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AN ORATION, SPOKEN AT HARTFORD, IN THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT, ON THE ANNIVERSARY of American Independence, JULY 4th, 1798.

BY THEODORE DWIGHT.

HARTFORD: PRINTED BY HUDSON AND GOODWIN. 1798.

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THE Committee of arrange­ments for the celebration of the 4th of July, in behalf of the Citizens of Hartford, return their Thanks to Theodore Dwight, Esq. for his Ora­tion, delivered this Day, and request a Copy thereof that it may be pub­lished.

  • THOMAS Y. SEYMOUR,
  • ANDREW KINGSBURY,
  • EZEKIEL WILLIAMS, JUN.
  • DANIEL WADSWORTH.
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AN ORATION.

IT is customary for persons, standing in the situation in which I am now placed, to enter­tain their hearers with glowing eulogies on Liberty, and Independence. This practice sprung from a lau­dable spirit; and has doubtless produced very bene­ficial effects. But it becomes the friends of their country, at the present period, to turn their attention to something of more importance. It becomes us to enquire, whilst we are gazing with rapturous emo­tions, at this idol, which our fancies have decorated with such splendid ornaments, whether we are not in the utmost danger of being robbed of a more substan­tial blessing. Childish indeed will our conduct be, if we suffer ourselves to be thus deluded. I shall there­fore leave such subjects for minds, more enthusiastic than my own; while I direct your thoughts, for a few minutes, to one inconceivably more interesting to us all. Our national Independence was atchieved by a severe, and painful struggle. Let us enquire, whether we are not in danger of being deprived by fraud and violence, of that, which cost us so dear, the blessings of which, we have for a short period so richly experi­enced, [Page 4] whose charms have so often kindled our en­thusiasm, and animated our hopes. On this topic, my sentiments will be plain, and undisguised. Not accustomed to concealment on political subjects, even in circumstances far less interesting than the present, I should esteem my conduct very unworthy, if I were capable of restraining my honest opinions, at a mo­ment, when it becomes every man to range himself on the side of his country, and to use every possible exer­tion for its preservation and honor.

EVERY person who hears me, will readily per­ceive, that France is the source, from whence I expect this danger. It has indeed been apprehended for years, by many, whose minds were not blinded by the glare of the astonishing events, which that nation has accomplished. I trust there are few at the present moment, whose understandings are so benighted, as not to descry its rapid approach. I beg, therefore, at the outset, to be understood to advance this propo­sition—THAT THE UNITED STATES ARE IN DAN­GER OF BEING ROBBED OF THEIR INDEPENDENCE, BY THE FRAUD AND VIOLENCE OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC.

To establish the truth of this proposition, I re­mark—That there has been for many years, a steady effort on the part of France, to destroy the Independ­ence of this country.

WHEN Louis the sixteenth entered into an alli­ance with the United States, they were engaged in a desperate warfare, with a powerful nation. That na­tion, was Great-Britain; between whom, and France, there had subsisted for centuries, the most deadly ani­mosity. This animosity, enkindled at first from the circumstances of neighbourhood, and rivalship, had been mutually fanned, and perpetuated by the govern­ments, until it had become altogether implacable. The prosperity of one, was viewed as the adversity of the other; and the object of the highest importance, [Page 5] in the view of either, was the humiliation of its rival. When the American colonies, first shewed a spirit of resistance against British domination, the unequal con­test excited universal attention among the nations of Europe. But to none was it a matter of such inter­esting concern, as to France. Her old, "natural en­emy," had engaged in an enterprize of much more difficulty, than she seemed to be aware of. Fully sen­sible, that the aera afforded an opportunity for hum­bling the pride of Great-Britain, France listened with pleasure to our entreaties, and threw her weight into our scale. The alliance, though it must have been ac­knowledged highly incongruous when coolly consider­ed, was of the last importance to this country. The advantages of it, to us, were immediate, and deci­sive. Its strength was too powerful for Great-Bri­tain; and the contest ended by an acknowledgement of our Independence. Thus, the first object which the French Court had in view—the humiliation of Great-Britain—was accomplished. In order, howev­er, to improve the great events which had passed, as far as possible to their own advantage, they bent the whole force of their talents at intrigue, and negocia­tion, to reduce this country under their absolute con­trol, that they might seize the valuable property, which Great-Britain had lost. The attempt was accordingly made, at the time of settling the treaty of peace, and would have succeeded, if Mr. Adams, and Mr. Jay, had not possessed more integrity, firmness, and patri­otism, than their colleague. Had the treaty been concluded on the terms propounded by France, and acceded to by Doctor Franklin, the Independence of the United States would have been nothing more than a name. We should only have gained a new master, with no other consolation, than a consciousness, that we were immense losers by the exchange. Frustrated in this attempt, by the dignified conduct of the illus­trious characters I have named, we were suffered, for the present, to enjoy the fruit of our labours, in the possession of real Independence. No one, who is in any degree acquainted with the restless ambition of [Page 6] France, will believe that she would sit down content­ed, when disappointed of half her object. The at­tempt was only postponed to a more convenient sea­son; and from that time, to the commencement of her own Revolution, every instrument in her posses­sion, was employed to bring about her favourite pro­ject. For this purpose, as an indispensible pre-requi­site, she made constant efforts to acquire our confi­dence, and affection. Her advantages, it must be confessed, were singularly efficacious. The services which we had received from the government, were all-important; and the motives which induced her to lend us aid, were proudly acknowledged by us, to be disinterested. In this situation, it would have been strange indeed, if the feelings of a nation, too young to be vicious, and too inexperienced to indulge suspi­cion, were not ardently grateful.

IT will be proper here to remark, that what has hitherto been said, respecting the conduct, and views of France, is applicable only to the king, and his coun­cils. The voice of the people, was not heard, nor called for. The mandates of the monarch, were the supreme law; and nothing was exacted of the subjects but implicit obedience. If, therefore, the conduct of France, was in any degree insidious, the guilt is im­putable to the king; if praise-worthy, his is the merit.

WHEN the French Revolution commenced, the events which took place for the first two, or three years, were calculated to excite in the American bo­som, the sincerest sympathy. We found among its Leaders, Characters, who had fought for our liberties, and whose amiableness and heroism, had excited our friendship, and admiration. But, when the legitimate authority of the king was set at defiance, his life de­stroyed, and the Constitution overturned, it became the duty of the American people, to reflect coolly on their situation, and not to suffer their enthusiasm in fa­vor of freedom, to lead them into the most absurd, and dangerous conduct. Though it was the true pol­icy [Page 7] of this country, to acknowledge the new French Government, in order to pursue a system of peace, yet we ought not to have transferred our ideas of grat­itude from the unfortunate monarch, who had in truth rendered us important services, to his ferocious sub­jects, who had never exercised towards us, the least act of generosity, or friendship. But, however absurd such conduct may appear, far the greater part of the people of the United States, after the death of the king, professed the same lively sense of obligation to the Nation, as would have been due to it, had the peo­ple voluntarily come over, and fought our battles. Finding this spirit in full operation here, the Leaders in the Revolutionary government, very justly conclu­ded, that they might improve it to their own advan­tage. Accordingly, professing the truest spirit of af­fection for their "elder Sister in freedom," they sent over an ambassador, to carry into effect their fatal purposes. This man, was well selected for the mis­sion on which he was sent. Capable of performing a double part, without any inconvenience, he appeared as the messenger of good-will to our nation, while he was charged with a spirit of the deadliest hostility. Breathing nothing but peace, he meditated nothing but war; and while he praised us for our spirit of neutrality, he used every possible effort, to force us to make a common cause with France, against all her enemies. The object which the French had in view, in this hypocritcal policy, was not any serious assist­ance from our exertions in her favour. Her wish was, to make us quarrel with the other nations of Europe, with whom we were on friendly terms, that we might be forced to take shelter under her protection; which would in effect, reduce us to a state of absolute vassal­age. Unluckily for the schemes of France, Genet plucked off his mask too suddenly. His insidiousness became apparent; and his masters, finding themselves in danger of being frustrated in their darling purpose, dismissed him from their service. Before he quitted his post, he found it expedient to publish his instruc­tions; by which it appeared, that he was delegated [Page 8] for the express purpose, of coupling us with France, in the war.

HIS successor assumed a different character, and pursued a different line of conduct. Reserved, and, ap­parently, inefficient, he was obviously employed on no great mischief, until, by a most providential discovery, it was proved, that his reserve was studied, and his inefficiency, fatally potent. "The hand of Joab" ap­peared too evident, in a most daring, and formidable Rebellion, against the laws and government of the U­nited States, the object of which was, the destruction of our Constitution and Independence.(1)

WHEN the National Convention thought fit to dismiss this second incendiary minister, they favoured us with a third, if possible, more zealous, more artful, and more determined, than either of his predecessors. His conduct must be fresh in the recollection of all. He left no effort untried, to assert, and establish the sovereignty of the French Republic, over the govern­ment of the United States. His disappointment en­ded, in venting the most opprobrious abuses, against all its virtuous, and dignified administrators. Every person, will bear me witness, that his exertions were all directed to one favorite point—the ascendency of the French over our Councils, and Country.

IF any thing further be necessary, to prove, to the satisfaction of every mind, the real objects of the French, in their conduct towards this country, fortu­nately the evidence is at hand. It may be had, by re­sorting to the history of their proceedings at home, for two or three years past. With a degree of in­solence, unparallelled in the annals of nations, that haughty Power, has assumed the right of dictating to us, the line of conduct which we must pursue, not on­ly as it respects herself, but with other nations. The United States, having ventured to make a treaty with Great-Britain, without the permission of France, the government of that country, immediately, by its pub­lic [Page 9] decrees, sanctioned a system of piracy upon our commerce, which had been before more clandestinely carried on, and in a short time, plundered our citizens of more than twenty millions of dollars. At this time, the United States were represented in France, by a man, (2) much better fitted, to be the tool of an un­principled Directory, than the Agent of a free, and virtuous people. This degraded minion of a foreign court, had the baseness to declare, to the plunderers of his country, that the people of the United States, would cheerfully submit to the most licentious depre­dations on their property, if it were necessary to the interests of their voracious Ally. Who can listen to such a debasement of our national character, without the most lively indignation! But, such is the necessary effect of what is called republicanism, by modern poli­ticians. Not a man who professes it, but is prepared, rather than check the progress of those principles, which like a pestilence are sweeping away to destruc­tions, all the pleasures, and blessings of life, to invite the plunderers of nations, the destroyers of human happiness, to turn their fatal forces against the exist­ence of his friends, and the peace of his country.

WHAT has been the conduct of our own govern­ment, in this trying situation? Instead of plunging head­long into the miseries of war, they have exhausted the whole system of negociation, to preserve peace, and obtain something like justice. Their efforts have met with such success, as ought to be expected by all na­tions, who are obliged to transact business with those, who are destitute of principle, and regardless of char­acter. In the first instance, a most respectable Envoy Extraordinary, has been treated with contempt, and rejected with disdain. In the second, Commissioners, furnished with ample powers for adjusting all the dis­putes between the countries, have been sent; who, af­ter experiencing a long series of the most mortifying insults, have, with unparallelled insolence, been refu­sed even an audience with the haughty Directory. [Page 10] Instead of listening to our claims for compensation, they invite us to become their tributary vassals. Without any other pretext, than that of power, they demand a heavy contribution from us, as the price of negociation; and, to the disgrace of the Dey of Al­giers, justify their conduct, by comparing it with his. The particular history of these proceedings, is too mor­tifying to be repeated. But, it has had its proper ef­fect. The spirit of the country has risen in opposi­tion to such insolent demands, and I trust the "Grand Nation," as she modestly styles herself, will find, that she is not dealing with Venice, nor Switzerland.

IT is not necessary, surely, to attempt to prove, that in every instance, where the French nation gains the predominancy over any other, the liberties of the latter expire in the fraternal embrace. It is more be­numbing to national happiness, than the touch of a Torpedo, to the functions of life—it is the Bohon U­paz of morals, of liberty, and religion. A long, and painful list of nations, may be produced from Europe, to justify any conclusions, we may feel disposed to make against them.

I THEREFORE remark, That we are peculiarly exposed to danger from France, for several reasons. There is, in the hearts of the American people, an in­herent love of liberty. This spirit was brought into this country, by the first inhabitants, and has been transmitted to their posterity with the most faithful care. The first lesson which our venerable ancestors taught their children, after their duty to God, was, to cherish, and defend their liberties. To these in­structions, we are indebted for the spirit, which rose in opposition to the exactions of the British govern­ment, and which, by the blessing of Providence, wrought out our Independence. It is not, therefore, at all surprizing, that there should exist in our bosoms, a sympathetic affection for any nation, struggling for the same interesting end. When the French nation began their Revolution, there was an universal anxi­ety [Page 11] for its success, throughout the United States. Scarce a heart could be found, which did not fervent­ly supplicate the Supreme Arbiter of Events, to grant them freedom from oppression. In this state of en­thusiasm, it was not to be expected, that the strong at­tachment of a nation, would be easily turned from a course, which it had gloried in pursuing. Having long believed the French people, to be sincerely en­gaged in vindicating their rights, and ascribing the crimes with which their Revolution has been black­ened, to causes, not incompatible with that belief, it was not to be expected, that the public sentiment would materially change, without being operated upon by the most irresistible evidence. As long, therefore, as it is possible to trace out apologies for their enormi­ties, so long it will be done by zealous minds; and so long will this country be exposed to danger from the effects of this misleading passion.

IN the next place, we are in hazard, from the ef­fects of a mistaken idea, which has been very preva­lent, that we are indebted to the French Nation, for the aid which their troops afforded us, in our own Revolution. Nothing has been so often mentioned as this; and nothing ever was more unfounded. The king of Great-Britain, during the war in this country, employed German troops against us. Did any person ever suppose, that the British nation ought to be grate­ful to the Hessians for their assistance; or would have owed them gratitude, if the war had terminated in their favour? Who sent those troops here? Their master, the Landgrave of Hesse. If any debt was due for their services, it belonged to him, who was the sole cause of their rendering those services; and not to the troops, who had no volition to exercise, who merely obeyed the orders of their sovereign. Was not this precise­ly the case with the French troops in this country? Upon a contract between the United States, and the king of France, they were sent here to aid us in the contest with Great-Britain. He had the supreme, and perfect command over the actions of his subjects, [Page 12] and employed them in the manner he pleased. The contract has been faithfully fulfilled on our part, and the debt discharged. Their services were no more their own voluntary acts, than the labours of slaves are attributable to themselves. To Louis the sixteenth, we were indebted, just so far as such interested services could confer obligation, and to him alone. It would therefore be well for those of our countrymen, who feel this singular sense of gratitude with such lively e­motions, to recollect, that their real benefactor, the amiable, the pious king of that "terrible nation," has fallen a sacrifice to the most wanton, unexampled in­justice, and tyranny. Let them, if their hearts are as tender as their professions would indicate, bewail the untimely death of a monarch, who has not left among his subjects, an equal portion of virtue, with what he himself possessed.

BUT a more important source of mischief to us, than all that I have mentioned, is to be found, in the characters, dispositions, and practises, of many of our own citizens. That there are two strong political par­ties in the United States, will be acknowledged by all. That one of these parties, has been, almost from the time of the adoption of the Constitution, endeavour­ing to subordinate this country to France, I shall at­tempt to prove; and have no objection to their at­tempting to establish their favorite dogma, viz. that the party in opposition to them, is labouring, with e­qual zeal, to subject this country to Great-Britain. Proof of the first position, I believe to be attainable—the second, I venture to say, may defy their utmost exertions. The party which I am about to mention, though it apparently has been under the direction of different Leaders, I shall consider, as having been from the beginning, implicitly guided by Mr. Jefferson. To him, then, we must look for the proofs, of what his subordinates have uniformly endeavoured to accomplish. I trust that gentleman will suffer me to analyze his political character, without murmuring. He stands on elevated ground—a Beacon, to warn others of the [Page 13] soul, and dangerous channel. The man, who takes upon himself the high offices of government, assumes at the same moment, a weight of responsibility, which requires caution at the outset, and integrity in the dis­charge. "THE MAN OF THE PEOPLE," will surely not shrink from a scrutiny, by one of small importance among his sovereigns.

WHEN Mr. Jefferson returned from his mission to France, fears were entertained by many respectable persons, that he had imbibed no small portion of the unfettered notions of the French, respecting philoso­phy, government, and religion. This apprehension gave great uneasiness; because it required not the spirit of prophecy to foresee, that so considerable a personage must have a share in the Administration. As the office of Secretary of State fell to his lot, he could have no concern with legislation; but his friend, Mr. Madison, was, at the same time, the acknowledg­ed Leader of his party in the House of Representa­tives. From the perfect coincidence of opinion be­tween them, and the confessed superiority of Mr. Jef­ferson, we may justly consider the former, as enlisted under the banners of the latter. The first fact which I shall notice, as containing evidence of Mr. Jefferson's determination to subject this country to France, is Mr. Madison's introduction of Mr. Jefferson's(3) celebra­ted Resolutions, to the House of Representatives, in the year 1794. The professed object of these Resolu­tions, was the regulation of Commerce. But, it was perfectly obvious, that their real object was, to bind the United States so closely to France, that they must inevitably be involved in her destiny. Mr. Jefferson, from the moment he landed in this country, had fixed his eyes on France, as the great Brazen Serpent of the world, which was to heal all the maladies of na­tions. There the human mind was to start from its enchantment, burst through the chains of ages, and freed from Superstition and Tyranny, stalk with gi­gantic step, over Law, Government, and Religion. Yearning over the novel scenes which a regenerated [Page 14] world would produce, he was solicitous that his coun­try should follow France, in her tremendous career. Considering our freedom as mixed with alloy, he wished to plunge this country again into the Revolu­tionary furnace, that it might be purified by fire. A­ware of the difficulty of changing the sober habits of Americans, into the wild, and impious vagaries of philosophy, he contrived this artful mode of begin­ning the public reformation. The unfriendly feelings of the people towards Great-Britain, were the auxil­iary, and the regulation of Commerce, the mask, on which he depended for the success of his schemes. Though the absurdity of this attempt was exposed, yet the bait was swallowed by many. "Strange! Passing strange!" That in settling a question, which had no other aim than the acquisition of wealth to a particu­lar class of citizens, resort should be had to legislative coercion, when the plainest principles of common a­rithmetic, were sufficient for every purpose. In all commercial regulations, the merchant is the person who is interested. He alone can determine, where his trade can be advantageously pursued; and for his conviction, will resort to his Ledger. All the meta­physics of a Locke, will have no weight, when placed in opposition to the demonstration of his figures. We must therefore search in some other region, for the true cause of this mighty effort to chain down Com­merce. This reason I have already mentioned—it was a wish to unite this country inseparably to France.

IN this instance, Mr. Jefferson, and his co-opera­tors, were happily frustrated. But it was not to be expected, that people of their character, in pursuit of their object, would easily loose sight of their favourite purpose. Accordingly, in every stage of our political progress, we find them eagerly pursuing those meas­ures, which seemed to promise the greatest success.

IF any person is disposed still to doubt, whether Mr. Jefferson's wishes are such as I have represented them, fortunately, we are furnished with some corrob­orating [Page 15] circumstances, from his own "precious con­fessions." In the spring of the year 1797, Mr. Jef­ferson's celebrated letter to Mazzei, made its appear­ance in the United States. This letter, as might nat­urally be expected, has been the text of many com­mentators. I trust, however, that I shall be pardon­ed for making a few remarks upon it, as it contains a perfect compendium of the French, and anti-federal policy, as exhibited in the United States. Mr. Jef­ferson begins by saying that—"Our political situation is prodigiously changed since you left us. Instead of that noble love of liberty, and that republican govern­ment, which carried us through the dangers of the war, an Anglo-Monarchic-Aristocratic party has a­risen. Their avowed object is, to impose on us the substance, as they have already given us the form, of the British Government. Nevertheless, the principal body of our citizens remain faithful to republican principles, as also the men of talents. We have against us (republicans) the Executive Power, the Ju­diciary (two of the three branches of our government) all the officers of government, all who are seeking for offices, all timid men, who prefer the calm of despot­ism, to the tempestuous sea of liberty, the British mer­chants, and the Americans, who trade on British Cap­itals, the speculators, persons interested in the Bank, and Public Funds. [Establishments invented with views of corruption, and to assimilate us to the British model in its corrupt parts.]" The first charge which Mr. Jefferson brings against his country, is—that "a party has arisen in it, whose avowed object is, to im­pose on the people, the substance of the British govern­ment." This assertion, has often been boldly made by the profligate printer of the Aurora, and other tools of Sedition, in the country; but we should hope, that so great a man as the present Vice-President of the United States, would, at least, pay a decent regard to truth in his writings. No man will say, that the party of which Mr. Jefferson is speaking, ever had the hardihood to avow their object to be, to impose a monarchical government on the people of the United [Page 16] States, however much they may secretly wish such an event to take place. "The form of this govern­ment," says this letter-writer, "they have already given us." No one can misunderstand this expression. Mr. Jefferson means to be understood, that the Con­stitution of the United States, possesses the form of the British Government. If this is his opinion of our Constitution, what are we to understand by the oaths he has repeatedly taken to support it? Is he willing to swear to support a monarchy in the United States; or does he disregard the obligations of an oath; and when he has a favourite object before him, like a thor­ough disciple of the Illuminati,(4) rush boldly upon the thick bosses of the buckler of God? But of whom is this party said to consist? Who are they, that are avowedly attempting to impose upon us the substance of the British government? "The Executive Power," says this philosopher. At the date of this letter, the Executive Power of the United States, was in the hands of the venerable, the illustrious WASHINGTON—on whose virtues, the language of panegyric has long since been exhausted—on whose head, rest the benedictions of a grateful country—and who, after having perform­ed the most important, and difficult services, without the least diminution of honor, has retired from public employment, amidst the applauses, the tears, and the prayers of the people, with the affectionate, and dig­nified title, of THE FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY. I shall notice but one other class of the characters who are said to belong to this party—viz. "ALL TIMID PERSONS, WHO PREFER THE CALM OF DESPOTISM, TO THE TEMPESTUOUS SEA OF LIBERTY." This passage, I beg may be attentively considered; as it furnishes a key, to unlock the Cabinet of Mr. Jeffer­son's political opinions. It will be remembered, that Mr. Jefferson is complaining of the Federal Constitu­tion, of course, the party of whom he is writing, are the friends of that Constitution. "THE CALM of Despotism," then, in his view, was the peaceful, pros­perous, happy condition of the United States, under that Constitution, before the tranquillity of the coun­try [Page 17] was destroyed, and its interests sacrificed, at the shrine of anarchy; and the "DESPOTISM," must [...], the coercion of the laws, which protected the people in the quiet enjoyment of their lives, families, and estates, without fear of molestation from the ma­rauding spirit of modern republicanism. This was the state, which this party, so obnoxious to Mr. Jef­ferson, preferred "TO THE TEMPESTUOUS SEA OF LIBERTY"—a sea, whose waves are waves of blood—whose storms are the conflicting passions of Man—whose inhabitants are ferocious monsters, roaming their sanguinary round for prey—and whose shores are white with the bones of murdered millions.

THE writer then remarks—"I should give you a fever, if I should name the apostates who have em­braced these heresies; men, who were Solomons in council, and Sampsons in combat, but whose hair has been cut off by the whore England.

"THEY would wrest from us that liberty, which we have obtained by so much labour and peril; but we shall preserve it. Our mass of weight and riches are so powerful, that we have nothing to fear from any attempt against us by force. It is sufficient that we guard ourselves, and THAT WE BREAK THE LIL­LIPUTIAN TIES BY WHICH THEY HAVE BOUND US, in the first slumbers which have succeeded our la­bours. It suffices that we arrest the progress of that system of ingratitude, and injustice towards France, from which they would alienate us, to bring us under British Influence," &c.

IT would almost seem, that the writer of this let­ter, was fearful, lest his real sentiments would not be understood from the first part of it, and therefore cal­culated the latter part, to extinguish any doubt that could arise in any mind. After informing Mr. Maz­zei, of the existence of the Anglo-Monarchic-Aristo­cratic party in this country, and of what descriptions [Page 18] of people that party consisted; he proceeds to point out the mode of avoiding their machinations. He says—"they would wrest from us our liberty, which we have obtained by so much labour and peril." It will be recollected that Mr. Jefferson has heretofore told us in this letter, in what manner this party was endeavouring to destroy our liberties—viz. "by giv­ing us the substance, as they had already the form, of the British government." This I have shewn, is ap­plied to the Federal Constitution. It may then fairly be laid down, from this letter, as Mr. Jefferson's opin­ion—That the Federal Constitution is, in form, a mon­archy; and that the friends of that Constitution, are labouring to give it the substance of the British mon­archy, in its corrupt parts. Notwithstanding the bold­ness of the designs of this party, and the strength which they have acquired, Mr. Jefferson does not des­pair of frustrating them. He says—"they are en­deavouring to wrest from us our liberty, but we shall preserve it." What measure is to be adopted, to in­sure this success? "It is sufficient that WE BREAK THE LILLIPUTIAN TIES BY WHICH THEY HAVE BOUND US." With what chain has this party bound the United States? By adverting to the former part of the letter, we shall make the discovery. "Instead of that republican government which carried us thro' the war, (which must mean the Confederation) a party has arisen, whose avowed object is, to impose on us the substance, as they have already given us the form, of the British government." As this refers alone to the Federal Constitution, that Constitution is the tie which binds the country, and, of course, that is the tie which is to be broken to save our liberty. The task seems to be a very easy one. It is a Lilliputian tie, which an infant may sever. Destroy this trifling shackle, and your hands will be free—free for plun­der, free for bloodshed, free for sacrilege.

MR. Jefferson then brings into view the great en­gine, by the aid of which, every thing necessary to des­troy our Constitution, and subject us to foreign sway, [Page 19] is to be accomplished. "It suffices, that we arrest the progress of that system of ingratitude and injustice to­wards France." This is the secret, by which the pas­sions of the people are to be kept enflamed, their un­derstandings and their conduct perverted. Keep alive this "will-ó-wisp," and the country may easily be led to perdition. Here then we find the source, from whence sprang the ridiculous notion of gratitude to the French Nation; and here we also find, for what purpose that notion has been propagated. The wri­ter of this letter, had no other way of saving the liber­ties of his country, than by destroying the Constitu­tion, and the great mean of destroying the Constitu­tion, was, arresting the progress of ingratitude to France. This may be compatible with the allegiance of a Jacobin, or an Illuminatus, but in a well regulat­ed government, which possessed energy enough to pro­tect the virtuous, and to punish the vicious, it would be unadulterated treason—a crime, to which there can be but one aggravation, viz. perjury—Swearing to support a Constitution, which gives a man his bread, while he is labouring incessantly to destroy it.

IT will be observed, that thus far, I have taken one fact for granted, viz.—That if the French Coun­cils, by any means whatever, should gain such an as­cendency over our government, as to control its measures, our Independence will be at an end. This proposition is too evident to be questioned.

I SHALL proceed to point out the means, by which, we may escape the calamities with which we are threatened.

LET us not be seduced into an unsafe situation, by our love of liberty; or by the false, and unfounded notions of friendship, and gratitude, which I have al­ready mentioned. It becomes us to rouse from the state of mental imbecility, into which we are sunk, and to think for ourselves. Let us recollect the facts which we are furnished with by the history of man­kind, [Page 20] and we shall find, that of all the nations on earth, there is none more distinguished for a selfish, unprin­cipled, and destructive policy, as it respects other na­tions, than France; that her projects are all calcula­ted for her own aggrandizement; and that there is no more real cause of sympathy between America and France, than there is between America, and Algiers. When our attention to this subject is once thoroughly awakened, there will be no cause to fear from this source, any danger to our Independence.

LET us shut our Councils against those persons, who wish to barter our freedom. One class of these men I have already mentioned. They are of a very dangerous nature. No man, who is weak, or wicked enough, to be willing to exchange the benign govern­ment of the United States, for the horrors of a Revo­lutionary system, is fit to be a Legislator for this happy country. Charity, with expanded wings, may possi­bly stretch her flight so far, as to discover in some of these men, honest intentions; but I could almost as easily persuade myself, that the midnight robber, or the murderer of sleeping innocence, might wash him­self free from guilt.

BUT there is another class, to which we are, if possible, indebted for more serious misfortunes. This, is composed of foreigners.(5) I am ashamed for my country, that so great a portion of her public Councils, should be made up of foreigners. Where is our na­tional spirit! Where is our pride! Where is our dig­nity! Are we yet to be deluded by the artifices of worthless renegadoes! Look at the rolls of Congress, ever since the adoption of our present Constitution, and you will find, that the most celebrated "patriots" among them, are emigrants from Europe. Escaping from their own country, embittered against its government, prob­ably because they had exposed themselves to its pen­alties, they land on our shores with the most heart­burning passion for liberty; and holding the rights of man in one hand, and the seeds of Rebellion in the [Page 21] other, they harangue the mob, preach against the op­pression of the laws, rail at all good men, and, by the assistance of the weak, ignorant, and worthless part of the community, push themselves with undaunted assurance, into the high departments of government. Where should these persons learn the principles of ra­tional liberty? Are they to be found among the sav­age hordes of "United Irishmen," or in the Jesuitical schools of Geneva? From these regions, we may justly expect the the foul disturbers of Legislative decorum, and the authors of Whisky-Insurrections;(6) but not the framers of wholesome laws, nor the supporters of our excellent Constitution.

LET us resolve to defend our Constitution, and Country, against every foreign encroachment; and especially against the encroachments of France. This can be done, only by a spirit of union. We have de­monstrative evidence, that the injuries which we have already suffered from France, have originated from an idea, on her part, that we are a divided, and, of course, a feeble people. Indeed, her agents in Paris have openly boasted, that their measures against us were sure of success, from the circumstance of our divisions at home, and from the efforts of their party here. (7) She is perfectly well assured, that America, if united, is invincible. Our shores may indeed be ravaged, our towns destroyed, and our vessels plundered; but the country can never be conquered. Our resources are inexhaustible; our spirit, when thoroughly roused, unconquerable. We have once hazarded all that is dear to the heart of man, "when we were few men in number, yea very few," and in a truly feeble state. Shall we now shrink from the force, even of all-con­quering France, and yield our freedom without a struggle? This never will happen, unless we are capa­ble of forgetting the mighty reasons, which call us to exert ourselves to the utmost, to defend our liberties, and save our country.

LET me, then, call your attention to this most in­teresting subject. In the consideration of it, let us [Page 22] first enquire, what we are to lose with our Independence? And here, I am not about to entertain you with a de­clamation on the glory of being a free, independent nation. My intention is, to call your serious reflect­ions, to your more substantial interests. Cast your eyes then abroad, and see what you are in possession of. Look at your country, rich in every blessing, that is necessary to the health, to the pleasure, and to the happiness of men. Here every man is the sovereign proprietor of his little farm, and the happy master of his peaceful dwelling. Free from the pomp, and ex­pense of courts, simplicity of manners, and oeconomi­cal habits prevail, unaided by sumptuary laws, and unmolested by envy and pride. Knowledge is the birthright of every class of citizens, and truths moral and divine are taught to all. Our rulers, are our neighbours, and friends, chosen by our free, and un­biassed suffrages, educated in the same habits with our­selves, are acquainted with our wants, and have every possible inducement to supply them Our govern­ment was framed, and adopted by ourselves, without any other motive than the conviction of its necessity, and without any other authority, than our own reason, and understanding. Under its wise, and just Admin­istration, we have grown up, and flourished, "the joy of other nations, and the pride of the whole earth;" while over all our concerns, has spread the influence of that religion, which is pure, peaceful, and divine. Well may we exclaim in the language of Inspiration—"Happy art thou, O Israel! Who is like unto thee, O people, saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency. The eternal GOD is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee, and shall say, DESTROY THEM. Israel then shall dwell in safety, alone; the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew. THEN SHALL THINE ENEMIES BE FOUND LIARS UNTO THEE, AND THOU SHALT TREAD UPON THEIR HIGH PLACES."(8)

[Page 23] BUT, it is much more important for us to en­quire, what we are to gain by a subordination to the French. Here, I confess my great incapacity to do justice to a subject, which comprises nothing less, than a complete history of Jacobinical government. It is however necessary to the plan with which I set out, that I attempt it; for by tracing out the characters, and views, of the authors of the French Revolution, we may be able to judge, whether the effects which their government has produced, wherever it has ope­rated, are not the natural consequences of their cause.

IT is a fact well ascertained, that this Revolution was planned by a set of men, whose avowed object was the overthrow of ALTARS and THRONES(9)—that is, the destruction of all Religion, and Govern­ment. This plan was conceived, and nourished, at the midnight orgies of the modern "ILLUMINATI." The creed of this society of demons, is, "That all means, however flagitious, are to be used for the accomplish­ment of their favourite end. If, therefore, it becomes necessary, in order to forward their main purpose, ev­ery member must be guilty of murder, seduction, per­jury, incest, and blasphemy. From such an associa­tion, actuated by such turpitude of heart, we might rationally expect, would spring a Jacobinical govern­ment. This is the government, which, for these six years past, has directed the affairs of France, and which has produced in that miserable country, a state of things, which, in the metaphoric language of Mr. Jefferson, may be emphatically called, "THE TEM­PESTUOUS SEA OF LIBERTY." Such a government, France, and her votaries in this country, have wished to introduce here, in the place of that just, and equit­able system, which with so much pride and felicity, we have established for ourselves. The fair mode of trying the merits of this government, will be by its fruits. The same effects, which it has produced in other countries, where its baleful influence has been experienced, it will produce in ours, if ever adopted by us. Let us then examine into those effects, as ex­hibited [Page 24] in France itself—and in other countries, which have been conquered by France.

IN surveying the events which have happened in France, since the establishment of Republicanism, the mind recoils from scenes, sickening to the heart of man. There we find simple murder set so low in the scale of crimes, as almost to become a virtue. The ingenuity of a people, celebrated beyond all others, for its quickness, and versatility, has been exhausted in discovering new species of wickedness, more hein­ous than those heretofore known, and in adding ag­gravations to those which had already been practised. The common modes of destroying lives, among a peo­ple, which seemed bent on becoming a nation of mur­derers, soon became dull, and unpleasant; they there­fore substituted the Guillotine, as a more expeditious, and to their hearts, a more enlivening engine of death. But, as the fashion became more general, [...] also was found too slow in its operations, for the zeal of Jacobinism; and new methods were invented, more cruel to the victims, and, of course, more exhilirating to their executioners. By the invention of "repub­lican marriages," and "republican baptisms," hund­reds, and thousands, of innocent men, women, and children, have been chained together, and plunged into a watery grave. Instances, too disgusting to hear, too horrid to relate, without number, have happened, in which fathers and their sons, mothers and their in­fants, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, have been blown from the mouths of cannon, torn to pieces in the streets, or sacrificed to the infernal fury of can­nibal fishwomen. Victims, whose hearts sunk at the prospect of the apparatus of death, have been forced to kiss the bleeding heads of their fellow victims, as a preparative to the awful change. Delegates from the National Convention, charged with the work of gen­eral extermination, lest they should lose some part of their bloody pleasure, have ordered the bodies of those butchered by their direction, to be brought, and piled in heaps before their doors, that they might regale [Page 25] themselves with "the trophies of their patriotism." And, as an encouragement to this work of slaughter, it is said, that the Convention, ordered the Corpses of the national victims to be flayed, in order to procure leather for the use of the army.(10)

IT is worthy of observation, that the spirit of Ja­cobinism, differs very essentially from all other spirits. The zeal of an enthusiast in religion, though violent, and often pernicious, yet will stop short of acknowl­edged crime—it will shrink from cool deliberate mur­der. But the Jacobin is not satisfied with guilt of a common dye. He delights in murdering the wife of his bosom, in destroying the life of a smiling infant, in plunging a dagger into a parent's heart.

ANOTHER very prominent feature in Jacobinism, is an avowed enmity against religion. Sensible, that so long as any ideas of moral obligation should re­main, and the doctrine of future accountability be believed, it would be impossible to introduce that uni­versal system of depravity, which is essentially necessa­ry for their purposes, the Leaders of the Revolution early laid the axe at the root of Religion. At a sin­gle effort of the Gigantic Monster, the Temple was overthrown, and its ministers buried in the ruins. Religion was hunted from her sacred retreats; and while her blaspheming foes rolled in the splendour of her spoils, SHE "had not where to lay her head." The poor, the infirm, and the pious, robbed of the only consolation on this side the grave, were driven to take refuge in the cold arms of Despair, or the still more bleak, and comfortless regions of Annihilation. Instead of the cheering hopes of the Gospel, that sure and stedfast Anchor to the soul, they were forced to listen—

WHILE Atheists preach'd THE ETERNAL SLEEP OF DEATH.

FROM this dreary spectacle, turn your eyes to the state of property. In France, to be rich, is to be [Page 26] guilty. The bare suspicion of property is the signal for denunciation; and denunciation is only the next stroke before death.

NOR does the administration of government, in its highest departments, afford any brighter scenes to the wandering eye. A Directory, as profligate, as in­solent, without any other pretext, than, that the Re­public was in danger, have arrested, condemned, and banished, two of their number, and a large proportion of the National Councils, confessedly, in open defiance of the positive provisions of the Constitution, and the privileges it guarantees to the "Representatives of the Sovereign People." Nor is even this the length, to which they have stretched their despotic preroga­tives. At the last Elections, after having, in vain, used every possible artifice, to procure the return of persons devoted to their interests, finding the Electors resolutely determined to choose those, in whom they could place confidence, the Directory, with an effront­ery never equalled by the greatest tyrant on earth, in­formed them, that the Executive had (in the instance I have just mentioned) already purged the Legislature of the Traitors which it contained; and they were determined that a new set should not enter; it would therefore be fruitless to elect characters, obnoxious to the Directory.

I MIGHT easily waste the day in pursuing even these very general sketches. But I will not weary your patience further, than to take a slight survey of the effects of Jacobinism, in some of those countries, which have been conquered by France. In their fate, we may learn our own. Let us then turn our eyes to Holland. A few years since, Holland was rich in a commerce, which extended over the globe, and one of the most industrious, opulent nations on earth. Charmed with novelty, and deluded with the offers of Revolutionary affection, she exchanged a government, under which she was prosperous, for the blessings of French fraternization—and where is she now! [Page 27] Sunk—not into oblivion, but, what is infinitely more deplorable—into the most abject slavery—her name blotted out of the catalogue of Nations. Stripped of her Independence, despoiled of her Commerce, and plundered of her Wealth, "In one hour is she come to nought." Let other nations take warning by her example, that they "receive not of her plagues." For they have "come upon her in one day, death, and mourning, and famine."

FROM Holland, pass to Venice—Venice, for ma­ny centuries, had been a Republic, respectable, inde­pendent, and free. But, when the ferocious Conque­ror of Italy, found himself destitute of his favourite employment, the shedding of blood, he turned his aching eyes to this peaceful nation. A pretext for hostilities was soon created. In consequence of a tri­fling quarrel between some insolent French soldiers, probably set at work by their Chief, and a few Vene­tian Citizens, the vengeance of the haughty Republi­can was immediately directed against an unoffending nation. The result is well known. Venice is no more. The arms of "the Terrible Nation," were too powerful for her forces; she fell a victim to an insidious, an exterminating foe; and this wretched country, has been bartered away to an Imperial Mas­ter, by these "friends of the human race," for another corner in the great ACELDAMA of Europe.

FROM Venice, let us follow this dreadful army to Switzerland. There, surrounded by almost impassi­ble mountains, inhabiting a territory, which offered none of those charms by which the French seem to be attracted, lived, in all the simplicity of innocence, a hardy, peaceable, and virtuous people. With a gov­ernment benign and just, with manners generous and hospitable, this amiable, learned, and pious people, by a steady, upright, and heroic policy, had for many ages maintained the respectability, and independence of their happy Republic. Too poor to furnish any temptations to a nation of plunderers, and too small [Page 28] ever to become formidable, it would seem that Swit­zerland might be safe. But, she was free. When the enemies of France were crushed, and her troops were growing clamorous, in order to furnish them with employment, the fatal eyes of the Directory were turned to Switzerland. As the harbinger of mis­chief, a faction was raised in the Councils of Berne. Requisitions, the most unjust and oppressive, were made in a threatening, and insolent manner; while, to the remonstrances of the Swiss, they turned a deaf, and sullen ear. Every effort towards a system of de­fensive preparation, was benumbed by the agents of the French, with the pusillanimous cry of "NEGOCI­ATION," and "THE TERRORS, AND EXPENSES OF [...]" Determined at all events, to sell their country to France, the Gileses, the Gallatins, and the Jeffer­sons of that devoted nation, induced their country­men to pause, until the hour of opposition was past. Their "inaccessible mountains" proved no obstacle to the savage Republicans; who, finding the Swiss in a divided, temporising, supplicating state, attacked, defeated, and destroyed them. "Human nature shudders at the recollection of the scenes which ensued. Reduced to despair at the loss of their freedom, the Swiss fought with unexampled bravery. The field of battle, was a promiscuous scene of confusion, of car­nage, and of death. Four hundred women met their fate, fighting by the sides of their husbands; near a thousand youths, of the most respectable families, in a phalanx, were swept away by the besom of destruc­tion; while Age, tottering with the weight of arms, fell, and expired with the liberties of his Country. The closing events, may be more easily imagined, than described. The orders given to the French sold­iery, by their superiours are—

Let not thy sword skip one;
Pity not honour'd Age for his white beard;
Strike me the matron; let not the virgin's cheek
Make soft thy trenchant sword; spare not the babe,
Whose dimpled smiles from fools exhaust their mercy,
Mince it without remorse.(11)

[Page 29] IN this catalogue of desolated Nations, I must be pardoned for mentioning a part of Germany, through which the French troops marched in the year 1796. The Circle of Suabia, was the highway for the army of General Moreau, as he advanced towards the cen­ter of the Imperial dominions, with the full career of Victory; and as he afterwards retreated from the tri­umphant forces of the Arch-Duke Charles. In des­cribing the progress of this army, it is impossible to do justice to the subject, in any other mode, than by a simple narration of facts. But decency, and humani­ty forbid, that I should enter on the detail. The transactions which took place, would draw tears from the most obdurate eye, and wring the flinty heart. Robbery, Conflagration, and Murder, were left out of sight, in the list of enormities. Not only the villages were given up to indiscriminate plunder by a brutal soldiery, but the female sex to universal violation. The furrowed cheek of Age, and the tender years of Childhood, were no security against this infernal band. Scenes, which would shock the heart of a savage, were exhibited in the face of the sun. Husbands were forced to witness the deflowering of their wives, par­ents of their daughters, and children of their parents. No circumstances were sufficient to check their profli­gacy, or to controul their licentiousness. Diseases the most loathsome, furnished no protection; even Death itself could not guard the lifeless female from dishon­our.

IF then, my fellow citizens, your country in danger, from the sources which I have mentioned—if the reasons I have advanced, are of sufficient im­portance to rouse you to exertion—I conjure you, in the name of that Country, and its Independence, for which you, and your fathers, so often fought, and bled—I conjure you in the names of your parents, wives, and children, whose lives, and honour, it is your duty to protect—I conjure you in the name of that Religion, on which all the consolations of life, and the hopes of future felicity depend—I conjure [Page 30] you in the presence of that GOD, whose name you rev­erence, and whose perfections you adore—to start from the deep sleep which seems to have fallen upon our country, commit yourselves to HIM, who is able to say, even to "the tempestuous sea" of France, "hitherto shalt thou come, and no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed," and determine to save your country from slavery, or to perish in its defence.

NOTES.

(1) SEE Fauchet's intercepted letter.

(2) JAMES MUNROE. [...] the fact alluded to in this passage, resort must be had to his own book—A work, happily calculated (like the other modern "vindications") to consign its author to infamy.

(3) "FROM what I have detailed above, those men might indeed be supposed numerous. The sessions of 1793 and 1794, had given import­ance to the Republican party, and solidity to its accusations. The propo­sitions of Mr. Madison, or his project of a navigation act, OF WHICH MR. JEFFERSON WAS ORIGINALLY THE AUTHOR, sapped the British interest, now an integral part of the financiering system." Fauchet's intercepted letter.

(4) IN giving a list of the Lodges of the "ILLUMINATI," Profes­sor Robison says, that there were several in America as early as 1786. "Proofs of a Conspiracy," &c. page 159. (Fourth Edition.) I know not who belonged to that society, in this country; but if I were about to make proselytes to Illuminatism in the United States, I should in the first place apply to Thomas Jefferson, Albert Gallatin, and their political associates.

(5) THE following partial [...] of the foreigners, who have been in Congress, since the adoption of the Constitution, is worthy of the atten­tion, of all the friends of their country. James Jackson, of Georgia, Eda­nus Burke, of South-Carolina, Albert Gallatin, William Findley, Blair M'Clenachan, John Swanwick, and—Smilie, of Pennsylvania, and Matthew Lyon, of Vermont. Many others might undoubtedly be enume­rated; but these are sufficient. Every man who has read the newspapers, from year to year, must know, that these men have been uniformly the bit­ter foes of our government. It is to be hoped, that experience will teach Americans the use of a national spirit—a pride in being governed by native citizens. With our own countrymen, we are acquainted, and run no risque of being imposed upon by the patriotism of knaves. But of foreigners we know nothing previous to their arrival. They may have been traitors, thieves, and pickpockets, in their own country. In ours they are sowers of sedition, disturbers of peace and good order, and the enemies of moral [...] and government.

[Page 31] (6) IF I mistake not, all the foreigners I have named in the preceding note, except two, are Irishmen. It is presumed that the importation of patriots from this island, is at an end. The dregs must have been drawn off in Matthew Lyon. It is reported of Gallatin, that he thought it ex­pedient for his own safety, to take advantage of the governmental pardon, which was proffered to the rebels in the Western Counties of Pennsylva­nia. If many such characters escaped, it was ill-timed mercy.

(7) SEE the Dispatches of our late Envoys to France.

(8) DEUTERONOMY xxxiii. 27, &c.

(9) BURKE'S "Two letters on the Conduct of Domestic parties," &c. Page 36, (Preface.) See also Robinson's "Proofs of a Conspiracy," &c.

(10) THIS fact is taken from a newspaper. Whether it is authentic, or not, I cannot say. It is mentioned here, merely on the strong probability, which the character of the French Nation furnishes, that it is true. It seems to contain exactly what was wanting, to finish the climax of their wickedness. The government doubtless knew, that the measure of their guilt was not yet running over, and therefore with great propriety poured in this drop, to consummate their national character.

(11) SHAKESPEARE.

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