Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

“We are entirely free from the measles here now. Those of our people who had it are recovered. At Monticello, the last time I heard from there, three of the nail boys had it and others were complaining; but whether with the measles or not I could not learn. I will send over to Lilly immediately to let him know your orders on the subject.” Those orders were to remove every person from the mountain who had or should have the measles. I have no doubt you may proceed with the utmost security. I shall be there before you, to wit, on Saturday the 24th, and will take care to have a clear stage, if anybody should still have it; but there can be no doubt it will have gone through all who were to have it before that date. I am satisfied Francis will have more to hope from the change of air, than to fear from the measles. And as to yourself, it is of great importance to get up into the country as soon as you are able, the liability to bilious diseases being exactly in proportion to the distance from the sea. I leave this on the 24th, and shall be in great hopes of receiving yourself and Mr. Eppes there immediately. I received two days ago his letter of the 8th, in which he gives me a poor account of your health, though he says you are recruiting. Make very short stages, be off always by daylight, and have your day's journey over by ten. In this way it is probable you may find the moderate exercise of the journey of service to yourself and Francis. Nothing is more frequent than to see a child reestablished by a journey. Present my sincerest affections to the family at Eppington and to Mr. Eppes. Tell him the Tory newspapers are all attacking his publication, and urging it as a proof that Virginia has for object to change the Constitution of the United States, and to make it too impotent to curb the larger States. Accept yourself assurances of my constant and tenderest love. TH. JEFFERson.

On the 13th of July, the President addressed Mr. King, the American minister to England, on the subject of obtaining permission of the proper authorities for transporting the insurgent blacks of Virginia to the colony of Sierra Leone. The following was the closing paragraph of the letter, and it will become more interesting in the light of some subsequent circumStances :

“The request of the Legislature of Virginia having produced to me the occasion of addressing you, I avail myself of it to assure you of my perfect satisfaction with the manner in which you have conducted the several matters confided to you by us; and to express my hope that through your agency we may be able to remove everything inauspicious to a cordial friendship between this country and the one in which you are stationed; a friendship dictated by too many considerations not to be felt by the wise and the dispassionate of both nations. It is therefore with the sincerest pleasure I have observed on the part of the British Government various manifestations of just and friendly disposition towards us. We wish to cultivate peace and friendship with all nations, believing that course most conducive to the welfare of our own. It is natural that these friendships should bear some proportion to the common interests of the parties. The interesting relations between Great Britain and the United States, are certainly of the first order; and as such are estimated, and will be faithfully cultivated by us. These sentiments have been communicated to you from time to time in the official correspondence of the Secretary of State; but I have thought it might not be unacceptable to be assured that they perfectly concur with my own personal convictions, both in relation to yourself and the country in which you are. I pray you to accept assurances of my high consideration and respect.”

The President's next two letters pertain to an affair which, at the time, was the theme of the most constant and offensive imputations against him by the opposition press; and which has since been the subject of a good many historical misstatements. For these reasons, we prefer to give space for his own full explanations:

To GoverNor Monroe.
Washington, July 16, 1802.

DEAR SIR:

Your favor of the 7th has been duly received. I am really mortified at the base ingratitude of Callender. It presents human nature in a hideous form. It gives me concern, because I perceive that relief, which was afforded him on mere motives of charity, may be viewed under the aspect of employing him as a writer. When the Political Progress of Britain first appeared in this country, it was in a periodical publication called the Bee, where I saw it. I was speaking of it in terms of strong approbation to a friend in Philadelphia, when he asked me if I knew tha. the author was then in the city, a fugitive from prosecution on account of that work, and in want of employ for his subsistence. This was the first of my learning that Callender was the author of the work. I considered him as a man of science fled from persecution, and assured my friend of my readiness to do whatever could serve him. It was long after this before I saw him; probably not till 1798. He had, in the meantime, written a second part of the Political Progress, much inferior to the first, and his History of the United States. In 1798, I think, I was applied to by Mr. Lieper to contribute to his relief. I did so. In 1799, I think, S. T. Mason applied for him. I contributed again. He had, by this time, paid me two or three personal visits. When he fled in a panic from Philadelphia to General Mason's, he wrote to me that he was a fugitive in want of employ, wished to know if he could get into a counting-house or a school, in my neighborhood or in that of Richmond; that he had materials for a volume, and if he could get as much money as would buy the paper, the profit of the sale would be all his own. I availed myself of this pretext to cover a mere charity, by desiring him to consider me a subscriber for as many copies of his book as the money inclosed (fifty dollars) amounted to ; but to send me two copies only, as the others might lay till called for. But I discouraged his coming into my neighborhood. His first writings here had fallen far short of his original Political Progress, and the scurrilities of his subsequent ones began evidently to do mischief. As to myself, no man wished more to see his pen stopped; but I considered him still as a proper object of benevolence. The succeeding year, be again wanted money to buy paper for another volume. I made his letter, as before, the occasion of giving him another fifty dollars. He considers these as proofs of my approbation of his writings, when they were mere charities, yielded under a strong conviction that he was injuring us by his writings. It is known to many that the sums given to him were such, and even smaller than I was in the liabit of giving to others in distress, of the Federal as well as the Republican party, without attention to political principles. Soon after I was elected to the government, Callender came on here, wishing to be made postmaster at Richmond. I knew him to be totally unfit for it; and however ready I was to aid him with my own charities (and I then gave him fifty dollars), I did not think the public offices confided to me to give away as charities. He took it in mortal offence, and from that moment has been hauling off to his former enemies, the Federalists. Besides the letter I wrote him in answer to the one from General Mason's, I wrote him another, containing answers to two questions he addressed to me. 1. Whether Mr. Jay received salary as Chief Justice and Envoy at the same time; and 2, something relative to the expenses of an embassy to Constantinople. I think these were the only letters I ever wrote him in answer to volumes he was perpetually writing to me. This is the true state of what has passed between him and me. I do not know that it can be used without committing me in controversy, as it were, with one too little respected by the public to merit that notice. I leave to your judgment what use can be made of these facts. Perhaps it will be better judged of, when we see what use the Tories will endeavor to make of their new friend. I shall leave this on the 21st, and be at Monticello probably on the 24th, or within two or three days of that, and shall hope, ere long, to see you there. Accept assurances of my affectionate attachment.

To Governor Monroe.

WASHINGros, July 17, 1802. '

DEAR SIR: After writing you on the 15th, I turned to my letter file to see what letters I had written to Callender, and found them to have been of the dates of 1798, October the 11th, and 1799, September the 6th, and October the 6th; but on looking for the letters, they were not in their places, nor to be found. On recollection, I believe I sent them to you a year or two ago. If you have them, I shall be glad to receive them at Monticello, where I shall be on this day se’nnight. I inclose you a paper, which shows the Tories mean to pervert these charities to Callender as much as they can. They will probably first represent me as the patron and support of the Prospect before Us, and other things of Callender's; and then picking out all the scurrilities of the author against General Washington, Mr. Adams, and others, impute them to me. I, as well as most other Republicans who were in the way of doing it, contributed what I could afford to the support of the Republican papers and printers, paid sums of money for the Bee, the Albany Register, etc., when they were staggering under the sedition law; contributed to the fines of Callender himself, of Holt, Brown, and others, suffering under that law. I discharged, when I came into office, such as were under the persecution of our enemies, without instituting any prosecutions in retaliation. They may, therefore, with the same justice, impute to me, or to every Republican contributor, everything which was ever published in those papers or by those persons. I must correct a fact in mine of the 15th. I find I did not inclose the fifty dollars to Callender himself while at General Mason's, but authorized the General to draw on my correspondent at Richmond, and to give the money

vol. III.-2

to Callender. So that the other fifty dollars of which he speaks were by order on my correspondent at Richmond.” Accept assurances of my affectionate esteem and respect.

James Thompson Callender was a Scotchman by birth; was well educated; and possessed much coarse, vigorous ability. His talents and his previous history attracted a good deal of notice and sympathy from the party in the United States whose interests he so warmly espoused; but his course was steadily downward, owing to habits of inebriety and of consorting with vicious and degraded men. Even his mind seemed to fail rapidly with every succeeding effort, and as he sunk into the brutality he also sunk into the impotence of a common blackguard. He had been made the victim of an oppressive law—his private conduct was unknown to Mr. Jefferson—his increasing newspaper virulence was still of a milder type than that of a host of writers on the other side—and he was one of those pertinacious mendicants who having fastened themselves, by successful appeals to sympathy, on a respectable man, can only be shaken off at the expense of some disgusting quarrel.

A picture of this transaction, which has been rendered familiar to all American readers, exhibits Mr. Jefferson as continuing to confer the gratuities we have recorded, on a writer who was indecently attacking the personal character of a rival candi

* The account book has the following entries:

1797. Dec. 14. Paid Callender for pamphlets, . . . . $4 33
* * ** 23. Paid Callender for books and o - - 5 00
1798, Feb. 9. Paid T. Lieper for Callender, for five copies of his
Sketches, - - - - - - - 5 00
“ March 23. Gave Lieper order on Barnes for Callender, . 16 00
“ May 23. Paid Callender for books, . - - - - 3 00
4 i. “. 28. Paid Callender for books, . - - - - 5 00
“ June 26. Paid Callender for his next book, - 5 00

1799. Sept. 6. Wrote to G. Jefferson & Co. to pay to J.T. Callender, 50 00
1800. Oct. 23. Directed G. Jefferson to pay Callender, . - 50 00
1801. May 28. Gave in charity to J. T. Callender, . . . 50 00

These are all the entries where Callender's name occurs excepting two, which are memoranda of sums of money paid him for other persons, of less than five dollars each.

Mr. Jefferson states that he was in the habit of giving to others in distress, “without attention to political principles.” Our eye now rests on an entry, near one of the preceding, of $50 sent to a superannuated Virginia officer, who we believe to have been an ardent Federalist. Entries of gratuities of equal amount to other individuals occur on several occasions, where we have no means of tracing the politics of the individual. The sums contributed by him to newspapers, and to aid in paying the fines under the Sedition Law, cannot be traced, because in some cases, probably, they were paid to third persons, and in others we are not acquainted with the names of the publishers. In 1799, he paid $25 to Senator Mason for “Lyon,” and the same year sent “Lyon'' $25 for “Staunton Gazettes.” These are interspersed with entries (among the first that catches our eye) of $100 to an academy; $15 to an Episcopalian clergyman; $7.50 contribution at a sermon, etc., etc.; and daily ones, ranging from $1 to $20, to the old, the lame, the blind, etc.

[ocr errors]

date. This is believed to be a purely gratuitous assumption.
We confess we never have found our curiosity strong enough to
vanquish our disinclination to go back and examine the writings
of this man. But it is certain that Mr. Adams, afterwards, so
far from complaining of personal attacks on himself, in his two
Presidential contests with Jefferson, admitted that he was most
handsomely used in this particular; and declared that his own
party friends had specially contributed to the ruin of their cause
by their entirely different conduct towards Mr. Jefferson. And
nowhere have we, in our political investigations, found an allu-
sion to any insulting imputations on Mr. Adams's private cha-
racter, tracing back to or repeated by Callender. This lower
deep of his infamy was undoubtedly reserved for new associa-
tions and new victims.
But if these are erroneous conjectures, it will be very easy
to demonstrate the mistake from printed records. If it should
be proved that Callender was in the habit of denouncing Mr.
Adams as a man destitute of personal veracity, as a suborner of
perjury, as a foreign ambassador who attempted to procure a
deliberate pecuniary fraud on a class of public creditors, as a man
of wealth who obtained his property by cheating a widowed
sister and her orphaned children out of their patrimony, as an
atheist, as an open scorner of the Sabbath and all religious rites,
as an indecent reviler of the Saviour, as a parent who had
brought shame and agony on his daughters, by converting his
house into an African brothel’—or of bringing kindred or analo-
gous charges—then we shall blush to find that any considera-
tions induced Mr. Jefferson to continue even that degree of
countenance to the author implied by making him an object of
charity;-though the “gentle quality” of a kind man's mercy
will often induce him to drop a pittance into the hand of avowed
infamy sooner than see anything of man or woman kind suffering
for food or shelter. To such, even such straits, the improvidence
of Callender had exposed him.
* Saying that an old dilapidated church “was good enough for him who was born in
a manger," etc. '
* We have at this moment lying before us some pretty well written lines, copied from
a Philadelphia paper, and originally published in a Boston paper—(both of which re-
ceived the personal and official patronage of the Federal party)—which represents Mr.
Jefferson's daughters weeping to see a negress installed in the place of their mother. We
bope to be excused these details, but it seems to us about time when such traditions as

the story of Jefferson's connection with Callender are beginning to pass into psu.edo “ listory,” to call back attention to some of the facts.

« ZurückWeiter »