non-intercourse; but the delay in calling Congress was certain to work as he wished, and to prevent a committal to the policy of war.
To no one was this working of Jefferson's mind more evident than to General Turreau, whose keen eyes made the President uneasy under the sense of being watched and criticised. Turreau, who had left Washington for the summer, hurried back on hearing of the "Chesapeake" disaster. On arriving, he went the same evening to the White House, "where there had been a dinner of twenty covers, composed, they say, of new friends of the Government, to whom Mr. Madison had given a first representation two days before. Indeed, I knew none of the guests except the Ambassador of England and his secretary of legation. The President received me even better than usual, but left me, presently, to follow with the British minister a conversation that my entrance had interrupted."
Then came a touch of nature which Turreau thought strikingly characteristic. No strong power of imagination is needed to see the White House parlor, on the warm summer night, with Jefferson, as Senator Maclay described him, sitting in a lounging manner on one hip, with his loose, long figure, and his clothes that seemed too small for him, talking, without a break, in his rambling, disjointed way,
- Jefferson to Colonel Taylor, Aug. 1, 1807; Works, v[.] 148.
- Turreau to Talleyrand, July 18, 1808; Archives des Aff. Étr. MSS.