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The preparations in
Denmark continue, notwithstanding the convention that she has made with
England, which leaves the question with respect to the right set up by
England to stop and search Neutral vessels undecided. I send you the
paragraphs upon the subject.

The tumults are great in all parts of England on account of the
excessive price of corn and bread, which has risen since the harvest.
I attribute it more to the abundant increase of paper, and the
non-circulation of cash, than to any other cause. People in trade
can push the paper off as fast as they receive it, as they did by
continental money in America; but as farmers have not this opportunity,
they endeavor to secure themselves by going considerably in advance.

I have now given you all the great articles of intelligence, for I
trouble not myself with little ones, and consequently not with the
Commissioners, nor any thing they are about, nor with John Adams,
otherwise than to wish him safe home, and a better and wiser man in his
place.

In the present state of circumstances and the prospects arising from
them, it may be proper for America to consider whether it is worth her
while to enter into any treaty at this moment, or to wait the event of
those circumstances which if they go on will render partial treaties
useless by deranging them. But if, in the mean time, she enters into
any treaty it ought to be with a condition to the following purpose:
Reserving to herself the right of joining in an Association of Nations
for the protection of the Rights of Neutral Commerce and the security of
the liberty of the Seas.

The pieces 2, 3, may go to the press. They will make a small pamphlet
and the printers are welcome to put my name to it. (It is best it should
be put.) From thence they will get into the newspapers. I know that the
faction of John Adams abuses me pretty heartily. They are welcome.

It does not disturb me, and they lose their labour; and in return for
it I am doing America more service, as a neutral Nation, than their
expensive Commissioners can do, and she has that service from me for
nothing. The piece No. 1 is only for your own amusement and that of your
friends.

I come now to speak confidentially to you on a private subject. When Mr.
Ellsworth and Davie return to America, Murray will return to Holland,
and in that case there will be nobody in Paris but Mr. Skipwith that
has been in the habit of transacting business with the french Government
since the revolution began. He is on a good standing with them, and if
the chance of the day should place you in the presidency you cannot do
better than appoint him for any purpose you may have occasion for in
France. He is an honest man and will do his country justice, and that
with civility and good manners to the government he is commissioned to
act with; a faculty which that Northern Bear Timothy Pickering wanted,
and which the Bear of that Bear, John Adams, never possessed.

I know not much of Mr. Murray, otherwise than of his unfriendliness to
every American who is not of his faction, but I am sure that Joel Barlow
is a much fitter man to be in Holland than Mr. Murray. It is upon
the fitness of the man to the place that I speak, for I have not
communicated a thought upon the subject to Barlow, neither does he
know, at the time of my writing this (for he is at Havre), that I have
intention to do it.

I will now, by way of relief, amuse you with some account of the
progress of iron bridges.

[Here follows an account of the building of the iron bridge at
Sunderland, England, and some correspondence with Mr. Milbanke, M. P.,
which will be given more fully and precisely in a chapter of vol. IV.
(Appendix), on Iron Bridges, and is therefore omitted here.]

I have now made two other Models [of bridges]. One is pasteboard, five
feet span and five inches of height from the cords. It is in the opinion
of every person who has seen it one of the most beautiful objects the
eye can behold. I then cast a model in metal following the construction
of that in paste-board and of the same dimensions. The whole was
executed in my own Chamber. It is far superior in strength, elegance,
and readiness in execution to the model I made in America, and which you
saw in Paris.(1) I shall bring those models with me when I come
home, which will be as soon as I can pass the seas in safety from the
piratical John Bulls. I suppose you have seen, or have heard of the
Bishop of Landaff's answer to my second part of the Age of Reason. As
soon as I got a copy of it I began a third part, which served also as an
answer to the Bishop; but as soon as the clerical society for promoting
_Christian Knowledge_ knew of my intention to answer the Bishop, they
prosecuted, as a Society, the printer of the first and second parts, to
prevent that answer appearing. No other reason than this can be assigned
for their prosecuting at the time they did, because the first part had
been in circulation above three years and the second part more than one,
and they prosecuted immediately on knowing that I was taking up their
Champion. The Bishop's answer, like Mr. Burke's attack on the french
revolution, served me as a back-ground to bring forward other subjects
upon, with more advantage than if the background was not there. This is
the motive that induced me to answer him, otherwise I should have gone
on without taking any notice of him. I have made and am still making
additions to the manuscript, and shall continue to do so till an
opportunity arrive for publishing it.

1 "These models exhibit an extraordinary degree not only of
skill, but of taste, and are wrought with extreme delicacy
entirely by his own hands. The largest is nearly four feet
in length; the iron-works, the chains, and every other
article belonging to it, were forged and manufactured by
himself. It is intended as the model of a bridge which is to
be constructed across the Delaware, extending 480 feet, with
only one arch. The other is to be erected over a lesser
river, whose name I forget, and is likewise a single arch,
and of his own workmanship, excepting the chains, which,
instead of iron, are cut out of paste-hoard by the fair hand
of his correspondent, the 'Little Corner of the World' (Lady
Smyth), whose indefatigable perseverance is extraordinary.
He was offered 3000 for these models and refused it."--
Yorke's _Letters from France_, These models excited much
admiration in Washington and Philadelphia. They remained for
a long time in Peale's Museum at Philadelphia, but no trace
is left of them.--_Editor._

If any American frigate should come to france, and the direction of
it fall to you, I will be glad you would give me the opportunity of
returning. The abscess under which I suffered almost two years is
entirely healed of itself, and I enjoy exceeding good health. This is
the first of October, and Mr. Skipwith has just called to tell me the
Commissioners set off for Havre to-morrow. This will go by the frigate
but not with the knowledge of the Commissioners. Remember me with much
affection to my friends and accept the same to yourself.

Thomas Paine.




XXXII. PROPOSAL THAT LOUISIANA BE PURCHASED.(1)


(SENT TO THE PRESIDENT, CHRISTMAS DAY, 1802.)

1 Paine, being at Lovell's Hotel, Washington, suggested the
purchase of Louisiana to Dr. Michael Leib, representative
from Pennsylvania, who, being pleased with the idea,
suggested that he should write it to Jefferson. On the day
after its reception the President told Paine that "measures
were already taken in that business."--_Editor._.

Spain has ceded Louisiana to France, and France has excluded Americans
from New Orleans, and the navigation of the Mississippi. The people of
the Western Territory have complained of it to their Government, and the
Government is of consequence involved and interested in the affair. The
question then is--What is the best step to be taken?

The one is to begin by memorial and remonstrance against an infraction
of a right. The other is by accommodation,--still keeping the right in
view, but not making it a groundwork.

Suppose then the Government begin by making a proposal to France to
re-purchase the cession made to her by Spain, of Louisiana, provided it
be with the consent of the people of Louisiana, or a majority thereof.

By beginning on this ground any thing can be said without carrying the
appearance of a threat. The growing power of the Western Territory can
be stated as a matter of information, and also the impossibility
of restraining them from seizing upon New Orleans, and the equal
impossibility of France to prevent it.

Suppose the proposal attended to, the sum to be given comes next on
the carpet. This, on the part of America, will be estimated between the
value of the commerce and the quantity of revenue that Louisiana will
produce.

The French Treasury is not only empty, but the Government has consumed
by anticipation a great part of the next year's revenue. A monied
proposal will, I believe, be attended to; if it should, the claims upon
France can be stipulated as part of the payment, and that sum can be
paid here to the claimants.

----I congratulate you on _The Birthday of the New Sun_,

now called Christmas Day; and I make you a present of a thought on
Louisiana.

T.P.




XXXIII. THOMAS PAINE TO THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES,


And particularly to the Leaders of the Federal Faction, LETTER I.(1)

1 The National Intelligencer, November 15th. The venerable
Mr. Gales, so long associated with this paper, had been in
youth a prosecuted adherent of Paine in Sheffield, England.
The paper distinguished itself by the kindly welcome it gave
Paine on his return to America. (See issues of Nov. 3 and
10, 1802.) Paine landed at Baltimore, Oct. 30th.--_Editor._,

After an absence of almost fifteen years, I am again returned to the
country in whose dangers I bore my share, and to whose greatness I
contributed my part.

When I sailed for Europe, in the spring of 1787, it was my intention to
return to America the next year, and enjoy in retirement the esteem of
my friends, and the repose I was entitled to.



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