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[Numb. 13 of Vol. ll.] W E D N E S D A Y, December 12, 1792.
From the Gazette of the United States. IT was my intention to have closed with my lafl paper, the discussion of Mr. JefFerfcm's conduit in the particulars which have been suggested; but the lingular complexion of the l ilt number of a series of papers originating in the American Daily Advertiser, obliges me to relume it As if bold affertlr.n were capable of impofingany t in<g for truth, an attempt is made, in the paper alluded to, to im press the following opinions, lit, That the extract which was given of Mr. Jeffei foii's letter on the fubjedt of a proportion for the transfer of the French debt, is " falfe," ' deceptive," and " mutilated." These are the epithets in different paffa ges applied to it 1. That Mr. Jeffcrfon was the mere vehicle, or to ule the prc cife terms, " only the vehick; of communi cation to Congress." 3d. That he"dis countenanced" the proposition. 4. That the " only" proposition which he made to Congrcfs, was to borrow the money in discharge the debt. To give colour to these assertions, I am called upon to produce the entire pa ragraph from which the extract has been made, and it is suggested, that the wliole was depof'.ted in the quarter, from whenci tie extradt is believed to have been taken. I pledge my veracity that t is sugges tion is unfounded ; as is another ; that the information which has been communic ted by ,me is derived from the opportunities of official fituat on. I affirm unequivo cally, that I obtained through different channels a full knowledge of the transac tion in February, 1 757 ; being in no pub lic station whatever ; that I then saw the extract, which has been published, and which was at that time taken from the original letter, and has been fincc prc-ferVed, in the molt auth< ntic form. That I then a'fo received information equally authen tic of the general substance of the lttter, 33 relating to the matter in quell on, and cf all other particulars concerning it, which have heretofore been ftatrd, and wiiich have been preserved, in a manner, that admits no doubt of their accuracy or genuinenels« For this, 1 again appeal to (he letter itfelf, 011 the files of the department of 1 Hate, where alone as far as I am informed, its entire contents are depolited, and which I entertain no doubt will confirm not on ly the truth of the extradt which has been given, but the jultnefs of the repre sentation of the contents of the letter in all other refpefts Cojifidering the extradt as genuine, which undoubtedly it is, it fperks for it felf ; and unequivocally alfifies the sug gestion that Mr. Jefferfosi was " only the •vehicle" of communication to Congress. 1 It imports, without the possibility of eva- I fion, advice to accede to the proposition - which was made to the Dutch company. < on the difnonorable ground of their being 1 danger, that the public payments -would i rot be.punßual, and of its being in that 1 cafe expedient to transfer the disco tents, \ which would arise trom the want of punc- I tuality, from the court of Fiance, to the 1 brvajls of a prin tt company : It therefore i clearly makes tiim more than the mere I vehicle of communication : the patron 1 and adviser of the meafnie upon the con- I djtiou which has been dated. It as clear- 1 ly refutes the altonifhing assertion, that he 1 « discountenanced" the propoiition ; 1 whatever fubterfuge may be brought to j colour it ; and it equally deflroys the other allegation, that the only propofiti- j on which Mr. Jefferfon made to Congress, 1 was to borrow the money in Holland to 1 discharge the debt. 1 It has been admitted, that there was 1 another proposition, in the fame letter, ! of that import; but it is denied under I the appeal which has been made, that it 1 in ar.y manner derogates from the advice I contained in the cxtratl. It is under- ; By P. FRENEAU: Publifhcd Wednesdays and Saturdays, at Three Dollars per annum. !. Ilcjod to have been offered, as an alterna tive ; in cafe the proportion of the Dutc h company lhould not be approve —A another mode which might be adopted h to effect the payment to Fiance, r It will be remarked by an attentive rea s der, that while an artful attempt is made to n bring into question the genilinenefs of *he extract, a diYctt denial of its genuineness is f not hazarded— R-ecotirfe is had to cqui t vocal implications It is said to be "falfe _ and deceptive," not in terms, but "upon a c found conlirtidtion;"tha: " the contents of . the letter, even m the exfraßpubbfhed, have , been [hamefuUy misrepresented" not that . tlie extract is itffclf a forgery; but that > "otlierparts of the letter absolutely necefla ry for the full Comprehension of it, are . kept back."—The jargon of afTertirig, th ' . a literal extract from a paper is " falfe and deceptive, upo • a found conJlritSion," is a proof of the embarrassment of ;he commentator. Whoever willexdmine the . extract will perceive, that as to the ptir , pose, to which it has been applied, it is an entire thing. The fentime it reproba ed is there complete, and can be affedted by nothing co lateral. The inferences resulting from it can only be rep lied by edablifhing that the extradl is in tarns falfe This I believe will not be pretended. It is '•s little true (in the sense in which it is evidently meant to be underflood) that the propoiition for the transfer of the debt has been imposed upon Mr. Jef terlon as his own, as it is that he d.fcoun tenanced it. It ha 9 been acknowledged, that the offer was firft made by the Dutch company ; and has only been maintained that Mr fefferfon ad»ifed its acceptance on principles contrary to good morals; a position which can never be overthrown without introducing a new system of e thics. In this sense too, and with the dis approbation, which belonged to it, was it niderftood by those to whom the ad vice was addre(Ted, ; to the honor of the public councils of the day. It is ftU'gcll- d that the ar.imadverfions up n Mr. Jefferfon's conduit, in these papers, proceed from " private revenge " This ftippoks some private injury real or imagined. Ihe affertor must be not a lit tle embarr.uTed to iupport the probability cf such a cjufe. It is affirmed that none such exiiis. Private revenge therefore cannot be the (limulus. Let fadls speak the true motives. CATULLUS. Vindication of Mr. Jkfferscn. NUMBER V. [/Continued from No. 10S 3 HAVI - G concluded in my art, the reply to tie several allega ions brought forward againll Mr. Jeffer'on,- by a writer 11 ider the signatures of An Ameri can and Catuliur, and placed each upon i the gr; und on which it merged to (land, i fubmiiting it refpedtfully to his country men to determine, as well upon 'he pro- I priety of his conduct in the particulars ; suggested, aT on that of the author 11 I troubling him and them with the fubjedS. i I had likewi>« hoped that th's disagreea ble bufinenf was at an end. lam happy, i however, to observe, that the revival has l been upon so limited a Icale, as to preclude the apprehension of its being proiradted i to any great extent. I (hall certainly j contribute al! in my power tf> bring it to > a close. ! The charge of a-ny impropriety ok the I part of Jeffcrfon, in the letter refer red to, relative to ihe p opofed transfer of the French debt, seems to be abandon- 1 ed or but weakly infilled on, admitting the statement given by that writer to i have been corredt. And indeed it Would i have been difficult longer to have fuftafa : ed with a judiciousand well-informed pub- ' lie, any plausible argument upon that i ground, after it was eitablifhed, that the ' French court and Dutch company were rqu=T y anx ous fort'ne contract, and had folic'ted out approbation of it. For fure -1 ly, in such an event, we had a rigtv, and without the finallell breach of morality or delicacy, to weigh arid determine which of > th si parties it would bed suit us to have : for creditors 5 and how could we exeicif: ; such right without taking into view the comparative merit of the parties, with e -1 very pcffible tontiriger.ee that n ig'i t t in the mo!t reftiote degree, tend to a(Fefl r the payment of the debt ? Th -' ijie obje& of this last publication, under the f:gnature of Catullus, seems to be, to vindicate the author from the • charge of having mifreprefentrd the con tents of Mr. JefFerfon's letter, and the a lmfe of the duties of an official (lation, in publishing any thing relative to it.— Plow far he hasfucceeded in this attempt, I (hall now proceed to examine. I shall not trouble the reader with any comment upon the ingenious criticism on nty la.l statement. The variance will be more e fily utideri'lood by reciting again the contents of the paragraph in qnelti oti, and comparing these with the llate mcnt repeatedly given by that wiiter. The ne rer we approach the source, the nearer we fiiall be to the truth : sophistry i may envelope v/itli darkness, but will ne- 1 ver illustrate a fubje«ft: The following, then, I affirm, to be the cantent's of that | paragraph. I It states that in 1786, it being known i the French court were diltreffed for mo- 1 ney, a 1 ompany of Dutch merchants had ( offa'ed tjypurciiafe of them the American t ciebt* of tw«.n y four of Hvres, » ; for the sum of twenty, and that their } embarraflmcnts inclined them to accept of i the proposal : That however a dslay was f occasioned, on the part of the French c court, by the ap'prfi'henfion it might JefTen £ our credit in Europe, and be disagreeable e to Congress; whereupon he had been 0 consulted by the agent of the company and to whom he had replied, that he was t fidither authorised to approve or difap- i prove of the tranfaftion. Having ftatcd f the proposition as above, he obierves fur v ther upon it, in its relation to his count try, that if the.re bea danger our payments f may not be pun&ual, it might be better t that the difcoritents which would then a I rife, C ould be transferred from a court, n of whose good will we have so much need, t to the brealtsof a private company. But f that it had occurred to him, we migh ii find occasion to do what would be gfste c fu\ to that court, and eftabliffi With them t a confidence in our honor : That ouf ere t dit w.sgoo iin Holland ; might it not b r. poffibli then to borrow there, the four _c and twenty millions due to France, and pay them the whole debt at once ? This f< would save them from any Joss on orir t account J with some further ©Lfervattons t urging the propriety of this latter mea p sure. v Thatthe fubjeft maybe irpliiitlybefore the public, I repeat again, that the above si are the genuine contents of Mr. JefFerfon's C) letter ori that head, and are Contained hi fl one entire paragraph ouly That the ar a rangement of the idea is the fame, and ti that fn fubllance n< thin'g has been added n to or takeri from it. i: The import of tn£ a"bove appears to 1 me to be so dear and explicit, that every c person muil unite in the fame conHrufti- li ort. That the tnnfadtion, for instance, fl had taken place between the parties be- t fore any mention was made of it to Mr ii Jefferfon : and that in communicating p it to Congress, he only made known to t that body, the defirc, both of the com pa- p ny aftd the Freffch court; and was, o. p co.urf?, only the vehicle of coirsrr.Unicati- : g cn. That the opinion which he gave, e arose out of the proposition, was in fur- 0 therance of their views, and that, in fact, t; no decision could be formed on it, either ii by :hc Gopsrcfs or hirnfelf, without a t [ Total No. 117.] e companion of the pa-ties as credito s to d the United States. But that the propofi :• lion which he made (for this was th it of d the company) was to borrow the money r in Holland, arid pay off the whole debt f at once 5 and that he ciifliked that of the e company or at lead preferred this, or e would not have proposed it I (hall now ; subjoin the flatenient given by Catullus. The following single fcntence has been 1 piibliflied by him, not only as a literal 1 tr nfc ipt, but as containing whatever was t). ceflary to explain Mr. Jefferfon's fenti , rnents on that head. , " If there is a ) danger of th- public payments net being : punctual, / fubm'tt whether it may not be better that the discontents which would thfn arise, iliould be transferred from a c urt, of whose good offi e£ we have fa much netd, to the breads of a private company." Soir.e concessions. have it i* true, been h terly made, thou h reluc tantly ; but Et is It ill infixed on, that they" do not alter the conitruflidn conte .ded for, nor very the impart of this single ex trail ; and for its liberal conformity to the otiginal, hi has pledged hi: met-acity. The variance, then, betw. cn us. con. fills in his fupprcfflon of the other parts o£ the paragraph, relating to '.he arne ft:b jedt,-and which fliould be seen, to enable the reader to comprehend its true import. It consists, likewifc, in the alteration of a. part of the ferttence itfelf, by the interpo lation of words, which do not belong to it. The passage in the letter referred to reads precisely as I have ftat-ed it above. Catullus has altered it by the insertion of the following words, / Julmit whether it aw.-'-.' ■st t better bf which the im port of that sentence, and especially when landing alone, has been varied. If there fore the statement which I have given, is correfl, it follows that Catullus has been guilty of mifreprefentauon, an«) that the e.\tra£i fumifhed by him, is jalfe, deceptive, atid mutilated. Whether the author of these pieces has been guilty of thebr ach of offi. lal duties, in the publication of anything relative to Mr. Jefferfon's letter, I know not. A. variety of reasons, of but little importance to the ptiblicj and which 'tis not necessary for me to recotffrt'. have crea ed a belief, that they proceed from Mr. Hamilton. If so; it will be difficult for him to re move the imputation Thepertifal of theex trad in 1787, when out of office, and the fafe preservation of it fincc, will not jullify its publication by the present aftirg Se cretary of the Treasury ; nor does it au thorize a belief, if he is the author, that the official document in hie poff (lion, has not b< eft resorted to since. Will it be .contended that the conduit of the ofrcer ft tlit heiid t>f that department, fliould be fcanr-.ed in this instance, by the dunes of the station he held five ot ten years pad ? Or, in other words, that the office im poses on him fro partita st obligations, and which he is bound to regard ? Considering this attack upon Mr. Jef"> ferfon in the commencement, as an attack Opofl principles : knowing that the con ftifHng interests of parties were, at work, and th.it the one which v.'asfu pest.d, with, too much reason, to be attached to mo narchy, would endeavour, as an obstacle in its way, to undermine not only him, nit other republican chara&criri the confidence of t'eir countrymen; and be lieving, as well from the dutiesofhisofficial Ration as his known delicacy in observing thern, he would disregard it, I thought it in some measure a duty I owed to those principles of equality which I venerate, to take up thefubjeft,and place it on its pro per ground. So far, then, as any im putation has been taifed, a distin guished and patriot citizen. I have furnifh edtherep.y, and I prefilme. fnewn not only his innocence of any impropriety ire the a legations suggested, but likewise lhe impurity of the motives \yhi ;h difUted the attack.