Page images

pressingly to Mr. Eppes to hire some hands for me, and am not without hopes he may have done it. If they arrive, I would still not draw off the nailers till the clearing is completed. I wrote to Lilly yesterday covering an order for some money. I had not then received your letter, so the one to him says nothing on this subject. I must, therefore, get the favor of you to deliver him the orders.

Nothing further can be said or discovered on the subject of the election. We have eight votes in the House of Representatives certain, and there are three other States, Maryland, Delaware, and Vermont, from either of which if a single individual comes over it settles the matter. But I am far from confiding that a single one will come over. Pennsylvania has shown what men are when party takes place of principle. The Jersey election has been a great event. But nothing seems to bend the spirit of our opponents. I believe they will carry their judiciary bill. As to the treaty, I must give no opinion. But it must not be imagined that any thing is too bold for them. I had expected that some respect to the palpable change in public opinion would have produced moderation, but it does not seem to. A committee reported that the Sedition. Law ought to be continued, and the first question on the subject in the House has been carried by 47 against 33. We have a host of Republicans absent. Gallatin, Livingston, Nicholson, Tazewell, Cabell, cum multis aliis. The mercantile towns are almost


unanimous in favor of the treaty.' Yet it seems not to soften their friends in the Senate. I received notices from Dick Johnson to attend the taking depositions in Milton on the second Saturday in February and the second Saturday in March at Mr. Price's. I do not expect his witnesses have any thing material to say. However, if it should not be inconvenient to you to ride there at the hour of 12 and to ask any questions which may be necéssary to produce the whole truth, I shall be obliged to you. My unchangeable and tenderest love to my ever dear Martha and to the little ones: affectionate attachment to yourself. Adieu.


WASHINGTON, January 23, 1801.

Yours of the 17th reached this on the 21st, from Saturday to Wednesday. This will leave this place to-morrow (Saturday, the 24th), and ought to be with you on Thursday, the 29th, but it seems that a week is lost somewhere. I suspect the Fredericksburg rider leaves that place an hour or two before the Northern post reaches it. On this subject I will this day write to the Postmaster General. I am sincerely concerned for the misfortune to poor Holmes. I have not yet seen his father on the sub

'The treaty which had been negotiated with France by the envoys sent out by Mr. Adams. See Life and Works of John Adams, vol. ix, PP. 241-310.-EDS.


ject, who is a clerk in the Register's office here. Lewis must continue under Mr. Dinsmore, in order to expedite that work. I will very willingly undertake to pay Gibson and Jefferson for you £135, but I must take from 40 to 70 days for it, having nothing at my disposal sooner. I am not sure of being able to do it at the first term (March 1), but possibly may. At the second (April 1), they will have the money in their own hands for my tobacco sold and payable then, but do not consider this as engaging your hands. If you can employ them more advantageously for yourself than by hiring, do it. If not, we will take any which you had rather hire than employ at what we are to pay for others. My former letter will have conveyed to you my wish that the nailers able to cut should be so employed; and I have written to Mr. Eppes that I am indifferent whether Powell comes till the first of April. I shall then be at home, and shall engage Whateley to undertake to build the new shop, out and out, on his own terms, immediately. I forgot to ask the favor of you to speak to Lilly as to the treatment of the nailers. It would destroy their value, in my estimation, to degrade them in their own eyes by the whip. This, therefore, must not be resorted to but in extremities; as they will be again under my government, I would choose they should retain the stimulus of character. After Lilly shall have completed the clearing necessary for this year for Mr. Craven, I would have him go on with what will be


wanting for him the next year, that being my most important object. The building of the negro houses should be done whenever Mr. Craven prefers it; as all the work is for him, he may arrange it. I will thank you to continue noting the day of the receipt of my letters, that I may know whether the postmaster corrects the mismanagement.

We continue as uncertain as ever as to the event of an election by the House of Representatives. Some appearances are favorable, but they may be meant to throw us off our guard. Mr. Adams is entirely for their complying with the will of the people. Hamilton the same. The mercantile or paper interest also. Still, the individuals who are to decide will decide according to their own desires. The Jersey election damps them, so does the European intelligence, but their main body is still firm and compact. My tenderest love to my dear Martha. I wrote to her the last week. Kisses to all the little ones, and affectionate attachments to yourself. Adieu.

P. S. When I come home I shall lay off the canal, if Lilly's gang can undertake it. I had directed Lilly to make a dividing fence between Craven's fields at Monticello and those I retain. The object was to give me the benefit of the latter for pasture. If I stay here, the yard will be pasture enough and may spare, or at least delay, this great and perishable work of the dividing fence. At least

[ocr errors]

it may lie for further consideration. I hope Lilly keeps the small nailers engaged so as to supply our customers in the neighborhood, so that we may not lose them during this interregnum. Mr. Higginbotham, particularly, and Mr. Kelly, should be attended to.


WASHINGTON, January 26, 1801.

MY DEAR MARTHA,-I wrote to Mr. Randolph on the 9th and 10th inst., and yesterday received his letter of the 10th. It gave me great joy to learn that Lilly had got a recruit of hands from Mr. Allen, though still I would not have that prevent the taking all from the nailery who are able to cut, as I desired in mine of the 9th, as I wish Craven's ground to be got ready for him without any delay. Mr. Randolph writes me you are about to wean Cornelia; this must be right and proper. I long to be in the midst of the children, and have more pleasure in their little follies than in the wisdom of the wise. Here, too, there is such a mixture of the bad passions of the heart, that one feels themselves in an enemy's country. It is an unpleasant circumstance, if I am destined to stay here, that the great proportion of those of the place who figure are Federalists, and most of them of the violent kind. Some have been so personally bitter that they can never forgive me, though I do

« PreviousContinue »