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I believe every thing will remain quiet. Burr is unquestionably very actively engaged in the westward in preparations to sever that from this part of the Union. We learn that he is actually building 10 or 15 boats able to take a large gun and fit for the navigation of those waters. We give him all the attention our situation admits; as yet we have no legal proof of any overt act which the law can lay hold of. Present my tenderest affections to my dear Martha and the young ones, and accept assurances yourself of constant attachınent.


WASHINGTON, November 23, 1807.

MY DEAR MARTHA,-Here we are all well, and my last letters from Edgehill informed me that all were so there, except some remains of influenza hanging on yourself. I shall be happy to hear you are entirely clear of its remains. It seems to have gained strength and malignancy in its progress over the country. It has been a formidable disease in the Carolinas, but worst of all in Kentucky; fatal, however, only to old persons. Davy will set out on his return to-morrow. He will carry an earthen box of monthly strawberries, which I must put under Anne's care till spring, when we will plant them at Monticello. I have stuck several sprigs of geranium in a pot which contained a plant supposed to be orange, but not known to be so.

We have little company of strangers in town this winter. The only ladies are the wives of Messrs. Newton, Thurston, W. Alston, Marion, Mumford, Blount, Adams, Cutts, and Mrs. McCreary expected. Congress are all expectation and anxiety for the news expected by the Revenge or by Colonel Monroe, whose immediate return, however, may be doubted. The war-fever is past, and the probability against its return rather prevalent. A caucus of malcontent members has been held and an organized opposition to the government arranged, J. R. and J. C. at its head;1 about 20 members composed it. Their object is to embarrass, avoiding votes of opposition beyond what they think the nation will bear. Their chief mischief will be done by letters of misrepresentations to their constituents, for in neither house, even with the assured aid of the Federalists, can they shake the good sense and honest intentions of the mass of real Republicans. But I am tired of a life of contention and of being the personal object for the hatred of every man who hates the present state of things. I long to be among you, where I know nothing but love and delight, and where instead of being chained to a writing table I could be indulged as others are with the blessings of domestic society and pursuits of my own choice. Adieu, my ever dear Martha; present me affectionately to Mr. Randolph and the family.


1 John Randolph, of Roanoke, and Joseph Clay, one of the members from Pennsylvania. See Hildreth's History of the United States, vol. vi. pp. 64, 65.-Eds.


WASHINGTON, Nov. 22, 1808.

DEAR SIR,-I inclose a letter from Jefferson to Ellen which I presume will inform the family of his health. I sent for your perusal last week a letter from Dr. Wistar, strongly urging his attendance on the chemical lectures. We had supposed, you know, that it would be best for him to confine himself, while at Philadelphia, to those branches of science for which that place has peculiar advantages, that is to say, anatomy, natural history, and botany, and even to add a course of surgery, as entirely subordinate to the others and merely as a convenient acquisition for a country gentleman. These would give him two lectures a day through the week, which I thought would be as much as he could digest. However, as Dr. Wistar placed his attendance on the chemical lectures on the footing of his having time enough, and so did Mr. Peale also, and the lectures were beginning, I consented to it if you should not object. For a scientific man in a town nothing can furnish so convenient an amusement as chemistry, because it may be pursued in his cabinet; but for a country gentleman I know no source of amusement and health equal to botany and natural history, and I should think it unfortunate for such an one to attach himself to chemistry, although the general principles of the science it is certainly well to understand.

Congress has as yet come to no resolution indica


tive of their dispositions. But
dispositions. But to-morrow the
ground work will be laid by two resolutions: 1. That
the violations of our rights by the belligerents ought
not to be submitted to. 2. That all intercourse with
the belligerent powers and their dependancies be sus-
pended. This will leave the question of war or
embargo uncommitted, and perhaps it will be thought
best not to decide between them till near the close of
the session. It is thought very doubtful how they
would decide it at present, many believing there is a
majority for war. This party will perhaps lose
ground by time, and especially as a suggestion has
been made to make another effort by offering cate-
gorically to both belligerents to elect between a repeal
of their edicts and war, tightening the embargo in the
mean time. This idea, however, is as yet only in
embryo. My sincere affections attend on my dear
Martha, yourself, and the children.


WASHINGTON, Nov. 26, 1808.

DEAR SIR,-Your favor of the 22d is received, and that to Jefferson forwarded. I have made it the occasion of advising him to avoid the subject of politics in society, and generally indeed to shun disputa

1 Husband of Jefferson's eldest grandchild, Anne Cary, daughter of Thomas Mann and Martha (Jefferson) Randolph. Mrs. Bankhead was born in January, 1790, and died February 11, 1826, less than five months before the death of her grandfather.—EDS.

tion on every subject, which never did convince an antagonist, and too often alienates a friend, besides being always an uneasy thing to a good-humored society. Your letter does not tell me whether Anne and yourself are well, but I presume it because you have written, and she is about to write. I receive with great pleasure your assent to my proposition of contubernation until the population of the hive shall force a swarm, or the crowd of clients call for and afford a separate establishment. I shall be at home about the middle of April, and were it not that I must proceed on the track of my caravan, which will be on the road, I would cross at Boyd's Hole, and take you up at Port Royal, and have the pleasure of paying my respects to your father and family, and of assuring them of the happiness I shall ever have in their visits to our hive. But you must do me the favor to assure them of this, and I must pursue the caravan to keep up stragglers and prevent the season of planting from getting ahead of me.

We are all politics here. Of the three alternatives, submission and tribute is scouted by three-fourths from the heart, and by the other fourth from the teeth outwards. Of the other two, embargo and war, the first will probably prevail as yet, and the final decision between them be kept off to near the close of the session, when the season would admit of action. The odds and ends of different factions, which make up the schismatic fourth, will give their weight to whatever proposition leads to war with France and

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