Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 659 pages of information about Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson, Volume 2.
they would find it safer to go with those eleven, than put themselves into opposition, with Rhode Island only.  Though I am much pleased with this successful issue of the new constitution, yet I am more so, to find that one of its principal defects (the want of a declaration of rights) will pretty certainly be remedied.  I suppose this, because I see that both people and conventions, in almost every State, have concurred in demanding it.  Another defect, the perpetual re-eligibility of the same President, will probably not be cured, during the life of General Washington.  His merit has blinded our countrymen to the danger of making so important an officer re-eligible.  I presume there will not be a vote against him, in the United States.  It is more doubtful, who will be Vice-President.  The age of Dr. Franklin, and the doubt whether he would accept it, are the only circumstances that admit a question, but that he would be the man.  After these two characters of first magnitude, there are so many which present themselves equally, on the second line, that we cannot see which of them will be singled out.  John Adams, Hancock, Jay, Madison, Rutledge, will be all voted for.  Congress has acceded to the prayer of Kentucky to become an independent member of the Union.  A committee was occupied in settling the plan of receiving them, and their government is to commence on the 1st day of January next.

You are, I dare say, pleased, as I am, with the promotion of our countryman, Paul Jones.  He commanded the right wing, in the first engagement between the Russian and Turkish galleys; his absence from the second, proves his superiority over the Captain Pacha, as he did not choose to bring his ships into the shoals in which the Pacha ventured, and lost those entrusted to him.  I consider this officer as the principal hope of our future efforts on the ocean.  You will have heard of the action between the Swedes and Russians, on the Baltic; as yet, we have only the Swedish version of it.  I apprehend this war must catch from nation to nation, till it becomes general.

With respect to the internal affairs of this country, I hope they will be finally well arranged, and without having cost a drop of blood.  Looking on as a by-stander, no otherwise interested, than as entertaining a sincere love for the nation in general, and a wish to see their happiness promoted, keeping myself clear of the particular views and passions of individuals, I applaud extremely the patriotic proceedings of the present ministry.  Provincial Assemblies established, the States General called, the right of taxing the nation without their consent abandoned, corvees abolished, torture abolished, the criminal code reformed, are facts which will do eternal honor to their administration, in history.  But were I their historian, I should not equally applaud their total abandonment of their foreign affairs.  A bolder front in the beginning, would have prevented the first loss, and consequently,

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