Letter to James Madison - September 1, 1785
DEAR SIR, — My last to you by Monsieur de Doradour, was dated May the 11th. Since that, I have received yours of January the 22nd, with six copies of the revisal, and that of April the 27th, by Mr. Mazzei.
All is quiet here. The Emperor and Dutch have certainly agreed, though they have not published their agreement. Most of his schemes in Germany must be postponed, if they are not prevented, by the confederacy of many of the Germanic body, at the head of which is the King of Prussia, and to which the Elector of Hanover is supposed to have acceded. The object of the league is to preserve the members of the empire in their present state. I doubt whether the jealousy entertained of this prince, and which is so fully evidenced by this league, may not defeat the election of his nephew to be King of the Romans, and thus produce an instance of breaking the lineal succession. Nothing is as yet done between him and the Turks. If any thing is produced in that quarter, it will not be for this year. The court of Madrid has obtained the delivery of the crew of the brig Betsey, taken by the Emperor of Morocco. The Emperor had treated them kindly, new clothed them, and delivered them to the Spanish minister, who sent them to Cadiz. This is the only American vessel ever taken by the Barbary States. The Emperor continues to give proofs of his desire to be in friendship with us, or, in other words, of receiving us into the number of his tributaries. Nothing further need be feared from him. I wish the Algerines may be as easily dealt with. I fancy the peace expected between them and Spain, is not likely to take place. I am well informed that the late proceedings in America, have produced a wonderful sensation in England in our favor. I mean the disposition which seems to be becoming general, to invest Congress with the regulation of our commerce, and, in the mean time, the measures taken to defeat the avidity of the British government, grasping at our carrying business. I can add with truth, that it was not till these symptoms appeared in America, that I have been able to discover the smallest token of respect towards the United States, in any part of Europe. There was an enthusiasm towards us, all over Europe, at the moment of the peace. The torrent of lies published unremittingly, in every day's London paper, first made an impression, and produced a coolness. The republication of these lies in most of the papers of Europe, (done probably by authority of the governments, to discourage emigrations) carried them home to the belief of every mind. They supposed every thing in America was anarchy, tumult, and civil war. The reception of the Marquis Fayette gave a check to these ideas. The late proceedings seem to be producing a decisive vibration in our favor. I think it possible that England may ply before them. It is a nation which nothing but views of interest can govern. If they produce us good there, they will here also. The defeat of the Irish propositions is also in our favor.
I have at length made up the purchase of books for you, as far as it can be done at present. The objects which I have not yet been able to get, I shall continue to seek for. Those purchased, are packed this morning in two trunks, and you have the catalogue and prices herein enclosed. The future charges of transportation shall be carried into the next bill. The amount of the present is 1154 livres 13 sous, which, reckoning the French crown of six livres at six shillings and eight pence, Virginia money, is pound 64, 3s. which sum you will be so good as to keep in your hands, to be used occasionally in the education of my nephews, when the regular resources disappoint you. To the same use I would pray you to apply twenty-five guineas, which I have lent the two Mr. Fitzhughs of Marmion, and which I have desired them to repay into your hands. You will of course deduct the price of the revisals, and of any other articles you may have been so kind as to pay for me. Greek and Roman authors are dearer here, than, I believe, any where in the world. Nobody here reads them; wherefore they are not reprinted. Don Ulloa, in the original, is not to be found. The collection of tracts on the economies of different nations, we cannot find; nor Amelot's travels into China. I shall send these two trunks of books to Havre, there to wait a conveyance to America; for as to the fixing the packets there, it is as uncertain as ever. The other articles you mention, shall be procured as far as they can be. Knowing that some of them would be better got in London, I commissioned Mr. Short, who was going there, to get them. He has not yet returned. They will be of such a nature, as that I can get some gentleman who may be going to America, to take them in his portmanteau. Le Maire being now able to stand on his own legs, there will be no necessity for your advancing him the money I desired, if it is not already done. I am anxious to hear from you on the subject of my Notes on Virginia. I have been obliged to give so many of them here, that I fear their getting published. I have received an application from the Directors of the public buildings, to procure them a plan for their capitol. I shall send them one taken from the best morsel of antient architecture now remaining. It has obtained the approbation of fifteen or sixteen centuries, and is, therefore, preferable to any design which might be newly contrived. It will give more room, be more convenient, and cost less, than the plan they sent me. Pray encourage them to wait for it, and to execute it. It will be superior in beauty to any thing in America, and not inferior to any thing in the world. It is very simple. Have you a copying press? If you have not, you should get one. Mine (exclusive of paper which costs a guinea a ream) has cost me about fourteen guineas. I would give ten times that sum, to have had it from the date of the stamp act. I hope you will be so good as to continue your communications, both of the great and small kind, which are equally useful to me. Be assured of the sincerity with which I am, Dear Sir,
your friend and servant,
livres sous den
Dictionnaire de Trevoux. 5 vol. fol. , 5f12 . . . 28 - 0 - 0
La Conquista di Mexico. De Solis. fol. 7f10.
relieure 7f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 - 10
Traite de morale et de bonheur. 12mo. 2 v. in 1. 2 - 8
Wicquefort de l'Ambassadeur. 2. v. 4to. . . . . . 7 - 4
Burlamaqui. Principes du droit Politique 4to.
3f12 relieure 2f5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 - 17
Conquista de la China por el Tartaro por Palafox.
12mo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 -
Code de l'humanite de Felice. 13. v. 4to. . . . . 104 - 0
13. first livrasons of the Encyclopedie 47. vols.
4to. (being 48f less than subscription) . . . . 348 - 0
14th. livraison of do. 4. v. 4to. . . . . . . . . 24 - 0
Peyssonel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 - 0
Bibliotheque physico-oeconomique. 4. v. 12mo.
10f4. rel. 3f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 - 4
Cultivateur Americain. 2. v. 8vo. 7f17. rel. 2f10. 10 - 7
Mirabeau sur l'ordre des Cincinnati. 10f10. rel. 1f5
(prohibited). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 - 15
Coutumes Amglo-Normads de Houard. 4. v.
4to. 40f rel. 10f . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 - 0
Memories sur l'Amerique 4 v. 4to. . . . . . . . . 24 - 0
Tott sur les Turcs. 4. v. in 2. 8vo. 10f. rel. 2f10 12 - 10
Neckar sur l'Administration des Finances de
France. 3. v. 12mo. 7f10 rel. 2f5 . . . . . . . 9 - 15
le bon-sens. 12mo. 6f rel. 15s (prohibited). . . 6 - 15
livres sous den
Mably. Princess de morale.
1. V. 12mo. . . . . 3 12 }
etude de l'histoire 1. . 2 10 }
l'histoire 1. . . . 2 8 }
d'Amerique 1. . . . 1 16 } relieure de
sur l'histoire de II vols. ,
France. 2. v. . . . 6 } 15s. 8f5 41 - 1
droit de l'Europe
3.v. . . . . . . 7 10 }
ordres des societies . . . 2 }
negotiations. . . . 2 10 }
entretiens de Phocion . . 2 }
des Romains . . . . . 2 10 }
Wanting to complete Mably's works which I have
not been able to procure
les principes de legislation
sur les Grecs
sur la Pologne.
Chronologie des empires anciennes
de la Combe. 5 - 0 - 0
de l'histoire universelle
de Hornot. . 1. v. 8vo.4f 4 - 0 - 0
de l'histoire universelle
de Berlie. . 1.v. 8vo. 2f10 rel. 1f5 3 - 15
des empereurs Romains
par Richer. . 2. v. 8vo. 8f rel. 2f10 10 - 10
des Juifs . . . 1. v. 8vo. 3f10 rel. 1f5 4 - 15
de l'histoire universelle
par Du Fresnoy. 2. v. 8vo. 13f rel. 2f10 15 - 10
de l'histoire du Nord.
par La Combe .2. v. 8vo. 10f. rel. 2f10 12 - 10
de France. par
Henault. . . 3. v. 8vo. 12f. rel. 5f 15 - 15
livres sous den
Memories de Voltaire. 2. v. in 1. 2f10 rel. 15s. . 3 - 5 - 0
Linnaei Philosophia Botanica. 1. v. 8vo. 7f rel. 1f5 8 - 5
Genera plantarum 1. v. 8vo. 8f rel. 1f5 . . . . . 9 - 5
Species plantarum. 4. v. 8vo. 32f rel. 5f . . . . 37 - 0
Systema naturae 4. v. 8vo. 26f rel. 5f . . . . . . 31 - 0
Clayton. Flora Virginica. 4to. 12f. rel. 2f10. . . . 14 - 10
D'Albon sur l'interet de plusieurs nations. 4. v.
12mo. 12f. rel. 3f.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 - 0
Systeme de la nature de Diderot. 3. v. 8vo. 21f
(prohibited) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 - 0
Coussin histoire Romaine.
2.v.in 1. 12mo. }
de Constantinople 8. v. in 10. } 16. vols.
de l'empire de l'Occident 2. v. } 12mo. 36 - 0 - 0
de l'eglise. 5. v. in 3. }
Droit de la Nature. por Wolff. 6. v. 12mo. 15f rel.
4f10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 - 10
Voyage de Paget 8vo. 3. v. in 1. . . . . . . . . . . 9
Mirabeau. Ami des hommes 5. v. 12mo. }
Theorie de l'import 2. v. in 1. 12mo.} 12
BUFFON. SUPPLEMENT II. 12. Oiseaux 17. 18.
Mineraux 1. 2. 3. 4. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24.
Lettres de Pascal. 12mo. 2f. rel. 15s. . . . . . . . 2 - 15
Le sage a la cour et le roi voiageur (prohibited). . 10 - 15
Principles de legislation universelle 2. v. 8vo. . . 12 - 0
Ordonnances de la Marine par Valin. 2. v. 4to. . . . 22
Diderot sur les sourds and muets } 12mo. 3f12. sur les } 4. v. 12mo. 13 - 7
aveugles 3f. sur la nature 3f. }
sur la morale 3f15 }
Mariana's history of Spain II. v. 12mo.. . . . . . . 21
2 trunks & packing paper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 - 0
1154 - 13