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llowing clause :-“ That, after the year 1800, there shall be neither slavery r is involuntary servitude in any of the said States, otherwise than in punishment of crimes whereof the party shall have been convicted to have been personally guilty." When the report of the committee was presented to Congress, these words were stricken out.'
Having been chosen by Congress commissioner to negotiate treaties with the states of Europe, in conjunction with John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, he sailed in July, 1784, and joined his colleagues at Paris. They were not, however, very successful, treaties baving been formed with but two governments, Morocco and Prussia. On the 10th of March, 1785, Mr. Jefferson was unanimously appointed by Congress to succeed Dr. Franklin as minister-plenipotentiary at the court of Versailles. He remained in France until the latter part of 1789, when he returned, and was, upon the formation of the new government, nominated by President Washington as Secretary of State. Finding, however, the views of Washington and the greater portion of his cabinet essentially different from his own, be resigned this position, and retired into private life, devoting himself to the education of his family, the cultivation of his estate, and the pursuit of his philosophical studies. In September, 1796, when General Washington announced his determination to renounce public life, the two parties into which the nation was divided—the Federalists and Democrats, or “ Republicans," as then calledbrought forward their favorite candidates. John Adams was supported by the former, and Thomas Jefferson by the latter. Mr. Adams was elected, and entered upon the duties of his office the 4th of March, 1797. Such, however, were the changes in public sentiment, that, after four years, Mr. Jefferson was elected President.
The leading events of Mr. Jefferson's administration were the purchase of Louisiana3 from France; the expedition of Lewis and Clarke, west of the Rocky
"I may say that it is a good thing that this clause was stricken out; becauso three years after, when the subject of the government of the Territories was under discussion, and when Mr. Jefferson was in France, the celebrated “Ordinance of 1787" was presented by Nathan Dane, of Massachusetts, in which a similar proviso was introduced and carried, TO TAKE EFFECT IMMEDIATELY, AND NOT TO BE PUT OFP TO THE YEAR 1800. While, therefore, great credit is due to Mr. Jefferson for being the first to assert the noble principle of freedom, it is an undoubted historical fact that Nathan Dane has the honor of being the author of the “ Ordi. nance of 1787,” and that to Rufus King, of New York, and indirectly to Timothy Pickering, of Massachusetts, belongs the suggestion of the provisos contained in that “ Ordinance" against slavery, and for aids to religion and knowledge. For a full account of this interesting subject, read “Life and Correspondence of Rufus King, by his Son, Charles King, LL.D.”
2 Or the Democratic party Jefferson was the efficient promoter at the beginning, and may be considered its founder. Washington, as the head of the Federalists, became the object of batred to the Democrats, and upon him all the vials of their wrath were poured. Jefferson, as is now known, gave too much encouragement to some of these defamers, the most prominent of whom wero Genet, the impudent French minister, Freneau, the poet and editor, and Thomas Paine, whose name is synonymous with infamy.
3 From this territory, bought for fifteen millions of dollars, three new slave States have been formed. Had the principles of the Ordinance of 1787 been applied to this region, what untold blessings would have accrued to our country! The further extension of slavery would have been arrested, and that anomaly in our system would probably have died out before the death of Jefferson.
Mountains, to the mouth of Columbia River; and the “Embargo” But comment upon these measures would here be out of place. At the close of his second term, 1809, Mr. Jefferson withdrew from public affairs, and resided at Monticello, his country-seat in Virginia. He did not, however, lead an idle life; he took a deep interest in the cause of education in his native State, and was the means of establishing its celebrated university. It is painful to add that, in the latter years of his life, he suffered from pecuniary embarrassments. In 1815 he sold his library, of about 7000 volumes, to Congress, for twenty thousand dollars. His last days were passed in rural enjoyments, and with powers unimpaired for the enjoyment of mental pleasures; and be passed away calmly on the 4th of July, 1826, just fifty years from the date of his signing the Declaration of Independence.
In person Mr. Jefferson was six feet two inches high, erect and well formed, though thin; his eyes were light, and full of intelligence; his complexion fair, and his countenance remarkably expressive. In conversation, he was cheerful and enthusiastic, and his language was remarkable for vivacity and correctness. His manners were simple and unaffected, combined, however, with much native but unobtrusive dignity.
The chief glory of Mr. Jefferson's character was his ardent love of liberty for all men, irrespective of color. This is clearly evinced in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, which he wrote; in the principles of the Ordinance of 1787, which he originated ; and in several passages in his Notes on Virginia, wherein he pictures, in his own nervous language, the demoralizing influences of slavery."
THE RIGHTS OF MAN.?
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed ; that, whenever any
form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government,
1 Read articles on Jefferson in N. Am. Rev., xxx. 511, xxxix. 238, xl. 170; Am. Quarterly, vi. 494, vii. 123: also Biographies by Lee, Tucker, and Randolph. A new life, by Henry S. Randall, in three volumes, has lately been published; but it is of a character so thoroughly partisan, that it never can be regarded by unprejudiced minds as of authority. It quietly assumes that the “ Democratic" party of modern times is identical with the old “Republican" party led by Jefferson; than which nothing could be more erroneous. For whatever may have been the errors of Jefferson, and some other leaders of the “Republican" party of that day, they were thoroughly and avowedly anti-slavery. The young men of our country who desire to have a full view of Mr. Jefferson's character should read what is said him in such works as Fisher Ames's Life and Letters; Goodrich's Recollections; Griswold's Republican Court; Hildrcth's United States ; Sullivan's Works, &c. &c.
2 From the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence.
laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
PASSAGE OF THE POTOMAC TIIROUGH THE BLUE RIDGE.
The passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge is perhaps one of the most stupendous scenes in nature. You stand on a very high point of land. On your right comes up the Shenandoah, having ranged along the foot of the mountain a hundred miles to seek a vent. On
your left approaches the Potomac, seeking a passage also. In the moment of their junction, they rush together against the mountain, rend it asunder, and pass off to the
The first glance at this scene hurries our senses into the opinion that this earth has been created in time; that the mountains were formed first; that the rivers began to flow afterwards ; that, in this place particularly, they have been dammed up by the Blue Ridge of mountains, and have formed an ocean which filled the whole valley; that, continuing to rise, they have at length broken over at this spot, and have torn the mountain down from its summit to its base. The piles of rock on each hand, but particularly on the Shenandoah, the evident marks of their disrupture and avulsion from their beds by the most powerful agents of nature, corroborate the impression. But the distant finishing which Nature has given to the picture is of a very different character. It is a true contrast to the foreground. It is as placid and delightful as that is wild and tremendous. For, the mountain being cloven asunder, she presents to your eye, through the cleft, a small catch of smooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the plain country, inviting you, as it were, from the riot and tumult roaring around, to pass through the breach, and participate of the calm below. Here the eye ultimately composes itself; and that way, too, the road happens actually to lead. You cross the Potomac above its junction, pass along its side through the base of the mountain for three miles, its terrible precipices hanging in fragments over you, and within about twenty miles reach Fredericktown, and the fine country round that. This scene is worth a
voyage across the Atlantic.
Yet here, as in the neighborhood of the Natural Bridge, are people who have passed their lives within half a dozen miles, and have never been to survey these monuments of a war between rivers and mountains, which must have shaken the earth itself to its centre.
INFLUENCE OF SLAVERY.
The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions; the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this, and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal. This quality is the germ of all education in him. From his cradle to his grave he is learning to do what he sees others do. If a parent could find no motive, either in his philanthropy or his self-love, for restraining the intemperance of passion towards his slave, it should always be a sufficient one that his child is present. But generally it is not sufficient. The parent storms, the child looks on, catches the lineaments of wrath, puts on the same airs in the circle of smaller slaves, gives loose to his worst passions, and thus nursed, educated, and daily exercised in tyranny, cannot but be stamped by it with odious peculiarities. The man must be a prodigy who can retain his manners and morals undepraved by such circumstances. And with what execration should the statesman be loaded, who, permitting one-half the citizens thus to trample on the rights of the other, transforms those into despots, and these into enemies, destroys the morals of the one part, and the amor patriæ of the other! For if the slave can have a country in this world, it must be any other in preference to that in which he is born to live and labor for another; in which he must lock up the faculties of his nature, contribute as far as depends on his individual endeavors to the evanishment of the human race, or entail his own miserable condition on the endless generations proceeding from him. With the morals of the people, their industry also is destroyed. For in a warm climate no man will labor for himself who can make another labor for him. This is so true, that of the proprietors of slaves a very small proportion indeed are ever seen to labor. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God ?—that they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just ; that his justice cannot sleep forever; that, considering numbers, nature, and natural means only, a revolution of the wheel of fortune, an exchange of situation, is among possible events; that it may become probable by supernatural interference ! The Almighty has no attribute which can take side with us in such a contest.
What an incomprehensible machine is man, who can endure toil, famine, stripes, imprisonment, and death itself, in vindication of his own liberty, and the next moment be deaf to all those motives whose power supported him through his trial, and inflict upon his fellow-men a bondage, one hour of which is fraught with more misery than ages of that which he rose in rebellion to oppose! But we must wait with patience the workings of an overruling Providence, and hope that that is preparing the deliverance of these our suffering brethren. When the measure of their tears shall be full, doubtless a God of justice will awaken to their distress, and by diffusing a light and liberality among their oppressors, or at length by his exterminating thunder
, manifest his attention to things of this world, and that they are not left to the guidance of blind fatality.
Notes on Virginia.
A DECALOGUE OF CANONS FOR PRACTICAL LIFE.
1. Never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day. 2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself. 3. Never spend your money
have it. 4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap: it will
be dear to you. 5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold. 6. We never repent of having eaten too little. 7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly. 8. How much pain have cost us the evils that have never hap
pened. 9. Take things always by their smooth handle. 10. When angry, count ten before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.
HIS DYING COUNCIL. This letter will, to you, be as one from the dead. The writer will be in the grave before you can weigh its counsels. Your affectionate and excellent father has requested that I would address to you something which might possibly have a favorable influence on the course of life you have to run; and I too, as a namesake, feel an interest in that course. Few words will be necessary, with good dispositions on your part. Adore God. Reverence and cherish your parents. Love your neighbor as yourself, and your country more than yourself. Be just. Be
1 Letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith.