History, who keeps a durable record of all our acts, and exer­cises her awful censure over all sorts of sovereigns, will not for­get these events.



Nov. 1796.




I HAVE seldom known a greater pleasure than I now feel, in rendering you my thanks, in this public manner, for your spirit­ed efforts in the cause of order and true liberty. Your work, Sir, has met with the approbation of all who have read it on this side the Atlan­tic, the enemies of mankind excepted; and, as to myself, I presume I could not give a more unequivocal proof of my high opinion of it, than by submitting it to the perusal of the peo­ple of the United States of America.

The History of the American Jacobins, com­monly denominated Democrats, which I have attempted in the following pages, seemed ne­cessary to supply a deficiency, which, undoubt­edly, is to be attributed to your want of au­thenticated materials. I am well aware, that [Page] the reader will, at every step, regret that this part of the task also did not fall to your lot; but, the experience I have had of the indul­gence of the public, emboldens me to trust to it once more, though under the enormous dis­advantage of following such a writer as Mr. Playfair.

I am, Sir, Your most obliged humble servant, PETER PORCUPINE.


WHEN the Jacobins of Paris sent forth their missi­onaries of insurrection and anarchy, their profess­ed object was to enlighten the ignorant and unchain the enslaved. There was somehitng preposterous in the idea of Frenchmen giving liberty to the world; but, had it been possible for men in their senses to be­lieve, that a club of distracted Monsieurs, who knew not the meaning of the word liberty, were calcu­lated for this arduous task and were serious in their professions, such credulous persons must have been at once undeceived, when they observed, that the newly-enlightened missionaries were dispatched to those countries alone where the greatest degree of civil liberty was already to be found. Had the Propa­gande at Paris been sincere in their professions, why were not their envoys directed towards Russia and Turkey, instead of England, America, and other free states? The fact is, Brissot and his philanthropic colleagues wanted to draw as many foreign nations as possible within the vortex of their own savage [Page 8] system, and they well knew, that where the voice of the people has the most weight in public affairs, there it is most easy to introduce novel and subversive doc­trines.

In such states too, there generally, not to say al­ways, exists a party, who, from the long habit of hating those who administer the government, become the enemies of the government itself, and are ready to sell their treacherous services to the first bidder. To this description of men the sect of the Jacobins have attached themselves, in every country they have been suffered to enter. They are a sort of flesh flies, that naturally settle on the excremental and corrupted parts of the body politic. It is well known what aid they have received from the disaffected of several European na­tions; but, neither the Malcontents in Geneva, the Patriots in Holland, nor the Reformers in Great Bri­tain and Ireland, were half so well adapted to the re­ception of Jacobinical doctrines and Louis d'ors as the Anti-federalists in America. This faction was co-existent with the General Government of the Union. Notwithstanding the necessity of establishing this go­vernment, and its mild and equitable principles, it did not fail to meet with a formidable opposition. The persons who composed this opposition, and who thence took the name Anti-federalists, were not equal to the Federalists, either in point of riches or respectability. They were, in general, men of bad moral characters, embarrassed in their private affairs, or the tools of such as were. Men of this cast naturally feared the ope­ration of a government endued with sufficient strength to make itself respected, and with sufficient wisdom to exclude the ignorant and wicked from a share in its administration.

However, the Anti-federalists attracted notice, and acquired consequence. A hypocritical anxiety for the preservation of the liberties of the people made up for a want of every real virtue. Some of the states re­fused, for a long time, to accede to the new Confe­deration, [Page 9] and many individuals, in those states which did accede to it, remained obstinately opposed to its principles.

Thus did the Federal Government receive, at its birth, the seeds of a disease, which, unless its friends discover more zeal than they have hitherto done, will one day accomplish its destruction. It began its career in defiance of a party, organized and marshalled, and ready to seize the favourable moment for attacking it with open force. We shall soon see that this moment was at no great distance.

The happy effects of the new system, which were almost instantaneously felt, operated so forcibly on the minds of the people at large, that the Anti-federalists began to feel themselves abashed. Seeing their num­bers daily diminish, they found it prudent to hide their discontent; nor would their clamors have since been revived, had they not been encouraged and backed by the usurpers in France. The successful example, the promises, and, above all, the gold of these latter, have emboldened them again to shew their heads; as the rays of the sun draw the adder from the loathsome retreat, where he has lain engen­dering and bloating over his poison.

The French usurpers, from the moment they had got a firm grasp of the reins of power, lost no time in engaging this desperate faction in their views, which were, to acquire a perfect command of the American government, and force it into the war of Liberty and Equality. Monsieur Ternant, the then ambassador here, was, besides his being sent by a king, very justly looked upon as unfit for managing the intrigues of Brissot and his brother regicides. He had ever been accustomed to live on terms of friendship with the officers of government, and to treat their communications with becoming respect. Citizen Ge­net was therefore dispatched to supply his place: a man every way qualified for the million he had to ex­ecute. [Page 10] Educated in the subaltern walks of the most intriguing court in Europe, he was versed in all the menial offices of corruption; and unencumbered with the family pride of the French Chevaliers, he could visit a democratic club, and give the fraternal buss to its shirtless members, with that kind of cordiality, which gives a zest to flattery, and seldom fails to gain the affections of the grovelling heart. If the Citizen has hitherto failed of ultimate success, we must attri­bute his failure to the deep penetration and inflexible integrity he had to encounter, rather than to any want of cunning, industry or liberality on his part.

The attachment of the Federal Government to a pacific system was well known in France. Genet was therefore instructed, in case he should not be able to shake this attachment either by promises or threats, to apply himself to the sovereign people themselves, whose partiality, it had been represented, and with but too much truth, had received a strong bias in fa­vour of the usurpers. In order to pave the way for acting in the last resort, he disembarked at a point the most distant from the seat of government, that he might have it in his power to act on some part of the people at least, before the sentiments of their govern­ment respecting him and his mission were known. He accordingly landed at Charleston, South Carolina, where he remained caballing for some time, and then proceeded to Philadelphia.

The inhabitants of Charleston, and, indeed, of most parts of South Carolina, were admirably disposed for a warm reception of Genet. Not long before his land­ing, a proposition had been published for a solemn abo­lition of the use "of all aristocratical terms of dis­tirction and respect." The levellers had even propos­ed having an engagement to this effect, printed and stuck up in the ma [...]et-places, court-houses, &c. for the signature of the citizens. In a state where sans­culottism had already made such a progress, the ani­mating presence of the Parisian Missionary was all [Page 11] that could be wanted to complete the farce. The Carolinians had cut the strings of their culottes, and the Citizen pulled them down about their heels.

The frigate, L'Ambuscade, that brought Genet to America, brought also the news of war being de­clared by France against England. The inhabit­ants of Southern climes have never been famous for their wisdom; accordingly, the people of Charles­ton looked upon a prize, which the Ambuscade brought in with her, as an earnest of success, and an indubitable indication of French naval superi­ority.

No sooner was Genet on shore, than he began to exercise his powers, as sovereign of the country. He commissioned land and sea officers, to make war upon the Spanish and English; he fitted out privateers, and opened rendezvouses for the enrolling of both soldiers and sailors. The French flag was seen waving from the windows in this sans-culotte city, just as if it had been a sea-port of France. Genet was sent expressly to engage the country to take a part in the war, and such was his contempt for the government, that he did not look upon its consent as a thing worth asking for, or thinking about.

The Citizen found more volunteers than he knew what to do with, particularly of the higher ranks: Cap­tains and Commodores, Majors and Colonels, flocked to his standard in such crowds, that had he had a hundred reams of paper in blank commissions, he might have filled them all up in the State of Carolina. Whether these men of high rank and empty purses were en­couraged by the confidence they had in the power of the French, or by their own instinctive bravery, I know not; but as to the end they had in view, there can be little doubt. For one of them, who was actuated by a love of liberty, there were five hundred who were actuated by a love of plunder. Some of them longed for a dive into the Spanish mines, and, in idea, [Page 12] already heard the chinking of the doubloons; while others were eyeing the British merchant-men with that kind of savage desire, with which the wolf surveys a herd of fat oxen.

After having remained at Charleston from the 9th to the 19th of April 1793, the Sans-culotte corps Di­plomatique, marched off for Philadelphia, where it ar­rived on the 9th of May.

I avoid mentioning the processions, banquets, &c. that attended the Citizen during his journey; nor should I think it worth while to give an account of his reception at the capital, were I not assured that the civilians of the Rights of Man will hereafter quote it as a precedent in the laws of their ceremonial.

The city had been duly prepared for this famous public entry by paragraphs in the papers, announcing the Citizen's arrival at the different stages on the road. Expectation was kept on tip-toe for several days. The best penmen among the patriots were at work com­posing congratulatory addresses, and their choicest orators were gargling their throats to pronounce them. At last, on the happy 16th of May, a salve from the cannons of a frigate lying in the port, gave notice that the Citizen would soon be arrived a place called Gray's Ferry, about three miles distant from the ci­ty. Thither all the patrioticly disposed went, to meet him, and escort him to his dwelling. In the evening of the same day there was, what was called, a meeting of the citizens of Philadelphia, when it was agreed to appoint a committee to draft an address to him. An address was accordingly prepared, submitted to the sovereign citizens, at a second meeting, highly approved of, and another committee, consisting of about half a hundred persons, appointed to carry it up.— But I must now avail myself of their own account of the business, feeling a total want of capacity to do it justice. *

[Page 13]

The citizens assembled expressing a desire to accompany their committee in presenting the ad­dress to the Citizen minister, two gentlemen were dispatched to know what time it would be conveni­ent for him to receive it, and they returned in a few minutes with the following report: "That Mr. Genet had expressed a high sense of the com­pliment intended to be paid him by the citizens of Philadelphia; that he was solicitous to avoid giving them the trouble of another meeting, and that if they would accept the spontaneous effusions of his heart, which, however deficient in point of form, would not be deficient in sincerity, as an answer to the address, he would be happy to receive it immediately, leaving to the ensuing day the cere­mony of a written reply."—"The citizens tes­tified their approbation of the minister's proposi­tion by reiterated shouts of applause.

The committee, headed by their chairman, and followed by an immense body of citizens, walking three abreast, having arrived at the City-tavern, were introduced into the presence, and after the acclamations, as well in the house as in the streets, had ceased, the address was delivered, at the close of which the house and streets again resounded with congratulations and applause.

Citizen Genet, evidently affected with the warmth of the public attachment, thus conveyed, delivered an extemporaneous reply, in terms which touched the feelings of every auditor, &c.—It is impossible to describe, with adequate energy, the scene that succeeded. Shouts and salutations were not unat­tended with other evidences of the effect, which this int [...]ing interview had upon the passions of the parties who were engaged in it.—From the citizens in the room the minister turned his attention to the citizens in the street, and addressed them in a few short but emphatic sentences, from one of the win­dows.

[Page 14]In this instance we see the sovereign people taking the liberty to act for themselves, while their servants, the officers of government, stand looking on. What right, I would be glad to know, had the people of Phi­ladelphia, even supposing them all assembled together, to acknowledge any man as a public minister, before he had been acknowledged and received as such by the General Government? No wonder that this insolent missionary should conceive, that that government was a mere cypher; and many of those who afterwards complained of his appeal to the people, should have recollected, that they had encouraged him so to do.

For some time after the Citizen's arrival, there was nothing but addressing and feasting him. It may not be amiss to give an account of one of these treats; the memory of such scenes should be preserved, and often brought into view.

On Saturday last a republican dinner was given at Oellers's hotel, to Citizen Genet, by a respectable number of French and American citizens. After dinner a number of patriotic toasts were drunk, of which the following is a translation:

  • 1. Liberty and Equality.
  • 2. The French Republic.
  • 3. The United States, &c. &c.

After the third toast, an elegant ode, suited to the occasion, composed by a young Frenchman, was read by Citizen Duponceau, and universally ap­plauded. The society, on motion [to be sure, on motion] ordered that Citizen Freneau should be re­quested to translate it into English verse, and that the original and translation should be published.

‘After a short interval, the Marseillois's Hymn was, upon the request of the citizens, sung by Ci­tizen Bournonville, with great taste and spirit, the whole company joining in the chorus.— I leave [Page 15] the reader to guess at the harmony of this chorus, bel­lowed forth from the drunken lungs of about a hun­dred fellows, of a dozen different nations. Who would have thought five and thirty years ago, when the inhabitants of Pennsylvania were petitioning King George for protection against the French and their allies, the scalping Indians, that in the year 1793, the people of Philadelphia would carry their complai­sance to a French minister so far, as to ape his outland­ish howling in the chorus of a murderer's song! But, let us proceed with the feast.—‘Two additional stanzas to the Marseillois's Hymn, composed by Citi­zen Genet, and suited to the navy of France, were then called for, sung, and encored.’

Before the singing of the Hymn, it should be mentioned, that a deputation from the sailors of the frigate, L'Ambuscade, made their appearance, em­braced, and took their seats.

The table was decorated with the tree and cap of liberty, and with the French and American Flags. The last toast being drunk, the cap of li­berty was placed on the head of Citizen Genet, and then it travelled from head to head, round the table [just as the guillotine has since travelled round France] each wearer enlivening the scene with a patriotic sentiment.

These tokens of liberty, and of American and French fraternity, were delivered to the officers and mariners of the frigate, L'Ambuscade, who promised to defend them till death.

Thus rolled Genet's time away, in a variety of such nonsensical, stupid, unmeaning, childish enter­tainments, as never were heard or thought of, till Frenchmen took it into their heads to gabble about liberty.

[Page 16]On the very day that this liberty-cap feast took place, the citizen minister was formally received, and acknowledged in his diplomatic capacity, by the Pre­sident of the United States. There, indeed, his re­ception was not quite so warm. He afterwards com­plained, that the first object that struck his eye in the chamber, was the bust of Louis XVI. I never heard whether he started back or not, at the sight; but it is certain he looked upon it as an ill omen. He saw that he had not to do with a man, whose friend­ship shifted with the changes of fortune. He saw that the President had not been deceived by the ca­lumnies heaped on the unfortunate king; and that, though the welfare of his country induced him to receive an envoy from his murderers, he was far from approving of their deeds.

This silent reproof, which must, however, be at­tributed to mere accident, stung the insolent Genet to the soul. His resenting it is a striking instance of that overbearing spirit which the rulers of the de­luded French have ever discovered. Because they had killed their king, hurled down the statues of his ancestors, and dug their rotten bones from the tomb, they had the presumption to think, that the go­vernors of other nations ought to follow the savage example.

But, a cold reception was not the rub that Genet most complained of. The Federal Government, in­formed of his bold beginnings at Charleston, made no doubt that his instructions went to the engaging it in the war. Indeed these instructions were made known from the moment of his landing; and it can­not be doubted but this had influence on the conduct of the government; for an article appeared in the Charleston papers, the day after, specifying that a report had gained ground, that the Federal Go­vernment must take a part in the war; and this arti­cle made its appearance at Philadelphia, on the very day that the President's proclamation, declaring it the [Page 17] resolution of the United states to remain neuter, was first promulgated.

This wise and determined step Genet's masters had not foreseen; or, if they did foresee it, they were not aware that it would be taken, before their missionary could find time to make his warlike pro­posals. This was a most cruel disappointment to the Citizen, and completely baffled all his projects. In vain did he endeavour to draw the old General from his ground, neither promises nor threats had any effect on him, and Genet soon found, that he had no hope but in rousing the people to oppose their go­vernment.

A man of more penetration than Genet might have conceived such a project feasible, from the vio­lent partiality that every where appeared towards the French, from the little respect testified for the opi­nion of the government, and particularly from the freedom, not to say audacity, with which its con­duct, in issuing the proclamation of neutrality, was arraigned. Besides, the Anti-federal faction began to appear with more boldness than ever. Genet was continually surrounded with them; and, as they sigh­ed for nothing so much as for war, they strengthen­ed him in the opinion, that the people would ulti­mately decide in his favour.

But, there wanted something like a regular plan to unite their forces, and bring them to act in con­cert. A dinner here and a supper there, were no­thing at all. The drunkards went home, snorted themselves sober, and returned to their employments. It was not as in France, where a single tap upon a drum head, would assemble canaille enough to over­turn forty Federal Governments in the space of half a night. In America there existed all the materials for a revolution, but they were scattered here and there; affiliated clubs were wanting to render them compact, and manageable, as occasion might demand.

[Page 18]Genet did not judge it prudent to give to the American Jacobins the same name, that had been as­sumed by those in France: that would have been too glaring an imitation. Democratic was thought less offensive, at the same time that it was well adapted to a society of men, who were about to set them­selves up for the watch-dogs of a government, which they pretended was already become too aristocratic, and was daily growing more so; but that a Demo­crat was but another name for a Jacobin no one had the folly to deny, when, afterwards, some of these very clubs were known to send petitions for having their names entered on the registers of the Jacobin club at Paris.

The Mother Club, in America, met at Philadel­phia on the 3d of July, 1793, about six or seven weeks after Genet's arrival in the city, during which space, it is well ascertained, more than twenty thousand Louis d'ors had been distributed.

As it is here, properly speaking, that the History of the American Jacobins, or Democrats, begins, it seems necessary to give some account of their constitution, as they termed it. This anarchical act sets out with a preamble containing the principles under which the members had united, and it then proceeds to the rules and regulations for transacting the business of the in­stitution.


The Society shall be co-extensive with the State; but, for the conveniency of the members, there shall be a separate meeting in the city of Phi­ladelphia, and one in each county, which shall choose to adopt this Constitution. A member ad­mitted in the city, or in any county, shall of course be a member of the Society at large; and may at­tend any of the meetings, wherever held.

[Page 19]


A meeting of the Society shall be held in the city of Philadelphia, on the first Thursday in every month, and in the respective counties as often, and at such times as they shall by their own rules deter­mine. But the President of each respective meet­ing may convene the members on any special occasion.


The election of new members, and of the officers of the society, shall be by ballot, and by a majority of the votes of the members present. The names of the members proposing any candidate for admission shall be entered in a book kept for that purpose. Every member on his admission shall subscribe this Constitution, and pay the sum of half a dollar to the treasurer for the use of the Society.


The officers of the meeting in the city of Phila­delphia shall consist of a President, two vice Presi­dents, two Secretaries, one Treasurer, and one corresponding committee of five members; and the meetings of the respective counties shall choose a President and such other officers as they think proper.


It shall be the duty of the corresponding com­mittee, to correspond with the various meetings of the Society, and with all other Societies, that may be established on similar principles, in any other of the United States.


It shall be the duty of the Secretaries to keep mi­nutes of the proceedings of the several meetings; [Page 20] and of the treasurer to receive and account for all monies to them respectively paid.

Now, what was the object of all this balloting and corresponding and meeting? This we are to look for, they tell us, in their first circular letter: here it is then.

Fellow Citizen,

We have the pleasure to communicate to you a copy of the constitution of the Democratic Society, in hopes that after a candid consideration of its principles, and objects, you may be induced to pro­mote its adoption, in the county of which you are an inhabitant.

Every mind, capable of reflection, must per­ceive, that the present crisis in the politics of nati­ons is peculiarly interesting to America. The Eu­ropean Confederacy, transcendent in power, and unparalleled in iniquity, menaces the very existence of freedom. Already its baneful operation may be traced in the tyrannical destruction of the Constitu­tion of Poland: and should the glorious efforts of France be eventually defeated, we have reason to presume, that, for the consummation of monarchical ambition, and the security of its establishments, this country, the only remaining depository of liberty, will not long be permitted to enjoy in peace, the honours of an independent, and the happiness of a republican government.

Nor are the dangers arising from a foreign source, the only causes, at this time, of apprehension and solicitude. The seeds of luxury appear to have taken root in our domestic soil: and the jealous eye of pa­triotism already regards the spirit of freedom and equality, as eclipsed by the pride of wealth and the arrogance of power.

[Page 21]This general view of our situation has led to the institution of the Democratic Society. A constant circulation of useful information, and a liberal com­munication of republican sentiments, were thought to be the best antidotes to any political poison, with which the vital principles of civil liberty might be attacked: for by such means, a fraternal confidence will be established among the citizens; every symp­tom of innovation will be studiously marked; and a standard will be erected, to which, in danger and distress, the friends of liberty may successfully resort.

To obtain these objects, then, and to cultivate on all occasions, the love of peace, order, and har­mony; an attachment to the constitution, and a respect to the laws of our country, will be the aim of the Democratic Society, &c.

Never did a piece of political hypocrisy come forth to public view under such a flimsy disguise as this cir­cular letter. People stared to see that there were men amongst them possessed of impudence enough, thus to invite them to revolt against the constitution, under the pretext of preserving it in its purity. The Ame­ricans can swallow a pretty comfortable dose of any thing that is strongly seasoned with liberty and equality, but there were few, above the mere vulgar, whose stomachs did not turn at this.

How democratic societies were to protect the coun­try against the monarchs of Europe seemed a my­stery. What standard were they to raise for the people to find shelter under, in the hour of danger and distress? Nothing is clearer, than that the com­bination was intended to operate against the General Government, and against that alone. They set out with talking about the dangers to be apprehended from foreign powers, but they soon come to the point; the spirit of freedom and equality, they say, is eclipsed by the pride of wealth and arrogance of power. It is [Page 22] to combat these, that they invoke the aid of their fel­low citizens.

Indeed a political club, if it is not intended to strengthen the government, must be intended to act against it. The very foundation of such a club must imply a systematic opposition to the lawful rules of the land; it is an act of rebellion, unpunishable by law 'tis true, but which will ever be punished by the ab­horrence of all peaceable and honest men.

No one can read the concluding paragraph of this letter, without calling to mind the professions of the French and English Jacobins: the former united themselves under the name of, ‘Les Amis de la Con­stitution’ (the friends of the Constitution), and the latter, under that of, "The Constitutional Society." What sort of friends to the Constitution (of 1791) the Jacobins of Paris were, their subsequent conduct, and the sate of that Constitution, have fully proved; and it would be sinning against conviction to suppose, that those of England and America exceeded them in sincerity. The patriots, or reformers (call them which you please) who emigrate from England, throw off the disguise as soon as their feet touch the shore. They tell you, that their intention was to destroy "the old rotten constitution of Britain," from which they took their name; and there is not the least doubt, but the Democrats would be as candid with respect to the American constitution, were they landed in France.

As to those who placed themselves at the head of the Democrats, speaking of them generally, they were very little esteemed, either as private or public characters. Few of them were men of property, and such as were, owed their possessions to some casual circumstance, rather than to family, industry, or ta­lents. The bulk of political reformers is always com­posed of needy, discontented men, too indolent or impatient to advance themselves by fair and honest [Page 23] means, and too ambitious to remain quiet in obscurity. Such, with very few exceptions, are those who have appeared among the leaders of the American Jacobins. *

The effects of the institution soon became apparent from one end of the United States to the other. The blaze did not, indeed, communicate itself with such rapidity as it had done in France, nor did it rage with so much fury when it had caught; but this must be ascribed to the nature of the materials, and not to any want of art or malice on the part of the incen­diaries. The Americans are phlegmatic, slow to act; extremely cautious and difficult to be deceived. How­ever, such was the indefatigableness of the Democra­tic Clubs, that I venture to say, without running the risk of contradiction, that more enmity to the Gene­ral Government was excited in the space of six months, by the barefaced correspondencies and resolves of these clubs, than was excited against the colonial govern­ment at the time of the declaration of Independence.

The leading object was to stimulate the people to a close imitation of the French Revolutionists, who had just then begun the career of pure unadulterated sans­culottism. Every act or expression that bore the marks of politeness or gentility soon began to be look­ed [Page 24] upon, to use their own words, as a sort of leze republicanism. All the new fangled terms of the re­generated French were introduced and made use of. The word citizen, that stalking horse of modern li­berty-men, became almost as common in America as in France. People, even people of sense, began to accustom themselves to be-citizen each other in as shameful a manner as the red-headed ruffians of the Fauxbourg St. Antoine.

The news-printers were in some sort the teachers of this new cant; and it was diverting enough some­times to observe their embarrassment in rendering the French political jargon into English. One of them having a wedding to announce, found himself at a stand when he came to the word citoyenne. Our good ancestors had not foreseen these days of equality, and had therefore never thought of a termination to ex­press the feminine of a free-man. To say that citizen A. was married to citizen B. would have had a brutal sound, even in the ears of a Jacobin, and therefore the ingenious news-man invented a termination, and his paragraph ran thus: ‘On — Citizen — was married to Citess — by Citizen —.*

The citizens of France had just given signal proof of their patriotic valour, in making war upon the old busts and statues of their kings and nobles, and those of America were determined not to be behind hand with them, as far as lay in their power. Lord Chat­ham's statue, erected by the people of Charleston, South Carolina, as a mark of their esteem for the part he took in pleading the cause of America, was drawn up into the air, by means of a jack and pullies, and absolutely hanged, not till it was dead, but till the head separated from the body. The statue of Lord Bettertout, a piece of exquisite workmanship, which stood in the town house of Williamsburgh in Virginia, was beheaded by the students of that place, [Page 25] and every mark of indignity, such as ignoble minds can show, was heaped on the resemblance of a man, to whom the fathers of these students had yielded all possible testimony of love and esteem.

The rage for re-baptism, as the French call it, also spread very far. An alley at Boston, called Royal Ex­change Alley, and the stump of a tree, in the same town, which had borne the name of Royal, were re­baptized with a vast deal of formality: the former was called Equality Lane, and the latter Liberty Stump. At New York the names of several streets and places were changed; Queen Street became Pearl Street, and King Street, Liberty Street.

Those who were unacquainted with the influence of the Democratic Clubs, were astonished at these marks of political insanity. Indeed, the follies of the French seemed to be wafted over the instant they had birth, and the different districts seemed to vie with each other in adopting them. The delirium seized even the women and children; the former began to talk about liberty and equality in a good masculine style: I have heard more than one young woman, un­der the age of twenty, declare that they would wil­lingly have dipped their hands in the blood of the Queen of France. A third part of the children, at least, were decorated, like their wise sires, in trico­lored cockades. "Dansons la Carmagnole," pro­nounced in a broken accent, was echoed through every street and every alley of Philadelphia, by both boys and girls. Some ingenious democratic poet had com­posed the following lines:

"Englishman no bon for me,
"Frenchman fight for liberty."

This distich, which at once shows the prevailing sen­timents, and exhibits an instance of that kind of jar­gon which was become fashionable, was chanted about by young and old. Poor devils! thought I when I used to hear them, little do you know about liberty.

[Page 26]Nor were marks of ferocity wanting. At a dinner at Philadelphia (at which a man high in office was pre­sent) a roasted pig became the representative of Louis XVI. and it being the anniversary of his murder, the pig's head was severed from his body, then carried round to each of the convives, who, after placing the liberty-cap upon his own head, pronounced the word tyrant, and gave the poor little grunter's head a chop with his knife.

Never was the memory of any man so cruelly in­sulted as that of this mild and humane monarch. He was guillotined in effigy, in the capital of the union, twenty or thirty times every day, during one whole winter, and part of the summer. Men, women, and children, flocked to this tragical exhibition, and not a single paragraph appeared in the papers to shame them from it.—Much has been said about the cruelty of En­glish sports, and the humane French have now-and-then stigmatized them as barbarians, for the delight they take in seeing a pair of courageous animals spur each other to death; nay, the charge has been often repeated by Americans, and I must confess, that no­thing can be said in its defence; but I defy both French and Americans to bring me an instance of cru­elty from the English sports, that will bear a compari­son with the exhibition above mentioned.

One cannot think of this exhibition without reflect­ing on the honours that Louis formerly received on the same spot. On the triumphal arch that was erect­ed at Philadelphia, in 1783, was a bust of Louis XVI, with this motto:

His Merit makes us remember him.

On another part of the arch were the Three Lillies, the arms of France, with this motto:

They exceed in Glory.

[Page 27]When a representation of this Triumphal Arch was sent to the King of France, what would he have done to one of his courtiers, who should have said to him: ‘Sire, be not too vain; depend not too much on the sincerity of the Americans; for, ten years from this day, they will shake hands with your mur­derers, and on the very spot where this arch was erected, they will murder you in effigy; and these Lillies, now surpassing in glory, will they trample under foot.’

It is just, however, to observe, that a very great majority of the people of America, abhorred these de­monstrations of a sanguinary spirit; nor would it be going too far to assert, that two-thirds of the Demo­crats were foreigners, landed in the United States since the war. The charge that attaches to the peo­ple in general, is, that these things were suffered to pass unreproved. The friends of order and of huma­nity were dilatory; like persons of the same descrip­tion in France, they seemed to be waiting, till the sons of equality came to cut their throats; and if they have finally escaped, it is to be ascribed to mere chance, or to any thing, rather than to their own exertions.

While the Democratic Societies were thus poisoning the minds of the people, familiarizing them to insur­rection and blood, Genet was not idle. He had sur­rounded himself with a troop of horse, enlisted and embodied in Philadelphia. These were, in general, Frenchmen, and no one can doubt but they were in­tended to act, either on the offensive or defensive, as occasion might require. This force rendered his ad­herents bold; they threw off all reserve, and issued their invitations to rebellion with an unsparing hand. The clubs at a distance followed the example, and, in some instances, improved upon it.

As the Democrats increased in strength and impu­dence, other men grew timid. No one ventured to whisper his disapprobation of the conduct of the [Page 28] French; every one, even of their most savage acts, was applauded: robbery and murder were called na­tional justice in America as well as in France. The people, properly so called, were fairly cowed down, and things seemed as ripe for a revolution here, as they were in France, in the month of July, 1790.

The country was saved from this dreadful scourge by the hasty indiscretion of the Citizen Minister. The light-headed Frenchman was intoxicated with his suc­cess, and conceived that the moment was arrived for him to set the government at defiance, and call on the people for support. But no sooner had he expressed his intention of ‘appealing from the President to the sovereign people,’ than he found he had been too sanguine. He found that the people of America were yet more attached to General Washington than to the French Minister or the French nation. Their love and veneration for their old and tried friend seemed to be revived by this insult; and though the Democratic Clubs defended the conduct of their founder, they found themselves too weak to take any decided step in his favour.

When Genet discovered that he had been too rash, he strove to recover himself by denying that he had threatened the government with an appeal to the peo­ple, and his friend Dallas, who, as Secretary of the State of Pennsylvania, had been the bearer of the threat, was prevailed on to deny that it was made. Dallas published an explanation of his contradictory account of the matter, endeavouring to exculpate both the Frenchman and himself; but this explanation had no other effect than that which a lie added to an offence never fails to produce.

From this time forward the clubs were a little more cautious in their resolves. When they met it was by night, and under lock and key. Genet became timid, attempted to justify himself, and seemed to tremble for his fate. He saw that his resources decreased, and [Page 29] that the remainder would be wanted for other pur­poses than that of nourishing a nest of hungry Demo­crats. The vital principle being extinct, the body be­gan to dwindle: the old leaders skulked off one by one, and at last none remained but the mere tools.

Among these were the Democrats from England, a set of mortals whose stupidity is equalled by their ob­stinacy, and by that alone. They, poor devils, who had never been suffered even to smell the loaves and fishes, persevered with as good heart as ever, after the feast was all over; and wondered why others abated in their zeal. Englishmen are said to be changeable and fickle minded; but when foreigners lay this to our charge, they should make an exception of one case, and that is, when we are in the wrong. No men on earth abandon their errors with so much reluctance as the inhabitants on the south of the Tweed.

One Pearce, who had had the honour to be a dele­gate to the London Corresponding Society, and who, on that account, was admitted a member of the Jacobin club of Philadelphia, proposed a negro man as worthy of a seat. Pearce was a philanthropist, a true equa­lity man, a disciple of Winchester. He was silly enough to suppose that the Democrats were really what they professed to be, and therefore he foresaw no kind of opposition to the introduction of his char­coal-faced friend, and having an extraordinary degree of zeal for the increase of the society, took the earliest opportunity to propose him. The club being met and the doors locked, he rose in all the pride of conscious sans-culottism, and proposed brother Pompey as a member; but he soon found that the American Demo­crats did not carry their ideas of equality quite so far as he did. "No, no, no," resounded from every quarter, and when the votes came to be taken, there appeared but two or three, out of about fifty, in fa­vour of the admission; and thus Pompey, whom Pearce describes as a d—d honest fellow, escaped inevitable corruption and disgrace.

[Page 30]This refusal, however, lost them the Delegate: he told them, that he had joined the club in the persua­sion that it was composed of pure Democrats, and that his conscience would not permit him to remain among them a moment, after what he had been a witness of that night.

The business of the clubs was reduced to trifling discussions of this sort, when the recall of Genet seem­ed to forebode their total extinction. Genet's inso­lence had produced a complaint on the part of the American Government, and this complaint had pro­duced his recal. The corner stone of the Jacobin af­filiation being removed, every one expected the su­perstructure to fall to the ground; how deceitful ap­pearances were we shall see by-and-by, after having made a remark or two on this act of ‘friendly con­descension,’ as it has been termed, of the French usurpers.

First, it must be remembered, that at the time the complaint was made, the faction, by whom Genet had been sent out, were hurled from their thrones, and ano­ther had got possession of them. Robespierre and Ma­rat were glad of having an opportunity to accuse their rivals of having offended the American Government, and to take to themselves the credit of healing the wound. Displacing Genet instantly, upon application, was a step, too, which they knew would render them popular in America, and silence those who began to arraign the conduct of the Convention. Thus, by the means of this "condescension," they secured to them­selves three advantages: it furnished them with one more crime to heap on the heads of their rival faction; they completely supplanted that faction in the partiality of the people of the United States; and, which was of still greater importance, they pursued the same treacherous manoeuvres, without being suspected. These were the motives of this act of ‘friendly con­descension.’

[Page 31]That they did not, in their hearts, disapprove of the proceedings of Genet, is clear from their suffering him to remain in the United States. When did they forgive those who offended them? Had they demanded him, the government must, and, they knew, would, have given him up; but no such demand was ever made, and this circumstance alone sufficiently proves, that, had he succeeded, a civic crown would have been the mede of his machinations.

Fauchet, the successor of Genet, trod exactly in his steps, but with a little more caution. The Democra­tic Clubs made not the least hesitation in transferring their obedience from one minister to the other. In­deed, all the disciples of the new-light philosophy are made of the same commodious kind of stuff. All that they do is, to ask who directs the storm of anarchy, and they instantly become his ardent admirers, if not his tools. In this respect no set of beings, I cannot call them men, ever approached so near to the herd of Paris, as did the Democrats of America. One day saw the faction of Brissot exalted to the skies, and the very next, saw the same compliments, the very same turgid effusions of patriotic admiration, heaped on their murderers. From the first assembling of the States General to this very hour, every leader, while he continued such, has been the god of those wretches who now-a-days style themselves patriots. I have now a bundle of gazettes before me, published all by the same man, wherein Mirabeau, Fayette, Brissot, Danton, and Robespierre, are all panegyrized and execrated in due succession; nor do I yet despair of living to see Talien and Louvet added to the list. The versatile mob of Paris, who first canonized Mirabeau and Voltaire, and afterwards scattered their remains to the winds; and who, after having given Marat's ugly carcass a place in their temple of fame, and his name to a city, dug him up, put his ashes into a chamber-pot, by way of urn, and then threw them into the common sewer; this versatile, stupid and venal mob, does not surpass in either quality, the Democratic news-printers in the [Page 32] United States of America; and sorry am I to say, that they are not few in number. *

A circumstance that strongly seconded the endea­vours of Fauchet and the Clubs, was, the discontents that existed among the people of the Western Coun­ties of Pennsylvania, on account of the excise on whisky. These discontents were, in some measure, done away, or, at least, they produced no serious consequences, before the institution of the Democra­tic Societies: with this institution they revived, and assumed a more determined aspect: the malcontents [Page 33] had now a rallying point; by means of the affiliation they communicated their pretended grievances to every corner of the Union, from whence they instantly re­ceived assurances of aid and support of the clubs. Thus encouraged, they proceeded from one excess to another, till, at last, several counties were officially declared to be in a state of actual insurrection.

To give a detailed account of this insurrection, were it consistent with my circumscribed plan, would be of little use. That fifteen thousand men were obliged to quit their homes and business, to encounter a campaign of uncommon hardship and toil; that many of these peaceable, orderly citizens (citizens in the true sense of the word) lost their lives in consequence of the fatigues they underwent, leaving their ashes to be trod on by the vile insurgents; that the expenses of the armament to a million and a half of dollars, are to be deducted from the fruits of industry; these are well known, and will be long remembered facts, and therefore need no historian. It is to the influence that the Democratic Clubs had in producing the insurrec­tion, and its consequent calamities, that I wish to di­rect the reader's attention.

As soon as the Club at Philadelphia was formed, similar ones were formed in the Western Counties, composed entirely of men, who were not only opposed to the excise law, but to the government which had enacted it. Messengers and emissaries passed continu­ally between the clubs in the East and those in the West. From this time the resolves of the malcontents assumed another tone. These refractory people had hitherto confined their demands to a repeal of the excise law; but they now talked of forcing the go­vernment to open the navigation of the Mississippi, and complained, in the style of Genet and the Clubs, against the Proclamation of Neutrality, and, in short, against the whole of the conduct of the Federal Go­vernment.

[Page 34]Let any one read their toasts and resolves, and ob­serve their manner of proceeding, and compare these with those of the Democratic Societies; and then be­lieve, if he can, that they were not both actuated with the same spirit, and had not the same objects in view; namely, a war with Britain, and the destruction of the General Government. During two years had the Western complaints existed: the complainants had often assembled, and had passed resolves without number about their detestable drink; but never till now did they join their cause to that of France: ne­ver till now did they wear national cockades, or rally under the tree of liberty mounted with a bloody Pa­risian cap. Will any man in his senses believe that these were mere whims, freaks of fancy, that came athwart their brains by chance, without the least ad­vice or prior instruction from their friends in the East?

Let us hear our old friend Citizen Fauchet's opinion on this subject. In giving his masters an account of the breaking out of the insurrection, he says: ‘In the mean time popular societies are formed; politi­cal ideas concentre themselves; the patriotic party unite and more closely connect themselves, &c.’— Then, after giving them a description of the Western people and the nature of their drink, &c. he adds: ‘Now, as the common dispatches inform you, these complaints were systematizing by the conversations of influential men, who retired into these wild coun­tries, and who, from principle, or by a series of particular heart-burnings, animated discontents alrea­dy near effervescence. At last, the local explosion is effected. The Western people calculated on be­ing supported by some distinguished characters in the East, and even imagined they had in the bosom of the government some abettors, who might share in their grievances or their principles.’

I shall not attempt to point out these distinguished characters in the East; but let the reader recollect that Mr. Dallas was one in the leaders of the Mother, [Page 35] and then let him read the following extract from ano­ther part of Fauchet's Letter.

‘Of all the governors, whose duty it was to ap­pear at the head of the requisitions, the governor of Pennsylvania alone enjoyed the name of Republi­can; his opinion of the Secretary of the Treasu­ry and of his systems was known to be unfavourable. The secretary of this state possessed great influence in the Popular Society of Philadelphia, which in its turn influenced those of other states; of course he merited attention. It appears therefore that these men, with others unknown to me, all having without doubt Randolph at their head, were ba­lancing to decide on their party. Two or three days before the proclamation was published, and of course before the cabinet had resolved on its mea­sures, Mr. Randolph came to see me with an air of great eagerness, and made to me the overtures, of which I have given you an account in my No. 6. Thus, with some thousands of dollars, the Repub­lic could have decided on civil war or on peace! Thus the consciences of the pretended patriots of America have already their prices! It is very true that the certainty of these conclusions, painful to be drawn, will for ever exist in our archives! What will be the old age of this government, if it is thus early decrepid!’

From the conduct of the democrats prior to the breaking out of the insurrection, we naturally come to that which they observed subsequent to that event; and here we shall find nothing but what tends to strengthen the charge against them. Immediately upon the issuing of the President's proclamation, all the pa­pers devoted to the French Minister and his clubs, and particularly Bache's, which might be looked upon as the mirror of their sentiments, attacked, with all their malice, both those who issued, and those who were ready to obey it. Every art was used to instil into the minds of the militia, that they were called on to cut the [Page 36] throats of their fellow citizens merely to support the rich creditors of the State; and, of course, that they ought not to obey the summons to attend. ‘As vio­lent means,’ (says Bache's paper of the 20th of August) ‘As violent means appear the desire of high-toned government men, it is to be hoped that those who derive the most benefit from our revenue laws, will be the foremost to march against the Western Insurgents. Let stock-holders, bank directors, spe­culators, and revenue officers arrange themselves immediately under the banners of the treasury, and try their prowess in arms, as they have done in cal­culation. The prompt recourse to hostilities will no doubt operate upon the knights of our country to appear in military array, and then the poor but in­dustrious citizen will not be obliged to spill the blood of his fellow citizen to gratify certain resentments, and expose himself to the loss of life and of limb to support a funding order. In the same paper of the 26th of August: ‘The discontents which have taken place in the Western Counties, and which have ap­peared in the form of open hostility to law, and in­deed the dissatisfactions that are to be found in every part of the continent, may be readily accounted for, by a reference to the proceedings of our govern­ment from its birth. The bantling fancied itself something royal, before it was able to stand alone, and since it has been progressing towards manhood, the State dignity, superciliousness and manners of a monarch have characterized its actions. To support itself in royal pomp, arose the funding and banking systems, excises, &c. Nothing but coronets and stars are wanting, to the stockholders. Is this a land of liberty? Is this a land where citizens are equal? It would be no wonder if every citizen, who is not immediately interested in the funding system, should rise up, and with one word exclaim against its iniquity, or, in other words, join the insurgents.

Such was the language of the democrats, at the very moment that the insurrection wore the most threaten­ing [Page 37] aspect, and such was the effect it had on some de­scriptions of the people, that it was with the utmost dif­ficulty a sufficient number of men were collected to make up the quota of the State of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Findley, the ingenious historian of the Western Insurrection, and a principal actor in it, insists, with a modesty becoming his country, that the insurrection ought to be attributed entirely to the irritable heat of the weather, during the dog-days of 1794; and, of course he wishes us to believe, that it was quelled by the returning coolness of October and November. It must be confessed that the insurgents were afflicted with a sort of canine malady, for they snapped at the hand that yielded them protection; but, I believe, few peo­ple, after what has been said above, will not remain well convinced, that the insurrection was fomented by democratic fuel, paid for with French Gold; and that it was cooled again by the approach of General Wash­ington, at the head of fifteen thousand men.

For the sake of preserving connection, some striking traits of sans-culottism, which took place prior to the epoch at which we are now arrived, have been omitted; but they are too characteristic of the sect whose history I am writing, to pass altogether unnoticed.

As I have more than once observed, that the Demo­crats aped the regenerated French in all their follies, and in all their crimes as far as they were able, it will be understood, that they made a boast of being atheists or deists as the Convention changed its creed. When the faction of Danton seemed to preponderate, and members exclaimed against the "aristocracy of heaven;" when the infamous Dupont exclaimed: ‘Oh! shame, Legis­lators of the Universe! You have hurled down the thrones of kings, and you yet suffer the altars of God to remain!’ Then the Democrats made an open profession of Atheism. But when Robespierre obtain­ed the ascendency, and ordered the Convention to decree, that there was a Supreme Being (Etre Supreme); then [Page 38] did our good sans-culottes burn incense on the altars of deism, with as much devotion as the ragged groups of St. Marceau and the whores and bullies of the Palais de L'Egalite.

It has been often observed, that, however widely atheism and deism may differ in theory, in practice, that is in their effects, they are nearly the same. So it hap­pens now; for, whether they professed the opinions of Danton or those of his bloody successor, they still testifi­ed the same hatred of the Christian Religion, and perse­cuted, with every insult they durst offer, all those who had courage enough to stand forward in its defence.

The first assault of this kind was on the Reverend Mr. Abercrombie of the Episcopal Church, Philadel­phia. This gentleman had preached a sermon, warn­ing his congregation against the contagion of French atheism and deism. For this instance of becoming zeal in the discharge of the most imperious of all duties, he was attacked in the public papers; accused of bigotry, of being an enemy to the cause of liberty, and of the French people. There was not a worthy man in the city, who did not feel an indignation against the authors of this unprovoked calumny, and who did not regret, that the injured clergyman should see the necessity of answering it. Dreadful times indeed are those, when the servants of the Lord are brought to the bar of the public, for daring to obey the commands of their master! For daring to defend him against those, who brand him with the name of cheat and impostor! *

[Page 39]This pulpit evesdropping having, in some measure succeeded, they cast their scrutinizing scowling eyes over the out-side of the church. Here they found a small wooden bust of George II. This bust, like the Old Stump at Boston, had remained very quiet during the American revolution; but could not en­dure the fiery ordeal of the French revolution. Trifling circumstances like these show the difference in the influence which these revolutions have had on men's minds, in a stronger light than the most important events can do, and prove what I have always asserted; namely, that the moderation which marked the Ameri­can character in the last revolution, must not be count­ed upon, should another take place.

The discovery of the bust was no sooner made, than the Democrats formed the resolution of destroying it; or, in the language of Gregoire, of committing an act of vandalism. They accordingly published the follow­ing card, as they called it, in their printer Bache's gazette of the 21st July, 1794.

To the Clergy and Vestry of Christ Church.


It is the wish of many respectable citizens, that you would cause the image and crown of GEORGE II. to be removed as readily as possible. It has nothing to do with the worship of the most high God, nor the government under which we exist: it has a ten­dency to cause that church to be disliked, while bearing the mark of infamy: it has a tendency, to the knowledge of many, to keep young and virtuous men from attending public worship: it is therefore a public nuisance.


One is at a loss which to admire most, the logic, the impudence, or the hypocrisy of this intimation. How exactly, too, does it imitate the style of the Con­vention; [Page 40] "young and virtuous men!" Canting rascals! How willingly would you have led those young and virtuous men to cut the throats of their fathers and mothers, and of the ministers to whom they were at­tached!

In consequence of the democratic card, which was rightly looked upon as a threat, a vestry was called, and it was thought more adviseable to abandon the bust to the fury of the vandals, than to expose the church itself to danger. Accordingly, the barbarians assem­bled with ladders, mallets and chissels. The crown and the projecting part of the bust were chipped off; but the profile, with G on one side of it and II. on the other, are still as conspicuous as ever. All that the Democrats effected, was, a change in the ideas awakened by the sight of the bust. From a monument of well-placed esteem and gratitude, it is become a monument of democratic folly and baseness and ran­cour and undistinguishing revenge.

It was easy to perceive, that they did not mean to stop here, and therefore few people were surprised at their next pointing out the propriety of taking the mitre from the steeple.* This demand was not made in such direct and positive terms, and therefore it was not complied with; but there is little doubt but both mitre and church would have had a tumble long ago, had not the Western Insurrection excited a general hatred against the clubs, and thus rendered them less daring and insolent.

At the same time that we are recording the violences of the clubs against Christian institutions, truth re­quires that we should confess, that but too many of the clergy appeared either contaminated with French principles, or cowardly enough not to attempt an op­position to their progress. All that can be said in the defence of such [...], is, that they feared to offend [Page 41] their congregations, on whom they were totally de­pendent for support. This is surely a very weak de­fence; but, I am afraid, it is one that must often be made, where the pastor is removable at the pleasure of his flock.

But, there were others who were not merely pas­sive; who were not ashamed to mingle in the baccha­nalian orgies of the civic festivals, held to celebrate the successes of atheists over the religion of which they professed to be believers, and of which they were teachers. Among these the Reverend Citizen Prentiss, of Reading, Massachusetts, and the Reverend Citizen Doctor M'Knight, of New York, claim the scandalous pre-eminence.

Nor were the places dedicated to the instruction of youth securely guarded against the approaches of sans-culottism. Of this the conduct of Doctor Rogers, a teacher in the University at Philadelphia, exhibits a striking proof. He gave the boys of his class a speech out of Shakespeare's Harry V. to get by heart. It was the king's animating address to his army before Harfleur: "Once more to the breach, dear friends," &c. which, in Shakespeare ends thus:

"Follow your spirit, and, upon this charge,
"Cry—God for Harry! England! and St. George!"

This conclusion the Doctor parodied: ‘"Cry—God for Freedom! France! and Robespierre!"

All the class repeated it with the democratic emen­dation, except a little English boy about ten or eleven years of age, who boldly said: ‘"Cry—God for Harry! England! and St. George!"’

Nor could he be prevailed upon to alter the text. This brave little fellow's name is Whitlock, who, [Page 42] though a child, certainly possessed more taste, more sense, more patriotism and more piety than his Reve­rend teacher.

When the sweet Warwickshire bard put this noble speech into the mouth of his favourite hero, he was not blessed with the hope, that, hundreds of years af­terwards, and thousands of miles distant, it would call forth such a noble spirit in a child of ten years of age.

Before I return to take my leave of the Democratic Societies, I trust the reader will not be displeased with an account of the civic fete of the 23d Thermidor (10th of August, "style of the slaves"), which was celebra­ted at Philadelphia in 1794.

To ward off every charge of misrepresentation, I shall confine myself to a literal translation of the Proces Verbal (Minutes of the proceedings), sent to the Con­vention, and which may be seen in the French Phi­ladelphia gazette of the 25th Thermidor, 12th of August, "style of the slaves," as the humane French Governor of Gaudaloupe calls it.

At sun-rise the fete was announced by a salve of 22 guns, in allusion to the 22d of Sept.—At eight o'clock another salve of 10 guns, at once announced the fete of the 10th August, and the hour of as­sembling.

The French and American citizens now repaired to the centre square, where the order of march was to be settled on the greatest part of the citi­zens wore oak-boughs, and little bunches of ears of wheat, ornamented with tricolored ribbons.

In the middle of the square there was an obelisk [made of paste board], decorated with attributes of liberty. On the four sides of the obelisk were engraven [engraven on paste-board mind] the fol­lowing inscriptions:

[Page 43]
"To Immortality.
"The French Republic one and indivisible.
"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.
"Tremble Tyrants, your reign is over.

A deputation of French citizens then went to the French Minister's where the chiefs civil and military of the State of Pennsylvania were assembled. A deputy announced to the minister that the good people were waiting for their representatives. They immediately came to the square preceded by the flags of the two nations, marching to the noise of drums and cannons, and amidst the cries, a hundred times repeated, of Vive la Republique Françoise! [I will not disgrace our language by translating the vile accla­mation]; and war-like music played, by intervals, airs analogous to the transports which burst forth from every quarter.

When every thing was ready, ten guns were fired as a signal for the march. Two pieces of cannon, followed by French and American cannoneers, took the lead. The hatred that we were going to swear against tyrants, was written on every countenance. The anniversary of the destruction of despotism painted on every face patriotism, liberty, and equal­ity.

The obelisk was carried by four citizens, two French and two American, in red liberty caps: these were followed by a French grenadier, bearing a pike surmounted with a liberty cap.

Now comes the prettiest part of the procession.

Twelve young cîtoyennes (or she citizens), dressed in pure white, adorned with civic crowns and cestu­ses tricolor, each bearing a little basket of flowers, surrounded the obelisk.

[Page 44]What a contrast there was between these little in­nocent lambs, with their flower-baskets, and the swarthy grenadier with his bloody pike and cap!

The French Minister, the Consuls, the chiefs civil and military of Pennsylvania, marched in the centre of the procession.

Indeed it was diverting enough to see these great personages, the good sober-looking, pot-bellied chiefs of Pennsylvania, come squeezing, and shouldering, and zigzaging along, like so many raw recruits at drill. They were formed into what military men call a pla­toon, and never did my eyes behold so awkward a squad.

There is a small omission in this part of the Proces Verbal, which I shall supply.—Before the procession left the centre square, the English flag, which had been brought thither reversed, under the flags of France and America, was burnt before the obelisk, amidst the tri­umphant hootings of the brave sons of liberty and equal­ity.—This was by way of retaliation for Lord Howe's victory over the sans-culotte fleet, the news of which had arrived the day before.

The procession advanced to the garden of the Minister François, where there was an altar erect­ed to the country, on which stood the goddess of liberty. The flags of the two nations were planted on each side of her, while the little she citizens were ranged round the altar.

Patriotic hymns were now sung, accompanied with music; and while the most tender and melting invocations were put up, the she citizens made to the goddess a sweet smelling offering of the flowers they had brought, with which they covered her altar, with an innocent zeal peculiar to their age.

[Page 45]The patriotic hymns being ended, an oration was made by a Citizen François, * and then the Minister François made another, and then the whole swore to be faithful to the Republic. The best of this was, three-fourths of the audience did not understand a word of what they heard, of what they swore to, or even of the oath they took.

The Minister had hardly time to conclude, when the cries [or howlings] of Vive [...] Republique Fran­çois une et indivisible! burst forth from every throat.

A discharge of cannon, a war-like march, and a roll of the drums, expressed the joy of the people, and signified that every heart was glad.—Instantly the ranks broke off, and dances were formed round the altar of liberty, and over all the enclosure.

These dances were the finest fun I ever enjoyed. The patriotic hymns were well enough; four hundred fellows howling out French bombast, without under­standing a word of it, was not a bad specimen of fra­ternal dissonance; but to behold fifty or sixty groupes, promiscously formed, whistling, singing and capering about they knew not why nor wherefore; and to see the "chiefs civil and military of Pennsylvania," heav­ing up their legs, and endeavouring to ape the light-heeled mounseers, was a spectacle which, I trust, has been seldom equalled.—In one part of the garden you heard the chorus of the bloody

Ah! ça ira, ça ira, ça ira,
Les Aristocrats a la Lanterne.

[Page 46]In another:

Dansons la carmagnole,
Vive le son, vive le son
Du canon.

While in another, ‘Alons enfans de la patrie’ seemed to issue from the lungs of twenty infernals. But what was still most ludicrous, was, to hear all this uttered, by the greatest part of the chanters, in an accent barbarous beyond description. But, to proceed with my translation:

‘During the rest of the day, public joy was ma­nifested all over the city.’—That's a lie. One half of the people of the city cared nothing at all about the fete, and were astonished and ashamed that the cannons of the state should be employed on such an occasion; and I venture to affirm, that not one-twen­tieth part of those who assisted at it, would have as­sisted, had they known they were celebrating the anni­versary of the fall of Louis XVI. and the horrid and cowardly murder of the Swiss guards. This remark justice demanded in defence of those who attended through ignorance. With regard to the ‘chiefs, civil and military of Pennsylvania,’ as I have too much respect for them to accuse them of ignorance, I leave them to defend themselves.

We must now return to the Democratic Clubs. In what remains to be said of them I shall be very concise.

Though they were instituted for the express purpose of clogging the wheels of government, weakening its power, and exciting a spirit of discontent among the people, that might acquire strength enough to force it into a war on the side of France, or totally annihi­late it; yet there were three measures in this continu­ed opposition, against which the Democrats made a [Page 47] bolder stand than usual, and called forth more than ordinary exertions; namely, the Proclamation of Neu­trality, the enforcing obedience to the Excise-Law, and the sanctioning of the British Treaty. They had entered their solemn protest against the two former, and had used every means in their power to effect a forcible, and even an armed opposition to them; and their conduct with respect to the latter was exactly of the same description. But, of every part of this conduct, their resolves against the appointment of the man best calculated to bring about an accommodation; their pub­lishing the treaty in a mutilated form with their own in­vidious misrepresentations; their dispatching runners to all the principal towns, to exasperate the discontented, and deceive the weak; their dishonourable means of obtaining petitions to Congress against it; the intrigues of Randolph and Fauchet, and the embarrassment and alarm their machinations spread through the country; all these are so fresh in every one's memory, that it is useless to dwell on them here. Certain it is that they ought not to be forgotten, nor will they be, while Peter Porcupine's writings are remembered; and though these latter are assuredly not destined to long life, I hope they will outlive the infernal sect of the Jacobins, and if this hope be to be realized, I sincerely wish they may sink into oblivion to-morrow.

The Western Insurrection and its effects had already rendered the Democrats extremely odious; here their mischievous efforts touched the pockets and the lives of the people; and their failure in the last attempt to trouble the peace of the Union, obliged them to hide their heads. The dark caballing clubs do, indeed, still exist; but they either never meet, or they dare not publish their resolves. However, let not the friends of the General Government, of order, of peace and of general happiness and prosperity, imagine that the sect is annihilated. They only wait for a more favourable moment, and should the indiscretion or supineness of the sound part of the community suffer that moment to [Page 48] arrive, they will obtain an ascendency that will enable them to inflict signal vengeance for their past disap­pointments. From their reign God defend me and mine!

From one justified by his talents in being anxious about his reputation as a writer, the imperfectness of this sketch would require an apology. As this is not my case, I shall make none. However, as publisher of the history of Jacobinism, I hope I can promise my­self, that the satisfaction the reader will derive from the book itself, will induce him to excuse the faults of the Appendix.


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