Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/20

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8
Ch. 1.
HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES.

forget principles he had once asserted, and which he would some day again declare vital, the quality was so amiable as to cover many shortcomings; but its influence on national growth could not be disputed. Jefferson cherished but one last desire,—to reach the end of his next term without disaster. He frankly expressed this feeling in a letter written to General Heath soon after the autumn election of 1804, which gave him the electoral vote of Massachusetts:—

"I sincerely join you," said he, "in congratulations on the return of Massachusetts into the fold of the Union. This is truly the case wherein we may say, 'This our brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.' It is but too true that our Union could not be pronounced entirely sound while so respectable a member as Massachusetts was under morbid affection. All will now come to rights. . . . The new century opened itself by committing us on a boisterous ocean; but all is now subsiding; peace is smoothing our path at home and abroad; and if we are not wanting in the practice of justice and moderation, our tranquillity and prosperity may be preserved until increasing numbers shall leave us nothing to fear from abroad. With England we are in cordial friendship; with France in the most perfect understanding; with Spain we shall always be bickering, but never at war till we seek it. Other nations view our course with respect and friendly anxiety. Should we be able to preserve this state of public happiness, and to see our citizens, whom we found so divided, rally to their genuine principles, I shall hope yet to enjoy the comfort of that