To Wilson Cary Nicholas
Washington, Novr 26, 1814.
I did not receive your favor of the nth instant till a few days ago, and
I have till now been too much indisposed to acknowledge it.
You are not mistaken in viewing the conduct of the Eastern States as the
source of our greatest difficulties in carrying on the war, as it certainly is
the greatest, if not the sole, inducement with the enemy to persevere in it.
The greater part of the people in that quarter have been brought by their
leaders, aided by their priests, under a delusion scarcely exceeded by that
recorded in the period of witchcraft; and the leaders are becoming daily more
desperate in the use they make of it. Their object is power. If they could
obtain it by menaces, their efforts would stop there. These failing, they are
ready to go every length for which they can train their followers. Without
foreign co-operation, revolts & separation will be hardly risked; and what
the effect of so profligate an experiment may be, first on deluded partizans,
and next on those remaining faithful to the nation who are respectable for
their consistency, and even for their numbers, is for conjecture only. The best
may be hoped, but the worst ought to be kept in view. In the mean time the
course to be taken by the Govt is full of delicacy & perplexity; and the
more so under the pinch which exists in our fiscal affairs, & the
lamentable tardiness of the Legislature in applying some relief.
At such a moment the vigorous support of the well disposed States is
peculiarly important to the General Govt; and it would be impossible for me to
doubt that Virga, under your administration of its Executive Govt, will
continue to be among the foremost in zealous exertions for the national rights
Be pleased to accept assurances of my esteem & respect