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Mr. Jefferson did not explain another charge connected with his treatment of this man, which was also included by the political writers of the day among the “rewards” he had conferred on him for “libelling Mr. Adams”—namely, that he had pardoned him from prison and remitted his fine, as a victim of the Sedition Law. He probably supposed no such explanations were necessary to a friend, who knew that he took the same course towards all who had been condemned under what he regarded, and was determined in all cases to treat officially, as a wholly unconstitutional act. The post-office at Richmond (worth about $1,500 a year) refused to Callender, was held by a Federal editor. On receiving this refusal, the former thereupon connected himself with the Richmond Recorder, and commenced a foul outpouring of personal calumnies on the President. Every enemy the latter had in Virginia ready to descend to such employment, emptied into this ready conduit all the old gossip, exploded calumnies and base suspicions which can be picked up among low neighbors and unscrupulous enemies in regard to any prominent man; and they swelled the putrid stream with such new and monstrous fabrications as they chose—for the fear of libel prosecutions was no longer a “hangman's whip” to “haud” this class of persons “in order.” Nearly every people have had a class who subsist by levying “black mail” on those ready to buy exemption for themselves or their families from dirty slanders, and by catering to the appetite for scandal in those who are beneath attack. The assailant is below contradiction; he is below the punishment of law. Personal chastisement he would delight in, because it would advertise him in his trade, and because he would gladly take kicks which could be coined into pence in an action for “assault and battery.” Callender sunk into this avocation. When he demanded the Richmond post-office, the President acted the part of Charicles instead of Nicias," and he took the consequences. Shall we declare the fact that the Richmond Recorder,
* Plutarch quotes one of the comic poets of his day as saying: “Charicles would not ive one mina to prevent my declaring that he was the first fruits of his mother's amours: #. Nicias, the son of Niceratus, gave me four. Why he did it I shall not say, though I know it, perfectly well. For Nicias is my friend, a very wise man besides, in my opinion.”
which before was an obscure paper, scarcely known out of the city, rapidly attained a circulation throughout the United States' Callender, elated by his success and provided with new means, plunged deeper in debauchery. Bloated and noisome, he reeled from one den of infamy to another when not engaged in collating or concocting attacks on Mr. Jefferson. This continued until he was drowned in the James River, into which he had gone to bathe in a state of intoxication. The President arrived at Monticello July 25th, on his usual visit during the unhealthy season. He was made happy by the conditions so fondly anticipated in his letters to Mrs. Eppes—the presence of his dearly loved children and grandchildren. The domestic details of the period are not specially interesting. His income for his first Presidential year did not meet his expenditures. We are tempted to give the heads of both of these as we find them analyzed in the account-book. The reader will not forget that the items of an unmarried man's establishment must necessarily considerably vary in kind from those of one surrounded by a family of both sexes:
Analysis of Erpenditures from March 4, 1801, to March 4, 1802.
Secretary - - - - - - - . $450 00
Provisions - - - - - - - . 4,504 84
Books and Stationery . . . . . . 391 30 $16,797 59 Debts prior to March 4, 1801, paid . - - . 3,917 59
Loans - - - - - - - - - 170 00
By Salary - - - - - - - . $25,000 00
$32,868 33 Error - - - - 4 - - - - 766 51
He supposes the error to have proceeded from having in some cases set down the same article of expense twice; but he says the above “is exact enough to give general ideas.”
The President returned to the capital on the 5th of October.
To MARIA JEFFERSoN EPPFs.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 1802. MY DEAR MARIA :
I arrived here on the fourth day of my journey without accident. On the day and next day after my arrival I was much indisposed with a general soreness all over, a ringing in the head and deafness. It is wearing off slowly, and was probably produced by travelling very early two mornings in the fog. I have desired Mr. Jefferson to furnish you with whatever you may call for on my account; and I insist on your calling freely. It never was my intention that a visit for my gratification should be at your expense. It will be absolutely necessary for me to send fresh horses to meet you, as no horses, after the three first days’ journey, can encounter the fourth, which is hilly beyond anything you have ever seen. I shall expect to learn from you soon the day of your departure, that I may make proper arrangements. Present me affectionately to Mr. Eppes, and accept yourself my tenderest love.
Teceiving a letter from Livingston (who had not yet got the President's of April 18th), mentioning the alienation from the United States which pervaded all the prominent circles of France, the President did not in the least unbend from his previous attitude. He replied October 10th :
“The departure of Madame Brugnard for France furnishes me a safe conveyance of a letter, which I cannot avoid embracing, although I have nothing particular for the subject of it. It is well, however, to be able to inform you, generally, through a safe channel, that we stand completely corrected of the error, that either the Government or the nation of France has any remains of friendship for us. The portion of that country which forms an exception, though respectable in weight, is weak in numbers. On the contrary, it appears evident, that an unfriendly spirit prevails in the most important individuals of the Government towards us. In this state of things, we shall so take our distance between the two rival nations, as, remaining disengaged till necessity compels us, we may haul finally to the enemy of that which shall make it necessary. We see all the disadvantageous consequences of taking a side, and shall be forced into it only by a more disagreeable alternative; in which event, we must countervail the disadvantages by measures which will give us splendor and power, but not as much happiness as our present system. We wish, therefore, to remain well with France. But we see that no consequences, however ruinous to them, can secure us with certainty against the extravagance of her present rulers. I think, therefore, that while we do nothing which the first nation on earth would deem crouching, we had better give to all our communications with them a very mild, complaisant, and even friendly complexion, but always independent. Ask no favors, leave small and irritating things to be conducted by the individuals interested in them, interfere ourselves but in the greatest cases, and then not push them to irritation. No matter at present existing between them and us is important enough to risk a breach of peace; peace being indeed the most important of all things for us, except the preserving an erect and independent attitude. Although I know your own judgment leads you to pursue this line identically, yet I thought it just to strengthen it by the concurrence of my own.”
He wrote Mr. Gallatin on the 13th, expressing the opinion that the act for building piers in the Delaware was unconstitutional, so far as it was based on the right of Congress to regulate commerce, and that “it would lead to a bottomless expense, and to the greatest abuses.” He thought, however, it might be brought within the Constitution under the head of providing and maintaining a navy, as it “provided receptacles for it and places to cover and preserve it;” and we, he says “ought always to presume that the real intention which is alone consistent with the Constitution.” He thought the same objection existed to the construction of lighthouses as a regulation of commerce; but that “the utility of the thing had sanctioned the infraction.” “But if on that infraction we built a second, on that second a third, etc., any one of the powers in the Constitution might be made to comprehend every power of government.”
He wrote the Attorney-General on the 23d, congratulating him on the fact that the Republicans had gained ground generally in the recent elections, and that they “had lost ground in not a single district of the United States, excepting Kent county in Delaware, where a religious dissension occasioned it.” His magnanimity towards the Federalists—still the incumbents of much the largest portion of the best offices within his gift— while nearly every Federal press in the United States was reeking with the filthy scurrilities of Callender, is manifested in the .
“Their bitterness increases with their desperation. They are trying slanders now which nothing could prompt but a gall which blinds their judgments as well as their consciences. I shall take no other revenge than, by a steady pursuit of economy and peace, and by the establishment of Republican principles in substance and in form, to sink Federalism into an abyss from which there shall be no resurrection for it. I still think our original idea as to office is best: that is, to depend for the obtaining a just participation, on deaths, resignations, and delinquencies. This will least affect the tranquillity of the people, and prevent their giving into the suggestion of our enemies, that ours has been a contest for office, not for principle. This is rather a slow operation, but it is sure if we pursue it steadily, which, however, has not been done with the undeviating resolution I could have wished. To these means of obtaining a just share in the transaction of the public business shall be added one other, to wit, removal for electioneering activity, or open and industrious opposition to the principles of the present Government, legislative and executive. Every officer of the Government may vote at elections according to his conscience; but we should betray the cause committed to our care, were we to permit the influence of official patronage to be used to overthrow that cause. Your present situation will enable you to judge of prominent offenders in your State, in the case of the present election. I pray you to seek them, to mark them, to be quite sure of your ground, that we may commit no error or wrong, and leave the rest to me. I have been urged to remove Mr. Whittemore, the surveyor of Gloucester, on grounds of neglect of duty and industrious opposition. Yet no facts are so distinctly charged as to make the step sure which we should take in this. Will you take the trouble to satisfy yourself on this point? I think it not amiss that it should be known that we are determined to remove officers who are active or open mouthed against the Government, by which I mean the legislature as well as the Executive.”
On the 16th of October, Morales, the Spanish Intendant of Louisiana, issued a proclamation withdrawing the privilege of deposit at New Orleans, which had been granted to citizens of the United States by the treaty of 1795 for three years, with a stipulation that it should not be taken away without conceding “an equivalent on another part of the bank of the Mississippi.” The last condition was wholly overlooked or disregarded. This procedure produced a great excitement in our western States. The Governor of Kentucky transmitted information of it to the President on the 30th of November. On the 1st of December, the Legislature of that State memorialized Congress, complaining of the infraction of the treaty. But the facts did not reach the President in time to be communicated in his opening message to Congress. That body had stood adjourned to the 6th of December, but a quorum of the Senate did not convene until the 14th.
The President's message, after enumerating those pleasing circumstances in our national affairs “which marked the good