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You enjoy the
same rights, privileges, advantages, and immunities, which they
enjoy; and when Louisiana, or some part of it, shall be erected into a
constitutional State, you also will be citizens equal with them.

You speak in your memorial, as if you were the only people who were
to live in Louisiana, and as if the territory was purchased that
you exclusively might govern it. In both these cases you are greatly
mistaken. The emigrations from the United States into the purchased
territory, and the population arising therefrom, will, in a few years,
exceed you in numbers. It is but twenty-six years since Kentucky
began to be settled, and it already contains more than _double_ your
population.

In a candid view of the case, you ask for what would be injurious to
yourselves to receive, and unjust in us to grant. _Injurious_, because
the settlement of Louisiana will go on much faster under the government
and guardianship of Congress, then if the government of it were
committed to _your_ hands; and consequently, the landed property
you possessed as individuals when the treaty was concluded, or have
purchased since, will increase so much faster in value.--_Unjust to
ourselves_, because as the reimbursements of the purchase money must
come out of the sale of the lands to new settlers, the government of it
cannot suddenly go out of the hands of Congress. They are guardians of
that property for _all the people of the United States_. And besides
this, as the new settlers will be chiefly from the United States, it
would be unjust and ill policy to put them and their property under the
jurisdiction of a people whose freedom they had contributed to purchase.
You ought also to recollect, that the French Revolution has not
exhibited to the world that grand display of principles and rights, that
would induce settlers from other countries to put themselves under a
French jurisdiction in Louisiana. Beware of intriguers who may push you
on from private motives of their own.

You complain of two cases, one of which you have _no right_, no concern
with; and the other is founded in direct injustice.

You complain that Congress has passed a law to divide the country
into two territories. It is not improper to inform you, that after the
revolutionary war ended, Congress divided the territory acquired by
that war into ten territories; each of which was to be erected into a
constitutional State, when it arrived at a certain population mentioned
in the Act; and, in the mean time, an officer appointed by the
President, as the Governor of Louisiana now is, presided, as Governor
of the Western Territory, over all such parts as have not arrived at
the maturity of _statehood_. Louisiana will require to be divided
into twelve States or more; but this is a matter that belongs to _the
purchaser_ of the territory of Louisiana, and with which the inhabitants
of the town of New-Orleans have no right to interfere; and beside this,
it is probable that the inhabitants of the other territory would choose
to be independent of New-Orleans. They might apprehend, that on some
speculating pretence, their produce might be put in requisition, and a
maximum price put on it--a thing not uncommon in a French government.
As a general rule, without refining upon sentiment, one may put
confidence in the justice of those who have no inducement to do us
injustice; and this is the case Congress stands in with respect to both
territories, and to all other divisions that may be laid out, and to all
inhabitants and settlers, of whatever nation they may be.

There can be no such thing as what the memorial speaks of, that is, _of
a Governor appointed by the President who may have no interest in the
welfare of Louisiana_. He must, from the nature of the case, have more
interest in it than any other person can have. He is entrusted with the
care of an extensive tract of country, now the property of the United
States by purchase. The value of those lands will depend on the
increasing prosperity of Louisiana, its agriculture, commerce, and
population. You have only a local and partial interest in the town of
New-Orleans, or its vicinity; and if, in consequence of exploring the
country, new seats of commerce should offer, his general interest would
lead him to open them, and your partial interest to shut them up.

There is probably some justice in your remark, as it applies to the
governments under which you _formerly_ lived. Such governments
always look with jealousy, and an apprehension of revolt, on colonies
increasing in prosperity and population, and they send governors to
_keep them down_. But when you argue from the conduct of governments
_distant and despotic_, to that of _domestic_ and _free_ government, it
shows you do not understand the principles and interest of a Republic,
and to put you right is friendship. We have had experience, and you have
not.

The other case to which I alluded, as being founded in direct injustice,
is that in which you petition for _power_, under the name of _rights_,
to import and enslave Africans!

_Dare you put up a petition to Heaven for such a power, without fearing
to be struck from the earth by its justice?_

_Why, then, do you ask it of man against man?_

_Do you want to renew in Louisiana the horrors of Domingo?_


Common Sense.

Sept 22, 1804.


END OF VOLUME III.






THE WRITINGS OF THOMAS PAINE

By Thomas Paine


Collected And Edited By Moncure Daniel Conway

VOLUME IV.




THE AGE OF REASON


(1796)


Contents

Editor's Introduction

Part One
Chapter I - The Author's Profession Of Faith
Chapter II - Of Missions And Revelations
Chapter III - Concerning The Character of Jesus Christ, And His History
Chapter IV - Of The Bases Of Christianity
Chapter V - Examination In Detail Of The Preceding Bases
Chapter VI - Of The True Theology
Chapter VII - Examination Of The Old Testament
Chapter VIII - Of The New Testament
Chapter IX - In What The True Revelation Consists
Chapter X - Concerning God, And The Lights Cast On His Existence And
Attributes By The Bible
Chapter XI - Of The Theology Of The Christians; And The True Theology
Chapter XII - The Effects Of Christianism On Education; Proposed Reforms
Chapter XIII - Comparison Of Christianism With The Religious Ideas
Inspired By Nature
Chapter XIV - System Of The Universe
Chapter XV - Advantages Of The Existence Of Many Worlds In Each Solar
System
Chapter XVI - Applications Of The Preceding To The System Of The
Christians
Chapter XVII - Of The Means Employed In All Time, And Almost
Universally, To Deceive The Peoples
Recapitulation

Part Two
Preface
Chapter I - The Old Testament
Chapter II - The New Testament
Chapter III - Conclusion




EDITOR'S INTRODUCTION

WITH SOME RESULTS OF RECENT RESEARCHES.

IN the opening year, 1793, when revolutionary France had beheaded its
king, the wrath turned next upon the King of kings, by whose grace every
tyrant claimed to reign. But eventualities had brought among them a
great English and American heart--Thomas Paine. He had pleaded for Louis
Caper--"Kill the king but spare the man." Now he pleaded,--"Disbelieve
in the King of kings, but do not confuse with that idol the Father of
Mankind!"

In Paine's Preface to the Second Part of "The Age of Reason" he
describes himself as writing the First Part near the close of the year
1793. "I had not finished it more than six hours, in the state it has
since appeared, before a guard came about three in the morning, with an
order signed by the two Committees of Public Safety and Surety General,
for putting me in arrestation." This was on the morning of December 28.
But it is necessary to weigh the words just quoted--"in the state it has
since appeared." For on August 5, 1794, Francois Lanthenas, in an
appeal for Paine's liberation, wrote as follows: "I deliver to Merlin
de Thionville a copy of the last work of T. Payne [The Age of Reason],
formerly our colleague, and in custody since the decree excluding
foreigners from the national representation. This book was written by
the author in the beginning of the year '93 (old style). I undertook its
translation before the revolution against priests, and it was published
in French about the same time. Couthon, to whom I sent it, seemed
offended with me for having translated this work."

Under the frown of Couthon, one of the most atrocious colleagues of
Robespierre, this early publication seems to have been so effectually
suppressed that no copy bearing that date, 1793, can be found in France
or elsewhere. In Paine's letter to Samuel Adams, printed in the present
volume, he says that he had it translated into French, to stay the
progress of atheism, and that he endangered his life "by opposing
atheism." The time indicated by Lanthenas as that in which he submitted
the work to Couthon would appear to be the latter part of March, 1793,
the fury against the priesthood having reached its climax in the decrees
against them of March 19 and 26. If the moral deformity of Couthon, even
greater than that of his body, be remembered, and the readiness with
which death was inflicted for the most theoretical opinion not approved
by the "Mountain," it will appear probable that the offence given
Couthon by Paine's book involved danger to him and his translator.
On May 31, when the Girondins were accused, the name of Lanthenas was
included, and he barely escaped; and on the same day Danton persuaded
Paine not to appear in the Convention, as his life might be in danger.
Whether this was because of the "Age of Reason," with its fling at the
"Goddess Nature" or not, the statements of author and translator
are harmonized by the fact that Paine prepared the manuscript, with
considerable additions and changes, for publication in English, as he
has stated in the Preface to Part II.

A comparison of the French and English versions, sentence by sentence,
proved to me that the translation sent by Lanthenas to Merlin de
Thionville in 1794 is the same as that he sent to Couthon in 1793.



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