The Correspondence of Thomas Jefferson

By Subject


Doctor Logan, about a fortnight ago, sailed for Hamburg. Though for a twelvemonth past he had been intending to go to Europe as soon as he could get money enough to carry him there, yet when he had accomplished this, and fixed a time for going, he very unwisely made a mystery of it: so that his disappearance without notice excited conversation. This was seized by the war hawks, and given out as a secret mission from the Jacobins here to solicit an army from France, instruct them as to their landing, etc. This extravagance produced a real panic among the citizens; and happening just when Bache published Talleyrand's letter, Harper, on the 18th, gravely announced to the House of Representatives, that there existed a traitorous correspondence between the Jacobins here and the French Directory; that he had got hold of some threads and clues of it, and would soon be able to develop the whole. This increased the alarm; their libelists immediately set to work, directly and indirectly to implicate whom they pleased. Porcupine gave me a principal share in it, as I am told, for I never read his papers. This state of things added to my reasons for not departing at the time I intended. These follies seem to have died away in some degree already. Perhaps I may renew my purpose by the 25th. Their system is, professedly, to keep up an alarm. Tracy, at the meeting of the joint committee for adjournment, declared it necessary for Congress to stay together to keep up the inflammation of the public mind.

to James Madison, 21 June 1798