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tined him for a high appointment, it was out of respect for the favor he had obtained with the republican party, by his extraordinary exertions and successes in the New York election in 1800.
April the 15th, 1806. About a month ago, Colonel Burr called on me, and entered into a conversation, in which he mentioned, that a little before my coming into office, I had written to him a letter intimating that I had destined him for a high employ, had he not been placed by the people in a different one; that he had signified his willingness to resign as Vice-President, to give aid to the administration in any other place, that he had never asked an office, however; he asked aid of nobody, but could walk on his own legs and take care of himself; that I had always used him with politeness, but nothing more; that he aided in bringing on the present order of things; that he had supported the administration; and that he could do me much harm; he wished, however, to be on different ground; he was now disengaged from all particular business-willing to engage in something should be in town some days, if I should have anything to propose to him. I observed to him, that I had always been sensible that he possessed talents which might be employed greatly to the advantage of the public, and that as to myself, I had a confidence that if he were employed, he would use his talents for the public good; but that he must be sensible the public had withdrawn their confidence from him, and that in a government like ours it was necessary to embrace in its administration as great a mass of public confidence as possible, by employing those who had a character with the public, of their own, and not merely a secondary one through the executive. He observed, that if we believed a few newspapers, it might be supposed he had lost the public confidence, but that I knew how easy it was to engage newspapers in anything. I observed, that I did not refer to that kind of evidence of his having lost the public confidence, but to the late Presidential election, when, though in possession of the office of Vice-President, there was not a single voice heard for his retaining it. That as to any harm he could do me, I knew no cause why he
should desire it, but, at the same time, I feared no injury which any man could do me; that I never had done a single act, or been concerned in any transaction, which I feared to have fully laid open, or which could do me any hurt, if truly stated; that I had never done a single thing with a view to my personal interest, or that of any friend, or with any other view than that of the greatest public good; that, therefore, no threat or fear on that head would ever be a motive of action with me. He has continued in town to this time; dined with me this day week, and called on me to take leave two or three days ago.
I did not commit these things to writing at the time, but I do it now, because in a suit between him and Cheetham, he has had a deposition of Mr. Bayard taken, which seems to have no relation to the suit, nor to any other object than to calumniate me. Bayard pretends to have addressed to me, during the pending of the Presidential election in February, 1801, through General Samuel Smith, certain conditions on which my election might be obtained, and that General Smith, after conversing with me, gave answers from me. This is absolutely false. No proposition of any kind was ever made to me on that occasion by General Smith, nor any answer authorized by me. this fact General Smith affirms at this moment.
For some matters connected with this, see my notes of February the 12th and 14th, 1801, made at the moment. But the following transactions took place about the same time, that is to say, while the Presidential election was in suspense in Congress, which, though I did not enter at the time, they made such an impression on my mind, that they are now as fresh, as to their principal circumstances, as if they had happened yesterday. Coming out of the Senate chamber one day, I found Gouverneur Morris on the steps. He stopped me, and began a conversation on the strange and portentous state of things then existing, and went on to observe, that the reasons why the minority of States was so opposed to my being elected, were, that they apprehended that, 1, I would turn all federalists out of office; 2, put down the navy; 3, wipe off the public debt. That I need only to declare, or authorize my friends to declare, that I would
not take these steps, and instantly the event of the election would be fixed. I told him, that I should leave the world to judge of the course I meant to pursue by that which I had pursued hitherto, believing it to be my duty to be passive and silent during the present scene; that I should certainly make no terms; should never go into the office of President by capitulation, nor with my hands tied by any conditions which should hinder me from pursuing the measures which I should deem for the public. good. It was understood that Gouverneur Morris had entirely the direction of the vote of Lewis Morris of Vermont, who, by coming over to Matthew Lyon, would have added another vote, and decided the election. About the same time, I called on Mr. Adams. We conversed on the state of things. I observed to him, that a very dangerous experiment was then in contemplation, to defeat the Presidential election by an act of Congress declaring the right of the Senate to name a President of the Senate, to devolve on him the government during any interregnum; that such a measure would probably produce resistance by force, and incalculable consequences, which it would be in his power to prevent by negativing such an act. He seemed to think such an act justifiable, and observed, it was in my power to fix the election by a word in an instant, by declaring I would not turn out the federal officers, nor put down the navy, nor spunge the national debt. Finding his mind made up as to the usurpation of the government by the President of the Senate, I urged it no further, observed the world must judge as to myself of the future by the past, and turned the conversation to something else. About the same time, Dwight Foster of Massachusetts called on me in my room one night, and went into a very long conversation on the state of affairs, the drift of which was to let me understand, that the fears above mentioned were the only obstacle to my election, to all of which I avoided giving any answer the one way or the other. From this moment he became most bitterly and personally opposed to me, and so has ever continued. I do not recollect that I ever had any particular conversation with General Samuel Smith on this subject. Very possibly I had, however, as the general subject and all its
parts were the constant themes of conversation in the private tête à têtes with our friends. But certain I am, that neither he nor any other republican ever uttered the most distant hint to me about submitting to any conditions, or giving any assurances to anybody; and still more certainly, was neither he nor any other person ever authorized by me to say what I would or would not do.
Extract from Diary relative to the invasion of Virginia in 1780, 1781.
SATURDAY, December the 31st, 1780, eight o'clock, A. M. Received first intelligence that twenty-seven sail were, on the morning of December the 29th, just below Willoughby's Point. Sent off General Nelson, with full powers.
1781. January the 1st. No intelligence.
January the 2d, ten o'clock, A. M. Information from N. Burwell, that their advance was at Warrasqueak Bay. Gave orders for militia, a quarter from some, and half from other counties. Assembly rose.
Wednesday, January the 3d, eight o'clock, P. M. Received a letter from E. Archer, Swan's Point, that at twelve o'clock that day they were at anchor a little below Jamestown. At five o'clock, P. M., of the same day, I had received a letter from R. Andrews for General Nelson, that they were at Jamestown the evening of the 2d.
Thursday, January the 4th, five o'clock, A. M. Mr. Eppes and family, &c., came and informed me from the Speaker, that they had passed Kennon's and Hood's the evening before; the tide having made for them at one o'clock, P. M., of the 3d, and the wind shifted to the east strong. They had not, however,