To Thomas Jefferson
N. York May 12. 1791.
Your favor of the 9th. was recd. last evening. To my thanks for the
several inclosures I must add a request that the letter to Baynton which came
in one of them may be handed to him by one of your servants. The directory will
point out his habitation.
I had seen Payne's pamphlet with the preface of the Philada. Editor. It
immediately occurred that you were brought into the Frontispiece in the manner
you explain. But I had not foreseen the particular use made of it by the
Mr. Adams can least of all complain. Under a mock defence of the
Republican Constitutions of this Country, he attacked them with all the force
he possessed, and this in a book with his name to it whilst he was the
Representative of his Country at a foreign Court. Since he has been the 2d.
Magistrate in the new Republic, his pen has constantly been at work in the same
cause; and tho' his name has not been prefixed to his antirepublican
discourses, the author has been as well known as if that formality had been
observed. Surely if it be innocent & decent in one servant of the public
thus to write attacks agst its Government, it can not be very criminal or
indecent in another to patronize a written defence of the principles on which
that Govt. is founded. The sensibility of H. & B. to the indignity to the
Brit: Court is truly ridiculous. If offence cd. be justly taken in that
quarter, what would France have a right to say to Burke's pamphlet and the
Countenance given to it & its author, particularly by the King himself?
What in fact might not the U. S. say, whose revolution & democratic
Governments come in for a large share of the scurrility lavished on those of
I do not foresee any objection to the route you propose. I had conversed
with Beckley on a trip to Boston &c and still have that in view; but the
time in view for starting from this place, will leave room for the previous
excursion. Health recreation & curiousity being my objects, I can never be
out of my way.
Not a word of news here. My letters from Virginia say little more than
those you had recd. Carrington says the returns have come in pretty thickly of
late and warrant the estimate founded on the Counties named to me some time
ago. As well as I recollect, these averaged upwards of 8000 souls, and were
considered by him as under the general average. Yrs. Affecly.