« AnteriorContinuar »
portunities it will give me of enjoying, amidst your affections, the comforts of retirement and rest. Your approbation of my conduct is the more valued as you have best known me, and is an ample reward for any services I may have rendered. We have acted together from the origin to the end of a memorable revolution, and we have contributed, each in the line allotted us, our endeavors to render its issue a permanent blessing to our country. That our social intercourse may, to the evening of our days, be cheered and cemented by witnessing the freedom and happiness for which we have labored, will be my constant prayer. Accept the offering of my affectionate esteem and respect.
TO JONATHAN LOW, ESQ., HARTFORD,
MONTICELLO, April 13, 1809. Sir, I received on the 6th instant your favor covering the resolutions of the general meeting of the republicans of the State of Connecticut who had been convened at Hartford ; and I see with pleasure the spirit they breathe. They express with truth the wrongs we have sustained, the forbearance we have exercised, and the duty of rallying round the constituted authorities, for the protection of our Union. Surrounded by such difficulties and dangers, it is really deplorable that any should be found among ourselves vindicating the conduct of the aggressors; cooperating with them in multiplying embarrassments to their own country, and encouraging disobedience to the laws provided for its safety. But a spirit which should go further, and countenance the advocates for a dissolution of the Union, and for setting in hostile array one portion of our citizens against another, would require to be viewed under a more serious aspect. It would prove indeed that it is high time for every friend to his country, in a firm and decided manner, to express his sentiments of the measures which government has adopted to avert the impending evils, unhesitatingly to pledge himself for the support of the laws, liberties and independence of his country; and, with the general meeting of the republicans of Connecticut, to resolve that, for
the preservation of the Union, the support and enforcement of the laws, and for the resistance and repulsion of every enemy, they will hold themselves in readiness, and put at stake, if necessary, their lives and fortunes, on the pledge of their sacred honor.
With my thanks for the mark of attention in making this communication, I pray you to accept for yourself and my respectable fellow citizens from whom it proceeds, the assurance of my high consideration, and my prayers for their welfare.
TO THE TAMMANY SOCIETY OF THE CITY OF BALTIMORE.
MONTICELLO, May 25, 1809. Your free and cordial salutations in my retirement are received, fellow citizens, with great pleasure, and the happiness of that retirement is much heightened by assurances of satisfaction with the course I have pursued in the transaction of the public affairs, and that the confidence my fellow citizens were pleased to repose in me, has not been disappointed.
Great sacrifices of interest have certainly been made by our nation under the difficulties latterly forced upon us by transatlantic powers. But every candid and reflecting mind must agree with you, that while these were temporary and bloodless, they were calculated to avoid permanent subjection to foreign law and tribute, relinquishment of independent rights, and the burthens, the havoc, and desolations of war. That these will be ultimately avoided, we have now some reason to hope; and the successful example of recalling nations to the practice of justice by peaceable appeals to their interests, will doubtless have salutary effects on our future course. As a countervail, too, to our shortlived sacrifices, when these shall no longer be felt, we shall permanently retain the benefit they have prompted, of fabricating for our own use the materials of our own growth, heretofore carried to the work-houses of Europe, to be wrought and returned to us.
The hope you express that my successor will continue in the same system of measures, is guaranteed, as far as future circum
stances will permit, by his enlightened and zealous participation in them heretofore, and by the happy pacification he is now effecting for us. Your wishes for my future happiness are very thankfully felt, and returned by the sincerest desires that yourselves may experience the favors of the great dispenser of all good.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, June 1781. To Brother John Baptist de Coigne :
Brother John BAPTIST DE COIGNE,—I am very much pleased with the visit you have made us, and particularly that it has happened when the wise men from all parts of our country were assembled together in council, and had an opportunity of hearing the friendly discourse you held to me. We are all sensible of your friendship, and of the services you have rendered, and I now, for my countrymen, return you thanks, and, most particularly, for your assistance to the garrison which was besieged by the hostile Indians. I hope it will please the great being above to continue you long in life, in health and in friendship to us; and that your son will afterwards succeed you in wisdom, in good disposition, and in power over your people. I consider the name you have given as particularly honorable to me, but I value it the more as it proves your attachment to my country. We, like you, are Americans, born in the same land, and having the same interests. I have carefully attended to the figures represented on the skins, and to their explanation, and shall always keep them hanging on the walls in remembrance of you and your nation. I have joined with you sincerely in smoking the pipe of peace ; it is a good old custom handed down by your ancestors, and as such I respect and join in it with reverence. I
hope we shall long continue to smoke in friendship together. You find us, brother, engaged in war with a powerful nation. Our forefathers were Englishmen, inhabitants of a little island beyond the great water, and, being distressed for land, they came and settled here. As long as we were young and weak, the English whom we had left behind, made us carry all our wealth to their country, to enrich them ; and, not satisfied with this, they at length began to say we were their slaves, and should do whatever they ordered us. We were now grown up and felt ourselves strong, we knew we were free as they were, that we came here of our own accord and not at their biddance, and were determined to be free as long as we should exist. For this reason they made war on us. They have now waged that war six years, and have not yet won more land from us than will serve to bury the warriors they have lost. Your old father, the king of France, has joined us in the war, and done many good things for us. We are bound forever to love him, and wish you to love him, brother, because he is a good and true friend to us. The Spaniards have also joined us, and other powerful nations are now entering into the war to punish the robberies and violences the English have committed on them. The English stand alone, without a friend to support them, hated by all mankind because they are proud and unjust. This quarrel, when it first began, was a family quarrel between us and the English, who were then our brothers. We, therefore, did not wish you to engage in it at all. We are strong enough of ourselves without wasting your blood in fighting our battles. The English, knowing this, have been always suing to the Indians to help them fight. We do not wish you to take up the hatchet. We love and esteem you. We wish you to multiply and be strong. The English, on the other hand, wish to set you and us to cutting one another's throats, that when we are dead they may take all our land. It is better for you not to join in this quarrel, unless the English have killed any of your warriors or done you any other injury. If they have, you have a right to go to war with them, and revenge the injury, and we have none to restrain you. Any free nation has a right to punish those who