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In this last list I have
good reason to believe I was included. A memorandum in the hand-writing
of Robespierre was afterwards produced in the Convention, by the
committee to whom the papers of Robespierre were referred, in these
words:

"Demander que Thomas "I Demand that Thomas Paine
"Payne soit décrété d'ac- be decreed of accusation
"cusation pour les inté- for the interests of America
"rôtsde l'Amérique,autant as well as of France."
"que de la France."


1 In reading this the Committee added, "Why Thomas Payne
more than another? Because He helped to establish the
liberty of both worlds."--_Editor_.

I had then been imprisoned seven months, and the silence of the
Executive part of the government of America (Mr. Washington) upon the
case, and upon every thing respecting me, was explanation enough to
Robespierre that he might proceed to extremities.

A violent fever which had nearly terminated my existence, was, I
believe, the circumstance that preserved it. I was not in a condition to
be removed, or to know of what was passing, or of what had passed, for
more than a month. It makes a blank in my remembrance of life. The first
thing I was informed of was the fall of Robespierre.

About a week after this, Mr. Monroe arrived to supercede Gouverneur
Morris, and as soon as I was able to write a note legible enough to be
read, I found a way to convey one to him by means of the man who lighted
the lamps in the prison; and whose unabated friendship to me, from whom
he had never received any service, and with difficulty accepted any
recompense, puts the character of Mr. Washington to shame.

In a few days I received a message from Mr. Monroe, conveyed to me in a
note from an intermediate person, with assurance of his friendship, and
expressing a desire that I would rest the case in his hands. After a
fortnight or more had passed, and hearing nothing farther, I wrote to a
friend who was then in Paris, a citizen of Philadelphia, requesting him
to inform me what was the true situation of things with respect to me. I
was sure that something was the matter; I began to have hard thoughts of
Mr. Washington, but I was unwilling to encourage them.

In about ten days, I received an answer to my letter, in which the
writer says, "Mr. Monroe has told me that he has no order [meaning from
the President, Mr. Washington] respecting you, but that he (Mr. Monroe)
will do every thing in his power to liberate you; but, from what I learn
from the Americans lately arrived in Paris, you are not considered,
either by the American government, or by the individuals, as an American
citizen."

I was now at no loss to understand Mr. Washington and his new fangled
faction, and that their policy was silently to leave me to fall in
France. They were rushing as fast as they could venture, without
awakening the jealousy of America, into all the vices and corruptions of
the British government; and it was no more consistent with the policy
of Mr. Washington, and those who immediately surrounded him, than it was
with that of Robespierre or of Pitt, that I should survive. They have,
however, missed the mark, and the reaction is upon themselves.

Upon the receipt of the letter just alluded to, I sent a memorial to Mr.
Monroe, which the reader will find in the appendix, and I received from
him the following answer.(1) It is dated the 18th of September, but did
not come to hand till about the 4th of October. I was then failing into
a relapse, the weather was becoming damp and cold, fuel was not to be
had, and the abscess in my side, the consequence of these things, and
of the want of air and exercise, was beginning to form, and which has
continued immoveable ever since. Here follows Mr. Monroe's letter.

1 The appendix consisted of an abridgment of the Memorial,
which forms the preceding chapter (XXI.) in this volume.--
_Editor._.


Paris, September 18th, 1794. "Dear Sir,

"I was favoured soon after my arrival here with several letters from
you, and more latterly with one in the character of memorial upon the
subject of your confinement; and should have answered them at the
times they were respectively written had I not concluded you would have
calculated with certainty upon the deep interest I take in your welfare,
and the pleasure with which I shall embrace every opportunity in my
power to serve you. I should still pursue the same course, and for
reasons which must obviously occur, if I did not find that you are
disquieted with apprehensions upon interesting points, and which justice
to you and our country equally forbid you should entertain. You mention
that you have been informed you are not considered as an American
citizen by the Americans, and that you have likewise heard that I had
no instructions respecting you by the government. I doubt not the person
who gave you the information meant well, but I suspect he did not even
convey accurately his own ideas on the first point: for I presume the
most he could say is, that you had likewise become a French citizen,
and which by no means deprived you of being an American one. Even
this, however, may be doubted, I mean the acquisition of citizenship in
France, and I confess you have said much to show that it has not been
made. I really suspect that this was all that the gentleman who wrote
to you, and those Americans he heard speak upon the subject meant. It
becomes my duty, however, to declare to you, that I consider you as
an American citizen, and that you are considered universally in that
character by the people of America. As such you are entitled to my
attention; and so far as it can be given consistently with those
obligations which are mutual between every government and even a
transient passenger, you shall receive it.

"The Congress have never decided upon the subject of citizenship in
a manner to regard the present case. By being with us through the
revolution you are of our country as absolutely as if you had been born
there, and you are no more of England, than every native American is.
This is the true doctrine in the present case, so far as it becomes
complicated with any other consideration. I have mentioned it to make
you easy upon the only point which could give you any disquietude.

"Is it necessary for me to tell you how much all your countrymen, I
speak of the great mass of the people, are interested in your welfare?
They have not forgotten the history of their own revolution and the
difficult scenes through which they passed; nor do they review its
several stages without reviving in their bosoms a due sensibility of the
merits of those who served them in that great and arduous conflict. The
crime of ingratitude has not yet stained, and I trust never will stain,
our national character. You are considered by them as not only having
rendered important service in our own revolution, but as being, on a
more extensive scale, the friend of human rights, and a distinguished
and able advocate in favour of public liberty. To the welfare of Thomas
Paine, the Americans are not, nor can they be, indifferent.

"Of the sense which the President has always entertained of your merits,
and of his friendly disposition towards you, you are too well assured
to require any declaration of it from me. That I forward his wishes
in seeking your safety is what I well know, and this will form an
additional obligation on me to perform what I should otherwise consider
as a duty.

"You are, in my opinion, at present menaced by no kind of danger.
To liberate you, will be an object of my endeavours, and as soon as
possible. But you must, until that event shall be accomplished, bear
your situation with patience and fortitude. You will likewise have the
justice to recollect, that I am placed here upon a difficult theatre*
many important objects to attend to, with few to consult It becomes me
in pursuit of those to regulate my conduct in respect to each, as to
the manner and the time, as will, in my judgment, be best calculated to
accomplish the whole.

"With great esteem and respect consider me personally your friend,

"James Monroe."


The part in Mr. Monroe's letter, in which he speaks of the President,
(Mr. Washington,) is put in soft language. Mr. Monroe knew what Mr.
Washington had said formerly, and he was willing to keep that in view.
But the fact is, not only that Mr. Washington had given no orders to Mr.
Monroe, as the letter [of Whiteside] stated, but he did not so much as
say to him, enquire if Mr. Paine be dead or alive, in prison or out, or
see if there be any assistance we can give him.

This I presume alludes to the embarrassments which the
strange conduct of Gouverneur Morris had occasioned, and
which, I well know, had created suspicions of the sincerity
of Mr. Washington.--_Author_. voi. m--ij

While these matters were passing, the liberations from the prisons were
numerous; from twenty to forty in the course of almost every twenty-four
hours. The continuance of my imprisonment after a new Minister had
arrived immediately from America, which was now more than two months,
was a matter so obviously strange, that I found the character of the
American government spoken of in very unqualified terms of reproach;
not only by those who still remained in prison, but by those who were
liberated, and by persons who had access to the prison from without.
Under these circumstances I wrote again to Mr. Monroe, and found
occasion, among other things, to say: "It will not add to the popularity
of Mr. Washington to have it believed in America, as it is believed
here, that he connives at my imprisonment."

The case, so far as it respected Mr. Monroe, was, that having to get
over the difficulties, which the strange conduct of Gouverneur Morris
had thrown in the way of a successor, and having no authority from the
American government to speak officially upon any thing relating to me,
he found himself obliged to proceed by unofficial means with individual
members; for though Robespierre was overthrown, the Robespierrian
members of the Committee of Public Safety still remained in considerable
force, and had they found out that Mr.



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