I send you the Arrets which begin the reformation here, and some other publications respecting America; together with copies of letters received from O’Bryan and Lambe. It is believed, that a naval armament has been ordered at Brest, in correspondence with that of England. We know, certainly, that orders are given to form a camp in the neighborhood of Brabant, and that Count Rochambeau has the command of it. Its amount I cannot assert. Report says fifteen thousand men. This will derange the plans of economy. I take the liberty of putting under your cover a letter for Mrs. Kinloch, of South Carolina, with a packet, and will trouble you to inquire for her, and have them delivered. The packet is of great consequence, and therefore referred to her care, as she will know the safe opportunities of conveying it. Should you not be able to find her, and can forward the packet to its address, by any very safe conveyance, I will beg you to do it.
I have the honor to be, with sentiments of the most perfect friendship and esteem, Dear Sir, your most obedient and most humble servant,
TO DAVID HARTLEY.
Paris, July 2,1787.
I received lately your favor of April the 23d, on my return from a journey of three or four months; and am always happy in an occasion of recalling myself to your memory. The most interesting intelligence from America, is that respecting the late insurrection in Massachusetts. The cause of this has not been developed to me to my perfect satisfaction. The most probable is, that those individuals were of the imprudent number of those who have involved themselves in debt beyond their abilities to pay, and that a vigorous effort in that government to compel the payment of private debts, and raise money for public ones, produced the resistance. I believe you may be assured, than an idea or desire of returning to any thing like their ancient government, never entered into their heads. I am not discouraged by this. For thus I calculate. An insurrection in one of thirteen States, in the course of eleven years that they have subsisted, amounts to one in any particular state, in one hundred and forty-three years, say a century and a half. This would not be near as many as have happened in every other government that has ever existed. So that we shall have the difference between a light and a heavy government as clear gain. I have no fear, but that the result of our experiment will be, that men may be trusted to govern themselves without a master. Could the contrary of this be proved, I should conclude, either that there is no God, or that he is a malevolent being. You have heard of the federal convention, now sitting at Philadelphia, for the amendment of the Confederation. Eleven States appointed delegates certainly; it was expected