Part 3 out of 9
I reply to your inquiries that I am the eldest son of the late James
A. Bayard, and that the object which I have in view is the vindication
of his character from the aspersion contained in the passage in Mr.
Jefferson's writings, a copy of which I sent you.
It is true that among my father's papers I have found rough copies of
the deposition made in your suit against Cheetham, as well as of that
made in the wager case. Together with the first-named deposition there
is also a copy of the interrogatories; but, in the latter case, simply
a rough copy of the deposition, without title, or any memorandum of
the names of the parties. You will perceive at once the necessity of
accompanying the deposition in the wager case with its _title_ and a
copy of the interrogatories, in order to show, in the first place, Mr.
Jefferson's error in the statement of the case, and, secondly, to
refute his assertion that the deposition had "nothing to do with the
suit, or with any other object than to calumniate him."
The subsequent part of his statement will be met by the deposition
itself, by reference to concomitant circumstances, and such
corroborating testimony as time has spared. Being anxious to avoid all
room for cavil, by publishing the depositions as returned with the
respective commissions, lest, perchance, there should be some slight
verbal inaccuracies, I applied to you, believing it was in your power
to give the information necessary to enable me to procure certified
copies of the record.
You have thus, Sir, an entire exposition of my motives for addressing
you my letter of the 8th ult.; and, in conformity with the sentiment
you are so good as to express in the conclusion of your letter, I
doubt not you will furnish me with such information as you possess on
I wrote some time since to Mr. Edward N. Rogers, of your city, to
procure for me copies of my father's and General Samuel Smith's
depositions in _both_ cases. He informs me, by his letter of the 17th
inst., that the depositions in your suit against Cheetham are not to
be found in the office; that the case went off by default, and he
supposes they were never filed. At all events, the clerk cannot now
You will probably be able to state what became of them, and whether
copies can be procured. I will ask of you, therefore, the favour to
communicate to him information on this point, as well as the _name_ of
the _wager case_, that he may be enabled to comply with my request,
with the execution of which he has been so kind as to charge himself.
I have the honour to be, respectfully,
Your obedient servant,
RICHARD H. BAYARD.
1. See Ch. V.
2. It is considered proper to state here that the correspondence which
follows is published without the privity or consent of either of the
Mr. Bayards. It is found among the papers of Colonel Burr, and is
intimately connected with a history of the transaction.
3. The suit was James Gillespie _vs_. Abraham Smith. See deposition.
4. Will the reader examine the deposition, especially what relates to
Mr. McLean and Mr. Latimer?
The necessary information having been given to Mr. Bayard to enable
him to procure the depositions of his father and General Smith, they
were accordingly obtained from Mr. Bradley, of Vermont. Before
presenting them, it may not be improper to give the letters of two
members of Congress, one of which enters somewhat into a history of
the case, and _both_ of which negatives, in the most positive manner,
any attempt of Colonel Burr, or any person acting in his behalf, to
negotiate, bargain, or intrigue with the federal party for the office
WILLIAM COOPER TO THOMAS MORRIS. 
Washington, February 10, 1801.
We have this day locked ourselves up by a rule to proceed to choose a
president before we adjourn. * * * * * * * We shall run Burr
perseveringly. You shall hear of the result instantly after the fact
is ascertained. _A little good management would have secured our
object on the first vote_, but now it is too late for any operations
to be gone into, except that of adhering to Burr, and leave the
consequences to those who have heretofore been his friends. If we
succeed, a faithful support must, on our part, be given to his
administration, which, I hope, will be wise and energetic.
WILLIAM COOPER TO THOMAS MORRIS.
February 13, 1801.
We have postponed, until to-morrow 11 o'clock, the voting for
president. All stand firm. Jefferson eight--Burr six--divided two.
_Had Burr done any thing for himself, he would long ere this have been
president._ If a majority would answer, he would have it on every
FROM JAMES A. BAYARD TO ALEXANDER HAMILTON.
Washington, January 7, 1801.
I have been but a few days in this city; but, since my arrival, have
had the pleasure to receive the letter which you did me the honour to
write on the 27th ult. I am fully sensible of the great importance of
the subject to which it relates, and am, therefore, extremely obliged
by the information you have been so good as to communicate.
* * * * *
It is considered that at least, in the first instance, Georgia, North
Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New-Jersey, and
New-York will vote for Mr. Jefferson. It is probable that Maryland and
Vermont will be divided. It is therefore counted, that upon the first
ballot it would be possible to give to Mr. Burr six votes. It is
calculated, however, and strongly insisted by some gentlemen, that a
persevering opposition to Mr. Jefferson would bring over _New-York,
New-Jersey, and Maryland._ What is the probability relative to
New-York?--your means enable you to form the most correct opinion. As
to New-Jersey and Maryland, it would depend on Mr. Linn of the former
and Mr. Dent of the latter state.
I assure you, sir, there appears to be a strong inclination in a
majority of the federal party to support Mr. Burr. The current has
already acquired considerable force, and is manifestly increasing. The
vote which the representation of a state enables me to give would
decide the question in favour of Mr. Jefferson. At present I am by no
means decided as to the object of preference. If the federal party
should take up Mr. Burr, I ought certainly to be impressed with the
most undoubting conviction before I separated myself from them. I
cannot, however, deny that there are strong considerations which give
a preference to Mr. Jefferson. The subject admits of many and very
doubtful views; and, before I resolve on the part I shall take, I will
await the approach of the crisis, which may probably bring with it
circumstances decisive of the event.
The federal party meet on Friday for the purpose of forming a
resolution as to their line of conduct. I have not the least doubt of
their agreeing to support Colonel Burr. Their determination will not
bind me; for though it might cost me a painful struggle to disappoint
the views and wishes of many gentlemen with whom I have been
accustomed to act, yet the magnitude of the subject forbids the
sacrifice of a strong conviction.
I cannot answer for the coherence of my letter, as I have undertaken
to write to you from the chamber of representatives, with an attention
divided by the debate which occupies the house. I have not considered
myself at liberty to show your letter to any one, though I think it
would be serviceable, if you could trust my discretion in the
communication of it.
With great consideration,
Your obedient servant,
JAMES A. BAYARD.
GEORGE BAER TO RICHARD H. BAYARD.
Frederick, April 19, 1830
In compliance with your request, I now communicate to you my
recollections of the events of the presidential election by the House
of Representatives in 1801. There has been no period of our political
history more misunderstood and more grossly misrepresented. The course
adopted by the federal party was one of principle, and not of faction;
and I think the present a suitable occasion for explaining the views
and motives at least of those gentlemen who, having it in their power
to decide the election at any moment, were induced to protract it for
a time, but ultimately to withdraw their opposition to Mr. Jefferson.
I have no hesitation in saying that the facts stated in the deposition
of your father, the late James A. Bayard, so far as they came to my
knowledge, are substantially correct; and although nearly thirty years
have elapsed since that eventful period, my recollection is vivid as
to the principal circumstances, which, from the part I was called upon
to act, were deeply graven on my memory. As soon as it was generally
known that the two democratic candidates, Jefferson and Burr, had the
highest and an equal number of votes, and that the election would
consequently devolve on the House of Representatives, Mr. Dent, who
had hitherto acted with the federal party, declared his intention to
vote for Mr. Jefferson, in consequence of which determination the vote
of Maryland was divided.
It was soon ascertained that there were six individuals, the vote of
any one of whom could at any moment decide the election. These were,
your father, the late James A. Bayard, who held the vote of the state
of Delaware; General Morris, of Vermont, who held the divided vote of
that state; and Mr. Craik, Mr. Thomas, Mr. Dennis, and myself, who
held the divided vote of Maryland. Much anxiety was shown by the
friends of Mr. Jefferson, and much ingenuity used to discover the line
of conduct which would be pursued by them. Deeply impressed with the
responsibility which attached to their peculiar situation, and
conscious that the American people looked to them for a president,
they could not rashly determine either to surrender their
constitutional discretion, or disappoint the expectations of their
Your father, Mr. Craik, and myself having compared ideas upon the
subject, and finding that we entertained the same views and opinions,
resolved to act together, and accordingly entered into a solemn and
mutual pledge that we would in the first instance yield to the wishes
of the great majority of the party with whom we acted, and vote for
Mr. Burr, but that no consideration should induce us to protract the
contest beyond a reasonable period for the purpose of ascertaining
whether he could be elected. We determined that a president should be
chosen, but were willing thus far to defer to the opinions of our
political friends, whose preference of Mr. Burr was founded upon a
belief that he was less hostile to federal men and federal measures
than Mr. Jefferson. General Morris and Mr. Dennis concurred in this
The views by which the federal party were governed were these:--They
held that the Constitution had vested in the House of Representatives
a high discretion in a case like the present, to be exercised for the
benefit of the nation; and that, in the execution of this delegated
power, an honest and unbiased judgment was the measure of their
responsibility. They were less certain of the hostility of Mr. Burr to
federal policy than of that of Mr. Jefferson, which was known and
decided. Mr. Jefferson had identified himself with, and was at the
head of the party in Congress who had opposed every measure deemed
necessary by the federalists for putting the country in a posture of
defence; such as fortifying the harbours and seaports, establishing
manufactories of arms; erecting arsenals, and filling them with arms
and ammunition; erecting a navy for the defence of commerce, &c. His
speculative opinions were known to be hostile to the independence of
the judiciary, to the financial system of the country, and to internal
improvements. All these matters the federalists believed to be
intimately blended with the prosperity of the nation, and they
deprecated, therefore, the elevation of a man to the head of the
government whose hostility to them was open and avowed. It was feared,
too, from his prejudices against the party which supported them, that
he would dismiss all public officers who differed with him in
sentiment, without regard to their qualifications and honesty, but on
the ground only of political character. The House of Representatives
adopted certain resolutions for their government during the election,
one of which was that there should be no adjournment till it was
On the 11th February, 1801, being the day appointed by law for
counting the votes of the electoral colleges, the House of
Representatives proceeded in a body to the Senate chamber, where the
vice-president, in view of both houses of Congress, opened the
certificates of the electors of the different states; and, as the
votes were read, the tellers on the part of each house counted and
took lists of them, which, being compared and delivered to him, he
announced to both houses the state of the votes; which was, for Thomas
Jefferson 73 votes, for Aaron Burr 73 votes, for John Adams 65 votes,
for Charles Pinckney 64 votes, for John Jay one vote; and then
declared that the greatest number and majority of votes being equal,
the choice had devolved on the House of Representatives. The members
of the house then withdrew to their own chamber, and proceeded to
ballot for a president. On the first ballot it was found that Thomas
Jefferson had the votes of eight states, Aaron Burr of six states, and
that two were divided. As there were sixteen states, and a majority
was necessary to determine the election, Mr. Jefferson wanted the vote
of one state. Thus the result which had been anticipated was realized.
The balloting continued throughout that day and the following night,
at short intervals, with the same result, the 26th ballot being taken
at 8 o'clock on the morning of the 12th of February. The balloting
continued with the same result from day to day till the 17th of
February, without any adjournment of the house. On the previous day
(February 16), a consultation was held by the gentlemen I have
mentioned, when, being satisfied that Mr. Burr could not be elected,
as no change had taken place in his favour, and there was no evidence
of any effort on the part of himself or his personal friends to
procure his election, it was resolved to abandon the contest. This
determination was made known to the federal members generally, and
excited some discontent among the violent of the party, who thought it
better to go without a president than to elect Mr. Jefferson. A
general meeting, however, of the federal members was called, and the
subject explained, when it was admitted that Mr. Burr could not be
elected. A few individuals persisted in their resolution not to vote
for Mr. Jefferson, but the great majority wished the election
terminated and a president chosen. _Having also received assurances
from a source on which we placed reliance that our wishes with regard
to certain points of federal policy in which we felt a deep interest
would be observed in case Mr. Jefferson was elected_, the opposition
of Vermont, Delaware, and Maryland was withdrawn, and on the 36th
ballot your father, the late James A. Bayard, put in a blank ballot,
myself and my colleagues did the same, and General Morris absented
himself. The South Carolina federalists also put in blank ballots.
Thus terminated that memorable contest.
Previous to and pending the election, rumours were industriously
circulated, and letters written to different parts of the country,
charging the federalists with the design to prevent the election of a
president, and to usurp the government by an act of legislative power.
Great anxiety and apprehensions were created in the minds of all, and
of none more than the federalists generally, who were not apprized of
the determination of those gentlemen who held the power, and were
resolved to terminate the contest when the proper period arrived. But
neither these rumours, nor the excitement produced by them, nor the
threats made by their opponents to resist by force such a measure, had
the least influence on the conduct of those gentlemen. They knew the
power which they possessed, and were conscious of the uprightness of
their views, and of the safety and constitutional character of the
course they had adopted. I was privy to all the arrangements made, and
attended all the meetings of the federal party when consulting on the
course to be pursued in relation to the election; and I pledge my most
solemn asseveration that no such measure was ever for a moment
contemplated by that party; that no such proposition was ever made;
and that, if it had ever been, it would not only have been
discouraged, but instantly put down by those gentlemen who possessed
the power, and were pledged to each other to elect a president before
the close of the session.
I am respectfully, Sir,
Your most obedient servant,
INTERROGATORIES to be administered to James A. Bayard, Esq., of the
state of Delaware, late a member of Congress for the United States
from the said state of Delaware, a witness to be produced, sworn, and
examined in a cause now depending in the Supreme Court of Judicature
of the state of New-York, between Aaron Burr, plaintiff, and James
Cheetham, defendant, on the part of the defendant.
1st. Do you know the parties, plaintiff and defendant, or either and
which of them, and how long have you known them respectively?
2d. Were you a member of the House of Representatives, in Congress of
the United States, from the state of Delaware, in the sessions holden
in the months of January and February, in the year 1801?
3d. Was there not an equal number of votes for Thomas Jefferson and
Aaron Burr, as president and vice-president of the said United States,
at the election for those officers in the December preceding, and did
not the choice of a president consequently devolve on the said House
4th. Did not the said house ballot for the president several times
before a choice was made? if so, how many times? Was not the frequency
of balloting occasioned by an attempt on the part of several members
of Congress to elect the said plaintiff, Aaron Burr, as president? Do
you know who such members were? if so, what were their names?
5th. Do you know that any measures were suggested or pursued by any
person or persons to secure the election of Aaron Burr to the
presidency? if so, who were such person or persons? Did _he_, the said
Aaron Burr, know thereof? Were there any letter or letters written
communicating such an intention? if so, were such letter or letters
forwarded to him through the postoffice by any person, and who? Has he
not informed you, or have you not understood (and if so, how?) that he
was apprized that an attempt would be made to secure his election?
6th. Did he or any other person (and if so, who?) ever communicate to
you, by writing or otherwise, or to any other person or persons to
your knowledge, that any measure had been suggested or would be
pursued to secure his election? When were these communications made?
7th. Had not some of the federal members of Congress a meeting at
Washington, in the month of December, 1800, or of January or of
February, 1801, at which it was determined to support Aaron Burr for
the presidency? Or if there were any meeting or meetings to your
knowledge, in respect to the ensuing election for a president of the
United States in the said House of Representatives, what was advised
or concluded upon, to the best of your remembrance or belief? Was not
David A. Ogden, of the city of New-York, attorney at law, authorized
or requested by you, or some other member or members of Congress, or
some other person, and who in particular, to call upon the plaintiff
and inquire of him--
1st. What conduct he would pursue in respect to certain cardinal
points of federal policy?
2d. What co-operation or aid the plaintiff could or would afford
towards securing his own election to the presidency? or if you or some
other person did not authorize or request the said David A. Ogden to
make such communication to the plaintiff in exact terms, what, in
substance, was such authority or request? Do you know, or were you
informed by the said David A. Ogden or otherwise, that he or any other
person had made the said communication to the plaintiff, or the same
in substance? Do you know, or have you been informed (and if so, how?)
that the plaintiff declared, as to the first question, it would not be
expedient to enter into explanations, or words to that effect? That,
as to the second question, New-York and Tennessee would vote for him
on a second ballot, and New-Jersey might be induced to do the same, or
words to that effect? Did you ever communicate with the plaintiff, or
he with you, on the subject? Do you know any person who did
communicate with him? and if so, what did he say?
Did you not receive a letter or letters from Alexander Hamilton, of
New-York, and late Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, now
deceased, in the month of January or February, 1801, or at some other
time, and when, respecting the election of a president of the United
States? Did he not communicate to you that the said David A. Ogden had
been requested to see the plaintiff for the purposes aforesaid? And
what in particular were the contents of such letters or letter, or
communication? Do you know that any, and if so, what measures were
suggested or pursued to secure the election of said plaintiff as
president; and did the said plaintiff know, or was he informed
thereof, or what did he know, or of what was he informed? Had you any
reason or reasons to believe that any of the states would relinquish
Thomas Jefferson and vote for Aaron Burr as president in the said
election in the said House of Representatives, or that the said Aaron
Burr calculated on such relinquishment? If so, which state or states,
and what was the reason or reasons of such belief?
8th. Do you know any matter, circumstance, or thing which can be
material to the defendant in this cause? If yea, set the same forth
fully and particularly.
_Interrogatory on the part of the plaintiff_.--Do you know of any
matter or thing that may be beneficial to the plaintiff on the trial
of this cause? If so, declare the same fully and at length, in the
same manner as if you had been particularly interrogated thereto.
Miller & Van Wyck, Attorneys for Defendant.
Approved, March 6, 1805.
The deposition of James A. Bayard, sworn and examined on the twenty
---- day of ----, in the year of our Lord 1805, at Wilmington, in the
state of Delaware, by virtue of a commission issuing out of the
Supreme Court of Judicature of the state of New-York, to John Vaughan,
---- or any two of them, directed for the examination of the said
James A. Bayard, in a cause there depending between Aaron Burr,
plaintiff, and James Cheetham, defendant, on the part and behalf of
1st. To the first interrogatory this deponent answers and says, As a
member of the House of Representatives, I paid a visit of ceremony to
the plaintiff on the fourth of March, in the year 1801, and was
introduced to him. I had no acquaintance with him before that period.
I had no knowledge of the defendant but what was derived from his
general reputation before the last session of Congress, when a
personal acquaintance commenced upon my becoming a member of the
2d. To the second interrogatory, this deponent saith, I was.
3d. To the third interrogatory this deponent saith, There was an
equality of electoral votes for Mr. Jefferson and Mr. Burr, and the
choice of one of them did, of consequence, devolve on the House of
4th. To the fourth interrogatory this deponent saith, The house
resolved into states, balloted for a president a number of times, the
exact number is not at present in my recollection, before a choice was
made. The frequency of balloting was occasioned by the preference
given by the federal side of the house to Mr. Burr. With the exception
of Mr. Huger, of South Carolina, I recollect no federal member who did
not concur in the general course of balloting for Mr. Burr. I cannot
name each member. The federal members at that time composed a majority
of the house, though not of the states. Their names can be ascertained
by the journals of the House of Representatives.
5th. To the fifth interrogatory this deponent saith, I know of no
measures but those of argument and persuasion which were used to
secure the election of Mr. Burr to the presidency. Several gentlemen
of the federal party doubted the practicability of electing Mr. Burr,
and the policy of attempting it. Before the election came on there
were several meetings of the party to consider the subject. It was
frequently debated, and most of the gentlemen who had adopted a
decided opinion in favour of his election employed their influence and
address to convince those who doubted of the propriety of the measure.
I cannot tell whether Mr. Burr was acquainted with what passed at our
meetings. But I neither knew nor heard of any letter being written to
him on the subject. He never informed me, nor have I reason to
believe, further than inference, from the open professions and public
course pursued by the federal party, that he was apprized that an
attempt would be made to secure his election.
6th. To the sixth interrogatory the deponent saith, Mr. Burr, or any
person on his behalf, never did communicate to me in writing or
otherwise, or to any other persons of which I have any knowledge, that
any measures had been suggested or would be pursued to secure his
election. Preceding the day of the election, in the course of the
session, the federal members of Congress had a number of general
meetings, the professed and sole purpose of which was to consider the
propriety of giving their support to the election of Mr. Burr. The
general sentiment of the party was strongly in his favour. Mr. Huger,
I think, could not be brought to vote for him. Mr. Craik and Mr. Baer,
of Maryland, and myself, were those who acquiesced with the greatest
difficulty and hesitation. I did not believe Mr. Burr could be
elected, and thought it vain to make the attempt; but I was chiefly
influenced by the current of public sentiment, which I thought it
neither safe nor politic to counteract. It was, however, determined by
the party, without consulting Mr. Burr, to make the experiment whether
he could be elected. Mr. Ogden never was authorized or requested by
me, nor any member of the house to my knowledge, to call upon Mr.
Burr, and to make any propositions to him of any kind or nature. I
remember Mr. Ogden's being at Washington while the election was
depending. I spent one or two evenings in his company at Stiller's
hotel, in small parties, and we recalled an acquaintance of very early
life, which had been suspended by a separation of eighteen or twenty
years. I spent not a moment with Mr. Ogden in private. It was reported
that he was an agent for Mr. Burr, or it was understood that he was in
possession of declarations of Mr. Burr that he would serve as
president if elected. I never questioned him on the subject. Although
I considered Mr. Burr personally better qualified to fill the office
of president than Mr. Jefferson, yet, for a reason above suggested, I
felt no anxiety for his election, and I presumed if Mr. Ogden came on
any errand from Mr. Burr, or was desirous of making any disclosures
relative to his election, he would do it without any application from
me. But Mr. Ogden or any other person never did make any communication
to me from Mr. Burr, nor do I remember having any conversation with
him relative to the election. I never had any communication, directly
or indirectly, with Mr. Burr in relation to his election to the
presidency. I was one of those who thought from the beginning that the
election of Mr. Burr was not practicable. The sentiment was frequently
and openly expressed. I remember it was generally said by those who
wished a perseverance in the opposition to Mr. Jefferson, that several
democratic states were more disposed to vote for Mr. Burr than for Mr.
Jefferson; that, out of complaisance to the known intention of the
party, they would vote a decent length of time for Mr. Jefferson, and,
as soon as they could excuse themselves by the imperious situation of
affairs, would give their votes for Mr. Burr, the man they really
preferred. The states relied upon for this change were New-York,
New-Jersey, Vermont, and Tennessee. I never, however, understood that
any assurance to this effect came from Mr. Burr. Early in the election
it was reported that Mr. Edward Livingston, the representative of the
city of New-York, was the confidential agent for Mr. Burr, and that
Mr. Burr had committed himself entirely to the discretion of Mr.
Livingston, having agreed to adopt all his acts. I took an occasion to
sound Mr. Livingston on the subject, and intimated that, having it in
my power to terminate the contest, I should do so, unless he could
give me some assurance that we might calculate upon a change in the
votes of some of the members of his party. Mr. Livingston stated that
he felt no great concern as to the event of the election, but he
disclaimed any agency from Mr. Burr, or any connexion with him on the
subject, and any knowledge of Mr. Burr's designing to co-operate in
support of his election.
7th. The deponent, answering that part of the seventh interrogatory
which relates to letters received from the late Alexander Hamilton,
says, I did receive, in the course of the winter of 1801, several
letters from General Hamilton on the subject of the election, but the
name of David A. Ogden is not mentioned in any of them. The general
design and effect of these letters was to persuade me to vote for Mr.
Jefferson, and not for Mr. Burr. The letters contain very strong
reasons; and a very earnest opinion against the election of Mr. Burr.
In answer to the residue of the same interrogatory, the deponent
saith, I repeat that I know of no means used to promote the election
of Mr. Burr but persuasion. I am wholly ignorant of what the plaintiff
was apprized of in relation to the election, as I had no communication
with him directly or indirectly; and as to the expectation of a change
of votes from Mr. Jefferson to Mr. Burr, I never knew a better ground
for it than the opinions and calculations of a number of members.
8th. In answer to the eighth interrogatory the deponent saith, I know
of nothing which, in my opinion, can be of service to the defendant in
To the interrogatory on the part of the plaintiff the deponent
answers, Having yielded, with Messrs. Craik and Baer, of Maryland, to
the strong desire of the great body of the party with whom we usually
acted, and agreed to vote for Mr. Burr, and those gentlemen and myself
being governed by the same views and motives, we pledged ourselves to
each other to pursue the same line of conduct and act together. We
felt that _some concession_ was due to the judgment of the great
majority of our political friends who differed with us in opinion, but
we determined that no consideration should make us lose sight for a
moment of the necessity of a president being chosen. We therefore
resolved, that as soon as it was fairly ascertained that Mr. Burr
could not be elected, to give our votes to Mr. Jefferson. General
Morris, of Vermont, shortly after acceded to this arrangement. The
result of the ballot of the states had uniformly been eight states for
Mr. Jefferson, six for Mr. Burr, and two divided. Mr. Jefferson wanted
the vote of one state only; those three gentlemen belonged to the
divided states; I held the vote of the state of Delaware; it was
therefore in the power of either of us to terminate the election.
These gentlemen, knowing the strong interest of my state to have a
president, and knowing the sincerity of my determination to make one,
left it to me to fix the time when the opposition should cease, and to
make terms, if any could be accomplished, with the friends of Mr.
Jefferson. I took pains to disclose this state of things in such a
manner that it might be known to the friends of Mr. Burr, and to those
gentlemen who were believed to be most disposed to change their votes
in his favour. I repeatedly stated to many gentlemen with whom I was
acting that it was a vain thing to protract the election, as it had
become manifest that Mr. Burr would not assist us, and as we could do
nothing without his aid. I expected, under these circumstances, if
there were any latent engines at work in Mr. Burr's favour, the plan
of operations would be disclosed to me; but, although I had the power,
and threatened to terminate the election, I had not even an intimation
from any friend of Mr. Burr's that it would be desirable to them to
protract it. I never did discover that Mr. Burr used the least
influence to promote the object we had in view. And being completely
persuaded that Mr. Burr would not co-operate with us, I determined to
end the contest by voting for Mr. Jefferson. I publicly announced the
intention, which I designed to carry into effect the next day. In the
morning of the day there was a general meeting of the party, where it
was generally admitted Mr. Burr could not be elected; but some thought
it was better to persist in our vote, and to go without a president
rather than to elect Mr. Jefferson. The greater number, however,
wished the election terminated, and a president made; and in the
course of the day the manner was settled, which was afterward adopted,
to end the business.
Mr. Burr probably might have put an end sooner to the election by
coming forward and declaring that he would not serve if chosen; but I
have no reason to believe, and never did think that he interfered,
even to the point of personal influence, to obstruct the election of
Mr. Jefferson or to promote his own.
Interrogatories to be administered to witnesses to be produced, sworn,
and examined in a certain cause now depending and at issue in the
Supreme Court of Judicature of the people of the state of New-York,
wherein James Gillespie is plaintiff, and Abraham Smith defendant, on
the behalf of the defendant.
1st. Do you or do you not know Thomas Jefferson, president of the
United States? If yea, declare the same, together with the time when
you first became acquainted with him.
2d. Was you a member of the House of Representatives of the United
States, at Washington, in the session of 1800 and 1801? If yea, state
the time particularly.
3d. Do you or do you not know that in the years 1800 and 1801, Thomas
Jefferson and Aaron Burr had each an equal number of votes given by
the electors for president and vice-president of the United States,
and that consequently the right of electing a president devolved upon
the House of Representatives of the United States? State your
knowledge herein particularly.
4th. Do you or do you not know, or have you heard so that you believe,
of any negotiations, bargains, or agreements, in the year 1800 or
1801, after the said equality became known and before the choice of
the president, by or on behalf of any person, and whom, with the
parties called federal or republican, or either of them, or with any
individual or individuals, and whom, of either of the said parties,
relative to the office of president of the United States? If yea,
declare the particulars thereof, and the reasons of such your belief.
5th. Do you or do you not know Aaron Burr, late vice-president of the
United States? If yea, declare the same, with the time when your
6th. Do you know, or have you heard so that you believe, of any
negotiations, bargains, or agreements in the year 1800 or 1801, by or
on behalf of the said Aaron Burr, or by or on behalf of any other
person, and whom, with the parties called federal or republican, or
either of them, or with any individual, and whom, of the said parties,
relative to the office of president of the United States? If yea,
declare the same, with all the particulars thereof, and the reasons of
such your belief.
7th. Did you receive any letters from the said Aaron Burr after the
said equality of votes was known and before the final choice of a
president? If yea, what was the tenour of such letter? Did the conduct
of the said Aaron Burr correspond with the declarations contained in
the said letter? Declare your knowledge and belief, together with the
grounds and reasons thereof.
Deposition of the Honourable James A. Bayard, a witness produced,
sworn, and examined in a cause depending in the Supreme Court of the
state of New-York, between James Gillespie, plaintiff, and Abraham
Smith, defendant, on the part of the plaintiff, follows.
To the first interrogatory deponent answers and says, I do not know
either the plaintiff or defendant.
To the second interrogatory he answers and says, I was personally
acquainted with Thomas Jefferson before he became president of the
United States, the precise length of time I do not recollect. The
acquaintance did not extend beyond the common salutation upon meeting,
and accidental conversation upon such meetings.
To the third interrogatory he answers and says, I was a member of the
House of Representatives of the United States, during the fifth,
sixth, and seventh Congresses, from the 3d of March, 1797, to the 3d
of May, 1803.
To the fourth interrogatory he answers and says, The electoral votes
for Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr for president of the United States
were equal, and that the choice of one of them as president did
devolve on the House of Representatives.
To the fifth interrogatory he answers and says, I presume this
interrogatory points to an occurrence which took place before the
choice of president was made, and after the balloting had continued
for several days, of which I have often publicly spoken. My memory
enables me to state the transaction in substance correctly, but not to
be answerable for the precise words which were used upon the occasion.
Messrs. Baer and Craik, members of the House of Representatives from
Maryland, and General Morris, a member of the house from Vermont, and
myself, having the power to determine the votes of the states from
similarity of views and opinions during the pendency of the election,
made an agreement to vote together. We foresaw that a crisis was
approaching which might probably force us to separate in our votes
from the party with whom we usually acted. We were determined to make
a president, and the period of Mr. Adams's administration was rapidly
In determining to recede from the opposition to Mr. Jefferson, it
occurred to us that probably, instead of being obliged to surrender at
discretion, we might obtain terms of capitulation. The gentlemen whose
names I have mentioned authorized me to declare their concurrence with
me upon the best terms that could be procured. The vote of either of
us was sufficient to decide the choice. With a view to the end
mentioned, I applied to Mr. John Nicholas, a member of the house from
Virginia, who was a particular friend of Mr. Jefferson. I stated to
Mr. Nicholas that if certain points of the future administration could
be understood and arranged with Mr. Jefferson, I was authorized to say
that three states would withdraw from an opposition to his election.
He asked me what those points were: I answered, First, sir, the
support of the public credit; secondly, the maintenance of the naval
system; and, lastly, that subordinate public officers employed only in
the execution of details established by law shall not be removed from
office on the ground of their political character, nor without
complaint against their conduct. I explained myself that I considered
it not only reasonable, but necessary, that offices of high discretion
and confidence should be filled by men of Mr. Jefferson's choice. I
exemplified by mentioning, on the one hand, the offices of the
secretaries of state, treasury, foreign ministers, &c., and, on the
other, the collectors of ports, &c. Mr. Nicholas answered me that he
considered the points as very reasonable; that he was satisfied that
they corresponded with the views and intentions of Mr. Jefferson, and
knew him well. That he was acquainted with most of the gentlemen who
would probably be about him and enjoying his confidence in case he
became president, and that, if I would be satisfied with his
assurance, he could solemnly declare it as his opinion that Mr.
Jefferson, in his administration, would not depart from the points I
had proposed. I replied to Mr. Nicholas that I had not the least doubt
of the sincerity of his declaration, and that his opinion was
perfectly correct; but that I wanted an engagement, and that, if the
points could in any form be understood as conceded by Mr. Jefferson,
the election should be ended; and proposed to him to consult Mr.
Jefferson. This he declined, and said he could do no more than give me
the assurance of his own opinion as to the sentiments and designs of
Mr. Jefferson and his friends. I told him that was not
sufficient--that we should not surrender without better terms. Upon
this we separated; and I shortly after met with General Smith, to whom
I unfolded myself in the same manner that I had done to Mr. Nicholas.
In explaining myself to him in relation to the nature of the offices
alluded to, I mentioned the offices of George Latimer,  collector
of the port of Philadelphia, and Allen M'Lane, collector of
Wilmington. General Smith gave me the same assurances as to the
observance by Mr. Jefferson of the points which I had stated which Mr.
Nicholas had done. I told him I should not be satisfied or agree to
yield till I had the assurance of Mr. Jefferson himself; but that, if
he would consult Mr. Jefferson, and bring the assurance from him, the
election should be ended. The general made no difficulty in consulting
Mr. Jefferson, and proposed giving me his answer the next morning. The
next day, upon our meeting, General Smith informed me that he had seen
Mr. Jefferson, and stated to him the points mentioned, and was
authorized by him to say that they corresponded with his views and
intentions, and that we might confide in him accordingly. The
opposition of Vermont, Maryland, and Delaware was immediately
withdrawn, and Mr. Jefferson was made president by the votes of ten
To the sixth interrogatory the deponent answers and says, I was
introduced to Mr. Burr the day of Mr. Jefferson's inauguration as
president. I had no acquaintance with him before, and very little
afterward, till the last winter of his vice-presidency, when I became
a member of the Senate of the United States.
To the seventh interrogatory the deponent answers and says, I do not
know, nor did I ever believe, from any information I received, that
Mr. Burr entered into any negotiation or agreement with any member of
either party in relation to the presidential election which depended
before the House of Representatives.
To the eighth interrogotary the deponent answers and says, Upon the
subject of this interrogatory I can express only a loose opinion,
founded upon the conjectures at the time of what could be effected by
Mr. Burr by mortgaging the patronage of the executive. I can only say,
generally, that I did believe at the time that he had the means of
making himself president. But this opinion has no other ground than
conjecture, derived from a knowledge of means which existed, and, if
applied, their probable operation on individual characters. In answer
to the last part of the interrogatory, deponent says, I know of
nothing of which Mr. Burr was apprized which related to the election.
(Signed) J. A. Bayard.
_District of Columbia, Washington_.
The deposition of the Honourable James A. Bayard, consisting of six
pages, was taken and sworn to before us, this 3d day of April, A. D.
STEPHEN R. BRADLEY.
Deposition of the Honourable Samuel Smith, Senator of the United
States for the state of Maryland, a witness produced, sworn, and
examined in a cause depending in the Supreme Court of the state of
New-York, between James Gillespie, plaintiff, and Abraham Smith,
defendant, on the part and behalf of the defendant, as follows:
1st. I knew Thomas Jefferson some years previous to 1800; the precise
time when our acquaintance commenced I do not recollect.
2d and 3d. I was a member of the House of Representatives of the
United States in 1800 and 1801, and know that Thomas Jefferson and
Aaron Burr had an equal number of the votes given by the electors of
president and vice-president of the United States.
4th. Presuming that this question may have reference to conversations
(for I know of no bargains or agreements) which took place at the time
of the balloting, I will relate those which I well recollect to have
had with three gentlemen, separately, of the federal party. On the
Wednesday preceding the termination of the election, Colonel Josiah
Parker asked a conversation with me in private. He said that many
gentlemen were desirous of putting an end to the election; that they
only wanted to know what would be the conduct of Mr. Jefferson in case
he should be elected president, particularly as it related to the
public debt, to commerce, and the navy. I had heard Mr. Jefferson
converse on all those subjects lately, and informed him what, I
understood were the opinions of that gentleman. I lived in the house
with Mr. Jefferson, and, that I might be certain that what I bad said
was correct, I sought and had a conversation that evening with him on
those points, and, I presume, though I do not precisely recollect,
that I communicated to him the conversation which I had with Colonel
The next day General Dayton (a senator), after some jesting
conversation, asked me to converse with him in private. We retired. He
said that he, with some other gentlemen, wished to have a termination
put to the pending election; but be wished to know what were the
opinions or conversations of Mr. Jefferson respecting the navy,
commerce, and the public debt. In answer, I said that I had last night
had conversation with Mr. Jefferson on all those subjects; that be had
told me that any opinion be should give at this time might be
attributed to improper motives; that to me he had no hesitation in
saying that, as to the public debt, he had been averse to the manner
of funding it, but that he did not believe there was any man who
respected his own character who would or could think of injuring its
credit at this time; that, on commerce, he thought that a correct idea
of his opinions on that subject might be derived from his writings,
and particularly from his conduct while he was minister at Paris, when
be thought he had evinced his attention to the commercial interest of
his country; that he had not changed opinion, and still did consider
the prosperity of our commerce as essential to the true interest of
the nation; that on the navy he had fully expressed his opinions in
his Notes on Virginia; that he adhered still to his ideas then given;
that he believed our growing commerce would call for protection; that
he had been averse to a too rapid increase of our navy; that he
believed a navy must naturally grow out of our commerce, but thought
prudence would advise its increase to progress with the increase of
the nation, and that in this way he was friendly to the establishment.
General Dayton appeared pleased with the conversation, and (I think)
said, that if this conversation had taken place earlier, much trouble
might have been saved, or words to that effect.
At the funeral of Mr. Jones (of Georgia) I walked with Mr. Bayard (of
Delaware). The approaching election became the subject of
conversation. I recollect no part of that conversation except his
saying that he thought that a half hour's conversation between us
might settle the business. That idea was not again repeated. On the
day after I had held the conversation with General Dayton, I was asked
by Mr. Bayard to go into the committee-room. He then stated that he
had it in his power (and was so disposed) to terminate the election,
but he wished information as to Mr. Jefferson's opinions on certain
subjects, and mentioned, I think, the same three points already
alluded to as asked by Colonel Parker and General Dayton, and received
from me the same answer in substance (if not in words) that I have
given to General Dayton. He added a fourth, to wit: What would be Mr.
Jefferson's conduct as to the public officers? He said he did not mean
confidential officers, but, by elucidating his question, he added,
such as Mr. Latimer, of Philadelphia, and Mr. M'Lane, of Delaware. I
answered, that I never had heard Mr. Jefferson say any thing on that
subject. He requested that I would inquire, and inform him the next
day. I did so. _And the next day (Saturday) told him that Mr.
Jefferson had said that he did not think that such officers ought to
be dismissed on political grounds only, except in cases where they had
made improper use of their offices to force the officers under them to
vote contrary to their judgment. That, as to Mr. M'Lane, he had
already been spoken to in his behalf by Major Eccleston, and, from the
character given him by that gentleman, he considered him a meritorious
officer; of course, that he would not be displaced, or ought not to be
displaced. I further added, that Mr. Bayard might rest assured (or
words to that effect) that Mr. Jefferson would conduct, as to those
points, agreeably to the opinions I had stated as his_. Mr. Bayard
then said, We will give the vote on Monday; and then separated. Early
in the election my colleague, Mr. Baer, told me that we should have a
president; that they would not get up without electing one or the
other of the gentlemen. Mr. Baer had voted against Mr. Jefferson until
the final vote, when I believe he withdrew, or voted blank, but do not
5th. I became acquainted with Colonel Burr some time in the
6th. I know of no agreement or bargain in the years 1800 and 1801 with
any person or persons whatsoever respecting the office of president in
behalf of Aaron Burr, nor have I any reason to believe that any such
7th. I received a letter from Colonel Burr, dated, I believe, 16th
December, 1800, in reply to one which I had just before written him.
The letter of Colonel Burr is as follows:--
"It is highly improbable that I shall have an equal number of votes
with Mr. Jefferson; but, if such should be the result, every man who
knows me ought to know that I would utterly disclaim all competition.
Be assured that the federal party can entertain no wish for such an
exchange. As to my friends, they would dishonour my views and insult
my feelings by a suspicion that I would submit to be instrumental in
counteracting the wishes and expectations of the people of the United
States. And I now constitute you my proxy to declare these sentiments
if the occasion shall require."
I have not now that letter by me, nor any other letter from him to
refer to; the preceding is taken from a printed copy, which
corresponds with my recollection, and which I believe to be correct.
My correspondence with him continued till the close of the election.
In none of his letters to me, or to any other person that I saw, was
there any thing that contradicted the sentiments contained in that
(Signed) S. SMITH.
_City of Washington, in the District of Columbia_.
The deposition of the Honourable Samuel Smith, written upon five
pages, was duly taken and sworn to before us, two of the commissioners
named in the annexed commission, at the capitol in the said city of
Washington, on the fifteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord one
thousand eight hundred and six, and of the independence of the United
States the thirtieth.
(Signed) GEORGE LOGAN.
1. Judge Cooper, of Cooperstown, state of New-York.
2. During the year 1802 unsuccessful efforts were made by the
democracy of Philadelphia to have Mr. Latimer removed from the office
of collector. The federal party complained of the number of removals
which had already been made. The Aurora of June 29, 1802, referring to
this subject, says--"We can tell them (the federalists) that the most
lucrative office under the government of the United States in this
commonwealth, the emoluments of which amount to triple the salary of
the governor of this commonwealth, is now held by _George Latimer,
collector of the customs;" and on the 29th September, he adds, "Let
any man of candour say if Latimer ought not long since to have been
discharged from his office." Mr. Duane had not then read the
depositions of Messrs. Bayard and Smith, and perhaps was ignorant of
the _arrangements_ by virtue of which this gentleman and Mr. M'Lane,
of Delaware, were retained in office.
A history of the presidential contest in Congress in the spring of
1801, with an account of some of the circumstances which preceded and
followed it, has now been presented. It afforded the enemies of
Colonel Burr an opportunity to lay a foundation deep and broad, from
which to assail him with the battering-rams of detraction, falsehood,
and calumny. From that day until the period when he was driven into
exile from the land of his fathers, he was pursued with an intolerance
relentless as the grave. The assailants of his reputation and their
more wicked employers felt and knew the wrongs they had done.
Self-abased with reflecting on the motives which had impelled them to
action, their zeal for his ruin became more fiery, and they faltered
at no means, however dishonourable, to effect their object. The power
of the press is great. But, painful as the remark is, it is
nevertheless true--the power of the press to do evil is much greater
than to do good. The power of the press is too often irresistible when
conducted by unprincipled and corrupt men, pampered by the smiles and
the patronage of those filling high places. A stronger illustration of
this remark cannot be found in history than the case of Aaron Burr
from 1801 to 1804. At the height of his popularity, influence, and
glory in the commencement of 1801, before the close of 1804 he was
suspected--contemned--derided, and prostrated; and this mighty
revolution in public opinion was effected without any wrong act or
deed on the part of the vice-president.
The charge against him was that he had been faithless to the political
party which had sustained him through life; that he had negotiated,
bargained, or intrigued with the federalists to promote his own
election to the exclusion of Mr. Jefferson. The public mind became
poisoned; suspicions were engendered; his revilers were cherished; the
few stout hearts that confided in his political integrity, and nobly
clustered around him, were anathematized and proscribed. The
mercenary, the selfish, and the timid united in the cry--down with
It has been seen, that whenever and wherever the charge was rendered
tangible by specification, it was met and repelled. For a refutation
of the general charge, Mr. Bayard's and Mr. Smith's testimony is
sufficiently explicit. Concurring testimony could be piled upon pile;
but, if there remains an individual in the community who will not be
convinced by the evidence which has been produced, then that
individual would not be convinced "though one were to rise from the
dead" and bear testimony to the falsity of the charge.
The details in relation to the presidential contest of 1801 have
occupied much time and space. This could not be avoided. It fixed the
destiny of Colonel Burr. Besides, it forms a great epoch in the
history of our country and its government, and has been but
Mr. Jefferson's malignity towards Colonel Burr never ceased but with
his last breath. His writings abound with proof of that malignity,
smothered, but rankling in his heart. Let the highminded man read the
following extracts Mr. Jefferson, in a long and laboured letter to
Colonel Burr, written uninvited, not in reply to one received, dated
Philadelphia, 17th June, 1797, says--"The newspapers give so minutely
what is passing in Congress, that nothing of detail can be wanting for
your information. Perhaps, however, some general view of our situation
and prospects since you left us _may not be unacceptable. At any rate,
it will give me an opportunity of recalling myself to your memory, and
of_ EVIDENCING MY ESTEEM FOR YOU."
In his _Ana_, under date of the 26th of January, 1804, he says--, "I
had never seen Colonel Burr till he came as a member of Senate. 
_His conduct very soon inspired me with distrust. I habitually
cautioned Mr. Madison against trusting him too much_."
Thus, according to his own showing, while he was endeavouring "_to
recall himself to the memory_" of Colonel Burr "_and evidencing his
esteem for him_," he was "_habitually cautioning Mr. Madison against
trusting him too much_."
Again. January 26, 1804, be says--"Colonel Burr, the vice-president,
called on me in the evening, having previously asked an opportunity of
conversing with me. He began by recapitulating summarily _that he had
come to New-York a stranger some years ago; that he found the country
in possession of two rich families (the Livingstons and Clintons);
that his pursuits were not political, and he meddled not_," &c.
Now who that knows the history of Colonel Burr's life will believe one
sentence or one word of this statement? In the year 1778, Colonel Burr
was in command on the lines in Westchester. In July of that year he
was appointed by General Washington to receive from the commissioners
for conspiracies the suspected persons. He remained at this post
during the winter of 1778-79. Ill health compelled him, in March,
1779, to resign. In the autumn of 1780 he commenced the study of law
with Judge Paterson, of New-Jersey, where he remained until the spring
of 1781, when be removed to Orange county, in the state of New-York,
and continued the study of law. In 1782 he was licensed by the Supreme
Court of the state of New-York as counsellor and attorney, and
immediately commenced practice in Albany. In July of that year he was
married, then twenty-six years old. In April, 1783, through an agent,
he hired a house in the city of New-York, and removed his family into
it as soon as the British evacuated the city. In the spring of 1784,
six months after his removal into the city, he was elected to
represent it in the state legislature. 
In the face of these facts, to talk of his "_having come to New York a
stranger some years ago, and finding the state in possession of two
rich families_," &c. What absurdity! But, shrinking from these
disgusting and revolting exposures, the reader, it is believed, will
cheerfully turn to the perusal of those letters which again presents
to his view Colonel Burr in the domestic and social scenes of life.
Trenton, January 2, 1800.
The question--_When shall we meet_? is already answered; but I must
now answer it anew, and for a more distant day; perhaps Wednesday,
perhaps Thursday; but you will hear again. Your letters amuse me; your
recovery rejoices me; your determination not to torment yourself is
neither from philosophy nor spleen--it is mere words, and an attempt
to deceive yourself, which may succeed for the moment; _ergo_, no
determination; _ergo_, not founded on philosophy; _ergo_, not on
resentment; _ergo_, neither. I have no doubt but _chose_ is on the
way; the journey cannot at this season be performed in thirty days.
My compliments to A. C. M., and am very much obliged to them. It is
the most fatiguing thing imaginable for such crude tastes as those of
Theodosia and A. B. You had better apologize. You are sick and I am
absent. But you have not mentioned the day--neither that of the
beauty's ball, for which I owe you much ill will, and therefore my
next shall be to _Natalie_, to whom all good wishes.
Albany, January 29, 1800.
You must be weary of hearing that "I have not yet a line from you, and
that John and Alexis are not arrived," but you must submit to hear
often of what so often employs my thoughts.
Most of all, I amuse and torment myself by fancying your occupations,
your thoughts, your attitudes at different hours in the day and
night--generally I find you reading or studying; sometimes musing; now
and then counting the time of my probable absence. In comes C. C.--a
pleasant interruption, or a note from C. C., and then follows trouble
and embarrassments, and sometimes scolding. They are always answered,
We have agreed that the cause of Le Guen shall come on next Tuesday.
It will last the whole week. The week following I shall hope to leave
this place; but I may be deceived, for the court may take a week to
consider of the business, and I cannot leave the ground till the thing
Adieu, chere amie,
Albany, February 13, 1800.
Your letter by this day's mail, dated the 13th, and postmarked the
12th, is one of those hasty and unsatisfactory scraps which neither
improve you nor amuse me. I pray you never to write to me with the
mere motive of getting rid of the task. These performances always lead
me to fear that all other tasks are performed in the same manner; but
adieu to tasks and reproaches. I will endure your haste or your
silence without a murmur. One is not always in the bumour to write,
and one always writes as much as the humour prompts.
I am here sentinel over the interest of Le Guen, and cannot leave the
post until the final decision be had, of which, at present, I form no
conjecture as to the period; but I entertain no doubt of Le Guen's
Among the letters forwarded by you is one recommending to me in very
high terms a Mr. Irving, or Irwin,  from London; pray inquire who
he is, and where to be found, and be able to inform me, on my return,
if I _should_ happen to return.
Mr. Eacker has offered his services to take a letter. You see that I
cannot refrain from improving every occasion of assuring, you how very
truly I am your faithful friend and affectionate father,
Albany, February 15, 1800.
This will be handed you by Mr. Brown,  secretary to General
Hamilton. By the two preceding mails I had nothing from you; by that
of this day I am again disappointed. I do indeed receive a very
pleasant little letter, but I expected a volume. Would it be an
intolerable labour, if, precisely at half past nine o'clock every
evening, you should say, "I will now devote an hour to papa?" Or even
half an hour. Your last letter, though not illy written, has evident
marks of haste.
I agree entirely with your eulogium on our amiable friend; but one
point you overlook. Her heart is as cold as marble, And you mistake
the effusions of politeness, mingled with respect, for symptoms of
The argument of the cause of Le Guen is concluded. I fear that I must
wait for the final decision of the court before I can leave Albany.
To-morrow I go with John to Schenectady. I am more impatient to return
than I can express.
Albany, March 5, 1800.
I had taken my passage for this day, and anticipated the pleasure of
dining with you on Saturday. But--but--these buts--how they mar all
the fine theories of life! But our friend Thomas Morris  has
entreated in such terms that I would devote this day and night to
certain subjects of the utmost moment to him, that I could not,
without the appearance of unkindness, refuse. He would, I know, at any
time, devote a week or month, on like occasion, to serve me. How,
then, could I refuse him one day? I could not.
But, again, more buts. _But_ after I had consented to give him a day,
I sent to take passage for to-morrow, and lo! the stage is taken by
the sheriff to transport criminals to the state prison. I should not
be much gratified with this kind of association on the road, and thus
I apprehend that my journey will be (must be) postponed until Friday,
and my engagement to dine with you until Monday.
TO JOSEPH ALSTON.
New-York, January 15, 1801.
MY DEAR SIR,
Your two letters have been received, and gave me great pleasure. We
are about to begin our journey to Albany. I propose to remain there
till the 10th of February; possibly till the 20th. If you should come
northward, you will find a letter for you in the postoffice of this
The equality of Jefferson and Burr excites great speculation and much
anxiety. I believe that all will be well, and that Jefferson will be
our president. Your friend,
THEODOSIA TO JOSEPH ALSTON.
Poughkeepsie, January 24, 1801.
Thus far have we advanced on this _terrible_ journey, from which you
predicted so many evils, Without meeting even with inconvenience. How
strange that Mr. Alston should be wrong. Do not, however, pray for
misfortunes to befall us that your character may be retrieved; it were
useless, I assure you; although I am very sensible how anxious you
must now be to inspire me with all due respect and reverence, I should
prefer to feel it in any other way.
We shall go from hence to Albany in a sleigh, and hope to arrive on
Sunday evening, that we may be _settled_ on Thursday. Adieu. Health
TO MRS. THEODOSIA B. ALSTON.
Albany, February 17, 1801.
I have heard that you reached Fishkill on Sunday, and thence conclude
that you got home on Monday night. When in Philadelphia, send a note
to Charles Biddle, inquiring, &c., and to inform him that you are
going South. He will call and see you, being one of your great
admirers. Desire Doctor Edwards to give Mr. Alston a line to Cesar
Rodney, of Wilmington, a very respectable young man. He will introduce
you to the venerable Dickenson, who, knowing my great respect for him
(which you will also take care to let him know), will be pleased to
see Mr. Alston and you on that footing. At Baltimore, either call
immediately on Mrs. Smith, or let her know of your arrival. You are to
wait in Baltimore until I overtake you, which will be on the 28th at
the latest. Adieu.
Washington, March 8, 1801.
Your little letter from Alexandria assured me of your safety, and for
a moment consoled me for your absence. The only solid consolation is
the belief that you will be happy, and the certainty that we shall
I am to be detained here yet a week. Immediately on my return to
New-York I shall prepare for a tour to Georgetown or to Charleston;
probably a water passage.
I.B. Prevost has been hurrying off Senat and Natalie; but for his
interposition they would have relied wholly on me, and I had already
proposed that they should go with the chancellor some time in the
summer or autumn, which would have been then or never, as I had
pleased; but he (I.B.P.) has advised otherwise, and strongly urged
their immediate departure. I think I shall be able to prevent it.
Would Mr. Alston be willing to go as secretary to Chancellor
Livingston? I beg his immediate answer.
Adieu, ma chere amie.
Washington, March 11, 1830.
By the time the enclosed shall reach Mr. Alston, it will have
travelled about three thousand miles. It will certainly deserve a kind
reception. I leave mine open for your perusal; the other appears to be
from _Miss Burr_.
Your Dumfries letter was received yesterday. To pass a day in Dumfries
is what you could not at any time very much desire; but to pass one
there against your will, and a rainy day too, was indeed enough to try
On Sunday, the 15th, I commence my journey to New York; there I shall
not arrive till the 25th. Nothing but _matrimony_ will prevent my
voyage to Charleston and Georgetown; and even so great an event shall
only postpone, but not defeat the project I am sorry, however, to add
that I have no expectations or decided views on this subject. I mean
It gives me very great pleasure to hear that Colonel W. Hampton is
become, in some sort, your neighbour, by having purchased a plantation
within fifteen or twenty miles (as is said) of Georgetown. Write me if
this be so.
I have written to Frederick  as you commanded; that I might not err
in expressing your ideas, I enclosed to him your letter. You have no
warmer friend on earth; no one who would so readily hazard his life to
serve you. It always seemed to me that you did not know his value.
Certain parts of your letter I cannot answer. Let us think of the
expected meeting, and not of the present separation. God bless thee
New-York, Match 29, 1801.
On Wednesday, the 18th, I left the great city. At the Susquehannah the
wind was rude; the river, swollen by recent rains, was rapid. The
ferrymen pronounced it to be impossible to pass with horses, and
unsafe to attempt it. By the logic of money and brandy I persuaded
them to attempt it. We embarked; the wind was, indeed, too mighty for
us, and we drove on the rocks; but the boat did not bilge or fill, as
in all reason it ought to have done. I left Alexis and Harry to work
out their way; got my precious carcass transported in a skiff, and
went on in a stage to pass a day with "thee and thou." I was received
by the father with parental affection--but of "thee." How charming,
how enviable is this equanimity, if real. There is one invaluable
attainment in the education of this sect; one which you and I never
thought of: it is "_tacere_." How particularly desirable this in a
At Philadelphia I saw many--many, who inquired after you with great
interest--_sans doubte_. Among others I saw B., lovely and
interesting; but adieu to that. It cannot, must not, will not be; and
the next time I meet B., which will be in a few days, I will frankly
I approached home as I would approach the sepulchre of all my friends.
Dreary, solitary, comfortless. It was no longer _home_. Natalie and ma
bonne amie have been with me most of the time since my return (about
twenty-four hours past). My letters from Washington broke up that
cursed plan of J. B. P.; they do not go in the parliamentaire; they do
not know when they go; and, in short, they rely wholly on me, so that
thing is all right.
The elegant and accomplished Mrs. Edward Livingston died about ten
days ago. Mrs. Allen is in town; she is in better health than for
years past. As to my dear self, I am preparing with all imaginable
zeal for a voyage to Charleston. One obstacle interposes; that you can
conjecture. That removed, and I shall be off in forty-eight hours. I
hope to be at sea by the 20th of April; but, alas! perhaps not. In
eight days you shall know more of this.
Your letters have been received as far as Halifax. We conclude that
you got home on the 16th. It has been snowing here this whole day most
vehemently. You are blessed with "gentler skies." May all other
New-York, April 15, 1801.
Your letters of the 24th and 25th March, received yesterday, give me
the first advice of your safe arrival at Clifton. The cordial and
affectionate reception which you have met consoles me, as far as any
thing can console me, for your absence.
My last will have advised you of the alteration in the plans of
Natalie. Of all this she will write you; but I must say a word of my
own plans. The ship South Carolina is now in port, and will sail on
Monday next. I wish to take passage in her; but a thousand concerns of
business and obstacles of various kinds appear to oppose. I shall
combat them all with the zeal which my ardent wishes for the voyage
inspire; yet I dare hardly hope to succeed. You shall hear again by
the mail of Saturday.
Your female friends here complain of your silence; particularly Miss
C., and, I am sure, _elle a raison_.
The reasons which you and your husband give against the voyage to
France concur with my judgment. You can go a few years hence more
respectably, more agreeably. Adieu, chere enfalit.
TO JOSEPH ALSTON.
New-York, April 27, 1801.
Our election commences to-morrow, and will be open for three days. The
republican members of assembly for this city will be carried by a
greater majority than last year, unless some fraud be practised at the
polls. The corporation have bad the indecent hardiness to appoint
known and warm federalists (and no others) to be inspectors of the
election in every ward. Hamilton works day and night with the most
intemperate and outrageous zeal, but I think wholly without effect.
If any reliance may be placed on our information from the country,
Clinton will be elected by a large majority. The best evidence of
dispassionate opinion on this subject is, that bets are two to one in
his favour, and that the friends of Van Rensellaer wager with
reluctance with such odds.
New-York, April 29, 1901.
This morning will sail the brig Echo, the only vessel in harbour
destined for South Carolina. I do not go in her. With unspeakable
regret, therefore, the projected visit is abandoned--wholly and
absolutely abandoned. The pain of my own disappointment leaves me no
room for any sympathy with yours. There is one insurmountable
obstacle, which I leave you to conjecture. If that were removed, it
would yet, for other reasons, be barely possible for me to go at this
time. But enough of disappointment; let us talk of indemnifications.
On the 5th of June I must be at the city of Washington, After the 12th
I shall be at leisure, and will meet you anywhere. Write me of your
projects, and address me at that place. How can Mr. Alston,
consistently with his views of business, leave the state for five or
six months, as you have proposed, for your Northern tour?
Of the voyage to France I have written to you both about a fortnight
ago. I heartily applaud your judgment, and the motives which have
influenced it. You may by-and-by go in a manner much more
How very oddly your letters travel. That of the 30th March arrived on
the 15th, instant; and yesterday, those of the 6th and 13th by the
_same_ mail. To solve this phenomenon, I am led to believe that they
have moved with a velocity proportioned to the spirit which was
infused in them by the writer. Thus, the first crawled with a torpor
corresponding with its character. It reminded me of the letter of a
French lady, which I have shown you as a model of elegance. "_Mon cher
mari, je vous ecris parceque je n'ai rien a faire: je finis parceque
je n'az rien a dire_." This was, indeed, the substance of yours; but,
being spread over a whole page, the laconic beauty was lost, and the
inanity only remained. The second, a grave, decent performance,
marched with becoming gravity, and performed the Journey in
two-and-twenty days; but the third, replete with sprightliness and
beauty, burst from the thraldom of dulness, and made a transit
unparalleled in the history of the country.
You will find in this theory some incentive to the exertion of genius;
and I entertain no doubt but that, ere long, your letters will be sped
with the rapidity of a ray of light.
We have laughed at your horse negro, and have been very much amused by
the other charming little details. Thus letters should be written.
By this vessel I send two dozen pairs of long coloured kid gloves, and
half a dozen pretty little short ones, _pour monter a cheval._ They
are directed to your husband. I wish you would often give me orders,
that I may have the pleasure of doing something for you or your
I had like to have forgotten to say a word in reply to your inquiries
of matrimony, which would seem to indicate that I have no plan on the
subject. Such is the fact. You are or were my projector in this line.
If perchance I should have one, it will be executed before you will
hear of the design. Yet I ought not to conceal that I have had a most
amiable overture from a lady "who is always employed in something
useful." She was, you know, a few months past, engaged to another;
that other is suspended, if not quite dismissed. If I should meet her,
and she should challenge me, I should probably strike at once. She is
not of that cast, yet a preference to rank only is not very flattering
to vanity; a remark which may remind you of "_Le moi._"
Adieu, chere enfante.
New-York, May 26, 1801.
Another parlementaire is preparing in this port, and _ma bonne amie_
and Natalie are again preparing to sail; but you may rest assured that
they will not go. Their preparations are evidently mere form, and they
are ready to yield to gentle persuasion. Yet you must not delay your
voyage hither, to aid, if necessary.
But, for a reason much more weighty, you must hasten--_il faut_. I
want your counsel and your exertions in an important negotiation,
actually commenced, but not advancing, and which will probably be
stationary until your arrival; more probably it may, however, in the
mean time, retrograde. Quite a new subject.
Who should present himself a few days ago but A. Burr Reeve. He has
come, with the consent of his father, to pass some weeks with me--more
astonishment. I have put him in the hands of Natalie. She will find it
a hard job, but she has entered on the duty with great zeal and
confident hopes of complete success.
By the time this can reach you, you will be ready to embark for
New-York. You will find me in Broadway. Richmond Hill will remain
vacant till your arrival. Adieu.
New-York, August 20, 1801.
Mr. Astor, if he should not meet you to deliver this letter, will send
it after you. Yet I dare not trust to such hazards the letters which I
have received for Mr. Alston and you, I persevere, therefore, in the
determination to retain them.
I was so very solicitous that you should see Niagara, that I was
constantly filled with apprehension lest something might prevent it.
Your letter of the 29th of July relieves me. You had actually seen it.
Your determination to visit Brandt gives me great pleasure,
particularly as I have lately received a very friendly letter from
him, in which he recapitulates your hospitality to him in _ancient
days_, and makes very kind inquiries respecting you; all this before
he could have entertained the remotest idea of seeing you in his own
Natalie and M. Senat have been for some weeks past at Trenton ; they
are now on their return, and will be here to-morrow. Vanderlyn, of
whom I said something in my last, will immediately set about her
picture. They (Natalie and Senat) are to go with the chancellor about
the last of September.
Wheeler will be here in a few days. Hampton is actually married to a
charming young girl--so General M'Pherson tells me. I forget her name.
Mr. Ewing is appointed consul to London, and has sailed. Mrs. Allen is
still at Elizabethtown. Adieu.
TO THOMAS MORRIS.
New-York, September 18, 1801.
Mr. Vanderlyn, the young painter from Esopus, who went about six years
ago to Paris, has recently returned, having improved his time and
talents in a manner that does very great honour to himself, his
friends, and his country; proposing to return to France in the spring,
he wishes to take with him some American views, and for this purpose
be is now on his way through your Country to Niagara. I beg your
advice and protection. He is a perfect stranger to the roads, the
country, and the customs of the people, and, in short, knows nothing
but what immediately concerns painting. From some samples which he has
left here, he is pronounced to be the first painter that now is or
ever has been in America. Your affectionate friend,
FROM P. BUTLER
Philadelphia, September 19, 1801.
I was yesterday afternoon favoured with your friendly letter of the
16th. On the subject of removal from office, it appears to my finite
judgment that it should be done sparingly, and only where it was
absolutely necessary. It is true, that the appointments during the
latter part of Mr. Washington's administration, and the whole of Mr.
Adams's, were partial. It will, I think, be prudent not to follow
their examples. Every man removed adds twenty enemies to republicanism
and the present administration, while it gives us not one new friend;
for that man whose patriotism depended on his getting a place for
himself or connexion, is neither worth attending to nor keeping right.
You must be sensible that a general assault from one end of the line
to the other will be made on the present administration. It is,
therefore, highly incumbent to be moderate, though firm, to prove to
the great body of the landed interest, the true support of good
government, that the present administration are the friends of an
equal, mild, economic, and just government. We may expect the
political vessel to be assailed by waves, but we must steer an even
straightforward course--united as friends in the same fate.
Your observation respecting the political state of South Carolina is
more flattering to me than I merit. My offering for senator is out of
the question; but I am not, neither shall I be inactive on that
occasion. I shall always feel happy in meeting you anywhere.
You will shortly see a statement of the Carolina election in print, by
a gentleman who was present. I was not present, though I believe I
know the facts. The thing will not be passed over without notice.
Circumstantial facts are collecting. I regret that my two letters from
Carolina at that time did not get to your hand. Your friend,
TO, JOSEPH ALSTON.
Albany, October 15, 1801.
Our Convention  met on Tuesday the 13th, and will probably continue
in session five or six days longer. I shall forthwith return to
New-York, beyond which I have no plan for the month of November,
except, negatively, that it will not be in my power to visit South
Carolina till spring.
On the road I passed half an hour with Mrs. L., late Mary A. She
appeared most sincerely glad to see me. She is still beautiful;
something ennuyed with the monotony of a country life; talked of you
with the warmest affection. It is really a fraud on society to keep
that woman perpetually buried in woods and solitude.
I am extremely solicitous to know how you get on. Pray make easy
journeys, and be not too impatient to get forward. Never ride after
dark, unless in case of unavoidable necessity, and then on horseback.
What a volume of parental advice. God bless you both.
New-York, November 3, 1801.
It is very kind indeed to write me so often. Your last is from
Petersburgh. "Like gods," forsooth; why, you travel like--; that,
however, was a very pretty allusion. I have repeated it a dozen times
and more. Your other letters also contain now and then a spark of
Promethean fire: a _spark_, mind ye; don't be vain.
And so--has returned _sans femme_; just now arrived. He saw you and
spoke to you, which rendered him doubly welcome to A. B.
You made two, perhaps more conquests on your Northern tour--King
Brandt and the stage-driver; both of whom have been profuse in their
eulogies. Brandt has written me two letters on the subject. It would
have been quite in style if he had scalped your husband and made you
Queen of the Mohawks.
Bartow, &c., are well. Mrs. Allen better. Mrs. Brockbolst Livingston
dead. Mrs. Van Ness has this day a son. Thus, you see, the rotation is
preserved, and the balance kept up.
There are no swaar apples this year; some others you shall have, and
"a set of cheap chimney ornaments." I have not asked the price, but
not exceeding _eight hundred dollars!_ Did you take away "The man of
Nature?" I proposed to have sent that with some others to L. N., but
you have thus marred the project.
Since I began this letter I am summoned to leave town two hours before
daylight to-morrow morning, to return next day, when I shall know
definitely the result of the sale, which, indeed, is the object of the
journey. On my return I passed a day with M. A. Monsieur is cold,
formal, monotonous, repulsive. Gods! what a mansion is that bosom for
the sensitive heart of poor M. Lovely victim! I wish she would break
her pretty little neck. Yet, on second thought, would it not be better
that he break his? _He_ is often absent days and weeks. _She_ has not
seen the smoke of a city in five years; but this is dull. I had
something more cheerful to say; this, however, came first, and would
have place. And here am I, at midnight, talking such stuff to
bagatelle, and twenty unanswered letters of _vast importance_ before
me! Get to bed, you hussy.
This letter was nicely sealed up and laid on my table; late last night
I returned from the country, and found the letter just where I left
it. Very surprising! This was so like my dear self, that I laughed and
opened it, to add that Richmond Hill will probably be sold within ten
days for _one hundred and forty thousand dollars_, which, though not
half the worth, is enough and more.
New-York, November 9, 1801.
This fine day brings me your two letters from Raleigh and
Fayetteville, 28th and 30th of October. It is quite consoling to find
that you will have taken the precaution to inquire the state of health
before you venture your precious carcass into Charleston. A fever
would certainly mistake you for strangers, and snap at two such plump,
ruddy animals as you were when you left New-York.
You shall have apples, and nuts, and a cook, and _lucerne_ seed. As to
_femme de chambre_, I cannot speak with certainty. I have put in
motion the whole French republic on the occasion. Mrs. Kemble's friend
cannot be found. Most probably Madame S. has tortured into Gamble some
name which has not a letter of Kemble or Gamble in it.
Natalie sailed the Thursday after you left town, and she is probably
_now_ in Havre with her mother. A letter received from Madame d'Lage
 since Natalie sailed, advises us that she is there waiting for
her, which is indeed most fortunate, and relieves me from a small
portion of the anxiety which I suffer for that charming girl. Yet,
alas! there is room for too much. I expect to see her here within a
Anna wonders you do not write to her. It never occurred to her that
she had not written to you: so she is now occupied, and you may soon
expect at least twenty pages from her indefatigable pen. I am going to
see Board. There is an ancient story of a man who once gave life and
spirit to marble (you may read it in the form of a drama in Rousseau).
Why may not this be done again? The sale of Richmond Hill goes on, and
will, I believe, be completed within eight days. The price and the
terms are agreed; some little under works retard the conclusion.
Adieu, my dear Theodosia.
TO JOSEPH ALSTON
New-York, November 15, 1801.
I send the enclosed newspaper merely on account of the proceedings of
the Rhode Island legislature. They are on the second page. That, in
New-England, men should be found hardy enough to oppose, in public
speeches, the recommendation of a thanksgiving sanctioned by the usage
of one hundred and fifty years; that this opposition should prevail,
and the recommendation be rejected by a large majority of a House of
Assembly, are events the most extraordinary which the present
generation hath beheld.
It has been announced in your gazettes that I am to visit Charleston
this month. Nothing is more true than that my warmest wishes have
urged me to verify this expectation; but it is equally certain that I
shall do no such thing. When I expressed the hope of seeing your state
previously to the session of Congress, I did not know that I was
chosen a member of the Convention by the county of Orange, much less
could I foresee that I should be president of that Convention; and no
individual suspected that fifteen days would have been consumed in
accomplishing the business of six hours. These circumstances ought to
redeem my character, in this instance, at least, from the charge of
versatility or caprice, Vale.
FROM THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Washington, November 18, 1801.
Your favour of the 10th has been received, as have been those also of
September 4th and 23d, in due time. These letters, all relating to
office, fall within the general rule which even the very first week of
my being engaged in the administration obliged me to establish, to
wit, that of not answering letters on office specifically, but leaving
the answer to be found in what is done or not done on them. You will
readily conceive into what scrapes one would get by saying _no_,
either with or without reasons; by using a softer language, which
might excite false hopes, or by saying _yes_ prematurely; and, to take
away all offence from this silent answer, it is necessary to adhere to
it in every case rigidly, as well with bosom friends as strangers.
Captain Sterret is arrived here from the Mediterranean. Congress will
have a question as to all the Barbary powers of some difficulty. We
have had under consideration Mr. Pusy's plans of fortification. They
are scientifically done and expounded. He seems to prove that no works
at either the Narrows or Governor's Island can stop a vessel; but to
stop them at the Hook by a fort of _eight thousand_ men, and
protecting army of _twenty-nine thousand_, is beyond our present ideas
of the scale of defence which we can adopt for all our seaport towns.
His estimate of _four millions of dollars_, which experience teaches
us to double always, in a case where the law allows, but (I believe)
_half a million_ ties our hands at once. We refer the case back to
Governor Clinton, to select half a dozen persons of judgment, of
American ideas, and to present such a plan, within our limits, as
these shall agree on. In the mean time, the general subject will be
laid before Congress. Accept assurances of my high respect and
New-York, November 20, 1801.
It is several days since I wrote to you, and many more since I
received a letter from you. That from Fayetteville is still the last.
"Gamble's" protegee could not be found. You will probably gain by the
exchange. That whom I shall send you is a good, steady-looking animal,
_agee vingt trois_. From appearance, she has been used to count her
beads and work hard, and never thought of love or finery. The enclosed
recommendation of Madame Dupont, the elder, will tell you more. You
are in equal luck with a cook. I have had him on trial a fortnight,
and he is the best I ever had in the house; for cakes, pastry, and
jimcracks, far superior to Anthony. In short, he is too good for you,
and I have a great mind not to send him; you will be for ever giving
good dinners. He has something of the manner and phisiognomy of Wood,
your teacher. _M'lle la femme de chambre and Monsieur le Cuisinier_
are both pure French (not creole), and speak well the language. He
will take with him a quantity of casseroles and other implements of
his etat. They will be shipped off next week.
The sale of Richmond Hill is all off; blown up at the moment of
counting the money, partly by whim and partly by accident; something
else will be done to produce the effect. I go to Philadelphia in two
or three days; but shall return, and not set off for Washington till
near Christmas. Mrs. A.'s health is much improved. God bless thee.
Philadelphia, November 26, 1801.
Your letter of the 7th of November, from _Yaahanee_, is received at
this place. Though I am in the house with Mr. and Mrs. Lowndes, and
several other Carolinians, yet we are wholly ignorant of your
position. No one ever heard of Yaahanee. I suspect it to be some
Mohawk word, which T. B. A. has been pleased to retain and apply--a
very pretty name, I acknowledge. Your reception has, indeed, been
charming; it reads more like an extract from some romance than matter
of fact happening in the nineteenth century within the United States.
I will ride fifty miles out of my way to see that lady.
The great business, as you are pleased to call it, has brought me
hither. Not merely to see the statue, nor have I yet seen it; but am
in the way. It will be a heavy job, considering that B. is on the
spot. To return to the business. It will go on; it must go on; it
shall go on. It will be Christmas before I see the city of Washington.
My lodgings are near the capitol, and next door to Law, who has
removed since we were together at his house. Your cook and maid must
be detained at New-York till my return, which will be in about eight
Your letter is pretty and lively, and indicates health, content, and
cheerfulness, which is much better than if you had told me so, for
then I should not have believed a word of it.
You have learned from the newspapers (which you never read) the death
of Philip Hamilton. 
Shot in a duel with Eacker, the lawyer. Some dispute at a theatre,
arising, as is said, out of politics. The story is variously related;
will give you a concise summary of the facts, in fifteen sheets of
paper, with comments, and moral and sentimental reflections. To this I
take the liberty of referring you.
New-York, December 8, 1801.
By the ship Protectress you will receive all your things, together
with cook and maid. To sail on the 14th. On the day of sailing I will
write to you, enclosing the bills of lading.
Your interesting letter of the 23d is this day received. It brings me
to the familiar acquaintance with your amiable circle, and admits me
to your fireside more than any thing you have written. Mrs. Allen is
here. Anna will, to all appearance, be married before spring to a
merchant of the name of Pierpont. Catharine is astonished that she has
not yet an answer to her letter. I have told her that she can by no
possibility have one before Christmas. In your reading, I wish you
would learn to read newspapers; not to become a partisan in politics,
God forbid, but they contain the occurrences of the day, and furnish
the standing topics of conversation. The reading of newspapers is a
knack which you will acquire in six weeks, by reading, during that
time, every thing. With the aid of a gazetteer and atlas, you must
find every place that is spoken of. Pray, madam, do you know of what
consist the "Republic of the Seven Islands?" Do you know the present
boundaries of the French republic? Neither, in all probability. Then
Now, one word of self. I came here on the 6th, and shall remain in
New-York till near the 20th. Then to Washington. The business is in a
prosperous way. My great love for the fine arts, especially sculpture,
may detain me a week in Philadelphia. Adieu, ma belle.
1. Mr. Burr had left the Senate previous to the date of this
2. This is not all. It has already been demonstrated, and the fact is
notorious, that, from the year 1777 until after the adoption of the
Federal Constitution, the Livingstons and Clintons were not acting in
concert. The Livingstons were of the Schuyler party. Before the
revolutionary war there were two great contending families in the
state of New York; but they were the Van Rensellaers and the
Delancies. The former espoused the whig cause, the latter the cause of
3. George W. Irwin, subsequently minister to the court of Spain.
4. Major General Jacob Brown, late of the United States army.
5. Former United States Marshal of the Southern District of the state
of New-York, and son of that distinguished revolutionary financier,
the Honourable Robert Morris.
6. Frederick Prevost, son of Mrs. Burr by her first husband.
7. A Convention to revise the Constitution of the State; of which
Convention Colonel Burr was president.
8. The mother of Natalie.
9. Son of General Alexander Hamilton.
TO JOSEPH ALSTON.
New-York, December 13, 1801.
Herewith is enclosed a duplicate of the bill of lading, specifying the
articles shipped for you on board the Protectress--She sailed this
afternoon. The president's message, of which a copy was sent you by
this ship, will have reached you through other channels long before