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torney-General, resigned, and on the second of March, Robert Smith, the Secretary of the Navy, was appointed in his place. Jacob Crowninshield, of Massachusetts, was the same day appointed to the Navy department. But Mr. Crowninshield, very extensively engaged in commerce, could not accept the office. Smith returned to his former place, and John Breckenridge, of Kentucky, was appointed Attorney-General on the 23d of the ensuing December. The “union of sentiment” spoken of in the President's inaugural address, though it did not soon diminish in regard to national affairs, was broken in upon by severe local schisms in several of the States. There were not enough Federalists left in some of them to form the outside pressure necessary to keep the Republicans together; and, as generally happens in such cases, personal ambition and personal preferences and dislikes led to speedy disruptions. The Burr faction in New York, consisting of a few Democrats aided by the main body of the Federalists, was scarcely swept away, before a division took place between the Clintons and Livingstons, and raged with proscriptive fury. In Pennsylvania, a bitter feud sprung up between the ultra Democrats, who desired to introduce more radical features into the State Constitution (such as a limitation of the term of judges, the annual election of senators, and the reduction of the Execuitve patronage), and the more conservative branch, who opposed these innovations. The former took the name of the “Friends of the People,” the latter of “Constitutionalists.” McKean having vetoed some legislative measures of the “Friends of the People,” that party denounced him, and nominated Simon Snyder for Governor. McKean was supported by the “Constitutionalists” and Federalists at the fall election, and was elected by a considerable majority. The Aurora took part, with its usual vehemence, with the radicals. Leib supported the same side; and Thomas Paine—now settled down on a farm given him by the State of New York—wrote articles in its favor. Dallas and Logan sided with McKean. Some difficulties had also broken out among the Kentucky Republicans—which it is not important here to describe. In a letter to Dr. Logan, May 11th, the President, without favoring either of the Pennsylvania factions, lamented the division, declaring that “the minority, whichever section should be the minority, would end in a coalition with the Federalists,
and some compromise of principle; because these would not sell their aid for nothing.”
The collection of Mr. Jefferson's letters to his daughters, in our possession, mostly closed with the death of Mrs. Eppes. From that period we have scattering family letters addressed to
his son-in-law, Mr. Eppes, and after some period, to several of his grandchildren.
To John W. EPPEs, EPPINGto.N.
WASHINGTON, May 27th, 1805. DEAR SIR:
Not understanding the conveyance to you by post beyond Richmond, I have thought it safest to remit the 100 D. for you to Gibson & Jefferson, subject to your order, which is done this day. I was never better pleased with a riding-horse than with Jacobin. It is now really a luxury to me to ride. The early prevalence of sickness for this season will probably drive us hence earlier than usual, perhaps by the middle of July. I shall proceed almost directly to Bedford, and will there take to my assistance Mr. Clay and Mr. Clark, and lay off at the east end of the tract so much as shall, taking quality and quantity into consideration, be equal to the average value of 1000 acres of the whole tract generally. The tenderest considerations ensure a conscientious performance of this duty, and to be governed by the judgment of those who, knowing the tract well, will have no motive but to do what is right. I shall hope on my return from Bedford to find you at Monticello with the beloved children, objects of my tenderest solicitudes. I shall not be without a hope of seeing Mr. and Mrs. Eppes also at Monticello. Though I cannot now repay their visits, if they will trust me four years I will overgo the measure. You will see in the papers an extra letter of Elliot's of extraordinary aspect. It contains some absolute untruths, but what is most remarkable is, that expressions are so put together as to be literally true when strictly considered and analyzed, and yet to convey to ninety-nine readers out of one hundred the most absolute and mischievous falsehoods. It is a most insidious attempt to cover his own opinions and passions under the mantle of the Executive, and to fill with inquietude the Republicans who have not the means of good information. Present me to Mr. and Mrs. Eppes and family, and accept my affectionate salutations.
The Tripolitan War—President strengthens Mediterranean Fleet–Tripoli bombarded— Catastrophe of the Ketch Intrepid—Preble returns Home and is succeeded by Barron —Preble's Opinion of Gunboats—Force left in Mediterranean—Eaton's romantic Expedition—Advances across the Lybian Desert and captures Derne–Barron refuses Reinforcements to attack Tripoli—Propriety of his Refusal considered—Barron succeeded by Rogers—Lear's Treaty with Tripoli–Criticisms on that Treaty—The Charge that Hamet Caramalli was dishonorably abandoned—Eaton's Testimony—Barron's Instructions—Hamet's own Testimony—Unfriendly Relations with Spain—Napoleon countenances Spain—The President's Manner of meeting the Insolence of French Minister— Considers a conditional Alliance with England necessary—The Battle of Trafalgar— It makes Napoleon our Friend and England our Enemy—Meeting of Ninth Congress —New Members—President's Message—Confidential Message on Spanish Affairs— Report of Committee—Two Millions appropriated to purchase Floridas—John Randolph's defection—His Character and Career—Jefferson's Estimation of him–Special Message on English Aggressions—Various Propositions and Debate thereon in the House—Votes on Gregg's and Sloane's Resolutions—The Administration Plan—Intercourse prohibited with St. Domingo—Appropriations—Cumberland Road Bill passed —Its History—Coast Survey originated—Mediterranean Fund—Bills which failed—A Political Ordeal passed by the Administration—Quarrel between John and Thomas Mann Randolph–Garland's Statements corrected—Miranda's Expedition sails from New York—Smith and Ogden prosecuted for Breach of Neutrality Laws—Their impudent Memorial to Congress—Quincy's Charge and Retraction—Votes of the House on the Memorial—The Finale of Miranda's Expedition—President's Correspondence with the Emperor Alexander—An International Policy inaugurated—Letter to Monroe on Death of Pitt—Outrage of the Leander—Hopes raised by the Accession of Fox to British Ministry—Domestic Political Triumphs—Randolph's Newspaper Attack on Administration—Burwell's Reply—Projects of Burr in 1805–His first Western Journey —At Blennerhasset's Island, Nashville, New Orleans, etc.—Return—Attempts to engage Eaton, Truxton, etc., in his Schemes—His Disclosures to Eaton–His Plans, how fostered—His second Trip West—His Bastrop or Washita Purchase—His and Blennerhasset's Preparations—Newspapers urging a Separation of the Atlantic and Western States—Wilkinson's and Burr's Correspondence—Burr sends Swartwout to Wilkinson–Burr's and Dayton's Letters in Cipher—Wilkinson's Proceedings thereon —Declares New Orleans under Martial Law–Sends Bollman and Swartwout Prisoners to Washington–The President's earliest Intimations of the Conspiracy—His proceedings thereon—Daviess's Measures against Burr in Kentucky—How thwarted— Henry Clay's Agency in the Affair—Further History of the Conspiracy—Broken up— Burr's flight—Arrested and sent to Richmond for Trial—President's Correspondence during the Affair.
On the 29th of March (1805), in a letter to Judge Tyler of
Virginia, the President thus alluded to the Tripolitan war:
“Our intention in sending Morris with a respectable force, was to try whether peace could be forced by a coercive enterprise on their town. His inexecution of orders baffled that effort. Having broke him, we try the same experiment under a better commander. If in the course of the summer they cannot produce peace, we shall recall our force, except one frigate and two small vessels, which will keep up a perpetual blockade. Such a blockade will cost us no more than a state of peace, and will save us from increased tributes, and the disgrace attached to them. There is reason to believe the example we have set begins already to work on the dispositions of the powers of Europe to emancipate themselves from that degrading yoke. Should we produce such a revolution there, we shall be amply rewarded for what we have done.”
Early in 1804, before information of Commodore Preble's energetic proceedings had reached the United States, and when it was strongly suspected that Morocco was preparing to join Tripoli, the President had strengthened our naval force in the Mediterranean by sending out the following frigates: President, 44; Congress, 38; Constellation, 38; and Essex, 32. There being but three captains in the navy junior to Preble (and one of these, Bainbridge, being a prisoner to the Tripolitans) it was necessary to send out officers who were his seniors in rank. Decatur was promoted to a captaincy for his conduct at Tripoli, and the ranks of masters and commanders, dropped at the reduction of 1801, were revived. Before the arrival of the new squadron, Preble had made various captures. On the 3d of August (1804) he bombarded Tripoli, and several of the enemy's strong gunboats, lying in the harbor, were carried by boarding against tremendous odds. The John Adams, 32, soon after arrived from home, announcing the approach of the additional fleet; but their coming being delayed, Preble again bombarded the enemy's capital on the 24th and 29th, the last time with serious effect. A sharp engagement also took place on the 3d of September. -
On the evening of the next day, a most tragical event occurred. The ketch Intrepid, which had been used by Decatur in the destruction of the Philadelphia, having been fitted as a floating mine, with a hundred barrels of gunpowder in her magazine, and her deck loaded with shot, shells and kentledge, was sent into the harbor at night to be exploded in the midst of the enemy's cruisers. Captain Somers and Lieutenant Wadsworth, selected from a list of volunteers, were the only officers (except young Israel, who, having been refused permission, sprung on board at the last moment) permitted to take part in the desperate service; and they had a volunteer crew as determined as themselves. It was said that Preble felt unutterable anxiety as the “Infernal” and the accompanying boats, which were to lie at the harbor's mouth, to aid in bringing off her crew, put off into the dense haze of a summer night, through which the stars were dimly discernible. Several Moorish gunboats lay near the harbor's mouth ; the vessel was filled with combustibles which a spark would ignite; and a shot from a boat or the batteries was liable to explode her with the suddenness of a bomb. But above all, whispers had stolen through the squadron that the crew had generally declared they would neither retreat until their object was accomplished nor be taken alive. In trying a port-fire in the cabin of the Constitution a day or two before the ketch was ready to proceed, Commodore Preble had remarked that he thought it burned a few seconds too long, and that an enemy might possibly reach the vessel and extinguish it before the train was fired. “I ask for no port-fire at all,” was Captain Somers's ominous reply. The deeds of Decatur and others had begotten among 'our young officers in the Mediterranean a spirit of gallantry too wild and daring for the dictates of sober reason, if not for the ultimate good of the service itself. When last seen by the straining eyes of those left behind, the Intrepid was moving slowly (she was a dull sailer) but steadily into the gloom, and her shadowy outline was discovered within a musket-shot of the mole, standing directly for the harbor. After a few moments of breathless anxiety, the silence was suddenly broken by the opening roar of the enemy's guns, and a storm of shot lashed the passages of the bay. Presently, a glare of lurid light shot to the heavens, followed by an explosion which shook sea and land. This was the last ever certainly known of the fate of the fire-ship or any of its crew. Mangled forms were afterwards found among the rocks of the harbor, but so blackened and mutilated, so