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placed at the head of the judiciary, for life, a man as obnoxious to Jefferson as the bitterest New England Calvinist could have been; for he belonged to that class of conservative Virginians whose devotion to President Washington, and whose education in the common law, caused them to hold Jefferson and his theories in antipathy. The new President and his two Secretaries were political philanthropists, bent on restricting the powers of the national government in the interests of human liberty. The Chief Justice, a man who in grasp of mind and steadiness of purpose had no superior, perhaps no equal, was bent on enlarging the powers of government in the interests of justice and nationality. As they stood face to face on this threshold of their power, each could foresee that the contest between them would end only with life. ...
John Davis, one of many Englishmen who were allowed by Burr to attach themselves to him on the chance of some future benefit to be derived from them, asserted in a book of American travels published in London two years afterward that he was present at the inauguration, and that Jefferson rode on horseback to the Capitol, and, after hitching his horse to the palings, went in to take the oath. This story, being spread by the Federalist newspapers, was accepted by the Republicans, and became a legend of the Capitol. In fact, Davis was not then at Washington; and his story was untrue. Afterward, as President, Jefferson was in the habit of going on horseback, rather than in a carriage, wherever business called him ; and the Federalists found fault with him for doing so. 6. He makes it a point,” they declared, * " when he has occasion to visit the Capitol to meet the representatives of the nation on public business, to go on a single horse, which he leads into the shed and hitches to a peg.” Davis wished to write a book that should amuse Englishmen; and, in order to give an air of truth to invention, he added that he was himself present at the ceremony. Jefferson was then living as Vice-President at Conrad's boarding house, within a stone's throw of the Capitol. He did not 'mount his horse only to ride across the square and dismount in a crowd of observers. Doubtless he wished to offer an example of republican simplicity, and he was not unwilling to annoy his opponents; but the ceremony was conducted with proper form.
Edward Thornton, then in charge of the British Legation at Washington, wrote to Lord Grenville, then Foreign Secretary in Pitt's administration, a despatch enclosing the new President's Inaugural Address, with comments upon its democratic tendencies; and, after a few remarks on this subject, he added : 1
- The same republican spirit which runs through this performance, and which in many passages discovers some bitterness through
* Evening Post, April 20, 1802.
Thornton to Grenville, March 4, 1801; MSS.
all the sentiments of conciliation and philanthropy with which it is overcharged, Mr. Jefferson affected to display in performing the customary ceremonies. He came from his own lodgings to the House where the Congress convenes, and which goes by the name of the Capitol, on foot, in his ordinary dress, escorted by a body of militia artillery from the neighboring State, and accompanied by the Secretaries of the Navy and the Treasury, and a number of his political friends in the House of Representatives. He was received by Mr. Burr, the Vice-President of the United States, who arrived a day or two ago at the seat of government, and who was previously admitted this morning to the chair of the Senate; and was afterward complimented at his own lodgings by the very few foreign agents who reside at this place, by the members of Congress, and other public officials.”
Only the north wing of the Capitol had then been so far completed as to be occupied by the Senate, the courts, and the small library of Congress. The centre rose not much above its foundations; and the south wing, some twenty feet in height, contained a temporary oval brick building, commonly called the “ Oven," in which the House of Representatives sat in some peril of their lives; for, had not the walls been strongly shored up from without, the structure would have crumbled to pieces. Into the north wing the new President went, accompanied by the only remaining secretaries, Dexter and Stoddert, and by his friends from the House. Received by Vice-President Burr, and seated in the chair between Burr and Marshall, after a short pause Jefferson rose, and in a somewhat inaudible voice began his Inaugural Address.
Time, which has laid its chastening hand on many reputations, and has given to many once famous formulas a meaning unsuspected by their authors, has not altogether spared Jefferson's first Inaugural Address, although it was for a long time almost as well known as the Declaration of Independence; yet this Address was one of the few State Papers which should have lost little of its interest by age. As the starting-point of a powerful political party, the first Inaugural was a standard by which future movements were measured; and it went out of fashion only when its principles were universally accepted or thrown aside. Even as a literary work, it possessed a certain charm of style peculiar to Jefferson, a favor of Virginia thought and manners, a Jeffersonian ideality calculated to please the ear of later generations forced to task their utmost powers in order to carry the complex trains of their thought.
The chief object of the Address was to quiet the passions which had been raised by the violent agitation of the past eight years. Every interest of the new Administration required that the extreme Federalists should be disarmed. Their temper was such as to endanger both Administration and Union ; and their power was still formidable, for they controlled New England and contested New York. To them Jefferson turned : “ Let us unite with one heart and one mind,” he entreated ; 6 let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists."
A revolution had taken place; but the new President seemed anxious to prove that there had been no revolution at all. A new experiment in government was to be tried, and the philosopher at its head began by pledging himself to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors. Americans ended by taking him at his word, and by assuming that there was no break of continuity between his ideas and those of President Washington.
LETTER FROM JEFFERSON TO SAMUEL ADAMS.
Washington, Mar. 29, 1801. I addressed a letter to you, my very dear and antient friend, on the 4th of March: not indeed to you by name, but through the medium of some of my fellow citizens whom occasion called on me to address. In meditating the matter of that address, I often asked myself, is this exactly in the spirit of the patriarch of liberty, Samuel Adams? Is it as he would express it? Will he approve of it? I have felt a great deal for our country in the times we have seen. But individually for no one so much as yourself. When I have been told that you were avoided, insulted, frowned on, I could but ejaculate, · Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.'
I confess I felt an indignation for you, which for myself I have been able, under every trial, to keep entirely passive. However, the storm is over, and we are in port. The ship was not rigged for the service she was put on.
We will show the smoothness of her motions on her republican tack. I hope we shall once more see harmony restored among our citizens, & an entire oblivion of past feuds. Some of the leaders who have most committed themselves cannot come into this. But I hope the great body of our fellow citizens will do it. I will sacrifice everything but principle to procure it. A few examples of justice on officers who have perverted their functions to the oppression of their fellow citizens must, in justice to those citizens, be made. But opinion, & the just maintenance of it, shall never be a crime in my view: nor bring injury on the individual. Those whose misconduct in office ought to have produced their removal even by my predecessor, must not be protected by the delicacy due only to honest men. How much I lament that time has deprived me of your aid. It would have been a day of glory which should have called you to the first office of the administration. But give us your counsel, my friend, and give us your blessing; and be assured that there exists not in the heart of man a more faithful esteem than mine to you, & that I shall ever bear you the most affectionate veneration and respect.
The letter from Jefferson to Samuel Adams immediately preceding, written just after his inauguration, is of interest as an expression of the peculiar esteem and reverence which he felt for “ the Father of the American Revolution." It is also of interest as an illustration of Jefferson's revelation of his feelings in his letters so much more truly than in his messages and addresses. The importance of this fact is well emphasized by Henry Adams, from whose just and acute characterization of Jefferson extracts are given above. Jefferson's writings are mostly letters,— there are few essays or systematic works,- and few letters of the period are more pregnant, varied, or informing. An edition of Jefferson's writings in nine volumes, edited by H. A. Washington, was published in 1853 by the authority of the government. The publication of a completer and more critical edition, edited by Paul Leicester Ford, was begun in 1892. The completest biography of Jefferson is that by Randall
, in three volumes, published in 1858. The important biography by Tucker appeared twenty years earlier; and the “ Memoirs, Correspondence, and Miscellanies of Thomas Jefferson," by Thomas J. Randolph, earlier still. The best popular life is that by James Parton. The volume on Jefferson in the “ American Statesmen ” series is by John T. Morse, Jr. The life, by James Schouler, in the “ Makers of America” series, is an admirable little book. A valuable supplement to all is The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson,” by his great-grand-daughter, Sarah N. Randolph.
For the period of Jefferson's Presidency we are peculiarly fortunate. To this are devoted the first four of the nine volumes of Henry Adams's History of the United States, the history of Jefferson's and Madison's administrations. There is no better work relating to any period of American history. In wealth of knowledge, in thoroughness and accuracy, in sympathetic appreciation of the time and its men, in grasp and warmth and literary charm, this stands in the front rank of American histories; and to it the student is referred for the most adequate introduction to the time of Jefferson's inauguration and administration.
THE DIRECTORS OF THE OLD SOUTH WORK,
Old South Meeting-house, Boston, Mass.
Being an Abstract of Documents in the Offices of the Departments
of State and of the Treasury.
The object of the following pages is to consolidate the information respecting the present state of Louisiana, furnished to the Executive by several individuals among the best informed upon that subject.
Of the province of Louisiana no general map, sufficiently correct to be depended upon, has been published, nor has any been yet procured from a private source. It is indeed probable that surveys have never been made on so extensive a scale as to afford the means of laying down the various regions of a country which, in some of its parts, appears to have been but imperfectly explored.
Boundaries. The precise boundaries of Louisiana, westwardly of the Mississippi, though very extensive, are at present involved in some obscurity. Data are equally wanting to assign with precision its northern extent. From the source of the Mississippi, it is bounded eastwardly by the middle of the channel of that river to the thirty-first degree of latitude : thence it is asserted upon very strong grounds that according to its limits, when formerly possessed by France, it stretches to the east, as far, at least, as the river Perdigo, which runs into the bay of Mexico, eastward of the river Mobille.
It may be consistent with the view of these notes to remark that Louisiana, including the Mobille settlements, was discovered and peopled by the French, whose monarchs made several