Among the Federalists were still a few moderate men who hoped that Jefferson might not be wholly sold to France, and who were inclined to ask for some new policy of peace or war before throwing aside the old one. Pickering's contempt for such allies echoed the old feuds of New England, and revived the root-and-branch politics of the Puritans:
- "Some cautious men here of the Federal party discovered an inclination to wait patiently till the first of June the promised repeal of the embargo. God forbid that such timid counsels should reach the Massachusetts legislature, or a single member of it! A million of such men would not save the nation. Defeat the accursed measure now, and you not only restore commerce, agriculture, and all sorts of business to activity, but you save the country from a British war. The power of the present miserable rulers—I mean their power to do material mischief—will then be annihilated."
Pickering's instructions were exactly followed; his temper infused itself through every New England town. Once more, a popular delusion approaching
- Pickering to S. P. Gardner; New England Federalism, p. 379.