Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 1.djvu/225

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
Ch. 7.

who, as he knew, would spread his views widely throughout both continents. In a famous letter to Thomas Paine,[1]—a letter which was in some respects a true inaugural address,—Jefferson told the thought he had but hinted in public. "Determined as we are to avoid, if possible, wasting the energies of our people in war and destruction, we shall avoid implicating ourselves with the Powers of Europe, even in support of principles we mean to pursue. They have so many other interests different from ours that we must avoid being entangled in them. We believe we can enforce those principles as to ourselves by peaceable means, now that we are likely to have our public councils detached from foreign views." A few days later, he wrote to the well-known Pennsylvania peacemaker, Dr. Logan, and explained the process of enforcing against foreign nations "principles as to ourselves by peaceable means." "Our commerce," said he,[2] "is so valuable to them, that they will be glad to purchase it, when the only price we ask is to do us justice. I believe we have in our own hands the means of peaceable coercion; and that the moment they see our government so united as that we can make use of it, they will for their own interest be disposed to do us justice."

To Chancellor Livingston, in September, 1801,[3] the President wrote his views of the principles which

  1. Jefferson to Thomas Paine, March 18, 1801; Works, iv. 370.
  2. Jefferson's Writings (Ford), viii. 23.
  3. Jefferson to R. R. Livingston, Sept. 9, 1801; Works, iv. 408.