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TO H. LEE.
MONTICELLO, August 10, 1824. Sir,-I have duly received your favor of the 14th, and with it the prospectus of a newspaper which it covered. If the style and spirit of that should be maintained in the paper itself, it will be truly worthy of the public patronage. As to myself, it is many years since I have ceased to read but a single paper. I am no longer, therefore, a general subscriber for any other. Yet, to encourage the hopeful in the outset, I have sometimes subscribed for the first year on condition of being discontinued at the end of it, without further warning. I do the same now with pleasure for yours; and unwilling to have outstanding accounts, which I am liable to forget, I now enclose the price of the tri-weekly paper. I am no believer in the amalgamation of parties, nor do I consider it as either desirable or useful for the public; but only that, like religious differences, a difference in politics should never be permitted to enter into social intercourse, or to disturb its friendships, its charities, or justice. In that form, they are censors of the conduct of each other, and useful watchmen for the public. Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depository of the public interests. In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves. Call them, therefore, liberals and serviles, Jacobins and ultras, whigs and tories, republicans and federalists, aristocrats and democrats, or by whatever name you please, they are the same parties still, and pursue the same object. The last appellation of aristocrats and democrats is the true one expressing the essence of all. A paper which shall be governed by the spirit of Mr. Madison's celebrated report, of which you express in your prospectus so just and high an appro
bation, cannot be false to the rights of all classes. The grandfathers of the present generation of your family I knew well. They were friends and fellow laborers with me in the same cause and principle. Their descendants cannot follow better guides. Accept the assurance of my best wishes and respectful consideration.
TO MR. WM. LUDLOW,
MONTICELLO, September 6, 1824. Sir,— The idea which you present in your letter of July 30th, of the progress of society from its rudest state to that it has now attained, seems conformable to what may be probably conjectured. Indeed, we have under our eyes tolerable proofs of it. Let a philosophic observer commence a journey from the savages of the Rocky Mountains, eastwardly towards our sea-coast. These he would observe in the earliest stage of association living under no law but that of nature, subscribing and covering themselves with the flesh and skins of wild beasts. He would next find those on our frontiers in the pastoral state, raising domestic animals to supply the defects of hunting. Then succeed our own semi-barbarous citizens, the pioneers of the advance of civilization, and so in his progress he would meet the gradual shades of improving man until he would reach his, as yet, most improved state in our seaport towns. This, in fact, is equivalent to a survey, in time, of the progress of man from the infancy of creation to the present day. I am eighty-one years of age, born where I now live, in the first range of mountains in the interior of our country. And I have observed this march of civilization advancing from the sea coast, passing over us like a cloud of light, increasing our knowledge and improving our condition, insomuch as that we are at this time more advanced in civilization here than the seaports were when I was a boy. And where this progress will stop no one can say. Barbarism has, in the meantime, been receding before the steady step of amelioration; and will in time, I trust, disappear from the earth. You seem to
think that this advance has brought on too complicated a state of society, and that we should gain in happiness by treading back our steps a little way. I think, myself, that we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious. I believe it might be much simplified to the relief of those who maintain it. Your experiment seems to have this in view. A society of seventy families, the number you name, may very possibly be governed as a single family, subsisting on their common industry, and holding all things in common. Some regulators of the family you still must have, and it remains to be seen at what period of your increasing population your simple regulations will cease to be sufficient to preserve order, peace, and justice. The experiment is interesting ; I shall not live to see its issue, but I wish it success equal to your hopes, and to yourself and society prosperity and happiness.
TO GENERAL LA FAYETTE.
MONTICELLO, October 9, 1824. I have duly received, my dear friend and General, your letter of the 1st from Philadelphia, giving us the welcome assurance that you will visit the neighborhood which, during the march of our enemy near it, was covered by your shield from his robberies and ravages. In passing the line of your former march you will experience pleasing recollections of the good you have done. My neighbors, too, of our academical village, who well remember their obligations to you, have expressed to you, in a letter from a committee appointed for that purpose, their hope that you will accept manifestations of their feelings, simple indeed, but as cordial as any you will have received. It will be an additional honor to the University of the State that you will have been its first guest. Gratify them, then, by this assurance to their committee, if it has not been done. But what recollections, dear friend, will this call up to you and me! What a history have we to run over from the evening that yourself, Mousnier, Bernau, and other patriots settled, in my house in Paris, the outlines of the constitution you wished! And to trace it through all the disastrous chapters of Robespierre, Barras, Bonaparte, and the Bourbons! These things, lowever, are for our meeting. You mention the return of Miss Wright to America, accompanied by her sister; but do not say what her stay is to be, nor what her course. Should it lead her to a visit of our University, which, in its architecture only, is as yet an object, herself and her companion will nowhere find a welcome more hearty than with Mrs. Randolph, and all the inhabitants of Monticello. This Athenæum of our country, in embryo, is as yet but promise ; and not in a state to recall the recollections of Athens. But everything has its beginning, its growth, and end; and who knows with what future delicious morsels of philosophy, and by what future Miss Wright raked from its ruins, the world may, some day, be gratified and instructed? Your son George we shall be very happy indeed to see, and to renew in him the recollections of your very dear family; and the revolutionary merit of M. le Vasseur has that passport to the esteem of every American, and, to me, the additional one of having been your friend and co-operator, and he will, I hope, join you in making head-quarters with us at Monticello. But all these things à revoir, in the meantime we are impatient that your ceremonies at York should be over, and give you to the embraces of friendship.
P. S. Will you come by Mr. Madison's, or let him or me know on what day he may meet you here, and join us in our greetings?
TO MR. RUSH.
MONTICELLO, October 13, 1821. DEAR SIR, I must again beg the protection of your cover for a letter to Mr. Gilmer ; although a little doubtful whether he may not have left you.
You will have seen by our papers the delirium into which ou citizens are thrown by a visit from General La Fayette. He is making a triumphant progress through the States, from town to town, with acclamations of welcome, such as no crowned head ever received. It will have a good effect in favor of the General with the people in Europe, but probably a different one with their sovereigns. Its effect here, too, will be salutary as to ourselves, by rallying us together and strengthening the habit of considering our country as one and indivisible, and I hope we shall close it with something more solid for him than dinners and balls. The eclat of this visit has almost merged the Presidential question, on which nothing scarcely is said in our papers. That question will lie ultimately between Crawford and Adams; but, at the same time, the vote of the people will be so distracted by subordinate candidates, that possibly they may make no election, and let it go to the House of Representatives. There, it is thought, Crawford's chance is best. We have nothing else interesting before the public. Of the two questions of the tariff and public improvements, the former, perhaps, is not yet at rest, and the latter will excite boisterous discussions. It happens that both these measures fall in with the western interests, and it is their secession from the agricultural States which gives such strength to the manufacturing and consolidating parties, on these two questions. The latter is the most dreaded, because thought to amount to a determination in the federal government to assume all powers non-enumerated as well as enumerated in the constitution, and by giving a loose to construction, make the text say whatever will relieve them from the bridle of the States. These are difficulties for your day; I shall give them the slip. Accept the assurance of my friendly attachment and great respect.
TO EDWARD EVERETT.
MOXTCIELLO, October 15, 1824. DEAR SIR,—I have yet to thank for your 0. C. K. oration, delivered in presence of General La Fayette. It is all excellent,