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least atonement they can now offer is to make the Letter as public as
they have made their own infamy, and learn to lie no more.

The same injustice they shewed to Mr. Jefferson they shewed to me. I
had employed myself in Europe, and at my own expense, in forming and
promoting a plan that would, in its operation, have benefited the
Commerce of America; and the faction here invented and circulated an
account in the papers they employ, that I had given a plan to the French
for burning all the towns on the Coast from Savannah to Baltimore. Were
I to prosecute them for this (and I do not promise that I will not, for
the Liberty of the Press is not the liberty of lying,) there is not a
federal judge, not even one of Midnight appointment, but must, from the
nature of the case, be obliged to condemn them. The faction, however,
cannot complain they have been restrained in any thing. They have had
their full swing of lying uncontradicted; they have availed themselves,
unopposed, of all the arts Hypocrisy could devise; and the event has
been, what in all such cases it ever will and ought to be, _the ruin of
themselves_.

The Characters of the late and of the present Administrations are now
sufficiently marked, and the adherents of each keep up the distinction.
The former Administration rendered itself notorious by outrage,
coxcombical parade, false alarms, a continued increase of taxes, and an
unceasing clamor for War; and as every vice has a virtue opposed to
it, the present Administration moves on the direct contrary line.
The question, therefore, at elections is not properly a question upon
Persons, but upon principles. Those who are for Peace, moderate taxes,
and mild Government, will vote for the Administration that conducts
itself by those principles, in whatever hands that Administration may
be.

There are in the United States, and particularly in the middle States,
several religious Sects, whose leading moral principle is PEACE. It is,
therefore, impossible that such Persons, consistently with the dictates
of that principle, can vote for an Administration that is clamorous
for War. When moral principles, rather than Persons, are candidates for
Power, to vote is to perform a moral duty, and not to vote is to neglect
a duty.

That persons who are hunting after places, offices, and contracts,
should be advocates for War, taxes, and extravagance, is not to be
wondered at; but that so large a portion of the People who had nothing
to depend upon but their Industry, and no other public prospect but that
of paying taxes, and bearing the burden, should be advocates for the
same measures, is a thoughtlessness not easily accounted for. But reason
is recovering her empire, and the fog of delusion is clearing away.

Thomas Paine.

BORDENTOWN, ON THE DELAWARE,

New Jersey, April 21, 1803.(1)


1 Endorsed: "Sent by Gen. Bloomfield per Mr. Wilson for Mr.
Duane." And, in a later hand: "Paine Letter 6. Found among
the Bartram Papers sent by Col. Carr."--Editor.




XXXIV. TO THE FRENCH INHABITANTS OF LOUISIANA.(1)

1 In a letter to Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury
(Oct 14, 1804), John Randolph of Roanoke proposed "the
printing of -- thousand copies of Tom Paine's answer to
their remonstrance, and transmitting them by as many
thousand troops, who can speak a language perfectly
intelligible to the people of Louisiana, whatever that of
their government may be," The purchase of Louisiana was
announced to the Senate by President Jefferson, October 17,
1803.--Editor.

A publication having the appearance of a memorial and remonstrance, to
be presented to Congress at the ensuing session, has appeared in several
papers. It is therefore open to examination, and I offer you my remarks
upon it. The title and introductory paragraph are as follows:

"_To the Congress of the United States in the Senate and House of
Representatives convened_: We the subscribers, planters, merchants, and
other inhabitants of Louisiana, respectfully approach the legislature
of the United States with a memorial of _our rights_, a remonstrance
against certain laws which contravene them, and a petition for
that redress to which the laws of nature, sanctioned by positive
stipulations, have entitled us."

It often happens that when one party, or one that thinks itself a party,
talks much about its rights, it puts those of the other party upon
examining into their own, and such is the effect produced by your
memorial.

A single reading of that memorial will show it is the work of some
person who is not of your people. His acquaintance with the cause,
commencement, progress, and termination of the American revolution,
decides this point; and his making our merits in that revolution the
ground of your claims, as if our merits could become yours, show she
does not understand your situation.

We obtained our rights by calmly understanding principles, and by the
successful event of a long, obstinate, and expensive war. But it is
not incumbent on us to fight the battles of the world for the world's
profit. You are already participating, without any merit or expense in
obtaining it, the blessings of freedom acquired by ourselves; and in
proportion as you become initiated into the principles and practice of
the representative system of government, of which you have yet had no
experience, you will participate more, and finally be partakers of the
whole. You see what mischief ensued in France by the possession of power
before they understood principles. They earned liberty in words, but
not in fact. The writer of this was in France through the whole of
the revolution, and knows the truth of what he speaks; for after
endeavouring to give it principle, he had nearly fallen a victim to its
rage.

There is a great want of judgment in the person who drew up your
memorial. He has mistaken your case, and forgotten his own; and by
trying to court your applause has injured your pretensions. He has
written like a lawyer, straining every point that would please his
client, without studying his advantage. I find no fault with the
composition of the memorial, for it is well written; nor with the
principles of liberty it contains, considered in the abstract. The error
lies in the misapplication of them, and in assuming a ground they have
not a right to stand upon. Instead of their serving you as a ground of
reclamation against us, they change into a satire on yourselves. Why
did you not speak thus when you ought to have spoken it? We fought for
liberty when you stood quiet in slavery.

The author of the memorial injudiciously confounding two distinct
cases together, has spoken as if he was the memorialist of a body of
Americans, who, after sharing equally with us in all the dangers and
hardships of the revolutionary war, had retired to a distance and made
a settlement for themselves. If, in such a situation, Congress had
established a temporary government over them, in which they were not
personally consulted, they would have had a right to speak as the
memorial speaks. But your situation is different from what the situation
of such persons would be, and therefore their ground of reclamation
cannot of right become yours. You are arriving at freedom by the easiest
means that any people ever enjoyed it; without contest, without expense,
and even without any contrivance of your own. And you already so far
mistake principles, that under the name of _rights_ you ask for _powers;
power to import and enslave Africans_; and _to govern_ a territory that
_we have purchased_.

To give colour to your memorial, you refer to the treaty of cession, (in
which _you were not_ one of the contracting parties,) concluded at Paris
between the governments of the United States and France.

"The third article" you say "of the treaty lately concluded at
Paris declares, that the inhabitants of the ceded territory shall be
incorporated in the union of the United States, and admitted _as soon as
possible, according to the principles_ of the Federal Constitution, to
the enjoyment of all the rights, advantages, and immunities of citizens
of the United States; and _in the mean time_, they shall be protected
in the enjoyment of their liberty, property, and the exercise of the
religion they profess."

As from your former condition, you cannot be much acquainted with
diplomatic policy, and I am convinced that even the gentleman who
drew up the memorial is not, I will explain to you the grounds of this
article. It may prevent your running into further errors.

The territory of Louisiana had been so often ceded to different European
powers, that it became a necessary article on the part of France,
and for the security of Spain, the ally of France, and which accorded
perfectly with our own principles and intentions, that it should be
_ceded no more_; and this article, stipulating for the incorporation of
Louisiana into the union of the United States, stands as a bar against
all future cession, and at the same time, as well as "_in the mean
time_" secures to you a civil and political permanency, personal
security and liberty which you never enjoyed before.

France and Spain might suspect, (and the suspicion would not have been
ill-founded had the cession been treated for in the administration of
John Adams, or when Washington was president, and Alexander Hamilton
president over him,) that we _bought_ Louisiana for the British
government, or with a view of selling it to her; and though such
suspicion had no just ground to stand upon with respect to our present
president, Thomas Jefferson, who is not only not a man of intrigue but
who possesses that honest pride of principle that cannot be intrigued
with, and which keeps intriguers at a distance, the article was
nevertheless necessary as a precaution against future contingencies.
But you, from not knowing the political ground of the article, apply
to yourselves _personally_ and _exclusively_, what had reference to the
_territory_, to prevent its falling into the hands of any foreign
power that might endanger the [establishment of] _Spanish_ dominion in
America, or those of the _French_ in the West India Islands.

You claim, (you say), to be incorporated into the union of the United
States, and your remonstrances on this subject are unjust and without
cause.

You are already _incorporated_ into it as fully and effectually as the
Americans themselves are, who are settled in Louisiana.



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