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my daughter, I have taken the liberty of putting it under your cover with a request to put it into his own hands. The subject of it is perhaps unknown to my daughter, and may as well continue so. Its object

is to induce Mr. Randolph to act with coolness and an attention to his situation in this unhappy affair between him and J. R., which the newspapers are endeavoring to revive. It is not inclination in any body, but a fear of the opinion of the world which leads men to the absurd and immoral decision of differences by duel. The greatest service, therefore, which Mr. T. M. Randolph's friends can render him is to convince him that although the world esteems courage and disapproves of the want of it, yet in a case like his, and especially where it has been before put out of doubt, the mass of mankind and particularly that thinking part whose esteem we value, would condemn in a husband and father of a numerous family everything like forwardness in this barbarous and lawless appeal. A conduct cool, candid, and merely defensive is quite as much as could be admitted by any in such a case as his; and I verily believe that if such a conduct be observed on his part, the matter may yet die away. I should be unwilling to have it known that I meddle at all in this, and therefore write to you in confidence. Accept my friendly salutations and assurances of esteem and respect.

dolph and John Randolph, of Roanoke, near the end of the first session of the ninth Congress. See Garland's Life of John Randolph, vol. i. pp. 242-351; Randall's Life of Thomas Jefferson, vol. iii. pp. 164-167.-EDS.


WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 1806.

DEAR SIR,-Yesterday was sennight I wrote to Reuben Lewis, informing him he might hourly expect his brother there. I meant the next day, which was the post day, to have written it to you also, but was in the intervening evening taken with the autumnal fever so as to be unable to write. The attack was slight and I am now perfectly recovered, and engaged in taking the repeating doses of bark.

We have no information of the progress of our negotiations either at London or Paris, and I have no hope of our learning their conclusion before the meeting of Congress. Indeed it seems as if Spain would be able to protract the latter, in spite of what either we or France can do to spur her up. We have no doubt of the death of Mr. Fox in the course of September, although none of the stories yet received are worth notice.1 Mr. Erskine is arrived here and is to be presented to-day, and Mr. Merry will at the same time take leave."

Bond, who was his mentor when formerly here, is, we are told, like a good Vicar of Bray, gone over to the new ministry. In the quarter of Natchitoches

1 Charles James Fox died of dropsy, Sept. 13, 1806.-EDS.

2 Anthony Merry was British minister to the United States from 1803 to 1806, and was succeeded by David M. Erskine, who was here until October, 1809.-EDS.

3 Phineas Bond, a native of Philadelphia, was British consul-general for the Middle and Southern States from 1786 to 1812 or 1813. See Report of the American Historical Association for 1896, vol. i. pp. 513-517-EDS.

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; 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 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

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