled up. This, however, could not be accomplished on the spot. But
the prospect was so good as to have dissipated all fears; and since my
return here, I learn (not officially from our bankers, but) through a
good channel, that they have received near four hundred thousand florins
since the date of the statement I sent you in my letter of March the
16th; and I presume we need not fear the completion of that loan, which
will provide for all our purposes of the year 1788, as stated in
that paper. I hope, therefore, to receive from the treasury orders in
conformity thereto, that I may be able to proceed to the redemption of
our captives. A provision for the purposes of the years 1789 and 1790,
as stated in the same paper, will depend on the ratification by Congress
of Mr. Adams's bonds of this year for another million of florins. But
there arises a new call from this government, for its interest at least.
Their silence hitherto has made it be believed in general, that they
consented to the nonpayment of our interest to them, in order to
accommodate us. You will perceive in the seventy-fifth and seventy-sixth
pages of the _compte rendu_, which I have the honor to send you, that
they call for this interest, and will publish whether it be paid or not;
and by No. 25, page eighty-one, that they count on its regular receipt
for the purposes of the year. These calls, for the first days of
January, 1789 and 1790, will amount to about a million and a half of
florins more; and if to be raised by loan, it must be for two millions,
as well to cover the expenses of the loan, as that loans are not opened
for fractions of millions. This publication seems to render a provision
for this interest as necessary as for that of Amsterdam.

I had taken measures to have it believed at Algiers, that our government
withdrew its attention from our captives there. This was to prepare
their captors for the ransoming them at a reasonable price. I find,
however, that Captain O'Bryan is apprized that I have received some
authority on this subject. He writes me a cruel letter, supposing me the
obstacle to their redemption. Their own interest requires that I should
leave them to think thus hardly of me. Were the views of government
communicated to them, they could not keep their own secret, and such
a price would be demanded for them, as Congress, probably, would
think ought not to be given, lest it should be the cause of involving
thousands of others of their citizens in the same condition. The moment
I have money, the business shall be set in motion.

By a letter from Joseph Chiappe, our agent at Mogadore, I am notified of
a declaration of the Emperor of Morocco, that if the States General
of the United Netherlands do not, before the month of May, send him an
ambassador, to let him know whether it is war or peace between them, he
will send one to them with five frigates; and that if their dispositions
be unfavorable, their frigates shall proceed to America to make prizes
on the Dutch, and to sell them there. It seems to depend on the Dutch,
therefore, whether the Barbary powers shall learn the way to our coasts,
and whether we shall have to decide the question of the legality of
selling in our ports vessels taken from them. I informed you, in a
former letter, of the declaration made by the court of Spain to that of
London, relative to its naval armament, and also of the declaration of
the Count de Montmorin to the Russian minister here on the same subject.
I have good information, that the court of Spain has itself made a
similar and formal declaration to the minister of Russia at Madrid.
So that Russia is satisfied she is not the object. I doubt whether the
English are equally satisfied as to themselves. The season has hitherto
prevented any remarkable operation between the Turks and the two
empires. The war, however, will probably go on, and the season now
admits of more important events. The Empress has engaged Commodore Paul
Jones in her service. He is to have the rank of rear-admiral, with
a separate command, and it is understood that he is in no case to be
commanded. He will probably be opposed to the Captain Pacha on the Black
Sea. He received this invitation at Copenhagen, and as the season for
commencing the campaign, was too near to admit time for him to ask
and await the permission of Congress, he accepted the offer, only
stipulating, that he should be always free to return to the orders of
Congress whenever called for, and that he should not be expected to bear
arms against France. He conceived, that the experience he should gain
would enable him to be more useful to the United States, should they
ever have occasion for him. It has been understood, that Congress had
had it in contemplation to give him the grade of rear-admiral, from the
date of the action of the Serapis, and it is supposed, that such a mark
of their approbation would have a favorable influence on his fortune in
the north. Copies of the letters which passed between him and the Danish
minister are herewith transmitted. I shall immediately represent to
Count Bernstorff, that the demand for our prizes can have no connection
with a treaty of commerce; that there is no reason why the claims of
our seamen should await so distant and uncertain an event; and press the
settlement of this claim.

This country still pursues its line of peace. The ministry seem now all
united in it; some from a belief of their inability to carry on a war;
others from a desire to arrange their internal affairs, and improve
their constitution. The differences between the King and parliaments
threaten a serious issue. Many symptoms indicate that the government has
in contemplation some act of highhanded authority. An extra number of
printers have for several days been employed, the apartment wherein they
are at work being surrounded by a body of guards, who permit no body
either to come out or go in. The commanders of the provinces, civil and
military, have been ordered to be at their stations on a certain day
of the ensuing week. They are accordingly gone: so that the will of the
King is probably to be announced through the whole kingdom on the same
day. The parliament of Paris, apprehending that some innovation is to
be attempted, which may take from them the opportunity of deciding on it
after it shall be made known, came last night to the resolution of
which I have the honor to enclose you a manuscript copy. This you will
perceive to be, in effect, a declaration of rights. I am obliged to
close here the present letter, lest I should miss the opportunity of
conveying it by a passenger who is to call for it. Should the delay of
the packet admit any continuation of these details, they shall be the
subject of another letter, to be forwarded by post. The gazettes of
Leyden and France accompany this.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXXV.--TO THE COUNT DE MOUSTIER, May 17, 1788


TO THE COUNT DE MOUSTIER.

Paris, May 17, 1788.

Dear Sir,

I have at length an opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of your
favors of February, and March the 14th, and congratulating you on your
resurrection from the dead, among whom you had been confidently entombed
by the news-dealers of Paris. I am sorry that your first impressions
have been disturbed by matters of etiquette, where surely they
should least have been expected to occur. These disputes are the most
insusceptible of determination, because they have no foundation in
reason. Arbitrary and senseless in their nature, they are arbitrarily
decided by every nation for itself. These decisions are meant to prevent
disputes, but they produce ten, where they prevent one. It would have
been better, therefore, in a new country, to have excluded etiquette
altogether; or if it must be admitted in some form or other, to have
made it depend on some circumstance founded in nature, such as the age
or station of the parties. However, you have got over all this, and I
am in hopes have been able to make up a society suited to your own
dispositions. Your situation will doubtless be improved by the adoption
of the new constitution, which I hope will have taken place before
you receive this. I see in this instrument a great deal of good.
The consolidation of our government, a just representation, an
administration of some permanence, and other features of great value,
will be gained by it. There are, indeed, some faults, which revolted me
a good deal in the first moment; but we must be contented to travel on
towards perfection, step by step. We must be contented with the ground
which this constitution will gain for us, and hope that a favorable
moment will come for correcting what is amiss in it. I view in the same
light the innovations making here. The new organization of the judiciary
department is undoubtedly for the better. The reformation of the
criminal code is an immense step taken towards good. The composition
of the Plenary court is indeed vicious in the extreme; but the basis of
that court may be retained, and its composition changed. Make of it a
representative of the people, by composing it of members sent from
the Provincial Assemblies, and it becomes a valuable member of the
constitution. But it is said, the court will not consent to do this:
the court, however, has consented to call the States General, who will
consider the Plenary court but as a canvass for them to work on. The
public mind is manifestly advancing on the abusive prerogatives of
their governors, and bearing them down. No force in the government can
withstand this, in the long run. Courtiers had rather give up power than
pleasures; they will barter, therefore, the usurped prerogatives of
the King for the money of the people. This is the agent by which modern
nations will recover their rights. I sincerely wish that, in this
country, they may be contented with a peaceable and passive opposition.
At this moment we are not sure of this; though as yet it is difficult
to say what form the opposition will take. It is a comfortable
circumstance, that their neighboring enemy is under the administration
of a minister disposed to keep the peace. Engage in war who will, may
my country long continue your peaceful residence, and merit your good
offices with that nation, whose affections it is their duty and interest
to cultivate.

Accept these and all other the good wishes of him, who has the honor to
be, with sincere esteem and respect, Dear Sir, your most obedient and
most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXXVI.--TO JOHN JAY, May 23,1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, May 23,1788.

Sir,

When I wrote my letter of the 4th instant, I had no reason to doubt that
a packet would have sailed on the 10th, according to the established
order. The passengers had all, except one, gone down to Havre in this
expectation. However, none has sailed, and perhaps none will sail, as
I think the suppression of the packets is one of the economies in
contemplation. An American merchant, concerned in the commerce of the
whale-oil, proposed to government to despatch his ships from Havre and
Boston at stated periods, and to take on board the French courier and
mail, and the proposition has been well enough received. I avail myself
of a merchant vessel going from Havre, to write the present.

In my letter of the 4th, I stated to you the symptoms which indicated
that government had some great stroke of authority in contemplation.
That night they sent guards to seize Monsieur d'Epremenil and Monsieur
Goiskind, two members of parliament, in their houses. They escaped,
and took sanctuary in the Palais (or parliament house). The parliament
assembled itself extraordinarily, summoned the Dukes and Peers
specially, and came to the resolution of the 5th, which they sent to
Versailles by deputies, determined not to leave the palace till they
received an answer. In the course of that night a battalion of guards
surrounded the house. The two members were taken by the officers from
among their fellows, and sent off to prison, the one to Lyons, the other
(d'Epremenil), the most obnoxious, to an island in the Mediterranean.
The parliament then separated. On the 8th, a bed of justice was held at
Versailles, wherein were enregistered the six ordinances which had been
passed in Council on the 1st of May, and which I now send you. They
were in like manner enregistered in beds of justice, on the same day, in
nearly all the parliaments of the kingdom. By these ordinances, 1. The
criminal law is reformed, by abolishing examination on the _sellette_,
which, like our holding up the hand at the bar, remained a stigma on the
party, though innocent; by substituting an oath, instead of torture, on
the _question préalable_, which is used after condemnation, to make the
prisoner discover his accomplices; (the torture, abolished in 1780, was
on the _question préparatoire_, previous to judgment, in order to make
the prisoner accuse himself;) by allowing counsel to the prisoner for
his defence; obliging the judges to specify in their judgments the
offence for which he is condemned; and respiting execution a month,
except in the case of sedition. This reformation is unquestionably good,
and within the ordinary legislative powers of the crown. That it should
remain to be made at this day, proves that the monarch is the last
person in his kingdom who yields to the progress of philanthropy and
civilization. 2. The organization of the whole judiciary department is
changed, by the institution of subordinate jurisdictions, the taking
from the parliaments the cognizance of all causes of less value than
twenty thousand livres, reducing their numbers to about a fourth, and
suppressing a number of special courts. Even this would be a great
improvement, if it did not imply that the King is the only person
in this nation, who has any rights or any power. 3. The right of
registering the laws is taken from the parliaments, and transferred to
a Plenary court, created by the King. This last is the measure most
obnoxious to all persons. Though the members are to be for life, yet a
great proportion of them are from descriptions of men always candidates
for the royal favor in other lines. As yet, the general consternation
has not sufficiently passed over, to say whether the matter will end
here. I send you some papers, which indicate symptoms of resistance.
These are the resolution of the _Noblesse_ of Brittany, the declaration
of the Advocate General of Provence, which is said to express the
spirit of that province; and the _Arrêté of the Châtelet_, which is the
hustings-court of the city of Paris. Their refusal to act under the
new character assigned them, and the suspension of their principal
functions, are very embarrassing. The clamors this will excite, and
the disorders it may admit, will be loud, and near to the royal ear and
person. The parliamentary fragments permitted to remain, have already
some of them refused, and probably all will refuse, to act under that
form. The assembly of the clergy which happens to be sitting, have
addressed the King to call the States General immediately. Of the Dukes
and Peers (thirty-eight in number), nearly half are either minors or
superannuated; two thirds of the acting half seem disposed to avoid
taking a part; the rest, about eight or nine, have refused, by letters
to the King, to act in the new courts. A proposition excited among the
Dukes and Peers, to assemble and address the King for a modification of
the Plenary court, seems to show that the government would be willing to
compromise on that head. It has been prevented by the Dukes and Peers in
opposition, because they suppose that no modification to be made by the
government will give to that body the form they desire, which is that of
a representative of the nation. They foresee that if the government
is forced to this, they will call them, as nearly as they can, in the
ancient forms; in which case, less good will be to be expected from
them. But they hope they may be got to concur in a declaration of
rights, at least, so that the nation may be acknowledged to have some
fundamental rights, not alterable by their ordinary legislature, and
that this may form a ground-work for future improvements. These seem to
be the views of the most enlightened and disinterested characters of the
opposition. But they may be frustrated by the nation's making no cry at
all, or by a hasty and premature appeal to arms. There is neither
head nor body in the nation, to promise a successful opposition to
two hundred thousand regular troops. Some think the army could not
be depended on by the government; but the breaking men to military
discipline, is breaking their spirits to principles of passive
obedience. A firm, but quiet opposition, will be the most likely
to succeed. Whatever turn this crisis takes, a revolution in their
constitution seems inevitable, unless foreign war supervene, to suspend
the present contest. And a foreign war they will avoid, if possible,
from an inability to get money. The loan of one hundred and twenty
millions, of the present year, is filled up by such subscriptions as may
be relied on. But that of eighty millions, proposed for the next year,
cannot be filled up, in the actual situation of things.

The Austrians have been successful in an attack upon Schabatz, intended
as a preliminary to that of Belgrade. In that on Dubitza, another town
in the neighborhood of Belgrade, they have been repulsed, and as is
suspected, with considerable loss. It is still supposed the Russian
fleet will go into the Mediterranean, though it will be much retarded by
the refusal of the English government to permit its sailors to engage in
the voyage. Sweden and Denmark are arming from eight to twelve ships of
the line each. The English and Dutch treaty you will find in the Leyden
gazettes of May the 9th and 13th. That between England and Prussia is
supposed to be stationary. Monsieur de St. Priest, the ambassador from
this court to the Hague, has either gone, or is on the point of going.
The Emperor of Morocco has declared war against England. I enclose you
his orders in our favor, on that occasion. England sends a squadron
to the Mediterranean for the protection of her commerce, and she is
reinforcing her possessions in the two Indies. France is expecting the
arrival of an embassy from Tippoo Saib, is sending some regiments to the
East Indies, and a fleet of evolution into the Atlantic. Seven ships of
the line and several frigates, sailed from Cadiz on the 22nd of April,
destined to perform evolutions off the Western Islands, as the Spaniards
say, but really to their American possessions, as is suspected. Thus
the several powers are by little and little, taking the position of war,
without an immediate intention of waging it. But that the present ill
humor will finally end in war, is doubted by nobody.

In my letter of February the 5th, I had the honor of informing you of
the discontent produced by our _Arrêt_ of December the 29th, among the
merchants of this country, and of the deputations from the chambers of
commerce to the minister, on that subject. The articles attacked, were
the privileges on the sale of our ships, and the _entrepôt_ for codfish.
The former I knew to be valuable: the latter I supposed not so; because
during the whole of the time we have had four free ports in this
kingdom, we have never used them for the smuggling of fish. I concluded,
therefore, the ports of _entrepôt_ would not be used for that purpose. I
saw that the ministers would sacrifice something to quiet the merchants,
and was glad to save the valuable article relative to our ships, by
abandoning the useless one for our codfish. It was settled, therefore,
in our conferences, that an _Arrêt_ should be passed, abridging the
former one only as to the entrepot of codfish. I was in Holland when the
_Arrêt_ came out; and did not get a copy of it till yesterday. Surprised
to find that fish-oil was thereby also excluded from the entrepot, I
have been to-day to make some inquiry into the cause; and from what I
can learn, I conclude it must have been a mere error in the clerk who
formed the _Arrêt_, and that it escaped attention on its passage. The
_entrepôt_ of whale-oil was not objected to by a single deputy at
the conferences, and the excluding it is contrary to the spirit of
encouragement the ministers have shown a disposition to give. I trust,
therefore, I may get it altered on the first occasion which occurs,
and I believe one will soon occur. In the mean time, we do not store a
single drop for re-exportation, as all which comes here is needed
for the consumption of this country; which will alone, according to
appearances, become so considerable as to require all we can produce.

By a letter of the 8th instant, from our bankers, I learn that they had
disposed of bonds enough to pay our June interest, and to replace the
temporary advances made by Mr. Grand, and from a fund placed here by the
State of Virginia. I have desired them, accordingly, to replace these
monies, which had been lent for the moment only, and in confidence of
immediate repayment. They add, that the payment of the June interest
and the news from America, will, as they trust, enable them to place
the remaining bonds of the last year's million. I suppose, indeed, that
there is no doubt of it, and that none would have been expressed, if
those two houses could draw better together than they do. In the mean
time, I hope the treasury board will send an order for so much as may be
necessary for executing the purposes of Congress, as to our captives at
Algiers.

I send you herewith, a _Mémoire_ of Monsieur Caseaux, whose name is
familiar on the journals of Congress. He prepared it to be delivered to
the King, but I believe he will think better, and not deliver it. The
gazettes of France and Leyden accompany this.

I have the honor to be, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.


P. S. May 27, 1788. I have kept my letter open to the moment of Mr.
Warville's departure (he being the bearer of it), that I might add
any new incidents that should occur. The refusal of the _Châtelet_ and
_Grande Chambre_ of Paris to act in the new character assigned them,
continues. Many of the _grandes bailliages_ accept, some conditionally,
some fully. This will facilitate greatly the measures of government, and
may possibly give them a favorable issue. The parliament of Toulouse,
considering the edicts as nullities, went on with their business. They
have been exiled in consequence. Monsieur de St. Priest left Paris for
the Hague, on the 23rd. I mention this fact, because it denotes the
acquiescence of this government in the late revolution there. A second
division of a Spanish fleet will put to sea soon. Its destination
not declared. Sweden is arming to a greater extent than was at first
supposed. From twelve so sixteen sail of the line are spoken of, on good
grounds, Denmark, for her own security, must arm in proportion to this.
T. J.



LETTER CXXXVII.--TO JOHN BROWN, May 26,1788


TO JOHN BROWN.

Paris, May 26,1788.

Dear Sir,

It was with great pleasure I saw your name on the roll of Delegates, but
I did not know you had actually come onto New-York, till Mr. Paradise
informed me of it. Your removal from Carolina to Kentucky was not an
indifferent event to me. I wish to see that country in the hands of
people well disposed, who know the value of the connection between that
and the maritime States, and who wish to cultivate it. I consider their
happiness as bound up together, and that every measure should be taken,
which may draw the bands of union tighter. It will be an efficacious one
to receive them into Congress, as I perceive they are about to desire
to this be added an honest and disinterested conduct in Congress, as
to every thing relating to them, we may hope for a perfect harmony. The
navigation of the Mississippi was, perhaps, the strongest trial to which
the justice of the federal government could be put. If ever they thought
wrong about it, I trust they have got to rights. I should think it
proper for the western country to defer pushing their right to that
navigation to extremity, as long as they can do without it, tolerably;
but that the moment it becomes absolutely necessary for them, it will
become the duty of the maritime states to push it to every extremity,
to which they would their own right of navigating the Chesapeake, the
Delaware, the Hudson, or any other water. A time of peace will not
be the surest for obtaining this object. Those, therefore, who have
influence in the new country, would act wisely, to endeavor to keep
things quiet till the western parts of Europe shall be engaged in war.
Notwithstanding the aversion of the courts of London and Versailles to
war, it is not certain that some incident may not engage them in it.
England, France, Spain, Russia, Sweden, and Denmark will all have fleets
at sea, or ready to put to sea immediately. Who can answer for the
prudence of all their officers? War is their interest. Even their courts
are pacific from impotence only, not from disposition. I wish to Heaven
that our new government may see the importance of putting themselves
immediately into a respectable position. To make provision for the
speedy payment of their foreign debts, will be the first operation
necessary. This will give them credit. A concomitant one should be,
magazines and manufactures of arms. This country is at present in a
crisis of very uncertain issue. I am in hopes it will be a favorable one
to the rights and happiness of the people; and that this will take place
quietly. Small changes in the late regulations will render them wholly
good. The campaign opens between the Turks and the two empires, with an
aspect rather favorable to the former. The Russians seem not yet thawed
from the winter's torpitude. They have no army yet in motion: and the
Emperor has been worsted in two thirds of the small actions, which
they have had as yet. He is said to be rather retiring. I do not think,
however, that the success of the Turks in the partisan affairs which
have taken place, can authorize us to presume, that they will be
superior also in great decisions. Their want of discipline and skill in
military manœuvres is of little consequence in small engagements, and
of great in larger ones. Their grand army was at Adrianople by the last
accounts, and to get from thence to Belgrade will require a month. It
will be that time at least then, before we can have any very interesting
news from them. In the mean time, the plague rages at Constantinople to
a terrible degree. I cannot think but that it would be desirable to all
commercial nations, to have that nation and all its dependencies driven
from the sea-coast, into the interior parts of Asia and Africa. What a
field would, thus be restored to commerce! The finest parts of the old
world are now dead, in a great degree, to commerce, to arts, to science,
and to society. Greece, Syria, Egypt, and the northern coast of Africa,
constituted the whole world almost for the Romans, and to us they are
scarcely known, scarcely accessible at all. The present summer will
enable us to judge, what turn this contest will take. I am greatly
anxious to hear that nine States accept our new constitution. We must
be contented to accept of its good, and to cure what is evil in it
hereafter. It seems necessary for our happiness at home; I am sure it is
so for our respectability abroad. I shall, at all times, be glad to hear
from you, from New York, from Kentucky, or whatever region of the
earth you inhabit; being with sentiments of very sincere esteem and
attachment, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXXVIII.--TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL, May 27, 1788


TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Paris, May 27, 1788.

Dear Sir,

Your favors of April the 14th and 29th, and May the 8th, have lately
come to hand. That of January the 29th, by M. de Moinedo, had been left
here during my absence on a journey to Amsterdam. That gentleman had
gone, as I presume, before my return, from my being unable to learn any
thing of him.

*****

With respect to the Isthmus of Panama, I am assured by Burgoine (who
would not chose to be named, however), that a survey was made, that a
canal appeared very practicable, and that the idea was suppressed for
political reasons altogether. He has seen and minutely examined the
report. This report is to me a vast _desideratum_, for reasons political
and philosophical. I cannot help suspecting the Spanish squadrons to
be gone to South America, and that some disturbances have been excited
there by the British. The court of Madrid may suppose we would not see
this with an unwilling eye. This may be true as to the uninformed part
of our people: but those who look into futurity farther than the present
moment or age, and who combine well what is, with what is to be, must
see that our interests, well understood, and our wishes are, that Spain
shall (not for ever, but) very long retain her possessions in that
quarter; and that her views and ours must, in a good degree, and for a
long time, concur. It is said in our gazettes, that the Spaniards have
sunk one of our boats on the Mississippi, and that our people retaliated
on one of theirs. But my letters, not mentioning this fact, have made
me hope it is not true, in which hope your letter confirms me. There are
now one hundred thousand inhabitants in Kentucky. They have accepted the
offer of independence, on the terms proposed by Virginia, and they have
decided that their independent government shall begin on the first day
of the next year. In the mean time, they claim admittance into Congress.
Georgia has ceded her western territory to the United States, to take
place with the commencement of the new federal government. I do not know
the boundaries. There has been some dispute of etiquette with the new
French minister, which has disgusted him.

The following is a state of the progress and prospects of the new plan
of government.

*****

The conduct of Massachusetts has been noble. She accepted the
constitution, but voted that it should stand as a perpetual instruction
to her Delegates, to endeavor to obtain such and such reformations; and
the minority, though very strong both in numbers and abilities, declared
_viritim_ and _seriatim_, that acknowledging the principle that the
majority must give the law, they would now support the new constitution
with their tongues, and with their blood, if necessary. I was much
pleased with many and essential parts of this instrument, from the
beginning. But I thought I saw in it many faults, great and small.
What I have read and reflected, has brought me over from several of my
objections, of the first moment, and to acquiesce under some others. Two
only remain, of essential consideration, to wit, the want of a bill of
rights, and the expunging the principle of necessary rotation in the
offices of President and Senator. At first, I wished that when nine
States should have accepted the constitution, so as to insure us what is
good in it, the other four might hold off till the want of the bill of
rights at least, might be supplied. But I am now convinced that the
plan of Massachusetts is the best, that is, to accept and to amend
afterwards. If the States which were to decide after her, should all
do the same, it is impossible but they must obtain the essential
amendments. It will be more difficult, if we lose this instrument, to
recover what is good in it, than to correct what is bad, after we shall
have adopted it. It has, therefore, my hearty prayers, and I wait with
anxiety for news of the votes of Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia.
There is no doubt that General Washington will accept the presidentship;
though he is silent on the subject. He would not be chosen to the
Virginia convention. A riot has taken place in New York, which I will
state to you from an eye-witness. It has long been a practice with the
surgeons of that city, to steal from the grave bodies recently buried.
A citizen had lost his wife: he went, the first or second evening after
her burial, to pay a visit to her grave.. He found that it had been
disturbed, and suspected from what quarter. He found means to be
admitted to the anatomical lecture of that day, and on his entering the
room, saw the body of his wife, naked and under dissection. He raised
the people immediately. The body, in the mean time, was secreted. They
entered into and searched the houses of the physicians whom they most
suspected, but found nothing. One of them however more guilty or more
timid than the rest, took asylum in the prison. The mob considered
this an acknowledgment of guilt. They attacked the prison. The Governor
ordered militia to protect the culprit, and suppress the mob. The
militia, thinking the mob had just provocation, refused to turn out.
Hereupon the people of more reflection, thinking it more dangerous that
even a guilty person should be punished without the forms of law,
than that he should escape, armed themselves, and went to protect the
physician. They were received by the mob with a volley of stones, which
wounded several of them. They hereupon fired on the mob and killed four.
By this time, they received a reinforcement of other citizens of
the militia horse, the appearance of which, in the critical moment,
dispersed the mob. So ended this chapter of history, which I have
detailed to you, because it may be represented as a political riot, when
politics had nothing to do with it. Mr. Jay and Baron Steuben were both
grievously wounded in the head by stones. The former still kept his bed,
and the latter his room, when the packet sailed, which was the 24th of
April. I am, with sentiments of great esteem and respect, Dear Sir, your
most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXXXIX.--TO JOHN JAY, May 27, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

(Private.) Paris, May 27, 1788.

Dear Sir,

The change which is likely to take place in the form of our government,
seems to render it proper, that, during the existence of the present
government, an article should be mentioned which concerns me personally.
Uncertain, however, how far Congress may have decided to do business
when so near the close of their administration; less capable than those
on the spot of foreseeing the character of the new government; and not
fully confiding in my own judgment, where it is so liable to be seduced
by feeling, I take the liberty of asking your friendly counsel, and that
of my friend Mr. Madison, and of referring the matter to your judgments
and discretion.

Mr. Barclay when in Europe was authorized to settle all the European
accounts of the United States: he settled those of Dr. Franklin and Mr.
Adams, and it was intended between us, that he should settle mine.
But as what may be done at any time is often put off to the last, this
settlement had been made to give way to others, and that of Beaumarchais
being pressed on Mr. Barclay before his departure for Morocco, and
having long retarded his departure, it was agreed that my affair should
await his return from that mission: you know the circumstances which
prevented his return to Paris after that mission was finished. My
account is therefore unsettled, but I have no anxiety on any article of
it, except one, that is, the outfit. This consists of, 1. clothes; 2.
carriage and horses; 3. household furniture. When Congress made their
first appointments of ministers to be resident in Europe, I have
understood (for I was not then in Congress) that they allowed them all
their expenses, and a fixed sum over and above for their time. Among
their expenses, was necessarily understood their outfit. Afterwards
they thought proper to give them fixed salaries of eleven thousand
one hundred and eleven dollars and one ninth a year; and again, by
a resolution of May the 6th and 8th, 1784, the 'salaries' of their
ministers at foreign courts were reduced to nine thousand dollars,
to take place on the 1st of August ensuing. On the 7th of May I
was appointed, in addition to Mr. Adams and Dr. Franklin, for the
negotiation of treaties of commerce; but this appointment being
temporary, for two years only, and not as of a resident minister, the
article of outfit did not come into question. I asked an advance of six
months' salary, that I might be in cash to meet the first expenses; which
was ordered. The year following, I was appointed to succeed Dr. Franklin
at this court. This was the first appointment of a minister resident,
since the original ones, under which all expenses were to be paid. So
much of the ancient regulation, as respected annual expenses, had been
altered to a sum certain; so much of it as respected first expenses,
or outfit, remained unaltered; and I might therefore expect, that the
actual expenses for outfit were to be paid. When I prepared my account
for settlement with Mr. Barclay, I began a detail of the articles of
clothes, carriage, horses, and household furniture. I found that they
were numerous, minute, and incapable, from their nature, of being
vouched; and often entered in my memorandum-book under a general head
only, so that I could not specify them. I found they would exceed a
year's salary. Supposing, therefore, that, mine being the first case,
Congress would make a precedent of it, and prefer a sum fixed for the
outfit, as well as the salary, I have charged it in my account at a
year's salary; presuming there can be no question that an outfit is a
reasonable charge. It is the usage here (and I suppose at all courts),
that a minister resident, shall establish his house in the first
instant. If this is to be done out of his salary, he will be a
twelvemonth at least without a copper to live on. It is the universal
practice, therefore, of all nations, to allow the outfit as a separate
article from the salary. I have inquired here into the usual amount of
it. I find that, sometimes, the sovereign pays the actual cost. This is
particularly the case of the Sardinian ambassador now coming here, who
is to provide a service of plate, and every article of furniture, and
other matters of first expense, to be paid for by his court. In other
instances, they give a service of plate, and a fixed sum for all other
articles, which fixed sum is in no case lower than a year's salary.

I desire no service of plate, having no ambition for splendor. My
furniture, carriage, and apparel are all plain, yet they have cost me
more than a year's salary. I suppose that in every country, and in every
condition of life, a year's expense would be found a moderate measure
for the furniture of a man's house. It is not more certain to me, that
the sun will rise to-morrow, than that our government must allow the
outfit, on their future appointment of foreign ministers; and it would
be hard on me, so to stand between the discontinuance of a former rule,
and institution of a future one, as to have the benefit of neither. I
know, I have so long known the character of our federal head, in its
present form, that I have the most unlimited confidence in the justice
of its decisions. I think I am so far known to many of the present
Congress, as that I may be cleared of all views of making money out of
any public employment, or of desiring any thing beyond actual and decent
expenses, proportioned to the station in which they have been pleased to
place me, and to the respect they would wish to see attached to it. It
would seem right, that they should decide the claims of those who
have acted under their administration, and their pretermission of any
article, might amount to a disallowance of it in the opinion of the new
government. It would be painful to me to meet that government with a
claim under this kind of cloud, and to pass it in review before their
several Houses of legislation, and boards of administration, to whom I
shall be unknown; and being for money actually expended, it would be
too inconvenient to me to relinquish it in silence. I anxiously ask it,
therefore, to be decided on by Congress before they go out of office,
if it be not out of the line of proceeding they may have chalked out for
themselves. If it be against their inclination to determine it, would
it be agreeable to them to refer it to the new government, by some
resolution, which should show they have not meant to disallow it, by
passing it over? Not knowing the circumstances under which Congress may
exist and act at the moment you shall receive this, I am unable to judge
what should be done on this subject. It is therefore that I ask the aid
of your friendship and that of Mr. Madison, that you will do for me
in this regard, what you think it is right should be done, and what it
would be right for me to do, were I on the spot, or were I apprized of
all existing circumstances. Indeed, were you two to think my claim
an improper one, I would wish it to be suppressed, as I have so much
confidence in your judgment, that I should suspect my own in any case
where it varied from yours, and more especially, in one where it
is liable to be warped by feeling. Give me leave, then, to ask your
consultation with Mr. Madison on this subject; and to assure you that
whatever you are so good as to do herein, will be perfectly approved,
and considered as a great obligation conferred on him, who has the honor
to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and attachment, Dear
Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXL.*--TO JAMES MADISON, May 28, 1788


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, May 28, 1788.

Dear Sir,

The enclosed letter for Mr. Jay, being of a private nature. I have
thought it better to put it under your cover, lest it might be opened
by some of his clerks, in the case of his absence. But I enclose a press
copy of it for yourself, as you will perceive the subject of it referred
to you, as well as to him. I ask your aid in it so far as you think
right, and to have done what you think right. If you will now be so good
as to cast your eye over the copy enclosed, what follows the present
sentence, will be some details, supplementary to that only, necessary
for your information, but not proper for me to state to Mr. Jay.

      [*  It will be seen that a few words of this letter are in
          cipher. It is published, however, as written, because
          enough of it is literal to interest the reader, to whom
          also a specimen of the cipher, used by the Author, may
          not be unacceptable.]

378.227.1247. though appointed a minister resident at the court of 514.
he never was 663. in that character. He was continually passing from
1042. to 514. and 514. to 1042., so that he had no occasion to establish
a household at either. Accordingly, he staid principally in furnished
lodgings. Of all our ministers, he had the least occasion for an
outfit, and I suppose spent almost nothing on that article. He was of
a disposition, too, to restrain himself within any limits of expense
whatever, and it suited his recluse turn, which is, to avoid society.
Should he judge of what others should do, by what he did, it would be
an improper criterion. He was in Europe as a voyageur only, and it was
while the salary was five hundred guineas more than at present.

145.1267.1046.7. he came over, when, instead of outfit and salary, all
expenses were paid. Of rigorous honesty, and careless of appearances, he
lived for a considerable time as an economical private individual. After
he was fixed at 812.141. and the salary at a sum certain, he continued
his economical style, till, out of the difference between his expenses
and his salary, he could purchase furniture for his house. This was the
easier, as the salary was at two thousand five hundred guineas then.
He was obliged, too, to be passing between 1042. and 812.141. so as to
avoid any regular current of expenses. When he established himself, his
pecuniary affairs were under the direction of 964.814.7.101.994., one
of the most estimable characters on earth, and the most attentive and
honorable economists. Neither had a wish to lay up a copper, but both
wished to make both ends meet. I suspected, however, from an expression
dropped in conversation, that they were not able to do this, and that
a deficit in their accounts appeared in their winding up. If this
conjecture be true, it is a proof that the salary, so far from admitting
savings, is unequal to a very plain style of life; for such was theirs.
I presume Congress will be asked to allow it, and it is evident to me,
from what I saw while in 1093. that it ought to be done, as they did
not expend a shilling which should have been avoided. Would it be more
eligible to set the example of making good a deficit, or to give him
an outfit, which will cover it? The impossibility of living on the sum
allowed, respectably, was the true cause of his insisting on his recall.
821.267.1292. He came over while all expenses were paid. He rented a
house with standing furniture, such as tables, chairs, presses, &c., and
bought all other necessaries. The latter were charged in his account;
the former was included in the article of house-rent, and paid during
the whole time of his stay here; and as the established rate of hire
for furniture is from thirty to forty per cent, per annum, the standing
furniture must have been paid for three times over, during the eight
years he staid here. His salary was two thousand five hundred guineas.
When Congress reduced it to less than two thousand, he refused to accede
to it, asked his recall, and insisted that whenever they chose to alter
the conditions on which he came out, if he did not approve of it, they
ought to replace him in America on the old conditions. He lived plain,
but as decently as his salary would allow. He saved nothing, but avoided
debt. He knew he could not do this on the reduced salary, and therefore
asked his recall with decision.

To 935.145. succeeded. He had established a certain style of living. The
same was expected from 1214. and there were five hundred guineas a
year less to do it on. It has been aimed at, however, as far as was
practicable. This rendered it constantly necessary to step neither to
the right nor to the left, to incur any expense which could possibly be
avoided, and it called for an almost womanly attention to the details
of the household, equally perplexing, disgusting, and inconsistent with
business. You will be sensible, that, in this situation, no savings
could be made for reimbursing the half year's salary, ordered to be
advanced under the former commission, and more than as much again,
which was unavoidably so applied, without order, for the purchase of the
outfit. The reason of the thing, the usage of all nations, the usage of
our own, by paying all expenses of preceding ministers, which gave them
the outfit, as far as their circumstances appeared to them to render it
necessary, have made me take for granted all along, that it would not
be refused to me: nor should I have mentioned it now, but that the
administration is passing into other hands, and more complicated forms.
It would be disagreeable to me to be presented to them, in the first
instance, as a suitor. Men come into business at first with visionary
principles. It is practice alone, which can correct and conform them
to the actual current of affairs. In the mean time, those to whom their
errors were first applied, have been their victims. The government may
take up the project of appointing foreign ministers without outfits,
and they may ruin two or three individuals, before they find that that
article is just as indispensable as the salary. They must then fall into
the current of general usage, which has become general, only because
experience has established its necessity. Upon the whole, be so good as
to reflect on it, and to do, not what your friendship to me, but your
opinion of what is right, shall dictate.

Accept, in all cases, assurances of the sincere esteem and respect with
which I am, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXLI.--TO PETER CARU, May 23, 1788


TO PETER CARU.

Paris, May 23, 1788.

Dear Peter,

The preceding letter [* For the letter referred to, see ante, LXXIV.]
was written at its date, and I supposed you in possession of it, when
your letters of December the 10th, 1787, and March the 18th, 1788, told
me otherwise. Still I supposed it on its way to you, when a few days
ago, having occasion to look among some papers in the drawer, where
my letters are usually put away, till an opportunity of sending them
occurs, I found that this letter had slipped among them, so that it
had never been forwarded. I am sorry for it, on account of the remarks
relative to the Spanish language only. Apply to that with all the
assiduity you can. That language and the English covering nearly the
whole face of America, they should be well known to every inhabitant,
who means to look beyond the limits of his farm. I like well the
distribution of your time, mentioned in your letter of March the 18th;
and the counsels of Mr. Wythe, so kindly extended to you, leave it
necessary for me to add nothing of that kind. Be assiduous in learning,
take much exercise for your health, and practise much virtue. Health,
learning, and virtue, will insure your happiness; they will give you
a quiet conscience, private esteem, and public honor. Beyond these, we
want nothing but physical necessaries, and they are easily obtained.
My daughters are well, and join me in love to yourself, your mother,
brothers, and sisters.

I am, with very sincere esteem, Dear Peter, your affectionate

friend,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXLII.--TO THE COMTE DE BERNSTORFF, June 19, 1788


TO THE COMTE DE BERNSTORFF.

Paris, June 19, 1788.

I had the honor of addressing your Excellency, by Admiral Paul Jones,
on the 21st of January, on the subject of the prizes taken under his
command during the late war, and sent into Bergen. I communicated at the
same time a copy of the powers which the Congress of the United States
of America had been pleased to confide to me therein, having previously
shown the original to the Baron de Blome, Envoy Extraordinary of his
Majesty, the King of Denmark, at this court; and I furnished, at the
same time, to Admiral Paul Jones, such authority as I was empowered
to delegate, for the arrangement of this affair. That officer has
transmitted me a copy of your Excellency's letter to him of the 4th of
April, wherein you are pleased to observe, that the want of full powers
on his part was an invincible obstacle to the definitive discussion of
this claim with him, and to express your dispositions to institute a
settlement at this place. Always assured of the justice and honor of
the court of Denmark, and encouraged by the particular readiness of your
Excellency to settle and remove this difficulty from between the two
nations, I take the liberty of recalling your attention to it. The place
of negotiation proposed by your Excellency, meets no objection from us,
and it removes, at the same time, that which the want of full powers in
Admiral Paul Jones had produced in your mind. These full powers Congress
have been pleased to honor me with. The arrangement taken between the
person to be charged with your full powers and myself, will be final
and conclusive. You are pleased to express a willingness to treat at
the same time on the subjects of amity and commerce. The powers formerly
communicated on our part, were given to Mr. Adams, Doctor Franklin, and
myself, for a limited term only. That term has expired, and the other
two gentlemen returned to America; so that no person is commissioned at
this moment to renew those conferences. I may safely, however, assure
your Excellency, that the same friendly dispositions still continue, and
the same desire of facilitating and encouraging a commerce between the
two nations, which produced the former appointment. But our nation is,
at this time, proposing a change in the organization of its government.
For this change to be agreed to by all the members of the Union, the new
administration chosen and brought into activity, their domestic matters
arranged, which will require their first attention, their foreign system
afterwards decided on and carried into full execution, will require very
considerable length of time. To place under the same delay the private
claims which I have the honor to present to your Excellency, would be
hard on the persons interested: because these claims have no connection
with the system of commercial connection, which may be established
between the two nations, nor with the particular form of our
administration. The justice due to them is complete, and the present
administration as competent to final settlement as any future one will
be, should a future change take place. These individuals have already
lingered nine years in expectation of their hard and perilous earnings.
Time lessens their numbers continually, disperses their representatives,
weakens the evidence of their right, and renders more and more
impracticable his Majesty's dispositions to repair the private injury,
to which public circumstances constrained him. These considerations, the
just and honorable intentions of your Excellency, and the assurances you
give us in your letter, that no delay is wished on your part, give me
strong hopes that we may speedily obtain that final arrangement, which
express instructions render it my duty to urge. I have the honor,
therefore, of agreeing with your Excellency, that the settlement of this
matter, formerly begun at Paris, shall be continued there; and to
ask that you will be pleased to give powers and instructions for this
purpose to such persons as you shall think proper, and in such full form
as may prevent those delays, to which the distance between Copenhagen
and Paris might otherwise expose us.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most profound respect,
your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXLIII.--TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN, June 20, 1788


TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN.

Paris, June 20, 1788.

Sir,

Having had the honor of mentioning to your Excellency the wish of
Congress, that certain changes should be made in the articles for a
consular convention, which had been sent to them, I have now that,
conformably to the desire you expressed, of giving a general idea of the
alterations to be proposed.

The fourth article gives to the consuls the immunities of the law of
nations. It has been understood, however, that the laws of France do not
admit of this; and that it might be desirable to expunge this article.
In this we are ready to concur, as in every other case, where an article
might call for changes in the established laws, either inconvenient or
disagreeable.

After establishing in favor of consuls, the general immunities of the
law of nations, one consequence of which would have been, that they
could not have been called upon to give testimony in courts of justice,
the fifth article requires, that after the observance of certain
formalities, which imply very high respect, they shall make a
declaration; but _in their own houses_ [_chez eux_] as may be pretended,
if not justly inferred, from the expressions in the article. But our
laws require, indispensably, a personal examination of witnesses in the
presence of the parties, of their counsel, the jury, and judges, each of
whom has a right to ask of them all questions pertinent to the fact.
The first and highest officers of our government are obliged to appear
personally to the order of a court, to give evidence. The court takes
care that they are treated with respect. It is proposed, therefore,
to omit this article for these particular reasons, as well as for the
general one, that the fourth being expunged, this, which was but an
exception to that, falls of course.

The seventh, eighth, tenth, and fourteenth articles extend their
pre-eminences far beyond those, which the laws of nations would have
given. These articles require that the declarations made in the presence
of consuls, and certified by them, shall be received in evidence in all
courts whatever: and, in some instances, give to their certificates a
credibility which excludes all other testimony. The cases are rare, in
which our laws admit written evidence of facts; and such evidence, when
admitted, must have been given in the presence of both parties, and must
contain the answers to all the pertinent questions, which they may have
desired to ask of the witness: and to no evidence, of whatever nature,
written or oral, do our laws give so high credit, as to exclude all
counter-proof. These principles are of such ancient foundation in our
system of jurisprudence, and are so much valued and venerated by our
citizens, that perhaps it would be impossible to execute articles, which
should contravene them, nor is it imagined that these stipulations can
be so interesting to this country, as to balance the inconvenience and
hazard of such an innovation with us. Perhaps it might be found, that
the laws of both countries require a modification of this article; as
it is inconceivable that the certificate of an American consul in
France could be permitted by one of its courts to establish a fact, the
falsehood of which should be notorious to the court itself.

The eighth article gives to the consuls of either nation a jurisdiction,
in certain cases, over foreigners of any other. On a dispute arising in
France, between an American and a Spaniard or an Englishman, it would
not be fair to abandon the Spaniard or Englishman to an American consul.
On the contrary, the territorial judge, as neutral, would seem to be the
most impartial. Probably, therefore, it will be thought convenient for
both parties, to correct this stipulation.

A dispute arising between two subjects of France, the one being in
France and the other in the United States, the regular tribunals of
France would seem entitled to a preference of jurisdiction. Yet the
twelfth article gives it to their consul in America; and to the consul
of the United States in France, in a like case between their citizens.

The power given by the tenth article, of arresting and sending back a
vessel, its captain, and crew, is a very great one indeed, and, in
our opinion, more safely lodged with the territorial judge. We would
ourselves trust the tribunals of France to decide, when there is just
cause for so high-handed an act of authority over the persons and
property of so many of our citizens, to all of whom these tribunals will
stand in a neutral and impartial relation, rather than any single person
whom we may appoint as consul, who will seldom be learned in the laws,
and often susceptible of influence from private interest and personal
pique. With us, applications for the arrest of vessels, and of their
masters, are made to the admiralty courts. These are composed of the
most learned and virtuous characters in the several States, and the
maritime law, common to all nations, is the rule of their proceedings.
The exercise of foreign jurisdiction, within the pale of their own
laws, in a very high case, and wherein those laws have made honorable
provisions, would be a phenomenon never yet seen in our country, and
which would be seen with great jealousy and uneasiness. On the contrary,
to leave this power with the territorial judge will inspire confidence
and friendship, and be really, at the same time, more secure against
abuse. The power of arresting deserted seamen seems necessary for the
purposes of navigation and commerce, and will be more attentively and
effectually exercised by the consul, than by the territorial judge.
To this part of the tenth article, therefore, as well as to that which
requires the territorial judge to assist the consul in the exercise of
this function, we can accede. But the extension of the like power to
passengers, seems not necessary for the purposes either of navigation
or commerce. It does not come, therefore, within the functions of the
consul, whose institution is for those two objects only, nor within the
powers of a commissioner, authorized to treat and conclude a convention,
solely for regulating the powers, privileges, and duties of consuls.
The arrest and detention of passengers, moreover, would often be in
contradiction to our bills of rights, which, being fundamental, cannot
be obstructed in their operation by any law or convention whatever.

Consular institutions being entirely new with us, Congress think it wise
to make their first convention probationary, and not perpetual. They
propose, therefore, a clause for limiting its duration to a certain term
of years. If after the experience of a few years, it should be found to
answer the purposes intended by it, both parties will have sufficient
inducements to renew it, either in its present form, or with such
alterations and amendments, as time, experience, and other circumstances
may indicate.

The convention, as expressed in the French language, will fully answer
our purposes in France, because it will there be understood. But it will
not equally answer the purposes of France in America, because it will
not there be understood. In very few of the courts, wherein it may be
presented, will there be found a single judge or advocate, capable of
translating it at all, much less of giving to all its terms, legal
and technical, their exact equivalent in the laws and language of
that country. Should any translation which Congress would undertake to
publish, for the use of our courts, be conceived on any occasion not to
render fully the idea of the French original, it might be imputed as an
indirect attempt to abridge or extend the terms of a contract, at the
will of one party only. At no place are there better helps than here,
for establishing an English text equivalent to the French, in all its
phrases; no persons can be supposed to know what is meant by these
phrases, better than those who form them; and no time more proper to
ascertain their meaning in both languages than that at which they are
formed. I have, therefore, the honor to propose, that the convention
shall be faithfully expressed in English as well as in French, in two
columns, side by side, that these columns be declared each of them to be
text, and to be equally original and authentic in all courts of justice.

This, Sir, is a general sketch of the alterations, which our laws and
our manner of thinking render necessary in this convention, before the
faith of our country is engaged for its execution. Some of its articles,
in their present form, could not be executed at all, and others would
produce embarrassments and ill humor, to which it would not be prudent
for our government to commit itself. Inexact execution on the one part,
would naturally beget dissatisfaction and complaints on the other; and
an instrument intended to strengthen our connection, might thus become
the means of loosening it. Fewer articles, better observed, will better
promote our common interests. As to ourselves, we do not find the
institution of consuls very necessary. Its history commences in times of
barbarism, and might well have ended with them. During these, they were,
perhaps, useful, and may still be so in countries not yet emerged from
that condition. But all civilized nations at this day understand so
well the advantages of commerce, that they provide protection and
encouragement for merchant strangers and vessels coming among them.
So extensive, too, have commercial connections now become, that every
mercantile house has correspondents in almost every port. They address
their vessels to these correspondents, who are found to take better care
of their interests, and to obtain more effectually the protection of the
laws of the country for them, than the consul of their nation can. He is
generally a foreigner, unpossessed of the little details of knowledge
of greatest use to them. He makes national questions of all the
difficulties which arise; the correspondent prevents them. We carry on
commerce with good success in all parts of the world; yet we have not
a consul in a single port, nor a complaint for the want of one, except
from the persons who wish to be consuls themselves. Though these
considerations may not be strong enough to establish the absolute
inutility of consuls, they may make us less anxious to extend their
privileges and jurisdictions, so as to render them objects of jealousy
and irritation, in the places of their residence. That this government
thinks them useful, is sufficient reason for us to give them all the
functions and facilities which our circumstances will admit. Instead,
therefore, of declining every article which will be useless to us, we
accede to every one which will not be inconvenient. Had this nation been
alone concerned, our desire to gratify them might have tempted us to
press still harder on the laws and opinions of our country. But your
Excellency knows, that we stand engaged in treaties with some nations,
which will give them occasion to claim whatever privileges we yield to
any other. This renders circumspection more necessary. Permit me to add
one other observation. The English allow to foreign consuls scarcely any
functions within their ports. This proceeds, in a great measure, from
the character of their laws, which eye, with peculiar jealousy, every
exemption from their control. Ours are the same in their general
character, and rendered still more unpliant, by our having thirteen
parliaments to relax, instead of one. Upon the whole, I hope your
Excellency will see the causes of the delay which this convention has
met with, in the difficulties it presents, and our desire to surmount
them: and will be sensible that the alterations proposed, are dictated
to us by the necessity of our circumstances, and by a caution, which
cannot be disapproved, to commit ourselves to no engagements which we
foresee we might not be able o fulfil.

These alterations, with some other smaller ones, which may be offered
on the sole principle of joint convenience, shall be the subject of more
particular explanation, whenever your Excellency shall honor me with
a conference thereon. I shall then, also, point out the verbal changes
which appear to me necessary, to accommodate the instrument to the
views before expressed. In the mean time, I have the honor to be, with
sentiments of the most perfect respect and esteem, your Excellency's
most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXLIV.--TO DOCTOR GORDON, July 16, 1788

TO DOCTOR GORDON.

Paris, July 16, 1788.

Sir,

In your favor of the 8th instant, you mentioned that you had written to
me in February last. This letter never came to hand. That of April
the 24th came here during my absence on a journey through Holland and
Germany; and my having been obliged to devote the first moments after my
return to some very pressing matters, must be my apology for not having
been able to write to you till now. As soon as I knew that it would be
agreeable to you to have such a disposal of your work for translation,
as I had made for Dr. Ramsay, I applied to the same bookseller with
propositions on your behalf. He told me, that he had lost so much by
that work, that he could hardly think of undertaking another, and, at
any rate, not without first seeing and examining it. As he was the only
bookseller I could induce to give any thing on the former occasion,
I went to no other with my proposal, meaning to ask you to send me
immediately as much of the work as is printed. This you can do by
the Diligence, which comes three times a week from London to Paris.
Furnished with this, I will renew my proposition, and do the best for
you I can; though I fear that the ill success of the translation of
Dr. Ramsay's work, and of another work on the subject of America, will
permit less to be done for you than I had hoped. I think Dr. Ramsay
failed from the inelegance of the translation, and the translator's
having departed entirely from the Doctor's instructions. I will be
obliged to you, to set me down as subscriber for half a dozen copies,
and to ask Mr. Trumbull (No. 2, North street, Rathbone Place) to pay
you the whole subscription price for me, which he will do on showing him
this letter. These copies can be sent by the Diligence. I have not yet
received the pictures Mr. Trumbull was to send me, nor consequently that
of M. de la Fayette. I will take care of it when it arrives. His title
is simply, Le Marquis de la Fayette.

You ask, in your letter of April the 24th, details of my sufferings by
Colonel Tarleton. I did not suffer by him. On the contrary, he behaved
very genteelly with me. On his approach to Charlottesville, which is
within three miles of my house at Monticello, he despatched a troop of
his horse, under Captain McLeod, with the double object of taking me
prisoner, with the two Speakers of the Senate and Delegates, who then
lodged with me, and of remaining there in _vidette_, my house commanding
a view often or twelve miles round about. He gave strict orders to
Captain McLeod to suffer nothing to be injured. The troop failed in
one of their objects, as we had notice of their coming, so that the
two Speakers had gone off about two hours before their arrival at
Monticello, and myself, with my family, about five minutes. But Captain
McLeod preserved every thing with sacred care, during about eighteen
hours that he remained there. Colonel Tarleton was just so long at
Charlottesville, being hurried from thence by the news of the rising of
the militia, and by a sudden fall of rain which threatened to swell the
river and intercept his return. In general he did little injury to the
inhabitants on that short and hasty excursion, which was of about sixty
miles from their main army, then in Spotsylvania, and ours in Orange. It
was early in June, 1781. Lord Cornwallis then proceeded to the Point of
Fork, and encamped his army from thence all along the main James River,
to a seat of mine called Elk-hill, opposite to Elk Island, and a little
below the mouth of the Byrd Creek. (You will see all these places
exactly laid down in the map annexed to my Notes on Virginia, printed by
Stockdale.) He remained in this position ten days, his own head-quarters
being in my house, at that place. I had time to remove most of the
effects out of the house. He destroyed all my growing crops of corn and
tobacco; he burned all my barns, containing the same articles of the
last year, having first taken what corn he wanted; he used, as was to be
expected, all my stock of cattle, sheep, and hogs, for the sustenance
of his army, and carried off all the horses capable of service; of those
too young for service he cut the throats; and he burned all the fences
on the plantation so as to leave it an absolute waste. He carried off
also about thirty slaves. Had this been to give them freedom, he would
have done right: but it was to consign them to inevitable death from
the small-pox and putrid fever, then raging in his camp. This I knew
afterwards to be the fate of twenty-seven of them. I never had news of
the remaining three, but presume they shared the same fate. When I say
that Lord Cornwallis did all this, I do not mean that he carried about
the torch in his own hands, but that it was all done under his eye; the
situation of the house in which he was, commanding a view of every part
of the plantation, so that he must have seen every fire. I relate these
things on my own knowledge, in a great degree, as I was on the ground
soon after he left it. He treated the rest of the neighborhood somewhat
in the same style, but not with that spirit of total extermination
with which he seemed to rage over my possessions. Wherever he went, the
dwelling-houses were plundered of every thing which could be carried
off. Lord Cornwallis's character in England would forbid the belief that
he shared in the plunder; but that his table was served with the
plate thus pillaged from private houses, can be proved by many hundred
eye-witnesses. From an estimate I made at that time, on the best
information I could collect, I supposed the State of Virginia lost under
Lord Cornwallis's hands, that year, about thirty thousand slaves; and
that of these, about twenty-seven thousand died of the small-pox and
camp-fever, and the rest were partly sent to the West Indies, and
exchanged for rum, sugar, coffee, and fruit, and partly sent to New
York, from whence they went, at the peace, either to Nova Scotia or
England. From this last place, I believe they have been lately sent to
Africa. History will never relate the horrors committed by the British
army, in the southern States of America. They raged in Virginia six
months only, from the middle of April to the middle of October, 1781,
when they were all taken prisoners; and I give you a faithful specimen
of their transactions for ten days of that time, and on one spot only.
_Ex pede Herculem_. I suppose their whole devastations during those six
months, amounted to about three millions sterling. The copiousness of
this subject has only left me space to assure you of the sentiments of
esteem and respect, with which I am, Sir, your most obedient, humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXLV.--TO JAMES MADISON, July 19, 1788


TO JAMES MADISON, _of William and Mary College_.

Paris, July 19, 1788.

Dear Sir,

My last letter to you was of the 13th of August last. As you seem
willing to accept of the crumbs of science on which we are subsisting
here, it is with pleasure I continue to hand them on to you, in
proportion as they are dealt out. Herschel's volcano in the moon you
have doubtless heard of, and placed among the other vagaries of a head,
which seems not organized for sound induction. The wildness of the
theories hitherto proposed by him, on his own discoveries, seems to
authorize us to consider his merit as that of a good optician only. You
know also, that Doctor Ingenhouse had discovered, as he supposed from
experiment, that vegetation might be promoted by occasioning streams of
the electrical fluid to pass through a plant, and that other physicians
had received and confirmed this theory. He now, however, retracts it,
and finds by more decisive experiments, that the electrical fluid can
neither forward nor retard vegetation. Uncorrected still of the rage of
drawing general conclusions from partial and equivocal observations, he
hazards the opinion that light promotes vegetation. I have heretofore
supposed from observation, that light affects the color of living
bodies, whether vegetable or animal; but that either the one or the
other receives nutriment from that fluid, must be permitted to be
doubted of, till better confirmed by observation. It is always better to
have no ideas, than false ones; to believe nothing, than to believe what
is wrong. In my mind, theories are more easily demolished than rebuilt.

An Abbe here, has shaken, if not destroyed, the theory of De Dominis,
Descartes and Newton, for explaining the phenomenon of the rainbow.
According to that theory, you know, a cone of rays issuing from the sun,
and falling on a cloud in the opposite part of the heavens, is reflected
back in the form of a smaller cone, the apex of which is the eye of the
observer: so that the eye of the observer must be in the axis of both
cones, and equally distant from every part of the bow. But he observes,
that he has repeatedly seen bows, the one end of which has been very
near to him, and the other at a very great distance. I have often
seen the same thing myself. I recollect well to have seen the end of a
rainbow between myself and a house, or between myself and a bank, not
twenty yards distant; and this repeatedly. But I never saw, what he
says he has seen, different rainbows at the same time, intersecting
each other. I never saw coexistent bows, which were not concentric
also. Again, according to the theory, if the sun is in the horizon, the
horizon intercepts the lower half of the bow, if above the horizon, that
intercepts more than the half, in proportion. So that generally the bow
is less than a semicircle, and never more. He says he has seen it more
than a semicircle. I have often seen the leg of the bow below my level.
My situation at Monticello admits this, because there is a mountain
there in the opposite direction of the afternoon's sun, the valley
between which and Monticello is five hundred feet deep. I have seen a
leg of a rainbow plunge down on the river running through the valley.
But I do not recollect to have remarked at any time, that the bow was
more than half a circle. It appears to me, that these facts demolish the
Newtonian hypothesis, but they do not support that erected in its stead
by the Abbe. He supposes a cloud between the sun and observer, and that
through some opening in that cloud, the rays pass, and form an iris on
the opposite part of the heavens, just as a ray passing through a hole
in the shutter of a darkened room, and falling on a prism there, forms
the prismatic colors on the opposite wall. According to this, we might
see bows of more than the half circle, as often as of less. A thousand
other objections occur to this hypothesis, which need not be suggested
to you. The result is, that we are wiser than we were, by having an
error the less in our catalogue; but the blank occasioned by it, must
remain for some happier hypothesist to fill up.

The dispute about the conversion and reconversion of water and air, is
still stoutly kept up. The contradictory experiments of chemists, leave
us at liberty to conclude what we please. My conclusion is, that art has
not yet invented sufficient aids, to enable such subtle bodies to make a
well defined impression on organs as blunt as ours: that it is laudable
to encourage investigation, but to hold back conclusion. Speaking one
day with Monsieur de Buffon on the present ardor of chemical inquiry, he
affected to consider chemistry but as cookery, and to place the toils
of the laboratory on a footing with those of the kitchen. I think it,
on the contrary, among the most useful of sciences, and big with future
discoveries for the utility and safety of the human race. It is yet,
indeed, a mere embryon. Its principles are contested; experiments seem
contradictory; their subjects are so minute as to escape our senses; and
their result too fallacious to satisfy the mind. It is probably an
age too soon, to propose the establishment of a system. The attempt,
therefore, of Lavoisier to reform the chemical nomenclature, is
premature. One single experiment may destroy the whole filiation of
his terms, and his string of sulfates, sulfiles, and sulfures may have
served no other end, than to have retarded the progress of the science,
by a jargon, from the confusion of which, time will be requisite to
extricate us. Accordingly, it is not likely to be admitted generally.

You are acquainted with the properties of the composition of nitre,
salt of tartar, and sulphur, called _pulvis fulminans_. Of this, the
explosion is produced by heat alone. Monsieur Bertholet, by dissolving
silver in the nitrous acid, precipitating it with lime-water, and drying
the precipitate on ammoniac, has discovered a powder, which fulminates
most powerfully, on coming into contact with any substance whatever.
Once made, it cannot be touched. It cannot be put into a bottle, but
must remain in the capsula, where dried. The property of the spathic
acid, to corrode flinty substances, has been lately applied by a Mr.
Puymaurin, to engrave on glass, as artists engrave on copper, with
aquafortis.

M. de la Place has discovered, that the secular acceleration and
retardation of the moon's motion, is occasioned by the action of the
sun, in proportion as his excentricity changes, or, in other words,
as the orbit of the earth increases or diminishes. So that this
irregularity is now perfectly calculable.

Having seen announced in a gazette, that some person had found, in a
library of Sicily, an Arabic translation of Livy, which was thought to
be complete, I got the _chargé des affaires_ of Naples here, to write to
Naples to inquire into the fact. He obtained in answer, that an Arabic
translation was found, and that it would restore to us seventeen of the
books lost, to wit, from the sixtieth to the seventy-seventh, inclusive:
that it was in possession of an Abbe Vella, who, as soon as he shall
have finished a work he has on hand, will give us an Italian, and
perhaps a Latin translation of this Livy. There are persons, however,
who doubt the truth of this discovery, founding their doubts on some
personal circumstances relating to the person who says he has this
translation. I find, nevertheless, that the _chargé des affaires_
believes in the discovery, which makes me hope it may be true.

A countryman of ours, a Mr. Ledyard of Connecticut, set out from hence
some time ago for St. Petersburg, to go thence to Kamtschatka, thence
to cross over to the western coast of America, and penetrate through
the continent, to the other side of it. He had got within a few days'
journey of Kamtschatka, when he was arrested by order of the Empress
of Russia, sent back, and turned adrift in Poland. He went to London;
engaged under the auspices of a private society, formed there for
pushing discoveries into Africa; passed by this place, which he left
a few days ago for Marseilles, where he will embark for Alexandria and
Grand Cairo; thence explore the Nile to its source; cross the head of
the Niger, and descend that to its mouth. He promises me, if he escapes
through his journey, he will go to Kentucky, and endeavor to penetrate
westwardly to the South Sea.

The death of M. de Buffon you have heard long ago. I do not know whether
we shall have anything posthumous of his. As to political news, this
country is making its way to a good constitution. The only danger is,
they may press so fast as to produce an appeal to arms, which might have
an unfavorable issue for them. As yet the appeal is not made. Perhaps
the war, which seems to be spreading from nation to nation, may reach
them this would insure the calling of the States General, and this, as
is supposed, the establishment of a constitution.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of sincere esteem and respect,
Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXLVI.--TO E. RUTLEDGE, July 18, 1788


TO E. RUTLEDGE.

Paris, July 18, 1788.

Dear Sir,

Messrs. Berard were to have given me particular accounts of the proceeds
of the shipments of rice made to them. But they have failed. I fear,
from what they mention, that the price has been less advantageous than
usual; which is unlucky, as it falls the first essay. If on the whole,
however, you get as much as you would have done by a sale on the spot,
it should encourage other adventures, because the price at Havre or
Rouen is commonly higher, and because I think you may, by trials, find
out the way to avail yourselves of the Paris retail price. The Carolina
rice, sold at Paris, is separated into three kinds; 1. the whole grains;
2. the broken grains; 3. the small stuff; and sell at ten, eight, and
six livres the French pound, retail. The whole grains, which constitute
the first quality, are picked out by hand. I would not recommend this
operation to be done with you, because labor is dearer there than here.
But I mention these prices, to show, that after making a reasonable
deduction for sorting, and leaving a reasonable profit to the retailer,
there should still remain a great wholesale price. I shall wish to know
from you, how much your cargo of rice shipped to Berard netts you, and
how much it would have _netted_ in hard money, if you had sold it at
home.

You promise, in your letter of October the 23rd, 1787, to give me in
your next, at large, the conjectures of your philosopher on the descent
of the Creek Indians from the Carthaginians, supposed to have been
separated from Hanno's fleet, during his periplus. I shall be very glad
to receive them, and see nothing impossible in his conjecture. I am glad
he means to appeal to similarity of language, which I consider as the
strongest kind of proof it is possible to adduce. I have somewhere read,
that the language of the ancient Carthaginians is still spoken by their
descendants, inhabiting the mountainous interior parts of Barbary, to
which they were obliged to retire by the conquering Arabs. If so, a
vocabulary of their tongue can still be got, and if your friend will get
one of the Creek languages, the comparison will decide. He probably may
have made progress in this business: but if he wishes any inquiries to
be made on this side the Atlantic, I offer him my services cheerfully;
my wish being, like his to ascertain the history of the American
aborigines.

I congratulate you on the accesion of your State to the new federal
constitution. This is the last I have yet heard of, but I expect daily
to hear that my own has followed the good example, and suppose it to be
already established. Our government wanted bracing. Still we must take
care not to run from one extreme to another; not to brace too high. I
own, I join those in opinion, who think a bill of rights necessary. I
apprehend too, that the total abandonment of the principle of rotation
in the offices of President and Senator, will end in abuse. But my
confidence is, that there will, for a long time, be virtue and good
sense enough in our countrymen, to correct abuses. We can surely boast
of having set the world a beautiful example of a government reformed by
reason alone, without bloodshed. But the world is too far oppressed to
profit by the example. On this side of the Atlantic, the blood of the
people has become an inheritance, and those who fatten on it, will
not relinquish it easily. The struggle in this country is, as yet,
of doubtful issue. It is, in fact, between the monarchy and the
parliaments. The nation is no otherwise concerned, but as both parties
may be induced to let go some of its abuses, to court the public favor.
The danger is, that the people, deceived by a false cry of liberty, may
be led to take side with one party, and thus give the other a pretext
for crushing them still more. If they can avoid the appeal to arms, the
nation will be sure to gain much by this controversy. But if that appeal
is made, it will depend entirely on the disposition of the army, whether
it issue in liberty or despotism. Those dispositions are not as yet
known. In the mean time, there is great probability that the war kindled
in the east, will spread from nation to nation, and, in the long run,
become general.

*****

I am, with the most sincere esteem and attachment, my dear; Sir, your
friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXLVII.--TO MR. BELLINI, July 25,1788


TO MR. BELLINI.

Paris, July 25,1788.

Dear Sir,

Though I have written to you seldom, you are often the object of
my thoughts, and always of my affection. The truth is, that the
circumstances with which I am surrounded, offer little worth detailing
to you. You are too wise to feel an interest in the squabbles, in
which the pride, the dissipations, and the tyranny of kings, keep this
hemisphere constantly embroiled. Science, indeed, finds some aliment
here, and you are one of her sons. But this I have pretty regularly
communicated to Mr. Madison, with whom, I am sure, you participate of
it. It is with sincere pleasure I congratulate you on the good fortune
of our friend Mazzei, who is appointed here, to correspond with the King
of Poland. The particular character given him is not well defined, but
the salary is, which is more important. It is eight thousand livres a
year, which will enable him to live comfortably, while his duties will
find him that occupation, without which he cannot exist. Whilst this
appointment places him at his ease, it affords a hope of permanence
also. It suspends, if not entirely prevents, the visit he had intended
to his native country, and the return to his adoptive one, which the
death of his wife had rendered possible. This last event has given him
three quarters of the globe elbow-room, which he had ceded to her, on
condition she would leave him quiet in the fourth. Their partition of
the next world will be more difficult, if it be divided only into two
parts, according to the protestant faith. Having seen by a letter you
wrote him, that you were in want of a pair of spectacles, I undertook
to procure you some, which I packed in a box of books addressed to Mr.
Wythe, and of which I beg your acceptance. This box lay forgotten at
Havre the whole of the last winter, but was at length shipped, and I
trust has come to hand. I packed with the spectacles three or four pair
of glasses, adapted to the different periods of life, distinguished from
each other by numbers, and easily changed. You see I am looking forward
in hope of a long life for you; and that it may be long enough to carry
you through the whole succession of glasses, is my sincere prayer.
Present me respectfully to Mrs. Bellini, assure her of my affectionate
remembrance of her, and my wishes for her health and happiness; and
accept yourself very sincere professions of the esteem and attachment
with which I am, Dear Sir, your affectionate friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXLVIII.--TO JAMES MADISON, July 31, 1788


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, July 31, 1788.

Dear Sir,

My last letters to you were of the 3rd and the 25th of May. Yours from
Orange, of April the 22nd, came to hand on the 10th instant.

My letter to Mr. Jay containing all the public news that is well
authenticated, I will not repeat it here, but add some details in the
smaller way, which you may be glad to know. The disgrace of the Marquis
de la Fayette, which, at any other period of their history, would have
had the worst consequences for him, will, on the contrary, mark him
favorably to the nation, at present. During the present administration,
he can expect nothing; but perhaps it may serve him with their
successors, whenever a change shall take place. No change of the
Principal will probably take place, before the meeting of the States
General; though a change is to be wished, for his operations do not
answer the expectations formed of him. These had been calculated, on his
brilliancy in society. He is very feebly aided too. Montmorin is weak,
though a most worthy character. He is indolent and inattentive too,
in the extreme. Luzerne is considerably inferior in abilities to his
brother, whom you know. He is a good man too, but so much out of his
element, that he has the air of one _huskanoyed_. The _Garde des Sceaux_
is considered as the Principal's bull-dog, braving danger like the
animal. His talents do not pass mediocrity. The Archbishop's brother,
and the new minister Villedeuil, and Lambert, have no will of their
own. They cannot raise money for the peace establishment the next
year, without the States General; much less if there be war; and their
administration will probably end with the States General.

Littlepage, who was here as a secret agent for the King of Poland,
rather overreached himself. He wanted more money. The King furnished it,
more than once. Still he wanted more, and thought to obtain a high bid,
by saying he was called for in America, and asking leave to go there.
Contrary to his expectation, he received leave; but he went to Warsaw
instead of America, and from thence, to join the * * * * I do not know

     [* Several paragraphs of this letter are in cipher, A few
     words here could not be deciphered.]

these facts certainly, but collect them, by putting several things
together. The King then sent an ancient secretary here, in whom he had
much confidence, to look out for a correspondent, a mere letter-writer
for him. A happy hazard threw Mazzei in his way. He recommended him,
and he is appointed. He has no diplomatic character whatever, but is to
receive eight thousand livres a year, as an intelligencer. I hope
this employment may have some permanence. The danger is, that he will
over-act his part.

The Marquis de la Luzerne had been for many years married to his
brother's wife's sister, secretly. She was ugly and deformed, but
sensible, amiable, and rather rich. When he was ambassador to London,
with ten thousand guineas a year, the marriage was avowed, and he
relinquished his cross of Malta, from which he derived a handsome
revenue for life, and which was very open to advancement. Not long ago,
she died. His real affection for her, which was great and unfeigned, and
perhaps the loss of his order, for so short-lived a satisfaction, has
thrown him almost into a state of despondency. He is now here.

I send you a book of Dupont's, on the subject of the commercial treaty
with England. Though its general matter may not be interesting, yet
you will pick up, in various parts of it, such excellent principles and
observations, as will richly repay the trouble of reading it. I send
you, also, two little pamphlets of the Marquis de Condorcet, wherein is
the most judicious statement I have seen, of the great questions
which agitate this nation at present. The new regulations present a
preponderance of good over their evil; but they suppose that the
King can model the constitution at will, or, in other words, that his
government is a pure despotism. The question then arising is, whether a
pure despotism in a single head, or one which is divided among a king,
nobles, priesthood, and numerous magistracy, is the least bad. I should
be puzzled to decide: but I hope they will have neither, and that they
are advancing to a limited, moderate government, in which the people
will have a good share.

I sincerely rejoice at the acceptance of our new constitution by
nine States. It is a good canvass, on which some strokes only want
retouching. What these are, I think are sufficiently manifested by the
general voice from north to south, which calls for a bill of rights.
It seems pretty generally understood, that this should go to juries,
_habeas corpus_, standing armies, printing, religion, and monopolies.
I conceive there may be difficulty in finding general modifications of
these, suited to the habits of all the States. But if such cannot be
found, then it is better to establish trials by jury, the right of
_habeas corpus_, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion, in all
cases, and to abolish standing armies in time of peace, and monopolies
in all cases, than not to do it in any. The few cases wherein these
things may do evil, cannot be weighed against the multitude, wherein the
want of them will do evil. In disputes between a foreigner and a native,
a trial by jury may be improper. But if this exception cannot be agreed
to, the remedy will be to model the jury, by giving the _medietas
linguæ_, in civil as well as criminal cases. Why suspend the _habeas
corpus_ in insurrections and rebellions? The parties who may be
arrested, may be charged instantly with a well-defined crime: of course,
the judge will remand them. If the public safety requires, that the
government should have a man imprisoned on less probable testimony in
those than in other emergencies, let him be taken and tried, retaken and
retried, while the necessity continues, only giving him redress against
the government, for damages. Examine the history of England. See how
few of the cases of the suspension of the _habeas corpus_ law have been
worthy of that suspension. They have been either real treason, wherein
the parties might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots,
where it was shameful they should ever have been suspected. Yet for the
few cases, wherein the suspension of the _habeas corpus_ has done real
good, that operation is now become habitual, and the minds of the nation
almost prepared to live under its constant suspension. A declaration,
that the federal government will never restrain the presses from
printing any thing they please, will not take away the liability of the
printers for false facts printed. The declaration, that religious faith
shall be unpunished, does not give impunity to criminal acts, dictated
by religious error. The saying--there shall be no monopolies, lessens
the incitements to ingenuity, which is spurred on by the hope of a
monopoly for a limited time, as of fourteen years; but the benefit of
even limited monopolies is too doubtful, to be opposed to that of their
general suppression. If no check can be found to keep the number of
standing troops within safe bounds, while they are tolerated as far as
necessary, abandon them altogether, discipline well the militia,
and guard the magazines with them. More than magazine guards will be
useless, if few, and dangerous, if many. No European nation can ever
send against us such a regular army as we need fear, and it is hard, if
our militia are not equal to those of Canada or Florida. My idea then,
is, that though proper exceptions to these general rules are desirable,
and probably practicable, yet if the exceptions cannot be agreed on,
the establishment of the rules, in all cases, will do ill in very few.
I hope, therefore, a bill of rights will be formed, to guard the people
against the federal government, as they are already guarded against
their State governments, in most instances. The abandoning the principle
of necessary rotation in the Senate, has, I see, been disapproved by
many: in the case of the President, by none. I readily, therefore,
suppose my opinion wrong, when opposed by the majority, as in the former
instance, and the totality, as in the latter. In this, however, I should
have done it with more complete satisfaction, had we all judged from the
same position.

Solicitations, which cannot be directly refused, oblige me to trouble
you often with letters, recommending and introducing to you persons who
go from hence to America. I will beg the favor of you to distinguish
the letters wherein I appeal to recommendations from other persons, from
those which I write on my own knowledge. In the former, it is never my
intention to compromit myself or you. In both instances, I must beg you
to ascribe the trouble I give you, to circumstances which do not leave
me at liberty to decline it.

I am, with very sincere esteem, Dear Sir, your affectionate friend and
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CXLIX.--TO JOHN JAY, August 3, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, August 3, 1788.

Sir,

My last letters to you were of the 4th and 23d of May, with a Postscript
of the 27th. Since that, I have been honored with yours of April the
24th, May the 16th, and June the 9th.

The most remarkable internal occurrences since my last are these. The
_Noblesse_ of Bretagne, who had received with so much warmth the late
innovations in the government, assembled, and drew up a memorial to the
King, and chose twelve members of their body to come and present it.
Among these was the Marquis de la Rouerie (Colonel Armand). The King,
considering the _Noblesse_ as having no legal right to assemble,
declined receiving the memorial. The deputies, to give greater weight to
it, called a meeting of the landed proprietors of Bretagne, resident at
Paris, and proposed to them to add their signatures--They did so, to the
number of about sixty, of whom the Marquis de la Fayette was one. The
twelve deputies, for having called this meeting, were immediately
sent to the Bastile where they now are, and the Parisian signers were
deprived of such favors as they held of the court. There were only four
of them, however, who held any thing of that kind. The Marquis de la
Fayette was one of these. They had given him a military command, to
be exercised in the south of France, during the months of August and
September of the present year. This they took from him; so that he is
disgraced, in the ancient language of the court, but in truth, honorably
marked in the eyes of the nation. The ministers are so sensible of
this, that they have had, separately, private conferences with him, to
endeavor, through him, to keep things quiet. From the character of the
province of Bretagne, it was much apprehended, for some days, that the
imprisonment of their deputies would have produced an insurrection.
But it took another turn. The _Cours intermédiaire_ of the province,
acknowledged to be a legal body, deputed eighteen members of their body
to the King. To these he gave an audience, and the answer, of which I
send you a copy. This is hard enough. Yet I am in hopes the appeal to
the sword will be avoided, and great modifications in the government be
obtained without bloodshed. As yet none has been spilt, according to
the best evidence I have been able to obtain, notwithstanding what the
foreign newspapers have said to the contrary. The convocation of the
States General has now become inevitable. Whenever the time shall be
announced certainly, it will keep the nation quiet till they meet.
According to present probabilities, this must be in the course of the
next summer; but to what movements their meeting and measures may give
occasion, cannot be foreseen. Should a foreign war take place, still
they must assemble the States General, because they cannot, but by
their aid, obtain money to carry it on. Monsieur de Malesherbes will, I
believe, retire from the King's Council. He has been much opposed to
the late acts of authority. The Baron de Breteuil has resigned his
secretaryship of the domestic department; certainly not for the same
reasons, as he is known to have been of opinion, that the King had
compromitted too much of his authority. The real reason has probably
been, an impatience of acting under a principal minister. His successor
is M. de Villedeuil, lately Comptroller General.

The ambassadors of Tippoo Saib have arrived here. If their mission has
any other object than that of pomp and ceremony, it is not yet made
known. Though this court has not avowed that they are in possession of
Trincomale, yet the report is believed, and that possession was taken by
General Conway, in consequence of orders given in the moment that they
thought a war certain. The dispute with the States General of the United
Netherlands, on account of the insult to M. de St. Priest, does not tend
as yet towards a settlement. He has obtained leave to go to the waters,
and perhaps from thence he may come to Paris, to await events. Sweden
has commenced hostilities against Russia, by the taking a little
fortress by land. This having been their intention, it is wonderful,
that when their fleet lately met three Russian ships of one hundred guns
each, they saluted instead of taking them. The Empress has declared war
against them in her turn. It is well understood, that Sweden is set
on by England, and paid by the Turks. The prospect of Russia has much
brightened by some late successes. Their fleet of galleys and gun-boats,
twenty-seven in number, having been attacked by fifty-seven Turkish
vessels of the same kind, commanded by the Captain Pacha, these were
repulsed, with the loss of three vessels. In the action, which was on
the 18th of June, Admiral Paul Jones commanded the right wing of the
Russians, and the Prince of Nassau the left. On the 26th of the same
month, the Turkish principal fleet, that is to say, their ships of the
line, frigates, &c, having got themselves near the swash, at the
mouth of the Borysthenes, the Prince of Nassau took advantage of their
position, attacked them while so engaged in the mud that they could not
manoeuvre, burnt six, among which were the admiral's and vice-admiral's,
took two, and made between three and four thousand prisoners. The first
reports gave this success to Admiral Paul Jones; but it is now rendered
rather probable that he was not there, as he commands the vessels of war
which are said not to have been there. It is supposed, that his presence
in the affair of the 18th was accidental. But if this success has been
so complete as it is represented, the Black Sea must be tolerably open
to the Russians: in which case, we may expect, from what we know of that
officer, that he will improve to the greatest advantage the situation of
things on that sea. The Captain Pacha's standard was taken in the last
action, and himself obliged to make his escape in a small vessel. Prince
Potemkin immediately got under march for Oczakow, to take advantage of
the consternation into which that place was thrown.

The Spanish squadron, after cruising off the Western Isles and Cape St.
Vincent, has returned into port.

A dispute has arisen between the Papal See and the King of Naples, which
may, in its progress, enable us to estimate what degree of influence
that See retains at the present day. The kingdom of Naples, at an early
period of its history, became feudatory to the See of Rome, and in
acknowledgment thereof, has annually paid a hackney to the Pope in
Rome, to which place it has always been sent by a splendid embassy. The
hackney has been refused by the King this year, and the Pope, giving
him three months to return to obedience, threatens, if he does not, to
proceed seriously against him.

About three weeks ago a person called on me, and informed me, that Silas
Deane had taken him in for a sum of one hundred and twenty guineas, and
that being unable to obtain any other satisfaction, he had laid hands on
his account book and letter book, and had brought them off to Paris,
to offer them first to the United States, if they would repay him his
money, and if not, that he should return to London, and offer them
to the British minister. I desired him to leave them with me four and
twenty hours, that I might judge whether they were worth our notice. He
did so. They were two volumes. One contained all his accounts with the
United States, from his first coming to Europe to January the 10th,
1781. Presuming that the treasury board was in possession of this
account till his arrival in Philadelphia, August, 1778, and that he had
never given in the subsequent part, I had that subsequent part copied
from the book, and now enclose it, as it may on some occasion or other,
perhaps, be useful in the treasury office. The other volume contained
all his correspondences from March the 30th to August the 23d, 1777. I
had a list of the letters taken by their dates and addresses, which will
enable you to form a general idea of the collection. On perusal of many
of them, I thought it desirable that they should not come to the hands
of the British minister, and from an expression dropped by the possessor
of them, I believe he would have fallen to fifty or sixty guineas. I did
not think them important enough, however, to justify my purchasing
them without authority; though, with authority, I should have done it.
Indeed, I would have given that sum to cut out a single sentence, which
contained evidence of a fact, not proper to be committed to the hands
of enemies. I told him I would state his proposition to you, and await
orders. I gave him back the books, and he returned to London without
making any promise, that he would await the event of the orders you
might think proper to give.

News of the accession of nine States to the new form of federal
government has been received here about a week. I have the honor to
congratulate you sincerely on this event. Of its effect at home, you
are in the best situation to judge. On this side the Atlantic, it
is considered as a very wise reformation. In consequence of this,
speculations are already begun here, to purchase up our domestic
liquidated debt. Indeed, I suspect that orders may have been previously
lodged in America to do this, as soon as the new constitution was
accepted effectually. If it is thought that this debt should be retained
at home, there is not a moment to lose; and I know of no means of
retaining it, but those I suggested to the treasury board, in my letter
to them of March the 29th. The transfer of these debts to Europe will
excessively embarrass, and perhaps totally prevent the borrowing any
money in Europe, till these shall be paid off. This is a momentous
object, and, in my opinion, should receive instantaneous attention.

The gazettes of France, to the departure of my letter, will accompany
it, and those of Leyden to the 22nd of July, at which time their
distribution in this country was prohibited. How long the prohibition
may continue, I cannot tell. As far as I can judge, it is the only paper
in Europe worth reading. Since the suppression of the packet-boats, I
have never been able to find a safe conveyance for a letter to you, till
the present by Mrs. Barclay. Whenever a confidential person shall be
going from hence to London, I shall send my letters for you to the
care of Mr. Trumbull, who will look out for safe conveyances. This will
render the epochs of my writing very irregular. There is a proposition
under consideration, for establishing packet-boats on a more economical
plan, from Havre to Boston; but its success is uncertain, and still
more, its duration.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CL.--TO COLONEL MONROE, August 9, 1788


TO COLONEL MONROE.

Paris, August 9, 1788.

Dear Sir,

Since my last to you, I have to thank your for your favors of July the
27th, 1787, and April the 10th, 1788, and the details they contained;
and in return, will give you now the leading circumstances of this
continent.

*****

This nation is at present under great internal agitation. The authority
of the crown on one part, and that of the parliaments on the other, are
fairly at issue. Good men take part with neither, but have raised an
opposition, the object of which is to obtain a fixed and temperate
constitution. There was a moment when this opposition ran so high, as to
endanger an appeal to arms, in which case, perhaps, it would have been
crushed. The moderation of government has avoided this, and they are
yielding daily one right after another to the nation. They have given
them Provincial Assemblies, which will be very perfect representations
of the nation, and stand somewhat in the place of our State Assemblies;
they have reformed the criminal law; acknowledged the King cannot lay a
new tax, without the consent of the States General; and they will call
the States General the next year. The object of this body, when met,
will be a bill of rights, a civil list, a national assembly meeting at
certain epochs, and some other matters of that kind. So that I think
it probable this country will, within two or three years, be in the
enjoyment of a tolerably free constitution, and that without its having
cost them a drop of blood; for none has yet been spilt, though the
English papers have set the whole nation to cutting throats.

Be assured of those sentiments of esteem and attachment, with which I
am, Dear Sir, your friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLI.--TO MONSIEUR DE CREVE-CŒUR, August 9, 1788


TO MONSIEUR DE CREVE-CŒUR.

Paris, August 9, 1788.

Dear Sir,

While our second revolution is just brought to a happy end with you,
yours here is but cleverly under way. For some days I was really
melancholy with the apprehension, that arms would be appealed to, and
the opposition crushed in its first efforts. But things seem now to wear
a better aspect. While the opposition keeps at its highest wholesome
point, government, unwilling to draw the sword, is not forced to do it.
The contest here is exactly what it was in Holland: a contest between
the monarchical and aristocratical parts of the government for a
monopoly of despotism over the people. The aristocracy in Holland,
seeing that their common prey was likely to escape out of their
clutches, chose rather to retain its former portion, and therefore
coalesced with the single head. The people remained victims. Here,
I think, it will take a happier turn. The parliamentary part of the
aristocracy is alone firmly united. The _Noblesse_ and Clergy, but
especially the former, are divided partly between the parliamentary and
the despotic party, and partly united with the real patriots, who
are endeavoring to gain for the nation what they can, both from the
parliamentary and the single despotism. I think I am not mistaken in
believing, that the King and some of his ministers are well affected to
this band; and surely, that they will make great cessions to the
people, rather than small ones to the parliament. They are, accordingly,
yielding daily to the national reclamations, and will probably end in
according a well-tempered constitution. They promise the States General
for the next year, and I have good information that an Arrêt will appear
the day after to-morrow, announcing them for May, 1789. How they will be
composed, and what they will do, cannot be foreseen. Their convocation,
however, will tranquillize the public mind, in a great degree, till
their meeting. There are, however, two intervening difficulties. 1.
Justice cannot till then continue completely suspended, as it now is.
The parliament will not resume their functions, but in their entire
body. The _bailliages_ are afraid to accept of them. What will be done?
2. There are well-founded fears of a bankruptcy before the month of May.
In the mean time, the war is spreading from nation to nation. Sweden
has commenced hostilities against Russia; Denmark is showing its teeth
against Sweden; Prussia against Denmark; and England too deeply engaged
in playing the back game, to avoid coming forward, and dragging this
country and Spain in with her. But even war will not prevent the
assembly of the States General, because it cannot be carried on without
them. War, however, is not the most favorable moment for divesting the
monarchy of power. On the contrary, it is the moment when the energy of
a single hand shows itself in the most seducing form.

A very considerable portion of this country has been desolated by a
hail. I considered the newspaper accounts of hailstones of ten pounds
weight as exaggerations. But in a conversation with the Duke de la
Rochefoucault the other day, he assured me, that though he could not
say he had seen such himself, yet he considered the fact as perfectly
established. Great contributions, public and private, are making for the
sufferers. But they will be like the drop of water from the finger of
Lazarus. There is no remedy for the present evil, nor way to prevent
future ones, but to bring the people to such a state of ease, as not to
be ruined by the loss of a single crop. This hail may be considered as
the _coup de grace_ to an expiring victim. In the arts there is nothing
new discovered since you left us, which is worth communicating. Mr.
Paine's iron bridge was exhibited here with great approbation. An
idea has been encouraged of executing it in three arches at the King's
garden. But it will probably not be done.

I am, with sentiments of perfect esteem and attachment, Dear Sir, your
most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLII.--TO JOHN JAY, August 10, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, August 10, 1788.

Sir,

I have waited till the last moment of Mrs. Barclay's departure, to write
you the occurrences since my letter of the 3rd instant. We have received
the Swedish account of an engagement between their fleet and the
Russian, on the Baltic, wherein they say they took one, and burned
another Russian vessel, with the loss of one on their side, and that the
victory remained with them. They say, at the same time, that their fleet
returned into port, and the Russians kept the sea; we must, therefore,
suspend our opinion till we get the Russian version of this engagement.
The Swedish manifesto was handed about to-day at Versailles, by the
Swedish ambassador, in manuscript. The King complains that Russia has
been ever endeavoring to sow divisions in his kingdom, in order to
re-establish the ancient constitution; that he has long borne it,
through a love of peace, but finds it no longer bearable: that still,
however, he will make peace on these conditions; 1. That the Empress
punishes her minister for the note he gave in to the court of Stockholm;
2. that she restore Crimea to the Turks; and 3. that she repay to him
all the expenses of his armament. The Russian force, in vessels of war
on the Black Sea, are five frigates, and three ships of the line; but
those of the line are shut up in port, and cannot come out till Oczakow
shall be taken. This fleet is commanded by Paul Jones, with the rank of
rear-admiral. The Prince of Nassau commands the galleys and gun-boats.
It is now ascertained, that the States General will assemble the next
year, and probably in the month of May. Tippoo Saib's ambassadors had
their reception to-day at Versailles with unusual pomp. The presence was
so numerous, that little could be caught of what they said to the king,
and he answered to them: from what little I could hear, nothing more
passed than mutual assurances of good will. The name of the Marechal
de Richelieu is sufficiently remarkable in history, to justify
my mentioning his death, which happened two days ago; he was aged
ninety-two years.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLIII.--TO JOHN JAY, August 11, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, August 11, 1788.

Sir,

In my letter of the last night, written in the moment of Mrs. Barclay's
departure, I had the honor of mentioning to you, that it was now pretty
certain that the States General would be assembled in the next year,
and probably in the month of May. This morning an _Arrêt_ is published,
announcing that their meeting is fixed on the first day of May next, of
which I enclose you a copy by post, in hopes it will get to Bordeaux in
time for Mrs. Barclay. This _Arrêt_ ought to have a great effect towards
tranquillizing the nation. There are still, however, two circumstances
which must continue to perplex the administration. The first is, the
want of money, occasioned not only by the difficulty of filling up the
loan of the next year, but by the withholding the ordinary supplies of
taxes, which is said to have taken place in some instances: this
gives apprehension of a bankruptcy under some form or other, and has
occasioned the stocks to fall, in the most alarming manner. The second
circumstance is, that justice, both civil and criminal, continues
suspended. The parliament will not resume their functions, but with
their whole body, and the greater part of the _bailliages_ declined
acting; the present _Arrêt_ announces a perseverance in this plan. I
have information from Algiers, of the 5th of June, that the plague is
raging there, with great violence; that one of our captives was dead of
it, and another ill, so that we have there, in all, now, only fifteen or
sixteen; that the captives are more exposed to its ravages, than
others; that the great redemptions by the Spaniards, Portuguese, and
Neapolitans, and the havoc made by the plague, had now left not more
than four hundred slaves in Algiers; so that their redemption was become
not only exorbitant, but almost inadmissible; that common sailors were
held at four hundred pounds sterling, and that our fifteen or sixteen
could probably not be redeemed for less than from twenty-five to thirty
thousand dollars. An Algerine cruiser, having twenty-eight captives of
Genoa aboard, was lately chased ashore, by two Neapolitan vessels: the
crew and captives got safe ashore, and the latter, of course, recovered
their freedom. The Algerine crew was well treated, and would be sent
back by the French. But the government of Algiers demands of France,
sixty thousand sequins, or twenty-seven thousand pounds sterling, for
the captives escaped; that is, nearly one thousand pounds each. The
greater part of the regency were for an immediate declaration of war
against France; but the Dey urged the heavy war the Turks were at
present engaged in; that it would be better not to draw another power
on them, at present; that they would decline renewing the treaty of
one hundred years, which expired two years ago, so as to be free to act
hereafter; but, for the present, they ought to accept payment for the
captives, as a satisfaction. They accordingly declared to the French
consul, that they would put him, and all his countrymen there, into
irons, unless the sixty thousand sequins were paid: the consul told
them, his instructions were, positively, that they should not be paid.
In this situation stood matters between that pettifogging nest of
robbers and this great kingdom, which will finish, probably, by
crouching under them, and paying the sixty thousand sequins. From the
personal characters of the present administration, I should have hoped,
under any other situation than the present, they might have ventured to
quit the beaten track of politics hitherto pursued, in which the honor
of their nation has been calculated at nought, and to join in a league
for keeping up a perpetual cruise against these pirates, which, though a
slow operation, would be a sure one for destroying all their vessels and
seamen, and turning the rest of them to agriculture. But a desire of not
bringing upon themselves another difficulty, will probably induce the
ministers to do as their predecessors have done.

August 12. The enclosed paper of this morning gives some particulars
of the action between the Russians and Swedes, the manifesto of the
Empress, and the declaration of the court of Versailles, as to the
affair of Trincomale.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of perfect esteem and respect,
Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLIV.--TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL, August 12, 1788


TO WILLIAM CARMICHAEL.

Paris, August 12, 1788.

Dear Sir,

Since my last to you, I have been honored with yours of the 18th and
29th of May, and 5th of June. My latest American intelligence is of the
24th of June, when nine certainly, and probably ten States, had accepted
the new constitution, and there was no doubt of the eleventh (North
Carolina), because there was no opposition there. In New York, two
thirds of the State were against it, and certainly if they had been
called to the decision, in any other stage of the business, they
would have rejected it; but before they put it to the vote, they would
certainly have heard that eleven States had joined in it, and they
would find it safer to go with those eleven, than put themselves into
opposition, with Rhode Island only. Though I am much pleased with this
successful issue of the new constitution, yet I am more so, to find that
one of its principal defects (the want of a declaration of rights) will
pretty certainly be remedied. I suppose this, because I see that
both people and conventions, in almost every State, have concurred in
demanding it. Another defect, the perpetual re-eligibility of the
same President, will probably not be cured, during the life of General
Washington. His merit has blinded our countrymen to the danger of making
so important an officer re-eligible. I presume there will not be a vote
against him, in the United States. It is more doubtful, who will be
Vice-President. The age of Dr. Franklin, and the doubt whether he would
accept it, are the only circumstances that admit a question, but that he
would be the man. After these two characters of first magnitude, there
are so many which present themselves equally, on the second line, that
we cannot see which of them will be singled out. John Adams, Hancock,
Jay, Madison, Rutledge, will be all voted for. Congress has acceded to
the prayer of Kentucky to become an independent member of the Union. A
committee was occupied in settling the plan of receiving them, and their
government is to commence on the 1st day of January next.

You are, I dare say, pleased, as I am, with the promotion of our
countryman, Paul Jones. He commanded the right wing, in the first
engagement between the Russian and Turkish galleys; his absence from
the second, proves his superiority over the Captain Pacha, as he did not
choose to bring his ships into the shoals in which the Pacha ventured,
and lost those entrusted to him. I consider this officer as the
principal hope of our future efforts on the ocean. You will have heard
of the action between the Swedes and Russians, on the Baltic; as yet,
we have only the Swedish version of it. I apprehend this war must catch
from nation to nation, till it becomes general.

With respect to the internal affairs of this country, I hope they will
be finally well arranged, and without having cost a drop of blood.
Looking on as a by-stander, no otherwise interested, than as
entertaining a sincere love for the nation in general, and a wish to see
their happiness promoted, keeping myself clear of the particular
views and passions of individuals, I applaud extremely the patriotic
proceedings of the present ministry. Provincial Assemblies established,
the States General called, the right of taxing the nation without their
consent abandoned, _corvées_ abolished, torture abolished, the
criminal code reformed, are facts which will do eternal honor to their
administration, in history. But were I their historian, I should not
equally applaud their total abandonment of their foreign affairs. A
bolder front in the beginning, would have prevented the first loss, and
consequently, all the others. Holland, Prussia, Turkey, and Sweden, lost
without the acquisition of a single new ally, are painful reflections
for the friends of France. They may, indeed, have in their places the
two empires, and perhaps Denmark; in which case, physically speaking,
they will stand on as good ground as before, but not on as good moral
ground. Perhaps, seeing more of the internal working of the machine,
they saw, more than we do, the physical impossibility of having money
to carry on a war. Their justification must depend on this, and their
atonement, on the internal good they are doing to their country; this
makes me completely their friend.

I am, with great esteem and attachment, Dear Sir, you friend and
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLV.--TO M. CATHALAN, August 13,1788


TO M. CATHALAN.

Paris, August 13,1788.

Sir,

I have to acknowledge the receipt of your two favors, of June, and
July the 11th, and to thank you for the political intelligence they
contained, which is always interesting to me. I will ask a continuance
of them, and especially that you inform me, from time to time, of the
movements in the ports of Marseilles and Toulon, which may seem to
indicate peace or war. These are the most certain presages possible; and
being conveyed to me from all the ports, they will always enable me to
judge of the intentions or expectations of the ministry, and to notify
you of the result of the intelligence from all the ports, that you may
communicate it to the American commerce.

I have the pleasure to inform you, that the new constitution proposed to
the United States, has been established by the votes of nine States.
It is happy for us to get this operation over before the war kindled in
Europe could affect us, as by rendering us more respectable, we shall be
more probably permitted, by all parties, to remain neutral.

I take the liberty of putting under your cover a letter for Mr. Bernard,
containing some seeds, and another to Giuseppe Chiappe, our consul
at Mogadore. I thank you for your settlement of the price of the
_Observations Météorologiques_, and I have repaid the sixty livres to
Sir John Lambert, in your name. When the nursery man, whom you have been
so good as to employ to prepare the olives and olive plants, to be sent
to Charleston, shall be executing that commission, I shall be glad if
he will, at the same time, prepare a few plants only, of the following
kinds. Figs, the best kind for drying, and the best kind for eating
fresh, raisins, the best kind for drying, prugnolles, cork trees,
pistaches, capers. I desire only a few plants of each of these, that
they may not take too much of the place of the olives, which is our
great object, and the sole one we have at heart. If you will be so good
as to give the nursery man this order immediately, it will save you the
necessity of recurring to my letter, when the season comes.

I have the honor to be, with great and sincere esteem, Sir, your most
obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLVI.--TO JOHN JAY, August 20,1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, August 20,1788.

Sir,

I had the honor to write to you on the 3rd, 10th, and 11th instant, with
a postscript of the 12th; all of which went by Mrs. Barclay. Since that
date, we have received an account of a third victory obtained by the
Russians over the Turks, on the Black Sea, in which the Prince of
Nassau, with his galleys, destroyed two frigates, three smaller vessels,
and six galleys. The Turkish power on that sea is represented, by their
enemies, as now annihilated. There is reason to believe, however, that
this is not literally true, and that aided by the supplies furnished by
the English, they are making extraordinary efforts to re-establish
their marine. The Russian minister here has shown the official report of
Admiral Greigh, on the combat of July the 17th, in which he claims the
victory, and urges in proof of it, that he kept the field of battle.
This report is said to have been written on it. As this paper, together
with the report of the Swedish admiral, is printed in the Leyden gazette
of the 15th instant, I enclose it to you. The court of Denmark has
declared, it will furnish Russia the aid stipulated in their treaty: and
it is not doubted they will go beyond this, and become principals in the
war. The next probable moves are, that the King of Prussia will succor
Sweden; and Poland, Russia, by land: and a possible consequence is, that
England may send a squadron into the Baltic, to restore equilibrium in
that sea. In my letter of the 11th, I observed to you, that this country
would have two difficulties to struggle with, till the meeting of their
States General, and that one of these was the want of money: this has,
in fact, overborne all their resources, and the day before yesterday,
they published an _Arrêt_, suspending all reimbursements of capital, and
reducing the payments of the principal mass of demands for interest,
to twelve sous in the livre; the remaining eight sous to be paid with
certificates. I enclose you a newspaper with the _Arrêt_. In this paper
you will see the exchange of yesterday, and I have inserted that of
the day before, to show you the fall. The consternation is, as yet, too
great to let us judge of the issue. It will probably ripen the public
mind to the necessity of a change in their constitution, and to the
substituting the collected wisdom of the whole, in place of a single
will, by which they have been hitherto governed. It is a remarkable
proof of the total incompetency of a single head to govern a nation
well, when, with a revenue of six hundred millions, they are led to a
declared bankruptcy, and to stop the wheels of government, even in its
most essential movements, for want of money.

I send the present letter by a private conveyance to a sea-port, in
hopes a conveyance may be found by some merchant vessel.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLVII.--TO MR. CUTTING, August 23, 1788


TO MR. CUTTING.

Paris, August 23, 1788.

Dear Sir,

I have duly received your favors of the 3rd, 8th, 14th, and 15th
instant, and have now the honor of enclosing you a letter of
introduction to Doctor Ramsay.

I think a certainty that England and France must enter into the war, was
a great inducement to the ministry here to suspend the portion of public
payments, which they have lately suspended. By this operation, they
secure two hundred and three millions of livres, or eight millions and a
half of guineas, in the course of this and the ensuing year, which
will be sufficient for the campaign of the first year: for what is to,
follow, the States General must provide. The interesting question now
is, how the States General shall be composed? There are three opinions.
1. To place the three estates, Clergy, _Noblesse_, and Commons, in three
different Houses. The Clergy would, probably, like this, and some of
the Nobility; but it has no partisans out of those orders. 2. To put the
Clergy and _Noblesse_ into one House, and the Commons into another. The
_Noblesse_ will be generally for this. 3. To put the three orders
into one House, and make the Commons the majority of that House. This
re-unites the greatest number of partisans, and I suspect it is well
patronized in the ministry, who, I am persuaded, are proceeding
_bona fide_, to improve the constitution of their country. As to the
opposition which the English expect from the personal character of the
King, it proves they do not know what his personal character is. He is
the honestest man in his kingdom, and the most regular and economical.
He has no foible which will enlist him against the good of his people;
and whatever constitution will promote this, he will befriend. But he
will not befriend it obstinately: he has given repeated proofs of a
readiness to sacrifice his opinion to the wish of the nation. I believe
he will consider the opinion of the States General, as the best evidence
of what will please and profit the nation, and will conform to it. All
the characters at court may not be of this disposition, and from thence
may, possibly, arise representations, capable of leading the King
astray; but upon a full view of all circumstances, I have sanguine
hopes, that such a constitution will be established here, as will
regenerate the energy of the nation, cover its friends, and make its
enemies tremble. I am, with very great esteem, Dear Sir, your friend and
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLVIII.--TO JOHN JAY, September 3, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, September 3, 1788.

Sir,

By Mrs. Barclay I had the honor of sending you letters of the 3rd, 10th,
and 11th of August; since which, I wrote you of the 20th of the same
month, by a casual conveyance, as is the present.

In my letter of the 20th, I informed you of the act of public bankruptcy
which had taken place here. The effect of this would have been a forced
loan of about one hundred and eighty millions of livres, in the course
of the present and ensuing year. But it did not yield a sufficient
immediate relief. The treasury became literally moneyless, and all
purposes depending on this mover came to a stand. The Archbishop was
hereupon removed, with Monsieur Lambert, the Comptroller General; and
Mr. Necker was called in, as Director General of the finance. To soften
the Archbishop's dismission, a cardinal's hat is asked for him from
Rome, and his nephew promised the succession to the Archbishopric of
Sens. The public joy, on this change of administration, was very great
indeed. The people of Paris were amusing themselves with trying and
burning the Archbishop in effigy, and rejoicing on the appointment
of Mr. Necker. The commanding officer of the city-guards undertook
to forbid this, and not being obeyed, he charged the mob with fixed
bayonets, killed two or three, and wounded many: this stopped their
rejoicings for that day; but enraged at being thus obstructed in
amusements wherein they had committed no disorder whatever, they
collected in great numbers the next day, attacked the guards in various
places, burnt ten or twelve guard-houses, killed two or three of the
guards, and had about six or eight of their own number killed. The
city was hereupon put under martial law, and after a while, the tumult
subsided, and peace was restored. The public stocks rose ten per cent,
on the day of Mr. Necker's appointment: he was immediately offered
considerable sums of money, and has been able so far to wave the benefit
of the act of bankruptcy, as to pay in cash all demands, except the
_remboursements des capitaux_. For these, and for a sure supply of
other wants, he will depend on the States General, and will hasten their
meetings, as is thought. No other change has yet taken place in the
administration. The minister of war, however, must certainly follow his
brother, and some think, and all wish, that Monsieur de Lamoignon, the
_Garde des Sceaux_, may go out also. The administration of justice is
still suspended. The whole kingdom seems tranquil at this moment.

Abroad, no event worth noting has taken place since my last. The court
of Denmark has not declared it will do any thing more, than furnish the
stipulated aid to Russia. The King of Prussia has as yet made no move,
which may decide whether he will engage in the war, nor has England sent
any squadron into the Baltic. As the season for action is considerably
passed over, it is become more doubtful, whether any other power will
enter the lists till the next campaign; this will give time for stopping
the further progress of the war, if they really wish to stop it. Two
camps of twenty-five thousand men each are forming in this country on
its northern limits. The Prince of Conde has the command of one, and the
Duke de Broglio of the other.

I trouble you with the enclosed letter from a Henry Watson, claiming
prize monies, as having served under Admiral Paul Jones, which I suppose
should go to the treasury, or war-office.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble; servant,

Th: Jefferson,



LETTER CLIX.--TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY, Sep. 6, 1788


TO THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE TREASURY.

Paris, September 6, 1788.

Gentlemen,

Your favor of July the 3rd came to hand some days ago, and that of July
the 22nd in the afternoon of yesterday. Knowing that a Mr. Vannet was to
leave Paris this morning to go to Virginia in a vessel bound from Havre
to Potomac, I have engaged him to receive the papers which are the
subject of those letters, to take care of them from thence to Havre,
and on the voyage; and when he shall have arrived in Potomac, instead
of going directly to Richmond, as he intended, he will proceed with them
himself to New York. I shall pay here all expenses to their delivery at
the ship's side in America, freight included: unless, perhaps, he may
find it necessary to put another covering over them, if he should not
be able to get them into the cabin; in this case, you will have to
reimburse him for that. I engage to him that you shall pay him their
transportation from the ship's side to New York, and his own reasonable
expenses from the place of his landing to New York, and back to the
place of landing. As he takes that journey for this object only, it
would be reasonable that you give him some gratuity for his time and
trouble, and I suppose it would be accepted by him; but I have made no
agreement for this. The papers are contained in a large box and a trunk.
They were sent here by Mr. Ast, during my absence in Holland. When they
arrived at the gates of Paris, the officers of the customs opened the
trunk, to see whether it contained dutiable articles; but finding only
books and papers, they concluded the contents of the box to be of the
same nature, and did not open that. You receive it, therefore, as it
came from the hands of Mr. Ast. A small trunk, which came as a third
package from Mr. Ast, and which has never been opened, I have put into
the great trunk, without displacing, or ever having touched a single
paper, except as far as was necessary to make room for that. I shall
have the whole corded and plumbed by the Custom-house here, not only to
prevent their being opened at the Custom-houses on the road, and at the
port of exportation, but to prove to you, whether they shall have been
opened by any body else after going out of my hands. If the stamped
leads are entire, and the cords uncut, when you receive them, you will
be sure they have not been opened; they will be wrapt in oil-cloth here
to guard them against the damps of the sea; and, as I mentioned
before, Mr. Vannet will put them under another covering, if he finds it
necessary, at Havre.

At the same time with your last letter, I received from the office of
Foreign Affairs the ratification by Congress of the loan of 1788, for
another million of guilders. As the necessity of this loan resulted
from the estimate made by Mr. Adams and myself, which estimate was laid
before Congress, I suppose their ratification of the loan implies that
of the estimate. One article of this was for the redemption of our
captives at Algiers. Though your letter says nothing on this subject,
I am in hopes you have sent orders to the commissioners of the loans
at Amsterdam to furnish, as soon as they shall have it, what may be
necessary for this pressing call. So also for the foreign officers. If
the ratification of the loan has been made by Congress, with a view
to fulfil the objects of the estimate, a general order from you to the
commissioners of the loans at Amsterdam, to pay the monies from time to
time, according to that estimate, or to such other as you shall furnish
them with, might save the trouble of particular orders on every single
occasion, and the disappointments arising from the delay or miscarriage
of such orders: but it is for you to decide on this.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect respect,
Gentlemen, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLX.--TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN,


TO THE COUNT DE MONTMORIN.

Paris, September 11, 1788.

Sir,

In the course of the last war, the house of Schweighaeuser and Dobree of
Nantes, and Puchilberg of L'Orient, presented to Dr. Franklin a demand
against the United States of America. He, being acquainted with the
circumstances of the demand, and knowing it to be unfounded, refused
to pay it. They thereupon procured seizure, by judiciary authority, of
certain arms and other military stores which we had purchased in this
country, and had deposited for embarkation at Nantes: and these
stores have remained in that position ever since. Congress have lately
instructed me to put an end to this matter. Unwilling to trouble your
Excellency, whenever it can be avoided, I proposed to the parties to
have the question decided by arbitrators, to be chosen by us jointly.
They have refused it, as you will see by their answers to my letters,
copies of both which I have the honor to enclose you. I presume it to
be well settled in practice, that the property of one sovereign is not
permitted to be seized within the dominions of another; and that this
practice is founded not only in mutual respect, but in mutual utility.
To what the contrary practice would lead, is evident in the present
case, wherein military stores have been stopped, in the course of a war,
in which our greatest difficulties proceeded from the want of military
stores. In their letter, too, they make a merit of not having seized
one of our ships of war, and certainly the principle which admits the
seizure of arms, would admit that of a whole fleet, and would often
furnish an enemy the easiest means of defeating an expedition. The
parties obliging me, then, to have recourse to your Excellency on this
occasion, I am under the necessity of asking an order from you for the
immediate delivery of the stores and other property of the United States
at Nantes, detained by the house of Schweighaeuser and Dobree, and that
of Puchilberg, or by either of them, under a pretence of a judicial
seizure.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect respect and
esteem, your Excellency's most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLXI.--TO M. DE REYNEVAL, September 16, 1788


TO M. DE REYNEVAL.

Sir,

Paris, September 16, 1788.

I have the honor now to enclose you my observations on the alteration
proposed in the consular convention. There remain only three articles of
those heretofore in question between us, to which I am unable to
agree; that is to say, the second, proposing still to retain personal
immunities for the consuls, and others attached to their office; the
eighth, proposing that the navigation code of each nation shall be
established in the territories of the other; and the ninth, insisting
that the ship's roll shall be conclusive evidence that a person belongs
to the ship.

There are several new matters introduced into the draught: some of these
are agreed to; others cannot be admitted, as being contrary to the
same principles which had obliged me to disagree to some of the former
articles. The greatest part of the eleventh, and the whole of the
twelfth new articles, are in this predicament. They propose, that no
person shall be arrested on board a merchant vessel, for any cause, but
in presence of the consul; that no such vessel shall be visited, but
in his presence; and that when the officers of justice have reason to
believe that a criminal has taken refuge on board a vessel of war, the
captain's word shall be conclusive evidence that he is not there.

To the objections which I had the honor of stating in my letter to his
Excellency, the Count de Montmorin, I have now that of adding some other
observations, of which I request your perusal. I enclose with them a
draught, on the basis of the one you were pleased to give me, altered so
as to reconcile it to the spirit of our laws.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLXII.--TO THE MARQUIS DE LA ROUERIE, September 16,1788


TO THE MARQUIS DE LA ROUERIE.

Paris, September 16,1788.

Sir,

On receiving the first letters which you did me the honor to write to me
on the arrears due to you from the United States, I informed you that
I had nothing to do in the money department; that the subject of your
letters belonged altogether to the treasury board, and to Mr. Grand,
their banker here, to the former of whom I forwarded your letters. As
I felt an anxiety, however, that the foreign officers should be paid, I
took the liberty of pressing the treasury board, from time to time, to
exert themselves for that effect; and I availed myself of an opportunity
which occurred last spring, of setting on foot measures, which, with
their approbation, might furnish the means of effecting this payment.
So far my information to you went, and I added a supposition, that the
treasury board would probably give orders on the subject, in the course
of the month of July. But I made you no promise; it would have been
strange if I had; nor does my office, nor any thing I have ever said
or done, subject me to the demand of immediate payment, which you are
pleased to make on me, nor call on me for any declaration or answer,
positive or negative.

Finding that my interference, which was friendly only, and avowed to be
inofficial, has given occasion to your letter of yesterday, in a style
which I did not expect, and to which I can have no motive for
further exposing myself, I must take the liberty of desiring that the
correspondence between us on this subject may cease. I presume that the
certificate given you points out the person, here or elsewhere, to whom
your applications are to be made, and that he will inform you when he
receives orders on your subject.

I am, Sir, your humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLXIII.--TO WILLIAM SHORT, September 20, 1788


TO WILLIAM SHORT.

Paris, September 20, 1788.

Dear Sir,

The evening of your departure, a letter came by the way of London and
New York, addressed to you, and probably from Virginia. I think you
wished your American letters to remain here; I shall therefore keep it.
The passport now enclosed came the day after your departure; so also
did a mass of American letters for me, as low down as August the 10th.
I shall give you their substance. The convention of Virginia annexed
to their ratification of the new constitution a copy of the State
declaration of rights, not by way of condition, but to announce
their attachment to them. They added also propositions for specific
alterations of the constitution. Among these was one for rendering the
President incapable of serving more than eight years, in any term of
sixteen. New York has followed the example of Virginia, expressing the
substance of her bill of rights (that is, Virginia's), and proposing
amendments: these last differ much from those of Virginia; but they
concur as to the President, only proposing that he shall be incapable
of being elected more than twice. But I own I should like better than
either of these, what Luther Martin tells us was repeatedly voted and
adhered to by the federal convention, and only altered about twelve days
before their rising, when some members had gone off; to wit, that he
should be elected for seven years, and incapable for ever after. But New
York has taken another step, which gives uneasiness; she has written a
circular letter to all the legislatures, asking their concurrence in
an immediate convention for making amendments. No news yet from North
Carolina. Electors are to be chosen the first Wednesday in January;
the President to be elected the first Wednesday in February; the new
legislature to meet the third week in March:--the place is not yet
decided on. Philadelphia was first proposed, and had six and a half
votes; the half vote was Delaware, one of whose members wanted to take
a vote on Wilmington; then Baltimore was proposed and carried, and
afterwards rescinded: so that the matter stood open as ever on the 10th
of August; but it was allowed the dispute lay only between New York and
Philadelphia, and rather thought in favor of the last. The Rhode Island
Delegates had retired from Congress. Dr. Franklin was dangerously ill
of the gout and stone on the 21st of July. My letters of August the 10th
not mentioning him, I hope he was recovered. Warville, &c. were arrived.
Congress had referred the decision, as to the independence of Kentucky,
to the new government. Brown ascribes this to the jealousy of the
northern States, who want Vermont to be received at the same time,
in order to preserve a balance of interests in Congress. He was just
setting out for Kentucky, disgusted, yet disposed to persuade to an
acquiescence, though doubting they would immediately separate from the
Union. The principal obstacle to this, he thought, would be the Indian
war.

The following is a quotation from a letter from Virginia, dated July the
12th. 'P------n, though much impaired in health, and in every respect in
the decline of life, showed as much zeal to carry the new constitution,
as if he had been a young man; perhaps more than he discovered in the
commencement of the late revolution,in his opposition to Great Britain.
W------e acted as chairman to the committee of the whole, and of course
took but little part in the debate; but was for the adoption, relying
on subsequent amendments. B------r said nothing, but was for it. The
G------r exhibited a curious spectacle to view. Having refused to sign
the paper, every body supposed him against it; but he afterwards had
written a letter, and having taken a part, which might be called rather
vehement than active, he was constantly laboring to show, that his
present conduct was consistent with that letter, and that letter with
his refusal to sign. M--d--n took the principal share in the debate for
it; in which, together with the aid I have already mentioned, he was
somewhat assisted by I--nn--s, Lee, M------l, C------n, and G. N------s.
M--s--n, H------y, and Gr------n were the principal supporters of the
opposition. The discussion, as might be expected, where the parties
were so nearly on a balance, was conducted generally with great order,
propriety, and respect of either party to the other.'

The assembly of Virginia, hurried to their harvests, would not enter
into a discussion of the district bill, but suspended it to the next
session. E. Winston is appointed a judge, vice Gabriel Jones, resigned.
R. Goode and Andrew Moore, Counsellors, vice B. Starke, dead, and Joseph
Egglestone, resigned. It is said Wilson, of Philadelphia, is talked of
to succeed Mr. A. in London. _Quære?_

The dispute about Virgil's tomb and the laurel, seems to be at length
settled, by the testimony of two travellers, given separately, and
without a communication with each other. These both say, that attempting
to pluck off a branch of the laurel, it followed their hand, being, in
fact, nothing more than a plant or bough recently cut, and stuck in the
ground for the occasion. The Cicerone acknowledged the roguery, and said
they practised it with almost every traveller, to get money. You will,
of course, tug well at the laurel which shall be shown you, to see if
this be the true solution.

The President Dupaty is dead. Monsieur de Barentin, _prémier president
de la cour des aides_, is appointed _Garde des Sceaux_. The stocks are
rather lower than when you left this. Present me in the most friendly
terms to Messrs. Shippen and Rutledge. I rely on your communicating to
them the news, and, therefore, on their pardoning me for not repeating
it in separate letters to them. You can satisfy them how necessary this
economy of my time and labor is. This goes to Geneva _poste restante_. I
shall not write again till you tell me where to write to.

Accept very sincere assurances of the affection, with which I am, Dear
Sir, your friend and servant,

Th; Jefferson.



LETTER CLXIV.--TO JOHN JAY, September 24,1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, September 24,1788.

Sir,

Understanding that the vessel is not yet sailed from Havre, which is
to carry my letters of the 3rd and 5th instant, I am in hopes you will
receive the present with them. The Russian accounts of their victories
on the Black Sea must have been greatly exaggerated. According to these,
the Captain Pacha's fleet was annihilated; yet themselves have lately
brought him on the stage again, with fifteen ships of the line, in order
to obtain another victory over him. I believe the truth to be, that he
has suffered some checks, of what magnitude it is impossible to say,
where one side alone is heard, and that he is still master of that sea.
He has relieved Oczakow, which still holds out; Choczim also is still
untaken, and the Emperor's situation is apprehended to be bad. He spun
his army into a long cord, to cover several hundred miles of frontier,
which put it in the power of the Turks to attack with their whole force
wherever they pleased. Laudon, now called to head the imperial army, is
endeavoring to collect it; but in the mean time the campaign is drawing
to a close, and has been worse than fruitless. The resistance of Russia
to Sweden has been successful in every point by sea and land, This, with
the interference of Denmark, and the discontent of the Swedish nation;
at the breach of their constitution, by the King's undertaking an
offensive war without the consent of the Senate, has obliged him to
withdraw his attacks by land, and to express a willingness for peace;
one third of his officers have refused to serve. England and Prussia
have offered their mediation between Sweden and Russia, in such
equivocal terms, as to leave themselves at liberty to say it was an
offer, or was not, just as it shall suit them. Denmark is asking the
counter-offer of mediation from this court. If England and Prussia make
a peace effectually in the north (which it is absolutely in their power
to do), it will be a proof they do not intend to enter into the war;
if they do not impose a peace, I should suspect they mean to engage
themselves; as one can hardly suppose they would let the war go on in
its present form, wherein Sweden must be crushed between Russia and
Denmark.

The _Garde des Sceaux_, M. de Lamoignon, was dismissed the 14th instant,
and M. de Barentin is appointed in his room. The deputies of Bretagne
are released from the Bastile, and M. d'Epermesnil and M. Sabatier
recalled from their confinement. The parliament is not yet reinstated;
but it is confidently said it will be this week. The stocks continue
low, and the treasury under a hard struggle to keep the government in
motion. It is believed the meeting of the States General will be as
early as January, perhaps December. I have received a duplicate of the
ratification of the loan of 1788, by Congress, and a duplicate of a
letter of July the 22nd, from the treasury board, on another subject,
but none on that of the captives, or foreign officers. I suppose
some cause of delay must have intervened between the ratification of
Congress, and the consequent orders of the treasury board.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant;

Th: Jefferson,



LETTER CLXV.--TO M. DE REYNEVAL, October 1, 1788


TO M. DE REYNEVAL.

Paris, October 1, 1788

Sir,

I have now the honor of enclosing to you a copy of the letter of
September the 16th, which I had that of writing to his Excellency
the Count de Montmorin, with the papers therein referred to, and of
soliciting the order I have asked for. The originals were sent at the
date before mentioned. Notwithstanding the refusal of the houses of
Schweighaeuser and Dobree, and of Puchilberg, to settle their claim
against the United States by arbitration, as I proposed to them, the
United States will still be ready to do them justice. But those houses
must first retire from the only two propositions they have ever made;
to wit, either a payment of their demand without discussion, or a
discussion before the tribunals of the country. In the mean time, I
shall hope an acknowledgment with respect to us, of the principle which
holds as to other nations; that our public property here cannot be
seized by the territorial judge. It is the more interesting to us, as
we shall be more and longer exposed than other nations, to draw arms
and military stores from Europe. Our preference of this country has
occasioned us to draw them from hence alone, since the peace: and the
friendship we have constantly experienced from the government, will, we
doubt not, on this and every other occasion, insure to us the protection
of what we purchase. I have the honor to be, Sir, your friend and
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLXVI.--TO MR. CUTTING, October 2, 1788

TO MR. CUTTING.

Paris, October 2, 1788.

Dear Sir,

I am now to acknowledge the receipt of your favors of the 16th and
23rd ultimo and to thank you for the intelligence they conveyed. That
respecting the case of the interrogatories in Pennsylvania, ought
to make noise. So evident a heresy in the common law ought not to be
tolerated on the authority of two or three civilians, who happened,
unfortunately, to make authority in the courts of England. I hold it
essential, in America, to forbid that any English decision which has
happened since the accession of Lord Mansfield to the bench, should ever
be cited in a court: because, though there have come many good ones
from him, yet there is so much sly poison instilled into a great part of
them, that it is better to proscribe the whole. Can you inform me what
has been done by England on the subject of our wheat and flour?
The papers say it is prohibited, even in Hanover. How do their
whale-fisheries turn out, this year? I hope a deep wound will be given
them in that article soon, and such as will leave us in no danger from
their competition.

*****

I am, with very great esteem, Dear Sir, your most obedient, humble
servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLXVII.--TO JOHN JAY, November 14, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, November 14, 1788.

Sir,

In my letter of December the 21st, 1787, I had the honor of
acknowledging the receipts of your two favors of July the 27th, 1787,
which had come to my hands December the 19th, and brought with them
my full powers for treating on the subject of the consular convention.
Being then much engaged in getting forward the _Arrêt_ which came out
the 29th of December, and willing to leave some interval between
that act, and the solicitation of a reconsideration of our consular
convention, I had declined mentioning it, for some time, and was just
about to bring it on the carpet, when it became necessary for me to go
to Amsterdam. Immediately after my return, which was about the last
of April, I introduced the subject to the Count de Montmorin, and have
followed it unremittingly, from that time. The office of Marine, as well
as that of Foreign Affairs, being to be consulted in all the stages of
the negotiation, has protracted its conclusions till this time: it is
at length signed this day, and I have now the honor to enclose the
original, for the ratification of Congress. The principal changes
effected are the following:

The clauses of the Convention of 1784, clothing consuls with privileges
of the law of nations, are struck out, and they are expressly subjected,
in their persons and property, to the laws of the land.

That giving the right of sanctuary to their houses, is reduced to a
protection of their chancery room and its papers.

Their coercive powers over passengers are taken away; and over those,
whom they might have termed deserters of their nation, are restrained to
deserted seamen only.

The clause, allowing them to arrest and send back vessels, is struck
out, and instead of it, they are allowed to exercise a police over the
ships of their nation generally.

So is that, which declared the indelibility of the character of subject,
and the explanation and extension of the eleventh article of the treaty
of amity.

The innovations in the laws of evidence are done away: and the
convention is limited to twelve years' duration. Convinced that the fewer
examples, the better, of either persons or causes unamenable to the laws
of the land, I could have wished, still more had been done; but more
could not be done, with good humor. The extensions of authority given
by the convention of 1784, were so homogeneous with the spirit of this
government, that they were prized here. Monsieur de Reyneval has had the
principal charge of arranging this instrument with me; and, in justice
to him, I must say, I could not have desired more reasonable and
friendly dispositions, than he demonstrated through the whole of it.

I enclose herewith the several schemes successively proposed between us,
together with the copies of the written observations given in with them,
and which served as texts of discussion, in our personal conferences.
They may serve as a commentary on any passage which may need it, either
now or hereafter, and as a history how any particular passage comes to
stand as it does. No. 1. is the convention of 1784. No. 2. is my first
scheme. No. 3. theirs in answer to it. No. 4. my next, which brought us
so near together, that, in a conference on that, we arranged it in the
form in which it has been signed. I add No. 5. the copy of a translation
which I have put into their hands, with a request, that if they find any
passages in which the sense of the original is not faithfully rendered,
they will point them out to me; otherwise, we may consider it as having
their approbation. This, and the convention of 1784, (marked No. 1.) are
placed side by side, so as to present to the eye, with less trouble, the
changes made; and I enclose a number of printed copies of them, for the
use of the members, who will have to decide on the ratification. It is
desirable that the ratification should be sent here for exchange, as
soon as possible.

With respect to the consular appointments, it is a duty on me to add
some observations, which my situation here has enabled me to make.
I think it was in the spring of 1784, that Congress (harassed by
multiplied applications from foreigners, of whom nothing was known but
on their own information, or on that of others as unknown as themselves)
came to a resolution, that the interest of America would not permit the
naming any person not a citizen, to the office of consul, vice-consul,
agent, or commissary. This was intended as a general answer to that
swarm of foreign pretenders. It appears to me, that it will be best,
still to preserve a part of this regulation. Native citizens, on several
valuable accounts, are preferable to aliens, and to citizens alien-born.
They possess our language, know our laws, customs, and commerce; have,
generally, acquaintance in the United States; give better satisfaction;
and are more to be relied on, in point of fidelity. Their disadvantages
are, an imperfect acquaintance with the language of this country, and an
ignorance of the organization of its judicial and executive powers,
and consequent awkwardness, whenever application to either of these
is necessary, as it frequently is. But it happens, that in some of
the principal ports of France, there is not a single American (as in
Marseilles, L'Orient, and Havre), in others but one (as in Nantes and
Rouen), and in Bordeaux only, are there two or three. Fortunately for
the present moment, most of these are worthy of appointments. But we
should look forward to future times, when there may happen to be no
native citizens in a port, but such as, being bankrupt, have taken
asylum in France from their creditors, or young ephemeral adventurers
in commerce, without substance or conduct, or other descriptions, which
might disgrace the consular office, without protecting our commerce. To
avail ourselves of our good native citizens, when we have one in a
port, and when there are none, to have yet some person to attend to our
affairs, it appears to me advisable to declare, by a standing law, that
no person but a native citizen shall be capable of the office of consul,
and that the consul's presence in his port should suspend, for the time,
the functions of the vice-consul. This is the rule of 1784, restrained
to the office of consul, and to native citizens. The establishing
this, by a standing law, will guard against the effect of particular
applications, and will shut the door against such applications, which
will otherwise be numerous. This done, the office of vice-consul may
be given to the best subject in the port, whether citizen or alien,
and that of consul, be kept open for any native citizen of superior
qualifications, who might come afterwards to establish himself in the
port. The functions of the vice-consul would become dormant during the
presence of his principal, come into activity again on his departure,
and thus spare us and them the painful operation of revoking and
reviving their commissions perpetually. Add to this, that during the
presence of the consul, the vice-consul would not be merely useless, but
would be a valuable counsellor to his principal, new in the office, the
language, laws, and customs of the country. Every consul and vice-consul
should be restrained in his jurisdiction, to the port for which he is
named, and the territory nearer to that than to any other consular or
vice-consular port, and no idea be permitted to arise, that the grade
of consul gives a right to any authority whatever over a vice-consul, or
draws on any dependence.

It is now proper I should give some account of the state of our dispute
with Schweighaeuser and Dobree. In the conversation I had with Dobree,
at Nantes, he appeared to think so rationally on this subject, that I
thought there would be no difficulty in accommodating it with him, and
I wished rather to settle it by accommodation, than to apply to the
minister. I afterwards had it intimated to him, through the medium
of Mr. Carnes, that I had it in idea, to propose a reference to
arbitrators. He expressed a cheerful concurrence in it. I thereupon made
the proposition to him formally, by letter, mentioning particularly,
that we would choose our arbitrators of some neutral nation, and, of
preference, from among the Dutch refugees here. I was surprised to
receive an answer from him, wherein, after expressing his own readiness
to accede to this proposition, he added, that on consulting Mr.
Puchilberg, he had declined it; nevertheless, he wished a fuller
explanation from me, as to the subjects to be submitted to arbitration.
I gave him that explanation, and he answered finally, that Mr.
Puchilberg refused all accommodation, and insisted that the matter
should be decided by the tribunals of the country. Accommodation being
at an end, I wrote to Monsieur de Montmorin, and insisted on the usage
of nations, which does not permit the effects of one sovereign, to
be seized in the territories of another, and subjected to judiciary
decision there. I am promised that the stores shall be delivered; but
the necessary formalities will occasion some delay. The King being
authorized to call all causes before himself, ours will be evoked from
the tribunal where it is, and will be ended by an order to deliver
up the stores arrested, leaving it to the justice of Congress, to do
afterwards what is right, as to the demand of Schweighaeuser and Dobree.
I wish I could receive instructions what to do with the stores, when
delivered. The arms had certainly better be sent to America, as they are
good, and yet will sell here for little or nothing. The gun-stocks
and old iron had better be sold here; but what should be done with the
anchors? Being thoroughly persuaded that Congress wish that substantial
justice should be done to Schweighaeuser and Dobree, I shall, after the
stores are secured, repeat my proposition of arbitration to them. If
they then refuse it, I shall return all the papers to America, and
consider my powers for settling this matter as at an end.

I have received no answer yet from Denmark on the subject of the prizes;
nor do I know whether to ascribe this silence to an intention to evade
the demand, or to the multitude of affairs they have had on their hands
lately. Patience seems to be prudence, in this case; to indispose them,
would do no good, and might do harm. I shall write again soon, if no
answer be received in the mean time.

I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient and most humble

servant,

Th: Jefferson.

     [The following is the translation of the convention referred
     to as No. 5. in the preceding letter.]

_Convention between his Most Christian Majesty and the United States of
America, for the purpose of defining and establishing the Functions and
Privileges of their respective Consuls and Vice-Consuls_.

His Majesty the Most Christian King, and the United States of America,
having, by the twenty-ninth article of the treaty of amity and commerce
concluded between them, mutually granted the liberty of having, in
their respective States and ports, Consuls, Vice-Consuls, Agents, and
Commissaries, and being willing, in consequence thereof, to define
and establish, in a reciprocal and permanent manner, the functions
and privileges of Consuls and Vice-Consuls, which they have judged it
convenient to establish of preference, his M. C. Majesty has nominated
the Sieur Count of Montmorin of St. Herent, Marechal of his Camps and
Armies, Knight of his Orders and of the Golden Fleece, his Counsellor
in all his Councils, Minister and Secretary of State, and of his
Commandments and Finances, having the department of foreign affairs, and
the United States have nominated Thomas Jefferson, citizen of the United
States of America and their Minister Plenipotentiary near the King, who
after having communicated to each other their respective full powers,
have agreed on what follows:

Article I. The Consuls and Vice-Consuls named by the M. C. K. and the
United States, shall be bound to present their commissions according to
the forms which shall be established respectively by the M. C. K. within
his dominions, and by the Congress within the United States; there shall
be delivered to them, without any charges, the _Exequatur_ necessary for
the exercise of their functions; and on exhibiting the said _Exequatur_,
the governors, commanders, heads of justice, bodies corporate,
tribunals, and other officers having authority in the ports and places
of their consulates, shall cause them to enjoy immediately, and without
difficulty, the pre-eminences, authority, and privileges, reciprocally
granted, without exacting from the said Consuls and Vice-Consuls any
fee, under any pretext whatever.

Article II. The Consuls and Vice-Consuls, and persons attached to their
functions, that is to say, their chancellors and secretaries, shall
enjoy a full and entire immunity for their chancery and the papers
which shall be therein contained: they shall be exempt from aU, personal
service, from soldiers' billets, militia, watch, guard, guardianship,
trusteeship, as well as from all duties, taxes, impositions, and charges
whatsoever, except on the estate real and personal of which they may
be the proprietors or possessors, which shall be subject to the taxes
imposed on the estates of all other individuals: and in all other
instances they shall be subject to the laws of the land, as the natives
are.

Those of the said Consuls and Vice-Consuls who shall exercise commerce,
shall be respectively subject to all taxes, charges, and impositions
established on other merchants.

They shall place over the outward door of their house the arms of their
sovereign: but this mark of indication shall not give to the said house
any privilege of asylum for any person or property whatsoever.

Article III. The respective Consuls and Vice-Consuls may establish
agents in the different ports and places of their departments, where
necessity shall require. These agents maybe chosen among the merchants,
either national or foreign, and furnished with a commission from one
of the said Consuls; they shall confine themselves respectively to the
rendering to their respective merchants, navigators, and vessels, all
possible service, and to inform the nearest Consul of the wants of
the said merchants, navigators, and vessels, without the said agents
otherwise participating in the immunities, rights, and privileges
attributed to Consuls and Vice-Consuls, and without power, under any
pretext whatever, to exact from the said merchants any duty or emolument
whatsoever.

Article IV. The Consuls and Vice-Consuls respectively, may establish a
chancery, where shall be deposited the consular determinations, acts,
and proceedings, as also testaments, obligations, contracts, and other
acts done by or between persons of their nation, and effects left by
decedents, or saved from shipwreck.

They may, consequently, appoint fit persons to act in the said chancery,
qualify and swear them in, commit to them the custody of the seal, and
authority to seal commissions, sentences, and other consular acts,
and also to discharge the functions of notaries and registers of the
consulate.

Article V. The Consuls and Vice-Consuls respectively, shall have the
exclusive right of receiving in their chancery, or on board their
vessels, the declarations and all other the acts which the captains,
masters, crews, passengers, and merchants of their nation may choose to
make there, even their testaments and other disposals by last will: and
the copies of the said acts, duly authenticated by the said Consuls or
Vice-Consuls, under the seal of their consulate, shall receive faith
in law, equally as their originals would, in all the tribunals of the
dominions of the M. C. King and of the United States.

They shall also have, and exclusively, in case of the absence of the
testamentary executor, guardian, or lawful representative, the right
to inventory, liquidate, and proceed to the sale of the personal estate
left by subjects or citizens of their nation, who shall die within
the extent of their consulate; they shall proceed therein with the
assistance of two merchants of their said nation, or, for want of them,
of any other at their choice, and shall cause to be deposited in their
chancery, the effects and papers of the said estates; and no officer,
military, judiciary, or of the police of the country, shall disturb them
or interfere therein, in any manner whatsoever: but the said Consuls
and Vice-Consuls shall not deliver up the said effects, nor the proceeds
thereof, to the lawful representatives or to their order, till they
shall have caused to be paid all debts which the deceased shall have
contracted in the country; for which purpose the creditor shall have a
right to attach the said effects in their hands, as they might in those
of any other individual whatever, and proceed to obtain sale of them,
till payment of what shall be lawfully due to them. When the debts
shall not have been contracted by judgment, deed, or note, the signature
whereof shall be known, payment shall not be ordered, but on the
creditor's giving sufficient surety resident in the country, to refund
the sums he shall have unduly received, principal, interest, and costs;
which surety, nevertheless, shall stand duly discharged after the
term of one year, in time of peace, and of two, in time of war, if the
discharge cannot be formed before the end of this term, against the*
representatives who shall present themselves.

And in order that the representatives may not be unjustly kept out of
the effects of the deceased, the Consuls and Vice-Consuls shall notify
his death in some one of the gazettes published within their consulate,
and that they shall retain the said effects in their hands four months,
to answer all just demands which shall be presented; and they shall be
bound, after this delay, to deliver to the persons succeeding thereto,
what shall be more than sufficient for the demands which shall have been
formed.

Article VI. The Consuls and Vice-Consuls, respectively, shall receive
the declarations, protests, and reports of all captains and masters of
their respective nations, on account of average losses sustained at sea;
and these captains and masters shall lodge in the chancery of the said
Consuls and Vice-Consuls, the acts which they may have made in other
ports, on account of the accidents which may have happened to them on
their voyage. If a subject of the M. C. K. and a citizen of the United
States, or a foreigner, are interested in the said cargo, the average
shall be settled by the tribunals of the country, and not by the Consuls
or Vice-Consuls; but when only the subjects or citizens of their own
nation shall be interested, the respective Consuls or Vice-Consuls shall
appoint skilful persons to settle the damages and average.

Article VII. In cases where by tempest, or other accident, French ships
or vessels shall be stranded on the coasts of the United States, and
ships or vessels of the United States shall be stranded on the coasts of
the dominions of the M. C. K.,the Consul or Vice-Consul nearest to the
place of shipwreck shall do whatever he may judge proper, as well
for the purpose of saving the said ship or vessel, its cargo and
appurtenances, as for the storing and the security of the effects
and merchandise saved. He may take an inventory of them, without the
intermeddling of any officers of the military, of the customs, of
justice, or of the police of the country, otherwise than to give to the
Consuls, Vice-Consuls, captain, and crew of the vessels shipwrecked or
stranded, all the succor and favor which they shall ask of them, either
for the expedition and security of the saving and of the effects saved,
as to prevent all disturbance.

And in order to prevent all kind of dispute and discussion in the said
cases of shipwreck, it is agreed that when there shall be no Consul or
Vice-Consul to attend to the saving of the wreck, or that the residence
of the said Consul or Vice-Consul (he not being at the place of the
wreck) shall be more distant from the said place than that of the
competent judge of the country, the latter shall immediately proceed
therein, with all the despatch, certainty, and precautions, prescribed
by the respective laws; but the said territorial judge shall retire, on
the arrival of the Consul or Vice-Consul, and shall deliver over to
him the report of his proceedings, the expenses of which the Consul and
Vice-Consul shall cause to be reimbursed to him, as well as those of
saving the wreck.

The merchandise and effects saved, shall be deposited in the nearest
Custom-house, or other place of safety, with the inventory thereof,
which shall have been made by the Consul or Vice-Consul, or by the judge
who shall have proceeded in their absence, that the said effects and
merchandise may be afterwards delivered (after levying therefrom the
costs), and without form of process, to the owners, who, being
furnished with an order for their delivery, from the nearest Consul or
Vice-Consul, shall reclaim them by themselves, or by their order, either
for the purpose of re-exporting such merchandise, in which case, they
shall-pay no kind of duty of exportation, or for that of selling them in
the country, if they be not prohibited there; and in this last case, the
said merchandise, if they be damaged, shall be allowed an abatement of
entrance duties, proportioned to the damage they have sustained, which
shall be ascertained by the affidavits taken at the time the vessel was
wrecked or struck.

Article VIII. The Consuls and Vice-Consuls shall exercise police over
all the vessels of their respective nations, and shall have on board the
said vessels, all power and jurisdiction in civil matters, in all the
disputes which may there arise; they shall have an entire inspection
over the said vessels, their crew, and the changes and substitutions
there to be made. For which purpose they may go on board the said
vessels whenever they may judge it necessary: well understood, that
the functions hereby allowed shall be confined to the interior of the
vessels, and that they shall not take place in any case, which shall
have any interference with the police of the ports where the said
vessels shall be.

Article IX. The Consuls and Vice-Consuls may cause to be arrested the
captains, officers, mariners, sailors, and all other persons, being part
of the crews of the vessels of their respective nations, who shall
have deserted from the said vessels, in order to send them back, and
transport them out of the country. For which purpose, the said Consuls
and Vice-Consuls shall address themselves to the courts, judges, and
officers competent, and shall demand the said deserters in writing,
proving by an exhibition of the registers of the vessel or ship's roll,
that those men were part of the said crews: and on this demand, so
proved (saving, however, where the contrary is proved), the delivery
shall not be refused¦; and there shall be given all aid and assistance
to the said Consuls and Vice-Consuls, for the search, seizure, and
arrest of the said deserters, who shall even be detained and kept in the
prisons of the country, at their request and expense, until they shall
have found an opportunity of sending them back. But if they be not sent
back within three months, to be counted from the day of their arrest,
they shall be set at liberty, and shall be no more arrested for the same
cause.

Article X. In cases where the respective subjects, or citizens, shall
have committed any crime, or breach of the peace, they shall be amenable
to the judges of the country.

Article XI. When the said offenders shall be a part of the crew of a
vessel of their nation, and shall have withdrawn themselves on board
the said vessel, they may be there seized and arrested by order of the
judges of the country: these shall give notice thereof to the Consul
or Vice-Consul, who may repair on board, if he thinks proper: but this
notification shall not, in any case, delay execution of the order in
question. The persons arrested shall not afterwards be set at liberty,
until the Consul or Vice-Consul shall have been notified thereof; and
they shall be delivered to him, if he requires it, to be put again
onboard of the vessel on which they were arrested, or of others of their
nation, and to be sent out of the country.

Article XII. All differences and suits between the subjects of the M. C.
K. in the U. S., or between the citizens of the United States within the
dominions of the M. C. K. and particularly all disputes relative to the
wages and terms of engagement of the crews of the respective vessels,
and all differences of whatever nature they be, which may arise between
the privates of the said crews, or between any of them and their
captains, or between the captains of different vessels of their nation,
shall be determined by the respective Consuls and Vice-Consuls, either
by a reference to arbitrators, or by a summary judgment, and without
costs.

No officer of the country, civil or military, shall interfere therein,
or take any part whatever in the matter: and the appeals from the said
consular sentences shall be carried before the tribunals of France or of
the United States, to whom it may appertain to take cognizance thereof.

Article XIII. The general utility of commerce, having caused to be
established within the dominions of the M. C. K. particular tribunals
and forms, for expediting the decision of commercial affairs, the
merchants of the U. S. shall enjoy the benefit of these establishments;
and the Congress of the U. S. will provide in the manner the most
conformable to its laws, equivalent advantages in favor of the French
merchants, for the prompt despatch and decision of affairs of the same
nature.

Article XIV. The subjects of the M. C. K. and citizens of the U. S.
who shall prove by legal evidence, that they are of the said nations
respectively, shall, in consequence, enjoy an exemption from all
personal service in the place of their settlement.

Article XV. If any other nation acquires, by virtue of any convention
whatever, a treatment more favorable with respect to the consular
pre-eminences, powers, authority, and privileges, the Consuls and
Vice-Consuls of the M. C. K. or of the U. S., reciprocally, shall
participate therein, agreeably to the terms stipulated by the second,
third, and fourth articles of the treaty of amity and commerce,
concluded between the M. C. K. and the U. S.

Article XVI. The present convention shall be in full force during the
term of twelve years, to be counted from the day of the exchange of
ratifications, which shall be given in proper form, and exchanged on
both sides, within the space of one year, or sooner, if possible.

In faith whereof, we, Ministers Plenipotentiary, have signed the present
convention, and have thereto set the seal of our arms.

Done at Versailles, the 14th of November, one thousand seven hundred and
eighty eight.

L. C. De MONTMORIN. L. S.

Signed.

Th: Jefferson. L. S.



LETTER CLXVIII.--TO JAMES MADISON, November 18, 1788


TO JAMES MADISON.

Paris, November 18, 1788.

Dear Sir,

My last to you was of the 31st of July; since which, I have received
yours of July the 24th, August the 10th, and 23rd. The first part of
this long silence in me was occasioned by a knowledge that you were
absent from New York; the latter part, by a want of opportunity, which
has been longer than usual. Mr. Shippen being just arrived here, and
to set out to-morrow for London, I avail myself of that channel of
conveyance. Mr. Carrington was so kind as to send me the second volume
of the American Philosophical Transactions, the Federalist, and some
other interesting pamphlets; and I am to thank you for another copy of
the Federalist, and the report of the instructions to the ministers for
negotiating peace. The latter unluckily omitted exactly the passage I
wanted, which was what related to the navigation of the Mississippi.
With respect to the Federalist, the three authors had been named to me.
I read it with care, pleasure, and improvement, and was satisfied there
was nothing in it by one of those hands, and not a great deal by a
second. It does the highest honor to the third, as being, in my opinion,
the best commentary on the principles of government, which ever was
written. In some parts, it is discoverable that the author means only
to say what may be best said in defence of opinions, in which he did not
concur. But in general, it establishes firmly the plan of government.
I confess, it has rectified me on several points. As to the bill of
rights, however, I still think it should be added; and I am glad to see,
that three States have at length considered the perpetual re-eligibility
of the President, as an article which should be amended. I should
deprecate with you, indeed, the meeting of a new convention. I hope
they will adopt the mode of amendment by Congress and the Assemblies, in
which case, I should not fear any dangerous innovation in the plan. But
the minorities are too respectable, not to be entitled to some sacrifice
of opinion in the majority; especially, when a great proportion of them
would be contented with a bill of rights. Here, things internally, are
going on well. The _Notables_ now in session, have, indeed, passed one
vote, which augurs ill to the rights of the people; but if they do not
obtain now so much as they have a right to, they will in the long
run. The misfortune is, that they are not yet ripe for receiving the
blessings to which they are entitled. I doubt, for instance, whether
the body of the nation, if they could be consulted, would accept of
a _habeas corpus_ law, if offered them by the King. If the _Etats
Generaux_, when they assemble, do not aim at too much, they may begin
a good constitution. There are three articles which they may easily
obtain; 1. their own meeting, periodically; 2. the exclusive right of
taxation; 3. the right of registering laws and proposing amendments to
them, as exercised now by the parliaments. This last would be readily
approved by the court, on account of their hostility against the
parliaments, and would lead immediately to the origination of laws:
the second has been already solemnly avowed by the King; and it is well
understood, there would be no opposition to the first. If they push at
much more, all may fail. I shall not enter further into public details,
because my letter to Mr. Jay will give them. That contains a request of
permission to return to America the next spring, for the summer only.
The reasons therein urged, drawn from my private affairs, are very
cogent. But there is another, more cogent on my mind, though of a nature
not to be explained in a public letter. It is the necessity of attending
my daughters, myself, to their own country, and depositing them safely
in the hands of those, with whom I can safely leave them. I have
deferred this request as long as circumstances would permit, and am in
hopes it will meet with no difficulty. I have had too many proofs
of your friendship, not to rely on your patronage of it, as, in all
probability, nothing can suffer by a short absence. But the immediate
permission is what I am anxious about; as by going in April and
returning in October, I shall be sure of pleasant and short passages,
out and in. I must intreat your attention, my friend, to this matter,
and that the answers may be sent me through several channels.

Mr. Liniozin, at Havre, sent you, by mistake, a package belonging to
somebody else. I do not know what it contained, but he has written to
you on the subject, and prayed me to do the same, he is likely to suffer
if it be not returned.

Supposing that the funding their foreign debt will be among the first
operations of the new government, I send you two estimates; the one by
myself, the other by a gentleman infinitely better acquainted with the
subject, showing what fund will suffice to discharge the principal and
interest, as it shall become due, aided by occasional loans, which the
same fund will repay. I enclose them to you, because collating them
together, and with your own ideas, you will be able to advise something
better than either; but something must be done. This government will
expect, I fancy, a very satisfactory provision for the payment of their
debt, from the first session of the new Congress. Perhaps, in this
matter, as well as the arrangement of your foreign affairs, I may be
able, when on the spot with you, to give some information and suggest
some hints, which may render my visit to my native country not
altogether useless. I consider as no small advantage, the resuming the
tone of mind of my constituents, which is lost by long absence, and can
only be recovered by mixing with them; and shall, particularly, hope for
much profit and pleasure, by contriving to pass as much time as possible
with you. Should you have a trip to Virginia in contemplation, for that
year, I hope you will time it so as that we may be there together. I
will camp you at Monticello, where, if illy entertained otherwise, you
shall not want books. In firm hope of a happy meeting with you in the
spring, or early in summer, I conclude, with assurances of the sincere
esteem and attachment, with which I am, Dear Sir, your affectionate
friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLXIX.--TO A. DONALD, November 18,1788


TO A. DONALD.

Paris, November 18,1788.

Dear Sir,

Often solicited by persons on this side the water, to inquire for their
friends in America, about whose fate they are uncertain, I can only hand
on their requests to my friends in America. The enclosed letter from,
the Chevalier de Sigougne desires some inquiry after his brother, whom
he supposes to have settled at Todd's Bridge. As this is within your
reach, I must refer the request to your humanity, and beg of you, if you
can hear of him, you will be so good as to give me an account of him,
returning me the enclosed letter at the same time.

The campaign between the Turks and Russians has been tolerably
equal. The Austrians have suffered through the whole of it. By the
interposition of Prussia and England, peace is likely to be made between
Russia, Denmark, and Sweden. This is a proof that England does not mean
to engage in the war herself. This country will certainly engage herself
in no manner, externally, before the meeting of her States General. This
assembly has been so long disused, that the forms of its convocation
occasion difficulty. The _Notables_ have been convened to prescribe
them, and they are now in session. I am in hopes this will end in giving
a good degree of liberty to this country. They enjoy, at present, the
most perfect tranquillity within; their stocks, however, continue low,
and money difficult to be got for current expenses. It is hoped,
that Mr. Necker's talents and popularity, with the aid of a National
Assembly, will extricate them from their difficulties. We have been
daily expecting to hear of the death of the King of England: our last
news is of the 11th, when he was thought in the utmost danger. This
event might produce a great change in the situation of things: it
is supposed Mr. Fox would come into place, and he has been generally
understood to be disposed for war. Should the King survive, I think the
continuance of peace more probable at present, than it has been for some
time past. Be so good as to contrive the enclosed letter, by a very safe
conveyance. Remember me in the most friendly terms to Dr. Currie, and
be assured yourself of the esteem and attachment, with which I am. Dear
Sir, your affectionate friend and servant,

Th: Jefferson.



LETTER CLXX.--TO JOHN JAY, November 19, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Sir,

Paris, November 19, 1788.

Since my letter of September the 5th, wherein I acknowledged Mr.
Remsen's favor of July the 25th, I have written those of September the
24th, and of the 14th instant. This last will accompany the present,
both going by the way of London, for want of a direct opportunity; but
they go by a private hand.

No late event worth notice has taken place between the Turks and
Austrians. The former continue in the territories of the latter, with
all the appearances of superiority. On the side of Russia, the war wears
an equal face, except that the Turks are still masters of the Black sea.
Oczakow is not yet taken. Denmark furnished to Russia its stipulated
quota of troops with so much alacrity, and was making such other warlike
preparations, that it was believed they meant to become principals
in the war against Sweden. Russia and England hereupon interposed
efficaciously. Their ministers appointed to meditate, gave notice to
the court of Copenhagen, that they would declare war against them in the
name of their two sovereigns, if they did not immediately withdraw their
troops from the Swedish territories. The court of London has since
said, that their minister (Elliott) went further in this than he
was authorized. However, the Danish troops are retiring. Poland
is augmenting its army from twenty to an hundred thousand men.
Nevertheless, it seems as if England and Prussia meant in earnest to
stop the war in that quarter, contented to leave the two empires in
the hands of the Turks. France, desired by Sweden to join the courts
of London and Berlin in their mediation between Sweden and Russia, has
declined it. We may be assured, she will meddle in nothing external
before the meeting of the States General. Her temporary annihilation
in the political scale of Europe, leaves to England and Prussia
the splendid roll, of giving the law without meeting the shadow of
opposition. The internal tranquillity of this country is perfect: their
stocks, however, continue low, and the difficulty of getting money to
face current expenses very great. In the contest between the King and
parliament, the latter, fearing the power of the former, passed the
convoking the States General. The government found itself obliged
by other difficulties, also, to recur to the same expedient. The
parliament, after its recall, showed that it was now become apprehensive
of the States General, and discovered a determination to cavil at their
form, so as to have a right to deny their legality, if that body should
undertake to abridge their powers. The court, hereupon, very adroitly
determined to call the same _Notables_, who had been approved by the
nation the last year, to decide on the form of convoking the _Etats
Generaux_: thus withdrawing itself from the disputes which the
parliament might excite, and committing them with the nation. The
_Notables_ are now in session. The government had manifestly discovered
a disposition that the _Tiers-Etat_, or Commons, should have as many
representatives in the States General, as the Nobility and Clergy
together: but five Bureaux of the _Notables_ have voted by very great
majorities, that they should have only an equal number with each of the
other orders singly. One bureau, by a majority of a single voice, had
agreed to give the Commons the double number of representatives. This
is the first symptom of a decided combination between the Nobility and
Clergy, and will necessarily throw the people into the scale of the
King. It is doubted, whether the States can be called so early as
January, though the government, urged by the want of money, is for
pressing the convocation. It is still more uncertain what the States
will do when they meet: there are three objects which they may attain,
probably without opposition from the court; 1. A periodical meeting
of the States; 2. their exclusive right of taxation; 3. the right of
en-registering laws and proposing amendments to them, as now exercised
by the parliaments. This would lead, as it did in England, to the right
of originating laws. The parliament would, by the last measure, be
reduced to a mere judiciary body, and would probably oppose it. But
against the King and nation their opposition could not succeed. If the
States stop here, for the present moment, all will probably end well,
and they may, in future sessions, obtain a suppression of _lettres de
cachet_, a free press, a civil list, and other valuable mollifications
of their government. But it is to be feared, that an impatience to
rectify every thing at once, which prevails in some minds, may terrify
the court, and lead them to appeal to force, and to depend on that
alone.

Before this can reach you, you will probably have heard of an _Arrêt_,
passed the 28th of September, for prohibiting the introduction of
foreign whale-oils, without exception. The English had glutted the
markets of this country with their oils: it was proposed to exclude
them, and an _Arrêt_ was drawn, with an exception for us: in the last
stage of the _Arrêt_, the exception was struck out, without my having
any warning, or even suspicion of this. I suspect this stroke came from
the Count de la Luzerne, minister of marine; but I cannot affirm it
positively. As soon as I was apprized of this, which was several days
after it passed (because it was kept secret till published in their
seaports), I wrote to the Count de Montmorin a letter, of which the
enclosed is a copy, and had conferences on the subject, from time to
time, with him and the other ministers. I found them prepossessed by the
partial information of their Dunkirk fishermen; and therefore thought it
necessary to give them a view of the whole subject in writing, which
I did, in the piece, of which I enclose you a printed copy. I therein
entered into more details, than the question between us seemed
rigorously to require. I was led to them by other objects. The most
important was to disgust Mr. Necker, as an economist, against their new
fishery, by letting him foresee its expense. The particular manufactures
suggested to them, were in consequence of repeated applications from
the shippers of rice and tobacco: other details, which do not appear
immediately pertinent, were occasioned by circumstances which had arisen
in conversation, or an apparent necessity of giving information on the
whole matter. At a conference, in the presence of M. Lambert, on the
16th (where I was ably aided by the Marquis de la Fayette, as I have
been through the whole business), it was agreed to except us from the
prohibition. But they will require rigorous assurance, that the oils
coming under our name are really of our fishery. They fear we shall
cover the introduction of the English oils from Halifax. The _Arrêt_ for
excepting us was communicated to me, but the formalities of proving the
oils to be American were not yet inserted. I suppose they will require
every vessel to bring a certificate from their Consul or Vice-Consul
residing in the State from which it comes. More difficult proofs were
sometimes talked of. I supposed I might surely affirm to them, that our
government would do whatever it could to prevent this fraud, because it
is as much our interest as theirs to keep the market for the French
and American oils only. I am told Massachusetts has prohibited the
introduction of foreign fish-oils into her ports. This law, if well
executed, will be an effectual guard against fraud; and a similar one in
the other States, interested in the fishery, would much encourage this
government to continue her indulgence to us. Though the _Arrêt_, then,
for the re-admission of our oils is not yet passed, I think I may assure
you it will be so in a few days, and of course that this branch of
commerce, after so threatening an appearance, will be on a better
footing than ever, as enjoying, jointly with the French oil, a monopoly
of their markets. The continuance of this will depend on the growth of
their fishery. Whenever they become able to supply their own wants, it
is very possible they may refuse to take our oils; but I do not believe
it possible for them to raise their fishery to that, unless they can
continue to draw off our fishermen from us. Their seventeen ships, this
year, had one hundred and fifty of our sailors on board. I do not know
what number the English have got into their service. You will readily
perceive, that there are particulars in these printed observations,
which it would not be proper to suffer to become public. They were
printed, merely that a copy might be given to each minister, and care
has been taken to let them go into no other hands.

I must now trouble Congress with a petition on my own behalf. When
I left my own house in October, 1783, it was to attend Congress as a
member, and in expectation of returning in five or six months. In the
month of May following, however, I was desired to come to Europe, as
member of a commission, which was to continue two years only. I came
off immediately, without going home to make any other arrangements in my
affairs, thinking they would not suffer greatly before I should return
to them. Before the close of the two years, Doctor Franklin retiring
from his charge here, Congress were pleased to name me to it; so that I
have been led on by events to an absence of five years, instead of five
months. In the mean time, matters of great moment to others as well as
myself, and which can be arranged by nobody but myself, will await no
longer. Another motive, of still more powerful co-agency on my mind, is
the necessity of carrying my family back to their friends and country.
I must, therefore, ask of Congress a leave of short absence. Allowing
three months on the sea, going and coming, and two months at my own
house, which will suffice for my affairs, I need not be from Paris but
between five and six months. I do not foresee any thing which can suffer
during my absence. The consular convention is finished, except as to the
exchange of ratification, which will be the affair of a day only. The
difference with Schweighaeuser and Dobree, relative to our arms, will be
finished. That of Denmark, if ever finished, will probably be long spun
out. The ransom of the Algerine captives is the only matter likely to
be on hand. That cannot be set on foot till the money is raised in
Holland, and an order received for its application: probably these will
take place, so that I may set it into motion, before my departure; if
not, I can still leave it on such a footing, as to be put into motion
the moment the money can be paid. And even when the leave of Congress
shall be received, I will not make use of it, if there is any thing
of consequence which may suffer; but would, postpone my departure till
circumstances will admit it. But should these be as I expect they will,
it will be vastly desirable to me to receive the permission immediately,
so that I may go out as soon as the vernal equinox is over, and be sure
of my return in good time and season in the fall. Mr. Short, who had had
thoughts of returning to America, will postpone that return till I come
back. His talents and character allow me to say, with confidence, that
nothing will suffer in his hands. The friendly dispositions of Monsieur
de Montmorin would induce him readily to communicate with Mr. Short in
his present character; but should any of his applications be necessary
to be laid before the Council, they might suffer difficulty: nor could
he attend the diplomatic societies, which are the most certain sources
of good intelligence. Would Congress think it expedient to remove the
difficulties, by naming him secretary of legation, so that he would act
of course as _chargé des affaires_ during my absence? It would be just,
that the difference between the salary of a secretary and a secretary of
legation should cease, as soon as he should cease to be charged with the
affairs of the United States; that is to say, on my return: and he would
expect that. So that this difference for five or six months would be an
affair of about one hundred and seventy guineas only, which would be not
more than equal to the additional expense that would be brought on him
necessarily by the change of character. I mention these particulars,
that Congress may see the end as well as beginning of the proposition,
and have only to add, 'their will be done.' Leave for me being obtained,
I will ask it, Sir, of your friendship, to avail yourself of various
occasions to the ports of France and England to convey me immediate
notice of it, and relieve me as soon as possible from the anxiety of
expectation, and the uncertainty in which I shall be. We have been in
daily expectation of hearing of the death of the King of England. Our
latest news are of the 11th. He had then been despaired of for three or
four days; but as my letter is to pass through England, you will have
later accounts of him than that can give you. I send you the newspapers
to this date, and have the honor to be, with the greatest esteem and
respect, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson.


P. S. The last crop of corn in France has been so short, that they
apprehend want. Mr. Necker desires me to make known this scarcity to our
merchants, in hopes they would send supplies. I promised him I would. If
it could be done without naming him, it would be agreeable to him, and
probably advantageous to the adventurers. T. J.


[The annexed are the observations on the subject of admitting our
whale-oil in the markets of France, referred to in the preceding
letter.]

Whale-oil enters, as a raw material, into several branches of
manufacture, as of wool, leather, soap: it is used also in painting,
architecture, and navigation. But its great consumption is in lighting
houses and cities. For this last purpose, however, it has a powerful
competitor in the vegetable oils. These do well in warm, still weather,
but they fix with cold, they extinguish easily with the wind, their crop
is precarious, depending on the seasons, and to yield the same light,
a larger wick must be used, and greater quantity of oil consumed.
Estimating all these articles of difference together, those employed in
lighting cities find their account in giving about twenty-five per
cent, more for whale than for vegetable oils. But higher than this the
whale-oil, in its present form, cannot rise; because it then becomes
more advantageous to the city lighters to use others. This competition,
then, limits its price, higher than which no encouragement can raise it;
and it becomes, as it were, a law of its nature. But, at this low price,
the whale-fishery is the poorest business into which a merchant or
sailor can enter. If the sailor, instead of wages, has a part of what is
taken, he finds that this, one year with another, yields him less than
he could have got as wages in any other business. It is attended, too,
with great risk, singular hardships, and long absence from his family,
if the voyage is made solely at the expense of the merchant, he finds
that, one year with another, it does not reimburse him his expense. As
for example; an English ship of three hundred tons and forty-two hands
brings home, _communibus annis_, after four months' voyage, twenty-five
tons of oil, worth four hundred and thirty-seven pounds ten shillings
sterling. But the wages of the officers and seamen will be four hundred
pounds; the outfit, then, and the merchants' profit, must be paid by the
government: and it is accordingly on this idea, that the British bounty
is calculated. From the poverty of this business, then, it has happened,
that the nations who have taken it up have successively abandoned it.
The Basques began it: but though the most economical and enterprising of
the inhabitants of France, they could not continue it; and it is said,
they never employed more than thirty ships a year. The Dutch and Hanse
towns succeeded them. The latter gave it up long ago. The English
carried it on, in competition with the Dutch, during the last and
beginning of the present century: but it was too little profitable for
them, in comparison with other branches of commerce open to them.

In the mean time, the inhabitants of the barren island of Nantucket had
taken up this fishery, invited to it by the whales presenting themselves
on their own shore. To them, therefore, the English relinquished it,
continuing to them, as British subjects, the importation of their oils
into England, duty free, while foreigners were subject to a duty of
eighteen pounds five shillings sterling a ton. The Dutch were enabled
to continue it long, because, 1. They are so near the northern fishing
grounds, that a vessel begins her fishing very soon after she is out
of port. 2. They navigate with more economy than the other nations of
Europe. 3. Their seamen are content with lower wages: and, 4. Their
merchants, with a lower profit on their capital. Under all these
favorable circumstances, however, this branch of business, after long
languishing, is at length nearly extinct with them. It is said, they did
not send above half a dozen ships in pursuit of the whale this present
year. The _Nantuckois_, then, were the only people who exercised
this fishery to any extent at the commencement of the late war. Their
country, from its barrenness yielding no subsistence, they were obliged
to seek it in the sea which surrounded them. Their economy was more
rigorous than that of the Dutch. Their seamen, instead of wages, had a
share in what was taken: this induced them to fish with fewer hands,
so that each had a greater dividend in the profit; it made them more
vigilant in seeking game, bolder in pursuing it, and parsimonious in all
their expenses. London was their only market. When, therefore, by
the late revolution, they became aliens in Great Britain, they became
subject to the alien duty of eighteen pounds five shillings the ton of
oil, which being more than equal to the price of the common whale-oil,
they are obliged to abandon that fishery. So that this people, who,
before the war, had employed upwards of three hundred vessels a year in
the whale-fishery (while Great Britain had herself never employed one
hundred), have now almost ceased to exercise it. But they still had the
seamen, the most important material for this fishery; and they still
retained the spirit for fishing: so that, at the re-establishment
of peace, they were capable, in a very short time, of reviving their
fishery in all its splendor. The British government saw that the moment
was critical. They knew that their own share in that fishery was as
nothing: that the great mass of fishermen was left with a nation now
separated from them: that these fishermen, however, had lost their
ancient market; had no other resource within their country to which they
could turn and they hoped, therefore, they might, in the present moment
of distress, be decoyed over to their establishments, and be added
to the mass of their seamen. To effect this, they offered extravagant
advantages to all persons who should exercise the whale-fishery from
British establishments. But not counting with much confidence on a long
connection with their remaining possessions on the continent of America,
foreseeing that the _Nantuckois_ would settle in them, preferably, if
put on an equal footing with those of Great Britain, and that thus they
might have to purchase them a second time, they confined their high
offers to settlers in Great Britain. The _Nantuckois_, left without
resource by the loss of their market, began to think of removing to the
British dominions; some to Nova Scotia, preferring smaller advantages in
the neighborhood of their ancient country and friends; others to Great
Britain, postponing country and friends to high premiums. A vessel was
already arrived from Halifax to Nantucket, to take off some of those
who proposed to remove; two families had gone on board, and others
were going, when a letter was received there, which had been written
by Monsieur le Marquis de la Fayette, to a gentleman in Boston, and
transmitted by him to Nantucket. The purport of the letter was to
dissuade their accepting the British proposals, and to assure them that
their friends in France would endeavor to do something for them. This
instantly suspended their design: not another went on board, and the
vessel returned to Halifax with only the two families.

In fact the French government had not been inattentive to the views
of the British, nor insensible to the crisis. They saw the danger of
permitting five or six thousand of the best seamen existing, to be
transferred by a single stroke to the marine strength of their
enemy, and to carry over with them an art which they possessed almost
exclusively. The counterplan which they set on foot was to tempt the
_Nantuckois_, by high offers, to come and settle in France. This was in
the year 1785. The British, however, had in their favor, a sameness of
language, religion, laws, habits, and kindred. Nine families only, of
thirty-three persons in the whole, came to Dunkirk; so that this
project was not likely to prevent their emigration to the English
establishments, if nothing else had happened.

France had effectually aided in detaching the United States of America
from the force of Great Britain: but as yet they seemed to have indulged
only a silent wish to detach them from her commerce. They had done
nothing to induce that event. In the same year, 1785, while M. de
Calonne was in treaty with the _Nantuckois_, an estimate of the commerce
of the United States was submitted to the Count de Vergennes, and it
was shown, that, of three millions of pounds sterling, to which their
exports amounted, one third might be brought to France, and exchanged
against her productions and manufactures, advantageously for both
nations; provided the obstacles of prohibition, monopoly, and duty, were
either done away, or moderated as far as circumstances would admit. A
committee, which had been appointed to investigate a particular one of
these objects, was thereupon instructed to extend its researches to
the whole, and see what advantages and facilities the government could
offer, for the encouragement of a general commerce with the United
States. The committee was composed of persons well skilled in commerce;
and after laboring assiduously for several months, they made their
report: the result of which was given in the letter of his Majesty's
Comptroller General, of the 22nd of October, 1786, wherein he stated the
principles which should be established, for the future regulation of the
commerce between France and the United States. It was become tolerably
evident, at the date of this letter, that the terms offered to the
_Nantuckois_ would not produce their emigration to Dunkirk; and that it
would be safest, in every event, to offer some other alternative, which
might prevent their acceptance of the British offers. The obvious one
was, to open the ports of France to their oils, so that they might still
exercise their fishery, remaining in their native country, and find a
new market for its produce, instead of that which they had lost. The
article of whale-oil was, accordingly, distinguished in the letter of
M. de Calonne, by an immediate abatement of duty, and promise of further
abatement, after the year 1790. This letter was instantly sent
to America, and bid fair to produce there the effect intended, by
determining the fishermen to carry on their trade from their own homes,
with the advantage only of a free market in France, rather than remove
to Great Britain, where a free market and great bounty were offered
them. An _Arrêt_ was still to be prepared, to give legal sanction to the
letter of M. de Calonne. Monsieur Lambert, with a patience and assiduity
almost unexampled, went through all the investigations necessary to
assure himself, that the conclusion of the committee had been just.
Frequent conferences on this subject were held in his presence; the
deputies of the chambers of commerce were heard, and the result was, the
_Arrêt_ of December the 29th, 1787, confirming the abatements of duty,
present and future, which the letter of October, 1786, had promised,
and reserving to his Majesty, to grant still further favors to that
production, if, on further information, he should find it for the
interest of the two nations.

The English had now begun to deluge the markets of France with their
whale-oils; and they were enabled by the great premiums given by
their government, to undersell the French fisherman, aided by feebler
premiums, and the American, aided by his poverty alone. Nor is it
certain, that these speculations were not made at the risk of the
British government, to suppress the French and American fishermen in
their only market. Some remedy seemed necessary. Perhaps it would not
have been a bad one, to subject, by a general law, the merchandise of
every nation and of every nature, to pay additional duties in the ports
of France, exactly equal to the premiums and drawbacks given on the same
merchandise by their own government. This might not only counteract the
effect of premiums in the instance of whale-oils, but attack the whole
British system of bounties and drawbacks, by the aid of which they
make London the centre of commerce for the whole earth. A less general
remedy, but an effectual one, was, to prohibit the oils of all European
nations: the treaty with England requiring only, that she should be
treated as well as the most favored European nation. But the remedy
adopted was, to prohibit all oils, without exception.

To know how this remedy will operate, we must consider the quantity of
whale-oil which France consumes annually, the quantity she obtains from
her own fishery; and, if she obtains less than she consumes, we are to
consider what will follow the prohibition.

The annual consumption of France, as stated by a person who has good
opportunities of knowing it, is as follows.

                                     lbs. pesant.    quinteaux.    tons.

Paris, according to the registers of
1786,.................................2,800,000        28,000      1750

Twenty-seven other cities, lighted
by M. Sangrain,........................ 800,000         8,000       500

Rouen,..................................500,000         5,000       312
Bordeaux,...............................600,000         6,000       375
Lyons,..................................300,000         3,000       187
Other cities, leather and light,......3,000,000        30,000      1875
                                       ---------        ------     ----
                                      8,000,000        80,000     5,000

Other calculations, or say rather, conjectures, reduce the consumption
to about half this. It is treating these conjectures with great respect,
to place them on an equal footing with the estimate of the person before
alluded to, and to suppose the truth half way between them. But we will
do it, and call the present consumption of France only sixty thousand
quintals, or three thousand seven hundred and fifty tons a year. This
consumption is increasing fast, as the practice of lighting cities is
becoming more general, and the superior advantages of lighting them with
whale-oil are but now beginning to be known.

What do the fisheries of France furnish? She has employed, this year,
fifteen vessels in the southern, and two in the northern fishery,
carrying forty-five hundred tons in the whole, or two hundred and
sixty-five each, on an average. The English ships, led by Nantuckois as
well as the French, have never averaged in the southern fishery, more
than one fifth of their burthen, in the best year. The fifteen ships
of France, according to this ground of calculation, and supposing the
present to have been one of the best years, should have brought,
one with another, one fifth of two hundred and sixty-five tons, or
fifty-three tons each. But we are told, they have brought near the
double of that, to wit, one hundred tons each, and fifteen hundred tons
in the whole. Supposing the two northern vessels to have brought home
the cargo which is common from the northern fishery, to wit, twenty-five
tons each, the whole produce this year will then be fifteen hundred and
fifty tons. This is five and a half months'provision, or two fifths of
the annual consumption. To furnish for the whole year, would require
forty ships of the same size, in years as fortunate as the present, and
eighty-five, _communibus annis_; forty-four tons, or one sixth of the
burthen, being as high an average as should be counted on, one year
with another: and the number must be increased, with the increasing
consumption. France, then, is evidently not yet in a condition to
supply her own wants. It is said, indeed, she has a large stock on hand,
unsold, occasioned by the English competition. Thirty-three thousand
quintals, including this year's produce, are spoken of: this is between
six and seven months'provision; and supposing by the time this is
exhausted that the next year's supply comes in, that will enable her to
go on five or six months longer; say a twelvemonth in the whole. But,
at the end of the twelvemonth, what is to be done? The manufacturers
depending on this article, cannot maintain their competition against
those of other countries, if deprived of their equal means. When the
alternative, then, shall be presented, of letting them drop, or opening
the ports to foreign whale-oil, it is presumable the latter will be
adopted, as the lesser evil. But it will be too late for America. Her
fishery, annihilated during the late war, only began to raise its head,
on the prospect of a market held out by this country. Crushed by the
_Arrêt_ of September the 28th, in its first feeble effort to revive, it
will rise no more. Expeditions, which require the expense of the outfit
of vessels, and from nine to twelve months' navigation, as the southern
fishery does, most frequented by the Americans, cannot be undertaken
in sole reliance on a market, which is opened and shut from one day to
another, with little or no warning. The English alone, then, will remain
to furnish these supplies, and they must be received, even from them.
We must accept bread from our enemies, if our friends cannot furnish
it. This comes exactly to the point, to which that government has
been looking. She fears no rival in the whale-fishery, but America: or
rather, it is the whale-fishery of America, of which she is endeavoring
to possess herself. It is for this object, she is making the present
extraordinary efforts, by bounties and other encouragements: and her
success, so far, is very flattering. Before the war, she had not one
hundred vessels in the whale-trade, while America employed three hundred
and nine. In 1786, Great Britain employed one hundred and fifty-one
vessels; in 1787, two hundred and eighty-six; in 1788, three hundred
and fourteen, nearly the ancient American number: while the latter has
fallen to about eighty. They have just changed places then; England
having gained, exactly what America has lost. France, by her ports and
markets, holds the balance between the two contending parties, and gives
the victory, by opening and shutting them, to which she pleases. We have
still precious remains of seamen, educated in this fishery, and capable
by their poverty, their boldness, and address, of recovering it from
the English, in spite of their bounties. But this Arret endangers the
transferring to Great Britain every man of them, who is not invincibly
attached to his native soil. There is no other nation in present
condition to maintain a competition with Great Britain in the
whale-fishery. The expense, at which it is supported on her part, seems
enormous. Two hundred and fifty-five vessels, of seventy-five thousand
four hundred and thirty-six tons, employed by her, this year, in the
northern fishery, at forty-two men each; and fifty-nine in the southern,
at eighteen men each, make eleven thousand seven hundred and seventy-two
men. These are known to have cost the government fifteen pounds each, or
one hundred and seventy-six thousand five hundred and eighty pounds, in
the whole, and that, to employ the principal part of them from three to
four months only. The northern ships have brought home twenty, and the
southern sixty tons of oil, on an average; making eighty-six hundred
and forty tons. Every ton of oil, then, has cost the government twenty
pounds in bounty. Still, if they can beat, us out of the field, and
have it to themselves, they will think their money well employed. If
France undertakes, solely, the competition against them, she must do
it at equal expense. The trade is too poor to support itself. The
eighty-five ships, necessary to supply even her present consumption,
bountied, as the English are, will require a sacrifice of twelve hundred
and eighty-five thousand two hundred livres a year, to maintain three
thousand five hundred and seventy seamen, and that, a part of the year
only; and if she will put it to twelve thousand men, in competition with
England, she must sacrifice, as they do, four or five millions a year.
The same number of men might, with the same bounty, be kept in as
constant employ, carrying stone from Bayonne to Cherburg, or coal from
Newcastle to Havre, in which navigations they would be always at
hand, and become as good seamen. The English consider among their best
sailors, those employed to carry coal from Newcastle to London. France
cannot expect to raise her fishery, even to the supply of her own
consumption, in one year, or in several years. Is it not better, then,
by keeping her ports open to the United States, to enable them to aid in
maintaining the field against the common adversary, till she shall be in
condition to take it herself, and to supply her own wants? Otherwise her
supplies must aliment that very force, which is keeping her under. On
our part, we can never be dangerous competitors to France. The extent
to which we can exercise this fishery, is limited to that of the barren
island of Nantucket, and a few similar barren spots; its duration, to
the pleasure of this government, as we have no other market. A material
observation must be added here: sudden vicissitudes of opening and
shutting ports, do little injury to merchants settled on the opposite
coast, watching for the opening, like the return of a tide, and ready to
enter with it. But they ruin the adventurer, whose distance requires six
months' notice. Those who are now arriving from America, in consequence
of the Arret of December the 29th, will consider it as the false light
which has led them to their ruin. They will be apt to say, that they
come to the ports of France by invitation of that _Arrêt_, that the
subsequent one of September the 28th, which drives them from those
ports, founds itself on a single principle, viz. 'that the prohibition
of foreign oils is the most useful encouragement which can be given
to that branch of industry.' They will say, that, if this be a true
principle, it was as true on the 29th of December 1787, as on the 20th
of September, 1788: it was then weighed against other motives, judged
weaker and overruled, and it is hard it should be now revived, to ruin
them.

The refinery for whale-oil, lately established at Rouen, seems to be
an object worthy of national attention. In order to judge of its
importance, the different qualities of whale-oil must be noted. Three
qualities are known in the American and English markets. 1st. That of
the spermaceti whale. 2nd. Of the Greenland whale. 3rd. Of the Brazil
whale. 1. The spermaceti whale found by the _Nantuckois_, in the
neighborhood of the Western Islands, to which they had gone in pursuit
of other whales, retired thence to the coast of Guinea, afterwards to
that of Brazil, and begins now to be best found in the latitude of
the Cape of Good Hope, and even of Cape Horn. He is an active, fierce
animal, and requires vast address and boldness in the fisherman. The
inhabitants of Brazil make little expeditions from their coast, and take
some of these fish. But the Americans are the only distant people, who
have been in the habit of seeking and attacking him, in numbers. The
British, however, led by the _Nantuckois_, whom they have decoyed into
their service, have begun this fishery. In 1785, they had eighteen ships
in it; in 1787, thirty-eight; in 1788, fifty-four, or, as some say,
sixty-four. I have calculated on the middle number, fifty-nine. Still
they take but a very small proportion of their own demand; we furnish
the rest. Theirs is the only market to which we carry that oil, because
it is the only one where its properties are known. It is luminous,
resists coagulation by cold, to the forty-first degree of Fahrenheit's
thermometer, and fourth of Reaumur's, and yields no smell at all: it is
used, therefore, within doors, to lighten shops, and even in the richest
houses, for antichambers, stairs, galleries, &c. It sells at the London
market for treble the price of common whale-oil. This enables the
adventurer to pay the duty of eighteen pounds five shillings sterling
the ton, and still to have a living profit. Besides the mass of oil
produced from the whole body of the whale, his head yields three or
four barrels of what is called head-matter, from which is made the solid
spermaceti, used for medicine and candles. This sells by the pound at
double the price of the oil. The disadvantage of this fishery is, that
the sailors are from nine to twelve months absent on the voyage; of
course, they are not at hand on any sudden emergency, and are even
liable to be taken, before they know that war is begun. It must be
added, on the subject of this whale, that he is rare and shy, soon
abandoning the grounds where he is hunted. This fishery, less losing
than the other, and often profitable, will occasion it to be so
thronged, soon, as to bring it on a level with the other. It will then
require the same expensive support, or to be abandoned.

2. The Greenland whale-oil is next in quality. It resists coagulation
by cold, to thirty-six degrees of Fahrenheit, and two of Reaumur, but it
has a smell insupportable within doors, and is not luminous. It sells,
therefore, in London, at about sixteen pounds the ton. This whale is
clumsy and timid; he dives when struck, and comes up to breathe by the
first cake of ice, where the fishermen need little address or courage
to find and take him. This is the fishery mostly frequented by European
nations; it is this fish which yields the fin in quantity, and the
voyages last about three or four months.

The third quality is that of the small Brazil whale. He was originally
found on the coast of Nantucket, and first led that people to this
pursuit: he retired, first to the Banks of Newfoundland, then to the
Western Islands, and is now found within soundings on the coast of
Brazil, during the months of December, January, February, and March. His
oil chills at fifty-two degrees of Fahrenheit, and eight of Reaumur, is
black and offensive; worth, therefore, but thirteen pounds the ton,
in London. In warm summer nights, however, it burns better than the
Greenland oil.

To the qualities of the oils thus described, it is to be added, that an
individual has discovered methods, 1. of converting a great part of
the oils of the spermaceti-whale, into the solid substance called
spermaceti, heretofore produced from his head alone; 2. of refining
the Greenland whale-oil, so as to take from it all smell, and render it
limpid and luminous as that of the spermaceti-whale; 3. of curdling
the oil of the Brazil whale into tallow, resembling that of beef, and
answering all its purposes. This person is engaged by the company, which
has established the refinery at Rouen: their works will cost them half a
million of livres; will be able to refine all the oil which can be used
in the kingdom, and even to supply foreign markets. The effects of the
refinery, then, would be, 1. to supplant the solid spermaceti of all
other nations, by theirs, of equal quality and lower price; 2. to
substitute, instead of spermaceti-oil, their black whale-oil refined,
of equal quality and lower price; 3. to render the worthless oil of the
Brazil, equal in value to tallow; and 4. by accommodating these oils to
uses, to which they could never otherwise have been applied, they will
extend the demand beyond its present narrow limits, to any supply which
can be furnished, and thus give the most effectual encouragement and
extension to the whale-fishery. But these works were calculated on the
_Arrêt_ of December the 29th, which admitted here, freely and fully,
the produce of the American fishery. If confined to that of the French
fishery alone, the enterprise may fail, for want of matter to work on.

After this review of the whale-fishery as a political institution, a few
considerations shall be added on its produce, as a basis of commercial
exchange between France and the United States. The discussions it has
undergone, on former occasions, in this point of view, leaves little new
to be now urged.

The United States, not possessing mines of the precious metals, can
purchase necessaries from other nations, so far only as their produce is
received in exchange. Without enumerating our smaller articles, we have
three of principal importance, proper for the French market; to wit,
tobacco, whale-oil, and rice. The first and most important, is tobacco.
This might furnish an exchange for eight millions of the productions of
this country; but it is under a monopoly, and that not of a mercantile,
but of a financiering company, whose interest is, to pay in money
and not in merchandise, and who are so much governed by the spirit of
simplifying their purchases and proceedings, that they find means to
elude every endeavor on the part of government, to make them diffuse
their purchases among the merchants in general. Little profit is
derived from this, then, as an article of exchange for the produce and
manufactures of France. Whale-oil might be next in importance; but
that is now prohibited. American rice is not yet of great, but it is of
growing consumption in France, and being the only article of the three
which is free, it may become a principal basis of exchange. Time and
trial may add a fourth, that is, timber. But some essays, rendered
unsuccessful by unfortunate circumstances, place that, at present, under
a discredit, which it will be found hereafter not to have merited. The
English know its value, and were supplied with it, before the war. A
spirit of hostility, since that event, led them to seek Russian rather
than American supplies; a new spirit of hostility has driven them back
from Russia, and they are now making contracts for American timber.
But of the three articles before mentioned, proved by experience to be
suitable for the French market, one is prohibited, one under monopoly,
and one alone free, and that the smallest and of very limited
consumption. The way to encourage purchasers, is, to multiply their
means of payment. Whale-oil might be an important one. In one scale, are
the interests of the millions who are lighted, shod, or clothed with the
help of it, and the thousands of laborers and manufacturers, who would
be employed in producing the articles which might be given in exchange
for it, if received from America: in the other scale, are the
interests of the adventurers in the whale-fishery each of whom, indeed,
politically considered, may be of more importance to the State, than
a simple laborer or manufacturer; but to make the estimate with the
accuracy it merits, we should multiply the numbers in each scale into
their individual importance, and see which preponderates.

Both governments have seen with concern, that their commercial
intercourse does not grow as rapidly as they would wish. The system
of the United States is, to use neither prohibitions nor premiums.
Commerce, there, regulates itself freely, and asks nothing better.
Where a government finds itself under the necessity of undertaking that
regulation, it would seem, that it should conduct it as an intelligent
merchant would; that is to say, invite customers to purchase, by
facilitating their means of payment, and by adapting goods to their
taste. If this idea be just, government here has two operations to
attend to, with respect to the commerce of the United States; 1. to
do away, or to moderate, as much as possible, the prohibitions
and monopolies of their materials for payment; 2. to encourage the
institution of the principal manufactures, which the necessities, or the
habits of their new customers call for. Under this latter head, a hint
shall be suggested, which must find its apology in the motive from which
it flows; that is, a desire of promoting mutual interests and close
friendship. Six hundred thousand of the laboring poor of America,
comprehending slaves under that denomination, are clothed in three
of the simplest manufactures possible; to wit, oznaburgs, plains,
and duffel blankets. The first is a linen; the two last, woollens. It
happens, too, that they are used exactly by those who cultivate
the tobacco and rice, and in a good degree by those employed in the
whale-fishery. To these manufactures they are so habituated, that no
substitute will be received. If the vessels which bring tobacco, rice,
and whale-oil, do not find them in the ports of delivery, they must be
sought where they can be found; that is, in England, at present. If they
were made in France, they would be gladly taken in exchange there. The
quantities annually used by this description of people, and their value,
are as follows:

     Oznaburgs 2,700,000 aunes, at sixteen sous the aune, worth
          2,160,000

     Plains    1,350,000 aunes, at two livres the aune,
          2,700,000

     Duffel Blankets 300,000 aunes, at seven and 4/5ths livres each
          2,160,000
         ----------
          7,020,000

It would be difficult to say, how much should be added, for the
consumption of inhabitants of other descriptions; a great deal surely.
But the present view shall be confined to the one description named.
Seven millions of livres, are nine millions of days' work, of those who
raise, spin, and weave the wool and flax; and, at three hundred working
days to the year, would maintain thirty thousand people. To introduce
these simple manufactures, suppose government to give five per cent, on
the value of what should be exported of them, for ten years to come: if
none should be exported, nothing would be to be paid: but on the other
hand, if the manufactures, with this encouragement, should rise to
the full demand, it will be a sacrifice of three hundred and fifty-one
thousand livres a year, for ten years only, to produce a perpetual
subsistence for more than thirty thousand people (for the demand will
grow with our population); while she must expend perpetually one million
two hundred and eighty-five thousand livres a year, to maintain the
three thousand five hundred and seventy seamen, who would supply her
with whale-oil. That is to say, for each seaman, as much as for thirty
laborers and manufacturers.

But to return to our subject, and to conclude.

Whether, then, we consider the _Arrêt_ of September the 28th, in a
political or a commercial light, it would seem, that the United States
should be excepted from its operation. Still more so, when they invoke
against it the amity subsisting between the two nations, the desire of
binding them together by every possible interest and connection, the
several acts in favor of this exception, the dignity of legislation,
which admits not of changes backwards and forwards, the interests of
commerce, which requires steady regulations, the assurances of the
friendly motives which have led the King to pass these acts, and the
hope, that no cause will arise, to change either his motives or his
measures towards us.



LETTER CLXXI.--TO JOHN JAY, November 29, 1788


TO JOHN JAY.

Paris, November 29, 1788.

Sir,

In the hurry of making up my letter of the 19th instant, I omitted the
enclosed printed paper, on the subject of whale-oil. That omission
is now supplied by another conveyance, by the way of London. The
explanatory _Arrêt_ is not yet come out. I still take for granted, it
will pass, though there be an opposition to it in the Council. In the
mean time, orders are given to receive our oils which may arrive. The
apprehension of a want of corn has induced them to turn their eyes to
foreign supplies; and to show their preference of receiving them from
us, they have passed the enclosed _Arrêt_, giving a premium on wheat
and flour from the United States, for a limited time. This, you will
doubtless think proper to have translated and published. The _Notables_
are still in session: the votes of the separate bureaux have not yet
been reduced to a joint act, in an assembly of the whole. I see no
reason to suppose they will change the separate votes relative to the
representation of the _Tiers Etat_ in the States General. In the mean
time, the stream of public indignation, heretofore directed against the
court, sets strongly against the _Notables_. It is not yet decided when
the States will meet: but certainly they cannot, till February or March.
The Turks have retired across the Danube. This movement indicates their
going into winter-quarters, and the severity of the weather must hasten
it. The thermometer was yesterday at eight degrees of Fahrenheit, that
is, twenty-four degrees below freezing; a degree of cold equal to that
of the year 1740, which they count here among their coldest winters.
This having continued many days, and being still likely to continue, and
the wind from northeast, render it probable, that all enterprise must be
suspended between the three great belligerent powers. Poland is
likely to be thrown into great convulsions. The Empress of Russia has
peremptorily demanded such aids from Poland, as might engage it in the
war. The King of Prussia, on the other hand, threatens to march an army
on their borders. The vote of the Polish confederacy for one hundred
thousand men, was a coalition of the two parties, in that single act
only. The party opposed to the King, have obtained a majority, and have
voted that this army shall be independent of him. They are supported by
Prussia, while the King depends on Russia. Authentic information from
England leaves not a doubt, that the King is lunatic; and that, instead
of the effect, is the cause of the illness, under which he has been so
near dying. I mention this, because the English newspapers, speaking by
guess on that as they do on all other subjects, might mislead you as to
his true situation; or rather, might mislead others, who know less
than you do, that a thing is not rendered the more probable, by being
mentioned in those papers.

I enclose those of Leyden to the present date, with the gazettes of
France, and have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect
esteem and respect, Sir, your most obedient, humble servant,

Th: Jefferson



LETTER, CLXXII.--TO GENERAL WASHINGTON, December 4, 1788


TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.

Paris, December 4, 1788.

Sir,

Your favor of August the 31st came to hand yesterday; and a confidential
conveyance offering, by the way of London, I avail myself of it, to
acknowledge the receipt.

I have seen, with infinite pleasure, our new constitution accepted by
eleven States, not rejected by the twelfth; and that the thirteenth
happens to be a state of the least importance. It is true, that the
minorities in most of the accepting States have been very respectable;
so much so, as to render it prudent, were it not otherwise reasonable,
to make some sacrifice to them. I am in hopes, that the annexation of
a bill of rights to the constitution will alone draw over so great
a proportion of the minorities, as to leave little danger in the
opposition of the residue; and that this annexation may be made by
Congress and the Assemblies, without calling a convention, which
might endanger the most valuable parts of the system. Calculation has
convinced me, that circumstances may arise, and probably will arise,
wherein all the resources of taxation will be necessary for the safety
of the State. For though I am decidedly of opinion, we should take no
part in European quarrels, but cultivate peace and commerce with all,
yet who can avoid seeing the source of war in the tyranny of those
nations, who deprive us of the natural right of trading with our
neighbors? The produce of the United States will soon exceed the
European demand: what is to be done with the surplus, when there shall
be one? It will be employed, without question, to open, by force, a
market for itself, with those placed on the same continent with us,
and who wish nothing better. Other causes, too, are obvious, which
may involve us in war; and war requires every resource of taxation and
credit. The power of making war often prevents it, and in our case,
would give efficacy to our desire of peace. If the new government wears
the front which I hope it will, I see no impossibility in the availing
ourselves of the wars of others, to open the other parts of America to
our commerce, as the price of our neutrality.

The campaign between the Turks and two Empires has been clearly in favor
of the former. The Emperor is secretly trying to bring about a peace.
The alliance between England, Prussia, and Holland, (and some suspect
Sweden also) renders their mediation decisive, wherever it is proposed.
They seemed to interpose it so magisterially between Denmark and Sweden,
that the former submitted to its dictates, and there was all reason
to believe, that the war in the northwestern parts of Europe would be,
quieted. All of a sudden, a new flame bursts out in Poland. The King and
his party are devoted to Russia. The opposition rely on the protection
of Prussia. They have lately become the majority in the confederated
diet, and have passed a vote for subjecting their army to a commission
independent of the King, and propose a perpetual diet, in which case
he will be a perpetual cipher.