« AnteriorContinuar »
Republican Congressional Caucus to nominate President and Vice-President-George
Clinton-President's Correspondence-Considers Learned Professions overstocked and proposes a Remedy-His Feelings towards U. S. Bank in 1803–-His Enemies attacking an Imaginary Personage-Malthus and Say-Reasons for accepting a RenominationViews on a Coalition with the Federalists Family Letters-Death of his Daughter, Mrs. Eppes—Account of, by a Member of the Family-Condolences of Goveruor Page and Judge Tyler-Letter of Condolence from Mrs. John Adams and Reply-Their further Correspondence and the Sequel—The Conduct of both considered-A new Rule of Official Removals avowed-President's Views of Louisiana Boundary, etc.—Official Appointments for Orleans Territory-A Letter to Mazzei-Provision for Lafayette—To Mailison-Desires Republican Officeholders not to interfere in Elections—Death of General Hamilton-His last Public Letter–His Political Standing at the time of his DeathResult of the Presidential Election-Federal Calumnies---An Example—The Poet Moore's Statement that the President treated the British Minister with Incivility--The Circumstances-Official Correspondence on the Subject—The Sequel—Thomas Moore's individual Grievance-His Course and Views in this Country-His Presentation to the President-His Lampoons on the President-Anecdote-Jefferson and the Irish Melodies-J. Q. Adams's better kept Grudge-Second Session of Eighth Congress-Presi. dent's Message-Changes in the Seuate-Impeachment of Judge Chase-The Resu! Reasons for his Acquittal-Constitutional Amendments proposed-Congressional Proceedings-Gun-boats--Classes interested in opposing them-President's Policy in not seeking to build up a great Navy-Disasters of War of 1812 imputed to this CauseStrength of English Navy in 1803–Strength of American Navy on Jefferson's Accession-Result of a great-navy Policy-Population and moneyed Wealth compared— The Absurdity of then attempting to rival England as a Naval Power—The Results of the Opposite Course-Growing a better way of acquiring Strength than Arming-The Peace Policy-Jefferson's exclusive Responsibility for it—Gun-boat Bill passed-Law against Violators of Neutrality-Enactments against American Contraband Trade in West Indies—Territoral Bills— President's Correspondence-Early Prejudices against the class of Artisans recanted-Letter to Taylor avowing his Determination to retire at close of Second Term_Inauguration-Inaugural Speech-Cabinet Changes--Local Republican Schisms-President's Letter to Logan on Consequences of these Schisms Character of Family Correspondence henceforth-Letter to J.W. Eppes.
During the late session of Congress, a Republican caucus had been held to nominate candidates for the Presidency and
CONGRESSIONAL CAUCU8-MR. CLINTON.
Vice-Presidency. Mr. Jefferson was unanimously renominated. Colonel Burr was so completely stripped of the confidence of his party that there was not a faction in Congress in favor of his reelection; and the vote for the Vice-Presidential candidate stood for George Clinton, sixty-seven; for John Breckenridge, twenty; for Levi Lincoln, nine; for John Langdon, seven ; for Gideon Granger, four; for Samuel Maclay, one.
Mr. Clinton had been Governor of New York throughout the Revolution and for a considerable subsequent period. He had been the leader of the party in that State which so long and pertinaciously opposed the adoption of the Federal Constitution; and he became the leader of the Republicans when that party was organized. Without any of that brilliancy of talent possessed by his celebrated nephew, De Witt Clinton, he was nevertheless a man of solid parts, firm good sense, and invincible determination. His decided executive ability had been tested by a long and successful career in civil and military positions. His integrity was undisputed, his private character irreproachable. He was four years older than the President. All things considered, his nomination was an eminently fit one, and it was greatly to be regretted that it had not been made four years earlier, in the place of that of a corrupt intriguer who had never really approached Mr. Clinton in the estimation of the people of his State.'
We shall glance rapidly over such of the President's correspondence during the late session, as has not been adverted to, and which presents interesting ideas or facts not already given.
In a letter to David Williams, November 14th (1803), he complained that certain causes, which he enumerated, had “ long since produced an overcharge in the class of competitors for learned occupations, and great distress among the supernumerary candidates; and the more, as their habits of life had disqualified them for reëntering into the laborious class.” In other words, Mr. Jefferson meant to say that the legal and medical professions were overstocked, including teachers in the higher departments of science.' The remedy he proposed was to make
i Those who desire to know the causes and means of Burr's first nomination, and why Mr. Clinton was passed over on that occasion, will find them explained in Hammond's Political History of New York.
• The disturbed political relations of Europe had driven many learned men to our shores, who being unacquainted with American modes of living, suffered, in some in
agriculture a scientific profession or avocation, and thus lure the "supernumeraries" into an employment where they would find occupation both for the body and mind. He said :
“The evil cannot be suddenly, nor perhaps ever entirely cured: nor should I presume to say by what means it may be cured. Doubtless there are many engines which the nation might bring to bear on this object. Public opinion, and public encouragement are among these. The class principally defective is that of agriculture. It is the first in utility, and ought to be the first in respect. The same artifi. cial means which have been used to produce a competition in learning, may be equally successful in restoring agriculture to its primary dignity in the eyes of men. It is a science of the very first order. It counts among its handmaids the most respectable sciences, such as Chemistry, Natural Philosophy, Mechanics, Mathematics generally, Natural History, Botany. In every College and University, a professorship of agriculture, and the class of its students, might be honored as the first Young men closing their academical education with this, as the crown of all other sciences, fascinated with its solid charms, and at a time when they are to choose an occupation, instead of crowding the other classes, would return to the farms of their fathers, their own, or those of others, and replenish and invigorate a calling, now languishing under contempt and oppression. The charitable schools, instead of storing their pupils with a lore which the present state of society does not call for, converted into schools of agriculture, might restore them to that branch qualified to enrich and honor themselves, and to increase the productions of the nation instead of consuming them. A gradual abolition of the useless offices, so much accumulated in all governments, might close this drain also from the labors of the field, and les. sen the burdens imposed on them. By these, and the better means which will occur to others, the surcharge of the learned, might in time be drawn off to recruit the laboring class of citizens, the sum of industry be increased, and that of misery diminished.
“ The general desire of men to live by their heads rather than their hands, and the strong allurements of great cities to those who have any turn for dissipation, threaten to make them here, as in Europe, the sinks of voluntary misery."
Views according with the above were often expressed by the President in his family. His grandson, Colonel T. J. Randolph, writes us :
“He held in little esteem the education that made men ignorant and helpless as to the common necessities of life; and he exemplified it by an incident which occurred to a young gentleman returned from Europe, where he had been educated. On riding out with his companions, the strap of his saddle-girth broke at the hole of the buckle; and they, perceiving it an accident easily remedied, rode on and left him. A plain man coming up, and seeing that his horse had made a circular path in the road
stances, a good deal of distress. Mr. Jefferson remarked, in the letter from which we are quoting : “Many, who cannot find employment in Europe, accordingly come here. Those who can labor do well, for the most part. Of the learned class of 'emigrants, a small portion find employments analogous to their talents. But many fail, and return to complete their course of misery in the scenes where it began."
CONTINUED VIEWS OF U. 8. BANK.
in his impatience to get on, asked if he could aid him? Oh, sir,' replied the young man, 'if you could only assist me to get it up to the next hole ?' 'Suppose you let it out a hole or two on the other side,' said the man.”
In a letter to Mr. Gallatin, of December 13th, the President advised him that he should consider it inexpedient for the former to give any opinion in reply to a question from the president of the United States Bank, whether it would be proper to change the manner of electing the officers of the branch institutions; and this on the ground that the Government ought not, by volunteering its sanction, to disarm itself “ of any fair right of animadversion, whenever that institution should be a legitimate subject of consideration.” What follows, shows that his hostility to the Bank was quite as decided as on the first presentation of the question during General Washington's Administrationthat, indeed, it had rather gained than lost in intensity. He wrote:
“From a passage in the letter of the President, I observe an idea of establishing a branch bank of the United States in New Orleans. This institution is one of the most deadly hostility existing, against the principles and form of our Constitution. The nation is, at this time, so strong and united in its sentiments, that it cannot be shaken at this moment. But suppose a series of untoward events should occur, sufficient to bring into doubt the competency of a republican government to meet a crisis of great danger, or to unhinge the confidence of the people in the public functionaries; an institution like this, penetrating by its branches every part of the Union, acting by command and in phalanx, may, in a critical moment, upset the government. I deem no government safe which is under the vassalage of any selfconstituted authorities, or any other authority than that of the nation, or its regular functionaries. What an obstruction could not this bank of the United States, with all its branch banks, be in time of war? It might dictate to us the peace we should accept, or withdraw its aids. Ought we then to give further growth to an institution so powerful, so hostile ? That it is so hostile we know, 1, from a knowledge of the principles of the persons composing the body of directors in every bank, principal or branch; and those of most of the stockholders : 2, from their opposi. tion to the measures and principles of the Government, and to the election of those friendly to them: and 3, from the sentiments of the newspapers they support. Now, while we are strong, it is the greatest duty we owe to the safety of our Constitution, to bring this powerful enemy to a perfect subordination under its authorities. The first measure would be to reduce them to an equal footing only with other banks, as to the favors of the Government. But, in order to be able to meet a general combination of the banks against us, in a critical emergency, could we not make a beginning towards an independent use of our own money, towards holding our own bank in all the deposits where it is received, and letting the treasurer give bis draft or note, for payment at any particular place, which, in a well conducted go. vernment, ought to have as much credit as any private draft, or bank note, or bill, and would give us the same facilities which we derive from the banks ? I pray you
to turn this subject in your mind, and to give it the benefit of your knowledge of details; whereas, I have only very general views of the subject. Affectionate salutations."
A remark in a letter to Timothy Bloodworth, January 29th (1804), gives the substance of one frequently made by him, smilingly, in his family. After reciting some of the measures of his Administration, he said:
“I think [these] must reconcile the great body of those who thought themselves our enemies, but were in truth only the enemies of certain Jacobinical, atheistical, anarchical, imaginary caricatures, which existed only in the land of the Raw-head and Bloody-bones, beings created to frighten the credulous.”
Colonel Randolph writes us :
“In speaking of the calumnies which had been uttered against his public and private character with such unmitigated and untiring bitterness, he said that he had not considered them as abusing him; they had never known him. They had created an imaginary being clothed with odious attributes, to whom they gave his name ; and it was against that creature of their imaginations they had levelled their anathemas."
Mr. Jefferson wrote Dr. Priestley, January 29th :
“Have you seen the new work of Malthus on population? It is one of the ablest I have ever seen. Although his main object is to delineate the effects of redundancy of population, and to test the poor laws of England, and other palliations for that evil, several important questions in political economy, allied to his subject incidentally, are treated with a masterly hand. It is a single octavo volume, and I have been only able to read a borrowed copy, the only one I have yet heard of.”
On the 1st of February, he thanked M. Say, the distinguished French writer on Political Economy, for a copy of his work on that subject, which he had just forwarded to the President. He again spoke well of Malthus's work. He advanced, or rather suggested the idea, that the distribution of labor supposed to be the best in Europe-namely, placing manufacturing hands alongside the agricultural," so that the one part shall feed both, and the other part furnish both with clothes and other comforts"--might not be the one best applicable to the United States. As Europe had as much population as her products could sustain (or as the increase in each must be limited and slow), and as America had land enough to keep up the most rapid possible advance of population, and at the same time produce