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TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. mad. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 6 (1790-1802) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 6.
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TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.mad. mss.
Philada, Decr 21, 1794.
Your favor of the 9th, by the Orange post arrived here on the 18th; that of the 12 by the Richmond post, on the 20th so that it appears the latter was one day less on the way. It is to be remarked however that as the Orange post leaves Charlottesville on tuesday he might easily be in Fredericksburg on thursday, in time for the mail which passes thro’ it on that day to Dumfries. If this despatch is not required of him it ought to be. It would make a difference of two days in the journey. Or at least the post might wait a day in Charlottesville and be in time for the saturday’s mail at Fredericksburg.
Our weather here has been as fine as you describe yours. Yesterday there was a change. It was cold, cloudy, and inclined to snow. To-day we have a bright day, and not very cold. Prices here are very different from yours. Wheat is at 13 or 14s. & flour in proportion. In general, things are 50 Per Ct beyond the prices of last winter. The phenomenon you wish to have explained is as little understood here as with you; but it would be here quite unfashionable to suppose it needed explanations. It is impossible to give you an idea of the force with which the tide has set in a particular direction. It has been too violent not to be soon followed by a change. In fact I think a change has begun already. The danger will then be of as violent a reflux to the opposite extreme.
The attack made on the essential & constitutional right of the Citizen in the blow levelled at the “self-created Societies,” does not appear to have had the effect intended. It is and must be felt by every man who values liberty whatever opinions he may have of the use or abuse of it by those institutions. You will see that the appeal is begun to the public sentiment by the injured parties. The Republican society of Baltimore set the example. That of Newark has advertised a meeting of its members. It is said that if Edwd Livingston, as is generally believed, has outvoted Watts for the H. of Reps he is indebted for it to the invigorated exertions of the Democratic society of that place, of which he is himself a member. In Boston the subject is well understood, and handled in the Newspapers on the republican side with industry & address.
The elections in Massts have turned out rather better than was of late expected. The two republican members have stood their ground; in spite of the most unexampled operations agst them. Ames is said to owe his success to the votes of negroes & British sailors smuggled under a very lax mode of conducting the election there. Sedgwick & Goodhue have bare majorities. Dexter is to run another heat, but will succeed; Gerry, his only considerable competitor, & who would outvote him, refusing to be elected. There are several changes in the remainder of the Delegation, and some of them greatly for the better. In New York there will be at least half republicans; perhaps more. It has unluckily happened that in 2 Districts two republicans set up agst one Anti. The consequence is that a man is re-elected who would not otherwise have taken the field; and there is some danger of a similar consequence in the other district. In N. Jersey, it is said that not more than one of the old members will be returned. The people all over the State are signing with avidity a remonstrance against the high salaries of the Govt.
Hamilton is to resign, according to his own notification the last of Feby. His object is not yet unfolded. Knox as the shadow follows the substance. Their successors are not yet designated by any circumstance that has escaped.
What think you of a project to disfranchise the insurgent Counties by a bill of exclusion agst their Reps in the State Legislature? The object is to pave the way for Bingham or Fitzsimmons as Senator, & to give an example for rejecting Galatin in the H. of Reps at the next Congress of which he is a member. The proposition has been laid on the table and the event is uncertain. There is some probability the violence of the measure may defeat it; nor is it certain I am told that if carried thro’ it would answer the purpose of its authors.
TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.mad. mss.
Philada, Jany 26, 95.
I have received your favor of Decr 28, but till three weeks after the date of it. It was my purpose to have answered it particularly, but I have been robbed of the time reserved for the purpose. I must of consequence limit myself to a few lines and to my promise given to the Fresco Painter to forward you the enclosed letter. Nothing since my last from Jay or Monroe. The Newspapers as usual teem with French victories and rumors of peace. There seem to be very probable indications of a progress made to this event, except in relation to G. B. with whom a Duet Campaign is the cry of France. The Naturalization has not yet got back from the Senate.1 I understand however it will suffer no material change. They have the prudence not to touch the nobility clause. The House of Reps are on the Military estabt & the public debt. The difficulty & difference of opinion as to the former produced a motion to request the P. to cause an estimate of the proper defence &c. It was in its real meaning, saying we do not know how many troops ought to be provided by our legislative duty, and ask your direction. It was opposed as opening the way for dragging in the weight of the Ex. for one scale on all party questions—as extorting his opinion which he shd reserve for his negative, and as exposing his unpopular opinions to be extorted at any time by an unfriendly majority. The prerogative men chose to take the subject by the wrong handle, and being joined by the weak men, the resolution passed. I fancy the Cabinet are embarrassed on the subject. On the subject of the Debt, the Treasury faction is spouting on the policy of paying it off as a great evil, and laying hold of two or three little excises past last session under the pretext of war, of claiming more merit for their zeal than they allow to the opponents of their (pecuniary) resources. Hamilton has made a long Valedictory Rept on the subject. It is not yet printed, & I have not read it. It is said to contain a number of improper things. He got it in by informing the Speaker he had one ready, predicated on the actual revenues, for the House, when they shd please to receive. Berdinot the ready agent for sycophantic jobs, had a motion cut & dry just at the moment of the adjournment, for informing him in the language applied to the P. on such occasions, that the House was ready to receive the Rept when he pleased, which passed without opposition & almost without notice. H gives out that he is going to N. Y. and does not mean to return into public life at all.—N. Jersey has changed all her members except Dayton, whose zeal agst G. B. saved him. There are not more than 2 or 3 who are really on all points Repubns Dexter is under another sweat in his district, and it is said to be perfectly uncertain whether he or his Rival competitor will succeed.
[1 ]This was the second naturalization law, approved January 29, 1795, which introduced the five years’ residence previous to naturalization and the declaration of intention three years before. It required also that good character and attachment to the Constitution be established, and that any title of nobility the applicant might bear must be renounced. This act was really the parent of our naturalization system, and its chief author was Madison. The debate extended from December 22, 1794, to January 8, 1795, Madison making several short speeches. In the course of the debate (January 1) on the clause requiring renunciation of titles, Dexter of Massachusetts opposed it, and ridiculed certain tenets of the Catholic religion, declaring that priestcraft had done more harm than aristocracy. Madison replied: