<br><h3> Chapter One </h3> <b>THE PAPERS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON <p> <p> To Destutt de Tracy</b> Nov. 28. 13. <p> I will not fatigue you, my dear Sir, with long and labored excuses for having been so tardy in writing to you; but shall briefly mention that the thousand hostile ships which cover the ocean render attempts to pass it now very unfrequent, and these concealing their intentions from all that they may not be known to the enemy are gone before heard of in such inland situations as mine. to this, truth must add the torpidity of age as one of the obstacles to punctual correspondence. <p> Your letters of Oct. 21. & Nov. 15. 1811. and Aug. 29. 1813. were duly recieved and with that of Nov. 15 came the MS. copy of your work on Oeconomy. the extraordinary merit of the former volume had led me to anticipate great satisfaction and edification from the perusal of this; and I can say with truth and sincerity that these expectations were compleatly fulfilled. new principles developed, former ones corrected, or rendered more perspicuous, present us an interesting science, heretofore voluminous and embarrassed, now happily simplified and brought within a very moderate compass. after an attentive perusal which enabled me to bear testimony to it's worth, I took measures for getting it translated and printed in Philadelphia; the distance of which place prepared me to expect great and unavoidable delays. but notwithstanding my continual urgencies these have gone far beyond my calculations. in a letter of Sep. 26. from the editor in answer to one of mine, after urging in excuse the causes of the delay, he expresses his confidence that it would be ready by the last of October; and that period being now past, I am in daily expectation of hearing from him. as I write the present letter without knowing by what conveyance it may go, I am not without a hope of recieving a copy of the work in time to accompany this. I shall then be anxious to learn that better health and more encouraging circumstances enable you to pursue your plan thro' the two remaining branches of Morals & Legislation, which executed in the same lucid, logical and condensed style, will present such a whole as the age we live in will not before have recieved. should the same motives operate for their first publication here, I am now offered such means, nearer to me, as promise a more encouraging promptitude in the execution. and certainly no effort should be spared on my part to ensure to the world such an acquisition. the MS. of the first work has been carefully recalled and deposited with me. that of the second, when done with shall be equally taken care of. <p> If unmerited praise could give pleasure to a candid mind I should have been highly exalted, in my own opinion, on the occasion of the first work. one of the best judges and best men of the age has ascribed it to myself; and has for some time been employed in translating it into French. it would be a gratification to which you are highly entitled, could I transcribe the sheets he has written me in praise, nay in rapture with the work; and were I to name the man, you would be sensible there is not another whose suffrage would be more encouraging. but the casualties which lie between us would render criminal the naming any one. in a letter which I am now writing him, I shall set him right as to myself, and acknolege my humble station far below the qualifications necessary for that work: and shall discourage his perseverance in retranslating into French a work the original of which is so correct in it's diction that not a word can be altered but for the worse; and from a translation too where the author's meaning has sometimes been illy understood, sometimes mistaken, and often expressed in words not the best chosen. indeed when the work, thro' it's translation becomes more generally known here, the high estimation in which it is held by all who become acquainted with it, encorages me to hope I may get it printed in the original. I sent a copy of it to the late President of Wm and Mary college of this state, who adopted it at once, as the elementary book of that institution. from these beginnings it will spread and become a political gospel for a nation open to reason, & in a situation to adopt and profit by it's results, without a fear of their leading to wrong. <p> I sincerely wish you all the health, comfort and leisure necessary to dispose and enable you to persevere in employing yourself so usefully for present & future times: and I pray you to be assured you have not a more grateful votary for your benefactions to mankind nor one of higher sentiments of esteem & affectionate respect Th: Jefferson <p> <p> <b>From Joseph C. Cabell</b> <p> <p> Dear Sir Williamsburg. 29th nov 1813. <p> Your favor of 7th inst covering an abstract of the Bill respecting yourself & the Rivanna River Co, did not get to Warminster, till nearly a fortnight after I had left home for the lower country: and it was not untill the 26th inst that I received it at this place. This will account for the delay of my answer; as well as for my not calling at Monticello on my way down, agreeably to your obliging invitation. <p> I am happy to learn that the Bill of the last session as amended in the Senate, is satisfactory to the parties concerned, & that it will pass thro' both houses as a matter of course. To the verbal amendments suggested by yourself in red ink, I presume, there will be no objection from any quarter, as they only remove defects in the wording of the bill, & cause it to express more accurately the real intentions of the parties. <p> On the subject of the duration of the charter, I can only say that it was made as short as was supposed compatible with the success of the amendments made in the Senate. Mr Johnson advised me to attempt nothing further. I am extremely sorry that I cannot see your reasoning on the general question of the duration of charters, & the power of one generation to bind another. I should derive great satisfaction & advantage from such a communication; the more especially as it would throw light on the path of my official duties, in which I am desirous to move with all possible care & circumspection during the residue of the time that I have to act as the representative of the district. The ride from my house to monticello would have cheerfully been taken, for this object: had I not already have left home. I beg the favor of you to communicate this production to me, whenever in your opinion a suitable opportunity may occur. <p> Tho' I shall not be able personally to deliver Say's work to you, I hope you will not be disappointed in receiving it, by the period mentioned in your letter (7th Dec) as I shall take all possible care to cause it to be put into your hands by that time. I brought itq as far as Richmond, where I left it; & from which I intended to send it to Monticello at the close of the session. I feel ashamed of the length of time I have kept it from you. Soon after borrowing it, I determined on reading Smith's treatise first; which I did: & then in order to understand him more clearly, I read him a second time: afterwards I read Say twice, with the exception of a small part—During these perusals, I took frequent occasion to refer to small tracts on branches of the science—These readings, with my other studies & avocations, have filled up the long space of time that Say has been in my hands. I am much pleased with this author, & think he well deserves the praises you bestow on him. He is more concise, more methodical, more clear, &, in many passages, more correct than Smith. His work approximates perfection more nearly than Smith's—yet I consider it only as an approximation. On the theory of money my mind is not yet satisfied, and I doubt whether new views of that branch of the science are not to rise upon the Human mind. My studies on the subject of political economy, are, however, in an unfinished state: and things may appear to me obscure, because I do not understand them. This has been often the case in regard to Commentators on Smith, and the remark, I think, at least in some degree applicable to Ganihl, whose work I have partly read. I shall be happy to hear your opinion of this writer at a convenient opportunity. <p> I am dr Sir very respectfully & truly yours Joseph C. Cabell. <p> <p> <b>To Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours</b> <p> My very dear and estimable friend. Nov. 29. 13. <p> In answering the several very kind letters I have recieved from you, I owe to yourself, and to the most able and estimable author of the Commentaries on Montesquieu to begin by assuring you that I am not the author of that work, and of my own consciousness that it is far beyond my qualifications. in truth I consider it as the most profound and logical work which has been presented to the present generation. on the subject of government particularly there is a purity and soundness of principle which renders it precious, to our country particularly, where I trust it will become the elementary work for the youth of our academies and Colleges. the paradoxes of Montesquieu have been too long uncorrected. I will not fail to send you a copy of the work if possible to get it thro' the perils of the sea. I am next to return you thanks for the copy of the works of Turgot, now compleated by the reciept of the last volume. in him we know not which most to admire, the comprehensiveness of his mind, or the benevolence and purity of his heart. in his Distribution of Riches, and other general works, and in the great principles developed in his smaller works, we admire the gigantic stature of his mind. but when we see that mind thwarted, harrassed, maligned and forced to exert all it's powers in the details of provincial administration, we regret to see a Hercules laying his shoulder to the wheel of an ox-cart. the sound principles which he establishes in his particular as well as general works are a valuable legacy to ill-governed man, and will spread from their provincial limits to the great circle of mankind. I am indebted to you also for your letter by mr Correa, and the benefit it procured me of his acquaintance. he was so kind as to pay me a visit at Monticello which enabled me to see for myself that he was still beyond all the eulogies with which yourself and other friends had preconised him. learned beyond any one I had before met with, good, modest, and of the simplest manners, the idea of losing him again filled me with regret: and how much did I lament that we could not place him at the head of that great institution which I have so long nourished the hope of seeing established in my country; and towards which you had so kindly contributed your luminous views. but, my friend, that institution is still in embryo as you left it: and from the complexion of our popular legislature, and the narrow and niggardly views of ignorance courting the suffrage of ignorance to obtain a seat in it, I see little prospect of such an establishment until the national government shall be authorised to take it up and form it on the comprehensive basis of all the useful sciences. The inauspicious commencement of our war had damped at first the hopes of fulfilling your injunctions to add the Floridas and Canada to our confederacy. the former indeed might have been added but for our steady adherence to the sound principles of National integrity, which forbade us to take what was a neighbor's merely because it suited us; and especially from a neighbor under circumstances of peculiar affliction. but seeing now that his afflictions do not prevent him from making those provinces the focus of hostile and savage combinations for the massacre of our women and children by the tomahawk and scalping knife of the Indian, these scruples must yield to the necessities of self defence: and I trust that the ensuing session of Congress will authorize the incorporation of it with ourselves. their inhabitants universally wish it and they are in truth the only legitimate proprietors of the soil & government. Canada might have been ours in the preceding year but for the treachery of our General who unfortunately commanded on it's border. there could have been no serious resistance to the progress of the force he commanded, in it's march thro' Upper Canada. but he sold and delivered his army fortified and furnished as it was, to an enemy of one fourth his number. this was followed by a series of losses flowing from the same source of unqualified commanders. carelessness, cowardice, foolhardiness & sheer imbecility lost us 4 other successive bodies of men, who under faithful and capable leaders would have saved us from the affliction and the English from the crime of the thousands of men, women & children murdered & scalped by the savages under the procurement & direction of British officers, some on capitulation, some in the field, & some in their houses and beds. the determined bravery of our men, whether regulars or militia, evidenced in every circumstance where the treachery or imbecility of their commanders permitted, still kept up our confidence and sounder and abler men now placed at their head have given us possession of the whole of Upper Canada & the lakes. at the moment I am writing I am in hourly expectation of learning that Gen Wilkinson who about the 10th inst. was entering the Lake of St Francis in his descent upon Montreal, has taken possession of it, the force of the enemy there being not such as to give us much apprehension. between that place and Quebec there is nothing to stop us, but the advance of the season. the atchievements of our little navy have claimed and obtained the admiration of all, in spite of the Endeavors of the English by lying misrepresentations of the force of the vessels on both sides to conceal the truth. the loss indeed of half a dozen frigates and sloops of war is no sensible diminution of numbers to them; but the loss of the general opinion that they were invincible at sea, the lesson taught to the world that they can be beaten by an equal force, has, by it's moral effect lost them half their physical force. I consider ourselves as now possessed of every thing from Florida point to the walls of Quebec. this last place is not worth the blood it would cost. it may be considered as impregnable to an enemy not possessing the water. I hope therefore we shall not attempt it, but leave it to be voluntarily evacuated by it's inhabitants, cut off from all resources of subsistence by the loss of the upper country. <p> I will ask you no questions, my friend, about your return to the US. at your time of life it is scarcely perhaps advisable. an exchange of the society, the urbanity, and the real comforts to which you have been formed by the habits of a long life, would be a great and real sacrifice. whether therefore I shall ever see you again, or not, let me live in your esteem, as you ever will in mine most affectionately and devotedly. Th: Jefferson <p> <p> P.S. Monticello Dec. 14. 13. we have been disappointed in the result of the expedition against Montreal. the 2d in command who had been detached ashore with a large portion of the army, failing to join the main body according to orders at the entrance of Lake St Francis, the enterprize was of necessity abandoned at that point, and the inclemency of the winter being already set in, the army was forced to go into winter quarters near that place.—Since the date of my letter I have recieved yours of Sep. 18. & a printed copy of your plan of national education of which I possessed the MS. if I can get this translated and printed it will contribute to advance the public mind to undertake the institution. the persuading those of the value of science who possess none, is a slow operation. <p> <p> <b>To Tadeusz Kosciuszko</b> <p> My dear friend and General Nov. 30. 13. <p> I have to acknolege the reciept of yours of Dec. 1. 12. and it's duplicate of May 30. 13. and am pleased that our arrangement with mr Morton proves satisfactory. I believed it would be so, and that a substantial & friendly house there might sometimes be a convenience, when, from the dangers of the sea, difficulty of finding good bills, or other casualties, mr Barnes's remittances might incur unavoidable delay. he is at this time making arrangements with mr Williams the correspondent of mr Morton for the usual remittance, having for some time past been unable to get a good bill. <p> <i>(Continues...)</i> <p> <p> <!-- copyright notice --> <br></pre> <blockquote><hr noshade size='1'><font size='-2'> Excerpted from <b>THE PAPERS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON RETIREMENT SERIES</b> Copyright © 2010 by Princeton University Press. Excerpted by permission of PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.