Keep watch! make thy loins strong, fortify thy power mightily; for he that dashes in pieces is come up before thy face. The shield of his warriors is made red, the valiant are in scarlet. Behold thy people in the midst of thee are wo­men! where is the dwelling of the lions, and the feeding place of the young lions?—There the lion even the old lion walked, and the lion's whelp, and none made them afraid. The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravine.




THE following sheets have been hastily compos­ed, during a very short space of time, under strong impressions that the subject was of an urgent na­ture: whether to this cause, or a more simple one, the numerous faults in them, be attributed, no im­pression of injustice will be received. It will be ve­ry obvious to every reader that the author courts not the consideration of the high, nor the favor of the low: The perfidious patronage of courtiers and the dirty caps of the million, are to him ob­jects of equal contempt. He has no favor to seek of either. It will be also very apparent that he speaks the language of no party whatever, all sects being equally indifferent in his view, who has a single eye, to the honor and peace, of his country. Impressed with the fullest convictions of the real­ity of the dangers with which America is at pre­sent threatened, he thought it a duty to offer his projet for warding them off; believing, that, should it not be the means of drawing forth the efforts of able and adequate persons, it can at least serve to [Page 4]sound an alarm that must be useful, however nu­merous may be the dissentient opinions with re­gard to the measures he would propose in this jeo­pardous crisis; for he has long been convinced, that all the principal disasters of the United States have arisen from the people's ignorance of public affairs, and of course of their real situation. The time serving, mean and miserable politics of Go­vernment he conceives to have brought us to the verge of ruin; and that career, (in which it ap­pears miraculous that we have so long continued with so much impunity) must be energetically foreclosed, or the post-obiit of our prosperity will very soon be inscribed on the crowded tablet of republican delusions. He reserves for a less ad­verse occasion, some reflections on the domestic polity of the commonwealth, and in connection therewith, the necessity of various oeconomical reformations in the system of this Government, and modifications in the principle and practice of taxation.



THE tendencies of public measures for more than twelve months past, have been such as to excite the fearful apprehensions of all true friends to their country.

To change a system of policy, under which a people find themselves merely ex­empt from evils common in the lot of nati­ons, would seem to require deep reflection, mature judgment, and an ample view of the train of consequences dependent thereon, in all their different probable aspects, and in eve­ry possible line of extension and connection.

CHANGE is from the very nature of things an evil. To change even from bad to good, is not at all times expedient or safe; since [Page 6]it implies a confession of error and often of guilt, which the pride of man revolts at.

BUT when in any country, principles, un­der which the nation soared towards the temple of glory, with an eagle's flight, are totally abandoned, exploded, and reversed, it becomes an object of ten-fold importance to cast our eyes, in deep contemplation around us, and to explore amidst the secret recesses of narrow jealousy and private views, the mo­tives and the grounds, on which it hath been presumed to urge us towards a condition in which misery and ruin stare us in the face; it behoves us, under such circumstances, to examine well the position we have abandon­ed and that to which we are so rapidly ad­vancing.

"There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries."

THE tide in the affairs of America, had attained its full flood in the summer of 1798; [Page 7]when the whole extent of the continent bristled with the bayonets of indignant vo­lunteers, when the aged and revered Wash­ington, stept forth to command them, with the declaration that his successor had "ex­hausted to the last drop, the cup of re­conciliation," and when that successor him­self proclaimed, with oracular solemnity, that he would never send another supplicat­ing embassy to the Republic of France.

THE French interest in America, was every where on the decline; and every nar­row consideration of local prejudice, daily yeilded more and more, to that honorable zeal for the national glory which pervaded all hearts. The people were united; or, if a few murmurs of discontent were still heard, they were the growlings of the im­potent and discomfited; of wretches, who, long habituated to turbulence and rebellion, now vainly vented their stupid slanders upon those, who had, to all human appearance, cut off every hope of a return of the times of old.

[Page 8] THE American name was rising rapidly to dignity and eminence: the fame of our resistance to the wiles and the arms of France, exalted our reputation at once for wisdom and for courage. The proudest and greatest of nations, took us with joy by the hand; exulting over our late return to rea­son, she promptly unfolded her arcana to our view, and opened every avenue that could lead to political consequence, or com­mercial prosperity.*

UNDER these auspices, the instruments of our trade whitened every sea, the produce of our industry crowded every port, and our ensign waved in every harbor of the known world.

BUT the wind changed—the weather-cock turned—and now, how different are [Page 9]the aspects! It even seems a question how long we may be permitted to enjoy those advantages which have ever been common and essential to us as a nation.

IN a contest like that which was carrying on before our eyes—in a warfare of confu­sion against order, an insurrection of every vile propensity, against every good that re­mained to mankind in common, the hope to continue neutral was foolish, and the wish to remain so, dishonorable. It became at length so palpable, that we had our election to make, which side between the contending parties we would espouse, and so clear that our all was equally at stake upon the issue with the rest of the world, that even the rabble took cognizance of the question, and with one accord, shouted to arms! A go­vernment without power and without dispo­sition to avenge the insulted dignity of the country, and the stripes, wounds and execu­tions of its citizens, was actually pricked on by popular acclaim, to some shew of spirit: —it was goaded by laborious and untiring exertions, to an exhibition and parade of intention, which now, abandoned, has served [Page 10]only to saddle us with a frivolous expense, without alleviating a single mischief.

ALTHOUGH the doors of the temple of Janus, have been alternately shut and opened, with puerile irresolution, almost every day for these four years, the friendship of Great Britain, and the friendship of France, still present themselves to us as two great alter­natives. Here, I know it will be sagacious­ly inquired, are we not an independent na­tion? And have we not a right to do what seemeth meet in our own eyes.

I AM ready to answer, without hesitation, that a nation is no further independent of other nations, than one individual is inde­pendent of another in society. In either case, there are bonds of strong obligation. No nation may withhold from another pri­vileges which are by nature common to all, by the mere right of power: nor can any one justly withhold or bar the rights of another to full and impartial justice.

NATIONS are actuated, in their connec­tions, and even intercourse with one another, [Page 11]by interested motives; and miserable is that policy, which instead of fostering advanta­geous connections by creating interests, is seduced by vain conceptions of a fastidious independence, to destroy them, under a be­lief

"That self-dependent, she can fate defy,
As rocks resist the billows ad the sky."

THE various wants as well as various pro­ductions of different nations, constitute a na­tural binding chain of connection; all vaunt­ings of self-dependence, are, therefore, fool­ish; but, in our peculiar situation, to talk of independence, in the sense in which many apply the term, is preposterous in the ex­treme.

IT seems hardly in the power of con­ception to suppose men so ignorant as to seek a change in the whole order of things merely for the sake of maintaining this vi­sionary self-dependence; and yet it seems thus only to be accounted for, that we be­hold an humble and submissive policy sud­denly put in force towards a nation, in the [Page 12]present order of things our natural enemy, and a most repulsive* and hostile system adopted towards another to which we have indissoluble ties.

IN deciding between the friendship of Great Britain and the friendship of France, the primary assemblies of the people on the British treaty, and the same repeated on the commencement of hostilities against France, have shewn that there was but one voice. Jealous of Great Britain, as of the authority of an ancient superior, the people sought not, wished not, needed not any closer or other connection with her than already ex­isted in the treaty. So perfect an under­standing was there, that her cruisers convoy­ed our ships as their own, an almost unlimited commerce was opened to us in her oriental and other dominions, in many ports where [Page 13]where no flag but the British had ever before been permitted to wave. On the other hand, how great was the unanimity in the mea­sures pursued against the French Republic. Of the natives of the country, the descen­dants of the original stock, nineteen twen­tieths went hand and hand with the govern­ment. Prosperity bearned on the humblest nole in the commonwealth, a manly courage glistened in the countenances of the young, and joy at the bright prospect before them, gladdened the hearts of the aged. The im­posthume of much wealth and peace seemed broken, and inoffensively dispelled.

BUT it seems we made a shew of war to avoid war.* In infantine language, it was make believe fight, in order to keep peace. Wretched degradation of human nature! This outgoes the utmost wanderings of Gal­lic philosophy, and men are thus at once very fairly reduced to a level with asses. This, however, is only one of the trappings and suits of versatility; there is that within which passeth show.

[Page 14] It cannot be, frivolous and vain as mo­dern statesmen are; it cannot be, that we made war for the love of peace. This is too much like the murderer, who killed Don Carlos for his own good. Besides, the apos­tle of war, told us from his high place, that we were to gird on our swords and fit us for a long and bloody fight; ships were built, at an expence of many millions, and soldiers en­listed for the war. We were not thus farcically wheedled into all this expence, and all these sacrifices; it cannot have been: truth lies in a deeper well even than this.

THAT there is a time for peace and a time for war, required no very profound re­search nor very various reading, to be ap­prized of. The signs of the times, were moreover of very simple and obvious inter­pretation; nor, do they seem at first to have been misconstrued.

SINCE there are times when there ought to be war, and since there are also times when there ought not to be war: [Page 15]to keep peace, when the hand of war is upon us, is to carry on the worst of hostilities; it is a contest against the de­crees of nature, inasmuch as it is to refer that season of war which in the nature of things is inevitable, to a season when there ought to be peace. For, as we have not yet dipped so deep into the infsatuation of mil­lenarianism, or the whimsies of those other pestiferous prophets, who teach that the na­ture of man is perfectible, as to believe that the organization of nature and of mankind, in time to come, will be essentially variant from what it has been found through ages past, so we are to calculate on the usual pe­riods of war, which have been common in the lot of every nation.*

ONE of these periods has long since ar­rived. It arrived at a moment, auspicious for [Page 16]staying the enervating inroads which fifteen years of sluggish peace and insignificance had made. This influence of pacific habits yield­ed so slowly to the sense of honour and of duty, that half the means and the sinews of war fell before the rapid violences of a most pernicious enemy, ere it was found expedi­ent to resist. But it was so found at last, and when the resolution came, it came in unusual majesty and overbearing force. Never had a government less reason to complain of the temper and spirit of its subjects. Their trea­suries were disembogued with alacrity—on the instant, they stood, with assumed arms, utrinque parati. Cheerfully they gave all that was asked, and the necessities of the state would have met with no deficiency in sup­ply, but in the utter exhaustion of the peo­ple.

If ever there was a time for war, it was that in which America made her exhibitions of hostility to keep peace. The expences, the inconveniences, the evils, all—every bugbear of the Philippians were of necessity encoun­tered. But while the friendly enemy were actually belligerantes, we chose to exhibit in [Page 17]reverse the curious spectacle of an hostile friend, cauponantem bellum.

AN armed and hostile peace, under a po­pular form of government, is of all conditions the most preposterous. The stupid populace, too abject in ignorance to think rightly, and too depraved to draw honest deductions if they could, judge, for the most part, of what they see, by what they feel. Burthens are imposed, taxes are encreased, the public debt magnifies, and yet it is peace. If in the calm of peace, the vessel of state drifts into the gulf of debt, what shall stay her when the hurri­cane of war blows its loud blast? But you will proceed to state, how that this is peace and yet it is not peace: how that it is a kind of warlike peace, or pacific war; of which the nature and essence is admirably such, as to cost us all that a war could cost, without producing any one of those be­nefits that ordinarily accrue from war. The spirit of enterprize is damped not encourag­ed. The ardent valour of our youth at once the ornament and pride of every nati­on, is stifled not promoted—the honour and glory of the American name are buried [Page 18]amidst the dust and rubbish of negociations, supplicating embassies, and assurances of re­spect: —all which, in the Phoenician tongue, are, to a sovereign people, words of very potent signification.

UNDER the auspices even of these mock hostilities, the maritime affairs of the coun­try began to flourish in an unexampled man­ner. The natural temper of the people, burst the trammels by which a cold and cow­ardly policy had repressed it, and assumed a character, which at once displayed magnani­mity and created it. A noble career of emulation had commenced, and the fame of a gallant commander existed at the same time a splendid ornament to himself, and a most valuable treasure to his country.

THERE are times, when the valour and con­stancy of an individual, may preserve an em­pire; but it seems to have been our peculiar fortune, that noble actions, performed at the utmost need of the commonwealth, should be utterly useless to the state, and productive of no honour, but the abuse of villains, to their authors. We have had our [Page 19]Camillus; but, we have pitched him down the tarpeian rock of oblivion, not for subse­quent apostacy, but for the very deed of greatness itself.

As there are times when the constancy and valour of an individual, may preserve an empire, so there are frequent crises, when the obstinacy of a wrong-head and a fool may destroy it. Hence has arisen a scrupulosity, in well regulated governments, of commit­ing the safety of a whole country into the hands of any single person. In divine go­vernments as well as human, where the salus populi is at all regarded, the chief magistrate, to whom, for the sake of unity in action, the executive powers are committed, is restrain­ed by various and complicated provisions, from sallies of madness, from fits of spleen and hypocondriac, from wreaking his private malice, and sacrificing the honour and the peace of his country, at the shrine of his own weak and despicable vanity.

FOELIX quem faciunt aliena pericula cau­tum. The misfortune, however, is, that [Page 20]such happy are very few. Nations rarely profit by the experience, fortunate or disas­trous, of other nations; and still less per­haps by the dangers and miseries which they encounter, than by instances of their suc­cess and prosperity. There is a propensity in human pride to shun as a pestilence every imputation, involving its sagacity and dis­cretion. Hence, when the weak, wavering and timid policy of governments, which have manifestly fallen victims thereto, is held up as a memento to any other, obvi­ously treading in the same footsteps, there will never be wanting enthusiastic and vio­lently patriotic persons, to discover some shade of difference in situation, whereby she is to be rescued; fatalists who will hardily de­clare, that tho' through such and such errors, empire after empire has tottered from its base, yet the same errors can never bring their own to ruin, it being divine, and its endu­rance registered above.

BUT although nations may not learn wis­dom from the experience of other nations, there is at least one source, whence they might with great safety and propriety deduce [Page 21]it,—from their own. After suffering great extremity from the adoption of wavering and irresolute conduct, it would be natural to expect that wavering and irresolute conduct would be abandoned; the very reverse has been the case with regard to us, and by how much we have been disgraced and endan­gered by any errors, by so much the more hath it been studied to repeat them.

FROM as prosperous a condition as ever yet nation enjoyed, we have been premature­ly hurled to a state of the deepest de­cline. The fatal expedition to Paris, com­menced in the tears, proceeds amidst the groans, and must terminate in the ruin of all the upright part of this community. The honest, faithful, generous friends of the American government, have been, with a perfidy unparalleled, betrayed into the power of an enemy, who relinquishes no advantage, who forgets no injury, who neglects no proffered opportunity of striding towards the final gaol of his ambition, the subversion of the existing state of society, and intermedi­ately, the plunder, subjugation and assassi­nation [Page 22]of the unhappy victims thus betrayed into his hands.

THE very men who through many a long year, had toiled with the ardor and enthusi­asm of patriots, adjoined to the patience and perseverance of slaves, to fortify a bulwark, (which they vainly thought they beheld in the government) against their dangerous and daring enemies, were by one sudden stroke in one short hour, beaten off their ground, overwhelmed with confusion, and left aban­doned to all the ridicule, and all the rage of their antagonists. Suddenly, down fell the mighty fabric of popular opinion; the bul­wark, which it guarded, mouldered away; the champions of the faith, in moody, sullen despair, retired from the field, and nausea­ting nonsense, meanness, abject servility, and the effeminacy of Sybaris, now reign with a pomposity, undisturbed even by any casual exertions of genius or common sense.

THE expedition to Paris having been complotted, and the plot ratified by the ac­quiescence of the Elect, it was boldly ventur­ed on, and impudently started upon the town [Page 23]not only unsupported by the opinions of a single man of credit or respectability, but wholly unknown to those very persons, who by the spirit, if not by the letter, of the con­stitution, certainly had a voice on the occa­sion.

INDIGNANT at an outrage so flagrant upon truth, honor, decency, avowed opinion, so­lemn declaration, and the feelings, prejudi­ces, and bias of the country, the nation rose almost as a man against the flagrant shame. But all sense of honor and shame were lost in those, whose actions ought to have been wholly guided thereby.

HOPELESS of preventing the fatal sacrifice of the honor and peace* of the country, it was as fruitlessly sought to retard the final hour.

IN the course of that short space, which intervened the appointment of the suppliants and their departure, the jack puddings, at [Page 24]the footstool of whose power, it had been contemplated so ignominiously to prostrate the dignity of the country, perished the vic­tims of that eternal justice, which the events of our own time demonstrate, more clearly perhaps, than those of any other, to proceed only from on high. Every un-supplicating temper, would have been better satisfied with the public execution of these ruffians by some lawful authority: but, it certainly would not have been so well-ordered, had they fallen by any other hand, than that which smote them.

THE destruction of these vile monsters, did not however ward off, nor even respite for an hour, the ruin to which ignorance, self-sufficiency, and a most blind and crimi­nal pertinacity has destined us. Delendi eramus et delemur. * Wise and virtuous men—men whom Americans have been in the habit of revering, as the fathers and found­ers of the national character, exerted their [Page 25]energies against the infatuated [...]. They strove in vain: the struggle of patriotism against an antique vanity, and a [...] and pompous consequence which brooks no counsel, was in vain. Equally in vain would have been the remonstrances of Pericles, of Phocion and Demosthenes: Fufidius* would have said, I am not to be informed or enlight­ened by your efforts. All the things which you speak are known unto me, and the question you have mooted, has been decided before-hand.

[Page 26] IN vain was it objected to the departure of the Suppliants, that the indispensable pre­liminary—the sine qua non, whereto the faith of the adventurous and desperate pacifi­cator was pledged, had become null and void, by the abrogation of the power of those who constituted one of the parties. What were Rewbell and the rest, to him; or, what indeed was he to Rewbell? all ruffians and murderers, are alike in his eyes, and since be­fore the footstool of ruffians and murderers, the country was to be humiliated, what im­ported it, whether the knee-worship was paid to Buonaparte or to Barras? to wave the for­feiture of faith, in sending the suppliants without the sine qua non, it must be allow­ed that if it had been sought to select a point of time the most improper, and a go­vernment, of all those which have gone be­fore, the most odious and offensive, those objects were attained.*

[Page 27] YES, the point of time was the most un­toward one, that could have been stumbled upon, whether we consider it in regard to our own particular situation, the particular situation of France, or the general aspect of the cause of the coalition.

OUR own situation was one of a most pe­culiar kind. We owed every thing we had [Page 28]or hoped for, to the spirit of hostility which had been with such difficulty excited against France; for, every man is at this day convinc­ed, that the country would have been long since made an appendage to that empire, had not the people been roused by laborious exertions, to a just sense of the dangers of peace with the French Republic. To make a treaty with her, therefore, under such cir­cumstances, is to destroy us in the very act of being saved.

THE very peculiar situation of France at the time when this black design was projected, forbade in terms still more forcible, if pos­sible, the execution of the scheme. Not only had no change for the better taken place in the administration of the affairs of that dis­tracted country, but on the contrary, every thing had changed, as much as possible for the worse. The villain Merlin, the pirate and minister of justice, had newly come into the Directory, and that enormous wretch and monster Talleyrand, who to fill up the mea­sure of his atrocious iniquities, had demanded bribes from us, was also newly constituted Secretary for foreign affairs. Such and so [Page 29]favorable were the auspices so far as related to the particular situation of France, under which we were to conclude a peace. To heighten the colouring of this part of the picture, were a superfluous act. Other circumstances equally forbidding, and equally disgraceful, might be adduced, but one alone shall conclude. The assurances on the faith of which the expedition was bot­tomed, came from the mouth of the pes­tiferous Talleyrand.

THE general aspect of the affairs of the coalition was flourishing beyond example; while, an uncontroulable depression clouded the hopes of the enemy. Such was the point of time selected for sacrificing us, such the auspices under which we were again protrasted at the footstool of rebels, regi­cides and usurpers.

To the pirate Merlin, who ordered our ambassador to tell us, that we must break our incomprehensible treaty with England, if we would gain the favour of himself and fellows; who would make no treaty with America, because he was daily amassing [Page 30]thousands from the plunder of her com­merce by his sixty privateers,—to the bru­tal Barras, who had told us we were the slaves of England; and the blood-stained Rewbell, the Crassus of the revolution:—to these pi­rates, ruffians, freebooters and assassins, has succceded one more ferocious, cruel, sangui­nary, avaricious, vain-glorious and insatiable than all,—the successful rival of Danton, in premeditated villainy, of Robespierre in wild ambition, and of Marat, in cool deliberate thirst for carnage and rapine; a most "re­morseless, treacherous, lecherous, kindless vil­lain;" whose cruelties have stained the age with a deeper dye of sanguinary barbarity, than those of any other atrocious monster of the revolution; whose heart is relentless as the bosom of Tisiphoné whose crimes outvie in number, the revolutionary fiends that sur­round him; who has assassinated christians in the guise of an infidel; and infidels for the love of infidelity; one who would cut the throat of humanity, while peeping through the blanket of the dark, she cried, hold—hold! and hurl the reeking heart of mercy a prey to his murdering sans culottes; who in fine has out-done Attila, Alaric, Genseric, [Page 31]or Genghis Khan, not indeed in the extent of his ravages, but in the detestable delibera­tion with which he has offered up cities and countries to pillage, violation and conflagra­tion, at the shrine of his insolent and low­bred vanity. Still the supplication goes on. All this is nothing to Fufidius: Quanto per­ditior quisque est, tantò acrius urget.

IT is fairly impossible, that such a junc­ture should have been stumbled on by chance, for, such an expedition; and I greatly fear, that it is "amidst the secret recesses of nar­row jealousy, and private views," and vanity made drunk, as I have before remarked, that the grounds of this execrable step are to be explored.

HERE, a scene opens to our astonished view, which is well calculated to appal the senses of men not prepared for the worst re­sults of the worst designs of deliberate ma­lice. It will be expedient to touch lightly on the several topics which this subject in­volves; fortunately, a cursory view of them will suffice for our purpose.

[Page 32] THAT a deliberate purpose is entertained, of involving this country in a most horrible and ruinous war, there are various incidents of evidence, which it would neither be pru­dent nor proper to dilate on. It may be re­ceived as a fact, that he who seems so ambi­tious to be the arbiter of peace and war, ex­pressly declared his conviction, that a war with Great Britain was the only means left of reconciling parties in this country. That the expedition of the suppliants was decided on with a resolution to consider Great Britain in a new and remote light, is abundantly pro­ved by various subsequent occurrences.

It is then in suspicion, jealousy, or per­haps to use a more explicit term, in enmity to Great Britain, that the redintegration * of affection for France is founded. This enmi­ty, however, was pent up in very narrow confines; it operated in a single breast only; and for all its consequences, there is a very single responsibility. But of what avail is that responsibility to us? If we must be de­stroyed, what satisfaction is it to us to know [Page 33]the instrument of our destruction? Does ca­lamity press any the less heavy, for that we see the hand which inflicts it? Besides where there is no tribunal to take cognizance of breaches, and where there is no spirit to set enquiry on foot, what is responsibility but a visionary thing?

HOWEVER preposterous it must seem, that the destinies of a nation should be com­mitted to the caprice of a most capricious man, it is worth while for those who are most deeply interested in the events which every day brings forth, to enquire, whether it is at­tributable to any other cause, than the ca­price and vanity of that man, that we are in so degrading a situation with respect to France, and in so dangerous a one with re­spect to England.

THE detrusion of one of the first cha­racters whom America has had the honor of giving birth to, from an office which he had long filled with unbounded applause, with eminent honor and utility to his country, throws much light on this subject, even when viewed as a simple and naked fact: but [Page 34]when we come to search into the grounds of that extraordinary act, and when we con­sider the ignominious manner in which it was thought fit to perpetrate it; when we review the torrents of calumny to which that unfor­tunate and honorable man has been, with such perfect nonchalance, devoted; when we consider these things through a medium, clarified from the sophistry and perversion of slaves, the humble tools and instru­ments of an authority, more arbitrary and more inscrutable than the Turkish divan, then it is, that we discern those hidden things that belong to our destruction; then it is that we discern an ill-smothered flame, still preying after so many years, upon a heart, the ma­lice of which, no lapse of time can charm, no change of circumstances appease. Natural­ists tell us of a foolish bird, which hiding its head in a thicket, imagines itself unseen, be­cause it cannot see.

IF the late Secretary of State had a fault, it was to have too imperfectly renounced those Prejudices against Great Britain, which ran­kle in the breasts of Americans. His office, however, had afforded him opportunities su­perior [Page 35]to those of other men, of witnessing the candour and liberality of the British Ca­binet in all its intercourse with America. Hence he had become more free from those bitter and stupid prejudices, than the men by whom he was surrounded. His antipathy to France and to her revolution, and his con­viction that our safety lay in opposing her in arms, was deliberatedly established. Such ought to be the convictions and motives to action, of every American Secretary of State—of every American public officer.

ANIMATED by these convictions, and in the exercise of his official duty, that officer came forward in a manly and elaborate state paper, to expose the fallacy of French faith* the instability of their republican counsels, and the precariousness of their duration. The doltish gull, whom those Retiarii had caught in their subtle net, he with equal boldness exposed to public contempt, in all the shallowness with which he had suffered himself to be practised upon, by artifices the [Page 36]most palpable. The man of Thessaly was dragged out of the thickset hedge;* for their policy did not impose gyves upon him, as it had done on other more illustrious ambassa­dors; but his friend and patron, felt him­self wounded by the sarcasms which had been cast upon him, supported him uniformly, and at length avenged his disgrace.

THIS admirable exposition of French in­trigue, electrized the continent; it was eve­ry where received with rapture; and the po­pularity of its author, as was natural, became "exceeding great." But the exceeding great popularity of the Secretary delighted not the man of peace. Aut Caesar aut nul­lus, is his motto, and the unfortunate Secre­tary approached too near to holding a divided [Page 37]empire* with him in the hearts of the peo­ple. To urge this subject further would partake of futility. The sequel, unlike the code of Domitian, (at least in this one re­spect) is inscribed on a conspicuous tablet, in very legible characters.

THE ideas of men respecting national relations in these enlightened times, partake rather of the crudeness of the dark ages, than of that perfectibility, towards which we are supposed to have advanced with so ra­pid strides. It seems to be seriously ima­gined that the desires and affections—the feelings, prejudices, and animosities, of fo­reign powers, may be controuled and regu­lated as our own; and that an exhibition of what is called American firmness—the fit­ting out of a few extra frigates, and the imposition of an embargo, will at any time curb "the insolence of Britain" as they say it has done that of France.

[Page 38] IT is to this despicable self conceit, that we owe much of the misery which has come upon us. The victory of the Nile, the loss consequent thereon, of an army of forty thousand veterans to France, the accession of Russia to the coalition, and the reverses which had befallen the arms of France, af­forded to Illpause a very desirable pretext under which to give vent to his jealousy and hatred of Great Britain.

ACCORDINGLY all of a sudden, he disco­vers, that the success which had crowned the arms of England, had broken the balance of power, and of course might endanger in some future age, the welfare of these inde­pendent States. Therefore he resolves to restore the balance, by stopping short in that progress which was making towards a confidential connection with Great Britain, and to turn again to France, as the rock of reliance. Immediately, his apostles preach in every tabernacle, the dangers of foreign connections, the value of independence, and the weight and consequence of America in the scale of nations. While Europe said they, is wasting herself away, in murderous [Page 39]broils, let us display an honourable magna­nimity by keeping aloof from the idle squab­bles of her old and corrupt nations, and re­serve that dignity and importance which we possess for the more honourable purpose of controuling their ambition. These doctrines soon gained extensive credit, and it has be­come a test of impartialism and columbian­ism, to profess equal hatred to all nations.

THUS, when a French cruizer captures an American ship, and murders the officers and crew, it is "an instance of more than British cruelty," and when a band of pirates seize a British man of war and murder their officers, the murderers are bemoaned in the colum­bian gazettes as martyrs to the cause of li­berty. If some swindling, cowardly, neu­tral, Swede, Dane or American, is overtaken on the high sea, mendaciously, covering the property of the enemy, or basely aiding and abetting his attacks upon all the peace of all the world, these miscreants are up in arms on the instant, to defend and justify the per­jury and treachery, and to malign the power which has chastized that perjury that treachery.

[Page 40] THE avenues of public opinion being in possession of ideots, whose malice transcends their dullness, are constantly shut against every liberal exposition of truth, or detection of falshood, on every subject relating to Great Britain. A columbian printer would as soon meet his evil genius in arms, as pub­lish any thing even squinting at liberality towards that nation. But, on the other hand their whole power is exerted in belying and blackening the British name and nation, with an avidity and a perseverance, that evinces how much they fell themselves at home when thus employed

BUT these wretches are fools, villains and lyars of the first magnitude, the very foster-fathers of rebellion and every soul and unnatural crime; it is their vocation to cry down reason and honesty, and to propa­gate error and delusion of the grossest kind. We do not, therefore, wonder at these things coming from them; but when we see an high and respon ible public cha­racter, entering the lists of calumny, and tearing open old wounds, to gratify personal and private rancour, there is a call for all our indignation and all our rage

[Page 41] BECAUSE the man was obliged to sculk in Holland in the habiliments of a sailor, from the pursuit of Sir Joseph Yorke's messen­ger, at a time when he was acting in Hol­land the part of Genet in America, and be­cause the king put some slight upon him at a subsequent period, are we to be made the sport of his prejudice and private pique?

THAT such is our deplorable fortune, the following paper seems to evince:

BETWEEN one and two o'clock the Presi­dent was addressed by Wm. FITSBURGH, Esq on behalf of the citizens of Alexandria, as follows, to which the President made the subjoined reply:



The citizens of Alexandria see among then with [...], their revered Presi­dent; his [...] brings to their view the constancy and ability with which he labour­ed [Page 42]in the vineyard of liberty, when devotion to its cause was surrounded with the gibbet and the halter.

HER intrepid and faithful defender, dear as he then was to the sons of America, is now more dear from the additional claim on their hearts, growing out of his unabated zeal in extending and confirming their com­mon happiness.

IN this presentment of our respectful homage to the successor of our late in­comparable Washington, we cannot but add our prayer, that like him you will pass through the storms and vicissitudes which always encircle the highest nations, most admired when best understood.

ON behalf and at the request of the citi­zens of Alexandria.

[Page 43]



I receive from the citizens of Alexandria, this kind salutation on my first visit to Vir­ginia, with much pleasure. In the earlier part of my life, I felt at sometimes an inex­pressible grief, and at others, an unutterable indignation, at the injustice and indignities which, I though wantonly heaped on my innocent, virtuous, peaceable and unoffending country. And perceiving that the American people, from New-Hampshire to Georgia, felt and thought in the same manner, I de­termined refusing all favours and renounc­ing all personal obligations to the agres­sors, to run every hazard with my country­men, at their invitation by sea and land in opposition and resistance—well knowing that if we should be unfortunate, all the pains and all the disgrace which injustice and cruelty could inflict, would be the destina­tion of me and mine. Providence smiled on our well meant endeavours, and perhaps in no particular more remarkably in giving us your incomparable Washington for the leader [Page 44]of our armies. Our country has since en­joyed an enviable tranquillity and uncommon prosperity. We are grown a great people, this city and many others, which I have seen since I left Philadelphia, exhibit very striking proofs of our increase, on which I congratulate you. May no error or misfor­tune throw a veil over the bright prospects before us.


WHEN the French Harlequin Plenipo, Adet, expatiated in his memorable appeal to the sovereignty of America, on the cruel­ties of England; when he revived the recol­lection of an unhappy period of feuds and re­volutions, which the lapse of many years had covered with a thick veil; when he called up the whitened bones of martyred Columbians, clad in complete sustian, to hover about the ferruginous instrument of the ploughman; we needed no elaborate commentary to en­lighten our minds as to the object and ten­dency of the inflammatory harangue

[Page 45] BUT when a man whose duty it is to keep the public peace, and promote the public interests, no less by festering amicable rela­tions with friends, than by chastizing the in­solence of enemies; when such an one laun­ches forth into inuendoes and accusations of such a nature, what are we to expect? What had the "injustice and cruelty of England" towards this redoutable patriot, to do with the occasion? He might with equal propriety have repeated a passage from the Seven Wise Masters, for any honorable end that he could have in view.

ONE would suppose that to revive the me­mory of a most bloody, cruel and unnatural civil war, whereby every member of the community has had to mourn some privation of fortune or of friends, could only be desi­rable to a malignant heart, actuated by some sinister design in the instance.

To what else than to a desire of reviving the spirit of hostility against England, shall we attribute the inuendoes before us? for the war in which this mighty man thus [Page 46]exposed himself to ‘all the pains and all the disgrace, which the injustice and cruelty of England could inflict,’ is no longer waged—a peace has been concluded, and acts of oblivion passed, whereby the wounds of the war are cicatrized, if not heal­ed. Besides the result proved this bitter accusation, this dreadful attack upon the character of that people, to be utterly ground­less: the result proved that if he had been "unfortunate" he would have suffered neither cruelty nor injustice at the hands of Great Britain. The verity of this exhibition of dig­nified rage, is, however, a quality of it, which I wish to have nothing to do with: the purpose for which I quoted it, has already appeared suffi­ciently plain in the "discontented paper" itself.

THAT the wavering and wanton conduct of this government must excite a very high degree of contempt in the British govern­ment and nation, every well-informed man will easily believe. That they will hold us very cheap, that they will regard our inter­ests with an eye of perfect indifference, is equally probable. But that a state of war must inevitably arise out of these circum­stances, [Page 47]I believe is credible, only from the manifestations of our own government.

MORE than nine tenths of the people of America believe that Great Britain, cannot or dare not go to war with them. What, say they, will become of her West-India Islands, and other Colonies, which depend on us for their bread, beef and fish? what will become of her manufacturers and artizans? Strong in this confidence, they imagine that she will bear, with American tameness, every aggression that can be made upon her by this country, and accordingly outrage her, as a young scoundrel spendthrift and rake does the guardian of his estate.

But we shall find to our cost, if this con­duct be persisted in, that all such ideas are completely fallacious. The ties which ought to bind this country to Great Britain, are very forcible ones; for we are dependent on her for various necessaries of life, while she is in eve­ry such respect essentially independent. Ca­nada, and her other possessions in North America are fully adequate to the supply, not only of her West India possessions, but of [Page 48]all her dominions, with every species of pro­visions. I have known seventeen ships, ave­raging three hundred tons each, lying at Quebec, at one time laden with wheat, the produce of Canada, and of a quality equal to any that the earth can produce.

THAT this country presents a very exten­sive mart for the commodities of Great Bri­tain, is a very obvious fact. Equally obvious is it, that those commodities are to us not on­ly indispensable, but derivable from no other source. Whence, but from the dominions of Great Britain can America be supplied with cloths, linens, muslins, silks, hosiery, and woollens of all kinds? with hardware, metals of every species, and a variety even of raw materials? the lien therefore, the secu­rity for good behaviour, is in her hands, and the calculations on this score, which have been so very current, are not only disgrace­ful, but unfounded.

IT is with this nation, so competent to every purpose of annoyance and distress to us, that so many of the people of this country, and so efficient a portion of its government, [Page 49]if a judgement may be formed from the stultiloquence in which they indulge, are willing to break off the ties of amity, and to rely on a broken reed, in the power of her covenanted foe.

I SHALL not suppose the force of this in­fatuation to be such, as to lead to actual, or declared war. But I do sincerely believe, that the train of measures, which have been taken and which are still pursuing, will pro­duce a chilling coldness towards America, in the British government and nation; among the consequences of which will be, the excisi­on of a trade to her Asiatic possessions, which employs annually more than fifteen thou­sand tons of American shipping; a suspen­sion of the credits given by her merchants; and all the extensive consequences which must arise from the influence of her ill-will in the Italian ports, in Portugal, Russia, Ham­burg, and in short wherever her influence extends.

IN such an extremity, what friendly pow­er will there be left us to rely on? France! she needs our assistance, but can afford us [Page 50]none, nay among the least improbable of events, is the sudden restoration of the king; and the least improbable consequence of that event, the ill will of the French Court, who will most assuredly demand the repayment of the money which it loaned us.

THESE things, it will be said, are but con­tingencies; and different men, according to their different habits of thinking, will deem them more or less remote. But even allow­ing them to be contingencies, what evils avoid­ed or what good in prospect, have we to set off against them, to authorize us in encounter­ing the hazard of these contingencies? It ap­pears to me, that the fatuity which is driving us into these straits, will not leave us a title to so honorable an epitaph even as the foolish Spaniard, who, taking, while in sound health, medicine, which destroyed him, had inscrib­ed on his tomb, ‘I was well—would be bet­ter—now here I lie.’

THESE sad scenes, these dire aspects, soon ceasing to be seen, in speculation on­ly, will soon be present to our eyes, in more ghastly deformity than is easy to conceive. [Page 51]The people however begin to fear these evils, and the beginning of fear is the beginning of wisdom. But our retrogression from the path of honor and safety, towards this hideous precipice of danger, hath been so rapid and so far elongated, that we are now almost on the extreme verge; and I tremble to think how much energy is requisite, and how little may be found, to retrieve our erratic steps.

THE time is arrived, when we must re­pudiate the author of our evils from any share in our confidence, and adopt all proper and honorable means to thwart those future measures, by which he may attempt to sacri­fice the honor and safety of the country.

UNDER the auspices of a wise and pru­dent ruler, we may then proceed, by judicious provisions, to ward off in future similar disas­ters to those which have so nearly destroy­ed us. The arbitrary power now deposited in the hands of one man, must be checked and regulated, somewhat after the manner of the British Constitution, or by any better, if better can be devised by American ingenui­ty. Experience has shewn us, how entirely [Page 52]we have entrusted "our lives and sureties all" into the power of a single man; and if we have common wisdom, we shall profit by that experience to bar up in future every avenue [...] so dangerous, and in our case so ruinous an exercise of an authority so incon­sistent with the spirit of freedom or the na­ture of man, as that by which we have suffered.

UNDER the auspices of a wise and prudent ruler, we might proceed to other reformati­ons absolutely essential to the continuance of our existence, as a truly great, free and independent nation. Those egregious bau­bles of sovereignty, those pestiferous incite­ments to demagogy, the State Govern­ments, might be abolished, and their offi­cers rendered dependent as they ought to be on the Government of the United States, instead of having it in their power as at pre­sent, to organize revolts against that govern­ment.

THIS would be a very admirable act for a new administration to commerce its career with, the unfortunate people being in as distressful a situation amidst the jars and [Page 53]clashings of the multiplicity of jurisdictions, as they would be, placed between two globes, revolving in contact; so that a more popu­lar, or a more judicious step could not be adopted.

THE present topographical location of the States should, in order the more effectu­ally to abolish the memory of Federalism, be totally changed, and the Continent divided into ten, fifteen or twenty counties, to be governed by a Lieutenant, or Praefect, ap­pointed by the Executive: certain subal­tern appointments should be in his gift. These Praefects would constitute as proper an Upper House for one branch of the Le­gislature, as could well be devised. I ven­ture to affirm that it would be found a more proper and independent branch than that for which it would be substituted.

UNDER the auspices of a wise and pru­dent ruler, the elective franchise might for­ever be cut off from all paupers, vagabonds and outlaws, and the Legislation of the coun­try placed in those hands to which it belongs, the proprietors of the country. At present [Page 54]we are the vassals of foreign outlaws. The frequency of elections, those elections being now entrusted to men of sense, men of prin­ciple, and men having an interest connected with the interests of the country, declines of course; as the folly and danger of annual elections can now be securely remedied.

THUS, will the public burthens be allevi­ated—thus will public dilapidations cease—thus will undue influence—corruption of the lowest and basest sort be eradicated;—while the people grow quieter, happier, and are better served, without a ruinous and useless expence.

THE principle of Federalism must be abolished or it will very soon destroy the principle of union. It is influence, that sways the sceptre of irregular or popular Govern­ments; and I will leave any man to decide what comparison the influence of the Go­vernment of the United States will bear with the sixteen Governments of the States: It is as sixteen to one.

BUT these should be gradual and second­ary reformations; they are now only touched [Page 55]on, and that merely for the sake of committ­ing to the public judgment, opinions on which their welfare may very essentially depend, and which I have the pleasure to know, pre­vail in no inconsiderable extent.

THE measure which most pressingly de­mands adoption, is, an immediate declaration of war against France, and her dependen­cies, Spain and Holland. It is time, after having so long and so pusillanimously be­held England fighting our battles, while we have rather comforted and abetted the com­mon enemy, than even wished well to the opposition to him; it is time, after having fattened so long upon the spoils of the war, to bring our mite of contribution into the gene­ral chest, and to relieve, as we may effectu­ally do, the generous assertors of the chris­tian cause.

THE conquest of the remaining possessi­ons of France, Spain and Holland in the West Indies, might be effected by this country, with very little expence or inconvenience. The naval force already extant, is fully ade­quate, and the regular troops lately embodi­ed [Page 56]through its intervention would have at­chieved the conquest, without difficulty. This country possesses such advantages for carrying on expeditions against the west India Islands, as must render her co-operation in the cause very acceptable. In short, the con­tingent we could bring into the coalition would be such as to entitle us to assume the rank of a first rate power, and to make stipu­lations the fulfilment of which could not fail to fix us in a state of prosperity and to ex­tend our empire and renown. To instance, for our quota of 25,000 troops (which should act separately and independently) and a stipulated quantum of military stores, &c. Great Britain should guarantee to us the Isl­and of Cuba, or, which would be more con­venient to our commerce, that of Porto Ri­co. Either of these possessions would am­ply remunerate us for the most expensive exertions that the conquest of them could require. In the East, we might establish ourselves in the possession of Batavia or the Mauritius, and thus secure a footing in the Indian Ocean, highly essential to us, but now depending on the most precarious tenure.

[Page 57] IT is in vain to attempt to disguise the truth, that America is essentially and natu­rally a commercial nation; and that from her location on the map of the world she must ever remain so. It ought therefore to be the undeviating care of the Government, whether it be Federal or Jacobinical, or true Columbian, to secure on the most advantag­eous footing possible, our commercial inter­course with foreign nations. To procure admission to our flag in ports whence it is now excluded: to obtain it by right where it now rests on the ground of sufferance; and to es­tablish it on a regular and permanent footing, in those cases where it is at present precari­ous and temporary; is not merely the pro­vince of the Government, but a duty, an obligation which its subjects have a right to hold it to.

WE have a right to expect, and the Go­vernment ought to exact from Spain, the opening of those of her ports in South Ame­rica the most convenient for refitting our whalers on that coast. For the want of this privilege, our people are subjected to [...] [Page 58]privations and hardships, during voyages of two years' duration.

FROM Portugal, thro' the intervention of Great Britain, it could not be difficult to ex­act, for some adequate compensation which we could offer, the same privileges in Brazil, a station the most convenient to the whaling ground.

PEPPER, Spices, Cottons of various kinds, and above all Sugar and Coffee, are, what­ever negro philanthropists may assert, un­doubtedly necessaries of life. Whence are we to derive these, should our present preca­rious resources be cut off to us? Already, from the disadvantages to which we are sub­jected, do we pay nearly three prices for them, and a state of things seems very likely to arise in which they will be placed utterly without the reach of the middling and lower orders. Such a contingency, when we have it so fairly in our power, it would be the height of folly not to foreclose. Besides, while we deduce these commodities from the possessions of foreign powers, we can never be said to be truly independent. While we [Page 59]have to ask Great Britain, or France, or Den­mark, for supplies which we cannot dispense with, those nations have a lien upon us, a se­curity for our good behaviour which is dero­gatory to our dignity, and inconsistent with our self-will.

THE attainment of these ends, is believed with confidence to be neither impracticable nor difficult. For altho' our repulsive and jealous disposition towards Great Britain, may cause her now to view us as aspiring to become a rival with her in certain branches of her commerce; yet, once entered on a footing of good intelligence, and honorable confidence, the ground would be wholly changed, and by judiciously playing into each other's hands, the two nations might and would concenter in their own ports the com­merce of the whole world.

UNDER the auspices of such a system of action, what terrestrial power could inter­fere with us, what violence could jostle us, what unrevenged insult, degrade or annoy?

A NATIONAL character is thus at once foun­ded, and the American name ceasing to be [Page 60]an opprobrium, shall pass abroad over the earth as the denomination of a race of men illustrious for their courage and the wisdom of their policy.

ON this theme, I could dwell forever. It will be the salvation of the country. Nay, the country is otherwise doomed to irretriev­able perdition. It is a long and a dark night, that succeeds the going down of our sun, now just lingering above the horizon. There was a time, and opportunity too, which sei­zed, had placed us far beyond the reach of those dire calamities which have assailed us, and those worse which threaten. But we were cast upon Time for deliverance, and Time* hath betrayed, perhaps destroyed us: [Page 61]for the period of war is about to expire, and the circumstances and the relations of things by which we were to have profited, expire along with it.

It is worth while to reflect on the condi­tion in which a peace probably will place us.

WE shall have upon our hands a contro­versy with Great Britain; which being for no less an object than twenty-one millions of dollars, can be regarded in no very trifling [Page 62] [...] insignificant light. With regard to France, what better aspect would our cir­cumstances wear? His Majesty, restored to the throne of his ancestors, can feel little disposition to amity with those, who have so uniformly aided and abbetted the murderers of his princely brother: Nay, what is more likely than that he would demand the reim­bursement of the money loaned us by the crown?

IT must be confessed that should we be swallowed up, by this coalition of power, we shall have been accessary to our own de­struction; for we have given to each and either, mortal offences enough to justify a war of extermination against us.

BUT the present deplorable aspects may brighten: there is yet an interval open for our rescue; and the people are and have long been ready and willing to embrace it. May there speedily arise those who are able and willing to lead them out of this dark valley of the shadow of death, into the path of political salvation.

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