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Full text of "Thoughts in a series of letters, in answer to a question respecting the division of the states"








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THOUGHTS 



A SERIES OF LETTERS? 



ANSWER TO A QUESTION RESPECTING 



DIVISION OF THE STATES. 



A MASSACHUSETTS FARMER 



Em 



INTRODUCTION. 

THE writer of the following sheets, in expressing his opinioi 
on this subject, has availed himself of the right oi every freeman. 
Should he not have been so fortunate as to have fallen in with 
that of others, it will amount to no more than that he differs from 
them in opinion, which he conceives himself as having a right to 
do. In justice to himself for having touched on a subject so 
novel, and at the same time so important, he must be allowed to 
say, that he has not taken it up lightly, but from an impression 
of its necessity, being influenced by no person, and having had an 
opportunity of ocular demonstration of many of the facts stated ; 
and while he submits his remarks to the ordeal of public opinion, 
he is ready to attend to any better reasons that might be given in 
support of this subject, or even to those shewing why it ought 
not to have been touched. But should this humble attempt be 
a mean of bringing it before the public, where it will be more 
ably handled, the 'labours of the writer will not be considered 
wholly in vain. 



LETTER I. 

April 25, 1813. 

DEAR SIR, 

YOU ask my opinion with respect to the 
consequences of a division of the states, should an event 
of that kind take place. In answer to which, permit me 
to say, a question involving consequences of such magni- 
tude is not susceptihle of a direct answer, hut requires 
deep thought, and the consideration of such a variety of 
subjects, as would almost preclude the hope that you 
would give me a patient hearing; but presuming on your 
candour, I shall with diffidence submit my thoughts on 
this subject ; and should you conceive me in an error, I 
flatter myself you will attribute it to that of the head and 
not of the heart. Being aware of the delicacy of this 
subject, and the great importance that has deservedly- 
been attached to the integrity of the states by our wisest 
and best men, and by no one more than your friend who 
now addresses you ; but the time has arrived, when im- 
perious necessity compels us to cast about for the cause 
of this complicated distress, that pervades our country 
from one end to the other, and inquire by what fatal 
spell we are hurried along to destruction; why despond- 
ency and dismay is depicted in every countenance ; our 
frontier settlements drenched in the blood of its inhabit- 
ants ; our commerce swept from the ocean ; our mer- 
chants made bankrupt, while our seacoasts are blockaded 
from Rhode Island to the Missisippi ; whence it is, that 
from the most enviable state of prosperity that ever a 
people enjoyed, as in the days of Washington, we are so 
soon reduced to such great straits. I am aware that all 
those men that are fattening on the distresses of the peo- 
ple, our army contractors, ouciiavy agents, our military 
officers and salary men, together with a host of tide 
waiters, pimps, and spies, will raise their voice against 



4 

Khis inquiry, and style it an attempt to subvert our gov- 
ernment; for this order of things is just what those men 
like ; but to the farmer, the merchant, the tradesman, and 
the mechanic, who are suffering under the pressure of the 
times, this inquiry may not be displeasing. But , says one, 
who dares propose a division of the states ? are we not in 
general agreed in the integrity of the states, although we 
may be divided on other political questions ? To this I 
answer, Yes. And allow me here to premise, that the 
division here advocated is not a division of the original 
thirteen United States. No; palsied be the hand that 
would attempt to hold the pen to effect so vile a purpose. 
The division here advocated, is a division from the ille- 
gitimate states beyond the Allegany mountains and Lou- 
isiana, which are adverse to our prosperity ; whose in- 
terests, habits, and pursuits are diverse from ours, and 
never can coalesce, I shall attempt to consider this sub- 
ject under the following heads. 

1st. As it respects its vast extent. 

2d. As it respects its geographical situation. 

3d. As it respects the evident design of Providence, 
manifested in its situation, product, and capacity. 

4th. Inquire into the policy of uniting the country be- 
yond the mountains with the thirteen states. 

5th. Submit a few thoughts on the feasibility of the 
measure, as well as the probable safety to the thirteen 
states in effecting it. 

6th. Attempt to give some reasons why a separation 
must take place, and the sooner it is effected the better. 

First. In respect to its vast extent. 

According to geographic calculation, the whole thir- 
teen United States is to Louisiana as three to eight. 
When we consider the former extending from the prov- 
ince of Novascotia to the further part of Georgia, a dis- 
tance of more that fifteen hundred miles, and on an av- 
erage of more than two hundred in width, we cannot hesi- 
tate in determining that the thirteen states are quite 
large enough for a republican government. Hence the 



observation of Washington on this subject, in his Vale 
dictory Address ; " Is there a doubt whether a common 
government can embrace so large a sphere ? let the experi- 
ment solve it." This was before Louisiana was contem- 
plated to be added, and seemed to imply a doubf, in his 
mind, whether the thirteen United States was not too 
large for such a government as ours. 

Secondly. As it respects its geographical situation. 

When we consider the great extent of the thirteen 
United States, from southwest to uortheast, producing 
so great variety of climate, furnishing almost every nec- 
essary and luxury, and in an abundant manner the most 
substantial articles of life. When we view the almost un- 
bounded fisheries on the New England coast, which seem 
to be given us by the kind Author of nature in some 
measure to equalize our situation with our brethren in 
the south, in not being able to produce the more neces- 
sary article of bread stuff. When we consider the ad- 
vantage derived from those fisheries, not only as a mean 
to sustain life and for commercial purposes, but to ena- 
ble us to raise a hardy race of men, to traverse the ocean, 
and guard our extensive seacoast, as well as to take ofT 
their hands the surplusage of the south for our own con- 
sumption, while we carry the remainder to a foreign 
market. The south cannot say to (he north, I have no 
need of thee, neither can the north say to the south, I 
have no need of thee ; but each shall be compelled to ac- 
knowledge, that the original thirteen United States, from 
its situation and adaptation of circumstances to the vari- 
ous parts, carries irresistible evidence that it was design- 
ed to constitute one great whole, and that any addition 
would be redundant, and any diminution would effect its 
symmetry. 

Having protracted, dear sir, my remarks beyond what 
I anticipated, I shall dismiss them for the present to re- 
sume when more at leisure, and remain, respectfully, 

Yours, A MASSACHUSETTS FARMER, 



LETTER II. 

April 28. 

DEAR SIR, 

I shall now resume my subject, as was pro- 
posed, and make some remarks on the evident design of 
Providence manifested in the situation, product, and ca- 
pacity of the thirteen United States. When we consider 
the wise adaptation of cause and effect, even in the mi- 
nutest things in the natural world, shall we hesitate in 
our belief, that the all wise Being had not some design 
when he formed such stupendous mountains, running 
nearly parallel with our seacoasl, and nearly two hun- 
dred miles distant from it, that they should describe some 
great national line of demarkation : more especially when 
we consider that those mountains are more than one hun- 
dred and thirty miles across them on an average, and gen- 
erally unfit for cultivation,* allowing on the eastern sidea 
country of nearly two hundred miles by more than fifteen 
hundred, for a vast republic, empire, or kingdom, inter- 
sected with navigable rivers, nearly all running from the 
back boundary toward the ocean, fitted for wafting its 
mighty products to the depots of commerce. When we 
view the community and reciprocity of interests of the 
different parts, calculated to bind each other together in 
the bands of friendship and commerce, can we form to 
ourselves a situation better adapted for the residence of a 
greatand happy people, than that whichis described within 
those limits? But to heighten the picture : view our ex- 
tensive sea coast, which enables us not only to keep up an 
easy intercourse with each other, but to supply ourselves 
with all the productions of the globe. But how changed, 
completely changed, is the picture, when we pass this 
stupendous barrier of mountains and view on the other 
side nearly double the extent of territory, to that just de- 
scribed, possessing not an individual article that we want, 
as our inland country on this side the mountains and Can- 
ada, supply us with every necessary in abundance which 
that country produces, and is at present vastly too large 

* The opinion of Capt. Hutchins, the American Geographer. 



for our seaports, and probably will be so for near a cen- 
tury to come ; but was there any thing we stood in need 
of from the country over the mountains, it could be trans- 
ported as cheap from Europe as across those mountains. 
Then it will be asked, for what purpose was this vast an- 
nexation of territory, this unnatural connection ? was it to 
comply with Thomas Jefferson's visionary theory ? or to 
assist France with fifteen millions of dollars, « because she 
wanted it, and must have it ?" as was said by a man high in 
power ;* or was it, as it has proved, to create an extra- 
neous influence favourable to the views of one ambitious 
state, by the erection of new states, in endless succession, 
totally different in habits, manners, and interests, bent 
on tendering nugatory to the more commercial states all 
the advantages their extensive seacoast gives them, and, 
like the dog in the manger, not suffer them to enjoy what 
they cannot enjoy themselves. Does not this annexation 
of territory violate the great original compact, and to- 
tally change our relative situation as a nation ; and in- 
stead of a whole, powerful, and independent people, are 
we not rendered, even now, in this early period of our na- 
tional existence, by the assistance of a few intriguing men 
among ourselves, but an insignificant part, and by their 
dictation in our concerns, they have no interest in, and 
know nothing about ; the northern slates are, and will be, 
subject to nothing but distress and embarrassment. An 
eminent modern civilian speaking on this subject, of the 
admission of Louisiana into the union, 9ays, " the indiffer- 
ence with which that usurpation of power has been view- 
ed, is an event as astonishing as it is ominous. Notwith- 
standing the general nature of the terms of the constitu- 
tion relative to the admission of new states, there is not 
a shadow of pretence from the history of the period, and 
the known state of public opinion at the time of its adop- 
tion, that the admission of any states was contemplated, 
or authorized, except those within the ancient limits."- 

* James Madison. 

f Hon. Josiah Qutn-cy, in his late address to the W B. Societr 



8 

<« But if this has been done in the green tree, what will 
be done in the dry ?" If three or four states have been 
able to produce such distress in the thirteen, what may 
not be expected when their number shall have increased 
to from twenty to thirty, on that side the mountains ? 
which in all probability will be the case,- and to judge 
from what we have already experienced of their hostility 
to the interests of the commercial states, our prospect is 
alarming beyond description. Have we not witnessed in 
the members in Congress beyond the mountains a steady 
persevering disposition, though not all with the same de- 
gree of tenacity, to prostrate our commerce, which has 
been too well effected by the assistance of Virginia, and 
a few northern men, who have been unnaturally duped 
into their ranks. 

Fourthly. I shall now inquire into the policy of uniting 
together so vast a territory as the original thirteen Unit- 
ed States, with the Western country and Louisiana. 

A republican government, the nature of which being 
mild, is much less calculated for a very extensive coun- 
try than any other. A more despotic, where the remote 
parts are governed by viceroys or satraps, is better suit- 
ed to such a vast territory ; but in ours, where general 
opinion governs, it is necessary that the people should be 
less extended, and more enlightened, and that there should 
be some similarity in their manners, habits, and pursuits. 
But this vast territory is composed of a heterogeneous 
mixture, of French, Spanish, Creoles, and some of almost 
every nation under heaven ; many whose ideas are vio- 
lently opposed to a republican government, " harbouring 
in its bosom the latent seeds of its own dissolution." 
Have we not witnessed already one of the most daring con- 
spiracies ever conceived, set on foot in that same country 
by Aaron Burr? and from the great distance from the 
seat of government, and partly owing to the criminal in- 
attention of Mr. Jefferson, after being warned by Geo. 
Eaton, whom this arch traitor let into his plan, and la- 
boured to seduce, had got nearly ripe for execution. This 



9 

conspiracy appeared to have had for its object, not only the 
separation of the western states, and the conquest of the 
Spanish territory, bordering on our southern frontier, hut 
the subversion of our government. I( appeared that this 
same Aaron Burr had pre-engaged a great number of 
choice spirits, who were to move in concert with him. But 
being betraved by some of his supposed friends, and find- 
ing so formidable a force prepared to meet him, on differ- 
ent parts of the Missisippi. and more especially at New 
Orleans, this sly intriguer found himself obliged to relin- 
quish his military project; and the better to cover his 
treasonable designs, his flotilla arrived in that country 
with a company whose only weapons were those of agri- 
culture. But should this unnatural, Jetfersonian, French- 
ified connection subsist, we may anticipate, and that before 
a very remote period, that part of the country beyond the 
mountains, by their representatives in Congress, will 
move to have the seat of our government in a more cen- 
tral situation, and much nearer themselves; its present 
situation not having been taken with reference to that 
country, but is nearly central as it respects the thirteen 
United States : and it does not admit of a doubt, that 
should not a separation take place, it will be removed 
over the mountains, perhaps on the river Ohio. Let no 
one think this a chimera, for as soon as it can be effected 
by a vote it will assuredly take place. But to take an- 
other view of the subject; the thirteen United States, 
except Vermont, may all be still commercial states; 
some are more so, owing to local circumstances, than 
others, but those beyond the mountains are necessarily 
agricultural ; manufacturing their own clothing, making 
their own spirit from their grain, and can supply us with 
no article that we want ; and can have no reciprocity of 
interests ; and, from the principles of our nature, must 
always have a jealousy of our commercial prosperity, in 
which they cannot participate. But should any one want 
a better reason, experience will furnish it, in the unani- 
mous attempts that have been made in our councils, by 



10 

their members, to destroy our commerce and prosperity. 
Look at the hollow pretences these members in Congress 
have made for declaring and continuing war. The pre- 
tence now is, «« the British capture our seamen:" and 
one of their members carried the ridiculous farce so far 
as to affect to shed tears, while he pitifully; in a borrow- 
ed ditty, chauted their sufferings ;* when it is doubtful 
whether there is one seaman in confinement on board a 
British ship from their whole country ; and not one native 
inhabitant out of a hundred ever saw a ship of any kind. 
But, dear sir, lest I should exhaust your patience, I shall 
now subscribe myself, with much respect, Yours, &c, 

LETTER III. 

May 2. 

DEAR SIR, 

Presuming on your patience, I shall sub-- 
mit a few thoughts on the feasibility of a separation from 
the western country and Louisiana, without hazarding 
the safety of our country. 

"When we reflect on the short time that has elapsed 
since the thirteen United States received into the union 
those states beyond the Allegany mountains, we could 
hardly have expected that they would have arrived to 
sucii a pitch of hostility against the measures and pros- 
perity of the commercial states, as to have put in requi- 
sition every measure for their destruction, and to have 
rendered necessary a separation. Will any one object 
and say, they will be troublesome neighbours when sep- 
arated, living so near our border? this same objection 
will apply with equal force, should our borders be ever so 
far removed, unless we extend them to the Western 
Ocean. Have we ever suffered any inconvenience from 
our neighbours in Canada, till we declared an offensive 
war against them ? Can any one suppose there would ever 
be any danger from that quarter to produce much anxie- 
ty, notwithstanding nature has not furnished such a bar- 

* Henry Clay, of Kentucky. 



11 

rier between us as between the western country and the 
thirteen states ? Does it admit of doubt whether the 
limits of our country, consisting of the thirteen states, is 
large enough for the purpose of offence and defence, 
should it be found necessary ? Can it be rationally sup- 
posed that we are not in ten times the danger from a set- 
tled, determined opposition to the measures by which we 
pursue our interests and prosperity, than from a separa- 
tion? Can it be supposed that the western country and 
Louisiana will ever consent to assist in maintaining such 
a navy as wo.uld be thought necessary to protect our com- 
merce and establish our rank among the maritime pow- 
ers? Or is it not more probable, that all their measures 
will be contrived to depress and embarrass us, that we 
may be compelled to find an asylum with themselves be- 
yond the mountains, as was lately hinted by one of their 
chieftains in Congress.* The thirteen states appear to 
be much in the predicament of a benevolent merchant, 
with a large family, who took a needy stranger into his 
house, who solicited his assistance, which after obtaining, 
began to usurp authority, and to prescribe to him and 
his family their pursuits and pleasures, and succeeded so 
well (his host being a peaceable man) that with threats 
and persuasions, he prevailed on him to admit three or 
four more of his comrades into his family also, who had 
all been brought up to cultivating the earth and making 
whiskey. Soon after their admission, having gained con- 
siderable ascendency, they insisted that their host should 
quit his mercantile way of living, and join them in the 
more laborious and less profitable occupation of raising 
corn and making it into whiskey ; alleging, that they 
had not been brought up to mercantile pursuits, and that 
they, being a majority, ought to govern. The host, wea- 
ried with his situation, and perceiving that things were 
every day growing worse and worse, determined (his fam- 
ily uniting with him) to turn them all out of doors, and 
to resume the government of himself and family, and fol- 

• Henry Clay. 



12 

low their former pursuits and pleasures. No one that 
has been an attentive observer of what has taken place, 
more especially in the lower house of our national coun- 
cil, for several years past, will say that the portraiture 
has not some resemblance to the original. You ask, my 
friend, what is to be done? we say, shake off immedi- 
ately this unnatural connection, before, by a delay, it as- 
sumes a strength and compactness, produced very much 
by our distresses, that shall make the solution of this 
question depend more on themselves than justice or 
sound policy would warrant. Shall it be said that we 
shall lose the money with which Louisiana was purchas- 
ed ? Be it so. Our first loss will be the easiest surmount- 
ed ; and, in comparison with a connection with this peo- 
ple, as the dust in the balance. To those states we owe 
our nonintcrcourse, embargo, nonimportation, and. last 
of all, this calamitous war : and this is but the beginning 
of our sorrows. The European Avar, under a wise ad- 
ministration, would have been very propitious to our pros- 
perity, and would have accelerated the growth of our coun- 
try beyond any other circumstance that could have taken 
place ; instead of which, it has been so managed, as to 
become a powerful engine of the destruction of our coun- 
try. While we lament so many of our legitimate brethren 
in the southern states, through an unwarrantable jeal- 
ousy, have mistaken their true interests, and have acted 
with those from whom we had less to expect : yet we feel 
the cheeriug consolation, that there is a goodly number 
that have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal, that 
have not suffered this jealousy to destroy the harmony 
that, their and our Washington was so sedulous in culti- 
vating ; and that, united, we shall yet rally round the 
standard of his erection, and fulfil his affectionate wishes 
for our joint prosperity, expressed in hisFarewell Address, 
that the North and South should he united. He says: 

" The north in an unrestrained intercourse with the 
south, protected by the equal laws of a common govern- 
ment, finds in the productions of the latter, great addi- 



13 

tional resources of maritime and commercial enterprise, 
and precious materials of manufacturing industry ; the 
south, in the same intercourse, benefiting by the same 
agency of the north, sees its agriculture grow, and its 
commerce expand, turning partly into its own channels 
the seamen of the north, it finds its particular navigation 
invigorated, and while it contributes in different ways to 
nourish and increase the general mass of the national 
navigation, it looks forward to the protection of a mari- 
time strength, to which itself is unequally adapted."* 

Nolice this last sentence. With what force the foregoing 
observations address themselves to the south, under the 
present pressure by the British fleets, which at the present 
jnoment infest their bays and rivers. Is there any relief to 
be obtained for the south from the states beyond the moun- 
tains ? Is not the north adapted exclusively to afford it. We 
in the north are still unwilling to believe, that a Jefferson, 
a Madison, a Giles, or an Eppes, are a standard, by which 
to estimate the disposition of our brethren in the south ; 
we more incline to believe it ought to be settled, by what 
we ourselves feel vibrating in our own bosoms, produced 
by the unity in that great struggle, in which we bled, and 
in which we obtained our independence. Not so the 
western country, and Louisiana ; those we are obliged to 
view as aliens, and from their conduct for several years 
past, not as alien friends. The annexation of that coun- 
try, was a measure opposed at the time by the most en- 
lightened statesmen of our country, as well on political 
considerations, as on account of (he enormous price thai 
was paid for it ; but since it has been purchased, and the 
thirteen states has paid more than nineteen twentieths 
of the purchase, sound policy would dictate the parting 
with it, as a man would part with a gangrene limb to 
save his life. But it is by no means certain that the peo- 
ple of the western states and Louisiana, would not also 
wish for a separation from us; many of the same reasons 
operate with them, that have already been mentioned to 

Washington's Farewell Address. 



14 

influence us ; the same extensive chain of mountains, offer 
themselves to them, as well as to us ; their rivers running 
from those mountains and us to the majestic Ohio and 
Missisippi, and from the lakes on the west, which 
mighty outlet receives the rivers from each side, and 
extending more than eighteen hundred miles to the 
ocean, and may be improved to carry their vast prod- 
ucts to market, besides being amply provided with territo- 
ry for a great nation ; here their chiefs ma\ find scope for 
that spirit of dictation, in concerns they better under 
stand, than commercial regulations and seamen's rights, 
with which they have been with so much reluctance oc- 
cupied. But. dear sir, leaving them to discover their own 
advantages, I shall with much esteem subscribe myself, 

Yours, &c. 



LETTER IV. 

May 6. 

DEAR Sin, 

I shall now attempt to give some reasons 
why a separation, sooner or later, must take place, be- 
tween the United States and the western country and 
Louisiana, and endeavour to shew that the sooner it takes 
place, the easier it will be effected. It may here be prop- 
er to premise, that little more may be expected in this 
number than a recapitulation of what has been noticed 
under former heads. 

1st, The vast extent of country, over which our juris- 
diction extends, may be a good reason for a separation, 
more especially, as our government is Republican, ren- 
dering necessary a similarity of political principles, man- 
ners and habits. 

2dly. The geographical situation, giving the thirteen 
states a large sufficiency of territory, included within al- 
most insurmountable barriers of mountains, of one hun- 
dred and thirty miles over, which separate the thirteen 
states from the western country and Louisiana, operates 
as another reason why they should be considered a line 



15 

of separation between us. Another reason may be, tba( 
the country beyond the mountains produces no article but 
what we have in our own in abundance, but if otherwise, 
and we wanted any of their produce, it would be too ex 
pensive to obtain it from them. 

3dly, Another reason for a separation which may be 
considered jis paramount to all others * which I conceive 
to be the totally different pursuits of the two countries, 
theirs principally are agricultural and manufacturing, 
ours are maritime and commercial, employing vast cap- 
itals in our fisheries, standing in need of a navy for our 
protection, which they view with abhorrence, and we may 
expect never will be willing to help support. It is for 
their interest, and we have already experienced their dis- 
position, as far as they have any influence, to produce 
distress and embarrassment on our side the mountains, 
that we should cross them to settle theirs. It is pre- 
sumed that no one will think this an uncharitable sug- 
gestion, that has witnessed their late conduct; and do 
we not find them zealous in increasing their states, to 
give them influence in our councils, evidently, that they 
may dictate our measures ? "Whence is it, that they have 
been so urgent in declaring war, and in all the baleful 
measures that preceded and introduced it, but to increase 
the pressure on the commercial states ? do we not see the 
effect of this animosity and jealousy increase with every 
session of Congress ? and to judge from present appear- 
ances, it cannot be long before it will break out in open 
hostility. The present season appears peculiarly favour- 
able, to produce that conviction, which is necessary to 
bring about so important a change. The many circum- 
stances calculated, not only to address our reason, but 
our senses, may not happen again till the difficulty of ef- 
fecting this necessary purpose, may be very much increas- 
ed, the operation of the war on the southern states must 
produce the conviction of the necessity of a navy, and of 
their union with the northern, who are exclusively calculat- 
ed to shield them from the dangers their peculiar situation 



16 



exposed them from the maritime force of European 
powers; and must impress them equally with the ineffic- 
iency of the states over the mountains to afford this aid ; 
it abundantly proves, what our maritime situation sug- 
gests, and our recent experience has taught, that a navy 
is our principal resource ; it by no means follows, that 
this separation will produce a war with the western coun- 
try and Louisiana. They may have their reasons to wish 
for a separation from us, no doubt a very material one 
will be the circumstance, of being obliged to assist in 
supporting a naval force, almost exclusively designed for 
our benefit, together with our relinquishment of the ter- 
ritory in which we are joint owners ; added to that of 
passing those vast mountains into our region, for the 
purposes of legislation, which from New Orleans is near 
two thousand miles, besides the general inapplicability 
of the same laws to the situation of people, extended 
over so vast a territory, so differently occupied and situ- 
ated But another circumstance may have its weight in 
producing that friendly deposition toward each other, 
that would be so desirable in two nations bordering on 
each other, that of having little, or no competition, in 
those pursuits wherein we acquire wealth ; we should be 
in infinitely less danger, from their not being a maritime 
people, as well as having our boundaries so far removed 
from each other. Should that country establish a Re- 
publican government, there would be little danger of 
collision with us, perhaps the least of any two people on 
earth ; but should that ever happen, we have no great rea- 
son to fear the result. The idea that we must extend 
our government over a whole continent to render our- 
selves safe from bad neighbours, is a chimera formed m 
the head of Thomas Jefferson, whose visionary fancy led 
him to believe also, that nations might be reasoned into 
a discharge of their duty to each other, without possess- 
ing the power to coerce them, which may appear plausi- 
ble to some, in theory, but will never do in practice. 



17 

Having trespassed, dear sir, already too much on your pa- 
tience,shall dismiss the subject at present, and subscribe 
myself sincerely, Yours, &c. 

LETTER V. 

May 10. 

DEAR SIR, J 

In my former epistles having used divers ar- 
guments to shew that the original thirteen states are 
large enough for the purpose of a Republican govern- 
ment, and given some reasons to shew, that sound pol- 
icy dictated a speedy separation from the states beyond 
the Allegany mountains and Louisiana, shall in this make 
use of another argument derived from a view of the com- 
parative difference in the contribution toward the support 
of government between the single state of Massachusetts, 
and the states of Kentucky, Tennesee, and the Ohio, for 
the last ten years, to wit, from the year 1800, to 1810, 
inclusive, "taken from a report made by the secretary of 
the treasury of the United States, on the 28th of Feb- 
ruary 1812, in pursuance of a resolution of the House of 
Representatives, and printed by their order." This re- 
port was taken from 1791, to 1810, but I have taken only 
the last ten years, beginning at 1801. 



Massachusetts. Kentucky. Tennessee. 



Ohio. 



512,49 

74,74 



1801 §2,929,753,15 807,59 

1802 1,525,909,86 1,222,31 

1803 2,490,530,68 1,416,57 

1804 3,630,931,24 

1805 3,308,046,44 . „ 

1806 3,524,326,92 *' *''?° 

1807 3,576,674,15 83, ° 9 

1808 1,184 921,95 

1809 1,384,749,28 

1810 2,774,226,34 ^j 



§26,330,070,01 3,446.47. 587,23 



5,874,97 

Notwithstanding the commercial prosperity for the last 
ten years has been so cramped, by the oppressive, re- 
strictive measures of government, which have been almost 

51 



1« 

the whole time in operation, jet the single state of Mas 
sachusetts, has paid into the public treasury, near twenty 
six millions and a half of dollars, while the states of Ken- 
tucky, Tennesee, and the Ohio, all three together, in the 
same period of ten years, have paid only §9.908,57, which 
sum is scarcely worth the trouble of collecting. Yet 
Kentucky sends ten representatives to congress, Tennesee 
six, Ohio six. and six senators, making, in the whole, 
twenty-eight votes ; and it will not be long before the In- 
diana, Michigan, and Missisippi Territories, will be admit- 
ted into the union, as separate states, a3 well as a great 
number out of Louisiana, all alike unproductive, in bear- 
ing the general burden of supporting our national govern- 
ment ; and it will not be long before the yoke will be so 
fixed on our necks, as will require some considerable ef- 
fort to shake it off. But when we speak of this country, 
we must except from the general charge, a great many 
individuals whom we would embrace in the arms of our 
affection ; whose voice against the measures that are pur- 
suing, " are hushed" by the violence of party, produced 
by a comparatively small number of demagogues, who, 
like a mighty torrent, bear down all before them ; the 
former, we should consider a valuable acquisition on our 
side the mountains. 

The advantage gained by the slave holding states in the 
original compact, in allowing the owner of every five 
slaves three votes, is such an one, as those states who 
have abolished slavery, consider unjust in principle and 
practice, and ought to be altered in a constitutional way.. 
by a revision of that instrument. But, since it is a fea- 
ture in that sacred compact, I coneeive that policy would 
dictate, that we should give it a longer trial ; and, could 
ue be disincumbered of that ponderous burden beyond 
the mountains, we might not find the operation of this 
great inequality so injurious; but, both together, will be 
Hke a millstone about the neck of the commercial states, 
more intolerable, than any thing short of being a prov 
ince of the tyrant of Frauce, and is not to be endured. 



19 

But, dear sir, having already made too great a trial of 
your patience, being so unexpectedly diffuse on this sub- 
ject, should f have contributed to your amusement, it 
must be much more owing to the novelty of the subject, 
than to the ability with which it has been handled. Give 
me now leave \>ith much sincerity to say, that I have no 
ambition greater than in possessing a share in your friend- 
ship, whilst I enjoy the retirement of a 

MASSACHUSETTS FARMER. 

LETTER VI. 

May 13. 

DEAR SIR, 

I consider the question of separation from 
the western country, and Louisiana, in comparison with 
our other party differences, as Aaron's rod among those of 
the magicians, which ought to swallow up those serpents 
that have bitten, and stung us, till we are almost as- 
similated to their likeness. This question addresses it- 
self with equal force to both parties, and imperiously 
calls on them to unite, and consult on its merits. Where 
is the honest man of either party, that would not wish 
for a grand central point, where we might all meet in 
friendship, and unite in opposing invasion, from whatever 
quarter we may be assailed ? for be assured, this centrif- 
ugal motion by which we are propelled, will land us ere 
long in the vortex of ruin. But, we have reason to fear 
we have men among us who would represent this attempt 
as seditious and wicked, having anarchy for its object ; 
but, dear sir, should any vile libeller suggest such an 
idea, examine for yourself the man, whether he is of a 
good moral character, who has been initiated iu the old 
Washington principles, that effected our revolution ; or 
whether himself, or his friends, are not deriving some 
advantage from the present order of things ; or rather, 
whether he has not acquiesced in all the measures under 
which our country is now " bleeding at every pore." If 
the latter should be the case, let his pretensions be what; 



20 

they may, he is an enemy, and leagued with those who are 
seeking the destruction of the commercial states. I ask, 
for what purpose is this wanton, cruel, and unreasonable 
war, against a people, who have been earnestly seeking 
to he on friendly terms with us, in every way compatible 
with saving to themselves their own subjects: disclaiming 
having any right to the services of Americans, they alleg 
ed, that their existence depended on keeping their own 
subjects, and it was a right recognized by every maritime 
nation, and that there was not the minister that would 
dare give it up. The first and prime object of inveterate 
hatred, of those who hold the destinies of our country, is 
commerce; the hatred indulged toward Great Britain is 
trivial in comparison to this. Commerce is considered as 
giving the commercial states their consequence, as well as 
Great Britain ,• against commerce every deadly blow has 
been levelled. The next object of their implacable ha- 
tred, is a navy ; they may now, to cover the most foul 
disgrace that ever attached to any people on earth, in 
prosecuting the war against Canada, awkwardly attempt 
to chant hosannahs to a navy, but a navy is what they ab- 
hor; and as soon as they shall not stand in need of a na- 
vy, to amuse the people, a navy will more sincerely share 
in their anathemas, and they will wish every ship of war 
sunk to the bottom of the ocean. Is this too much to 
believe of a government, who, in spite of every remon- 
strance to the contrary, are persevering, with steady, un- 
relenting aim s at the destruction of every thing the com- 
mercial states hold dear to them ? no change of circum- 
stances can make any alterations in their eonduct. 
While they are carrying war and devastation into the 
country of the unoffending Canadians, they are tantaliz- 
ing us with overtures of peace with Great Britain ; but 
the means of effecting it is of a piece with the rest of their 
deceptive conduct, and belies their pretensions, while it 
betrays their insincerity. Albert Gallatin, a man in ev- 
ery respect a Frenchman, who is known to be in principle 
hostile to Great Britain, is sent to the court of Russia, and 



21 

through her mediation it seems a peace is expected ; when 
admiral Warren is on the spot, who has announced to our 
government, that he has full powers to settle with us our 
differences : such absurdily is sufficient to shock the un- 
derstanding, and, on so important a subject, fill us with 
alarm and dismay. But the day begins to dawn, the 
honest of that party, who for the want of that knowledge 
which would have enabled them to have judged more 
correctly, are flocking to the standard of Washington and 
their country. New-Hampshire, which has been lately 
democratic, is entirely renovated, having each branch 
federal ,• Massachusetts stands erect, having purged her 
legislature of those Gerrymandering desperate men, that 
threatened their destruction ; repealing those acts that 
two years ago threatened the prostration of every thing 
valuable in the commonwealth, under the administration 
of Mr. Gerry. Rhode- rsland, Connecticut, and we may 
say New York, Vermont, Delaware, and Maryland, are 
nearly all changed, and we anticipate from the great 
change that is taking place in Virginia, that the time is 
not very far distant, when we shall again embrace our 
elder sister, and, like two friends that have fallen out, 
have an increased affection to each other. 



TO THE PUBLIC 

The subject contained in the foregoing sheets are with 
much diffidence offered to the public, rather as an intro- 
duction of a subject, that every day's experience offers 
additional reason to contemplate. Should this feeble at- 
tempt be the means of introducing it where it may be 
handled with much more ability, the end of the writer 
will be fully answered. He could not however discern 
any ill consequences from the attempt to excite a spirit 
of inquiry. Should there be any danger from the dis- 
cussion, it is conceived to be in its having a tendency to 
check the intolerance complained of, when the disposi- 
tion remains, and is gathering strength, more effectually 
to operate against us ; an undisguised sample of which 
we have had an opportunity of witnessing. But it requires 
all we have suffered, and it is to be feared a little more, 
owing to a general apathy, to rouse us to that spirit, that 
appears to be necessary to effect so important a purpose. 
Does any want a better reason for this change, than that 
the country over the mountains heartily acquiesce in the 
measures that has produced this distress in the Atlan- 
tic states, and were the most efficient cause of effect- 
ing it, and from a number of circumstances appear rather 
the effect of an inherent disposition than mistake. To a 
true American, the union of the states has deservedly had 
a peculiarcharm, and some have appeared to suppose,that 
like the wand of the magician, it would shield them from 
every danger : but if this union is experienced, through 
certain deleterious qualities a part possesses, to be de- 
structive to the rest, it must be given up. The copart- 
nership must be dissolved, to prevent one of the concern 
from destroying the other. But when we consider the 
joint stock, when divided, quite sufficient to be improved 
separately, and from the nature of it consisting princi^ 



23 

pally in real estate, and lying in two different hemis- 
pheres, it would seem that hoth might be benefited by a 
dissolution which would enable each to improve his stock 
or estate in his own way. But very different is the case 
between the states on this side of the mountains, who re- 
semble a large family, bound together by the ties of con- 
sanguinity ; who, having a large patrimony left them, ly- 
ing in the same region, which estate being entailed, pro- 
vides, that it should be improved jointly by the heirs. 
Should a difference happen, each one would find it for his 
interest to make advances toward a settlement, and no 
one would be likely to be influenced, either by jealousy or 
caprice, to embarrass the improvement of the estate, as 
the promotion of all their interests depends on the best 
manner in which it could be improved. Not so the other 
concern ; living at a great distance, having no natural re- 
lationship, and scarcely an acquaintance ; possessing an 
implacable jealousy, whose interest it is to prevent us 
from even fencing our land, to keep out the wild and 
tame beasts, from devouring all our crop, after we have 
fallowed and sowed our grounds. 

Should any be of an opinion, who live in the middle 
states, that they shall lose their customers over the moun- 
tains by this separation, I would reply to them by asking, 
whether they suppose America trades less with Great 
Britain, or any European power, for being another na- 
tion? and whether the argument is not rather in favour 
of keeping a better understanding with them* by supply- 
ing them with foreign goods through our own market ? The 
desire of the writer is not to impare but to strengthen the 
ligaments that hold the thirteen states together, he having 
as deep a stake in the consequences of the measures of 
government, as a large family of children would be suppos- 
ed to give him ; his aim has been to conciliate the two par- 
ties, and unite the honest and well meaning, by directing 
their attention to a particular point by which we may obtain 
the object of our wishes, peace and prosperity. Should not 
this devoutly wished for end be accomplished, he has the 



24 

consolation arising from a conviction of having made an 
honest attempt. He is well aware there are divers opin- 
ions on this subject. Some suppose we ought to wait till 
the western country and Louisiana propose a separation 
from us ; but we will suppose that should not take place, 
and we shall think a separation necessary ; what is to be 
done ? It may be said, that should this proposal be made 
by the federalists, there are those who, like Jezebel, 
would cry treason ! treason ! and would try to fix a stig- 
ma on that party for so doing ; which seems to presume 
(what has not been conceded) that no circumstances can 
make a separation necessary. But should we wait till all 
those disappointed, desperate men, of that party, who are 
now acquiescing in this wicked war, should harmonize with 
us, we might wait till the millennial state should have cured 
the evil disposition of mankind. As well might it be made 
a reason, why the Gospel should not be preached, because 
the evil spirits with their influence would be in danger of 
counteracting it. But this is no party question, further 
than its having been proposed by a federalist ; and it was 
proposed in the hope of being instrumental in uniting, in 
sentiment and pursuit, the original thirteen states, which 
appears to be the last hope of our country. 



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