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sea, may sink our oyster boats, rob our hen roosts, burn our negro huts, and run off. But a campaign or two more will relieve them from further trouble or expense in defending their American possessions.”
And to General Dearborn, March 17th :
“Oh, Massachusetts' how have I lamented the degradation of your apostasy Massachusetts, with whom I went with pride in 1776, whose vote was my vote on every public question, and whose principles were then the standard of whatever was free or fearless. But then she was under the counsels of the two Adamses : while Strong, her present leader, was promoting petitions for submission to British power and British usurpation. While under her present counsels, she must be contented to be nothing; as having a vote, indeed, to be counted, but not respected. But should the State once more buckle on her republican harness, we shall receive her again as a sister, and recollect her wanderings among the crimes only of the parricide party, which would have basely sold what their fathers so bravely won from the same enemy. Let us look forward, then, to the act of repentance, which, by dismissing her venal traitors, shall be the signal of return to the bosom and to the principles of her brethren; and if her late humiliation can just give her modesty enough to suppose that her southern brethren are somewhat on a par with her in wisdom, in information, in patriotism, in bravery, and even in honesty, although not in psalm singing, she will more justly estimate her own relative momentum in the Union. With her ancient principles, she would really be great, if she did not think herself the whole.”
Some of these are doubtless to be regarded as the exaggerated expressions of a man indignant at disloyal conduct, and not, in private letters, chary of epithets towards those who were daily and publicly, on one theatre or another, heaping purely gratuitous insults on his own head. He employed the common party language and imputations of the day. But it is hardly probable that any member of the Hartford Convention, however obsequious his veneration for England, was literally in the pay of its Government. There certainly was no Marat or Danton in the number. A large proportion of the delegates were men of irreproachable private character,' and we believe they acted far more wisely and temperately than it was intended they should, by the real authors of the measure.”
1 Cabot, the President, though believed to be one of the most decided of that reactionary party who preferred a mixed government on the English model, to a purely representative one, was a virtuous and benevolent man in private life, and unquestionably honest in his political views. . Thomas H. Perkins, one of the Commissioners to the General Government, appointed by Massachusetts, is reputed to have been an admirable man in his personal and business relations. Many other less conspicuous actors were equally estimable in private life.
* It is not probable that they would have remained in session three weeks, if agreed at the outset. And as they made another appeal to Congress, a step which a report adopted by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1814 had expressly condemned, we are
So deep an odium fell upon the Hartford Convention, that a distinguished New England Federalist is said to have prosecuted a person for slander, for charging him with some connection with that assemblage.' There can be little doubt that the public condemnation fell less on its imputed object, unpopular as it was, than on the manner in which that object was sought to be attained. Had the real disunionists boldly avowed their purpose—had they candidly explained the causes and presented fair instead of false issues—had they not taken advantage of a dangerous war to dictate conditions to their country—had they not shown more sympathy for a foreign enemy than for portions of the American people—had they not throughout practised, or countenanced baser men in practising, a petty, trickish, mercenary, and annoying system of measures towards the Government, and an injurious one towards the nation—the mass of their countrymen might have condemned their aims, but they never would have heaped upon the members of the Convention that mountain weight of political scorn and detestation which was not, in a single instance, afterwards removed, or sensibly lightened, until the victim sunk into the grave. Who were the real designers, and who were the instruments or dupes in this apparent attempt to juggle a people into revolution, is still very imperfectly known. No satisfactory history has ever appeared of the rise and fall of the “Eastern Confederacy” scheme, which made some external demonstrations at three different periods, and which finally exploded in the Hartford Convention.
The Boston Convention which was to have been the sequel of that of Hartford, was not held, or in the language of President J. Q. Adams, it was “turned over to the receptacle of things lost upon earth.” The constitutional amendments proposed by the Hartford Convention were passed by no States which were not formally represented in that body—and they were rejected by some" with strong expressions of contempt.
Turning to Mr. Jefferson's private affairs, and to his farmbook in 1815, it appears that the roll of negroes at Monticello,
strongly inclined to believe that the majority of business men in the Convention, voted down the political wire pullers who were expected to control them. 1 Daniel Webster is said thus to have prosecuted Theodore Lyman—the last a son of one of the members of the Hartford Convention. * For example, Pennsylvania.
included one hundred and thirty-five; the number at Poplar Forest is not given. His sowing of wheat extended to four hundred and twenty bushels. We find no record of the products of the year, and infer from the omission, that they were neither so large nor so small as to occasion particular remark. The farm-book contains the usual particulars and annual estimates in respect to the domestic manufacture of wool, cotton, and hemp. Mr. Jefferson had not yet learned how utterly inadequate this. kind of manufacturing would prove to withstand the reflux of importation after the close of the war. In a letter, of March 2d, 1815, to Jean Baptiste Say, the celebrated French writer on political economy, appear some interesting, because definite and reliable, agricultural, economical, and other statistics of Virginia. Say was contemplating emigrating to America, to engage in cotton manufacturing, and was inclined to select his residence in the immediate neighborhood of Mr. Jefferson. His inquiries drew from the latter the statements from which the following are selected. After giving a scale of the rise in lands from 1793 to 1811, illustrated by particular examples, showing that they ascended, during that period, from four to sixteen dollars, and from seven to twenty dollars per acre, Mr. Jefferson declared that, owing to the “dropsical state of our medium,” this did not give a true idea of their actual value, which he supposed to be from twelve to fifteen dollars an acre. The “best farmers, such as Mr. Randolph, his son-in-law,” he said, “got from ten to tw$nty bushels of wheat to the acre; the worst, such as himself, frofin, six to eighteen.” The labor of an able-bodied man cost sixty dollars a year, and he was clothed and fed by his employer—a woman half that sum. A good plowhorse was worth fifty or sixty dollars; a draught-ox, from twenty to twenty-five; a milch cow from fifteen to eighteen; a sheep two dollars; beef five cents, mutton and pork seven cents, and butter from twenty to twenty-five cents a pound; a turkey or goose fifty cents; a chicken, eight and one-third cents; and a dozen of eggs the same. We will close the extracts with a word descriptive of his Albemarle neighbors:
“The Society is much better than is common in country situations; perhaps there is not a better country society in the United States. But do not imagine this. a Parisian or an academical society. It consists of plain, honest, and rational neighHors, some of them well informed and men of reading, all superintending their farms, hospitable and friendly, and speaking nothing but English. The manners of every nation are the standard of orthodoxy within itself. But these standards being arbitrary, reasonable people in all allow free toleration for the manners, as for the religion of others.”
He wrote to Mr. Wendover, March 13th, some views in respect to the right of the clergy to discuss political questions in the pulpit, which do not appear elsewhere in his writings. He said that human concerns, moral and physical, were so vast, that no person could qualify himself to instruct others in all of them, and that consequently they were divided into departments, each of which might occupy the time and attention of a single individual who purposed to teach them. Thus there were separate teachers of mathematics, medicine, law and religion. Congregations associated together, and employed a religious teacher of their particular sect, and contributed to pay him a salary “for the trouble of delivering them at such periods as they agree on, lessons in the religion they profess.” Mr. Jefferson continued:
“If they want instruction in other sciences or arts, they apply to other instructors; and this is generally the business of early life. But I suppose there is not an instance of a single congregation which has employed their preacher for the mixed purposes of lecturing them from the pulpit in Chemistry, in Medicine, in Law, in the science and principles of Government, or in anything but religion exclusively. Whenever, therefore, preachers, instead of a lesson in religion, put them off with a discourse on the Copernican system, on chemical affinities, on the construction of government, or the characters or conduct of those administering it, it is a breach of contract, depriving their audience of the kind of service for which they are salaried, and giving them, instead of it, what they did not want, or, if wanted, would rather seek from better sources in that particular art or science. In choosing our pastor we look to his religious qualifications, without inquiring into his physical or political dogmas, with which we mean to have nothing to do. I am aware that arguments may be found, which may twist a thread of politics into the cord of religious duties. So may they for every other branch of human art or science. Thus, for example, it is a religious duty to obey the laws of our country; the teacher of religion, therefore, must instruct us in those laws, that we may know how to obey them. It is a religious duty to assist our sick neighbors; the preacher must, therefore, teach us medicine, that we may do it understandingly. It is a religious duty to preserve our own health; our religious teacher, then, must tell us what dishes are wholesome, and give us recipes in cookery, that we may learn how to prepare them. And so, ingenuity, by generalizing more and more, may amalgamate all the branches of science into any one of them, and the physician who is paid to visit the sick, may give a sermon instead of medicine, and the merchant to whom money is sent for a hat, may send a handkerchief instead of it?”
1 The letter is indorsed “not sent.” • He did not deny that a congregation might, if they chose, agree with their preacher
Mr. Jefferson confined this view to abstract or legal rights. There is another one of expediency, in regard to which the opinion of Mr. Burke may be perused with some interest in this connection. He said:
“Politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. No sound ought to be heard in the church but the voice of healing charity. The cause of civil liberty and civil government gains as little as that of religion by this confusion of duties. Those who quit their proper character to assume what does not belong to them, are for the greater part both ignorant of the character they leave, and of the character they assume. Wholly unacquainted with the world, in which they are so fond of meddling, and inexperienced in all its affairs, on which they pronounce with so much confidence, they know nothing of politics but the passions they excite. Surely the church is a place where one day's truce ought to be allowed to the dissensions and animosities of mankind.”
Several letters are addressed to Professor Girardin, in the early part of 1815, in reference to events to be described in the continuation of Burk's History of Virginia. Girardin was then preparing that work at Milton, two or three miles from Monticello. In one of his letters Mr. Jefferson mentioned how he wished to be treated, during his life, by writers of history:
“As to what is to be said of myself, I of course am not the judge. But my sincere wish is that the faithful historian, like the able surgeon, would consider me in his hands, while living, as a dead subject, that the same judgment may now be expressed which will be rendered hereafter, so far as my small agency in human affairs may attract future notice; and I would of choice now stand as at the bar of posterity. “Cum semel occidaris, et de te ultima Minos fecerit arbitria.’ The only exact testimony of a man is his actions, leaving the reader to pronounce on them his own judgment. In anticipating this, too little is safer than too much; and I sincerely assure you that you will please me most by a rigorous suppression of all friendly partialities. This candid expression of sentiments once delivered, passive silence becomes the future duty.
He also contributed some materials to Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry, during the year. His family remember that he was particularly active during the summer in both indoor and outdoor improvements, inventions, scientific investigations, etc. He
to instruct them in law, or medicine, or politics—but in that case he said, it must be by the consent of every individual member, “because the association being voluntary, the mere majority had no right to apply the contributions of the minority to purposes unspecified in the agreement of the congregation.” . Out of the pulpit, he thought “the preacher had the right, equally with every other citizen, to write or express his sentiments,” on politics or other subjects, “his leisure time being his own, and his congregation not obliged to listen to his conversation, or to read his writings.”
* He was a Professor for a time in William and Mary College—in what department we are not informed.